How To Know If You Have An Underactive Thyroid + Ways To Heal It
Most women don’t think they have thyroid problems. It’s often not until we get off birth control pills, start trying to get pregnant, or hit that big weight loss plateau that we even begin to wonder what’s going on in our hormonal landscape. Thyroid health is pretty important as far as hormones go, and low quantities of it can be to blame for mood swings, brain fog, and those endless hours spent on Pinterest. You heard me, thyroid hormones affect your ability to tune in and focus!
Getting to the bottom of your thyroid issues can absolutely revive, reenergize, and revolutionize your life. Thanks to giving some extra love and care of that beautiful butterfly-shaped gland, for the first time in my life I have beautiful long fingernails and don’t have to wear gigantic wool socks to bed! Who knew it all had to do with my hormones?
Signs You’re Experiencing Low Thyroid Hormones
As I mentioned, low thyroid hormones were a big part of my physical problems, and at the time I didn’t know it was responsible for everything from chronic constipation to split ends.
If you’re experiencing any of the below symptoms, low thyroid hormones just might be your culprit:
Hair loss: Shedding hair for no apparent reason? It could be your thyroid.
Dry skin and nails: Dry skin, brittle fingernails, and hair that’s impossible to brush out are all signals that something is haywire with your thyroid. And don’t forget constipation! Another sign of dryness, not being able to go means your poor thyroid needs some love.
Cold feet and hands: Low circulation in your hands or feet, or simply feeling 10 degrees colder than everyone else in the room isn’t a sign you need an extra sweater; it’s a sign of low thyroid hormones!
Brain fog or lethargy: Feeling lethargic, tired, or unable to think or concentrate suggests you might need a little hormonal healing. If things seem to be taking a slower pace than usual, it’s time to show some love to your thyroid.
Depression and mood swings: Brain fog, depression, mood swings, and irritability all mean you may need some thyroid help to get you out of the fog.
Period problems and infertility: Heavy periods, infertility, miscarriages, or even premature birth can all signal an imbalance in your thyroid gland.
Causes Of Underactive Thyroid Hormones
Many things can cause low thyroid, but most of my clients get it from one of three ways:
High estrogen: Yep, yet another thing we can blame on birth control. Birth control pills contain high doses of synthetic estrogen. If your estrogen is high, it’s likely your thyroid is low.
High cortisol: You need to stress less! But it’s important to more than just your sanity. Wonky cortisol levels disrupt the balance of our hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid axis, meaning once again, when cortisol becomes high, thyroid becomes low.
High thyroid-stimulating hormone: TSH is a hormone created by your pituitary gland that's tasked with stimulating the production of thyroid hormones. But our thyroid hormones operate like a seesaw; when TSH is high, thyroid hormones become low. This is why TSH is the main hormone tested when trying to diagnose thyroid issues. Low TSH means levels are normal. High TSH means thyroid hormones are low, and ultimately you may experience any or all of the symptoms listed above.
How To Heal Low Thyroid Hormones
No matter what the cause, healing your thyroid hormones holistically is as easy as pie. Here are a few things you can do to pave the way for hormonal healing:
Reduce gluten: Whether or not gluten causes low thyroid is uncertain, but reducing intake of gluten just might help when it comes to balancing those thyroid hormones.
Take your minerals: Many thyroid problems can be resolved simply by healing your mineral deficiencies. For most women this means replenishing your stores of copper, zinc, selenium and iron.
Get your vitamins: Vitamins D and A especially may help heal low thyroid hormones.
Eat brussels sprouts: All the brassica family vegetables — such as kale, broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower — can help you metabolize estrogen more efficiently if you suspect high estrogen to be the cause of your duress.
As always, healing is a journey, and there may be many factors at play when it comes to diagnosing and healing thyroid issues. Since hormonal imbalances often cause the dreaded domino effect, it’s very likely that if you experience thyroid problems, you’re also experiencing a whole host of other hormonal imbalances. Pay attention to how you feel and take things step by step. You’ll feel better in no time!