Thyroid Fatigue, Symptoms to Watch for shows a woman holding her neck in the location of her thyroid.

Thyroid Fatigue, Symptoms to Watch for

In this blog post you are going to learn about the symptoms of thyroid fatigue and what foods to eat for thyroid health.  You will also learn how to overcome thyroid fatigue and what tests to ask for when you visit your doctor for an assessment.

Do you know the symptoms of thyroid fatigue?  Many women are suffering with fatigue and chronic low energy that may be related to an underactive or overactive thyroid.

I personally have never had thyroid problems but that does not mean I should not support my thyroid to prevent future disease. 

Symptoms of thyroid fatigue

Symptoms of thyroid fatigue and photo of a woman touching her thyroid

This is an essential gland to so many functions in your body including temperature regulation and metabolism and is located in your neck.

Some of the symptoms of thyroid fatigue include:

  • Lack of motivation
  • Hair loss
  • Dry skin
  • Constipation
  • Low body temperature
  • Feeling cold a lot, especially hands and feet
  • Periods of depression
  • Sluggish and tired
  • Weight gain

What is hypothyroid?

An underactive thyroid is also known medically as the term hypothyroidism or someone with a hypothyroid.

This occurs when the thyroid fails to produce sufficient thyroid hormones.

Using the Barnes Basal Body Temperature (BBT) test can give you the numbers you need to determine the health of your thyroid.

Before you rise in the morning, you will place the thermometer under your tongue.  You need to hold the thermometer in place for at least 3-5 minutes.

This gives time for the thermometer to measure your body’s resting temperature since it is influenced by the hormone’s effect on metabolic activity during sleep.

If the basal temperature reads below 97.8°F (36.6°C) for a consistent number of mornings, it indicates a thyroid that is underactive.

To get a good reading you will want to take it from the first to the tenth day of your menstrual cycle if you still have one.

Take the average of 3 daily readings over a 10-day period. 

An underactive thyroid can be caused by several factors including:

  • Autoimmune conditions such as Hashimoto’s thryroditis
  • Iodine deficiency – this is common in areas where the soil is low in iodine.  This is a crucial mineral required for thyroid hormone production
  • Age – women over 40 have an increased risk of developing thyroid issues
  • Radiation treatment – if done previously in the neck area for certain cancers, it can damage the thyroid
  • Constant exposure to chemicals and pollution causing free radical damage to the thyroid.
  • Selenium deficiency (a mineral that acts as an anti-oxidant for the body)
  • Goitrogens that are found in raw cruciferous vegetables potentially interfere with thyroid hormone production.  That is why it is best to cook cruciferous vegetables especially if you are eating them in large amounts.

The goitrogens interfere with iodine uptake into the thyroid and inhibits enzymes involved in the synthesis of thyroid hormones.

Quote: "women over 40 have an increased risk of developing thyroid issues."

Examples of some foods that contain goitrogenic compounds that you may want to consider cooking.

Cruciferous vegetables: broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, Bok choy

Soy Products: tofu, soybeans, edamame

Root vegetables – radishes, turnips, rutabagas

Please do not eliminate these foods unless advised by your healthcare professional

What is hyperthyroid?

It is an overactive thyroid function.

This is when the thyroid produces an excess of thyroid hormones.

Symptoms of hyperthyroid include:

Restlessness

Irritability

Weight loss

Increased heart rate

Fatigue

Tests to ask your doctor to take

Ask for these thyroid test with an image of the blood vial and requested tests

Based on your symptoms, you may want to ask your doctor to perform a set of tests to assess the health of your thyroid.  These tests should be looking at serum levels for:

  • free T4,
  • free T3 and
  • TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone).

If you have normal TSH levels but do not get your free T3 serum levels checked, hypothyroidism can get undiagnosed.  This is a common problem and your symptoms will not go away without proper support.

How to Overcome Thyroid Fatigue (or Hypothyroidism)

The following list is not conclusive but will give you the tools you need to support your thyroid.  As women, we have many responsibilities especially if you have a family and people to look after daily that require your attention and energy.  If you are working full time, you may find you cannot handle stress at work like you use to or that the demands on your time are just too much.  These all can affect the balance in your hormones so that you are not feeling like the vibrant self you may have once felt.

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  • Avoid stimulants such as drinks containing caffeine
  • Avoid sugar, especially refined sugars and artificial sweeteners
  • Eat more protein 
  • Dairy – organic milk, cheese and butter
  • Eat coconut oil
  • Stress management
  • Deep breathing
  • Exercise (biking, swimming, walking, light cardio)
  • Avoid table salt, use kelp in place of it
  • Consume organic foods as much as possible to avoid high consumption of pesticides
  • Avoid fluoride and chlorine
  • Drink purified water or spring water
  • Avoid tap water
  • Eat more fiber
  • Eat more greens
  • Eat probiotic rich foods
  • Use high quality protein powder
  • Get more sleep
  • Get more sunlight
  • Use an air purifier
  • Replace toxic cleaners in the home with natural products including quality essential oils that are third party tested as ones found in Young Living.

Eat vitamin C rich foods

  • sweet peppers
  • citrus fruits
  • cabbage
  • broccoli

These foods are rich in B vitamins:

Eat selenium-rich foods

  • Eat selenium-rich foods such as,
    • Brazil nuts (2/day max),
    • tuna, halibut, sardines, shrimp, salmon,
    • beef, turkey, chicken,
    • egg yolks,
    • sunflower seeds, whole grains (brown rice, oatmeal, whole wheat bread)

Tyrosine rich foods are also encouraged since this amino acid is used to produce T4 hormone and is depleted with physical and mental stress.  These include:

  • almonds
  • avocados
  • bananas
  • dairy
  • lima beans
  • pumpkin seeds
  • sesame seeds

Eat sea vegetables that contain iodine, calcium, magnesium and folate for the production of T4.

examples are:

  • nori
  • kelp
  • dulse

Potassium rich foods are also helpful such as squash, potatoes and bananas.

Here is a recipe you can use that will incorporate some of the foods listed that support your thyroid.

RECIPE

A photo of stuffed portobello mushrooms for thyroid health

Lentil Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

Ingredients:

2 large Portobello mushrooms

1 cup green lentils (BPA free can, drained)

½ cup chopped yellow onion

½ cup chopped red bell pepper

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

¼ cup low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth 

Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 425° F.

2. Prepare mushrooms by brushing top and bottom with olive oil and place onto a well oiled baking sheet.

3. Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a pan on medium heat. Add onions and cook for 2 minutes.

. Add chopped garlic and simmer for another 2 minutes.

5. Add pepper, lentils, and vegetable broth, and allow to simmer on low for 10 minutes.

6. Place lentil mixture into the mushrooms and fill up each mushroom cap until full

7. Place mushrooms into oven and cook for 20-25 minutes

8. Allow to cool slightly before serving.

Conclusion

Now you know the symptoms of thyroid fatigue and what to watch out for regarding your symptoms.  

And you know the definition of hypothyroid and hyperthyroid and the tests you can ask for when you visit your main healthcare provider.

Additionally, you have also learned how to overome thyroid fatigue and the foods that will help you improve thyroid health.

If you feel you would like to talk to me about my main program, Freedom From Fatigue solution, I invite you to book a call to discuss if this is a good fit for you.

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Thyroid Fatigue, Symptoms to Watch for and a photo of a woman touching her throat.

References:

https://www.precisionnutrition.com/hypothyroidism-diet-plan

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/healthiest-beans-legumes#bottom-line

Lessard-Rhead, Brenda, B Sc., ND, Nutritional Pathology, third edition, CSNN Publishing, ©2013, pp 268, 269,270

Perreault, Danielle RHN, Nutritional Symtomatology Handbook for CSNN Students, ©2015 CSNN, The Glandular/Endocrine System, pp. 157-159

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