Always tired? Check your thyroid

May 11, 2008

We all get tired from time to time, but if you feel your energy levels are on a permanent low and you tend to nod off the minute you are sitting quietly without doing anything then you might have a thyroid malfunction. Your head is a very sensitive indicator of thyroid hormone status so if it feels heavy or tired, especially in the afternoon that might alert you to a potential problem here. Apart from the symptoms above, you may also notice forgetfulness, depression, constipation, changes in weight and appetite, greater sensitivity to cold, dry, rough or scaly skin, dry, tangled hair and hair loss, particularly from the outer part of your eyebrows, and brittle nails.

The thyroid is a small, butterfly-shaped, gland that produces the hormones that influence virtually every organ, tissue and cell in your body. Your doctor can carry out a simple test to see if your thyroid isn’t working properly, but they often prescribe the use of synthetic thyroid hormone. If you think you might be at risk, it could be worth trying some alternative methods first to see if they make a difference.

Natural Methods to Restore Your Thyroid:
As usual, it starts with a healthy diet, and you need to ensure you have adequate amounts of iodine and selenium, which provide the raw materials for your thyroid gland to work better. Natural food sources of iodine include cod, tinned tuna in oil, milk, eggs, baked potatoes (eat the skin) and turkey breast.

Selenium can be found in many of our foodstuffs including garlic, broccoli, onions, walnuts, brazil nuts, salmon, halibut, brown rice, chicken breast meat, wholemeal bread, and milk.

The next key element is to include plenty of omega-3 fats not least because the human brain is more than 60% structural fat, just as your muscles are made of protein and your bones are made of calcium. But it’s not just any fat that our brains are made of, and unfortunately we tend to eat far more of the man-made trans- fats and excessive amounts of saturated fats and vegetable oils high in Omega-6 fatty acids, all of which interfere which our body’s attempt to utilize the tiny amount of Omega-3 fats that it gets. This is particularly important for children as if they do not have sufficient Omega-3 essential fatty acids they are significantly more likely to be hyperactive, have learning disorders, and to display behavioural problems.

So what should you be eating to get good levels of omega-3? Not dissimilar to some of the good iodine sources, you need flax seed oil and walnuts, then organic meat, fish, olive oil, fruits and green leafy vegetables.

Finally, get sufficient sleep, and in a completely dark bedroom, and tackle any stress in your life. The vast majority of people’s thyroid glands become impaired as a result of weak adrenal glands, due particularly to emotional stress, and the thyroid gland tries to compensate for this and eventually just gives up and stops working.


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