The thyroid gland plays a vital role in every aspect of our body’s functioning, from metabolism to energy levels to heart regulation and digestion. More than 12% of the U.S. population, roughly 20 million Americans, develops a thyroid condition over their lifetime but goes undiagnosed. Exploring the connections between stress and thyroid function, with lifestyle and dietary changes supporting our thyroid health, is essential for preventing the development of thyroid imbalance or disorders. To find out more about how you can help your thyroid health naturally, check out the four tips below:

STRESS MANAGEMENT

Chronic stress triggers inflammation and activates the adrenal gland to release the stress hormone cortisol, which may lead to various health complications. To manage stress, incorporate breath work, meditation, journaling, outdoor walks/hikes, self-care days, or workout classes. In addition to managing stress, aim to practice receiving 7-8 hours of sleep each night to boost brain performance and mood.

NUTRITION SUPPORT 

Iodine and selenium play a crucial role in thyroid hormone synthesis. Iodine-rich foods include seaweed, iodized salt, seafood, and dairy products. Selenium-rich foods include Brazil nuts, seafood, whole grains, red meat, and eggs. Zinc deficiency is linked to decreased thyroid hormone levels and resting metabolic rates. Sources include red meat, oysters, nuts/seeds, and whole grains, which can prevent deficiency. Conversely, limiting products high in goitrogenic compounds may be beneficial due to inhibiting thyroid hormone synthesis and iodine utilization. Common goitrogenic-rich products include cruciferous vegetables (e.g., broccoli, cauliflower, kale, cabbage, bok chop, etc.) and soy products. For more nutrition assistance, feel free to book with our STAT registered dietitian, Sarah Ganka.

THYROID SUPPORTIVE SUPPLEMENTS 

In conjunction with consuming whole foods, thyroid-supportive supplementations may offer additional health benefits in supporting thyroid health. B vitamins, specifically Vitamin B12, are crucial in metabolism, energy production, hormone regulation, and overall organ functions. Essential fatty acids (omega 3 and 6) assist with reducing inflammation and supporting thyroid hormone production while boosting brain and heart functions. Adding adaptogenic herbs, such as ashwagandha or aloe vera, can help detoxify the liver, improve mood and energy, and reduce thyroid antibodies.

However, please speak with one of STAT’s healthcare providers before starting any new supplements, especially for individuals with thyroid conditions or who are currently taking thyroid medications.

MOVEMENT 

Research has shown that implementing regular daily physical activity (aerobic, resistance, and combined exercises), such as walking, swimming, pilates, hiking, cycling, or body-weight/resistance training, increases bone density, improves lipid profile, and improves quality of life. Additionally, this can assist in regulating cortisol levels and immune function and promote healthy, sustained weight loss. Weight gain and fatigue are common symptoms of thyroid disorders due to a drop in thyroid hormone levels. Therefore, implementing aerobic exercises into your routine can be a powerful tool in alleviating symptoms associated with thyroid disruption and overall health.

Although various factors can lead to the development of thyroid conditions, focusing on implementing natural practices is the first step in supporting your thyroid health and hormone production. Here at STAT Wellness our providers are all versed in various autoimmune conditions and are always eager to help. If you have any questions, you can always book a 15 min consult call with one of our providers.