Staying Healthy Despite Hypothyroidism

Updated on December 16, 2019

Being diagnosed with a chronic illness like hypothyroidism is extremely difficult. It changes your life and you’re conscious of your illness every step of the way. You have to make choices for a better and healthier thyroid management and to alleviate the symptoms and side effects.

You also need to make certain lifestyle changes and habits, such as:

 Maintaining a healthy weight

Hypothyroidism causes weight gain, fatigue, and depression, so losing weight or maintaining an ideal body weight can be particularly challenging.

However, watching your weight is crucial in leading a healthy life despite your condition. Too much body fat increases your body’s insulin resistance, which makes you more prone to diabetes and affects your hormone levels. And since being overweight requires your body to produce more thyroid hormones for your thyroid to work correctly, you will be pushed into a vicious cycle.

Following a nutritious and balanced diet

You might have heard this many times before, but a balanced diet is crucial. It is one of the kindest things to do for your body, whether or not you have any existing health conditions. As someone with hypothyroidism, you absolutely need to consider your nutritional intake.

Choose foods containing nutrients that can counteract the effects of your illness. Specifically, you need a diet that can boost your mood, make you feel more energized, and boost your overall sense of wellness. 

Clean eating, or choosing foods that are minimally processed, is something that experts recommend for patients with thyroid diseases. Avoid pre-packaged foods, and choose fresh foods and vegetables, whole grains, and lean meats. Your diet should also include high amounts of calcium, Omega-3s, Selenium, magnesium, and Vitamins B6 and E.

Exercise moderately

Balanced diet and exercise should go hand in hand for people living with hypothyroidism. Lifting weights, running, or even walking can go a long way to help you take control of your health. But you should listen to your body and exercise in moderation. Your condition can get worse if you overexert; exercising too much deducts an iodine molecule from the inactive thyroid hormone, T4, so your body would not be able to convert it to T3, the active thyroid hormone.

Hypothyroidism also causes painful and heavy menstruation among women, and exercising can help with that. Exercise alleviates period cramps by boosting your endorphins. The endorphins will then act as your body’s natural painkillers, decreasing the symptoms of PMS or completely eliminating them altogether.

Rest well and manage your stress

You need to take better care of your body if you have hypothyroidism. Stress ruins your thyroid, so you have to be even more mindful about how you manage your stress levels. It makes your thyroid receptors more resistant to your thyroid hormones and weakens your immune system. Exercise, meditation, and yoga, are great ways to keep the stress at bay.

You also need to get enough rest and sleep. Although you might be tempted to sleep less to get more work done, you must remember that sleep is critical in managing your condition. Sleep gives your body a chance to repair broken tissues and lower the production of stress hormones. Exercise and better stress management will help you sleep better 

Do not let your illness drag you down. Between proper medication and improving your lifestyle, you can lead a healthy and happy life, even with hypothyroidism.

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