5 Most Helpful DIY Interventions if you're feeling Washed Out, Gaining Weight, Dull Skin. Maybe


Are you feeling washed out, gaining weight, your hair and skin looks dull and you have no idea what the problem is? It may be your Thyroid malfunctioning. The thyroid gland is a key hormone producing gland for the whole body.

If it’s UNDERactive, you may feel sluggish, cold, put on weight, have thinning hair, mucked up bowel habits and your memory may be less sharp than it has been.

If your thyroid is OVERactive you may find your heart is beating too fast or unevenly, feeling hot or unable to cope with heat, losing weight, feeling emotionally up and down.

The third dysfunction may be your thyroid lurching between being overactive and underactive. In which case you will have even more confusing symptoms and mood swings.

One of the problems with diagnosing a misbehaving thyroid is that all these changes happen slowly and creep up on you. And each symptom could be caused by something else, so individually they may be dismissed as unimportant.

If the above rings bells with you and you cannot get to the bottom of the problem, go to your doctor and ask for your thyroid to be tested.

This blood test will measure Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) and Free T4. Ask if they can also test Free T3 and Reverse T3. These are important but seldom done initially. The reason to request Free T3 is that hormone T4 is changed to the active T3 which is what your body uses. Some people though do not do that conversion well. So if your doctor has tested TSH and Free T4 and those are in the normal range, you may erroneously believe your thyroid is fine. Reverse T3 reading outside the reference range may be for a series of reasons such as low calorific intake, high stress level, toxins in the body or a liver or kidney dysfunction. Knowing these can assist in taking appropriate action.

There are two Thyroid antibodies which I have never seen tested by the doctor and would also be worth testing if you can persuade the surgery – Thyroglobulin and Peroxidase. If these are outside the normal range, the latter will attack your thyroid, believing it to be an invader whilst the former will influence how much T4 is made. Suffice to say, you want them to be in the right range.

The good news is that there are steps you can take which should improve symptoms even before you are tested.

Five key actions to help your Thyroid:

  1. Go grain free. This encompasses more than just cutting out gluten. It means cut out wheat, oats, barley, rice. That’s no pasta, no bread, no cereals for breakfast (cook spinach and egg instead, or bacon and tomato for instance)

  2. Go sugar free – by that I mean ADDED sugars. Look carefully at labels on foods where you will have to read the ingredients list, not the panel of food categories. Sugar occurs naturally in foods such as fruits. WHOLE fruit is OK to eat, but limit to two pieces a day. Fruit juice is NOT OK, honey and agave syrup is NOT OK. And nor are artificial sweeteners like aspartame.

  3. Go dairy free – that means NO milk in coffee, not even a splash. No yogurt either. Eggs are not dairy and fine to eat.

  4. Eat fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi, plain coconut yogurt and eat at least once per day. Incorporate in every meal would be even better

  5. Eat vegetables - lots and lots of veggies, and lots of colours; your good gut microbes will love you for it because the vegetable fibre is their food, and your liver will love it because its the vegetable fibre that the toxic waste from the liver sticks to.

This is just for two weeks, not a lifetime. If you can only manage 2 actions, make it no grain and no added sugar.

And if you would like some recipe ideas, email me at hello@nrg-nutrition.com and I shall send some.

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