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Coping with Hypothyroidism: 3 Ways to Build Stamina and Combat Fatigue

Posted by Dr. Stephen and Janet Lewis on

                                                            

Constant fatigue is one of the biggest complaints for those who suffer from hypothyroidism. Even with frequent naps, high levels of caffeine, and early bedtimes, those with hypothyroidism often still experience chronic low energy. This abnormal fatigue is a result of hormonal deficiencies caused by an under-active thyroid gland. This butterfly-shaped gland within the neck is responsible for producing vital hormones such as triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4). These important body chemicals control the metabolism as well as body temperature and heart rate. When the body is deprived of the proper hormonal balance, abnormal fatigue and low stamina develop and often worsen over time if left untreated.

Although blood testing by your doctor is needed to confirm a hypothyroidism diagnosis, there are simple lifestyle changes that can be used to help combat the chronic fatigue and restore your natural stamina. Even a small change may allow you to regain much of your lost energy!

Creating a Sleep Schedule

Hypothyroidism commonly attacks our quantity as well as quality of sleep. Insomnia, sleep apnea, and restlessness are popular thyroid-related sleep disorders. Some with hypothyroidism also find themselves sleeping far more than normal yet still feeling extremely drained when they awake. One of the best ways to regain lost energy and build stamina is to fight for a proper night's sleep with a "sleep schedule."

Set a goal of gaining at least 8 hours’ worth of sleep every night. Start your sleep schedule by setting a specific bedtime and sticking to it every day. Ensure your room is dark and peaceful with few distractions or stressors. As you near your bedtime, begin relaxing your body and mind. Avoid caffeine and "blue" light from electronics such as TV, computers, and cell phones. Relaxing habits such as a warm bath, hot non-caffeinated herbal tea, gentle music, or even reading a book often help many people prepare for rest. Although getting the proper rest may still be challenging, building a sleep schedule often helps restore a healthy sleep cycle that will help us feel more rested.

Balancing Your Blood Sugar

In addition to getting more rest, many people find that a healthier, balanced diet allows them to feel more naturally energized throughout the day. Keeping your blood sugar balanced is key for avoiding fatigue, particularly later in the day. Some studies suggest that those with hypothyroidism experience greater instances of hypoglycemia, also known as low blood sugar. Stock your diet with foods high in natural fiber and antioxidants. Leafy vegetables and fruits are often packed with both of these nutrients. Avoid processed or fried foods that are high in "unhealthy" fats. Instead, choose "healthy" fats such as natural olive oil, fish, and avocado.

Also, rather than consuming 2-3 large meals, choose smaller meals or snacks throughout the day. Eating more frequently often helps reduce dangerous blood sugar plummets. Small, nutrient rich snacks tend to keep our blood sugar stable and free from radical fluctuations.

Adding Natural Supplements and Vitamins

Even with a balanced diet, some with hypothyroidism experience vitamin and mineral deficiencies that affect their entire body. Vitamin D, iodine, and iron are some of the most common deficiencies found in those with hypothyroidism. Under professional guidance, taking these supplements is a powerful way to restore the body's balance and increase natural energy levels. In addition, omega-3 and fish oil supplements also provide lasting health benefits, both for the cardiovascular system as well as the thyroid. When we reduce vitamin and mineral deficiencies, we give our body the proper tools it needs to naturally regain lost energy and vitality.

Although hypothyroidism and its resulting fatigue cannot be cured overnight, with time and practice, each of these 3 health tools plays a critical role in regaining energy and stamina. Although these tools are specifically geared toward combating fatigue, they also benefit the whole body in many other lasting ways.

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