Healthy Living

5 Tips on Living with Hypothyroidism

5 Tips on Living with Hypothyroidism

Key Takeaways

  • Hypothyroidism is a condition in which a person's metabolism is slowed down, causing a host of symptoms that can greatly affect the sufferer's quality of life if left untreated.
  • Thyroid hormone replacement therapy is the conventional treatment for the disease. 
  • Maintaining a healthy diet, regular exercise, stress management, and sound sleep are all important in making life better even with a condition like hypothyroidism.

Hyperthyroidism is a health condition in which the body’s metabolism becomes slow, leading to the feeling of fatigue. This is caused by an abnormally low amount of thyroid hormone in the blood. This deficiency is caused by an impaired functioning of the thyroid gland. People may develop this condition at any age, but it is more common among women who are above 50 years old. People with hyperthyroidism often gain weight despite regular exercise. Their ability to concentrate may suffer, and they are often more sensitive to cold temperatures. Treating hyperthyroidism is crucial as the symptoms of this condition usually affect the overall quality of one’s life. Hormone replacement therapy is often the recommended treatment method for hyperthyroidism. In this treatment method, synthetic levothyroxine is used to restore the hormone levels in the blood.

Remember:

  • Be consistent with treatment and medication.
  • Have periodic blood tests to check your thyroid hormone levels.
  • Learn about the disease and its symptoms.
  • Read about the conditions and drugs that may interfere or have adverse interactions with treatment.

Tips to help someone with hypothyroidism alleviate symptoms and improve their quality of life:

1. Treatment

Each individual responds differently to treatment. It is thus most important for a doctor to check the hormone levels in the blood and tailor the dosage accordingly. It may require frequent visits to the doctor and blood tests to reach the optimum dosage. The most conventional treatment for controlling hypothyroidism is the oral intake of levothyroxine, a synthetic form of the thyroid hormone.

Getting diagnosed and treated early is very important in hypothyroidism. It can be diagnosed by any one of these health practitioners:  

  • Family medicine doctor
  • Internist
  • Pediatrician
  • Physician assistant

The practitioner who makes a diagnosis of hypothyroidism will likely recommend a consultation with an endocrinologist. Endocrinologists are specialists that treat diseases of hormone-producing glands. Seeing an endocrinologist is particularly important for complicated forms of hypothyroidism.

2. Awareness 

Being fully aware of the different factors that are associated with this disease helps you in asking questions about the treatment options and symptoms. It will also help in making the right decisions about the treatment method.

3. Support

Support groups can help in sharing and discussing your experiences and knowledge about the disease. Having the support of friends and family also helps you to keep stress away and enjoy a better quality of life.

4. Lifestyle Tips for Better Living

Important lifestyle habits such as a diet that is healthy, exercising regularly, managing stress, and sound sleeping are all important factors for improving your overall health and making life better even with a condition like hyperthyroidism.

Individuals with hyperthyroidism frequently complain of exhaustion and daytime drowsiness. These symptoms can be controlled by having a sustained flow of energy. This can be achieved by consuming healthy, nutritious food at regular intervals in small quantities. Feeling excessively fatigued and exhausted can often bring own a person’s motivation to exercise regularly. Exercise is one of the best ways to rev up energy levels, even when one feels exhausted due to a low metabolic rate. Exercise is also helpful in reducing body weight. Regular exercise and a healthier diet are two important components in managing stress, which can help to alleviate the symptoms that are experienced with this condition. Stress is one of the factors that can worsen the symptoms. Avoid stress by introducing yoga or meditation into your daily routine. Getting involved in activities of interest will also help keep stress at bay.

Excessive drowsiness during the day is caused by lack of proper sleep at night. This is a characteristic feature of hyperthyroidism and can be maintained by practicing positive sleep habits. Avoid caffeinated beverages in the evening and maintain a healthy routine for sleep.

Re-evaluation of one's hormone levels is very important in ensuring the correct dosage. Do remember to go for follow-up visits to your doctor and have the necessary blood tests done. Take medicines regularly at the correct time.  

5. Diet

While there are no magic foods that can cure hyperthyroidism, eating properly can assist in easing the symptoms of this condition. The following are some of the foods that are healthy to eat for those who suffer with hyperthyroidism.

  • Berries – It is encouraged to incorporate a serving of berries into your daily diet. Berries are filled with antioxidants, which will strengthen the immune system. You may feel free to choose the berries you prefer, whether it be blueberries, strawberries, or raspberries.
  • Cruciferous vegetables – Vegetables such as broccoli are known to reduce the amount of thyroid hormone that your thyroid gland produces. If you do not like broccoli, you can also try kale, cauliflower, and cabbage. Consume one or more servings of this type of vegetable every day.
  • Foods rich in Omega-3’s and vitamin D – Foods such as salmon contain vitamin D. Vitamin D is an important nutrient that helps to prevent bone loss. Salmon also contains a large dose of omega-3 fatty acids that maintain your health. The body does not produce these fatty acids naturally; you can only obtain them through food. However, if you do not like fish, you can still get vitamin D from mushrooms or eggs. Omega-3’s can be found in walnuts, flaxseed oil, and olive oil. These foods should be consumed daily, regardless of which food you choose.
  • Turkey – Turkey is a great source of protein. Your body requires protein for energy and also to help maintain and build muscle. Since losing weight is a symptom that is common in hyperthyroidism, consuming protein is important to ensure that you maintain a healthy weight. If you don’t like turkey, you can instead try nuts and beans, as they also contain protein. Protein should be consumed daily.
  • Yogurt – If hyperthyroidism is left untreated, it can eventually cause your bones to weaken and can lead to osteoporosis. Yogurt is a good source of calcium. However, you can also find calcium in a number of other dairy products such as cheese or milk. Consume 3 servings of calcium daily from dairy products.