At the start of a new year, you might be looking for ways to step into healthier habits so, for those who are hypothyroid, here’s my top tips that you can incorporate easily into your daily life to boost your thyroid function. None of these are life-changing on their own, but paying attention and showing some love every day to this small, butterfly-shaped gland that does so much work for us, can lead to big change.
These are some things I do every day that help to keep my thyroid happy.
Move every day. In some way. Even on the tough days, do something. It could be rhythmic arm movements if that’s all you can manage today, it will raise your endorphins and your mood.
I do a cat-cow every day as part of my morning wake-up routine. Drawing your head into your chest and then exposing your throat chakra helps to bring blood flow to the thyroid. Here are some other simple yoga poses that your thyroid will like.
2. Butterfly bathing
Low Vitamin D is a risk factor for Hashimoto’s and many of my patients see a reduction in antibodies by increasing their Vitamin D levels. Those of us further north just can’t get enough Vitamin D all year round from the sun so, get your levels checked and supplement if you need to (see my discount code below).
But return to the source if you can. Whenever possible I turn my thyroid to the sun, even the winter sun, and visualise my beautiful butterfly-shaped thyroid bathing its wings in the sun’s rays. I do this as often as I can and even in England I manage to butterfly bathe for even a short time most days.
3. Dry body brushing
Get a good brush and do it every morning when your skin is dry, before the shower. Body brushing helps your lymphatic system to drain toxicity from your body. Toxicity causes inflammation, so reducing your toxic burden will help to keep your thyroid calm. I spend five minutes every morning body brushing. This is a good video that is aimed particularly at breast health but it’s a good routine (thank you to Rosa by lovely thermographer for doing this video). I just add in some gentle brushing over the thyroid in a downward motion towards my armpits.
4. Stay hydrated
I try to drink 2 litres of water a day. I don’t always make it, but I try so it means I get closer than I would. I’ll write a whole blog dedicated to the benefits of drinking plenty of water one day – but one of the main benefits is that your liver and kidneys love you staying hydrated so they can perform their never-ending work of getting rid of what we don’t want and need from our body more effectively. The liver is where most of your T4 to T3 conversion happens, so you want to show your liver lots of love, to keep your T3 levels up.
5. Express yourself
The thyroid is situated right on our throat chakra point and when this point is blocked it may contribute to a diseased thyroid gland. The throat chakra loves to be allowed expression – and this can be in any way that works for you. I don’t think thyroid disease is always as a result of not being able to speak up or suppressing your voice. Expression might just mean doing more of what makes you happy.
I personally love to dance or move my body, so I will always do some form of movement every day that brings me joy – whether that’s a swim, a dog walk, a Pilates session or a dance around the kitchen.
6. Go nuts
Selenium is a trace element that is needed for the conversion of T4 to T3 so I eat a small handful of brazil nuts, that are high in selenium, every day. Walnuts and avocados are also good sources.
7. Sleep well
Sleep is crucial to good health. One of the indicators I use with my patients to measure their level of health is how well they sleep. If you have hypothyroid this can often disturb your sleep so find ways that work for you to help you get a good night. I blend a sleep-inducing homeobotanical combination that contains a host of calming herbs like Passiflora, Pasque Flower, Hops, Chamomile and Lemon Balm that I find helps me sleep.
But don’t forget the simple things – turn off devices an hour before bed, keep the lights low in the evening, try a cup of chamomile tea, use lavender oil or a good sleep spray on your pulse points or pillow, have an Epsom Salts bath to calm your nervous system. (Feel free to use my 10% discount with The Natural Dispensary to buy your Epsom Salts or any other supplements – CHGGO10).
8. Feel the heat
So this isn’t something I do every day, but every time I go for a swim which is a few times a week, I’m lucky enough to have access to an infra-red sauna. If you can get in one, I’d recommend it. There are many benefits if you have Hashimoto’s or a hypothyroid such as detoxification, alleviating joint pain, boosting metabolism, reducing bloating, stimulating weight loss and improving cellular turnover. Give it a go if you can.