I recently posted on Instagram that after a few years of having low thyroid levels my blood work finally came back 100% normal!! This was one of the most exciting and rewarding moments of my health journey. I had been to SO MANY doctors and got no answers it was exhausting and discouraging. I would sit and talk about my hair falling out, feeling sluggish, and gaining weight. Conventional doctors would just tell me nothing was wrong over and over, maybe I was just stressed out they would say. Finally, I found a holistic doctor who diagnosed me with Hypothyroidism, which at that point was actually a relief. Her suggestion? Start medication.
I was shocked. I had put in so much effort to find a holistic practitioner for the sole reason that I did NOT want to go on medication. I left the office feeling pretty hopeless and that is NEVER how you should feel leaving a doctor or practitioner. It makes me so angry that this happens more often than not.
However, based on my background with nutrition and being in the nutritional therapy program I know that low thyroid is directly related to a stress on the body. Your thyroid doesn’t just decide to start slowing down for no reason, something is causing it! So, how do you figure it out? A lot of digging, self-reflection and trial and error. There is no one size fits all approach because stress is going to be entirely different for every person.
What did I do to get my numbers back to normal? Here are the main steps I took that worked for ME!
Eating enough food– I have a history of yo-yo dieting and over exercising that put a TON of stress on my body. I started taking measures to heal my relationship with food and started eating A LOT of healthy fats, proteins, low glycemic carbohydrates and ensuring my body was getting the fuel that it needed.
Ditching cardio– I was cardio queen for a LONG time! And finally came to terms with the fact that this was giving me high Cortisol levels and impacting my health, as well as putting a lot of stress on my thyroid. I started focusing on strength training, walking and yoga.
Gut health– Your gut regulates almost every function in your body, so when you have any form of leaky gut or IBS this is going to cause inflammation and stress and will absolutely impact thyroid levels! I did a stool test to figure out exactly what I was dealing with, for me it was a parasite and bacterial overgrowths, and used anti-microbials and diet to heal this.
Supporting my adrenals– Your thyroid and adrenal glands work hand in hand. Your Adrenals are the ones that actually produce your stress hormones, so more often than not you are going to need to give them some TLC in this process. For me it was SLOWING DOWN! Being able to listen to my body and give it the rest that it needed. That meant prioritizing sleep over exercise, saying no to social plans, and truly putting myself first. I did also use some supplements and essential oils which I will list below.
Mindset– This one is HUGE!!! I felt SO lost at the beginning of this journey. I felt like I was losing my identity and I was not in control of my body. This can be terrifying, defeating and upsetting. I had to do a ton of work on myself and dealing with my emotions. I used mediation, books, essential oils, and an amazing support system to work through some limiting beliefs that had been haunting me for a very long time. I had to believe that I would get better, but I also had to accept, love and feel compassion for myself as I was.
Supplements/Other– Honestly supplements are going to depends on the person and this is what I do with my 1:1 clients. We look at a diagnostic questionnaire to figure out exactly what kind of support you need! But some general ones that can help almost anyone would be:
- Grass-fed Collagen
- Grass-fed Bone Broth
- Small amounts of fermented foods
- Herbal teas (Chamomile, Dandelion Root, Peppermint, Kava)
- Magnesium (either a spray or powder)
Essential oils! These were a huge part of my healing journey, some of my go to’s are:
- Basil- Adrenal Support
- Lavender- Relax, sleep, de-stress
- Frankincense- Thyroid support
- Balance- Feeling grounded
- Grapefruit and Rosemary- Gallbladder/detox
- Forgive blend- working through negative blocks, feeling free, at ease and grounded