Does having an underactive thyroid cause fatigue and tiredness…YES
Does having an underactive thyroid mean you never have energy…NO
Having hypothyroidism does not mean you have to suffer from debilitating fatigue and exhaustion for the rest of your life.
Nay, nay, I say…
So, as you are working on improving your thyroid health and looking to increase your energy levels, give these few things a try.
- Eat Whole Foods: whole foods are foods that are minimally processed (1, 2). Think of foods that are low in chemical additives, but rich in nutrients (2). Eating whole foods will provide your body, including the thyroid with the proper nutrients and minerals needed for optimal functioning. Nutrient-dense foods also help to keep your blood sugar stable throughout the day and keep you from crashing. Lastly, nutrient-dense foods are rich sources of antioxidants, which are great for anyone with Hashimoto’s. Hashimoto’s, the autoimmune form of hypothyroidism leads to tissue damage and antioxidants can help with the repair.
- Getting Quality Sleep: it might seem counterintuitive, but quality, restorative sleep allows you to wake feeling more refreshed. You should aim for seven to nine hours of quality sleep every night (3). What do I mean by quality sleep? I am referring to your body’s ability to get to the deep restorative stage of your sleep cycle. It is during this stage of your sleep cycle that provides your body with the chance to recover (4) from the day’s events and prepare your body for your upcoming day. Try limiting devices 1-2 hours prior to bedtime and staying consistent with your bedtime to help improve your sleep hygiene.
- Exercise: not only will it help improve your energy levels, but it will also help with sleep quality too. Furthermore, exercise can help improve your metabolism, which in turn will keep you feeling energized (5). Start off with 10-15 minutes of walking 3-4 times a week and then progress from there.
- Limit Caffeine Consumption: I know how tempting it can be to rely on caffeine to get you through your day. It starts with one cup and then the next thing you know, you have lost track of how much coffee you are drinking and you find yourself stuck in an endless cycle of feeling energized, being wound up only to crash a few hours later. Caffeine can impact your body’s ability to get into a deep sleep (6). Alternatives to coffee include Chicory Root, Dandelion tea, and Adaptogenic Teas.
- Routine Thyroid Testing: monitoring your thyroid levels can help catch imbalances before your fatigue worsens. Even if labs show that your levels are within range, but you are still feeling fatigued, you might need to do a deeper dive into other causes of your fatigue (5).
1. Spritzler, F. (2020, August 11). 21 reasons to Eat Real Food. Healthline. Retrieved December 27, 2022, from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/21-reasons-to-eat-real-food#TOC_TITLE_HDR_15
2. Seitz, S. (2022, January 24). What are whole foods? Clean Green Simple. Retrieved December 29, 2022, from https://cleangreensimple.com/article/what-are-whole-foods/
3. Coping with fatigue. British Thyroid Foundation. (n.d.). Retrieved January 12, 2023, from https://www.btf-thyroid.org/coping-with-fatigue
4. Stages of sleep: What happens in a sleep cycle. Sleep Foundation. (2022, July 8). Retrieved January 12, 2023, from https://www.sleepfoundation.org/stages-of-sleep
5. Stewart, J., Cherney, K., Coakley, E., Miller, B., Orenstein, B. W., & Patino, E. (2018, October 31). A daily plan to fight hypothyroidism fatigue. EverydayHealth.com. Retrieved January 12, 2023, from https://www.everydayhealth.com/hs/hypothyroidism/daily-routine-fight-fatigue/
6. Vann, M. R., Cherney, K., Strauch, I., Migala, J., Miller, B., Stewart, K., Orenstein, B. W., & Theobald, M. (2018, July 5). 8 ways to stay energized with hypothyroidism. EverydayHealth.com. Retrieved January 12, 2023, from https://www.everydayhealth.com/hs/thyroid-pictures/stay-energized/