Weight loss tips for Hypothyroidism | Reverse your Hypothyroidism | Diet, workout & other tips
5 Stress-Relief Tips for Hypothyroidism
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We encounter stressful situations every day, from job deadlines and financial worries to family and relationship pressures. Over time these stressors can add up, and chronic stress in particular can take a toll on your health. It can affect your body, mood, and behavior and also exacerbate thyroid problems.
“Stress does impact thyroid function,” says Yusuf Saleeby, MD, founder and medical director of Carolina Holistic Medicine in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina. And disruption of thyroid functions caused by stress and other factors can worsen symptoms. “Stress can also lead to the expression of autoimmune diseases, like Hashimoto's disease, that affect thyroid function,” he adds.
Managing stress is important for everyone, but it’s especially important for people with chronic conditions like hypothyroidism, which can be negatively impacted by stress. So, what can you do to relieve stress when you’re living with hypothyroidism? In addition to taking your thyroid medication as prescribed, Dr. Saleeby suggests a multimodal approach that encompasses healthy eating, physical activity, sleep, and complementary and alternative therapies.
Here are five stress-relief strategies to help you tame tension, better manage hypothyroidism, and improve your quality of life.
Eat a healthy diet. A diet rich in lean proteins, whole grains, vegetables, fruit, reduced-fat dairy, and healthy fats like avocado and olive oil can help keep you healthy and feeling good. Just make sure you practice proper portion control and limit (or avoid) saturated fats, refined grains, sodium, added sugars, and alcohol.
Consider complementary and alternative therapies. Though not a substitute for your thyroid medication, some complementary and alternative therapies may help you manage your symptoms. According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, complementary therapies like deep breathing, meditation, and yoga can help you relax and manage stress. The American Thyroid Association says you should get approval from your doctor first to ensure the therapies won’t interfere with your treatment.
Get moving. Regular physical activity is an ideal stress reliever that can boost your energy, improve your mood, help you sleep better at night, and reduce fatigue, which can be especially beneficial for people who experience fatigue as a side effect of hypothyroidism. “Exercise in moderation is helpful,” says Saleeby. Talk to your doctor before starting any exercise program.
Prioritize sleep. While hypothyroidism can cause fatigue, so can a lack of quality sleep. Stress can cause your mind to race and leave you lying awake at night. Taking steps to get seven to nine hours of quality sleep can help ease tension and make you feel better. “Giving a patient a very good sleep program or correcting a dysfunctional sleep pattern is likely the most overlooked and underrated intervention,” says Saleeby. To help improve sleep, the National Sleep Foundation suggests keeping your bedroom cool, dark, and comfortable, practicing a relaxing bedtime ritual, and sticking to the same bedtime and wake-up time, even on weekends.
Seek support. Talking over your problems or leaning on a trusted person can sometimes help you make difficult decisions and cope with stress.
Video: 5 Weight-loss tips for hypothyroidism patients
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