So often I hear the words, ‘No matter what I try, I’m always exhausted’.
Fatigue associated with Hashimoto’s disease is unrelenting, all-encompassing and usually comes with a hefty dose of brain fog and mental confusion, sometimes dizziness and frequently, low moods. It doesn’t tend to improve with sleep or any of the usual strategies. It’s common for Hashimoto’s sufferers to wake unrefreshed even after 8-10 hours of sleep.
Low thyroid hormone circulating in your system due to hypothyroidism and/or Hashimoto’s disease causes a deficiency throughout the body meaning that all the systems that contain thyroid hormone receptors will not be able to do their jobs properly. Systems including your brain, central nervous system, heart, liver, stomach and intestines slow and are affected, causing chronic fatigue.
I remember telling my husband that I was convinced someone was slipping a sleeping tablet in my morning coffee back when my Hashimoto’s was poorly managed.
Most of my clients come to me for weight loss – and they do lose weight which they are pleased as punch about (obviously!) – but it’s saying goodbye to afternoon naps and constantly feeling lacklustre that eclipse the delight over weight loss.
Without vitality & energy it can feel like you are trapped in a black and white world while everyone else lives in technicolour.
Fingers crossed, I’m yet to have a client not experience a huge increase in energy. Most of my clients initially report energy levels at 2-6/10 and walk away with energy levels between 7-10/10.
In fact, just this morning my 10am client Anita told me she is feeling amazing and rated her energy at 10/10. That’s up from 6/10 at her first appointment only 4 weeks ago. After many years of Hashimoto’s associated fatigue, joint pain and digestive woes she has also lost 8kg in the last four weeks.
“It’s just so easy!” She gushed about following her personalised food plan. And you can see why she feels that way with results like that!
So what is it that gets these amazing results so fast?
A combination of lowered inflammation, regulated blood sugar, nourishing food and personalised nutrition. That is, eating fresh whole foods that are right for you and your health conditions, at the right time, in the right portion sizes and balanced in a way that provides your body with all the nutrients it needs to keep your energy stabilised throughout the day and keep inflammation in check,
It’s all pretty simple really but as I was explaining to Anita this morning, in the West our inner compass is so broken when it comes to food. Factory made flavours and foods that make no sense in nature, diet culture, in addition to a lack of cultural food tradition has done a lot of damage to our relationship with food. The majority of us – Hashi’s or not – are walking around in a daze, with no idea of how good you can really feel.
Other non dietary considerations…
- Are you prioritising a good nights sleep and fiercely protecting your (not too late) bedtime? If so, can you optimise your sleep for more restorative rest overnight? Turning down bright lights & screens an hour before bedtime, avoiding alcohol and creating a calming, comfortable and cool environment for sleeping in all go a long way to ensuring your sleep is higher quality.
- Are you over-caffeinated? If you’re chronically exhausted & burnt out, caffeine can actually keep you trapped in a cycle of fatigue. We drink because we’re tired but all it does is ravage our already wrecked nervous system and cause us to crash. Some Hashimoto’s women cope with 1 a day on a full stomach but many don’t realise until they are willing to make the sacrifice that it is actually making things worse.
- That leads me to my next point, is an evening wine – or two – becoming part of your routine? Lockdowns aside, when you’re getting through your day over-caffeinated and highly stressed a glass of wine to unwind at night can become a vitality draining habit. Ensure you are getting at least 4 alcohol free nights per week or reconsider your intake entirely if you suspect you aren’t tolerating it well.
- Are nutrients deficiencies playing a part? Iron is the most prevalent nutrient deficiency I see robbing my clients of energy but B vitamins and other important minerals like magnesium play a part too. All are often low in Hashimoto’s and Hypothyroidism.
- Are you drinking enough water? Hydration is so underestimated when it comes to energy levels.
- If you are on medication for hypothyroidism then ensure you are getting your levels tested regularly and your medication dose is right. Unfortunately some don’t find medication helps but monitoring your meds and pathology is still worthwhile as you may be someone who does notice a difference.
- Keep strong boundaries and protect your energy when it is ebbing with more sleep or restful activities . If you have non-negotiable responsibilities like motherhood allow yourself to relax on your usual standards until you feel your energy picks up again. Cook simpler meals, ask for help and stay home if needed.
If you feel like you’ve tried everything then I have a solution for you that is based on common sense principles and really works. Just ask my clients!
If you have loved ones who are trapped in the misery of Hashimoto’s or Hypothyroidism please forward them this blog.