Chronic fatigue is a persistent detractor of both physical and mental health. A powerful propagator of chronic fatigue is Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. This autoimmune thyroid disorder is recognized for causing dramatic shifts in energy level that ultimately culminate with seemingly endless and insurmountable fatigue. Fortunately, those suffering from Hashimoto’s may improve energy issues by learning more about the condition and using effective fatigue-fighting strategies.
What is Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis?
Hashimoto’s causes the immune system to attack healthy thyroid tissue. The damage done limits the thyroid’s ability to produce hormones, resulting in a condition known as hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism can limit metabolic activity, which encourages symptoms such as weight gain, constipation, brain fog, memory loss, and perhaps most notably chronic fatigue.
6 Ways to Combat Hashimoto’s Related Fatigue
To ease Hashimoto’s and the chronic fatigue it promotes, underlying contributors must be identified and resolved. By employing the following fatigue-fighting solutions, Hashimoto’s patients may restore their vitality and say farewell to fatigue for good.
1. Eliminate Inflammatory Foods
Diet is highly influential regarding the development and continuation of autoimmune disorders such as Hashimoto’s. This is in part because inflammatory foods trigger immune activity that can harm the thyroid while also encouraging fatigue.
Hashimoto’s patients should strongly consider eliminating gluten, dairy, corn, soy, nightshades, eggs, nuts, and seeds. These foods are recognized as common sources of inflammation and immune dysregulation. Replacing them with nutrient-rich whole foods such as organic produce, grass-fed organic meats, and wild caught fish can dramatically reduce immune activity and improve fatigue.
2. Balance Blood Sugar by Avoid Sugary Snacks
Hashimoto’s patients who experience severe fatigue in the morning or afternoon may benefit from balancing their blood sugar. One of the best ways to do this is by avoiding sugary or highly processed foods. Eating such foods causes a temporary spike in blood sugar, which can trigger significant changes in insulin values. Insulin fluctuations encourage the conversion of thyroid hormone T4 into Reverse T3. At the appropriate values, Reverse T3 is a useful regulatory agent. However, excess Reverse T3 can dramatically decrease metabolic activity, which slows bodily function and promotes fatigue.
Instead of snacking on sugary or processed foods, try to eat low-glycemic, nutrient-rich, and fiber-full items. These foods are more filling, improve cholesterol, enhance cognitive function, and help maintain a consistent energy level throughout the day.
3. Attend to Anemia
Anemia is a condition that may exacerbate Hashimoto’s related fatigue. The condition is most often caused by a deficiency of iron, but individuals may also become anemic if they lack adequate amounts of vitamin B12 and B9. Interestingly, studies show that deficiency of these nutrients is exceptionally common among patients with autoimmune thyroid disease.
Once anemia is recognized it is fairly easy to resolve. Many high-quality iron, B12, and B9 supplements are available in a selection of delivery methods. Experts suggest that injection or sublingual deliveries are best. Traditional oral supplementation is also an option. However, patients often exhibit absorption issues with this method.
Be careful when supplementing with iron as excessive intake can cause serious side effects. Always speak with your doctor before beginning any new supplement regiment.
4. Get More Sun
Studies show that individuals with Hashimoto’s are likely to be deficient in vitamin D. A deficiency of this important substance can contribute to worsening symptoms of fatigue, depression, weakness, and pain.
The best way to improve vitamin D levels is by getting out in the sun. Sitting in the sun for 10 to 15 minutes a day is enough to help increase vitamin D values. Those who live in locations where sunlight is sparse may want to consider taking a vitamin D supplement. Patients may also use a sun box such as those used to help ease Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) to improve vitamin D values.
5. Reduce Your Toxin Exposure
Exposure to toxins can aggravate the immune system and contribute to the occurrence and continuation of autoimmune disorders. Unfortunately, we come into contact with a myriad of toxins daily.
Common sources of toxin exposure include pesticides, herbicides, heavy metals, food additives, formaldehyde, beauty products, and cleaning products. When exposed to toxins found in these items, the body works hard to process and expel them. If the toxic burden becomes too great, issues such as thyroid dysfunction and severe fatigue are likely to develop. The best way to avoid this outcome is by reducing toxin exposure.
There are two primary ways to limit your exposure to toxins: Improve your environment by filtering water and air, replacing chemical-based cleaning and beauty products with natural alternatives, and eliminating mold or other toxic substances from the home or workplace Eat a healthy supply of detoxifying foods such as spirulina, turmeric, leafy greens, and ginger.
6. Address Adrenal Fatigue
The adrenals produce hormones that influence an array functions throughout the body. The adrenals are most active when we experience mental or physical stress. Chronic stress can cause excessive and continued release of adrenal hormones, which can impede healthy thyroid hormone conversion and encourage thyroid hormone resistance. Such disruption slows metabolic activity and encourages fatigue.
You can help limit the effect of adrenal fatigue by engaging in stress-relieving relaxing activities such as listening to soothing music, enjoying a warm bath, spending time outdoors, or reading a good book. Some experts also recommend supplementation with adrenal adaptogens, B vitamins, and vitamin C.
Resolve Underlying Issues of Hashimoto’s to Fight Off Fatigue
Hashimoto’s thyroiditis comes with a variety of symptoms. Perhaps its most impactful being debilitating and long-lasting fatigue. To effectively treat Hashimoto’s and eliminate chronic fatigue, patients must attend to all existing issues that could contribute to their condition. By employing the fatigue-fighting and thyroid supporting strategies discussed above, those with Hashimoto’s may finally be able to say farewell to fatigue.
1. Kent Holtorf, MD. “Understanding Local Control of Thyroid Hormones: (Deiodinases Function and Activity).” National Academy of Hypothyroidism and Integrative Sciences.
2. Kent Holtorf, MD. “Thyroid Hormone Transport.” National Academy of Hypothyroidism and Integrative Sciences.
3. Kent Holtorf, MD. “Diagnosis of Hypothyroidism: Are we getting what we want from TSH testing?” National Academy of Hypothyroidism and Integrative Sciences.
4. Dana L. Mincer; Ishwarlal Jialal. “Hashimoto Thyroiditis.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK459262/