Extreme tiredness and/or sleepiness, otherwise known as fatigue, is extremely common with hypothyroidism and remains an “off and on” battle for so many. The reason fatigue is so common with hypothyroidism is because our body’s production of energy depends on a certain level of thyroid hormone. Due to the fact that hypothyroidism is the result of an underactive thyroid gland (which does not produce enough thyroid hormone), fatigue becomes a major symptom for those with hypothyroidism. Read on to learn ways you can learn to fight fatigue with hypothyroidism.
Hypothyroidism: Fight Fatigue in 7 Natural Ways
1. Know The Symptoms
If you are among the thousands who suffer from adrenal fatigue or chronic fatigue syndrome, you know the battle very well. It can be difficult to get fatigue under control at times which can interfere with almost every aspect of your daily life. Fatigue is more than just feeling tired or sleepy and can produce physical, emotional, and mental symptoms. If you suspect you may be suffering from chronic fatigue, here are the symptoms to be aware of:
- Constantly feeling sleepy or tired
- Frequent headaches
- Blurred vision
- Muscle aches and/or weakness
- Delayed reflexes
- Low motivation
- Impaired judgment
- Mood swings
- Loss of appetite
- Weak immune system
- Short term memory issues
- Have trouble concentrating
2. Stay Active
Fatigue can make you feel like all you want to do is sleep. However, oversleeping can actually worsen the fatigue symptoms. Therefore, staying active is important! Start with a simple walk in the fresh air. It helps to clear your mind and you also will receive vitamin D, which is important for those with thyroid conditions.
Staying active through exercise or doing something you love also helps you in fighting fatigue. You can join a gym, take an art class, fishing, etc. Just remember to start small and go from there. Take it one day at a time!
3. Have the Right Amount of Iron
Low energy levels can be caused by low iron levels in your blood. Iron deficiency is very common, especially in women. Speak with your doctor about testing your iron levels, the possibility of taking a daily iron supplement, and the proper dosage amount you will need. You may want to include iron-rich foods in your diet such as eggs, green leafy vegetables, lean meats, and whole grain bread.
The reason why it is important to have your iron levels checked first is you can overload on iron which can potentially lead to acute iron poisoning. Early symptoms of iron poisoning may include nausea, stomach pain, and vomiting. Prolonged overuse of iron can lead to accumulation of iron in the internal organs, causing potential damage to the liver and brain.
4. Don’t Forget Your Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 is an essential nutrient our bodies need for energy. Therefore, if you are experiencing fatigue symptoms such as weakness and tiring easily, then you may have a possible vitamin B12 deficiency. A prolonged deficiency of vitamin B12 will also weaken your immune system which makes you more prone to diseases.
5. Get Your Daily Dose of Magnesium
One of the required nutrients for energy production is magnesium and since our bodies do not produce magnesium on their own, it is up to us to provide this much-needed nutrient through our daily diet or by taking a daily supplement. Foods such as nuts, bananas, dark leafy greens (such as spinach), and whole grains are rich in magnesium. If you prefer to take a supplement, the required dose for an adult is 350 mg a day. You may eat magnesium-rich food alongside with the supplements but do so in moderation.
6. Power Naps Are Awesome
Who doesn’t love a good nap, especially when you feel fatigued! Naps are actually healthy for you. They can refresh your mind, making you more alert. Due to the brain entering a state of deeper sleep after about 20 minutes, try keeping your naps at around 15 minutes. You will wake up feeling refreshed and with more energy.
7. Drink This DIY, All-Natural Energy Drink
Store-bought energy drinks can actually make your fatigue worse. They are not healthy for you and can be potentially dangerous! If you want an all natural drink that’ll provide you with energy, try this recipe to stop feeling fatigued! Simply combine all the ingredients in a blender:
- ¼ cup of fresh lime juice
- ¼ cup of fresh lemon juice
- ⅛ teaspoon of sea salt
- 1 ½ – 2 cups of fresh water
- 2 tablespoons of raw honey
Watch Dr. Michael Lam as he shares how to combat fatigue due to hypothyroidism:
If you are unable to get your fatigue under control, the first thing you will want to do is speak with your primary care physician to have your medication levels and thyroid levels checked. Alongside medical treatment for hypothyroidism, you can use our list to fight fatigue. While this could manage it, it doesn’t mean that fatigue can’t resurface at some point. It is important to have your medication and thyroid levels checked periodically.
Got questions about fatigue due to hypothyroidism? Ask us in the comments section below!
Editor’s Note – This post was originally published on November 16, 2017, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.