Hypothyroid patients definitely need winter survival tips. This is because one of the main symptoms of hypothyroidism is an intolerance to cold. Given this, thyroid patients are in need of a variety of tips and tricks to help get them through winters dropping temperatures. Read below to learn about how hypothyroid patients can adjust to cold intolerance during the holidays.
11 Winter Survival Tips to Cope With the Cold Weather
1. Check Your Thyroid Hormones
Being exposed to lower temperatures can cause your body to develop an increased need for thyroid hormones. Because of this, doctors advise patients with hypothyroidism to get their thyroid hormone levels checked. It is entirely possible your thyroid hormone needs during the summertime will differ significantly in winter. Given this, it is important to always be aware of your thyroid hormone levels so you and your doctor can make the necessary adjustments.
2. Know How Much Thyroid Hormones You Need to Maintain
It is one thing to be aware of your thyroid hormone levels. In addition to this, it is important to maintain an open communication with your doctor so they can help you determine the optimum thyroid hormone levels for you. Everyone has different needs. With that said, every hypothyroid patient must make varying degrees of lifestyle adjustments in order to maintain these levels.
3. Exercise Daily
The gloomy winter weather often dissuades people from maintaining a regular exercise regimen. However, there really isn’t a good or bad time to begin exercising, so long as you start. Don’t fret, you don’t have to hit the gym several hours a day to be healthy! You can always start with a few yoga classes or even just following videos on Youtube. Exercise is especially a good way for hypothyroid patients to survive wintertime. This is because of how exercise helps combat winter weight gain. Additionally, exercising regularly can also help relieve stress.
4. Lessen Sugar Intake
Curling up by the fire with some cookies and hot chocolate definitely seems like a portrait of a perfect winter night. However, consuming processed sugar is actually bad for patients with hypothyroidism. Given this, it is best to leave the cookies for Santa on Christmas night!
Hypothyroidism patients are susceptible to a variety of conditions that may come with consuming processed sugar. For one, they are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes which is a condition involving resistance to insulin that causes a buildup of sugar in the blood. In addition to this, hypothyroid patients are also susceptible to candidiasis or a yeast overgrowth. Lastly, consuming processed sugar also encourages weight gain which is another problem often faced by individuals with hypothyroidism.
5. Avoid Stress
Your work, family, and other life obligations can often be a cause for stress during the holidays. However, it is important to keep calm amidst the hectic nature of it all. Stress relieving activities vary from person to person. Given this, it is very likely there is something out there you could fit into your schedule that will help fight stress. Taking a walk, stretching, listening to music, and practicing meditation are all common stress relievers. When you feel tense, try to step away and practice a stress relieving strategy for 30 seconds. It will help.
6. Get Enough Sleep
With all of the hustle and bustle that comes with the nature of modern living, it can be difficult to unwind each night and get enough sleep. Running on just a couple of hours of sleep each day can worsen a thyroid patient’s hormonal imbalances. In addition to this, there have been studies that link poor sleeping habits with weight gain. As we have previously mentioned, individuals with hypothyroidism tend to have problems regarding weight gain and so must take extra care to maintain a healthy lifestyle and diet.
7. Get Some Sunlight
Having to struggle to survive the cold weather can make it difficult to spend time outside. However, it is actually quite important for people with hypothyroidism to expose themselves to sunlight for 20-30 minutes per day. This is because your exposure to sunlight has a direct effect on your endocrine system functioning. Doctors have encouraged their patients to roll down the windows and refrain from wearing sunglasses while driving. Doing this would definitely allow you to get the sun exposure you need without having to go out of your way.
On the other hand, if you still find yourself feeling down and gaining weight despite your exposure to natural sunlight, try other solutions. Light therapy is another great and inexpensive option for combating seasonal affective disorder. Given this, you can simply buy an affordable desk lamp to immerse yourself in this form of therapy at home.
8. Keep Your Vitamin D Up
It is very important to be able to maintain your vitamin D levels during the wintertime. Furthermore, this can be done through consulting with your doctor in order to get the necessary tests done. In knowing the amount of vitamin D you have in your system, you will be able to make adjustments. These adjustments can be done through a change of diet, lifestyle, or pharmaceutical supplements.
9. Make Sure Your Medications Are the Best for You
As we have mentioned, it is incredibly important to openly communicate with your doctor. This is especially true for an individual with a thyroid function related disorder. Conditions involving the thyroid gland often involve lifelong care and medication. Given this, you must make sure to optimize your treatment. By doing so, the symptoms of your condition will not manifest their negative side effects.
Consider taking supplements for that much needed nutrient boost. There are all-natural supplement options that do a great job at helping you manage each symptom but does not have the awful side effects that some supplements may have.
10. Eat Healthy
You’ll definitely have your fair share of indulgent meals during the holidays. But maybe you could have an extra helping of veggies instead of overindulging on the other fatty and buttery dishes on the table. In addition to this, if you know you ate a little too much one night, you can try putting conscious effort into eating clean the next day. It is through monitoring and regulating your own eating habits that you will be able to stay in control of your weight gain over the holidays.
11. Laughter Is the Best Medicine
A simple, inexpensive, yet effective way to alleviate stress is laughter. Given this, you could always try to watch a few funny movies or hang out with your funny cousin during family gatherings. Furthermore, adding a little more laughter to your life can help tremendously in maintaining your hormone levels.
To learn more about dealing with hypothyroidism during winter, check out this video by Miss Lizzy!
Seeking out winter survival tips is definitely something all patients with hypothyroidism should regularly practice. Like many of us, those struggling may overlook how their body adjusts to the changes in season. Given this, it is also important that those around them are aware of how cold winters can affect their hypothyroidism-afflicted loved ones. It is in encouraging awareness beginning with people who have hypothyroidism patients in their lives that we are able to effectively ensure these patients are well-supported.
Do you have hypothyroidism? Please feel free to share your wintertime experiences with us in the comment section below!