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Hypothyroidism in Parents: What to Look Out For

Hypothyroidism in Parents: What to Look Out For

Did you know that Hypothyroidism is the most common thyroid disorder in Australia, affecting around 1 in 33 Australians?

With many of the warning signs mimicking everyday feelings as a busy parent, it has become increasingly difficult to tell whether you simply need extra sleep or when you should speak to a practitioner about your health.

In this article, I’ll discuss the tell-tale signs to look out for as a parent, as well as my dietary and lifestyle recommendations that have helped those around Australia suffering from the effects of a thyroid condition.

What to look out for

For those that don’t already know, the thyroid is a butterfly shaped hormonal gland that controls the speed of every process in the body. This includes your heart rate, metabolism, digestion, body temperature and so much more.

It is estimated that 50% of those with a thyroid condition are undiagnosed, which means more than 1 million Australians are living with an undiagnosed thyroid condition, many of whom are parents leading fast-paced lives.

So, what are the red flags that could help you identify a serious thyroid issue?

The symptoms of Hypothyroidism – which is the most common thyroid condition – vary, however the most common ones that we see our patients experience are fatigue, unexplained weight gain, brain fog/memory loss, muscle aches and joint pain, insomnia, low libido, depression and anxiety.

We’ve seen in many cases parents putting these symptoms down to the effects of parenthood – the busy activities of day-to-day life and putting their kids’ needs before their own. This often results in the condition being left undiagnosed for long periods of time, which is detrimental as we’ve seen auto-immune thyroid conditions can sometimes be reversed when detected early. And with thyroid conditions being 10 times more prevalent in women than men, it is important for mothers especially to get a jump on investigating their health issues when they first start to notice them.

Because the functions of our thyroid vary, the symptoms of Hypothyroidism can too. For us at The Lucy Rose Clinic, the key to understanding the underlying cause of thyroid conditions lies in comprehensive testing across a complete spectrum of nutritional, hormonal and biochemical pathways (not just on thyroid hormones and antibodies), not just the routine thyroid test (TSH) that is usually carried out by GPs to establish thyroid dysfunction.

What happens once I am diagnosed with Hypothyroidism?

As a parent, living with a thyroid condition can seem daunting, but rest assured there are ways you can manage your symptoms and lead a healthy life. The initial testing process will shine a light on the underlying drivers of a thyroid condition, and from there you can work with your practitioner to correct them with an individualised treatment plan and personalised supplements.

This can include taking key nutrients required for healthy thyroid hormones. These are; selenium, iodine, zinc, magnesium, iron, vitamin D, vitamin A, B vitamins and amino acids, particularly tyrosine. A few of our go-to thyroid healthy foods include ocean-based produce for iodine, beef liver and turkey for selenium, cashews and chickpeas for zinc, and spinach and carrots for vitamin A.

Although it is difficult not to stress as a parent, stress management is an important tool to use when diagnosed with a thyroid condition. This is because ongoing stress will elevate the adrenal hormone cortisol, which down-regulates thyroid hormone production, leading to fatigue, weight gain, and brain fog.

Some of my favourite ways to manage stress include, meditation, yoga, massage, visiting a sauna, exercising and herbal medicines. Herbal medicines shine when it comes to hormonal health and that includes treating the stress response, to help reduce anxiety and increase energy. Stress management can also benefit your immune system function, reduce high blood pressure, lower anxiety, and help all chronic disease symptoms. While you are a parent, looking after yourself is essential.

Struggling with the symptoms mentioned in this article? Expert care might be needed and you should seek out functional testing and treatment from a thyroid practitioner.

By Lucy Herron, CEO The Lucy Rose Clinic

Founded in 2012, The Lucy Rose Clinic is an Australia-wide naturopathic Thyroid and Hormonal Health Clinic. They use a combination of the latest scientific and natural health research combined with state-of-the-art functional testing to identify the cause of their patients’ symptoms. They then use the results of their testing to develop a personalised treatment plans to return their patients to optimal health and vitality.


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