Five Ways to Improve Thyroid Function for Free or on a Tight Budget
by Ronni Rebsdorf
There are many factors to consider when you are striving to improve your thyroid health or cure your thyroid illness. Most conventional treatments can be unrealistically costly and difficult to maintain. That’s why you may be considering alternative budget-friendly ideas. Here are 5 ways to improve thyroid function for free or at a minimal cost while on a tight budget.
Consider your diet and use the cause and effect method to see what food may be the culprit. Is your thyroid condition being worsened by a poor food choice? Eat whole, natural foods such as fresh vegetables that are rich in vitamins and minerals needed for proper nutrition and health. Avoid the refined carbohydrates and processed foods full of chemicals. Following a diet that is well balanced and nutritionally sound will always promote good health for your body. If you are already on a hormone therapy, be sure to avoid dairy for an hour after your dosage. Wait 4 hours before taking antacids or iron supplement to prevent additional issues with medicine absorption into the body.
Stress and Exercise
Chronic stress can play a big role in thyroid disorder and the symptoms you experience. To improve function of the thyroid, you have to treat the effects of stress on your entire body. Evaluate the stressors in your life: your relationships, work, societal pressures, family, or money. Try new methods of stress reduction:
• Exercise will alleviate stress, release “feel good” endorphins and promote overall wellness
• Yoga and meditation help relax the mind and re-focus on things other than the immediate problems
Exercise plays a dual role. Exercise is good for reducing stress, promoting good health and for stimulation of your overall body systems, including your thyroid. Exercise will increase the sensitivity of the tissues to the hormone and stimulate gland secretions. Exercise helps to keep the metabolic rate from declining – even aerobic exercise for 15 to 20 minutes will benefit.
Supplements may assist the thyroid to function better or promote better thyroid health. Experts agree that there are many supplements that can be beneficial to promote optimal thyroid function. The B complex vitamins boost metabolism and help with the conversion process for energy metabolism. A proper metabolism is the key to supporting healthy thyroid function.
L-tyrosine, in conjunction with iodine is essential for the body to form T3 and T4 which are the main hormones created by the thyroid. Zinc is another supplement that is helpful for thyroid health. Zinc is necessary for the conversion of T4 to active T3. Selenium helps with toxin removal and is another supplement that will assist the conversion of T4 to T3.
Be sure to always tell your health provider what supplements you are taking to avoid interactions.
Eliminate food allergens
Digestive health is another area to consider in improving thyroid function on a budget. Food allergens (gluten) can cause a leaky gut which in turn allows the contact between food and the immune system. The body then has a systematic immune response causing inflammation. This inflammation can cause thyroid issues. Remove the gluten from your diet and see if your symptoms are reduced. Dairy products should be removed as well.
Thyroid hormone replacement
Thyroid hormone replacement is the final step that can be taken to improve thyroid function. If the thyroid has become too imbalanced, then hormone supplementation is the answer to balance the levels appropriately.
Before beginning therapy, it is important to select a health care professional within your affordable price range. Most endocrinologists or internal medicine physicians are extremely qualified to treat dysfunctional thyroid disorders with hormone replacement therapy. Specialists can be very expensive and normally require the referral of a primary care physician.
Nowadays thyroid hormone tests are commonly available to a general practitioner. A good way to save money on hormone replacement would be to seek the services of your general practitioner first. As long as your condition is not advanced, the general practitioner may well be able to provide routine therapy and can refer you to a specialist at an appropriate time or if your condition worsens.
An ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat) practitioner is also capable of managing hormone replacement therapy and may provide a cheaper treatment over the services of an endocrinologist, depending on your area. Seek the advice of your primary care provider, get some tests done and describe your symptoms in detail. Your primary care provider knows about your health situation and can readily assist your efforts in seeking the appropriate care for your health and your budget.
(Ronni is the author of the hypothyroidism diet eBook. He has been helping people improve their thyroid health for many years through tips from his website about the thyroid diet.)