Thyroid imbalance affects the physical body and the energetic body. If the thyroid is not functioning correctly, it can create an obstacle to fertility.
Audrey Guss, L.Ac., specializes in the treatment of thyroid, adrenal gland issues, digestive issues and chronic health conditions at Well Women Acupuncture in Los Angeles. Here, she shares 8 strategies to optimize thyroid function for fertility:
- Reduce inflammatory foods. Inflammatory foods like sugars, wheat, and processed foods can inflame the body and burden the thyroid. Ensure that each meal includes adequate protein and healthy fats (coconut oil, butter, nuts, avocado, etc.) which will help reduce sugar cravings and also keep the thyroid happy.
- Reduce intake of raw cruciferous vegetables and soy. Cruciferous vegetables including cabbage, broccoli, rapini, kale, brussel sprouts and cauliflower can decrease thyroid function which can be a problem for those with an under-performing thyroid. If you enjoy cruciferous veggies, cook them prior to consuming. That will reduce their goitrogenic quality and render them thyroid friendly.
- Eliminate any digestive disharmonies by taking probiotics. Twenty percent of T4 to T3 conversion (two thyroid hormones) take place in the digestive tract. Infections and dysbiosis can hinder this conversion. Dysbiosis is an imbalance of bacteria in the gut where by infectious bacteria outnumber the beneficial bacteria that should be present. That imbalance sets us up for yeast and bacteria overgrowth. Taking probiotics is a good way to “re-populate” the beneficial bacteria.
- Manage stress and get enough rest. The adrenal glands are closely related to the thyroid. In my practice, I have yet to see a person who has a thyroid issue who does not also have an adrenal insufficiency. Taking care of adrenal health can positively impact thyroid wellness. Get a minimum of 7 hours of sleep per night; note that 8 hours is ideal.
- Reduce your toxic load. Parabens and chlorates (often found in cleaning supplies and body products), and pesticides can hinder thyroid performance. Environmental Working Group (EWG) consumer guides are a good resource for information about which products to buy or avoid.
- Express Yourself. As energetic practitioners, we look for disharmony in areas of spiritual and emotional areas. When we hold our feelings and thoughts inside we can get energetically stuck in the throat chakra (the fifth chakra). Standing up for ourselves, vocalizing our feelings or using creative outlets (writing, drawing, painting, dancing, etc.) for self-expression can help release energetic blockages.
- Correct any mineral deficiencies or excesses. Adequate selenium, copper, zinc and iodine are all essential to thyroid health. Using an iodine urine loading test or hair analysis is a good way to get an accurate picture of proper mineralization. Green vegetables are an excellent source of minerals, however if deficiencies are apparent, additional supplementation may be necessary.
- Get acupuncture and a herbal/ supplementation consultation. In our office we use both acupuncture and herbs to help regulate the thyroid. Acupuncture treatments can be effective to either increase energy or calm the body. An individualized herbal and/or supplementation plan can also address underlying causes of thyroid dysfunction.
If you think your thyroid is not functioning correctly, try the above strategies to restore balance, and click here to schedule an appointment to address these issues with Audrey Guss, L.Ac.
*This blog post originally appears on SeedFertility.com