Do You Have Difficulty Concentrating, Dry Skin, and Cold Hands and Feet

One of the most common hormonal imbalances that I encounter in my practice is a low-functioning thyroid (hypothyroidism)

The thyroid is part of the endocrine system (hormonal system of our body) and is a small butterfly-shaped gland that is located in the front of our neck. The thyroid gland helps to regulate SO many of our body’s processes!

The Thyroid Gland Regulates

When the thyroid gland starts producing too much or too little thyroid hormone, it can wreak havoc on our bodies! 

Symptoms of a Low-Functioning Thyroid (Hypothyroidism)

Many of these symptoms start appearing gradually and multiply over time. You may have even discussed some of these symptoms with your doctor and received “normal” lab results, yet you still feel off and think that your thyroid might be the reason why.  

Possible causes of Low-Functioning Thyroid (Hypothyroidism)

So what can you do? 

Firstly, I recommend talking to a Functional Medicine Health Coach so that they can listen to your story, evaluate your symptoms, and give you some clear direction.
If you’re ready for some more guidance in healing your thyroid, you can book a complimentary 20-minute Wellness Discovery Call with me here.

Firstly, I recommend talking to a Functional Medicine Health Coach so that they can listen to your story, evaluate your symptoms, and give you some clear direction. 

If you’re ready for some more guidance in healing your thyroid, you can book a complimentary 20-minute Wellness Discovery Call with me here

In the meantime, here are some things you can start doing today to heal your thyroid for free from home. 

5 Tips to Improve Your Thyroid Function

1. Reduce Stress: When you feel chronically stressed, your body starts producing too much of the hormone cortisol, which can wreak havoc on your thyroid! 

I wrote a whole blog post sharing simple lifestyle strategies you can use to start immediately reducing chronic stress in your life. Check it out here

2. Eliminate Plastics: It might be impossible for you to completely avoid all plastics, but try to eliminate them as much as you are able to. Most plastics contain a chemical called BPA which can leach into the food you eat and the fluids you drink and cause your thyroid to malfunction.

Replace all of your plastic Tupperware for glass and purchase yourself a reusable glass or steel water bottle instead of drinking out of disposable water bottles. Never drink hot liquids out of plastic mugs! Also, avoid putting plastic in the dishwasher. 

3. Cut out Gluten: Research studies show that eating a gluten-free diet can help improve thyroid function. Most people are gluten sensitive and don’t even know it!

Thankfully there are a lot of delicious gluten-free options to choose from today. Focus on eating whole foods instead of processed foods and that will make the transition to a gluten-free diet so much easier for you! 

4. Prioritize Sleep: Making sure to get at least 7-8 hours of quality sleep per night is crucial for your thyroid health and your overall health and well-being. 

Keep your room cool and try to get to bed by 10pm. Avoid bright overhead lighting in the evening and put away your electronics at least 1 hour before you go to bed. 

5. Take a High-Quality Multivitamin: A high-quality multivitamin can help fill in any nutritional gaps in your diet and enhance your thyroid function. Thyroid Synergy is a great supplement that can help support your thyroid.  You can purchase it at our Canadian or US store

Start incorporating some of these lifestyle strategies in your routine and be patient while your thyroid starts healing. If you would like some more on-on-one guidance, book a complimentary Wellness Discovery Call with me today! 

The Truth About Sleep, Weight Gain, and Chronic Inflammation [Part 2]

In Part 1 of this blog, we explored the many negative ramifications that poor sleep can have on our bodies: weight gain, mood disorders, low immunity, memory loss, lethargy, and brain fog to name a few. Despite popular opinion, it’s not “normal” to experience these issues on a daily basis, and yet so many people go decades living with these conditions, thinking they are just a part of being alive.

I invite you to challenge that narrative and realize that you have the power within you to feel amazing and to transform those debilitating symptoms into systemic, abundant health.

Where can you begin?

You can start by taking an honest look at your sleeping habits and answering these 5 questions:

  1. How many hours do you typically sleep at night?
  2. How long does it take you to fall asleep at night?
  3. Do you often wake up in the middle of the night?
  4. Do you need an alarm clock to wake up?
  5. Do you feel refreshed and energized upon waking?

We are so distracted these days by our TV’s, smartphones, iPads, computers, etc. that sleep seems to always take the backseat. We already learned what this can do to our health so let’s start exploring ways to get better sleep at night!

My Top 5 Tips for Better Sleep:

1. Good Sleep Starts in the Morning: Exposure to morning sunlight is key to setting your body’s natural circadian rhythm and healthy sleep patterns. People who bask in the morning sunlight upon waking report being in a better mood throughout the day and sleeping better at night.

A wonderful way to expose yourself to morning sunlight is to go outside for a walk in nature every morning you are able to. Set your clothes and shoes out the night before to make it easier for you to get up and go. If you aren’t able to do this, no worries! If you have a yard or a porch, try to sit outside and do some deep breathing exercises in the morning while you look up to the sky. If it’s not possible for you to get outside at all, you can sit by a window in the morning and enjoy some tea while planning for your day. On dark, cloudy days consider using a HappyLight, which mimics sunlight to enhance mood, energy, sleep & focus.

Lastly, it’s just as important to be intentional about light exposure in the evenings as it is in the morning. Be sure to turn off overhead lights after dinner time and enjoy the natural beauty of salt rock lamps or the soft glow of beeswax candles. This will help stimulate melatonin production.

2. Aim to Sleep Within the Hours of 10pm-6am: Our bodies release the most melatonin between the hours of 10pm-2am. Melatonin is needed for: great quality sleep, antioxidant protection, healthy reproduction, detoxification, regulation of body mass, healthy bone formation, great cardiovascular function, immune protection, and relieving stress. Studies show that maintaining a regular sleep schedule can reduce sleep latency (the amount of time it takes you to fall asleep), improve cognition and neurological function, and improve your overall mood.

So how can you implement a sleep schedule? Make it a priority to get to bed around 10pm and wake at 6am, if possible. Be consistent with it and you will start to naturally notice that you get tired every night around 10pm and naturally want to wake at 6am. Practice makes perfect- the more you practice doing this the more it will become part of your routine!

3. Put a Curfew on Electronics: Most of us know that blue light negatively affects our sleep because it decreases our bodies’ production of melatonin, but staring at electronics before bed is also bad because it keeps us psychologically engaged when we should be winding down. If you struggle with a racing mind before bed, it is especially important for you to put away the electronics.

How can you do this? For starters, look into investing in some blue light blocking glasses or just keep the night light settings on on all of your devices all the time. Next, since you will be aiming to sleep between the hours of 10pm and 6am every day, set a 8pm curfew on all electronic devices. If this feels too daunting to you, start with a 9:30pm curfew and slowly move it back in 30 minute increments as you are ready.

In order to succeed at this, you are going to have to find something else to do in between the hours of 8pm-10pm, so I suggest getting out an old-fashioned pen and paper and writing out a list of things that you can do instead of playing on your phone or watching TV. Here are some ideas:

4. Take Care of Your Body During the Day: Make sure that you spend at least 10-30 minutes a day mindfully moving your body. Find an activity that you love doing whether it be walking, biking, yoga, dancing, etc. and make it part of your daily routine. Move your body joyfully and with gratitude- remember exercise is a gift, not a punishment. Consistently exercising can increase the amount of time you spend in the deep, restorative stages of sleep.

Say goodbye to processed, packaged, sugary foods and say hello to the nutrient-dense foods that nature provides us with like fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and high quality proteins. Lastly, be sure to not consume any caffeine after noon, as this acts as a stimulant in our bodies long after we consume it and can wreak havoc on our sleep cycles.

5. Journal, Meditate, and Deep Breathe Before Bed: These practices are powerful and can truly take your sleep to the next level! Get in the habit of writing down all the things you are most grateful for so that you can fall asleep every night with a joyful heart.

Practicing even just 5-minutes of meditation and deep breathing exercises before bed can instantly put you in a relaxed, parasympathetic state and prepare you for getting the deep, restorative slumber your body needs to thrive! I personally love East Forest meditation, but if this isn’t your jam then spend some time finding what calms you and try to get in the habit of incorporating it into your schedule every night.

If you are looking for more ways to sleep better at night and become your most healthy, vibrant self, schedule a Metabolic Discovery Call with me today!

Photo credit Andrea Piacquadio

The Truth About Sleep, Weight Gain, and Chronic Inflammation [Part 1]

“Even a soul submerged in sleep is hard at work and helps make something of the world.”
— Heraclitus

With bloodshot eyes and the lethargy of an aging sloth she impatiently waits in line at the drive-through, already feeling anxious over the sugary caffeinated beverage and glazed donut she knows she’s going to order. She pops a couple of ibuprofen into her mouth and washes them down with a 5-hour energy drink. Her head is throbbing again and she feels yet another cold coming on.

The waistband of her stretchy black leggings are obnoxiously digging into her abdomen and she makes a mental note to buy the next size up next time she goes shopping, knowing that she will probably forget because she can’t seem to remember anything these days. Her brain perpetually feels like a foggy fall morning and that depresses the heck out of her.

“Ma’am?”
“Ma’am?”
“What can I get for you today?”

________________________________________________

Sound familiar?

Unfortunately (and unsurprisingly) ⅓ of Americans get less than the recommended 7 hours of sleep a night. Many people pride themselves on how little sleep they get and wear that as a badge of honor:

“I only need 5 hours of sleep to function the next day!”

“I feel fine with very little sleep.”

We feel like less sleep means we can be more productive, but the exact opposite is true! Sleep deprivation will almost always make you feel tired and less motivated to perform quality work and incorporate activity into your day to day routine.

When we don’t sleep well it can adversely affect many areas of the body. In Dr. David Perlmutter’s book Brain Wash, he explains the negative implications poor sleep has on our health, our relationships, and how we approach life and make decisions. He shares how sleep has the power to positively or negatively influence:

Dr. Perlmutter shares some mind-blowing stats on what poor sleep can do to our health:

At an absolute bare minimum, poor sleep will lead to fatigue and poor memory. If you think sleep medication is the answer, think again! Every month, 10 million Americans take sleep medication.These medications increase the risk of dementia, cancer, infections, depression, and they increase the risk of dying early.

Don’t allow yourself to be part of the demographic of constant hustlers and poor sleepers! Instead, make it a top priority in your life to get better sleep.

I’ll show you how in my next blog (which, by the way, is way less doom and gloom and actually uplifting, actionable things you can easily implement in your life to assure quality sleep)!

In the meantime, you can schedule a Metabolic Discovery Call with me today so I can learn about what symptoms you’re having, and together we can co-create a plan for success!

Continue reading: The Truth About Sleep, Weight Gain, and Chronic Inflammation [Part 2]

References

5 Things You Can Do Today To Improve Your Menstrual Cycle

Has Progesterone Got You Down?

Years ago, my cycle started getting a little crazy, I was noticing more anxiety, spotting, and PMS…nothing I have ever experienced before, this was NOT normal. It never is normal!

I had been under a lot more stress, starting a business, moving, had a new baby and probably wasn’t taking the best care of myself. So, what did I do? Anybody who knows me knows that I love experimenting with things, this way I can not only make recommendations but also have a first-hand experience of how it may or may not work…for me anyways! So, what did I do first? I evaluated my hormones via a lab test.

A little progesterone background first: Progesterone is important for pregnancy, it is also the hormone which balances estrogen. It is responsible for maturing the lining of the uterus to support pregnancy. However, when pregnancy is not the case it is then responsible for initiating menses, enhancing mood and getting proper sleep. Progesterone and particularly it’s metabolite a-pregnanediol is calming, seductive, easing and neutralizes stress…this is very important in our cycle to prevent anxiety! So, when this lovely metabolite is not high enough or if it drops too soon we notice cranky pants…withdrawal…the dreaded PMS!

3 things that impact Progesterone:

The good news is there are easy steps you can take today to begin addressing a progesterone deficiency! First and foremost, if you have not had your hormones checked, a properly done lab test and interpretation by a functional medicine doctor would be a good place to start!

A few other tips to begin healing:

  1. Vitamin C: Did you know that Vitamin C is the only vitamin actually proven to increase your Progesterone levels? As little as 750 mg/day can make a huge difference! This was a game changer for me!
  2. De-stress: Daily stress management practice
  3. Community: socializing with family and friends, connection with loved ones has shown to improve progesterone
  4. Calm Down: Avoiding stimulants
  5. Rest: Getting adequate and good quality sleep

If you’re reading this and shaking your head yes to all of this and maybe more, it is important to get your hormones checked to get at the underlying cause of what could be impacting them. This is just a part of the big picture!