How to Jump-Start Your Sluggish Thyroid

Find out how to give your thyroid the boost it needs so it can function efficiently.

Do you find yourself eating healthily and exercising regularly only to not see the slightest shift on the scale? Research has uncovered why this occurs to so many Americans who routinely eat wholesome, nutritious foods and maintain a consistent workout regimen. It all boils down to a little troublemaker known as the thyroid. If you want to burn more fat, feel energized, and recharge your metabolism, try these tips from Dr. Natasha Turner and Dr. Aviva Romm to feel your best.

Eat 30 Grams of Protein

By eating 30 grams of protein in the morning, you will wake up your metabolism, give your thyroid hormones a boost, increase energy, improve focus, and increase your dopamine levels, which will help you feel motivated and happier all around. One thing to remember: try to avoid starchy simple carbohydrates for breakfast since they can cause rapid blood sugar fluctuations and increased cravings. If you like to have smoothies in the morning, you can use whey protein, hemp protein, unflavored Greek Yogurt, or pea protein.

More: Protein Shake Recipes

Eat the Thyroid Trio

The Thyroid Trio, which includes tyrosine, iodine, and selenium, provides three essential building blocks that do wonders for regulating your thyroid hormone.

Tyrosine: To keep your thyroid functioning efficiently, look for foods such as avocados, bananas, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, and eggs. Just two eggs have enough tyrosine to meet your daily requirement.

Iodine: Thyroid cells are the only type of cells that can absorb iodine. Add salmon, sea bass, haddock, cod, shellfish, seaweed, and kelp to your diet to get the right amount of thyroid-boosting iodine in your diet.     

Selenium: Selenium-filled foods such as wheat germ, whole grains, Brazil nuts, and certain vegetables including garlic, onions, mushrooms, and spinach are healthy and thyroid-friendly additions to any meal.

You may also want to add zinc to your diet, since it can ward off thyroid dysfunction, protects the gut, and is crucial for the proper conversion of certain thyroid hormones. You can find zinc in beans, beef, dark-meat chicken, pumpkin seeds, cashews, and oysters. All you need is 9 milligrams to enjoy the benefits. 

More: Supercharge Your Thyroid

Reduce Energy-Zapping Stress

Ashwagandha is an excellent supplement for people who are stressed on a regular basis. This superb herb decreases fatigue, improves concentration and mental clarity, and enhances physical performance as well. Taking 750 to 1,000 mg twice a day can give your thyroid the boost it needs.

More: 5 Steps to Less Stress 

Your Parent Has Dementia: What to Talk to Their Doctor About

Make sure all their doctors are aware of all the medications she is taking.

Q: My mom is 94 and has dementia. She is taking a whole medicine cabinet-full of medications and I think they actually make her fuzzier. How should I talk to her various doctors about what she is taking and if she can get off some of the meds? — Gary R., Denver, Colorado

A: Many dementia patients are taking what docs call a "polypharmacy" — three or more medications that affect their central nervous system. And we really don't know how that mixture truly affects each individual person.

A new study in JAMA Network that looked at more than 1 million Medicare patients found almost 14% of them were taking a potentially harmful mix of antidepressants, antipsychotics, antiepileptics, benzodiazepines such as Valium and Ativan, nonbenzodiazepine benzodiazepine receptor agonist hypnotics such as Ambien or Sonata, and opioids. And almost a third of those folks were taking five or more such medications. The most common medication combination included an antidepressant, an antiepileptic, and an antipsychotic. Gabapentin was the most common medication — often for off-label uses, such as to ease chronic pain or treat psychiatric disorders, according to the researchers from the University of Michigan.

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