10 Tips To Improve Cold Sensitivity In Hypothyroidism.
A sensitivity to the cold is one of the classic tell-tale symptoms of an under-active thyroid, whether that be hypothyroidism or Hashimoto's Thyroiditis. It was one of the most frustrating and debilitating symptoms I experienced, throughout childhood and to this very day in fact. I have found ways to improve it and would like to helps others in the same situation avoid suffering.
The thyroid gland has been called the thermostat organ for our body, as it helps to regulate heat. People with hypothyroidism are prone to having low body temperatures and cold intolerance. I've spent most of my life wearing more clothes than anyone else and detesting drafts and open restaurant doors. I've had to bypass many fashions and was over-joyed when long-sleeved dresses came into the shops.
Don't suffer in cold temperatures in an effort to toughen up or force your thyroid to work harder. People with healthy functioning thyroids can do this but if you're on medication we don't have that luxury and have limited hormone levels. Cold temperatures put stress on the body, especially when thyroid function is impaired. It can weaken your thyroid and increase fatigue (and we don't need anymore of that!).
I'm currently considering asking my doctor to increase my medication and this comes at a time when I have lowered my antibodies to their lowest level. It is likely that I am unable to restore thyroid function due to a prolonged attack on my thyroid. So speak to your doctor if you are really struggling. Increasing your medication isn't failure. Try these tips below first as nutrition and lifestyle are vital and can help.
My Top 10 Tips To Support Body Temperature Regulation.
Balanced Blood Sugars - will help you stay warm. Hypoglycaemia weakens the thyroid and adrenals and can cause hypothermia. Be sure to eat high-quality fats and proteins every few hours and limit sugary and starchy foods. I noticed a drastic improvement when I changed my diet and consumed more protein, especially at breakfast. But I would recommend you eat a good amount at every meal. It has a thermogenic effect and can increase satiety.
Get Plenty of Magnesium - Magnesium, the fourth most abundant mineral in the body, plays an important role in a variety of bodily functions, including energy metabolism, protein synthesis, regulating body temperature and blood sugar and blood pressure regulation.
Increase Thermogenic Polyphenols - such as quercetin, resveratrol and curcumin. They are all anti-inflammatory and quercetin has been found to increase nitric oxide in blood vessels causing them to dilate. There are high quality supplements that contain all three and more anti-inflammatory nutrients. Three birds, one stone!
Drink Green Tea - it contains polyphenols that are thermogenic. The low caffeine content is balanced out with it's L-theanine levels, leaving you less anxious and gently warmed up. Caffeine in general is thermogenic and coffee contains thermogenic chlorogenic acid, but too much caffeine can tax the adrenals, so I would avoid reliance on it and try other things.
Thermogenic Spices - warming foods of course can help and using spices such as chilli, black pepper, cinnamon, mace, nutmeg, cloves, coriander and cumin seeds may add support. Mustard, garlic, cayenne and horseradish are also warming.
Consume Quality Fats - Extra virgin olive oil contains oleuropein a thermogenic polyphenol. Other good fats such as avocado, animal fats, ghee and coconut oil can also help.
Exercise - Skeletal muscles contribute to maintaining temperature homeostasis in the body by generating heat. Muscle contraction requires energy and produces heat as a byproduct of metabolism. Exercise also supports nitric oxide production for blood vessel dilation, improved circulation and vascular health.
Sauna Therapy - has been found to increase endothelial nitric oxide synthase expression in animals, which as mentioned previously dilate blood vessels and reduce blood pressure. The other benefits of sauna therapy are an article on their own!
Get Enough Sleep - Studies have found that body temperature drops in those who don’t get a good night’s sleep. This is because sleep deprivation affects the nervous system and the regulatory mechanisms in the brain that regulates heat. The reduced activity in the hypothalamus area of the brain has a knock-on effect on the body’s metabolism, causing it to become sluggish.
Check Your Iron and B12 - Cold hands and feet can be a result of iron deficiency anaemia. People with anaemia have poor blood circulation throughout their bodies because they don’t have enough red blood cells to provide oxygen to their tissues. Iron is vital for good thyroid function and is a nutrient I test with all my clients. Along with iron, vitamin B12 plays a crucial role in the production of red blood cells. Just the same, therefore, a deficiency may lead to persistent feelings of being cold.
If you'd like some support to work on this and get your blood markers analysed from a functional medicine perspective then why not book your free 30 minute call here