Undiagnosed thyroid problems can sometimes be the root cause of infertility or recurrent miscarriages. To start, visit your primary care physician and ask to have your thyroid tested to find out the amount of the thyroid hormone your thyroid is secreting. Request a thyroid stimulating hormone test (TSH) with the full panel of thyroid levels, including thyroid antibodies and thyroxine. Ask for the numerical result for the TSH level. Some doctors believe that if a woman has a TSH level higher than 2.0. It may indicate that she will have problems getting pregnant.
If you have an underactive thyroid, it means your thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough of certain hormones. Low levels of thyroid hormones can interfere with the release of eggs from your ovaries.
Treating hypothyroidism can be an important part of healing infertility. Hypothyroidism, or an underactive thyroid, and hyperthyroidism, known as over-active thyroid, are sometimes pinpointed as the cause of infertility. That’s because the hypothalamus and pituitary glands can sometimes sense an underactive thyroid gland and try to kick things back to normal by increasing the levels of hormones in the body. Low levels of the thyroid hormone can interfere with ovulation, which impairs fertility. Both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism can cause imbalances which impact your ovaries. The ovaries are very sensitive to changes in thyroid levels and even seemingly small declines in thyroid levels can adversely impact ovarian function. Some symptoms of a thyroid dysfunction include cold hands and feet, weight gain and depression.
Along with being treated by a doctor who specializes in thyroid problems, here are some other things you can do to help your thyroid condition:
• Eat foods high in vitamin A, such as yellow vegetables and dark green vegetables.
• Foods that contain iodine nurture the thyroid, such as kelp and seaweed. Seaweed can be added to soups, salads or just eaten plain. Other foods rich in iodine include: asparagus, bananas, carrots, garlic, onions, spinach, and tomatoes.
• Coconut oil is known to be an excellent for boosting thyroid function.
• Foods rich in zinc nourish the thyroid, such as oatmeal, chicken, and spinach.
• Raisins are rich in copper, which help the body produce thyroid hormones.
• Soy should not be eaten at this time, because soy can interfere with thyroid hormones.
• The amino acid Tyrosine, found in beef and chicken, and helps support the thyroid.
• Beet tops, leafy greens, and parsley are helpful.
• Dark green leafy vegetables that are rich in minerals also boost the thyroid.
• Foods to avoid include cauliflower, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, canola oil, soy, peanuts, cabbage and kale, which have goitrogens that are high in sulfur have been known to impede thyroid gland function. A note of caution here, however, those with an overactive thyroid may find these foods helpful. It is recommended you meet with a physician or nutritionist to discuss which foods are best for you, depending on your thyroid condition.
• Avoid caffeine and excessive amounts of alcohol.
• Keep your blood sugar levels steady, as fluctuating blood sugar levels can negatively impact the thyroid.
• Avoid artificial sweeteners, such as aspartame.
• Include a good quality sea salt or Celtic salt in your diet, instead of white table salt.
• For an underactive thyroid, consider foods like sea kelp, chicken, dates, molasses, and parsley.
• Do not drink coffee and reduce your intake of sugar as much as you can.
• Alternative therapies that may help the thyroid include acupuncture and lymph drainage massage, where the thyroid and lymphatic system are massaged so as to loosen any blocks.
• Avoid drinking out of plastic and soda cans. Instead, drink only out of glass, stainless steel or BPA free plastic bottles.
• Include lots of natural fats in your diet, such as olive oil, flax seeds and avocados.
Vitamin and mineral supplements considered to help thyroid function include:
• Vitamin C
• Omega 3s that are found in fish, flaxseed and walnuts, which are the building blocks for the hormones that control immune function and cell growth.
• A multi-mineral formula in liquid form, since minerals are key to glandular health.
• Calcium/magnesium are also known to help the metabolic process.
• High-quality natural thyroid supplements (note: you may want to seek the advice of a well-trained nutritionist on what type of supplements are appropriate for those who are trying to get pregnant, and what dosage is appropriate once you are pregnant.)
• You might want to consider a glutathione supplement or include more foods that contain glutathione, such as asparagus, broccoli, peaches, spinach, garlic and grapefruit.
• Pay attention to food allergies or sensitivies.
• Reduce gluten in your diet or if you can, go entirely gluten free.
• Take a probiotic because a healthy thyroid functions depend on a sufficient supply of healthy gut bacteria.
• Pay attention to adrenal burn-out or fatigue, because there is a connection between the thyroid and adrenal glands. Think of the thyroid and adrenals as Frick and Frack—if you have a problem with hypothyroidism, you are probably suffering with some level of adrenal fatigue or burn-out also.
• Include seaweed in your diet.
• Avoid radiation.
• Do a heavy metal cleanse, as heavy metal exposure is sometimes linked to thyroid problems. In addition to a heavy metal cleanse, begin eating or juicing garlic and cilantro, and include such as taking Milk Thistle, turmeric and chlorella in your diet.
• Eat more foods that contain selenium, such as salmon, sunflower seeds, onions and brazil nuts.
• Stress and emotional traumas, such as a job loss or marital problems, can weaken thyroid function. Explore creative ways to reduce stress, such as joining a chorus, deep breath, take gentle walks in a beautiful area, or take a painting or drawing class.
• The thyroid gland is located in the throat, the center of our communication with the world. Holistic practitioners often view low thyroid function as a result of a blocked throat chakra, a result of feeling like you can’t speak your piece. Learn new and creative ways to find your voice, such as singing, writing, and creating art. Stop ‘swallowing’ your feelings and speak your truth. Create an expression center in your home, where you create posters, collages, and scrapbooks to say what you want to say and let your deepest feelings be known.
• Avoid drinking tap water.
• Do not use non-stick cookware.
• Stop the use of perfume, especially spraying it in the neck area.
• Eat foods that contain tyrosine, an amino acid the body needs to manufacture thyroid hormones, such as avocados, almonds, bananas, pumpkin seeds and lentils.
• Include more sea vegetables in your diet, such as kelp and kelp granules to sprinkle over your salads.
• Stay outside in the sunshine at least 20 minutes a day.
• Evening primrose oil is rich in amino acids which nourish the thyroid gland.
• Consider taking the herbs nettle and bladder wrack.
• Discontinue using deodorants and body lotions that contain parabens, chlorates and pesticides.