Got Hypothyroid? SLOW DOWN!!

GIrl in hammock resting relaxationOne of the most amazing things about the human body is its capacity to self-protect and self-heal.

Whenever something is out of balance the body always tries to rebalance itself.

Everyone that made it through Junior High School might remember the terminology “homeostasis” from biology 101.

Homeostasis is “the tendency of an organism or a cell to regulate its internal conditions, usually by a system of feedback controls, to stabilize health and functioning, regardless of the outside changing conditions.”[1]

With hypothyroid, we need to start asking why would the body reduce or limit production of thyroid hormone and intentionally try to slow it’s own functioning down?

Is the body and mind overworked, stressed out, taking on too much at once (multitasking) or not getting proper nutritional support?

What is causing the thyroid to slow the body down?

The human body is an amazing creation, and it is perfectly designed. I believe we need to honor it, instead of forcing it to do something it is desperately trying NOT to do. And, that is… speed up.

According to modern medical science, the treatment for hypothyroid is to add more thyroid hormone into the body to speed up bodily processes. I believe this treatment is highly detrimental to the body, and can eventually lead to adrenal fatigue and chronic fatigue.

I’ve witnessed this breakdown in many hypothyroid clients that have taken medication to unnaturally speed up their thyroid.

The body may be literally telling us that it needs a break. If we don’t listen to it, we will certainly get that break… in one of our bones. Over-treating hypothyroidism with medication can lead to osteoporosis.[2]

To alleviate many of the common symptoms associated with hypothyroid (fatigue, depression, weight gain, lack of focus, muscle cramps, increased cholesterol levels, etc.), it’s time to make a shift toward slowing down, instead of speeding up.

If you are suffering with hypothyroidism, here are some “slow” ideas to think:

Meditate and Breathe –The simple act of breathing (full belly breaths) helps calm the nervous system and brings oxygen into the body and cells. Breathing helps the entire body and mind function better. We need to breathe a little more, relax our mind, and stop over-thinking. I’m sure many of you know we can think ourselves into a panic attack! Meditation and breathwork can bring us back into the present moment and help us de-stress. There are many great books that can help. One of my favorites is Peace is Every Step by Thich Nhat Hanh.

Take a Yoga Class – Gentle hatha yoga can relax the nervous system and balances the body as a whole. Get your stressed out butt into some relaxing, stretching and opening poses and breathe for goshsakes! More breathing… can you believe it? For those of you that are “over-exercising,” yoga can be highly rejuvenating. I had a client that was running hard; 4x a week, 7-10 miles per run. The doctor kept “upping” her thyroid medication. For her body and specific condition she was over-exercising and not balancing her routine with gentle rejuvenation practices like yoga, breathing and meditation. There is only so much the physical body exert before it becomes depleted; the body also needs to receive. Balance is the key to healing any condition.

Chew Your Food – Digestion begins in the mouth. We need to slow down and chew food thoroughly to combine it with that magical substance called saliva. Our body secretes saliva for a reason. It contains essential enzymes that begin the process of digesting dietary starches and fats. If you are eating food, chew! Give yourself at least 25 – 30 chews per mouthful. Many of my clients notice that by simply slowing down and chewing they begin feeling slimmer. If you want to know the type of food to chew on to alleviate thyroid conditions, watch my Nourishing Thyroid Health DVD or read this: Radiate My Thyroid? No Freakin’ Way!

Healing Takes Time – Many people want healing to happen instantaneously. That expectation itself can lead to high levels of stress. We live in a sitcom mentality where we want illness to be resolved in a half hour or less. That’s not reality. Be patient and loving with your condition. Connect with your body and hear what it is saying to you, and then give it the space and time it needs to heal.

Here’s a great quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson that I love, “Adopt the pace of nature; her secret is patience.”

There are many ways to heal hypothyroidism, and slowing down is a great place to start.

Instead of taking medication to speed up your thyroid, take a “chill-pill” and learn how to relax. Stop rushing around, it may be time to lie in a hammock and swing between the trees for a while.

Want more insight about healing the thyroid naturally? Join me in NYC on Tuesday 3/3 for a live cooking demo and lecture. It’s a delicious way to start the healing process: Nourishing Thyroid Health




  • I am practising belly breathing and it not only relaxes me, it softens my mind, bringing kind thoughts to surface. I believe slow belly breathing is an essential key to good health.

  • surfista

    You give a very good way to understand hypothyroidism and provide good modalities of bringing homeostasis back to our bodies thru breathing & patience. Many thanks..RBlum PA

  • Dr Laura

    Would you suggest someone stopping Armour or slowly weaning off? You know the MD is going to fight us on this. How best to advise a patient to go off the thyroid hormone?

    • Hi Dr Laura – I would suggest weaning off. Otherwise the person may have a “crash.” Like coming off of any drug. And, as they are weaning off, it’s imperative to incoprorate diet and lifestyle improvements so their body can begin functioning better.

      • Tammy

        I would like to try this (weaning off). Do you offer more about this in your DVD’s? I’m the most concerned about my hair drastically falling out if I don’t take the meds (vain, I know).

        • @81963631c9adb5a40741b8429e038369:disqus – it’s not vain. It’s a normal concern. If your adrenals and kidneys are stressed you will lose hair. You need to make sure you’re getting adequate protein, and thyroid supportive foods (sea vegetables, fats, non-goitrogenic veggies). As well as reduce stress and relax as much as possible. And, reduce/eliminate sugar and sweet drinks (soda, sweet tea, coffee with sugar, etc.). Yes, I cover much of this information in both my Adrenal and Thyroid DVDs:

  • sepj

    Seven years ago, it was discovered that my thyroid was nearly depleted. It had been trying to compensate for a condition (pernicious anemia) that was not discovered until after my menopause. I’ve been told I’ll need to be taking synthetic thyroid for life, and this from my PCP who incorporates some non-traditional therapies into his practice. My thyroid levels have become normal, so I am hesitant to think they’d stay that way if I dropped the Synthroid.

    I practice all the ‘slow down’ techniques you describe, eat carefully, sleep well, and I feel terrific – better than I’ve ever felt chielfly through some diet and digestion discoveries/practices. My question is, are there some good reasons to take synthetic thyroid for hypothyroid levels?

    • Yes, absolutely! If someone had their thyroid removed or destroyed by RAI they would need to take an external hormone. If the thyroid is still in the body and not destroyed, I am a firm believer that we can improve any condition. With pernicious anemia your body was not getting the nutrients it needed. I’ve found that sometimes the people that eat the most “carefully” can sometimes be the most nutritionally deficient. Please incorporate animal/bone stocks, meat and fat into your diet (if you have not already done so), and that may help to improve your condition. I cover that info in my Adrenal DVD .

      • Bill

        I was given RAI and instantly went “hypo”. I took nothing for seven years just dealing with it. It then got to the point where I couldn’t deal with it so I tried “synthetic” medication… horrible!!!! So Armour became my saving grace, sorta. I impRoved but, was constantly dealing with fluctuations. Now 4 years later I had to stop taking it because it was making me sick. So I’ve been 6 months med free feeling much better until now where I’ve seemed to go hypo again. So I was wondering if you had any specific advice on my condition. Seeing how my thyroid must still be functioning because it keeps going up and down on hormone production…right? I’m completely cognizant of my diet and live by Yogic and engaging in loving principals. Any advice would be appreciated. Keep up the good work!!!!

  • sophia Oliver

    Hi Andrea,
    My daughter is just 8 years old and she is diagnosed with hypothyroidism. The doctor’s told her to be on synthroid for the rest of her life. They told us that if she does not stay on medication all her life that she can get thyroid tumors or cancer. I am terrified. I do not want her to be on this medicine as she is so young but I am also fearful of the outcome if she does not take it. Can you please help and advice me on this. thankyou.

    • @bd15cdc88331557c73dbf2e512705379:disqus – awwh your daughter is so young. I disagree with your doctors. I believe that if she stays on synthroid for the rest of her life she has a greater chance of bone loss, liver disease, hyperthyroid, and diabetes as well as a host of other problems associated with synthroid. Please research “contraindications of synthroid.” I am wondering if your daughter was is fed with baby formula? Soy formula causes a host of problems with the thyroid. Check out my Thyroid Video for more information on what to take out of the diet and what to put into the diet (see below). In the meantime make sure she has plenty of protein and fat, as well as iodine rich foods, to help her body create the hormones she needs to support her thyroid.

  • aleli

    Hi Andrea,

    My name is Alejandra, and I have been told by a doctor that I have an enlarged thyroid and might have problems in the future. My mom has thyroid nodules but her thyroid seems to be functioning well although the nodules are quite big and she has recently gained a ton of weight. My weight also fluctuates greatly i loose and gain quite quickly sometimes I think this could be related to my thyroid. Do you have any additional suggestions to preventing problems in the future and what could the enlarged thyroid and nodules mean… a slow down as well?

  • victoria wesseler

    Practicing tai chi and qigong is also very helpful.

  • Elin

    I have been losing large clumps of hair (size of an orange) for the past month or so. My doctor has been checking my thyroid for the past year and has discovered that I’m hypothyroid, moving from a 3 to a 5 (not badly out of the normal range) most recently. He put me on Synthroid and I’ve been on it for one month. I’m still losing hair! I’m really focusing on my protein intake (despite not eating red or white meat- just fish) trying to help grow my hair.
    Any advice?!

    • @disqus_XfRIYjsPOo:disqus – I’m sorry to hear you’re losing your hair. It sounds like you are suffering from adrenal/kidney deficiency. The synthroid won’t help because it doesn’t address the underlying problem. You need to reduce stress, sugar and carbohydrates. I’m happy to hear you’re focusing on protein. You can read more about that here

      • Elin

        Thanks, Andrea. I took sugar out of my diet about a month ago and for the past week all refined carbs. In general, I’m a pretty clean eater. I’m not a particularly stressed individual (at least consciously!) but trying to slow things down nonetheless–breathing deeply throughout the day is quite calming. I, too, would like to get to the root cause but struggling to put my finger on this one. I work in the fitness industry and find value in the stress release by exercise.
        How does one test for adrenal/kidney deficiency? I’m wondering how to next approach my doctor.
        Thanks again!

    • Tammy

      I know the goal is no-meds, but you might look into Armour Thyroid. Its derived from pig’s gland. My hormone doc put me on it. I am going to learn more from Andrea’s DVDs on how I may get off of it through healing naturally, but until then I feel its better than synthroid. My hair still comes out a little but not as much. For a while it totally stopped. Seems to kind of ebb and flow. It’s tough!

  • Nicole

    Hi there. I was just recently diagnosed with subclinical hypothyroidism with a tsh of 6 and a normal t4. I was tested and found I had the antibody for hashimotos years ago but my levels evened quickly without meds and had not been a problem in years. Until now, and possibly brought on by my pregnancy. I am now in my 9th week and have been on synthesis for a few days. Since then debilitating nausea has subsided and although I am still exhausted this has gotten a bit better. The endocrinologist had said he would not have out me on the medicine if I were not pregnant but because I am and am above the normal range for a pregnant woman (which peaks at 2.5 tsh) he needed too. I really believe in healing the body through food and meditation, but became so concerned that the baby was not getting enough thyroxine and had read of the many things that could occurr if not properly treated in pregnancy that I succumbed. Andrea, do you have any knowledge of experience with hypothyroidi and hashimotos in pregnancy? My top concern is the baby but I am also wondering what the future will be for my own thyroid health and if I will be able to come off synthroid after the birth being that my body had not required the medicine before. Thanks very much.

    • @005d8f87c8684fc76ba7ac6697752510:disqus – I would highly suggest your start eating more protein and bone stocks as well. Generally, hashimoto’s will show up when the carbs and sugars are high and protein and fat is low. Also, when your gut health is out of balance, Hashimotos will develop as well. When you are pregnant the baby takes most of your vitamins and minerals to help build its body – you need nutrient dense foods like fat and protein (animal protein).

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  • neemat

    Hi, I had done an ultra sound scan recently and the reports said there was a multi nodular goitre and I also have a vitamin D deficiency.

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  • lynne

    i had thyroid cancer so my thyroid has been removed…do i have to be on thyroid medication/