So, below is my insta-fix for my thyroidy days. But, really, it’s a remedy for crap days in general – if you’re premenstrual, toxic, hungover, over-worked or got another type of auto-immune disease or illness I reckon it will be of use, too.
HAPPILY, after three years of trying EVERY trick in the book, I’ve got my auto-immune disease under some kind of control. But I’ve got to this point by managing it day-to-day with little tricks and techniques. Some days I’m great. The next I’m dead thyroidy.
Which can only be described as a cross between a hangover and being pre-menstrual, with a dose of food poisoning thrown in. And a sprinkling of a rash (enough to make everything feel like its burning).
In the past, when I felt this flat I’d push harder. Cummon ya lazy beast, fire up! Now, on these days I stop. And correct. It’s taken me ages to work out that I can actually steer things back to normal in about 48 hours. It’s a gentle steering. Nothing too violent, because that would just tip the boat.
Sooooo, this is how I do it:
- Abort what I’m doing. This sometimes means dropping work or cancelling dinner with friends. Yep, people get the shits. And, nope, they don’t really understand (because the next time they see you, you look fine). I say, so what. This is what I have to do to cope. End of story.* Then I turn inwards (stay home, turn the lights low, go slow).
- Drink dandelion tea. Loads of it. Then move on to some calming teas in the afternoon. One way or another I try to get as much warm water into me as possible. It soothes. It calms.
- Take a teaspoon of licorice root and rehmannia (practitioner dispensed). This tonic calms the adrenals pretty much instantly and also reduces the damn inflammation I get.
- Eat a lot of organic green vegetables. I cook up batches of soup (I boil a stack of green vegetables and root vegetables in chicken stock and then blend with a stick blender…see the details here) and freeze them so I can grab for lunch or dinner as required. Or I steam a mound of kale, spinach, broccoli, zucchini (and frozen peas) and eat with some flaxseed oil or an egg. I literally eat three bowls of the stuff – it’s Operation Pack in The Nutrients.
- Grate some turmeric on my lunch. I love it on eggs.
- Walk. Don’t run. Some gentle blood-flow helps. But aggressive running doesn’t.
- Or just do yoga. I exercise every day. On thyroidy days I simply do 20 minutes of yoga in my loungeroom. It diffuses the fuzz.
- Lie still. Not meditate. Actually, meditating is good…but just lying on the floor. still and uncomplicated, works better on thyroidy days. I just rest, sink into the floor, and concentrate (gently) on soothing my insides as I breath in and out.
- Don’t touch sugar or alcohol or smelly cosmetic products. And obviously gluten, coffee etc are off the menu anyway.
- In the middle of the day, I go quiet. My Chinese doctor Lily Lui does this. She has hashimotos and is the most high energy person I’ve encountered. As she says, to operate at this (natural) level she has to retreat every day for an hour. She shuts her door. Turns off her phone. And sits in the quiet. This is allowed! Go forth. Shut your door! **
- Stay out of wind (it whips up vata energy, which exhausts the adrenals) and don’t move too much (frantic flinging around in the car makes things worse; flying is murderous).
- Stay off my mobile.
If it’s a particularly bad case, or I need to push through the sluggishness to “perform” (some days I can’t afford to be thyroidy, like when I’m filming), I do this:
- Get acupuncture. I specifically request attention on my adrenal points, and in my head. It brings down the swelling and calms everything down.
- Get a lymphatic drainage massage.
If I’m travelling (I often get thyroidy when travelling – extreme motion upsets the system; my whole body puffs up, especially on the right side, and I go really foggy):
- I’ll get a cheap massage from one of those Thai places on main streets, or at the airport
- Order in steamed vegetables at the hotel
Mostly, the next day I’m 70% better. Another 24 hours later and I’m back to my set-point.
Hope some of this helps you…and what do you do? I’ll post any good tips ‘n’ techniques.
* As an aside thryoidy types tend to be overachievers and do things superfast and are very reliable…so if we drop the load sometimes, well, it kind of balances out. OK?
**Thyroidy types also tend to only know two speeds. Superfast and stop. Embrace this. By doing the stop part regularly.