How To Manage A Thyroid Flare Naturally
There is nothing that is pleasant about a flare-up in thyroid symptoms. You’ll probably feel exhausted, be unable to go about your daily activities with ease, and find yourself wading through brain fog. Some people even experience symptoms such as increased anxiety and body aches.
The good news is that you don’t just have to batten down the hatches and suffer. There are some realistic steps you can take to alleviate symptoms and get yourself back on track sooner.
Let’s take a look at what you can do when you feel a thyroid flare-up coming on.
How to manage during a thyroid flare
The best way to manage your thyroid flare can depend on the symptoms you experience and what triggered the flare-up. However, there are some tips that will help, no matter what the root cause.
Drink a big glass of water
This might seem too simple to make much of a difference. But many of the symptoms you experience during a flare can be exacerbated by dehydration.
Dehydration can contribute to poor concentration, brain fog, fatigue and even anxiety. So it doesn’t hurt to add an extra few glasses of water throughout the day.
You might even want to set yourself regular alarm reminders to drink water, or get yourself a nice cup or bottle to encourage you to drink more.
Schedule plenty of rest breaks
Everyone who experiences a thyroid flare will have at least one symptom related to fatigue or low energy. For some, it is a lack of mental energy or the inability to concentrate. For others, the fatigue is physical, with weak muscles or simply needing to sleep more.
That’s why it’s essential to give your body and mind more time to rest during a flare. Rest allows your body to do what it needs to do to calm the thyroid down. Even if you can’t sleep for longer or take naps, even just taking a few extra 10 minute breaks throughout the day to rest and recover can be useful.
Remember, if you push through the fatigue, you’ll probably take longer to recover from the flare.
Revise your to-do list
You probably have an overwhelming to-do list waiting for you. But many of the to-dos on our mental list are not necessarily urgent or even essential. During a flare is the time to revise that list, and ditch anything that can wait.
Take a look at everything that is on your schedule for the next week or so. Ask yourself for each task:
Does this need to happen at this specific time, or can it wait until I’m feeling better?
Is this something that needs to be done at all? Or is it just something that I feel I should do?
Can I ask someone else to help with this, or even do it for me?
These questions will help you to refine what can be rescheduled or even removed from your list. This is a great way to find time for rest breaks as well!
Have some easy nutritious snacks on hand
During a flare, you might lose your appetite, or you might not have the energy to make yourself healthy meals. But your body needs a variety of nutrients to get your thyroid back on track.
This is where having a stash of easy and nutritious snacks can be a big help. Ideally, they will take 2 minutes or less to prepare. If your symptoms tend to be severe, you might even
prefer to grab some pre-packaged snacks that are made with wholefoods.
Some easy snack ideas include:
Freeze-dried fruit or frozen fruit
Homemade trail mix or nut & seed mix
Roasted beans or chickpeas
Nut butter on brown rice cakes
Continue to take your prescribed medications and supplements
Although there are many factors that can trigger a thyroid flare, it occurs because the thyroid is not happy for some reason! That’s why it is vital to continue your usual thyroid care regime, including medication and supplements.
If you find yourself forgetting to take your medication or supplements, set alarms on your phone to remind you.
Prepare for a flare in advance
Let’s be honest – there is only so much that you can do during a thyroid flare. The trick is to prepare for one in advance so that you can take better care of yourself.
Again, this depends on your unique flare symptoms. But here are a few ideas to get you thinking:
Write out a list of what you can do – Use the list above, plus any others that might come to mind. Write them down in a checklist form, so you can always pull it out when you start to flare. This is particularly useful if brain fog is a common symptom for you.
Put together a flare first-aid kit – This is helpful if you tend towards symptoms such as pain or anxiety. Gather some tools that can ease the experience of your symptoms, and keep them in a central place such as a box or a particular drawer. For example, you might grab a heat pack, some flower essences, a calming essential oil blend and your favourite comfy jumper or dressing gown.
Stock the freezer with healthy and easy meal prep – if you’re exhausted, the last thing you want to do is cook a healthy meal. But your body will bounce back quicker if you nourish yourself. That’s why preparing healthy ‘emergency’ meals and freezing them can be useful. Opt for something that is easy to batch-cook, such as soups, casseroles and curries.
Flare-ups are common with thyroid conditions, but there are steps you can take to reduce your risk. If you’re still getting a handle on your thyroid issues, Tara is here to help. To get started, book an appointment with Tara here