Lifestyle Suggestions for Hypothyroidism Handout

Jan 8, 2023


Welcome to the Lifestyle Suggestions for Hypothyroidism Handout by Jenny Demeaux, RNC ND. This comprehensive guide provides actionable advice and expert recommendations to help manage hypothyroidism and improve your overall well-being.

Understanding Hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism is a common condition where the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormones. This can lead to various symptoms such as fatigue, weight gain, depression, and sensitivity to cold. While medication is often prescribed to manage hypothyroidism, incorporating certain lifestyle changes can greatly support your thyroid health and overall quality of life.

Dietary Recommendations

Eating a balanced and nutritious diet is crucial for individuals with hypothyroidism. Include a variety of nutrient-rich foods in your meals, focusing on:

  • Lean Proteins: Incorporate lean sources of protein such as chicken, fish, tofu, and legumes into your daily meals.
  • Fiber-rich Foods: Include high-fiber options like whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and beans to support digestive health.
  • Healthy Fats: Consume foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, like fatty fish, flaxseeds, and walnuts, to reduce inflammation and support thyroid function.
  • Antioxidant-rich Foods: Integrate plenty of fruits and vegetables, particularly those rich in vitamins A, C, and E, to combat oxidative stress.
  • Iodine Sources: Include iodine-rich foods like seaweed, eggs, dairy products, and iodized salt, as iodine is essential for proper thyroid function.

Avoid or limit the consumption of processed foods, refined sugars, and excessive amounts of caffeine, as these can negatively impact thyroid function and exacerbate hypothyroidism symptoms.

Exercise and Physical Activity

Regular exercise is beneficial for managing hypothyroidism and improving overall well-being. Engaging in physical activity helps boost metabolism, supports weight management, and improves mood. Consider incorporating the following exercises into your routine:

  • Aerobic Exercises: Engage in activities like brisk walking, jogging, cycling, or swimming for at least 30 minutes most days of the week.
  • Strength Training: Include resistance exercises using weights, resistance bands, or bodyweight exercises to build muscle and support a healthy metabolism.
  • Yoga and Stretching: Practice gentle stretching exercises and yoga to improve flexibility, reduce stress, and promote relaxation.

Choose activities that you enjoy and consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new exercise regimen.

Mindfulness and Stress Management

Effectively managing stress levels is crucial for individuals with hypothyroidism. Chronic stress can negatively impact thyroid function and exacerbate symptoms. Consider incorporating the following stress management techniques into your daily routine:

  • Meditation: Practice mindfulness meditation to reduce stress, promote relaxation, and support hormone balance.
  • Deep Breathing Exercises: Implement deep breathing techniques to activate the body's relaxation response and alleviate stress.
  • Yoga and Tai Chi: Engage in gentle movement practices such as yoga or Tai Chi to reduce stress and improve overall well-being.
  • Journaling: Write down your thoughts, feelings, and experiences to promote self-reflection and manage daily stressors.

Sleep Hygiene

Adequate and quality sleep is essential for individuals with hypothyroidism. Poor sleep can worsen symptoms and disrupt overall well-being. Consider incorporating the following sleep hygiene practices:

  • Maintain a Consistent Sleep Schedule: Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day to regulate your body's internal clock.
  • Create a Relaxing Bedtime Routine: Establish a soothing routine before bed, such as reading, taking a warm bath, or practicing relaxation techniques.
  • Create a Sleep-friendly Environment: Ensure your bedroom is cool, quiet, and dark to promote optimal sleep.
  • Avoid Electronics Before Bed: Limit exposure to electronic devices that emit blue light, such as smartphones and tablets, as they can disrupt sleep patterns.
  • Avoid Stimulants: Limit or avoid caffeine and nicotine, as they can interfere with sleep quality.


By following the lifestyle suggestions provided in this handout, you can take proactive steps to manage your hypothyroidism and improve your overall well-being. Remember, it's important to consult with a healthcare professional before making any drastic changes to your lifestyle or treatment plan. Implementing these lifestyle changes alongside medical management can help you lead a healthier and more fulfilling life with hypothyroidism.

Contact Jenny Demeaux, RNC ND today to learn more about managing hypothyroidism effectively and improving your overall health.

Lara Marshall
Great tips! 👍
Oct 10, 2023