Feeling fatigued and sluggish? Signs your thyroid needs to be checked

Feeling fatigued and sluggish? Signs your thyroid needs to be checked

Feeling fatigued? Mentally and physically exhausted? Sluggish? Experiencing brain fog? Struggling to lose weight? Noticed your hair thinning/falling out? These are all signs that you should get your thyroid function investigated.

The thyroid gland plays a crucial role in metabolic functions by producing hormones that control metabolism, energy production, and cellular growth. 

These processes are regulated by thyrotrophin-releasing hormone (TRH) which is secreted by the hypothalamus to activate thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH). The pituitary gland is then responsible for the secretion of TSH to produce thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronne (T3). 

The precursors for thyroid hormone production include tyrosine and iodine. Zinc is a cofactor required in facilitating the uptake of thyroid hormones and favorably affects T3. The conversion of T4 to its active form T3, is also dependent on selenium. Therefore, optimal thyroid function depends on sufficient amounts of precursors (iodine, tyrosine) and cofactors (selenium, zinc) for healthy thyroid hormone production. 

This process can be compromised during times of heightened stress/anxiety, autoimmunity, nutritional deficiencies, or disturbances to hormonal production (hello thyroid dysfunction). 


Hyperthyroid (overactive thyroid which accelerates metabolic function)

  • Increased basal metabolic rate

  • Unexplained weight loss

  • Heat intolerance

  • Restlessness/irritability

  • Diarrhea

  • Increased appetite

  • Decreased cholesterol

  • Increased cardiac output/heart palpitations

Hypothyroid (underactive thyroid which slows down metabolic processes)

  • Fatigue

  • Goitre

  • Cold intolerance

  • Unexplained weight gain

  • Mental/physical sluggishness 

  • Depression

  • Dull/dry skin

  • Increased cholesterol levels

  • Decreased cardiac output

  • Constipation

  • Thinning/loss of hair 

  • Brain fog

  • Loss of outer ⅓ of eyebrows


  • Psychological stress/emotional imbalance

  • Nutritional deficiencies (i.e. iodine, Vitamin D)

  • Environmental toxin exposure

  • Chronic illness/infection

  • Mitochondrial dysfunction (i.e. insulin resistance, diabetes, chronic fatigue syndrome)

  • Gut dysfunction (i.e. coeliac disease, leaky gut, increased intestinal permeability) 

  • Excess fasting/calorie restriction

  • Inflammation 


When it comes to testing, obtaining pathology can help to provide a clear indication into the function of your thyroid.

A general blood test through your GP via a thyroid panel (including TSH, T4, T3, FT4, rT3, and thyroid antibodies) is recommended. Thyroid antibodies are only raised in the presence of an autoimmune condition (i.e. Hashimoto’s disease or Graves disease).

You may be resonating with some of the signs and symptoms of thyroid dysfunction, and may be wondering where you can start? Let's go through some of the basics you can begin with.

Consume nutrients required for thyroid health

  • Selenium: brazil nuts, seafood, tuna, crab, lobster

  • Iodine: seaweed, seafood, eggs

  • Zinc: oysters, liver-rich foods (pate, organic beef liver), whole-grains, pumpkin seeds, nuts

  • Tyrosine: chicken, turkey, fish, peanuts, almonds, avocados, bananas, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds.

Antioxidant support

  • Vitamin A, C, E, zinc & selenium, NAC, CoQ10, essential fatty acids

  • Enjoy sweet potato, carrots, spinach, dandelion greens, eggs, pawpaw, oranges, broccoli, brussel sprouts, tomatoes, grapefruit, berries, avocado, fatty fish, oysters, walnuts

Reduce inflammation

  • Exclude gluten & dairy due to their pro-inflammatory effects

  • Consume low GI foods, good quality fish oil, coloured berries

Enjoy goitrogen foods cooked, not raw.

  • Dietary goitrogens including raw brassica foods (think cabbage, kale, turnip, cauliflower, brussel sprouts), millet, soy, and catechins from tea interfere with the uptake of iodine and thyroid hormone production. Cooking these types of foods assists in deactivating the goitrogen content.


Support mental wellbeing with mindfulness activities

  • Incorporating daily practices to support mental health & reduce stress play a significant role in maintaining optimal thyroid/hormonal health. 

  • Consider guided meditations, deep belly breathing, yoga, tai chi, breathwork

Cold water therapy

  • Cold hydrotherapy has been known to support metabolic function, reduce inflammation, improved immune function and can alleviate symptoms associated with autoimmune conditions.

  • Opt for a morning ocean swim, ice baths, 1-2 minutes of cold exposure in the shower or cold water immersion on your face upon rising in the morning

Avoid environmental chemicals/toxins

  • Endocrine disrupting chemicals such as plastics, chlorinated and fluorinated drinking water, and smoking had a higher risk of thyroid dysfunction.

  • Choose glass/reusable containers and drink bottles, filtered water, and smoking cessation.

If you want further support investigating your thyroid health, feel free to make a booking here


This article was made in collaboration with Sporty & Rich Wellness Club.


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