In my previous article, I mentioned how there is a possible link between PCOS and Hypothyroidism.
If you’ve found out you have both underactive thyroid and PCOS, you’re probably feeling worried and overwhelmed. The symptoms of each of these conditions on their own can be challenging both physically and mentally, let alone if you have both of them together.
However, it’s not all doom and gloom - having these conditions does not mean you have to put up with an array of unpleasant symptoms; neither does it mean that you will inevitably end up in poor health in the longer-term. What it does mean is that you will need to really think about your nutrition and lifestyle habits, and perhaps pay more attention to them than ever before. Although this can sound daunting, and let’s be honest, a bit unfair, a lot of the changes you can implement will benefit health in general, regardless of these two conditions, so there is a win-win situation here.
What can I do if I'm living with both conditions?
As well as support from your doctor, you can absolutely implement some lifestyle adjustments, nutritional modifications, as well as supplements to support these conditions and lessen some of the unpleasant symptoms.
Everyone is different; therefore there is no “standard” protocol, but some of the following are a good starting point:
Build Firm Nutritional Foundations:
Reduce inflammation by focussing on a wholefood diet and incorporates healthy fats (oily fish, nuts, seeds, chia seeds, olive oil), good quality protein, lean meat, lots of non-starchy vegetables. You can also consider an Omega 3 supplement to really boost that anti-inflammatory action.
By focussing on an anti-inflammatory diet, you will also be supporting your cholesterol health, but increasing your so-called “good” HDL cholesterol and reducing your so-called “bad” LDL cholesterol. Bear in mind that the ratio of total cholesterol to HDL is actually more important than looking at the LDL number in isolation. Avoid trans fats and excessive saturated fats like margarines, processed foods, deep fried foods, and increase healthy fats like oily fish, olive oil, and avocados.
Get testing - Order Some Blood Tests:
As low vitamin D levels are common in both conditions, it’s time to get your vitamin D levels checked via a blood test and optimise your intake via nutrition and supplements. It’s also worth running a full health MOT via blood tests to see if there’s anything else that requires attention - reach out to me if you want to find out more.
Balance That Blood Sugar:
Blood Sugar Management is beneficial to everyone, regardless of whether you have a condition like PCOS or an Underactive Thyroid. When you manage your blood sugar well, you’ll feel it - you won’t get dips and peaks in energy through the day, grogginess can reduce and you’ll just feel less like relying on caffeine and sugar to give you boosts throughout the day. In addition to this, and more importantly, it’s going to support your metabolic health, something that is key for both conditions.
One of the key ways to balance blood sugar is to avoid meals that consist of just carbohydrates, and instead eat those that have a balance of protein, carbs and fats, which helps to ensure that sugar isn’t released too quickly into the bloodstream. Steer clear of fruit juices, and any sugary drinks, confectionery, which cause a rapid, unwanted increase in our blood sugar. When it comes to fruit, eat the whole fruit (keep dried fruit to a minimum, because it's high in sugar), so that you get the fibre too, which again, helps prevent any unwelcome blood sugar peaks.
Look at your lifestyle
Are you often feeling stressed, don't get enough sleep or don't exercise or move as much as you probably should? Make some positive tweeks in these areas, and if you pay attention to these elements together with nutritional modifications, it can really make a difference!
There are many more things that you can do to support PCOS, Hypothyroidism, or both at the same time. If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed, unsure what to do next, and need a helping hand, reach out to me and book your free health and hormone review so we can chat about your journey and what you can do to start feeling better and more in control:
Registered Nutritional Therapist
Amy Cottrell Nutrition does not claim to prevent, treat or cure any physical, mental or emotional conditions. These blog articles are written for educational & informational purposes only and are not a subsitute for medical advice.
Do not stop or start taking medication or supplements without first talking to your primary health care provider.