Summers can be great, but they can also be brutal, especially when you’re tackling them head on with an underactive thyroid. You may have a bucket list full of the different things that you would like to do during these three short months, but not enough energy to actually do them. Even worse, you may have a list of things you’d love to do but feel that you can’t because you are limited by your thyroid. This doesn’t have to be the case.
Read on to find 10 tips you can utilize, not only survive the Summer with hypothyroidism…. but to actually enjoy it.
Cool off from the heat this Summer by hitting the pool. Not only is it an activity that is fun for the whole family, but it also serves as an amazing full-body workout. It engages your entire body while also taking pressure off of your joints.
2. Look for salt water pools or natural bodies of water.
Again, you should definitely take advantage of the many benefits that swimming has to offer, but you should be mindful of where you are swimming. If possible, try to find places to swim this summer other than a chlorine pool. Salt water pools and natural bodies of water are better for your hair, your skin, and your thyroid. While the chlorine found in pools do help keep them clean, it can also be absorbed into your hair, your skin, and your bloodstream. Chlorine can interfere with your body’s ability to absorb iodine.
3. Shower before getting into the pool.
While natural bodies of water and salt water pools are a better alternative to chlorine pools, if your options are limited, don’t fret. There are other precautions you can take to survive the Summer.
Showering before diving into a chlorine pool can help reduce the negative effects of chlorine. By rinsing off the natural oils that are found on your skin, you can limit the extent to which the chlorine can be absorbed into your system.
4. Wet your hair with fresh water before getting into the pool
In addition to rinsing off your skin, wetting your hair with fresh water before jumping into a chlorine pool can help protect your locks. If your thyroid is underactive, you may already be experiencing dry and brittle hair as a side effect. Adding chlorine will only cause further damage to your hair. Not only can chlorine cause discoloration of the hair, but it can also cause strip your hair of the it’s natural oils. This would cause your hair to become even more dry and brittle, causing even more breakage.
5. Get plenty of sun.
No matter what else you do, be sure that you are spending plenty of time in the sun this Summer. About 90% of the amount of vitamin D, that we have in our bodies is a result of sun exposure. Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin that helps reduce inflammation, aid the immune system, boost the metabolism, and increase the absorption of various minerals. If you are lacking when it comes to this vitamin, you may experience fatigue, depression, muscle weakness, aching-bones, or hair loss. There is a strong correlation between vitamin D deficiency and auto-immune disorders such as Grave’s disease and Hashimoto’s. Time out in the sun can help increase your level of this vitamin, but make sure that areas of your skin are uncovered to absorption to occur.
6. Don’t wash your skin before going to hang out in the sun.
Another thing you can do to ensure that your body absorbs more vitamin D this Summer is going out into the sun without rinsing your skin off before. In the same way that the natural oils on your skin allow for chlorine absorption, they also increase the absorption of vitamin D. However, we want to absorb this vitamin which is why these natural oils are helpful in this case. While it is important to use sunscreen when your skin is being exposed for longer periods of time, some sunscreens actually prevent this absorption from occurring. Keep this in mind when choosing which sunscreen to use.
7. Avoid drying your hair.
There is nothing new about the fact that heat can cause damage to your hair. If you suffer from hypothyroidism, your hair may already be fragile. On top of this, we mentioned that chlorine can also be harmful to your hair. Avoid adding additional harm to your hair by choosing to let it air-dry this Summer instead of using a blow dryer.
8. Moisturize with coconut oil.
Your hair is not the only thing that the Summer time could take a toll on. Make sure that you are taking care of your skin as well. Both the Summer sun and the pool can dry out your skin. It is important to be make a habit out of moisturizing your skin even more during these months.
Coconut oil doubles as a great moisturizer for your skin. It is cheap and easily accessible. It can also help soothe a sunburn, and it can act as a natural bug repellent as well!
As a bonus, coconut oil can also be used as a key ingredient for various homemade face-masks that you can use to give your face a little more moisture. It can also be put into your hair to restore moisture and nourish hair that has been damaged.
9. Drink plenty of water.
Let’s be honest, we’re talking about the Summer. It’s going to be hot outside! This is even more of a reason to make staying hydrated a priority. You need to make sure that you are drinking enough water to replenish the amount you lose while sweating as well. Honestly, the importance of drinking enough water could never be emphasized enough. There are so many benefits that come from staying hydrated including:
- better sleep
- less bloating
- moisturized hair
- moisturized skin
- increased level of energy
- maintained body temperature
The list goes on and on.
If drinking enough water is challenging for you, keep in mind that you can also get water into your system via other ways as well. Make some popsicles with your kids, or pick up some extra fruit while at the grocery store. I’m sure watermelon has never sounded better!
10. Grill out!
We’ve saved the best for last. Survive this Summer by getting your grub on! Make sure to add grilling out to your Summer bucket list. While the sun does provide 90% of our supply of vitamin D, you can also get this vitamin by eating foods that are rich in it. (We recommend grilled salmon! Yum!) That’s right, this is 2018. Your grill master skills no longer have to be limited to hotdogs and hamburgers. There are many other recipes that you can whip up on the grill in no time that incorporate foods that help support your thyroid! You’ll want to look for foods that are rich in selenium, copper, iodine, zinc, and iron. Try out different types of fish, make some grilled shrimp, or get crafty with kabobs that are customized just for you! Not to mention, this gives you the perfect opportunity to try out all ten of the tips on this list.
The Summer is supposed to be a time full of adventures, relaxation, family, and memories. . . . not a time for regret. Use these 10 tips to make the most of Summer 2018 and come back in the Fall with stories worth telling!