Signs and symptoms of thyroid dysfunction and how to manage them

15 May 2020

Are you not feeling quite right and don’t know why?

Are you fatigued more than usual with no obvious cause?

Are you putting on weight without changing anything in your lifestyle and don’t understand why?

These can be attributed to hypothyroidism, which can often be overlooked and not identified in the standard thyroid testing ordered by your general practitioner. 

It’s been a crazy time with Covid - the concern we’ve all felt for our health and that of our loved ones, the subsequent lockdown, and all the stress that goes with it. This can wreak havoc on our health and wellbeing, and can leave us at a loss about how best to move forward to reclaim our health.

There are many symptoms of thyroid dysfunction that can be nondescript, and you might have  been told that they’re likely to be related to your lifestyle or inadequate sleep. If you feel like there is something more going on, then seeking professional support with more detailed investigations, can help you get to the bottom of your health issues.

Symptoms of thyroid dysfunction

Common symptoms associated with hypothyroidism are:

·       Fatigue

·       Weight gain

·       Hair loss

·       Increased sensitivity to cold

·       Constipation

·       Low mood

·       Dry skin

·       Increased sensitivity around your throat, or enlargement of the thyroid gland

 This isn’t an exhaustive list and many people don’t present with all these symptoms. 

What you can do to help   

If you’ve already been diagnosed with hypothyroidism, or suspect you have an underactive thyroid, below are 3 steps you can take to support your thyroid health.

1.     Improve Sleep - aim to sleep at least 8 hours per night. Create a regular sleep routine by going to bed at the same time each night and avoid blue light on your tablet or smart phone at least 2 hours before bed. 

2.     Eat a healthy, wholefood diet rich in the nutrients most important for your thyroid function including iodine (e.g. sea vegetables, cocoa powder, oysters and egg yolks) and selenium (including brazil nuts, mushrooms, oats, sesame seeds and fish), and ensure you eat adequate protein with each meal.

3.    Manage your stress - Stress puts pressure on all our body systems, including the thyroid. Make sure you spend time each time you day doing an activity you enjoy, move regularly (walking or yoga), and spend time being mindful (take 3 deep breaths, try a guided meditation on meditation app Insight Timer, or do Tai Chi or Chi Gong).

If you’ve been experiencing any of the symptoms above, we can provide personalised support to either clarify if there is an issue with your thyroid or help you address your thyroid health. Book an appointment by calling us on 9894 0014 or email


This article was written by our thyroid specialist and Melbourne Nutritionist and Naturopath Lina Capovilla. Lina combines traditional knowledge with cutting edge research, technology and testing, to assess your current condition and support your health holistically. Lina is available for consultations on Wednesday, Thursday and alternating Saturdays.