Thyroid disorders are now found in majority of females. You surely know someone close to you suffering from thyroid disorders. Have you ever wondered what are the causes of these condition and why it is becoming so common?
Thyroid is a small gland at the base of your neck that makes thyroid hormone. Thyroid hormone controls many activities in your body, including how fast you burn calories and how fast your heart beats. Diseases of the thyroid cause it to make either too much or too little of the hormone. Depending on how much or how little hormone your thyroid makes, you may often feel restless or tired, or you may lose or gain weight. Women are more likely than men to have thyroid diseases, especially right after pregnancy and after menopause.
Some people are more likely than others to develop thyroid problems, and although you can’t prevent thyroid disease, it’s important to detect it early.
ARE YOU AT RISK FOR THYROID DISEASE?
Thyroid disease is a common cause of hormonal imbalance in the body. The thyroid can make either too much thyroid hormone i.e. hyperthyroidism or too little thyroid hormone i.e. hypothyroidism.
Thyroid disease generally isn’t preventable, but awareness of risk factors and symptoms, can help prevent serious complications if you do have a thyroid disorder.
Signs and symptoms of thyroid disease:
|Constipation||Eating more than usual|
|Muscle weakness||Feeling nervous or anxious|
|Feeling cold when other are not feeling cold||Feeling irritable|
|Feeling sad or depressed||Trouble in sleeping|
|Pale or dry skin||Feeling hot when other are not|
|Joint or muscle pain||Muscle weakness|
|Weight gain even when you are not eating much||Weight loss even when you are eating properly|
|Puffy face||Trembling in hands and fingers|
|Slow heart rate||Irregular heart beat|
|More than usual menstrual bleeding||Fewer and lighter menstrual periods than normal|
|Less sweating||Increased sweating|
|Dry or thinning of hair||Diarhhoea or more bowel movements than normal|
|Feeling very tired|
HOW DOES THYROID GLAND WORK?
The thyroid is part of the endocrine system, which is made up of glands that produce, store, and release hormones into the bloodstream so the hormones can reach the body’s cells. The thyroid gland uses iodine from the foods you eat to make two main hormones:
- Triiodothyronine (T3)
- Thyroxine (T4)
Thyroid gland releases hormones that control metabolism—the way your body uses energy. The thyroid’s hormones regulate vital body functions, including:
- Heart rate
- Central and peripheral nervous systems
- Body weight
- Muscle strength
- Menstrual cycles
- Body temperature
- Cholesterol levels
WHAT ARE THE FOODS THAT SUPPORT THYROID FUNCTIONS?
Many nutritional factors play a role in optimizing thyroid function. However, both nutrient deficiencies and excesses can trigger or exacerbate symptoms.
The following list offers whole food sources containing the necessary vitamins and minerals needed to help our thyroid stay healthy and work properly.
Salmon, shrimp, oysters, sardines, Iodized sea salt, Eggs, spinach, garlic, asparagus, mushrooms, sesame seeds, lima beans
Tuna, mushrooms, beef, sunflower seeds, Brazil nuts, organ meats, soybeans.
Beef, turkey, lamb, fresh oysters, sardines, soybeans, walnuts, sunflower seeds, Brazil nuts, almonds, split peas, whole grains.
Oysters, lobster, beef, nuts, sunflower seeds, beans (white beans, chickpeas, soybeans), mushrooms, tomato paste, dark chocolate.
Organ meats, oysters, spinach, lentils, soybeans, white beans, pumpkin seeds.
Broccoli, asparagus, lettuce, carrots, spinach, sweet potatoes, liver, pumpkin.
Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, parsley, peppers (chili, Bell, sweet), strawberries, guava, papaya, citrus, kiwifruit.
Peanuts, almonds, sunflower seeds, beans and soybeans, asparagus, leafy green vegetables, whole grains, liver.
Egg yolks, organ meats, wheat germ, Brewer’s yeast, mushrooms, almonds
Poultry (white meat), peanuts (with skin), wheat bran, rice bran, liver, Brewer’s yeast
Fish (tuna, trout, salmon), liver, bananas, brown rice, wheat germ, sunflower seeds, walnuts, beans (soybeans, lima beans), Brewer’s yeast.
WHAT ARE THE FOODS THAT DISRUPT THYROID FUNCTIONS?
There are some studies showing that the isoflavones in soybeans can inhibit the enzyme which adds iodine to the thyroid hormone known as thyroid peroxidase (TPO). These studies indicate that soy isoflavone might bond with the iodine we do have, diminishing the reserve for thyroid production. The issue lies with the levels of iodine we have. If levels are sufficient, eating natural soy should not be a problem. Natural soy is a tremendous help to many women in regulating menopause symptoms, so this is an important nutrient to consider.
BRASSICA FAMILY OF VEGETABLES:
This group of vegetables includes brussel sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli, and cabbage, which studies show can reduce the thyroid hormone in a similar way to soy. Goiter, an enlarged thyroid, is linked to iodine deficiency. The compounds categorized as goitrogens can be found in small amounts in many other foods as well, including spinach, peanuts, and strawberries. It’s ok to eat them, but by pairing them with iodine-rich foods, we can counteract the metabolization reducing iodine.
There is a distinct connection between gluten intolerance, celiac disease, and autoimmune thyroid issues. This is the one food I strongly recommend to avoid if you have a thyroid condition. Gluten is found in many foods, and can trigger a whole series of digestive issues and hormonal imbalances.