The thyroid gland is a butterfly shaped one and is located in the neck, just below the Adam’s apple. It is rightly referred to as the master lever which controls a number of vital functions like energy and metabolism. The thyroid activates genes which keep cells functioning properly. It performs very complex functions as every cell in the body has thyroid hormone receptors. Low thyroid function or Hypothyroidism is a condition which occurs over a period of time, a silent epidemic according to many endocrinologists. Many people suffer for years and have symptoms that are attributed to other causes – conventional medicine and doctors are trying to pay more attention to a patient’s vague complaints.
How does it occur?
Hypothyroidism occurs when the immune system malfunctions. Over 90% of the people who have this problem usually have Hashimoto’s Disease in which thyroid tissue is attacked by the immune system. To be able to cure this or any other auto-immune disease, the first step is to get to the root of the problem. Suppressing symptoms with medicines is not a way to deal with the issue.
How Hypothyroidism occurs:
Hypothyroidism can be caused by a number of factors like respiratory infections, pregnancy, lithium, congenital defects, amiodarone drugs, surgery, radiation exposure and Sheehan’s Syndrome. Iodine deficiency is considered very low on the list.
Diet as a Defense:
Changing one’s diet to address low thyroid levels in the body is the first line of defense. Many people suffer with a lot of fatigue and fogginess in the brain which leads them to ingest caffeine and sugar. These two ingredients cause havoc in the body and cause the thyroid to burn out faster, while increasing blood sugar levels.
- Reducing or getting rid of refined foods, caffeine and sugar can help immensely. Whole grains, fruits and vegetables help to stabilize hormone levels while offering micronutrients and vitamins.
- Protein is a good transport mechanism for thyroid hormone to cells and tissues in the body. Proteins available in nuts, butter, organic eggs and meats, beans and fish are great additions to a diet.
- Fat is needed by the body and helps to build good cholesterol. Cholesterol acts a conductor for hormonal pathways. Insufficient fat in the diet can exacerbate hormonal imbalance in the body. Good sources of fat are olive oil, avocados, nuts, fish, yogurt, cottage cheese from organic and hormone free sources.
- Not getting enough micronutrients can make hormone imbalance worse. Make sure to get enough vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids, iron, zinc, copper, vitamin A and others. Iodine is very important for thyroid function and sea vegetables like kelp and seaweed are great sources.
- People with low thyroid hormone levels should try to stick to a gluten free diet. Eaten gluten may aggravate the immune system and the thyroid as a result.
- People with low thyroid levels should reduce consumption of vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, kale, rutabaga, spinach and Brussels sprouts and fruits like strawberries, peaches and a few others. Cooking deactivates goitrogenic compounds so moderation is a good idea.
- Those who have thyroid issues should make sure that they address food sensitivities and pay attention to inflammation problems. Auto-immunity and inflammation problems usually work in tandem – awareness will help to address issues before they become serious problems.
Taking supplements to control the Iodine level s
Iodine is required by the thyroid for optimal functioning. Iodine Plus 2 is a formulation available on the market which helps people lead normal lives again. This has to be prescribed by a doctor after testing hormones levels through a blood test. Unused iodine, like any other vitamin or mineral can cause problems in the body – it is thus important to get the right dosage. Doctors usually tweak dosage by monitoring patients on a regular basis.
Points to keep in mind while opting for supplements
- consult with your doctor before ordering with one
- make sure to use only those pharmacies which are licensed and adhere to ethics standards set by the medical industry
- When ordering medications online, make sure to get the pharmacy’s address and phone number. This is to ensure that it is a legitimate business and also a way to get in touch if there is a problem with the order