Who Gets Thyroid Nodules
The people who get thyroid nodules parallel percent and decade by age quite conveniently. What we see with women is that their age and their decade corresponds quite clearly with their risk for developing nodules.
Key Insight: If you are 30, there is about a 30% risk of you developing thyroid nodules. If you are 50, there is a 50% chance of you developing thyroid nodules. The same applies for being 60 and 70 .
Overall, developing thyroid nodules is three times more common to occur in women over men1.
Get The Right Nutrients And Supplements
Here are the best natural dietary supplements to lessen the severity of your hypothyroidism, promote healthy metabolism, and promote hypothyroidism-related weight loss.
At PrimeHealth, your dietary and supplement plan is always personalized to your needs and personal labs from blood tests.
Weight Loss Tips For Hypothyroidism
Maintaining a healthy weight can be a struggle when youre living with hypothyroidism. These tips can help you shed unwanted pounds and keep them off.
Healthy foods, controlled portion sizes, and regular exercise these are key components to losing weight. But if you have hypothyroidism, your underactive thyroid gland may also play a role.
If hypothyroidism is inadequately treated it can be harder to lose weight, since the thyroid is a large regulator of metabolic function. The most important thing you can do for weight loss and for your overall health is to get proper treatment for your hypothyroidism. However, making a few dietary changes may help boost weight loss success. Losing weight is never easy, but people who have well-controlled hypothyroidism shouldnt struggle to lose weight more than anyone else, says Leonor Corsino, MD, an endocrinologist at the Duke Center for Metabolic and Weight Loss Surgery in Durham, North Carolina.
Use these six strategies to jump-start weight loss with hypothyroidism.
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Tip #: Make Sure You Are Getting The Proper Nutrients For Thyroid Conditions
It is very important that you take the correct vitamins and minerals for your thyroid condition so that it can effectively manage the condition. Magnesium, iodine, selenium, zinc, vitamin D, and vitamin A are just a few of the key nutrients for thyroid conditions. Many patients that have Hashimotos disease, which is a type of hypothyroidism, are deficient in vitamin A. Other key nutrients include selenium and zinc. Selenium is a micronutrient that is very important to help fight inflammation. Zinc deficiency is also common in patients that have hypothyroidism.
If youre deficient in zinc or selenium, your thyroid may not be functioning properly and you may not be able to control your thyroid condition. Your doctor can test your selenium and zinc levels to see if these deficiencies are the reason for your hypothyroidism. You can easily add vitamin A, selenium, and zinc to your diet by consuming foods rich in these vitamins.
Eat Foods Containing Iodine Selenium And Zinc
There are three minerals that you especially need to consume when you have an underactive thyroid, iodine, selenium and zinc.
Iodine is an essential mineral needed by the body to make thyroid hormones which in turn help control metabolism and other vital functions. Eat iodine rich foods such as:
- Himalayan Crystal Salt
Selenium is a mineral that plays a direct role in thyroid function. In fact, the thyroid contains the highest level of selenium than all other organs in your body.The body needs selenium to recycle iodine, so its important to eat foods that contain a high source of it including:
Thyroid hormones are also closely interconnected with the mineral zinc, which is responsible for regulating Thyroid Stimulating Hormone . Foods high in zinc are:
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What Causes Thyroid Cancer
In most cases, the cause of thyroid cancer is unknown. However, certain things can increase your chances of developing the condition.
Risk factors for thyroid cancer include:
- having a benign thyroid condition
- having a family history of thyroid cancer
- having a bowel condition known as familial adenomatous polyposis
- acromegaly a rare condition where the body produces too much growth hormone
- having a previous benign breast condition
- weight and height
Read more about the causes of thyroid cancer
Myth No : You Should Take Iodine Supplements If You Have An Underactive Thyroid
You do not need to supplement iodine if you live in the United States or other first world countries where iodine is added to many foods, including table salt. While iodine deficiency is one cause of hypothyroidism, if you are not iodine-deficient, there is no need to take iodine supplements, commonly seen as kelp supplements.
Iodine supplements are a fallacy, says Dr. Bakar. In fact, they can start negatively affecting thyroid function if you take them without the guidance of a physician.
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Waist Size And Nodules
The human body is more likely to grow abnormal tissues when it is growing overall. Weight gain can put us in growth mode. Several papers have looked at the connection between body weight and thyroid nodules.
Some found relationships between metabolic syndrome and thyroid nodules. The factors that relate include higher blood pressure, elevated triglycerides, body fat percentage, insulin resistance, and body mass index.
Several studies showed that the simplest factor relating growth and nodules is waist circumference.
One study showed that waist circumference predicted large thyroid nodules better than any other factor10.
When Should I Worry About Thyroid Nodules
In most cases, thyroid nodules arent a cause for concern. But even though the vast majority of thyroid nodules are benign, some thyroid nodules do contain thyroid cancer.
For this reason, you should see your healthcare provider so they can evaluate the nodule to be sure its benign. As with all cases of cancer, the earlier it can be diagnosed and treated, the better.
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How To Manage Weight When Youre Being Treated For Hypothyroidism
Hormones produced by the thyroid gland help regulate metabolism, so if you have an underactive thyroida condition called you may gain excess weight and struggle to lose it.
The thyroid also affects energy levels, which can make physical activity a challenge if you feel fatigued. This can further contribute to difficulty losing or maintaining weight.
However, there are many other factors that can contribute to weight gain, and getting your thyroid hormones in balance is often only one aspect of weight management.
Cut Out Simple Carbs And Sugars
Kelly Austin, ND, a naturopathic doctor specializing in hormone disorders and the director of the Prime Wellness Clinic in San Diego, recommends a moderate- to low-carbohydrate diet that focuses on complex carbohydrates and avoids simple sugars . According to the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University, foods with a high a glycemic load may increase inflammation in the body. But Dr. Austin stresses the importance of eating enough calories because “low calories can cause a stress response and result in decreased T3 production, she says.
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Thyroid And Weight Gain: Setting The Record Straight
Though it weighs less than an ounce, your thyroid gland punches way above its weight, making hormones that help control many key bodily functions.
“The thyroid has its hand in a whole lot of different systems,” said Dr. Tracie Farmer, an endocrinologist at Novant Health Forsyth Endocrine Consultants in Winston-Salem. “Its more of a supporting member of the cast in everything that it does, but its necessary for everything that it does.”
Located in your neck, just in front of your trachea, this butterfly-shaped gland helps regulate your heart rate and metabolism, your brain function, how strong your muscles and bones are, and even whether your skin is oily or dry. While the American Thyroid Association estimates that 20 million Americans have some form of thyroid disease, many have no idea until a blood test, unrelated imaging or suspicious bump tips them off.
Farmer answers 10 common questions about this powerhouse of the human endocrine system:
What Are The Most Common Thyroid Diseases
Hashimotos disease is the most common form of underactive thyroid disease. Its an autoimmune disease in which the body develops an antibody that essentially scars the thyroid, making it underactive.
Graves disease is an autoimmune form of hyperthyroidism that former First Lady Barbara Bush had. With this disease, people develop an antibody that revs up the thyroid and makes it overactive.
And sometimes, women who have recently given birth develop a brief period of overactive thyroid called postpartum thyroiditis. It usually happens one to five months after delivery.
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Use Stress Relief Techniques
Stressis a leading contributor to an underactive thyroid. Relieving stress can lead to a normal balance in your hormone levels. If your thyroid is normalized, your metabolism will speed up again.
And outside of hypothyroidism, stresshas been linked to obesity in general. This is primarily due to exposure to excessive amounts of cortisol over time.
Here are some practical ways to relieve stress:
- Sleep. A full 8 hours of high-quality sleep is essential for stress relief.
- Turn off technology before bed. Cutting outblue light exposure an hour before bedtime can improve your sleep quality. You can do this by using software that blocks blue light, like f.lux and iristech.
- Use blue light blocking glasses. We also encourage everyone to use blue-light blocking glasses after sunset if using any electronic devices, which helps to reduce cortisol production. Use code PRIMEHEALTH for 10% off of our favorite blue light blocking glasses atRa Optics.
- Meditate. Practicing meditation is another way to alleviate your stress and decrease excessive cortisol production.
- Go outside. Spending time outdoors, especiallyin primarily green locations, can lower your stress and cortisol levels.
Reducing your stress levels is one of the best ways to lose weight with hypothyroidism without medication.
Familiarize Yourself With Medications
Some medications healthcare providers prescribe for thyroid-related symptoms or other conditions can cause weight gain. The following medications are associated with weight gain:
- Antithyroid drugs: Tapazole and PTU
- Beta-blockers: Sectral , Tenormin , and Corgard
- Estrogen and progesterone: Alone or together in hormonal birth control
- Antidepressants: Prozac , Paxil , and Zoloft
- Mood-stabilizing and anticonvulsant drugs: Lithium, Depakote , and Tegretol
If you’re taking any of these medications and you’re gaining weight, talk to your healthcare provider about your concerns. Never stop taking a medication without your healthcare provider’s input.
Thyroid Disease Doctor Discussion Guide
Get our printable guide for your next doctor’s appointment to help you ask the right questions.
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How Your Thyroid And Weight Are Related
The relationship between and weight regulation is complex. The American Thyroid Association notes that weight gain develops over a long time and may have many causes other than the underactive thyroid. Generally, about 5 to 10 pounds of excess weight can likely be attributed to the lack of thyroid hormones that occurs in hypothyroidism. The weight is mostly water retention, rather than fat.
Once hormone levels are regulated through medication, people typically experience a modest amount of weight loss, if anyusually less than 10% of body weight, the ATA says.
One study of 101 people with hypothyroidism found that 52% lost weight after starting treatment with , with an average loss of 8.4 pounds. Researchers concluded that contrary to popular belief, starting medication results in no significant weight change.
Exercise Almost Every Day
We recommend regular exercise for thyroid patients to lose weight. Exercise is a fantastic natural treatment for hypothyroidism, helping to:
- Relieve depression
- Lose unwanted weight
- Maintain that healthy weight
Physical therapists and endocrinologists alike would probably suggest low-impact cardio exercise, especially to start out. Consult with a doctor before engaging in higher intensity strength training.
Aim to exercise for 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week.
How much weight should you lose with hypothyroidism? Determine your healthy weight by starting with a normal BMI range for your height. Every person is different, so talk to your doctor about exactly how much weight you should try to lose.
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How To Shrink Thyroid Nodules
Thyroid nodules refer to growths that exist in your thyroid gland. These growths can be very small and barely noticeable, or they can be quite large and rather painful. Some people have thyroid nodules and never experience any symptoms whatsoever. However, large thyroid nodules may cause neck pain and can make swallowing and breathing difficult.
Based on hormone content, thyroid nodules can be either thyroid adenomas or thyroid carcinomas. Thyroid adenomas are usually benign, but they can become malignant if untreated. If your thyroid nodule is large and causing problems, your doctor will need to test the tissue to determine whether its benign or cancerous.
Theres no known way to prevent thyroid nodules. As long as you have a functioning thyroid gland, you can develop thyroid nodules.
If you have thyroid nodules of any size, there are ways to reduce inflammation and shrink the nodules down. They can also help reduce the risk of a cancerous nodule becoming malignant.
A Note From Paloma Health
Each of us is unique with individual needs. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to treating a thyroid condition, including thyroid nodules. Before adding any supplements or making significant changes to your diet, consult your thyroid doctor and a thyroid nutritionist. And remember, diet is not a cure-all for thyroid diseases. It is an essential component to managing your condition and improving your overall health and well-being.
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Surgery For Thyroid Disorders
Removing the thyroid gland can cure hyperthyroidism, but the procedure is only recommended if antithyroid drugs don’t work, or if there is a large goiter. Surgery may also be recommended for patients with thyroid nodules. Once the thyroid is removed, most patients require daily supplements of thyroid hormones to avoid developing hypothyroidism.
What You Can Do About Nodules Starting Today
If you have thyroid nodules, what can you do about them today? Here are the top steps:
- Get in the habit of performing monthly thyroid self-examinations
- Have an ultrasound done of your thyroid
- Take Nodule Control, 2 capsules once daily
- Avoid excess iodine stay under 200 mcg per day for normal health or under 100 mcg per day if you are working to improve your thyroid
- Make sure your waist circumference is well under 1/2 of your height
Bottom Line: The same things that keep you healthy may shrink thyroid nodules.
P.S. Whenever you are ready, here is how I can help you now:
1. Schedule a Thyroid Second Opinion with me, Dr. C, 2. Need A Thyroid Supplement Recommendation? Take My Thyroid Specific Formulations Quiz Now3. Need a Personalized Supplement? Check out My Thyroid Specific Formulations4. Download and use my Favorite Recipes Cookbook Here5. Check out my podcast Medical Myths, Legends, and Fairytales Here
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How To Lose Weight With Hypothyroidism Naturally: 6 Steps
More than one in 10 Americans will develop a thyroid disorder in their life. Unfortunately, hypothyroidism causes weight gain.
Hypothyroidism is a medical condition caused by an underactive thyroid, a gland in your neck that secretes necessary hormones.
Weight gain is often one of the first signs that the endocrine system is experiencing issues.
It can be challenging to get rid of that extra weight, especially when other symptoms of hypothyroidism seem to create a vicious circle.
Can you lose weight when you have hypothyroidism? Yes, you can lose weight with hypothyroidism through changes in diet, eating patterns, stress, and exercise. Were here to show you how.
As many as 60% of people with thyroid disease dont know they have one. If you gain weight with no explanation, consider asking a healthcare professional about hypothyroidism.
If youre interested in working one-on-one with the PrimeHealth team, schedule your consultation usingthis link.
How Do Thyroid Nodules Affect Children
Thyroid nodules are much less common in children than in adults, but researchers arent sure of the exact numbers.
Theres an increased risk of thyroid cancer in nodules found in children and adolescents compared to adults. However, over 75% of nodules found in children and adolescents are noncancerous .
The symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of thyroid nodules for children are the same as for adults .
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Thyroid nodules are very common, and theyre usually not a cause for concern. However, its still important to see your healthcare provider if you notice a lump on your thyroid . They may run some tests to make sure its benign. If you have any questions about your risk of developing thyroid cancer or thyroid disease, talk to your provider. Theyre available to help you.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 06/21/2022.
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