How Is Hypothyroidism Diagnosed
It can actually be difficult to diagnose hypothyroidism because the symptoms can be easily confused with other conditions. If you have any of the symptoms of hypothyroidism, talk to your healthcare provider. The main way to diagnose hypothyroidism is a blood test called the thyroid stimulating hormone test. Your healthcare provider may also order blood tests for conditions like Hashimotos disease. If the thyroid is enlarged, your provider may be able to feel it during a physical exam during an appointment.
Be Wary Of Certain Foods
While consuming the foods above, you’ll want to avoid processed foods packed with sugar and preservatives, dyes, or fat- and sugar-free substitutes.
“Processed foods, including trans fats, high fructose corn syrup, MSG, and refined sugar, can cause intestinal inflammation and, in turn, trigger autoimmune flare-ups,” said Dr. Gupta. “This is not specific to the thyroid, but the autoimmune system can affect various parts of the body.”
Cruciferous veggies such as cauliflower, cabbage, kale, kohlrabi, watercress, Bok choy, and Brussels sprouts. They may be packed with good-for-you nutrients like vitamin C and folate, but eating them raw in high doses could mess with your thyroid.
“Uncooked cruciferous vegetables contain natural chemicals called goitrogens that can interfere with thyroid hormone synthesis,” said Dr. Gupta.
However, if you love these types of vegetables, there’s good news: “The goitrogens in these foods are inactivated by cooking, or even by light steaming, so you can still consume them for their valuable antioxidant and cancer-protective effects,” added Dr. Gupta.
Consider Taking Specific Supplements
There are specific supplements that can better help you balance hormones & your thyroid. The best place to start is by choosing supplements in which the majority of the population is deficient. This includes supplements such as selenium, magnesium, omega-3, and vitamin D3 with vitamin K2.
For those who have hypothyroidism, there are a few additional supplements that can be highly beneficial. A sample of these includes Ashwagandha, iodine, methylated B vitamins, adaptogenic herbs, glutathione, and turmeric.
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What Is The Function Of The Thyroid Gland
The thyroid gland is a tiny, butterfly-shaped gland found at the base of your neck. This powerful gland is a sort of control center, producing hormones that play major roles in many body processes, including:
and so much more.
The thyroid gland creates two main hormones T4 and T3 . This small but mighty gland works in tandem with the pituitary gland, which is found below your brain at the base of your skull.
If the pituitary gland senses that you need more or less of a certain hormone, it will release a hormone called thyroid stimulating hormone , which then communicates with your thyroid gland to tell it which hormones to release. When your body is functioning correctly, these hormones are all balanced.
There are two main thyroid conditions that occur when these hormones are not balanced.
Hypothyroidism occurs when the body makes too little thyroid hormone. Although symptoms differ person to person, its generally marked by:
Whats The Difference Between Hypothyroidism And Hyperthyroidism
In hypothyroidism, the thyroid doesnt make enough thyroid hormone.
The difference between hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism is quantity. In hypothyroidism, the thyroid makes very little thyroid hormone. On the flip side, someone with hyperthyroidism has a thyroid that makes too much thyroid hormone. Hyperthyroidism involves higher levels of thyroid hormones, which makes your metabolism speed up. If you have hypothyroidism, your metabolism slows down.
Many things are the opposite between these two conditions. If you have hypothyroidism, you may have a difficult time dealing with the cold. If you have hyperthyroidism, you may not handle the heat. They are opposite extremes of thyroid function. Ideally, you should be in the middle. Treatments for both of these conditions work to get your thyroid function as close to that middle ground as possible.
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Natural Remedies For Thyroid Health
What Im going to share with you today are natural remedies for thyroid health. There are more people than ever before that are struggling with hypothyroidism, Hashimotos disease, hyperthyroidism and Graves disease.
If you personally are one of those people who has a sluggish thyroid, a slow metabolism, maybe you exercise and the weight doesnt come off like it should, you struggle with adrenal fatigue or lack of energy all of those are warning signs that you might have a thyroid issue.
Im going to cover my top five natural remedies that are safe, healthy and effective for improving your thyroid function and helping your body heal any sort of thyroid issue.
How To Naturally Improve Thyroid Function
The thyroid controls hormones and can affect nearly every cell in the body. It plays a major role in regulating metabolic rate, your bodys rate of energy production. And its also part of the endocrine system, which plays a vital role in the metabolism of the body .
Hormones are chemical signaling molecules, produced by the endocrine glands, and secreted directly into the bloodstream. In the communication between cells, hormones are like letters, and the cardiovascular system is the postal service. When the glands do not produce the right amount of hormones, diseases develop that can affect many aspects of life.
Thyroid hormones, which regulate how the body uses energy, are secreted by the thyroid gland in the neck. The two main hormones the thyroid produces and releases are T3 and T4 . These hormones, like many of the hormones made in your body, are important players in both physical and psychological health. Even slight imbalances in their production or activity can have powerful adverse effects on emotional wellbeing. When functioning correctly, the thyroid helps to increase basal metabolic rate, stimulate vitamin metabolism, regulate carbohydrate, fat and protein metabolism, and regulate long bone growth.
The thyroid gland is negatively impacted by a number of external chemical influences, such as chlorine, excess estrogen, fluoride, and heavy metals .
So what can you do to naturally improve your thyroid function?
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Consider Supplementsafter Talking To A Healthcare Provider
You’ve probably heard that there’s a connection between thyroid health and iodine, which is essential for the synthesis of thyroid hormones.
“Worldwide, iodine deficiency is one of the causes of an enlarged thyroid gland and hypothyroidism,” said Dr. Gupta. “However, iodine deficiency is rare in developed countries due to supplementation in table salt and certain foods such as dairy and bread.”
In other words, you’re probably already getting enough iodine in your diet as is. Too much iodine can trigger hyperthyroidism in susceptible individuals. Thus, Dr. Gupta didn’t recommend taking iodine pills without consulting a healthcare provider.
On the other hand, if you suspect your thyroid may need a boost, speak to a healthcare provider about taking selenium or vitamin D, both of which have been linked to improved thyroid health.
“Clinical research shows that taking 200 mcg daily of the mineral selenium can reduce anti-thyroid antibodies,” said Dr. Gupta. “Alternatively, you can get the mineral by eating one to two Brazil nuts each day.”
As for vitamin D, some research suggests it could be important in aiding the immune system.”Severe deficiency of vitamin D may be associated with autoimmune disease, so have your physician check your vitamin D levels and advise you about supplementation if the level is below normal,” said Dr. Gupta.
Common Signs & Symptoms Of Hypothyroidism
I had thyroid problems long before I knew what was going on. Its easy to miss the common symptoms of hypothyroidism among other normal aspects of life. For me, I was having babies, not sleeping much because of that, and struggling to lose weight because I thought that was normal for being postpartum.
But in reality, my symptoms were way more extreme than they should have been. The thyroid can produce so many different symptoms when its not behaving right. Some people will have a lot of them, others may only have one or two noticeable signs. This is where proper testing makes all the difference in getting answers.
What are the symptoms of hypothyroidism to look out for?
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Five Easy Steps To Keep Your Thyroid Healthy
For anyone who doesn’t have a thyroid condition, it might be easy to forget about the gland in the front of their neck that controls hormone production. But behind the scenes, the thyroid does a lot of work to help metabolize and maintain blood pressure, body temperature and heart rate.Thyroid disease affects approximately 20 million people in the US and about one in eight women. The two most common types of thyroid disorders are hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism.Hyperthyroidism produces too much thyroxine hormone and hypothyroidism does not produce enough . Although the two conditions have different signs and symptoms, there can be some overlap.There is no replacement for getting the proper diagnosis and starting medication when necessary, said Vatche Zohrabian, DO, primary care physician with the Hartford HealthCare Medical Group, but there are some lifestyle modifications that can help augment conventional treatment and help keep your thyroid on track.
Maintaining a healthy thyroid
Not So Good: Fast Food
Similar to processed foods, fast food chains also aren’t required to use iodized salt in their foods.
According to the American Thyroid Association , you should avoid restaurant foods since there is no reasonable way to determine which restaurants use iodized salt.
Analysis of the iodine content of commons foods by the United States Department of Agriculture found that one fast food hamburger patty contained 3.3 mcg of iodine per 100 g whereas a non fast-food ground beef patty contained 8 mcg of iodine per 100 g.
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Increase Your Consumption Of Healthy Fats
Despite increased awareness and education, it is still a common myth that fat in ones diet should be avoided. While it is certainly true that bad fats should be avoided, healthy fats need to be part of everyone’s nutritional plan. Examples of fats that help balance hormones & your thyroid include omega-3s and oleic acid .
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What To Limit Or Avoid
To help prevent thyroid disease and relatedproblems such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer, limit sugars, added fats,fast food and meals out.
In addition, if you have an iodinedeficiency, watch your intake of raw broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, kale,Brussels sprouts and cabbage, which release a compound called goitrin that caninterfere with the function of thyroid hormones if you dont have enough iodinein your system. Cooking these vegetables seems to limit the negative effect.
Also eat soy in moderation, especially if youhave insufficient iodine, and eliminate millet, a gluten-free grain, if youexperience symptoms of thyroid disorder
Excessive amounts of minerals and vitaminsalso can be harmful to thyroid function or the effectiveness of thyroidmedications. Avoid excessive amounts of the following in your diet:
- Iodine. Eating too much can suppress thyroid gland activity
- Iron and calcium supplements. Check with your doctor before taking these
- High-fiber foods. Too much fiber can interfere with the absorption of thyroid medicines
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Watch Out For Goitrogens
Goitrogens are foods that interfere with the function of the thyroid and tend to cause enlargement of this important gland. Foods that contain Goitrogens include cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, Brussels sprouts, kohlrabi, millet, radishes, peanuts, watercress, strawberries, and peaches. You dont have to remove these foods completely from your diet, but do not consume large quantities of them or even eat them regularly.
Boost Your Levels Of Vitamin D
Vitamin D is another micronutrient you dont want to miss out on and yet many of us are. Estimates suggest around 29% of adults are vitamin D deficient. Low levels of vitamin D may be associated with hypothyroidism and autoimmune thyroid conditions, so making sure your vitamin D is in a healthy range is a good step toward making sure your thyroid is functioning well, says Dr. Rawls. There are three ways you can increase vitamin D levels:
- Eat more vitamin D-rich foods: Tuna and salmon are good dietary sources of vitamin D, and egg yolks and certain cheeses contain small amounts. Milk and non-dairy milk are often fortified with vitamin D as well, so check the labels.
- Get some sunshine: You definitely dont want to burn, but spending a few minutes outside in the midday sun before applying sunscreen may significantly boost your vitamin D levels.
- Take a vitamin D supplement: The recommended dietary allowance for vitamin D is 600 IU for adults, but some research suggests higher doses of around 2500 IU may be beneficial. Talk with your doctor about what dose is right for you.
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What Causes Hypothyroidism In Pregnancy
In most cases, women with hypothyroidism during pregnancy have Hashimotos disease. This autoimmune disease causes the bodys immune system to attack and damage the thyroid. When that happens, the thyroid cant produce and release high enough levels of thyroid hormones, impacting the entire body. Pregnant people with hypothyroidism may feel very tired, have a hard time dealing with cold temperatures and experience muscles cramps.
Thyroid hormones are important to fetal development. These hormones help develop the brain and nervous system. If you have hypothyroidism, its important to manage your thyroid levels during pregnancy. If the fetus doesnt get enough thyroid hormone during development, the brain may not develop correctly and there could be issues later. Untreated or insufficiently treated hypothyroidism during pregnancy may lead to complications like miscarriage or preterm labor.
Cook Your Cruciferous Veggies
These include vegetables such as kale, broccoli, and cauliflower. They prevent the uptake of iodine.
Cook these veggies lightly before eating them. Doing so prevents goitrogens from blocking iodine absorption.
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Dont Miss Out On Thyroid
Iodine deficiency is a known cause of hypothyroidism, as this mineral plays a vital role in thyroid hormone production. But thats not the only one. Selenium and zinc can support thyroid health, too, says Dr. Rawls. Many processed foods have been stripped of their naturally-occurring minerals, but loading up on these can help you hit your quota:
- Iodine: Seaweed , seafood, dairy, eggs, iodized salt
- Selenium: Brazil nuts, seafood, meat, poultry, brown rice, oatmeal, dairy, lentils
- Zinc: Seafood, meat, poultry, legumes, pumpkin seeds, almonds
Treatments For An Overactive Thyroid
An overactive thyroid is usually treatable.
The main treatments are:
- medicine that stops your thyroid producing too much of the thyroid hormones
- radioiodine treatment where a type of radiotherapy is used to destroy cells in the thyroid, reducing its ability to produce thyroid hormones
- surgery to remove some or all of your thyroid, so that it no longer produces thyroid hormones
Each of these treatments has benefits and drawbacks. You’ll usually see a specialist in hormonal conditions to discuss which treatment is best for you.
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Will Hypothyroidism Make Me Gain Weight
If your hypothyroidism is not treated, you could gain weight. Once you are treating the condition, the weight should start to lower. However, you will still need to watch your calories and exercise to lose weight. Talk to your healthcare provider about weight loss and ways to develop a diet that works for you.
What Are The Symptoms Of An Underactive Thyroid
The symptoms of an underactive thyroid are often mild and easy to miss. They develop slowly over a number of months or even years. You may putsymptoms such as feeling tired or gaining weight down to poor diet or simply getting older. Its also easy to mistake the symptoms for other conditions. Therefore, it is important to see your healthcare provider for a diagnosis.
|Common initial symptoms
If you are pregnant and think you might have an underactive thyroid, see your healthcare provider. If an underactive thyroid is left untreated, it can cause problems such as pre-eclampsia and premature labour.
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Increase Your Iodine Intake
According to Womens Health, our thyroid gland cannot make enough thyroid hormones when it suffers from hypothyroidism. These hormones are not possible without enough iodine.
Iodine deficiency is a common cause of thyroid diseases. Hypothyroidism patients produce fewer thyroid-stimulating hormones .
TSH Definition: A pituitary gland hormone responsible for stimulating the thyroid gland for thyroxine production and triiodothyronine for the stimulation of metabolism for many body tissues
Lack of iodine also results in thyroid nodules formation. Thus, make iodine an essential part of your hypothyroidism diet.
Unfortunately, our body doesnt produce iodine, so we have to source it out. You can get iodine from several foods.
Eat more sea vegetables, cranberries, iodized salt, wild-caught fish, egg, and organic yogurt. Thyroid support supplements are also great alternative sources of iodine.
What Happens When You Dont Treat Your Underactive Thyroid
Your thyroid affects many parts of your body, and when hypothyroidism is left untreated, it can cause widespread harm. You may experience the following conditions:
- Myxedema a rare and life-threatening condition involving impaired cognition, extreme fatigue, or loss of consciousness
- Fertility issues irregular menstrual periods
- Cognitive issues difficulty in focusing and the feeling of being in a cloud
- Peripheral neuropathy a condition where peripheral nerves get damaged, causing tingling, numbness, and pain in the arms or legs
- Kidney disease damage in a portion of the kidney or the whole kidney over time, resulting in kidney failure
- Heart disease fluid retention leading to high blood pressure or heart failure
- Goiter inflammation in the thyroid gland when the organ tries extra hard to produce thyroid hormones causing stress
Knowing some daily practices for natural thyroid treatment is essential to achieve or maintain a normal functioning thyroid gland. But, knowledge is in vain if not put into practice.
If the cells in our body are puppets and our thyroid hormones are strings that make them move or operate, then we are responsible for taking good care of those strings. Because in the event that some of the strings break, all others will be affected.
Following these tips can keep you from any other health issues caused by broken strings unhealthy thyroid. Stay healthy!
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