Hyperthyroid, Hypothyroid, and Nutrition

These days, most people know at least one person who has either an overactive or underactive thyroid if they don’t have it themselves. Thyroid problems usually are more common with women, but can also happen with men. Many people have to take medication for the rest of their lives and some have had to resort to surgery. When it comes to an underactive or overactive thyroid, there are home remedies and nutritional therapy that you can do to help manage your symptoms and lead a relatively normal life.

The thyroid gland is located in the neck and it helps to control the body’s metabolism and also controls how quickly the body uses energy, makes proteins, and it controls many of the hormones, as the thyroid gland is one of the largest endocrine glands in the human body. There are two main types of thyroid disorders, an overactive thyroid, also known as hyperthyroidism and an underactive thyroid, known as hypothyroidism. In hyperthyroidism, the thyroid produces an excessive amounts of hormones where as with hypothyroidism, the thyroid produces an insufficient amount of hormones. Both are considered to be autoimmune conditions, in which there are various possibilities for its cause.

So what are the symptoms of each of them? Well, with hyperthyroidism, some of the common symptoms include weight loss, palpitations, increased appetite, trembling of the hands, lowered tolerance to heat, excessive sweating, anxiety and insomnia, swelling in the neck, frequent bowel movements, muscle weakness, and irregular menstruation. The symptoms of hypothyroidism include fatigue, poor memory, weight gain, constipation, deepened voice, swelling in the neck, lowered tolerance to cold, puffy eyes and dry thickened skin, generalised thinning of the hair, heavy or less frequent menstrual periods, weakness and aching of muscles, and joint pains.

In both disorders of the thyroid, the body’s own antibodies are attacking the thyroid gland. In other words, your own immune system is attacking itself. A deficiency in iodine can also cause hypothyroidism, but is quite uncommon to be the cause in developed countries. Hypo and hyper thyroidism are both considered to be autoimmune conditions, it is not known exactly what the cause is. But, both can be prevented and if they do occur, there are modifications you can make through your diet to help you feel better and regain control of your health.

Nutritional therapy and modifying your diet can greatly help those you are suffer from underactive or overactive thyroid. Supplementing and having foods that are high in iodine, selenium, zinc, iron, copper, omega 3s, B vitamins, and having a diet high in antioxidants is beneficial. In addition to using coconut oil in your meals, cooking with turmeric has gained further scientific support with its health benefits, especially with hypothyroidism.

It is important to include and balance all of the nutrients from above, but it is also important to know which foods you should also eliminate. First of all, its super important to not have any artificial sugars or sweeteners, especially the low-calorie ones including aspartame. There is research being conducted that shows that artificial sweeteners may play a role in causing inflammation and autoimmune reactions. All soy products should also be avoided because soy can interfere with the functioning of your thyroid gland. Eating too many vegetables from the Brassica family, such as, broccoli, cabbage, brussels sprouts, and cauliflower can affect the functioning of the thyroid because these vegetables can impair the uptake of iodine. Lastly, by eliminating gluten from the diet, you can also bring your autoimmune symptoms more under control because gluten also interferes with the functioning of the thyroid because gluten is also known to cause inflammation in the body.

With that said, its possible to manage thyroid disorders successfully through nutrition. And of course, by having a balanced lifestyle ensuring that you exercise, do yoga, get enough sleep, and keeping your stress levels down, you can help your thyroid naturally.

If you have any further questions about balancing your thyroid or to learn more about how a balanced nutrition and lifestyle plan can help you regain more control over your health and thyroid, do give me a call on 07867 383748 or email me on: info@illuminatedhealth.com

Health and happiness,