The thyroid gland, shaped like a butterfly, sits quietly in the front region of your neck. Despite its somewhat odd choice of residence, this gland is essential for producing hormones, many of which will affect your overall metabolic rate and your efforts at the gym. If it doesn’t function well, you’ll shortly notice the signs of thyroid problems.
Thyroid issues are surprisingly common, affecting more than 20 million people in America alone. But what do you need to know about it?
5 REASONS WHY PEOPLE GET THYROID PROBLEMS AND HOW THEY CAN AVOID IT (CAUSES OF THYROID PROBLEMS)
The thyroid glands don’t work alone – they cooperate with your adrenal glands to produce hormones. Adrenal glands are responsible for releasing cortisol, which is a stress-management hormone.
Excess amounts of stress can strain the adrenal glands, causing them to produce excess cortisol that you become increasingly more resistant to. This imbalance causes your metabolism to slow down, leading to weight gain, more stress, insulin resistance, blood sugar issues, and slowed-down or halted thyroid function.
You can manage stress by:
Autoimmune conditions are the most common cause, arguably, for thyroid problems. Autoimmune diseases are disorders where your immune system mistakes you for a threat and starts to attack the rest of the body. Common conditions (and medical circumstances) that lead to thyroid problems are:
Chronic inflammation is the start of many, many diseases – and thyroid problems are one of them. Normal soreness is healthy and occurs when you get injured – hence why cuts “burn” or muscles feel sore after a workout. They are inflamed and, therefore, healing.
But when the gland has to produce inflammation constantly, it can wind up developing into chronic inflammation. This condition can trigger cortisol production in the body, and it also leads to higher production of certain hormones in your body.
Here are some ways to reduce chronic inflammation:
There are toxins everywhere, and they all cause hormone functions to suffer, leading, then, to the suffering of the thyroid gland itself.
The most common toxins that affect people this way are polybrominated diphenyl ethers, or PBDE, polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCB, and many, many more. As a rule, it’s a good idea to stay clear of any product unless you know its ingredients for sure.
5. OVERDOSES OR UNDERDOSES OF VITAMINS
In many cases, a lack of nutrition is what leads to diseases. In the case of thyroid problems, overdoses are also a common factor to take into consideration. Here are some common vitamin over- and underdoses that lead to thyroid issues:
Yes, you need iodine for hormone production, and a lack of it can also cause thyroid problems. But did you know that consume an excess of 400 mcg of iodine per day can lead to many complications, including to the thyroid?
For the thyroid to carry out its peroxidase function healthily and positively, it needs iron. Without it, thyroid hormones cannot be synthesized, and iron-deficiency anemia opens up the door to many different diseases, too.
· VITAMIN A
Vitamin A is capable of binding to the hormone receptors in the thyroid, increasing one kind of hormone but not the other, more desirable one. You can lose as much as two-thirds of your thyroid hormones by not paying attention to vitamin A!
The thyroid needs selenium to convert certain types of hormones to others. This nutrient helps to protect against autoimmune diseases and also works to encourage healthy thyroid function. A deficiency may lead to hypothyroidism.
The more selenium you take, the more chromium you excrete. As such, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on your daily intake of this lesser-known vitamin.
AVOIDING THYROID PROBLEMS
1. AVOID TOXINS
Many chemicals can be toxic to the thyroid gland, and these are chemicals you’ll want to avoid. These chemicals are often called endocrine disruptors, and they often severely affect your hormonal system, as that term suggests. Chemicals to avoid are:
Fad diets are popular for their quick effectiveness, but they’re objectively terrible for your body in many ways. Not only are you likely to gain all the weight back the second you stop the diet, but you’re also slowing down your metabolic rate and opening yourself up to thyroid issues.
According to a study in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, fasting causes your primary thyroid hormone that regulates metabolism to decrease efficiency by 53%. Many other thyroid hormones also saw a decrease in levels. In addition, cortisol levels leap up when you starve yourself, causing stress to you because it thinks your body is in danger. You may begin to retain a lot of fat as a result.
So don’t do starvation diets – no liquid cleanses, no super low-calorie days, nothing at all that could cause your body to believe it is starving.
3. EAT WELL
A healthy diet is one of the most crucial parts of keeping your thyroid in good working order. This is because a whopping 71% of the body’s autoimmune system lives in the gut. They’re called gut-associated lymphoid tissue, or GALT, and researched has linked their inflammation to thyroid diseases.
Many doctors recommend a Mediterranean diet for managing inflammation. It’s not strictly necessary, but your meals should include:
· PROCESSED FOODS
These foods are full of sugars, dyes, added preservatives, trans fats, and all sorts of dangerous ingredients. They’re bad for the entire body, too, not just your thyroid.
To be fair, soy has plenty of positive benefits for overall health. Unfortunately, more and more research has shown that soy affects the body’s ability to absorb levothyroxine, which can interfere with hormone-related medication.
· RAW CRUCIFEROUS VEGETABLES
Yes, even these veggies, commonly touted as extremely healthy, but be wary of eating them raw. Raw cruciferous vegetables have goitrogens, which are natural chemicals that can cause thyroid system issues. Examples of these veggies are Brussels sprouts, kale, cauliflower, watercress, and cabbage.
4. REDUCE ENDURANCE-BASED EXERCISE
Endurance exercises, such as spin classes, long-distance running, and other similar forms of activity, may be harmful to your thyroid if you’re doing it in excess. This is for the same reason that starvation diets are bad for you – your cortisol levels skyrocket, your hormones produce less, and you begin to store fat and get hungry quickly.
So, what kinds of workouts can you do? High-intensity workouts, especially circuit training, are good options. Short exercises of up to 40 minutes can work best, allowing for maximum fat burning without the excessive, cortisol-boosting cardio.
5. STOP SMOKING
Cigarette smoke is packed with toxins, including thiocyanate, which disrupts iodine processes, thereby blocking the thyroid from producing its natural hormones. Smoking can also change the way you produce hormones, and research indicates that smokers have a higher risk of Graves’ disease, which is one of the leading causes of hyperthyroidism around the world.
Of course, kicking an addiction to smoking is easier said than done. Don’t be afraid to seek help from a doctor. With medical understanding, positive thinking, and a genuine desire to quit, you can leave your smoking days behind.
6. BE CAREFUL OF X-RAYS
The gland of the thyroid is susceptible to radiation, and it’s among the most sensitive organs to this situation. Remember, X-rays aren’t just the stereotypical kind you see in movies! They also include:
But you can’t avoid X-rays, so what can you do? Whenever you need to go through a procedure involving radiation, ask for a thyroid shield! It is basically an apron made from lead that drapes over your neck as the technician takes the image.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON REASONS WHY PEOPLE DEVELOP THYROID ISSUES AND HOW THEY CAN AVOID THEM
Thyroid problems are the first step in a vast host of other diseases. It is wise to start now in living a healthier lifestyle, so your risk for developing this condition is much, much lower. You don’t have to be the perfect model citizen – just take care of yourself and make sure you eat well, exercise smartly, are careful about X-rays, and never miss an annual check-up!
Did you know that experts believe that around 30 percent of women will develop thyroid disorder in their lifetime? And, chances are, you or someone close to you has been diagnosed with a thyroid disorder, right? This autoimmune disorder impedes the proper functioning of the thyroid gland.
Some contributing factors include unhealthy diet and stress. Hyperthyroidism happens when the thyroid gland is over-active and the major symptoms are weight loss, fast heartbeat, and anxiety. On the other hand, hypothyroidism or underactive thyroid is associated with weight gain, tiredness, mental fog, and constipation.
A lot of people who have been diagnosed with thyroid disorders have rebalanced the thyroid and reduced the symptoms with the help of a healthy diet. Namely, some foods can be triggers so it is best to avoid them.
In today’s article, we will present 6 foods that you should stay away from if you have been diagnosed with a thyroid disorder.
6 Foods to Avoid If You Have a Thyroid Disorder
This protein present in wheat mimics the thyroid gland structure and can weaken it as the time goes by. This is because it puts a lot of strain on the digestive tract and weakens the immunity. In a lot of people, it triggers major inflammation, particularly in people with thyroid problems. According to studies, it can make the immunity produce antibodies that attack the organs and tissues. If you remove gluten from your diet, you will not just better the thyroid gland health, but lower the risk of other autoimmune illnesses. Gluten is present in wheat, barley, spelt, rye and in a lot of processed foods. Read labels cautiously and find suitable alternatives.
Dairy sensitivity is not uncommon among individuals with thyroid problems. In a lot of people, dairy can lead to the formation of mucus and trigger IBS, reflux, and bloating. Also, the protein from dairy known as casein has been found to elevate the thyroid gland and digestive tract inflammation. Consequently, the body’s absorption of nutrients and self-healing reduces. Dairy can also encourage the growth of bad microbes in the digestive tract too. Casein also worsens the symptoms of autoimmune illnesses, similarly to gluten.
Refined sugar is known to increase inflammation in the body and worsen autoimmune illnesses. This is because it fuels harmful gut pathogens and encourages gut infections. This could consequently lead to leaky gut syndrome which is an initiator of autoimmune illnesses, including Hashimoto’s. The insulin spikes from sugar damage the thyroid and it is also addictive, the more you eat it, the more you want it. Gradually start removing it from your diet for higher energy levels and regulated appetite. Opt for natural sweetening options like xylitol and stevia. In moderation, raw honey and natural maple syrup are also a viable option.
Processed foods like chips, cookies, and white bread contain no nutrients and are full of empty calories, even the ones labeled “gluten-free” or “all-natural”. Avoid buying products in sealed bags and store-bought condiments and dressings. They are full of hidden sugars, additives, and vegetable oils that are no good for your thyroid.
Did you know that most of the soy in the world is made from genetically modified beans? And, it is also hard for the digestion. Though they may have a lot of protein on paper, the body absorbs very little of it. The lectins from it can irritate your gut lining and worsen symptoms of leaky gut in individuals with autoimmune illnesses. It also mimics the estrogen in the body and messes with the hormonal and thyroid function.
Our body does not process these foods same as non-GMOs. When soy or corn or some other foods is genetically modified, its DNA is changed and the immunity will recognize it as foreign. It will react through inflammation which can erode the gut lining and cause other health problems like thyroid disorder.
Industrial seed oils
Vegetable oils like sunflower, soybean, corn, and grapeseed oil are full in polyunsaturated fats. Though the body needs them, these fats have been damaged during the extraction process done with chemical solvents and heat. And, when we use them to cook with them, they get damaged further. When we eat these damaged fats, they trigger inflammation in our body and weaken the hormonal balance. They tear the organs and tissues and act as free radicals. Opt for healthier alternatives like avocado oil, nut oil, olive oil, oily fish, avocados, coconut oil, and pastured butter/ghee.
Thyroid disorder is a common health problem, affecting more than 25 million Americans. Half of these people don’t know what they can and are supposed to do.
Hypothyroidism or an underactive thyroid gland is responsible for 90% of thyroid problems.
A butterfly-shaped and located on the front of the neck, this gland releases hormones which regulate the body temperature, libido, and many other functions.
This means that if their functioning is disrupted, it can cause various health complications.
Signs of Hypothyroidism:
The thyroid gland secretes TRH and TSH hormones which encourage the production of T3 and T4 hormones in the gland. When there is enough T4, it signals the gland not to secrete more.
The thyroid creates 85% of T4, which is converted into the body into T3, a hormonal responsible for digestion regulation and the regulation of body temperature, personality, and many other functions. Hashimoto’s is a type of hypothyroidism and it is a severe autoimmune illness.
Hypothyroidism- commonly misdiagnosed?
Thyroid gland problems are not easy to diagnose. This is the main reason why many doctors fail. In addition, you will need an extensive research and testing because problems with the thyroid can’t be spotted with one or two tests
Optimal Value Ranges for Thyroid Tests
The hormones in the body have a role to support the communication between every function, so any imbalance can be the cause of a short of health issues. Thyroid disorders affect over 4% of the American citizens.
The thyroid gland affects almost all of the metabolic processes in the body, and these thyroid disorders can range from a small, harmless goiter that does not require any treatment, to life-threatening cancer. The most common thyroid problems involve abnormal production of thyroid hormones, hyperthyroidism, and hypothyroidism.
Hypothyroidism is a condition of an underactive thyroid, which is characterized by weight loss, fatigue, slow metabolism, constipation, and brain fog. It is most often a result of:
Hashimoto’s thyroiditis: It is a type of hypothyroidism that occurs when the immune system does not recognize the thyroid gland cells and the enzymes and inhibits the production of thyroid hormone
Toxic adenomas: Nodules develop in the thyroid gland and release thyroid hormones, upsetting the body’s chemical balance
Graves’ disease: The excessive production of thyroid hormone.
Subacute thyroiditis: Inflammation of the thyroid that urges the gland to “leak” excess hormones, leading to temporary hyperthyroidism that in most cases lasts for a few weeks
Pituitary gland malfunctions or cancerous growths in the thyroid gland
It leads to symptoms such as anxiety, muscle weakness, trouble sleeping, nervousness, and accelerated metabolism.
Thyroid disorders are usually diagnosed via a blood test and are usually treated with some prescription drugs like levothyroxine, synthetic hormones, and many other anti-thyroid medications.
However, the first step towards better health and relief in the case of thyroid disorders is to do some lifestyle and dietary changes.
The following foods are incredibly beneficial in case you suffer from hypothyroidism: