The thyroid gland plays many roles in our health and is therefore widely studied. From regulating body weight to body temperature, the thyroid gland and its hormones are responsible for several essential functions.
Did you know that the thyroid...
- influences every cell in your body
- is your body's furnace
- partners with your liver
- can store a potentially lethal dose of hormones
- plays a critical role in pregnancy and fetal development
When hormone production malfunctions, severe conditions can result. Understanding your thyroid is an essential aspect of maintaining optimal health.
When it comes to thyroid disease, there are several ways the thyroid can malfunction. Many people confuse HYPER- thyroidism with HYPO- thyroidism.
HYPO-thyroidism refers to an underactive thyroid gland, one that can’t make enough hormones for the body to function optimally.
HYPER- thyroidism is just the opposite. As its name suggests, hyperthyroidism occurs when your body makes too much of the thyroid hormones.
Do you or anyone you know experience either condition?
From the picture above you see the thyroid gland is located in the neck. The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland that sits low on the front of the neck, along the front of the windpipe. Question. When's the last time you had your thyroid and it's levels checked?
When it comes to hypo- vs. hyperthyroidism, the most common difference between the two diseases relates to hormone levels.
Symptoms of decreased thyroid hormones include slowed metabolism, tiredness, and weight gain. Too many hormones can lead to weight loss and anxiousness.
Can you guess which condition is more common? If you guessed hypo-thyroidism, you guessed right.
The thyroid gland is part of the endocrine system and is responsible for several functions in the body. The endocrine system produces, stores, and releases hormones into the bloodstream to be used by the body's cells.More than 10 percent of the general population in the United States, and 20 percent of women over the age of 60, have subclinical hypothyroidism. But only a small percentage of these people are being treated. It is important to have your thyroid function checked if you feel that you are having symptoms.Often, at first, you barely notice the symptoms of hypothyroidism, such as fatigue and weight gain. But as your metabolism continues to slow, you may develop more obvious signs and symptoms.
Top Sixteen Symptoms of Hypothyroid
-Increased sensitivity to cold
-Unexplained weight gain
Elevated blood cholesterol level
Muscle aches and pain
Pain, stiffness or swelling in your joints
Heavier than normal or irregular menstrual periods
Slower heart rate
Foods alone won't cure hypothyroidism. However, a combination of the right nutrients and treatment with whole food supplements and herbs can help restore thyroid function and minimize your symptoms. Iodine, selenium, and zinc are essential minerals to incorporate into a healthy diet. Iodine-rich foods include seaweed, fish, dairy, and eggs. For more selenium, try 2 organic Brazil nuts per day, tuna, sardines, pasture-raised eggs, and legumes. Try consuming more zinc-rich foods like oysters and other shellfish, beef, and chicken.
So, what's for dinner tonight? Are you incorporating any foods to feed your thyroid?!
People who have hypothyroidism might suffer from a slower metabolism; this is important to know because our metabolism controls our ability to burn calories. Having a slow metabolism comes with several health risks. It may leave you tired, increase your blood cholesterol levels, and make it harder for you to lose weight.
So, what can you do? If you've been diagnosed with hypothyroidism, you may be able to maintain your weight with moderate- or high-intensity cardio. This includes exercises like fast-paced walking, running, hiking, and rowing.
Ten Tips To Support a Healthy Thyroid:
Eliminate gluten from your diet! One in three patient’s with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis are sensitive to gluten.
Selenium is essential to a healthy thyroid and the first thing I recommend for those with autoimmune thyroiditis or Hashimoto’s. You can get 200mcg of selenium by eating 2 organic brazil nuts daily!
Wild caught fish, like salmon, supple ample omega-3 fatty acids which are essential for optimal thyroid function. If you don’t eat fish frequently, you can supplement with a high quality Omega3 supplement, Standard Process's Tuna Omega Oil or their Olprima EPA/DHA.
Get plenty of sunlight to optimize your vitamin D levels and take 5000 IU daily of Vitamin D3.
Herbs that support thyroid function include ashwaganda, eleuthero and other adrenal adaptogens.
Dandelion greens, carrots, spinach, kale, Swiss chard, collard greens, and sweet potatoes are all rich sources of essential Vitamin A
Use organic coconut oil in your cooking — it’s great for high heat cooking and sauteing many different meats and vegetables.
Filter your drinking water from chlorine and other harmful chemicals which suppress the thyroid and block iodine
Find daily ways to detox, like using a sauna, taking Epsom salt baths, adding chlorella, parsley, or cilantro to your daily smoothie to help your body detoxify from chemical exposures (petrochemicals, PCBs, pesticides, and mercury)
Work on lowering stress levels through daily gratitude, prayer, meditation, yoga, deep breathing!
Environmental Toxins May be Poisoning Your Thyroid
Many environmental factors have the potential to impact thyroid function. Some of these factors include:
Potassium perchlorate is used in rocket propellant, fireworks, and automobile airbags. Potassium perchlorate is stable in the environment and contaminates water throughout the United States. Newborns and infants are most susceptible to this inhibitory effect on iodine transport. The thiocyanates in cigarette smoke can have effects similar to potassium perchlorate.
Isoflavones (phytoestrogens), found in soy proteins, are thyroid peroxidase inhibitors.
Pesticides induce glucuronidation of T4 and reduce T4 half-life.
Polychlorinated biphenyls are industrial chemicals that were banned in 1975 but still are routinely detected in the environment. They have been shown to reduce T4 levels in animals and are neurotoxic. Their effect varies because of partial agonist effect at the thyroid hormone receptor and their varied chemical structure.
Bisphenol A—used in plastics, as resins for coating food cans, and as dental sealants—antagonizes T3 activation of the thyroid hormone b-receptor in rats, causing a thyroid hormone resistance–like syndrome.
Keep your home free from these and other toxic chemicals
If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, schedule an appointment with Dr. Dady to have your thyroid and it's levels checked. You and your body will be glad you did. The thyroid, while a small gland, may be malfunctioning and can wreak havoc on the body and how you feel each day. It is a hugely important gland that needs to be watched!