Your Hypothyroidism Diet Plan: Eat This, Not That
The Thyroid gland produces hormones that regulate metabolism, blood pressure and other vital functions. These hormones control how much energy your body uses and how well it regulates its own temperature. When these glands don’t produce enough or too little of their normal amount of hormones they become underactive (hypo) or overactive (hyper).
Hypothyroidism is when the thyroid gland doesn’t make enough of certain types of hormones needed to keep your body’s internal systems functioning properly. Most often, people with hypothyroidism have low levels of two types of thyroxine (T4), one type of triiodothyronine (T3) and sometimes even only one type. Other symptoms include fatigue, depression, weight gain, dry skin and hair loss.
It is not uncommon for people with hypothyroidism to feel tired all the time. They may experience mood swings, depression and anxiety. Some people may even develop cancer later in life due to poor thyroid function. There are many different kinds of treatments available for treating hypothyroidism including medications, surgery and radiation therapy. Treatment options vary depending on which kind of thyroid disease you have and whether or not you have any side effects from treatment.
Your body requires specific nutrients necessary for maintaining proper thyroid function. They include selenium, iodide, zinc, copper, iron, and manganese. Natural seaweeds, which contain large amounts of iodine, can also help the body produce the thyroid hormones. One of the most common symptoms of an underactive thyroid is a swelling of the gland in your neck. It is important not to consume too much iodine because this can cause you to develop hyperthyroidism.
Hypothyroidism is a condition in which your body does not produce enough thyroid hormones. It is also known as underactive thyroid or myxoedema. The most common cause of hypothyroidism is autoimmune disease in which your immune system creates antibodies that attacks and destroys the thyroid tissue, resulting in a decreased production of thyroid hormones. Common symptoms of hypothyroidism include weight gain, fatigue, slow heart rate, constipation, dry skin and brittle hair and nails. Treatment involves the use of natural thyroid hormones that are either taken as tablets or administered intravenously.
Hypothyroidism is diagnosed with a blood test that checks your thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) levels and the level of thyroxine (T4). A TSH level above 4.7 mIU/L, a T4 below 12ng/dL and an antibody test that’s positive for antithyroid should all be interpreted as a case of hypothyroidism. As TSH is the initial screening test your doctor may decide to perform more specific tests.
Iodine prevents the production of thyroid hormones, which include thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). Iodine is found mainly in seafood, dairy products, iodized salt and various vegetables. Excessive iodine can cause hyperthyroidism, a condition in which your thyroid gland produces too many hormones. Symptoms of this condition include fatigue, diarrhea and rapid heartbeat. It is important not to consume too much iodine as it can also lead to hypothyroidism (inability to produce enough thyroid hormones), which is seen as a swelling of the thyroid in your neck.
The only effective treatment for hypothyroidism is daily thyroid hormones, which can be taken as tablets or infused intravenously. Thyroid hormones replace what is lacking in your body and help you feel better. The most common side effects of these drugs are nervousness, irritability and insomnia. It is important not to stop taking these drugs suddenly as this can result in thyrotoxicosis (a condition in which your thyroid produces too much hormones). If you are prone to thyroid problems, you should always carry a thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) level test with you so that any drop in your thyroid levels can be treated immediately.
The following diets have proved to be beneficial in treating hypothyroidism:
Treating hypothyroidism involves restoring your body’s normal hormone balance, which includes the use of synthetic hormones. The commonest cause of hypothyroidism is autoimmune disease in which your immune system creates antibodies that attack and destroy the thyroid tissue. In most cases the cause of this condition is unknown.
Eating too little of the right foods is likely to cause hypothyroidism. Eating too much of any particular food isn’t likely to do this, however, as your body will only absorb what it needs and dispose of the rest.
You should eat a well-balanced diet that contains the right amount of calories for your level of physical activity.
Sufficient levels of protein are particularly important, as your body uses amino acids rather than carbohydrates to synthesize thyroid hormones.
You should also consume enough calories and carbohydrates to maintain a healthy blood sugar level.
Hypothyroidism is common in cats. It can be caused by a hormonal imbalance or as a result of the destruction of the thyroid gland, which is most commonly due to inflammation, viral infection or ingestion of poisons.
The main symptom of hypothyroidism in cats is slow movement and a tendency to sleep a lot. Most also experience some weight gain, especially around their bellies. They may also have a slow heart rate and shallow breathing.
Chronic hypothyroidism can lead to generalized swelling, lack of activity and lethargy. Your cat may also become weak and depressed.
The most common cause of hypothyroidism in cats is the autoimmune disease known as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis in which the body’s immune system attacks the cells in the thyroid gland, destroying them and stopping them from functioning normally.
Other causes of hypothyroidism in cats include:
Hypothyroidism is rare in cats until they are about ten years old. It is therefore important to monitor the thyroid status of older cats by testing their T4 and TSH levels.
Unfortunately, there is as yet no treatment for this condition and it can only be managed with synthetic hormones given orally or by injection.
The most common symptoms of hypothyroidism include:
You can experience periods of depression, tiredness and slight weight gain due to a slowing down of your metabolism. You may feel cold all the time and tire more easily. These symptoms can often be treated by eating more carbohydrates and taking thyroid hormones.
The first sign of hypothyroidism is usually a swelling of the front part of the neck.
Hypothyroidism causes a slowing down of all of the body’s organs, including the brain, heart, liver and gall bladder.
This condition is rare in children but can affect young people in their early teens and young adults. The most common cause is damage to the thyroid gland caused by a previous bout of inflammation or infection.
Most cases of hypothyroidism occur without any family history of the disease.
Less common causes of hypothyroidism in children include:
In most cases, the cause of the condition is never identified.
Other symptoms may include dry and brittle nails, dry skin that is notably pale, tingling sensations, pain and numbness in the hands and feet, shortness of breath, swollen throat glands, slowed heart rate, and weight gain despite an decrease or lack of appetite.
In hypothyroidism, the thyroid gland does not produce enough of certain hormones that help control the body’s metabolism. This can cause a wide variety of symptoms because many of the body’s functions are regulated by these hormones.
As a general rule, women are ten times more likely to develop hypothyroidism than men.
Hypothyroidism can also be caused by an autoimmune condition called Hashimoto’s disease. In this case, the body attacks and destroys the thyroid tissue.
Some people inherit a tendency to develop autoimmune conditions from their parents and may develop hypothyroidism at a young age.
A lack of iodine in the diet can also cause hypothyroidism as the thyroid uses it to produce some of its hormones.
The main symptom is the swelling of the thyroid gland.
Other symptoms may be present although many of these can also be caused by a number of other conditions. They include:
If not treated hypothyroidism can lead to life-threatening conditions such as myxedema and cardiac arrest.
A chronic lack of thyroid hormones can also lead to depression, infertility and osteoporosis.
The main treatment for hypothyroidism is to replace the missing hormones often with a synthetic form of the thyroid hormone.
This is usually given as a daily pill but it is also available as an injection for people who prefer this method.
It is important that the right amount of hormone is given. Too much can cause problems such as rapid heartbeat, high blood pressure and weight loss. On the other hand, not enough hormone can also cause problems.
Other medicines may also be needed to control any symptoms that are causing a problem. For example, drugs may be given to control the heartbeat, high blood pressure and weight loss.
It is important that people with hypothyroidism do not get too much iodine in their diet as this can make the condition worse by causing the thyroid to produce too much hormone.
Hypothyroidism can be diagnosed by a blood test. It is important that people with symptoms of the condition see their doctor who will examine them thoroughly and run tests to determine if the thyroid gland is at fault.
The disease was first described in 1849 by the English physician William Bally.
Before this, it was known that the thyroid played some role in metabolism, as administering excess thyroid extract to people with hyperthyroidism caused them to become hypothyroid.
The exact role that the thyroid plays in metabolism remained uncertain until the 1920s when it was found that a lack of iodine in the diet led to goitre and an underactive thyroid gland.
The most common cause is therefore an iodine deficiency in the diet or absence of iodine in the environment, which can be caused by radiation (for example from nuclear accidents).
Other causes include certain medications, inflammation of the thyroid, mutations in “hormone receptors” or antibodies that destroy the thyroid cells.
Less common causes can include a head or neck trauma.
Some studies and some anecdotal evidence has also suggested a link between hypothyroidism and fibromyalgia.
The role of routine testing for hypothyroidism is the subject of some controversy.
Hypothyroidism is the most frequent endocrine disorder, occurring mainly but not exclusively in women. The symptoms are often non-specific and may be easily misdiagnosed as depression, stress or other psychological problems. Doctors should be alerted to the possibility of hypothyroidism in patients who have symptoms of depression or anxiety, and especially when they are from families with a history of thyroid disease. Onset is most common in middle age, but can occur at any age. The condition has existed since antiquity.
Sources & references used in this article:
Hypothyroidism Got Your Gut Health Down? Eat Some Functional Foods! by C Calbom, J Calbom – 2008 – books.google.com
Hashimoto’s and Diet by A Sauceda – amandasauceda.com