Your thyroid gland is a small gland located in the neck and serves two main purposes that are essential to the overall health of the body: the digestion process and the overall metabolism. It’s hard to believe that this 2-inch gland also controls the calcium concentration, your body temperature, burns calories and regulates your heartbeat. An imbalance in the thyroid hormone can cause the metabolism to slow down, resulting in lower energy levels and weight gain.
What is Thyroid?
Thyroid is a gland that controls many main processes in your body. A malfunction of this organ can cause some serious health problems. Many people who have thyroid problems often misdiagnose the symptoms of this disorder as they are similar to other health issues. There are two main types of thyroid disorders:
- Hyperthyroidism- This is characterised by an over active thyroid and symptoms include insomnia, muscle weakness and weight loss.
- Hypothyroidism- This is characterised by an under active thyroid and symptoms include depression, dry skin and lack of energy.
Thyroid disorders are an autoimmune condition where the immune system attacks the thyroid gland. It can be the result of exposure to radiation, iodine deficiency or an allergy towards foods that contain gluten.
How can you manage thyroid hormone levels naturally?
To manage thyroid hormone levels, you need to identify the root cause of the imbalance in your immune system and focus on repressing the symptoms. While medication can help, making certain lifestyle changes can also reduce the symptoms at their source. Here are a few ways you can manage thyroid hormone levels naturally:
- Increase your iodine levels
One of the main causes of thyroid imbalance is iodine deficiency. Iodine is essential for your body as it regulates the hormones produced by the thyroid gland, but many of the foods we consume don’t contain enough of it.
You can check for this symptom by performing a self-iodine deficiency test at home using an iodine patch or visit a reputed diagnostic centre for a reliable test. If you find that you are deficient of this mineral, try adding foods such as fish and dairy products.
- Cut out sugars
Sugar is the root cause of many health conditions and cutting it out of your diet can prevent numerous health problems like diabetes. If you suffer from any of the symptoms of thyroid imbalance, your first step should be to reduce consumption of foods that contain processed sugars. Eating and drinking too much sugar can affect the T-cells in the blood that fight bacterial infections. Depending on how much sugar you consume, your immune levels can shut down for at least a couple of hours. An attack on the immune system inadvertently leads to thyroid imbalance.
- Avoid radiation exposure
Exposure to radiation is known to increase the likelihood of developing thyroid issues. Therefore, if you experience symptoms of thyroid imbalance, you may need to reduce the use of electronic devices such as laptops and mobile devices. For medical procedures such as X-Rays and MRIs, you need to request a collar to shield your throat from the radiation. If you have a job that requires working long hours in front of a computer, make sure to incorporate a relaxing activity into your schedule like yoga and meditation.
- Avoid foods with gluten
Although not much research has been conducted, many doctors believe that there is a strong relationship between gluten and thyroid imbalance. Gluten is a glue-like protein that is found in wheat-based foods such as bread and pasta. When this food passes through the bloodstream, the immune system detects a foreign element in the body (gluten) and will attack it with antibodies. When the immune system mistakes gluten for thyroid hormones, it can create an imbalance in the body and cause a malfunction of the thyroid gland.
- Eat fatty foods
There are two types of fats that exist, the bad fats that exist in ice-creams and chocolate and the good fats, present in meat and dairy. When we consume the wrong fats, our body takes this as a sign to create hormones that contain the same elements as bad fats. These irregular hormones can have a negative impact on the body, resulting in weight gain and mood swings. If you notice thyroid symptoms, they can be managed with a simple change in your diet to include more good fats and less unsaturated fats, like those present in vegetable oil.
- Get more glutathione
Glutathione is an antioxidant that is present in many foods such as spinach and avocados. It has the ability to regulate the immune system and protect the thyroid tissue. However, glutathione-rich foods that are stored for too long or used as part of your cooking lose their benefits and are not easily absorbed by the body. Hence, it is recommended that you consume fresh foods as soon as they are bought to get the full benefit of glutathione.
- Eat nutrient-rich foods
Not getting the right nutrients is not the root cause of thyroid imbalance but it can aggravate the symptoms. The main nutrients you need are Vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids, Vitamin A and B. An optimal level of Vitamin D is 50-80 ng/mL per day, and it can be found in fish and cheese. Omega-3 fatty acids are present in foods like walnuts and salmon.
Thyroid imbalance is an autoimmune disease that can be managed with simple changes to your lifestyle. You can use the tips mentioned above to lead a healthy and normal life even if you have a thyroid-related issue. Getting a preventative health checkup once a year can also help rule out any symptoms of thyroid imbalance or treat it before it gets more serious. You can visit your nearest Neuberg Diagnostics centre for a complete health checkup!