Hypothyroidism is a condition in which your thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough thyroid hormones. The thyroid is an endocrine gland which is located in your neck which secrets thyroid hormone to regulate your bodily functions. The condition mainly affects women than men. The treatment for the same is simple and safe. The condition is treated by supplementing the low hormonal level with an artificial hormone which will replace what your body is not able to produce.
Signs and symptoms of hypothyroidism:
The signs of hypothyroidism vary from person to person. Weight gain and fatigue is the earliest signs to appear. But these signs are so common in old age that you may miss out that your thyroid gland is malfunctioning. The symptoms progress over the course of time, and as the symptoms get worse, the condition can easily be diagnosed. If you are facing following signs and symptoms consider visiting a doctor:
- Dry skin
- Weight gain
- Muscle weakness
- High blood cholesterol
- Thinning of hair
- Impaired memory
- Menstrual changes
- Muscle stiffness
- Feeling excessive cold
- Reduced sweating
- Puffy face
Usually, hypothyroidism is a result of the body’s autoimmune response. Hashimoto’s disease is an autoimmune condition which causes your thyroid gland to become underactive. It is commonly found in family members.
Although changing your diet and lifestyle alone cannot treat the condition yet it can make you feel healthy as it can improve the absorption of thyroid hormone.
Food that you should eat
The food rich in nutrients can improve the functioning of your thyroid gland. Certain supplements are also very helpful in this condition. The food that you should consume includes:
- Fresh fruits and vegetables – The food that is rich in antioxidants can improve your overall health and can also make your thyroid healthy. Food that includes tomatoes, blueberries and bell peppers are very high in antioxidants. Additionally, food that is a rich source of Vitamin B like whole grains can also be very beneficial.
- Selenium – Selenium rich food like Brazil nuts and sunflower seeds can prove to be very good to make your thyroid hormones work properly.
- Tyrosine – Tyrosine is an amino acid which is used by the gland to produce T3 and T4 hormones. Tyrosine is found in dairy, meat and legumes. You can also take supplements if your doctor prescribes you.
Food that you should not consume
Apart from keeping track of what you should eat, you should also focus on what you should avoid eating. There are foods that can interfere with the proper functioning of the thyroid gland making the condition worse. The food that you should avoid is:
- Iodine rich food – When hypothyroidism is due to iodine deficiency then you should eat iodine rich food. But consuming too much of iodine can have the opposite effect, and it can further suppress the functioning of thyroid gland. You should consult your doctor before starting any iodine supplements on your own.
- Soy – Soy contains phytoestrogens which can inhibit the activity of the enzymes that are responsible for making thyroid hormones. One study also found that women who consumed soy regularly were three times more likely to develop hypothyroidism.
- Fibrous food – High fibre diet is usually recommended in hypothyroidism but eating too much of fibres after taking the medication can interfere with its absorption. You should at least wait for two hours after taking medications before you eat a high fibre meal.
- Calcium supplements – Calcium supplements can interfere with the medication of the hypothyroidism so it should be avoided.
- Some vegetables – Some cruciferous vegetables which are high in fibre like cabbage, broccoli. Kale, spinach and Brussels sprouts can inhibit the effectiveness of the medication. Reducing the amount of intake of such vegetables can help you in making your medication to work more efficiently.
Following a healthy lifestyle will reduce your symptoms of hypothyroidism, and it can also improve your overall health. Few other herbal supplements like Ashwagandha, Gotu Kola and guggul is also said to have a positive effect in hypothyroidism. Always discuss with your doctor before taking any supplements and have a routine checkup so that you can find out how your lifestyle and eating habits are affecting your bodily functions.0