How to manage Hypothyroidism - 5 Natural Remedies
Shaped like a butterfly, the thyroid gland rests in the middle of the lower neck just below Adam’s apple. It is small in size and weighs less than an ounce - but is a powerful gland. From heart rate to metabolism and brain to digestive tract, it controls the rate at which every cell, tissue, and organ in your body functions. It produces thyroid hormone (T3 & T4), which controls how fast and efficient cells convert nutrients into energy – the chemical activity that we call metabolism. With so many functions to perform, if the balance is off, it is important to manage hypothyroidism.
Before learning how to manage hypothyroidism, you need to know - what is hypothyroidism? When the secretion of the thyroid hormone is not stable, which means the thyroid gland is under or overproducing these hormones, it can throw your metabolism off balance. An underactive thyroid gland produces too little thyroid hormones, which slows down the cells and organs of the body. This is called Hypothyroidism. If one becomes hypothyroid, the heart rate, for example, may be slower than normal and the intestines work sluggishly.
On the other hand, when the thyroid gland is overactive, it produces just too much of the thyroid hormones and the body cells start working faster than normal. This condition is called Hyperthyroidism.
Secondly, what causes hypothyroidism? Some of the common causes for an underachieve thyroid are:
- Autoimmune disorder Hashimoto’s thyroiditis
- Thyroid surgery
- Radiation for cancers of the head and neck
- Medications like lithium
- Over-response to hyperthyroidism treatment (this happens when people are treated with radioactive iodine or anti-thyroid medications for hyperthyroidism, and the treatment lowers thyroid production too much).
- Iodine deficiency
- Pituitary disorder (failure of the pituitary gland to produce enough thyroid-stimulating hormone or TSH).
Next - what are the symptoms of hypothyroidism? Signs that your thyroid is off-balance include the following:
- Feeling very tired
- High heart rate
- Feeling cold or overheated
- Difficulty focusing or concentrating
- Hair loss
- Weight loss
- Weight gain
Another common question is - what are the risk factors of hypothyroidism? Those who are most at risk are:
- People over 60
- People with a genetic history of thyroid disorders
- People with autoimmune diseases like celiac, diabetes
- People who are iodine-deficient.
The endocrine system, which is made up of glands that produce hormones, is responsible for growth, repair, metabolism, energy, and reproduction. So any slowing of thyroid can have crucial implications for our overall health. We show you how to manage hypothyroidism naturally, using a list of foods to eat with hypothyroidism and foods to cure hypothyroidism.
Vitamin D levels tend to be lower in people with hypothyroidism because the body needs vitamin D to produce and use thyroid hormones. So if you are looking to manage hypothyroidism, you need to add Vitamin D to your diet.
Food sources: Fortified foods, milk, sardines, and sunshine.
The body turns the mineral selenium into a powerful antioxidant called glutathione, which protects the thyroid from inflammation and oxidative stress. Selenium supports a healthy thyroid because it is essential for the conversion of the active thyroid hormone that burns calories and promotes a healthy metabolism. Selenium can worsen thyroid function if one is also experiencing iodine deficiency. Make sure for iodine status before starting selenium
Food sources: Nuts, lentils, mushrooms, lamb, beef, eggs and chicken.
Zinc is involved in the conversion of T4 to T3 hormones. It’s an important nutrient if one appears to have problems with thyroid-hormone conversion.
Food sources: Chickpeas, spinach, garlic, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds, grass-fed beef, shellfish, legumes, mushrooms, and whole grains.
Iodine is essential to manage hypothyroidism. The thyroid requires iodine, a trace mineral, to synthesise sufficient amounts of thyroid hormone, and studies show that even mild iodine deficiencies can lead to thyroid problems.
Food sources: The best way to get iodine kick is by sprinkling iodised salt into food. Other than iodized salt, the richest source of natural iodine is seaweed. You can also add milk, yogurt, paneer and eggs to your daily diet.
Fiber-rich foods help with digestive health, it also improves heart health, balances blood sugar levels, and supports a healthy weight by making you feel fuller. Getting enough fiber is good, but too much can complicate hypothyroidism treatment as excess fiber can interfere with the absorption of thyroid hormone replacement drugs. People with hypothyroidism may have digestive difficulties, so aim for 30–40 grams of fiber daily.
Food sources: Whole grains, vegetables, fruits, beans, and legumes.
Omega-3 fatty acids help in lower inflammation and enhance immunity.
Food sources: Salmon, walnuts, flax seeds, and chia seeds.
There is also a list of foods to avoid. These include:
- Cruciferous Vegetables
- Heavy Metals
- Green Tea
You can manage hypothyroidism by keeping in mind these combinations of foods for hypothyroidism and foods to avoid with hypothyroidism.
At Nutrition By Lovneet we are specialists in disease management and our hypothyroidism meal plans are designed to boost your metabolism that gets sluggish with underactive thyroid.
How do you manage hypothyroidism symptoms?
You can manage hypothyroidism with the right diet and exercise.
Can you control hypothyroidism with diet?
What is the best exercise for hypothyroidism?
Strength training is a good exercise to manage hypothyroidism.
What is the best way to find out if I am hypothyroid?
You can get a blood test to check your TSH levels.
What happens if hypothyroidism is not treated?
Not treating your hypothyroidism can lead to heart disease, goitre, trouble conceiving and other complications.