Your thyroid, a butterfly shaped hormone producing gland in your neck, impacts every cell, tissue, and organ of your body. It regulates body temperature, it manages weight loss, keeps your metabolism up, is very much needed for the production of energy, and vital for your overall health and well-being.
Hypothyroidism, or an underactive thyroid gland, is the most common form of a thyroid disorder and has become a silent epidemic in our modern world. People can suffer for years without being diagnosed as the symptoms mimic other diseases and complaints are often vague and scattered.
What Causes Hypothyroidism?
Hashimoto’s diseases is the most common cause (90%) of hypothyroidism in the US. Hashimoto’s is an autoimmune diseases were your own body attacks your thyroid gland resulting in inflammation and an underactive thyroid gland. Although middle-aged women are at highest risk, it also can occur in men, women, and children of all ages.
Other causes linked to an underactive thyroid include iodine deficiencies, use of certain medications (lithium, corticosteroids, antihistamines, and anti-depressants), radiation, heavy metal exposure, food intolerances, and hormone imbalances.
Hypothyroidism Symptoms In A Nutshell
These symptoms are vague and often overlooked or misdiagnosed. If you suspect a thyroid disorder, make sure to get your blood checked.
- Extreme fatigue
- Brain fog
- Mood swings
- Unexplainable weight gain or difficulties in losing weight
- Chills in extremities
- Sensitive to cold
- Sugar cravings
- Menstrual issues
10 Ways To Treat Hypothyroidism Naturally
Your number one line of defense is making dietary changes to support and heal your thyroid. Hypothyroid medication is highly addictive, so for those who have been taking these for years, slowly reduce your intake and discuss it with your doctor first. Abruptly stopping thyroid medication can push you further down the lane and cause more thyroid issues and exhaustion.
1. Healthy Fats Are Essential
Reduce or eliminate caffeine, sugar, artificial sweeteners, refined carbs, and processed foods as much as possible, and increase your intake of healthy sources of protein and healthy fats
Healthy fats and cholesterol are the building blocks of your hormones, including your thyroid hormones. Not getting enough of these healthy fats may lead to hormone imbalances and an underactive thyroid gland. Healthy fats include avocado, coconut oil or milk, ghee, olive oil, fish, nuts, and seeds.
Stay as far as possible from hydrogenated polyunsaturated fats like canola, soy, and corn oil. These interfere with the production of thyroid hormone.
2. Up The Protein
Proteins are another essential macronutrient. They transport thyroid hormones to your cells, tissues, and organs. So make sure to get enough healthy, preferably plant-based proteins with every meal to help normalize your thyroid function.
3. Include More Iodine-rich Foods Into Your Diet
Your body uses iodine for the production of thyroid hormone. Not getting enough of this essential mineral through the food you eat can lead to an underactive thyroid gland. If you are planning to take iodine supplements, contact your doctor first.
Natural sources of iodine include fish, shellfish, sea vegetables, nettle tea, asparagus, garlic, Himalayan salt, eggs, yogurt, beans, and mushrooms.
4. Address Glutathione Deficiencies
Glutathione is an antioxidant known to strengthen the immune system and heal thyroid tissue. Although your liver can make its own, poor dietary habits and chronic stress can lead to a glutathione deficiencies. Foods that contain glutathione or stimulate your liver to produce more include: asparagus, avocados, garlic, grapefruit, turmeric, organic red meat, potatoes, carrots, avocados, tomatoes, bananas, and eggs.
Many cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, kale, etc… also contain high levels of glutathione, but if you struggle with hypothyroidism you should be mindful and not add them too much to your diet. I’ll come back to that in just a sec.
5. Be Mindful About Goitrogens
Goitrogens are compounds that make it more difficult for your thyroid to create its hormones and work properly. You may be surprised by how many healthy, natural foods contain goitrogens. To name a few, kale, broccoli, cabbage, watercress, peaches, pears, strawberries, millet, almonds, and peanuts.
Today, many people are avoiding and eliminating these foods from their diet and that’s actually a real shame. Although these foods contain goitrogens, they can easily be limited by reducing the portion size or steaming the vegetables before you eat them.
So no need to avoid these foods, just be mindful about them when eaten raw.
6. Eliminate Soy
Soy contains phytoestrogens and goitrogens that can seriously mess up your hormones and can slow your thyroid down. Several studies associate soy with an increased risk of developing thyroid issues. All soy products should be eliminated as soy is definitely not a health food. Not only does it mess up hormones, it can cause other health issue like cancer, birth defects, and infertility. Click here to read more.
7. Going Gluten-Free
Food sensitivities, such as gluten-intolerance, can be the culprit of an underactive thyroid gland. Especially when you suffer Hasimoto’s diseases it is important to eliminate gluten from your diet. Gluten are almost identical in their molecular structure to your thyroid tissue and can trigger or worsen the autoimmune reaction that attacks your thyroid gland.
8. Take Care Of Your Adrenal Gland
Your adrenal gland and thyroid work closely together. Adrenal fatigue is not uncommon for people who suffer hypothyroidism.
9. Eliminate Thyroid Disruptors
We’ve talked about certain food sources, like soy and gluten, which can hurt your thyroid. Well there are a few other things you should eliminate as well to prevent damage to your thyroid gland. These include eliminating non-stick cookware, BPAs found in plastic bottles, and heavy metals.
10. Ask For The Thyroid Collar
Your thyroid is sensitive to radiation, if you are getting and X-ray at the dentist make sure to ask for the thyroid collar to protect your gland.
Your thyroid will need some time to heal. Remember your diet is your number one defense to heal your body from the inside out.
If you are serious about losing weight and changing your diet without feeling hungry and counting calories, click here.