The thyroid is responsible for the metabolism of every cell in your body so it controls how fast or slow you burn fuel, how well your bowels move and how much energy you have, to name a few!
The thyroid gland is a complicated little thing and is influenced by thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) and produces the thyroid hormones thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3).
Hypothyroidism is the most common pathological hormone deficiency, it means that your thyroid gland is under active and is considered more common than hyperthyroidism.
Due to the dynamic interrelationship of the endocrine system, an issue with one area can often affect another. This is seen with hypothyroidism and reproductive health with low libido, infertility, menstrual irregularities, and heavy bleeding. Other signs and symptoms associated with low thyroid function include but are in no way limited to…
About 90% of hypothyroid conditions are found to be autoimmune, indicating a condition called Hashimotos. This means that the immune system mistakenly attacks the thyroid gland creating thyroid antibodies, which is definitely not ideal!
The thyroid hormones fluctuate regularly so sometimes blood test result can be misleading and need to be monitored regularly if there is a problem. The best thing that you can do is ensure the consumption of key nutrients needed for thyroid gland function.
These key nutrients include….
The brassica vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, brussel sprouts, kale and cauliflower all contain goitrogens when raw. Goitrogens, in large doses can prevent the uptake of iodine at the thyroid gland, but lightly cooking these veggies reduces their goitrogen content so still enjoy these nutritious vegetables in their cooked state.
Gluten has been implicated in autoimmune thyroid conditions so it is best to avoid gluten if you have tested positive for thyroid antibodies.
Chronic stress and subsequent excessive cortisol levels can also disrupt thyroid function. It is essential to reduce stress levels in thyroid autoimmune conditions. Every individual case is different but identify where stress is in your life and work out a way to minimise it if possible. Take some time out for yourself to do activities you enjoy and when you find yourself in a highly stressed state take 10 deep diaphragmatic breaths to calm down and let your adrenal glands know that all is ok. It is important to reduce stimulants in your diet such as caffeine.
Hopefully this has given you some insight into what you can do to keep your thyroid gland healthy and functioning optimally!