If you want to learn more about the thyroid or not sure if you have a thyroid condition, read this article to learn all about thyroid. Education is the first step towards prevention and this article is a step in that direction!

Your first step – Keep reading this article to learn more about the symptoms, thyroid prevention tips and many other useful tips like what foods to avoid, what supplements to take, etc.

What is Thyroid?

thyroid-icon

First of all, the thyroid is behind and below your Adam’s apple and it is the small butterfly shaped gland which produces two essential hormones.  T3 – triiodothyronine and T4 – thyroxine

The thyroid is known as the “master gland of metabolism” – it is critical to enable the body to get oxygen to your cells which is then converted into energy.  This energy is the fuel that drives your metabolism and how it functions.

So how do we know if our thyroid is working properly and if we are releasing the proper amount of hormones into our system?

The thyroid is part of a feedback process that tells the body how much energy to release. If the process is not working properly, thyroid symptoms develop.  The most common feedback we receive is that the body’s immune defenses break down. In the case of a break down, the thyroid identifies this as a foreign object in our body and eventually destroys our thyroid.

Types of Thyroid Conditions

When the break down of the body hormones occur, there may be a variety of thyroid-related disorders that occur and some of these are shared below:

Hypothyroidism : Under-Active Thyroid

What is hypothyroidism?

Hypothyroidism or under-active thyroid means that not enough hormones are being produced which slows down your bodily functions and in turn reduces your metabolism!

In this case, you may see the following symptoms:

  • you feel exhausted / fatigued
  • depressed / moody
  • you are sensitive to the cold
  • difficult to lose weight
  • hair is dry / easily tangled
  • loss of hair
  • dry nails
  • muscle aches
  • carpal tunnel
  • soles of feet painful

Hyperthyroidism : Over-Active Thyroid

What is hyperthyroidism?

Hyperthyroidism or over-active thyroid means too many hormones are being produced in our body which causes rapid heart rates, high blood pressure and other concerns. One of the causes may be autoimmune disease which may attack the thyroid and cause it to be enlarged.

If you are faced with hyperthyroidism, you may experience any or all of the following symptoms:

  • Rapidly lose weight even though you are eating
  • You have a hard time to fall asleep
  • Suffer from anxiety / nervousness / panic attacks
  • Difficulty concentrating

Other Types of Thyroid Problems

Other conditions of thyroid problems include:

Goiter – enlarged thyroid

Nodules  – Benign lumps that grow in the thyroid

Thyroid cancer – Malignant lumps

Thyroid symptoms can occur at any time and especially during hormonal changes such as childbirth or menopause. Factors that can also be explored with your doctor include: family history, autoimmune diseases or radiation to the thyroid area.

Action Plan if You Have Any of the Above Symptoms!

  1. This is the GOLDEN Rule – In case you suspect that you have a thyroid problem, please see your doctor immediately.
  2. Don’t neglect these signs and go for a thorough examination by your family doctor.
  3. Your doctor may recommend you to have a blood test if they suspect any signs of thyroid problems and you should follow this advice.

Natural Supplements You may Like to Talk to Your Doctor

Here is a list of natural supplements you may like to talk to your doctor before taking any:

  1. Multivitamins:  Vitamin A, B, C, and E
  2. Probiotics:  Containing good bacteria
  3. Zinc:  Helps prevent decline of T3
  4. Selenium:  Activates the enzyme that controls the thyroid by converting T4 to T3
  5. L-tyrosine: Amino acid helps in the creation of hormones and releasing the hormones in the system
  6. Guggul:  Prevention of sluggish metabolism.  It increases intake of oxygen
  7. Iron:  The thyroid is deprived if you are low in iron. Supports the production of T4 to T3 and conversion of T4 to T3.   Remember to take iron three or four hours apart of thyroid medication as it may interfere with your thyroid supplements.

Besides the above, Essential Fatty Acids (EFA’s) are highly recommended by doctors.

Dr. Udo Erasmus, author of “Fats That Heal, Fats That Kill” believes that essential fatty acids are critical to proper thyroid maintenance:

1. Required for structural integrity of the membrane of every cell

2. Increases energy levels

3. Omega 3’s improve the body’s ability to detect and respond to the thyroid hormones.

Foods to Avoid if You have a Thyroid Condition!

While it is important that you should take a proper diet and do daily exercises besides taking supplements, it is also important to note that you should avoid some of the following foods (especially raw):

Broccoli, Cabbage, Kale, Millet, Radishes, Rutabaga, Turnips, Brussels sprouts, Cauliflower, Mustard, Watercress, Beets, Celery, Parsnips, Carrots, Corn, Red / sweet / white Potatoes, Yams

Diet You may Like to Consider if You Have a Thyroid Condition & Want to Lose Weight

Try a carbohydrate sensitive diet and strictly limit starches in your diet to achieve your weight loss goals.

Lean protein – 4 to 6 servings / day

Low Glycemic Fruits and Vegetables

Good Fat – One per serving per meal

Snack – 1 – 2 per day (Do not eat after 7pm)

Water – 64 oz

Fiber – 25 grams per day

As you experiment with your diet – you will be able to achieve greater success in staying healthier – losing weight – and feeling better!

Enjoy and be healthy!

Jane Brown

PS: Watch out for my next article on thyroid as I will share many more useful tips on how to better manage thyroid with healthy lifestyle tips.

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