Our thyroid is the helmsman of our metabolic rate. It creates hormones, regulates the feature of organs as well as controls numerous cell processes. If our thyroid does not perform its tasks and produces too little thyroid hormone, we also speak of an underactive thyroid.
An underactive thyroid is often the result of an impaired immune system. Hashimoto’s inflammation of the thyroid gland (Hashimoto’s thyroiditis) affects around 90% of all people with hypothyroidism. The body immune system wrongly attacks as well as damages the tissue of the thyroid gland. The thyroid gland itself rarely causes an underactive thyroid.
An underactive thyroid can go undetected for years. Symptoms that occur are often ignored, incorrectly diagnosed or only treated symptomatically. One of the most usual signs and symptoms of an underactive thyroid consist of fatigue, increased sensitivity to cold, constipation, dry skin, swollen face, hoarse voice, unexplained weight gain, depression, muscle cramps and brittle fingernails and hair.
In general, there is no pill for an underactive thyroid. An underactive thyroid must be treated based on the cause. Daily nutrition is an important key to successfully treating hypothyroidism.
Avoid sugar & Co.
Constant fatigue and hazy thinking are common symptoms of hypothyroidism. To maintain energy, the solution is, therefore, often sought in sugar and caffeine. Both revive the body for a short time, ultimately making the situation worse. A lot of sugar, alcohol, gluten and coffee cause chronic inflammatory processes in the body.
In chronic inflammation, various cells in the body produce chemicals and cause enormous damage inside. These inflammations cause oxidative damage in the cells.
Proteins are the transporters of thyroid hormones. They transport the hormones to all tissues and help normalize the thyroid function.
Proteins should be consumed with every meal of the day for adequate protein supply. Proteins are found in nuts, quinoa, cold-water fish, legumes and eggs.
Fats and cholesterol stimulate the production of hormones in the body. The body can produce cholesterol independently. 80% of the cholesterol production takes place in the liver, whereby in emergency situations, every cell would be able to produce it itself.
A good fat supply is essential for the body. In particular, omega three fatty acids must be ingested through food. Omega 3 fatty acids also have an anti-inflammatory effect in the body and strengthen the immune system.
Omega 3 fatty acids are mainly found in cold-water fish, linseed, chia seeds and walnuts.
Coconut oil consists of almost 50% medium-chain fatty acids, which are particularly beneficial for hypothyroidism. Coconut oil stimulates the function of the thyroid gland, stimulates the metabolism and acts as a natural energy booster. According to studies, coconut oil can increase thyroid function by as much as 20%.
Coconut oil also helps burn fat, raises the basal body temperature and improves the skin.
Coconut oil can be used in cooking, fits well in smoothies, or can simply be sucked several times a day. The dosage is two tablespoons of coconut oil per day.
A lack of important micronutrients and minerals can negatively affect the symptoms of an underactive thyroid. Vitamin D, iron, omega three fatty acids, selenium, zinc, copper, vitamin A, B vitamins and iodine are vital for the body and a healthy thyroid.
Fresh vegetables, berries, legumes and pseudo-cereals such as quinoa and amaranth provide a lot of nutrients and can reduce the symptoms of an underactive thyroid. Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and kale should be reduced if you have thyroid problems. They contain goitrogens, which can disrupt the functioning of a thyroid gland.
A vitamin D deficiency leads to various functional disorders of the body and diseases. Vitamin D deficiency is also often associated with thyroid disease.
The best source of vitamin D is sunlight. Twenty minutes of sun exposure to the skin is enough. During the sun’s rays, vitamin D is formed from the cholesterol in the body and used for a number of cell processes.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar helps detoxify the body. It rebalances the acid-base balance, helps you lose weight and helps regulate hormone production. Apple cider vinegar also provides more energy, strengthens the stomach acid and has an anti-inflammatory effect.
Merely mix 1 tbsp of apple cider vinegar in a glass of water and drink 30 minutes before breakfast every morning.
Ginger is a natural source of zinc, magnesium and potassium. It has an anti-inflammatory effect and supports the function of the thyroid gland when consumed regularly.
Ginger tastes very good in tea and goes well with soups and other dishes.
Underactive thyroid and iodine
It is often believed that iodine deficiency is the cause of an underactive thyroid. This may also be the case for some people affected. However, iodine supplements and iodized salt can worsen the condition in a majority of those with autoimmune thyroid disease and Hashimoto. Especially in combination with a selenium deficiency, and increased iodine intake can boost the autoimmune assault on the thyroid. Iodine affects the activity of an enzyme called thyroid peroxidase (TPO). TPO is required for the proper production of thyroid hormones.
In turn, selenium protects against the effects of iodine toxicity and prevents damage to the thyroid gland that can arise from an excessive supply of iodine.
The 24-hour urine collection is a great way to check iodine levels. A simple blood test is often inaccurate and is often not enough.
If a specific iodine deficiency is found, iodine-containing foods should be consumed in combination with selenium-containing foods. Iodine is abundant in the brown seawater algae kelp and in smaller amounts in eggs, asparagus, lima beans, mushrooms, spinach, sesame, pumpkin, chard and garlic.
Lentils, asparagus, peanuts, coconuts, Brazil nuts and eggs are natural sources of selenium.
Note: Consultation with the doctor should be made regarding the individual dosage of iodine and selenium.
Diet plays a very important role in an underactive thyroid. Various foods can boost thyroid function and reduce symptoms.
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