How to Support Your Thyroid Gland Without Medication

Your thyroid gland sits just below your Adam’s apple. As a gland that secretes hormones that have a direct effect on everything from your metabolism to your energy levels to cholesterol levels and even to your memory.

A properly functioning thyroid allows you to feel great. However, when it is not doing its job, you will have symptoms of hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism.

Hypothyroidism (an under active thyroid) is a disorder which leads one to feel tired, suffer from constipation, depression, weight gain, and a poor ability to tolerate cold.

Hyperthyroidism happens when the thyroid gland produces too much thyroid hormone thyroxine and is also referred to as an overactive thyroid. This can be caused by Grave’s disease (an autoimmune disorder), nodules or lumps on the thyroid gland, or a swollen thyroid during inflammation of the gland, called thyroiditis. Symptoms include unexplained weight loss, excessive sweating, more bowel movements than usual, hair thinning or loss, shakiness, fatigue or muscle weakness, nervousness or irritability, and a racing heartbeat.

While some doctors will recommend treatment that involves the daily use of synthetic thyroid hormones, it’s understandable why most people would prefer to treat symptoms naturally.

A proper diet and healthy lifestyle is your first line of defense. Here’s how you can support your thyroid gland and combat the symptoms of an underactive or overactive thyroid gland without medication:

You should be aware of which foods to avoid and which foods are essential for the proper functioning of the thyroid gland.

Here are foods you want to avoid in order to support your thyroid

Sugar 

Sugar is very disruptive to one’s health, causing inflammation, insulin resistance, fatty liver and more. The spikes in insulin can cause disease of the thyroid gland, compromising it and leading to a slowing the of the removal of sugar from the bloodstream.

Refined Flour Products

Food made with refined carbohydrates negatively impacts hormone levels, contributing to weight gain. Refined carbohydrates include enriched white wheat flour, white bread, cereals, white pasta, and any other grains that have been processed and refined.

Unsaturated fatty acids

Unsaturated fats block thyroid hormone release, and its effect on tissues. When the thyroid hormone is deficient, the body is exposed to higher levels of estrogen because the thyroid hormone helps in the production of progesterone and pregnenolone, so these hormones are lowered when thyroid function is lowered.

Tap Water

Iodine is essential to proper thyroid function. Tap water contains fluorine and chlorine that inhibit iodine absorption.

The following are foods and lifestyle habits that support thyroid function:

Nutrition 

Coconut Oil

Unlike polyunsaturated fats, coconut oil is rich in lauric acid, and medium chain triglycerides. Its unique structure makes it a highly usable source of energy for the body and its composition of fat is nourishing to the thyroid and considered a thyroid-boosting oil. When added regularly to your diet, coconut oil can bring your cholesterol levels to normal.

Iodine-rich Foods

According to a case study led by Yasmin Lopez published in the Journal of Physiology and Biochemistry, regular iodine intake through the diet can improve hypothyroidism treatment. The study involved food naturally containing iodine. [1] Foods that are rich in iodine include cranberries, organic strawberries, navy beans but mostly sea vegetables.

In the case of sea vegetables, please do not go overboard on them or you may find yourself with a hyperactive thyroid.

Selenium-rich Foods

Selenium is a powerful protector of the thyroid and regulates the production of free radicles within the gland. Brazil nuts are exceptionally high in selenium, and it only takes one or two per day to improve your selenium status and boost immune function.

Exercise 

Exercise helps reduce the symptoms of thyroid diseases by stabilizing metabolism, weight and energy levels. People with hypothyroidism can benefit from regular exercise as it offers a natural antidote to symptoms such as weight gain, muscle loss, low energy levels, and depression.

Regular aerobic exercise can boost levels of T4 and T3 which, in turn, lessen the negative side effects of thyroid disorders.

In conclusion, a nutritious diet and healthy living are critical to a properly functioning thyroid. Eat a whole food diet which includes thyroid supporting foods, manage your stress levels, and exercise regularly to naturally take control of your thyroid function.

 

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Reference: 

[1] Lopez Y, Franco C, Cepeda A, Vázquez B. Constant iodine intake through the diet could improve hypothyroidism treatment. 2018 Feb;74(1):189-193.

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