Thyroid function is important to every cell in your body. It has a huge impact on temperature, metabolism, immunity, hormones, heart rate, and blood pressure. Do you realize what factors may suppress the function of this important gland? You need to learn this information to help your overall health and wellness.
Genetics: Thyroid dysfunction often has genetic links. Often, you will find grandparents, parents and siblings all with thyroid dysfunction. If your parents were extremely thin or overweight, there may be a genetic thyroid problem. Even if they were never diagnosed, you should get yourself thyroid function checked out.
Exercise: Helps the thyroid gland to work more effectively. Losing weight helps your whole body to work more effectively including your whole hormonal system.
Pregnancy: Pregnancy can sometimes disrupt thyroid function. Some women suffer from hypothyroidism after the birth of their child. During pregnancy and child birth, your thyroid status can shift from hypo to hyper and back.
If you are having postpartum depression and other symptoms after the birth of your child, you should get your thyroid checked.
Alcohol: Medical research has proven that chronic alcohol use is bad for your thyroid function. It has an even worse effect when you are pregnant. Alcohol depresses thyroid function in both the mother and the fetus. It is generally advised by doctors not to drink when pregnant.
Caffeine: stimulant; has been shown to cause fluctuations in thyroid hormone production. In hypothyroidism you feel these hormonal changes more severely.
Smoking: Research indicates that people who smoke have elevated thyroid levels and decreased TSH levels. This gives a smoker a greater risk for Graves Disease. Graves’s disease is the severe form of chronic hyperthyroidism.
Fluoride: Research has shown to have a negative impact on thyroid function.
Diet That Affects Thyroid Function:
Iodine Deficient Diet: People used to use iodized salt. With the current advice to avoid table salt, there may be more hypothyroid cases now. Processed foods may contain salt but not iodized salt.
Non-Organic Foods: Dairy, meat, and chicken products that contain antibiotics, hormones, and growth stimulants put a toxic load on the whole body including the Thyroid and entire endocrine system.
Vegetables to Avoid: Certain vegetables contain goitrogen which blocks iodine absorption and interferes with thyroid effectiveness. When you eat these foods cooked this substance is no longer a problem. Vegetables that contain goitrogen include: cabbage, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, broccoli, rutabaga, kale turnips, mustard greens, spinach, sweet potatoes, and watercress.
Nuts, Grains, and Fruits to Avoid: Millet, peanuts, soybeans, lima beans, pine nuts, strawberries, and peaches.
Soy Products: Most soy products are now genetically modified food. That fact alone should make you wary of eating it. Soy milk contains aluminum residue from the aluminum tanks it is processed in. There is much evidence that soy milk and soy products are negative to both thyroid and hormone health. You would never think this could be true from watching the ads on television. It is supposed to be the greatest food in the world.
There is much evidence to the dark side of soy beans. Soy naturally contains phytoestrogens that disrupt thyroid, endocrine, and hormonal imbalance. Soy contains goitrogens like some vegetables listed above. Goitrogens have a negative impact on the thyroid by slowing thyroid function and encouraging thyroid disease. Goitrogens promote the growth of goiter or an enlarged thyroid. Along with goitrogens, soy contains the isoflavones, genistein and equol. These isoflavones have been shown toxic to tissues sensitive to estrogen and to the thyroid gland.
Fermented Soy Products: In Asia soy is fermented for over a year. It is typically used as Miso, Tempeh, and Natto. Fermented soy products, if not genetically modified, do not seem to have the same negative thyroid impact. It is a sad fact that most soy is genetically modified in this country.
Cooking Oils to Avoid: Highly processed oils, cooking oils and margarine that are soybean based. Read labels and use quality extra virgin olive oil, Moringa oil, or coconut oil instead.
Refined Sugar: Has a negative effect on the whole body including thyroid function.
Drugs: This list can affect thyroid function and testing: lithium; birth control pills; estrogen; heroin and methadone; anti-inflammatory drugs: nicotine; beta blockers; corticosteroids; iodides found in many prescriptions. This list is not complete.
Herbs and Supplements that support healthy thyroid function: Kelp is the main one usually found in herbal thyroid formulas.Kelp contains iodine. You need to make sure that you are hypothyroid. Even thin women, which can be a sign of hyperthyroidism, may be instead hypothyroid. To know takes medical evaluation. Tests will at least show more severe forms of thyroid imbalance. If you are found to be hyperthyroid, you do not want to make it worse.
The proper utilization of iodine in the body requires Vitamin E, Vitamin A, Vitamin C and B complex.
Tyrosine an amino acid: Tyrosine combines with iodine in the manufacture of thyroid hormone. Foods high in tyrosine include almonds, avocados, bananas, eggs, fish, oats, and sesame seeds. Tyrosine can be purchased as a supplement as well.