The thyroid is a butterfly-formed Endocrine gland located in the neck. It is covered around the trachea, just below the thyroid cartilage- Adam’s apple. The major hormones of the thyroid are triiodothyronine, T3, and thyroxine, T4. T3 and T4 are together referred to as Thyroid hormones. Thyroid hormone secretion is under the control of thyroid-stimulating hormone, TSH, from the anterior pituitary. TSH, in turn, is induced by a thyrotropin-releasing hormone, TRH, produced by the hypothalamus.
They also increase oxygen intake, increase the breathing rate, heart rate, and contraction strength. Due to this, the body’s heat production is increased. Thyroid hormone secretion rises typically in the winter months to keep the body warm. Thyroid hormones are also crucial for bone growth and fetal brain development.
There are two main types of thyroid problems: Hypothyroidism: when the thyroid does not produce enough hormones, resulting in a low metabolic rate, combined with slow respiratory and cardiovascular activities.
General symptoms include tiredness, weight gain despite poor appetite, cold intolerance, slow heart rate, heavy menstrual bleeding, and constipation.
Most people who suffer from hypothyroidism are looking for a natural diet. Unfortunately, many thyroid patients will also suggest certain types of fad diets.
While the thyroid diet does have some use, it is not recommended to solely rely on one food group to meet your thyroid function needs. The thyroid needs a balanced mixture of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. People often fall into the trap of using food groups such as the low-fat category or the carbohydrates to satisfy their hunger. This nutrition approach does not work for hypothyroid patients because it does not provide the right combination of nutrients for proper thyroid function.
The first rule of thumb to follow when creating a thyroid diet is to avoid foods containing any amount of iodine, goitrogens, or goiter. These are all hormones that can mimic thyroid function and increase your risk for hypothyroidism. Foods that are exceptionally high in iodine are shellfish, spicy foods, fish, egg whites, and some types of berries. Goitrogens are found in beef, pork, and poultry. Goitrogens cause an increase in thyroid hormones that can mimic the symptoms of hypothyroidism.
Foods high in calcium are suitable for the body, but they should not be used as the sole source of nutrients. Goitrogens can also mimic thyroid hormones and increase your risk for hypothyroidism. Calcium works hand in hand with other nutrients to control the thyroid gland’s production of thyroxine and TSH. It is essential to go along with a thyroid diet with enough lean protein, fiber, calories, and fats. Remember not to go over your daily requirement of vitamins and minerals. Too much of any one thing can throw your thyroid diet off, thus causing weight gain, fatigue, and in some cases, even hypothyroidism.
It is a good idea to speak to your doctor before deciding which thyroid diet is best for your situation. Your thyroid dietitian will determine how many calories you need and what types of nutrients you need to maintain a healthy thyroid function. Your doctor may also suggest some lifestyle changes that will help you eliminate some foods from your diet that contribute to an overactive thyroid gland. They may recommend that certain foods are eliminated or only consume a portion of them. Your thyroid dietitian can provide you with information on what foods your thyroid gland responds best with.
Remember that proper thyroid function can be maintained by making sure that you have a regular blood test. Once you have been found to have an inadequate thyroid hormone level, then your thyroid dietitian will be able to provide you with a plan of action that will help you raise your thyroid hormone levels.