The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland in your neck, just above your collarbone. The thyroid uses iodine, a mineral found in some foods and in iodized salt, to make its hormones. The two most important thyroid hormones are thyroxin (T4) and triiodothyronine ( T3). Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), which is produced by the pituitary gland acts to stimulate hormone production by the thyroid gland.
The thyroid gland also makes the hormone calcitonin, which is involved in calcium metabolism and stimulating bone cells to add calcium to bone. The thyroid glands controlled by the pituitary gland and hypothalamus.
Thyroid hormones control the rate of many activities in your body. These include how fast you burn calories and how fast your heartbeats. All of these activities are your body’s metabolism. Diseases and conditions affect thyroid function, which causes thyroid problems.
There are many types of Thyroid problems, they are:
# Goiter – Enlargement of the thyroid gland.
# Hyperthyroidism– When your thyroid gland makes more thyroid hormones than your body needs.
# Hypothyroidism– When your thyroid gland does not make enough thyroid hormones.
# Thyroid Cancer
# Thyroid nodules– Lumps in thyroid
# Thyroiditis– Swelling of the thyroid
Hypothyroidism and Hyperthyroidism are the main thyroid problems facing most of the peoples.
Symptoms of Hyperthyroidism (Overactive thyroid)
- Nervousness or irritability
- Muscle Weakness
- Trouble tolerating heat
- Trouble sleeping
- Frequent bowel movements or diarrhoea
- Weight loss
- Mood Swings
Symptoms of Hypothyroidism (Underactive thyroid)
- A puffy face
- Joint and muscle pain
- Dry skin
- Dry and thinning hair
- Decreased sweating
- Heavy or irregular menstrual periods
- Fertility problems in women
- Slowed heart rate
Diet is the major important role for Thyroid problems. Here are some Home Remedies to treat Thyroid.
- Ginger: Ginger is easily available. It is rich in minerals like potassium and magnesium and it is also very good for inflammation. So ginger is good for thyroid issues. It is easiest to have ginger tea and also be used as an essential oil.
- Apple Cider Vinegar: It helps in balanced production and expression of hormones. It improves metabolism and helps to alkalize the body environment. It also helps to regulate body fats, wash away toxins from the body and absorbs nutrients. Apple cider vinegar can be added with water along with honey can be taken every day.
- Vitamin D: Deficiency of Vitamin D can lead to thyroid problems. Since the body can produce it only when exposed to the sun (a minimum of 15 minutes of sunlight daily). This will lead to Calcium absorption and for good immunity. Foods such as Vit D are fatty fishes like Salmon and Mackerel, dairy products, orange, egg yolk etc.
- Coconut Oil: Coconut oil has medium-chain fatty acids that help in better functioning of the thyroid gland. It specifically when taken in non-heated form, helps lose weight, increases metabolism and balances body temperature.
- Beans: Beans are the powerhouse of nutrients. It is rich in fibre, protein, Vitamins, minerals etc. Eating beans regularly has been shown to improve thyroid function.
- Flax seeds: Flax seeds are rich in Omega 3 fatty acids that are good for heart and thyroid. It is also rich in magnesium and Vitamin B12.
- Iodine Supplements: Iodine supplements are very good for thyroid function. These will restore the balance of iodine in the body and good for thyroid health.
- Selenium: Selenium supports efficient thyroid synthesis and metabolism. It may also reduce levels of antibodies against thyroid peroxidase-an enzyme that plays an important role in the production of thyroid hormones- in people with hypothyroidism. Foods rich in selenium are tuna, shrimp, salmon, sardines, lamb, chicken, beef, turkey, eggs.
- Zinc: Zinc plays an important role in the conversion of T4 to T3. It is also beneficial in improving thyroid function and hormone levels. Sources of zinc include shellfish, meat, legumes and nuts.
- Regular exercise: Exercise is very important for good thyroid functioning. Exercising increases metabolic activity, this helps burn more calories and helps keep weight down.
Dietary micronutrients play an important role in the synthesis of thyroid hormones. Iodine remains the cornerstone with an increasing focus on other nutrients like selenium and zinc. Iodine consumption is a double-edged sword with disorders emanating for both the deficiency and excess consumption. The best advice for all of them is to consume a healthy balanced diet, meet the daily requirement and eliminate the most potent goitrogenic substances like broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, mustard greens, Brussels sprouts etc. from the diet.
Dt. Asha Sreejith Dietitian & Nutritionist