Hypothyroidism, or low thyroid function, is a silent epidemic. It can cause symptoms that affect the way you feel, the way you look, and even the way you sound. Weight loss is only one of the many things your thyroid function effects. This little butterfly-shaped gland in the neck is your chief gland of energy and metabolism and is like a master lever that fires up the genes that keep cells doing their jobs. You can think of the thyroid as a fundamental mechanism in a complex machine, as every cell in your body has thyroid hormone receptors.
While the early signs and symptoms of hypothyroidism might go unnoticed and undetected, the later stages of hypothyroidism can prove to be a dangerous disease.
Physical symptoms of hypothyroidism include:
- Weight gain (due to fluid retention)
- Dry skin
- Yellow skin
- Hair loss, including the eyebrows
- Swollen face, hands, legs, ankles, or feet
- Feeling cold
- Aches and pains in muscles or joints
- Hoarse or raspy voice
- Heavy menstrual bleeding or irregular periods
Cognitive and mood related symptoms of hypothyroidism include:
- Slower thinking
- Trouble remembering things
- Slower speech or movement
- Feeling down or depressed
Your Dietary Defense
Often times the crippling fatigue and brain fog caused by hypothyroidism may have us reaching for non-nutritional forms of energy like sugar and caffeine. Unfortunately these can only make matters worse by burning out your thyroid and destabilizing blood sugar.
Here are some simple dietary changes can be very helpful in treating hypothyroidism:
- Greatly reduce or eliminate caffeine and sugar, including refined carbohydrates like flour, which the body treats like sugar. Make grain-based carbohydrates less of a focus and eat as many non-starchy veggies as you’d like.
- Get more healthy protein which helps transport thyroid hormone to all your tissues and can help normalize thyroid function.
- Remember healthy fats can be your friend and cholesterol is a precursor to hormonal pathways. If you aren’t getting enough of both, you could be throwing off your hormonal balance in general.
- Check in on your supplement intake. Not having enough micronutrients and minerals can aggravate symptoms.
- Go 100% gluten-free. The molecular composition of thyroid tissue is almost identical to that of gluten so eating it can increase the autoimmune attack on your thyroid.
- Watch your intake of raw goitrogens foods that can interfere with thyroid function like broccoli, cabbage, kale, spinach, strawberries, peaches, watercress, peanuts, radishes and others.
- Check your gut health. As much as 20 percent of thyroid function depends on having enough healthy gut bacteria so it is best to supplement with probiotics.
- There is an intimate connection between your thyroid and your adrenal glands so it is uncommon to have hypothyroidism without some level of adrenal fatigue. Have both checked.
At the Healthy Choice Compounding Pharmacy we will work closely with your doctor to customize your medication for optimal thyroid health. Call, or stop by, and speak with us.