Through the hormones it produces, the thyroid gland influences almost all of the metabolic processes in your body.Thyroid disorders affect over 4% of the American citizens.
Thyroid disorders are conditions that affect the thyroid gland, a butterfly-shaped gland in the front of the neck. The thyroid has important roles to regulate numerous metabolic processes throughout the body. Different types of thyroid disorders affect either its structure or function.
Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) refers to any state in which a person’s thyroid hormone production is below normal. It is characterized by weight loss, fatigue, slow metabolism, constipation, and brain fog. It is most often a result of:
Hashimoto’s thyroiditis: It is a type of hypothyroidism that occurs when the immune system does not recognize the thyroid gland cells and the enzymes and inhibits the production of thyroid hormone
- Exposure to excessive amounts of iodide
- The use of certain drugs
- Removal of the thyroid gland
On the other hand, hyperthyroidism is a condition in which an overactive thyroid gland is producing an excessive amount of thyroid hormones that circulate in the blood. Its most common causes include:
Toxic adenomas: Nodules develop in the thyroid gland and release thyroid hormones, upsetting the body’s chemical balance
Graves’ disease: The excessive production of thyroid hormone.
Subacute thyroiditis: Inflammation of the thyroid that urges the gland to “leak” excess hormones, leading to temporary hyperthyroidism that in most cases lasts for a few weeks
Pituitary gland malfunctions or cancerous growths in the thyroid gland
It leads to symptoms such as anxiety, muscle weakness, trouble sleeping, nervousness, and accelerated metabolism.
Thyroid disorders are usually diagnosed via a blood test and are usually treated with some prescription drugs like levothyroxine, synthetic hormones, and many other anti-thyroid medications.
However, the first step towards better health and relief in the case of thyroid disorders is to do some lifestyle and dietary changes.
The following foods are incredibly beneficial in case you suffer from hypothyroidism:
- Flax seeds
- Nuts and nut butters
- Sesame seeds
- Swiss chard
- Coconut milk
- Grass-fed meat
- Summer squash
- Cottage cheese
On the other hand, make sure you increase the intake of the following foods if you suffer from hyperthyroidism:
- Sweet potatoes
- Brussels sprouts