Thyroid gland and its location
The thyroid is a small bow-tie or butterfly-shaped gland located in the neck around the windpipe, behind and below Adam’s apple area. It has two side lobes, connected by a bridge (isthmus) in the middle. The thyroid is brownish-red in color, the thyroid is rich with blood vessels. Nerves important for voice quality also pass through the thyroid.
What are the hormones produced by Thyroid gland?
The thyroid gland produces two hormones, triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4). T3 and T4 travel through the bloodstream to all parts of the body where they regulate the body uses and stores energy. Thyroid function is controlled by the pituitary gland (located in your brain). The pituitary produces thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), which stimulates the thyroid to produce T3 and T4. Thyroid hormones act throughout the body, influencing metabolism, growth, development, and body temperature. During infancy and childhood, adequate thyroid hormone is crucial for brain development.
What is Hyperthyroidism (Hyperthyroid)?
Hyperthyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid gland is overactive and produces too much thyroid hormone. Hyperthyroidism is most commonly seen in women between ages 20 and 40, but men can also develop this condition.
Signs and symptoms of Hyperthyroidism
Feeling too hot
Diarrhea or frequent bowel movements
Irritability and anxiety
Eye problems (e.g., irritation, discomfort)
If left untreated, hyperthyroidism can lead to other health problems. Some of the most serious involve the heart (e.g., rapid or irregular heartbeat and congestive heart failure) and the bones (brittle bones, known as osteoporosis).
Foods to avoid in Hyperthyroidism
You must be confused about soy as so much has been said about this little bean. Well, if you have a thyroid condition, it’s likely that your hormonal health overall is compromised. It’s best to avoid soy as it elevates the estrogen levels. Food to avoid is tofu, soymilk, soy lecithin (used as fillers in burgers), and soy oil.
Get off Gluten:
Gluten is a protein found in bread, pasta, cookies, cakes, and pizza. Grains that contain gluten are wheat, barley, and couscous. It’s not certain why but gluten creates havoc in the gut (where the immune system lives) by creating a “leaky gut” and a weak immune system. It is believed that 90% of people with hypo- and hyperthyroidism have a problem with gluten. I have seen consistent weight loss, a boost of energy, lessened depression and lifting of the foggy brain in get-off-gluten followers.
Avoid Dairy Products:
According to various experts, milk is a major cause of concern when it comes to thyroid problems like hyperthyroidism. It is the reason why milk and dairy products are one of the important foods one should avoid if you have hyperthyroidism. Milk and other dairy products most of the times contain traces of various growth hormones and penicillin that put added pressure on the human hormonal system. Another ingredient which is naturally present in milk is a type of protein called as casein. Since the human body can also produce a significant amount of casein, the added casein from milk and dairy products make it hard on the digestion system. All in all, experts suggest that one should stay away from milk and other dairy products like cheese, yogurt, and buttermilk while suffering from hyperthyroidism.
Stay away from salty foods:
The connection between salt and thyroid hormones is well known. Foods that are rich in salt are harmful as far as the recovery from hyperthyroidism is concerned. All the fast foods and junk food contain loads of salt and they are also high in glycemic index. Seafood like shellfish and sea vegetables are also rich with salt and iodine. Having said that, salt is a crucial item in one’s daily diet, it plays an important role in building the health and well being of a person. It is the reason why you need to consult with your healthcare provider as well as the dietitian before you exclude it totally from your diet. Having said that, you need to avoid fast foods like burgers, pizzas, chips, cookies, etc., since they are high in sugar, carbohydrates, and fats.
Similar to various fruits, there are a few chemicals that boost the production of thyroid hormone. As a result of such chemicals included in the things to avoid for the people with hyperthyroidism. These chemicals include fluoride which is mostly found in the toothpaste and chlorine which is found in the tap water.
Fluoride and chlorine are chemically related with iodine and block the iodine reactors in the body. This can be one of the root causes for many patients who develop hyperthyroidism. The most basic thing to do is to avoid the usage of products that may contain fluoride and chlorine.
Avoid Red meat:
Red meat should also be restricted from the daily diet of the people with hyperthyroidism. Red meat is loaded with saturated fats that are harmful to the hormonal system of the body. If a person is suffering from hyperthyroidism along with certain other diseases like type II diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol levels and high blood pressure levels, then he/she will not show quick recovery from hyperthyroidism. Hence, you need to reduce red meat from the diet and replace it with lean meat sources like cold water fish like salmon, halibut, trout, tuna, etc.
Besides all the foods mentioned in the above list, there are a few more foods that you should stay away from when it comes to hyperthyroidism.
These products include alcohol, tobacco and products made using it, caffeine, coffee, soft drinks, carbonated drinks, sodas, MSGs (monosodium glutamate), antibiotics, food additives, hard cheese types, aspartame and other such types of artificial sweeteners, etc. should be strictly avoided.
Good nutritional habits and, balanced diet aren’t developed in one day, nor they destroyed in one, unbalanced meal. Healthful eating means developing the healthy lifestyle by making deitary choices and decisions, planning and knowing how to make quick and wise choices.