What is Thyroid?
The thyroid is a small bowtie or butterfly-shaped gland located in the neck around the windpipe, behind and below Adam’s apple area. The thyroid produces several hormones, but two are very essential triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4). These hormones help oxygen get into our cells and are critical to our body’s ability to produce energy. This role is delivering oxygen and energy makes thyroid the master gland of metabolism.
The thyroid has the only cells in the body capable of absorbing iodine. It takes in the iodine obtained through food, iodized salt, or supplements and combines that iodine with the amino acid tyrosine. The thyroid then converts the iodine/tyrosine combination into the hormones T3 and T4.
A properly functioning thyroid approximately produces 80% of T4 and 20% of T3. T3 is the biologically active hormone that has a cellular level effect. The thyroid produces some T3, the rest of the T3 is formed when the body converts T4 to T3. The conversion from T4 to T3 occurs in Thyroid, the liver, the brain, and in other organs and tissues.
What is Hyperthyroid?
Hyperthyroid (overactive thyroid), Condition of having overactive thyroid in the body is known as Hyperthyroidism. Hyperthyroidism implies that this excess hormone originated in the thyroid gland itself and not by taking too much Thyroid hormonal drugs.
Causes of Hyperthyroidism
Hyperthyroidism can be caused by the number of problems, including:
- Autoimmune thyroid disease like Grave’s Disease
- Use of thyroid Hormone, often to lose weight or have more energy
- Overdosage of thyroid hormone replacement therapy
- Painless Thyroiditis
- Hyperemesis Gravidarum during pregnancy
- TSH producing pituitary tumor (extremely rare)
Hyperthyroidism is usually treated with drugs to reduce thyroid’s ability to reduce hormones by radioactive iodine treatment to chemically deactivate the thyroid or by surgery.
Besides the treatment of Hyperthyroidism, the most important step is the diet one should follow.
Foods to eat if you have Hyperthyroid:
Nutrient dense food (Organ Meats):
A meal plan for those with hyperthyroidism should consist of foods high in protein. One of the biggest problems many people with hyperthyroid conditions have is losing a large amount of weight. This, of course, is due to the increased metabolic rate caused by the elevated thyroid hormone levels. And while it is important to normalize the thyroid hormone levels, while one is trying to accomplish this it is important to eat nutrient-dense foods. In addition, Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is high in organs with high rates of metabolism such as the heart, kidney, and liver. Numerous studies show that CoQ10 is low in people with hyperthyroid conditions. Although one can of course supplement with CoQ10 since organ meats have high amounts.
Anti-inflammatory and detoxifying foods:
This basically means eating non-processed whole foods, especially vegetables and fruits. Consuming different types of berries can be beneficial to one’s health. This includes blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, and cranberries. All berries have different phytonutrients, and the phenolic compounds are responsible for their antioxidant properties. Berries of different kinds also have anti-inflammatory properties, and can potentially modulate inflammatory cytokines which are found in different types of autoimmune conditions.
These are foods that block the thyroid’s ability to make thyroid hormone. They are mostly found in raw vegetables. The first step would be to include thyroid-suppressing food in the diet. Broccoli, soy products, cabbage, cauliflower, and kale, are a few examples. It’s important to consume these vegetables raw as heat destroys the goitrogens. First of all, kale is very nutrient dense and also it has antiproliferative effects, so it can help with the prevention of cancer. It is considered to be goitrogenic, which means that when consumed in larger amounts it can potentially inhibit thyroid function. Bone density is an issue with hyperthyroidism, and kale is one of the best sources of calcium.
Other Goitrogens Included:
Cassava, when crushed and not detoxified by soaking
Soybeans (soybean products such as tofu, soybean oil, soy flour, soy lecithin)
Flax seeds (contains cyanide which transforms into thiocyanate inside the body leading to hypothyroid syndrome)
Pears, peaches, Bamboo shoots
Sweet potatoes and Brussels sprouts
Vitamins and Supplements:
An increased rate of metabolism in hyperthyroid patients can lead to a depletion of nutrients faster than for people with normal thyroid levels. This can lead to deficiencies of vitamin D and B12. Foods that are rich in these vitamins, as well as good sources of antioxidants, help the body to combat free radicals that may have a role to play in hyperthyroidism. Vitamin B12 helps in the production of red blood cells as well as helps to build a strong immune system needed for hyperthyroid patients.
Get enough of Vitamin D:
Vitamin D is an important component in the absorption of calcium needed for healthy bones. With excessive metabolism, hyperthyroid patients need to have a good supply of vitamin D in the system. Very often people with thyroid conditions are found to have severely low vitamin D levels what most people do not know is that vitamin D is a hormone and it’s∙ tightly connected to thyroid hormones. Be generous with food like salmon, oysters and sardines. Take fish or cod liver oils as supplements.
Fermented food greatly improves digestion and maintains a healthy gut, which critical to thyroid’s health (both in hype and hyper). Inactive thyroid hormone (called T4) gets converted to the active hormone (T3) in gut and liver. T3 is directly responsible for the metabolism (weight and energy), brain (depression and anxiety), digestion and more. Fermented food provides a bacterial flora that creates a healthy gut; this means optimal T4 to T3 conversion that could mean more energy, weight loss, less anxiety, and depression.
The thyroid is essential gland and the hormones released from thyroid regulates many functions of the body. To keep Thyroid levels under control one should follow a proper diet plan and Regular check up’s are just to keep our body healthy.