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Hypothyroidism: Healing In Food

beth January 10, 2013

Hyperthyroidism:Healing in food

Image by TheAlieness 

Today’s Daily Tip: Don’t be afraid to buy items that you really need to help yourself succeed.  Frugal doesn’t mean cheap, it means carefully chosen.

This is a guest post by Ginger Jilek.

A common goal this month has been to learn how to naturally treat ones health. Often times this can be done with simple changes in lifestyle that one might not even realize are linked to the health problems occurring.  Hypothyroidism has increasingly become a common problem in today”s society. Often it is treated with medications that have their own list of adverse side effects that at times can be worse than the condition itself. For many, changes in diet can greatly improve this condition and set them on the path to recovery.

What Is The Thyroid?

The thyroid is located in the front of the throat wrapped around the larynx. The thyroid gland produces hormones that help regulate the metabolism and the glucose within the cells in the body and protein metabolism. It also controls metabolic activities – growth rate, sodium/potassium pump, cholesterol secretion in the bile, heart rate, heart strength, blood pressure, respiration, oxygen consumption (basal metabolic rate (BMR)), digestion, lipid, carbohydrate and protein metabolism, central nervous system function, and the actions of other endocrine glands. Needless to say it does a lot!

Symptoms Of Hypothyroidism

  • Tiredness
  • weight gain
  • dry skin
  • constipation
  • muscle weakness
  • puffiness around the eyes
  • hoarse voice
  • poor memory
  • enlarged heart
  • lowered cardiac output
  • reduced sweating
  • drooping eye
  • And many more.

Thyroid Hormone

There is a process to produce an active form of the thyroid hormone, which involves the pituitary glands in the brain. The pituitary glands, which are located on top of the hypothalamus in the brain, release thyroid-stimulating-hormone (TSH) that travels to the thyroid gland. When TSH reaches the thyroid, it stimulates the thyroid to release thyroxine, T-4 into the blood stream. In order for the body to produce Thyroxine from the thyroid, it needs to have sufficient levels of iodine and the amino acid tyrosine. 

Causes of Thyroid Dysfunction

Common causes include: toxic heavy metals, auto- immune, T4 to T3 conversion defects, nutrient deficiency and Candida. The array of influences for hypothyroidism can affect people differently, and the overall effects of toxic heavy metals, conversion defects, and nutrient deficiency can vary from person to person. It is important to account for other factors as well, including dietary intake, stress management, individual biochemistry, and environmental factors to address the multitude It is strongly recommended that you receive professional treatment at a qualified treatment facility. of aspects of this disease.

Dietary Approach

An alternative to synthetic drugs to replace naturally occurring hormones in the body is to adjust and improve one’s diet. Reduce goitrogens (substances that reduce production of the thyroid gland) and all the brassicas family vegetables; cabbage, brussel sprouts, soy, kale, spinach, and bok choy. If you do decide to eat these foods, you can cook them down to eliminate a lot of the goitrogens. You will also want to make sure your diet is rich in foods like sea salt, wheat germ, pumpkin seeds, and liver that contain many valuable vitamins and minerals to counteract hyperthyroidism.

Certain vitamins and minerals play a huge part in the thyroid:

  • Vitamin A is an important nutrient to optimize receptor sites
  • zinc helps convert and product hormones
  • Selenium is the most important mineral to convert hormones, and essential fatty acids to optimize thyroid hormone binding/action

Eating a whole foods diet, eliminating processed or refined foods, and eliminating hydrogenated oils will contribute greatly to the healing process of the thyroid.

Have you had thyroid problems? Did a dietary change fix or improve them?

My name is Ginger Jilek and I am currently attending Hawthorn University to become a Nutrition Consultant. I am a mother to 2 1/2 year old twin boys which is why I wanted to become a Nutritionist to help them succeed nutritionally and now I have a passion to help others. I love to cook, read, play with my boys, be with my husband and educating others about whole foods.

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12 Comments

  1. Hi. I’ve been told that Im subclinical thyroid. Started 6 yrs ago. While I was pregnan, I had thyroid all over the place but upon seeing an endocrinologist , they told me that I didn’t have positive antibodies and not to worry. Flash forward 4 years later, my hair falls out, I have heart palpitations, no energy, weakness of muscle. No dr will treat me. I’m looking into herbs and homeopathic st this point.

    Reply

  2. Wheat germ? Did you know that thyroid disease is the often misdiagnosed symptom of Celiac disease, which is a wheat allergy. 97% of people with Celiac don’t know they have it (proven in several research studies). It has also been proven many times that you can reverse and treat thyroid disease with a gluten-free diet and a GF diet DOES NOT include wheat AT ALL as it is an autoimmune allergy to wheat as well as barley, rye, and malt. I often see you post about health and how important wheat is – RUBBISH. Wheat is toxic to our bodies — not healthy at all. Check out this list of conditions caused by wheat or treated by wheat-free.
    200 clinically proven reasons not to eat wheat: http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/200-clinically-confirmed-reasons-not-eat-wheat

    Reply

    • Kmenz,

      Did you know the wheat of today is far different than traditional wheat from decades past? When wheat is properly grown, soaked, and prepared (which both MAM and MAK talk about in detail) it IS NOT toxic and can be consumed by most without any problems. When properly prepared it CAN be part of a healthy real foods diet.

      Reply

      • I have Hashimoto’s hypothyroiditis. My symptoms are much more manageable, and my gut much more happy staying off the gluten. In fact, I don’t consume many grains at all and feel so much better. Several health practitioners recommended a gluten free diet, and once I comitted to it I realized this was the way to eat.

        Reply

  3. Wow. Good to know. The only thing is…. I was definitely born with no thyroid gland at all! 🙁 So thanks to God’s grace, I’m completely non symptomatic and developed normally – but I have been on the synthetic medicine my whole life.

    I wonder, though, if I putting these tips into practice would reduce my dosage. 🙂

    Reply

  4. Great article! I just found out that i suffer from this, in addition to adrenal fatigue, digestive issues, severe candida overgrowth, and i am still recovering from my 4th pregnancy and delivery inn 4 years. I would LOVE any other tips to help heal my body! I am taking lots of supplements that my natural dr. “perscribed”, but since i have so many issues, I am researching and trying to incorporate as many remedies as possible!

    Reply

  5. […] Hypothyroidism : Healing In Food […]

    Reply

  6. From my understanding hypothyroidism is not curable. I have had it since my 5th pregnancy I am pregnant now with baby #7 and I have to take 200 mcg. If there truly is a cure I would be doing that. I hate having to take sthyroid ever morning. :0/ gluten free is very hard to do I found wheat in sauce!!!

    Reply

  7. All of the above posts are correct. Wheat is not the devil. It has been consumed by humans for centuries. The wheat that causes the reaction is so processed it is barely a grain anymore! I gave up gluten years ago. Recently found an organic unaltered grain producer. I have no problem eating this grain. We need to eat cleaner..this will solve so many issues…and yes. I am on Synthroid and I eat a healthy “thyroid diet” it is life changing

    Reply

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I’m Kate, mama to 5 and wife to Ben.  I love meeting new people and hearing their stories.  I’m also a big fan of “fancy” drinks (anything but plain water counts as ‘fancy’ in my world!) and I can’t stop myself from DIY-ing everything.  I sure hope you’ll stick around so I can get to know you better!

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