The thyroid gland, located in your neck on either side of your windpipe, is one of the most influential glands in the human body and controls your energy levels and metabolism. Hypothyroidism, or a lack of the thyroid hormones needed for your body to function properly, can cause the body to become tired and lethargic. Without these hormones, your body, which has thyroid hormone receptors in every cell, simply cannot function the way it needs to in order to provide you with a healthy and satisfying life.
Some doctors, in fact, even claim hypothyroidism as a silent epidemic, as people can suffer the symptoms of the condition for years without realizing what they are suffering from, due to the vague nature of the complaints and symptoms presented by the patients they see.
To make matters worse, many times hypothyroidism isn’t caused by thyroid problems at all, but rather, in the immune system which may no longer be performing the way it is supposed to. This too can go unnoticed, because the doctors don’t often test for the antibodies that show an auto-immune system problem.
Treating auto-immune issues and hypothyroidism with proper medical care
Up to 90% of people suffering from hypothyroidism have an auto-immune hypothyroid condition called Hashimoto’s thyroiditis – an auto-immune disorder which attacks and destroys thyroid tissue. Treating auto-immune issues and hypothyroidism with proper medical care is always the best option for controlling the symptoms associated with the condition, but there are things you can do to help alleviate and treat some of the problems that occur in patients with hypothyroidism.
Hypothyroidism Dietary Concerns
One way to help control your hypothyroidism is by watching the types of foods you consume. Reducing or eliminating foods like sugar and flour can help eliminate fatigue and drowsiness, and eliminate refined carbohydrates that your body treats like sugar.
Increasing the amount of protein in your diet can also help, as protein helps to normalize thyroid function by delivering hormones to the necessary tissues and organs, keeping them working at peak efficiency. Eggs, fish, nuts and nut products, and legumes are great sources of the healthy protein your body needs.
Also, keep an eye on the nutrients and nutritional value your foods provide. Vitamins A, B, and D, iron, and omega-3 fatty acids can help alleviate the symptoms of hypothyroidism.
Also, watch your intake of foods that can inhibit the functioning of the thyroid gland. Called goitrogens, foods such as spinach, garlic, squash, cabbage and broccoli can all suppress your thyroid hormones and contribute to the symptoms of hypothyroidism.
Other Concerns – Factor in Controlling Hypothyroidism
Food intake isn’t the only factor in Controlling Hypothyroidism; physical factors, such as the amounts of healthy bacteria in the gastro-intestinal tract can also affect thyroid function negatively. About 20% of the thyroid’s functionality is reliant upon having the proper amount of healthy bacteria, and probiotics can help ensure you have the amounts you need in your system to keep things working properly.
Controlling stressors and practicing good relaxation skills can also help alleviate or lessen symptoms associated with hypothyroidism.
Taking Control of your Condition
Hypothyroidism does not have to be a debilitating illness. Following your doctor’s care and advice, and sticking with a proper treatment can do wonders for treating hypothyroidism. Also, remember to:
- Control the types of foods you eat
- Maintain the proper nutrients in your system
- Relax and control stress
By following your doctor’s orders, and controlling factors pertaining to your hypothyroidism such as diet and stress, you can help to keep your hypothyroidism from being the controlling force in your life, and get back to living a happy and healthy life.