- Thyroid Gland and Diet
- Foods That Support Thyroid Function
- What Is Hypothyroidism?
- What Is Hyperthyroidism?
- Thyroid Problems and Burning Mouth Syndrome
The thyroid gland is a shield-shaped gland located in your neck. It secretes the hormones T3 and T4 that control the metabolism of every cell in the body. A balanced diet rich in fruits, veggies and complex carbs keeps the thyroid gland healthy.
Certain foods may interfere with the ability of the thyroid gland to process or produce thyroid hormones. These are called goitrogens.
Foods that are bad for your thyroid may include
- The high content of fluoride in cold drinks damages the thyroid gland like no other beverage.
- Foods belonging to the brassica family such as broccoli, kale, cauliflower and cabbage contain substances that may alter thyroid function. These foods, especially if eaten raw (salads), can cause T3 and T4 levels to dip.
- Soy foods such as tofu, edamame and soybeans contain isoflavones that act as goitrogens in your body and inhibit the production of thyroid hormones. Steer clear of soy products and select fermented soy foods to minimize the concentration of goitrogenic compounds in your diet.
- Iodine that is essential for a healthy thyroid gland may paradoxically suppress T3 and T4 function if taken in excess. Daily consumption of iodine should not be more than 150 grams. Hence, only take iodide supplements such as kelp, nori and seaweed under doctor supervision.
- Fried foods and foods that contain saturated fats are also bad for thyroid health and function.
- Although consuming gluten is generally not a problem for most people, it can impair nutrient absorption and trigger GI inflammation in those who have celiac disease. Unfortunately, some people with hypothyroidism, which is caused by an autoimmune disorder such as Hashimoto’s disease, are also at a high risk of being affected by celiac disease. Some people must avoid gluten completely to maintain thyroid function.
- Caffeine dependence is detrimental to your thyroid and adrenal glands. Caffeine blocks the absorption of thyroid hormone, so you should minimize caffeine consumption as much as possible if you have hypothyroidism.
- Excess sugar consumption wreaks havoc on the body. In addition to causing a slew of diseases, it interferes with T4 conversion that is necessary for thyroid function.
- Alcohol can suppress the thyroid gland’s ability to produce thyroid hormones, which is why doctors advise people who have an underactive thyroid to stop drinking alcohol.
What foods can I eat to support healthy thyroid function?
Foods that support healthy thyroid function may include
- Protein: Grass-fed meats, free-range chicken, wild-caught seafood and beans (slow cooked)
- Selenium: Brazil nuts, organic liver, cold-water fish and garlic
- Magnesium: Dark leafy greens, almonds, pecans and flax seeds
- Vitamin B12: Grass-fed meats, free-range chicken and eggs and wild-caught seafood
- Iodine: Wild-caught seafood, seaweed and kelp
- Iron: Grass-fed beef, organic beef liver, spinach and sardines
- Zinc: Grass-fed meats, free-range chicken, wild-caught seafood and almonds
- Vitamin B2: Grass-fed meats, organic organ meats, almonds and green vegetables
- Vitamin D: Sunshine, egg yolks, organic liver and wild caught fish
- Omega-3 fatty acids: Wild-caught fish, walnuts, chia and flax seeds
- Vitamin C: Broccoli, brussels sprout, citrus fruits and berries
- Vitamin A: Free-range eggs, green vegetables and organic liver
What is hypothyroidism?
An elevation in thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) is an indicator that the gland is not working properly and that thyroid hormone function (serum T3 and T4) is low. Low levels of T3 and T4 circulate back up to the pituitary gland and signal that not enough thyroid hormone is being produced. The pituitary gland compensates by increasing TSH levels in the serum. This condition is called hypothyroidism.
Hypothyroidism slows down cell metabolism and weakens the heart, nerves, brain and reproductive system.
What is hyperthyroidism?
Having low thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) levels means that your thyroid gland is over producing thyroid hormones (T3 and T4), a condition called hyperthyroidism. In this condition, excess T3 and T4 hormones increase metabolism. The result is weight loss, abnormal heart function, eye problems, gut problems and anxiety.
Can thyroid problems cause burning mouth syndrome?
Burning mouth syndrome is a severe, painful condition characterized by burning sensations in the tongue, lips, palate (roof of the mouth), gums, inside of the cheeks and back of the mouth or throat. The feeling is often described as a scalding or tingling sensation. It is more common in women than in men and is particularly common around menopause. It may often be due to poorly functioning salivary glands. The poor function may be linked to abnormal T3 levels. Often, a diet rich in selenium and iodine is found to provide relief in some cases.
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Can Thyroid Cause Burning Mouth Syndrome?Yes, thyroid disease may cause burning mouth syndrome. Burning mouth syndrome is a severe, painful condition characterized by burning sensations in the tongue, lips, palate (roof of the mouth), gums, inside of the cheeks, and the back of the mouth or throat. The feeling is often described as a scalding or tingling sensation.
Thyroid Blood Tests
Thyroid blood tests determine the adequacy of the levels of thyroid hormones in in a patient. The blood tests can determine if the thyroid gland's hormone production is normal, overactive, or underactive. The level of thyroid hormones may help to diagnose hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism. The test may also point to other diseases of conditions of the thyroid gland.
Thyroid Disorders Symptoms and SignsThyroid diseases and disorders are caused because the body either makes too much or too little thyroid hormones, which are necessary for vital functions of the body.
Thyroid disease and disorder symptoms and signs depend on the type of the thyroid problem. Examples include heat or cold intolerance, sweating, weight loss or gain, palpitations, fatigue, dry skin, constipation, brittle hair, joint aches and pains, heart palpitations, edema, feeling bloated, puffiness in the face, reduced menstrual flow, changes in the frequency of bowel movements and habits, high cholesterol, hoarseness, brittle hair, difficulty swallowing, shortness of breath, a visible lump or swelling in the neck, tremors, memory problems, depression, nervousness, agitation, irritability, or poor concentration.
Thyroid problems are more common in women.
Thyroid DisordersThere are several types of thyroid disorders including hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, goiters, thyroid nodules, and thyroid cancer. Symptoms vary by condition. Diagnosis is made with blood tests, scans, ultrasound, or biopsy. Treatments depend on the disorder and can include medication or surgery.
Thyroid Peroxidase TestThe thyroid peroxidase test measures the level of an antibody that is directed against thyroid peroxidase (TPO). A presence of TPOAb in the blood reflects a prior attack by the body's immune system on thyroid tissue. A positive thyroid peroxidase test may signal chronic thyroiditis. Other autoimmune disorders, however, may have a positive TPOAb test.
Illustrations of ThyroidThe thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland located in the front of the neck just below the Adams apple. See a picture of the Thyroid and learn more about the health topic.
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Thyroid QuizYour unexplained change in weight could indicate a thyroid condition. Take the Thyroid Quiz to learn about common symptoms and treatments of overactive and underactive thyroid disorders.
Thyroid Replacement HormonesThyroid replacement hormones are prescription drugs prescribed to treat hypothyroidism. Side effects, drug interactions, dosage, and pregnancy safety information should be reviewed prior to taking this medication.
Thyroid ScanThyroid scanning is used to determine how active the thyroid is in manufacturing thyroid hormone. This can determine whether inflammation of the thyroid gland (thyroiditis) is present. It can also detect the presence and degree of overactivity of the gland (hyperthyroidism) or, conversely, it can determine the presence and degree of underactivity of the gland (hypothyroidism).
Thyroid ProblemsThe thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped gland located in the front of the neck. The thyroid gland produces important thyroid hormones, which are produced by the pituitary gland. There are six types of thyroid problems. Home remedies, medications, surgery, lifestyle changes, and surgery. Usually, most types of thyroid problems can be managed with home remedies, medications, lifestyle changes (diet, yoga), and surgery.
What Are the Complications of Thyroid Problems?The thyroid is a small, butterfly-shaped gland located at the anterior (front) aspect of the neck. Thyroid hormones regulate metabolism, body temperature, heartbeat and the digestive system. Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland is unable to produce sufficient levels of thyroid hormones. Hyperthyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland produces excess levels of thyroid hormones. Thyroid problems can begin at any age and women are more affected than men. The clinical presentation and complications of hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism are different.