The Thyroid Tale
Thyroid is a ductless gland placed at the bottom of the neck. This small, 20 gm butterfly-shaped gland secretes the many essential hormones that are responsible for the growth, development, metabolism and temperature regulation of the body. Sufficient thyroid hormones are required during infancy and childhood for proper development of the brain. One can understand the vitality of this gland with a simple fact that it is the regulator of all bodily functions. Thyroid gland is a part of the endocrine system, which consists of glands that produce, store and also release hormones into the bloodstream so that they reach each and every organ of the body. At the same time, it’s essential to note that dysfunctionality of this vital gland can cause a series of problems. Here, in this post, we detail on what are the problems associated and how to control thyroid in the most effective manner.
When Thyroid becomes troublesome
When the thyroid gland is not producing sufficient hormones or is producing them in excessive quantities, the chemical balance of the body is disturbed. This is when thyroid becomes troublesome.
High levels of thyroid hormones result in a condition, commonly known as Hyperthyroidism. Similarly, low levels of thyroid hormones result in Hypothyroidism.
Let’s start with Hyperthyroidism. This condition can affect the body in a number of ways, though they all result from overproduction of thyroid hormones.
- Grave’s disease: This is often the leading cause of hyperthyroidism and results in excess production of thyroid hormones. It results in an enlarged thyroid.
- Toxic adenoma: Toxic adenoma is a benign tumour of the thyroid gland. In this case, many nodules are formed in the gland. These nodules secrete thyroid hormones which end up disrupting the chemical balance of the body.
- Subacute Thyroiditis: In this case, excessive thyroid hormones are ‘leaked’, because of the inflammation of the thyroid gland.
- Cancerous growth in the Thyroid gland: Although this happens rarely, but once it happens, it leads to a lot of complications.
- Now let’s come to Hypothyroidism: As contrast to Hyperthyroidism, this occurs due to underproduction of the thyroid hormones. If the body produces less hormones, it leads to lower energy levels. Main types of Hypothyroidism include:
- Hashimoto’s thyroiditis: This is an autoimmune disorder. Here, the body strikes thyroid tissue. Ultimately, the tissue dies and thyroid hormone production stops.
- Excessive amount of iodine: Certain situations like sinus and cold medicines, some X-ray exposures, certain contrast dyes etc. may introduce too much iodine, leading to hypothyroidism in a person.
Take the charge – How to Control Thyroid
When it comes to how to control thyroid, diet and lifestyle play an important role in setting the right levels. Having said that, both, excessive nutrients or deficiency, can trigger thyroid problems in an individuals. Hence, it is important to consult your physician before implementing any dietary changes. It is also suggested that you get your Thyroid levels checked on time. You can avail Dr Lal PathLabs Book-A-Test Home Collection Facility for the same and even learn ways on how to control thyroid.
Certain dietary things to keep on mind during thyroid disorder are:
- Iodine: Iodine is the basic building block in the thyroid functioning. Iodine deficiency can be easily improved by dietary changes. Primary sources of Iodine are iodized sea salt, sea vegetables, sea food etc. Secondary sources include eggs, spinach, garlic, mushrooms, asparagus, sesame seeds etc.
- Selenium: Selenium is crucial to thyroid in ways more than one. Enzymes that contain selenium work like a detoxifying agent to flush out stress. You must include tuna, mushrooms, soybeans, sunflower seeds to have sufficient selenium in the body.
- Zinc, Iron and Copper: These three metals are indispensable to proper thyroid functioning in the body. Many pieces of research have shown that both hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism can cause zinc deficiency in the body. If iron levels decreased, the functionality of thyroid also decreases. Copper is required for the production of TSH and maintenance of T4 hormones. Adding soybeans, walnuts, sunflower seeds, almonds, split peas, spinach, pumpkin seeds, white beans, spinach and lentils ensure sufficient levels of these elements in the body.
- Vitamin A: Primary sources of Vitamin A are broccoli, asparagus, lettuce, spinach, carrot, sweet potato and pumpkin.
- Vitamin C: it’s essential to include guava, strawberries, orange, kiwifruit, parsley in your diet to have sufficient Vitamin C levels in the body that in turn help combat thyroid disorders.
In addition to these, it’s also essential to cut down the intake of caffeine and alcohol. The two can widely affect the functionality of the thyroid and other vital organs of the body. Smoking is yet another thing that must be avoided.
Apart from dietary changes, you should also make adaptations in your lifestyle with regards to physical activities. An active lifestyle with regular exercise and a proper diet can go a long way in taking care of thyroid disorders. It is, however, advised that one should consult a physician/doctor before implementing any changes to their lifestyles and also lean ways on how to control thyroid effectively.