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The Dos and Don'ts of Hypothyroidism

Updated on June 3, 2012

A Little Background Information

For those of you who are new to hypothyroidism or just simply don't understand what it is this article is for you.

The thyroid is a butterfly shaped gland located around your Trachea (windpipe) right under your Larynx. This gland produces a hormone made from Iodine and Tryosine mainly referred to as T4. T4 is converted into T3 by organs such as the liver, kidney, and spleen. These hormones tell cells in body to produce protein or increase oxygen usage. They also maintain Metabolism as well as affect the growth and rate of function of other systems and organs. Your Thyroid also produces Calcitonin which stores excess calcium in your bloodstream into your bones and tells your body when you are no longer hungry. Other things your thyroid controls: body temperature, energy consumpton, reproductive organs, and libido.

How Hypothyroidism Is Determined and The Dreaded Symptoms

So how exactly does a doctor determine whether or not you have hypothyroidism? Usually a blood sample is taken and run for tests on the levels of TSH. Now you're probably wondering what that is, "oh great another one". Well TSH is a hormone secreted by the Pituitary Gland which tells your thyroid when to produce more T3 and T4. If your thyroid isn't properly functioning the Pituitary Glands has to pump more TSH into the bloodstream in order to stimulate the thyroid into producing enough hormones for the body. The blood test levels then notify the doctor whether or not your thyroid is functioning properly.

The Dreaded Symptoms:

Brittle and slow growin hair and nails, hair loss, lowered libido, erratic menstrual cycles, tiredness, depression, headaches, hoarse voice, weight gain and seemingly inability to lose, cold intolerance, constipation.

Thyroid Treatments

Treatment:

There are various forms of treatment for Hypothroidism including levothyroxine (Levothroid, Synthroid, Unithroid) which is Synthetic T4 and Armour Thyroid which is made from the thyroid glands of pigs.

Side Effects of Levothyroxine include 13% bone loss (a huge deal to me because I started to feel the effects without being told that the medicine could cause it), for other effects go to http://www.drugs.com/sfx/levothyroxine-side-effects.html This medication is mainly for patients whose thyroid does not produce enough T4, if the medications seems to have little to no effect after 3 months of use then it i possible the the defect is in T4 conversion to T3 caused by a number of reason usually including liver, kidney, or spleen function problems.

Side Effects of Armour Thyroid http://endocrine-system.emedtv.com/armour-thyroid/armour-thyroid-side-effects.html

The Dos and Dont's

Helpful DOs for Hypothyroidism:

  • Eat Foods high in Vitamin B and Iron such as fresh vegtables and whole grains.
  • Eat Sea Vegtables such as Kelp, Bladderwack, Irish Moss, Seaweed, etc. These Vegtables are high in not only Vitamin B and Iron but also in Iodine which is half of what your thyroid needs for hormone production.
  • Eat foods that are naturally high in tryosine such as Almonds, Sesame Seeds, and Oats.
  • Eat Selenium Rich Foods such as kidney, liver, crab, other shellfish, and Brazil nuts. Selenium is a component of the enzyme that helps convert T4 to T3.
  • Drink Distilled (once or twice a day) or Non-Chlorinated and Fluoride Free Water daily. Chlorine, Fluoride, and Bromine all go through the same receptors in the body as Iodine, if overloaded the body can't get Iodine to the thyroid to produce its hormones.
  • Cleanse the Liver and Kidneys. This can be done a numerous amount of ways, my personal being Cayenne and Turmeric powder added into my food. Turmeric is mostly tastless so you can add it to anything and Cayenne is definitely for that spicy kick.
  • Digestive Enzymes make food easier to digest which in turn also puts less strain on your metabolism. Grapefruit is a wonder for this. You can also eat slower and chew you food more thoroughly or eat soft foods such as Banana, Oatmeal, Peas, etc.
  • Eat foods high in antioxidants, including fruits such as blueberries, cherries, and tomatoes and vegetables such as squash and bell pepper.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids, such as fish oil, 1 - 2 capsules or 1 - 2 tbs. of oil daily, to help decrease inflammation and help with immunity.

The Major Don'ts in Hypo Thyroidism

  • High levels of Caffeine, can negatively effect medication. Caffeine in low amounts is good to reduce inflammation because it opens open blood vessels but high amounts have been found to alter TSH produced by the Pituitary Glands.
  • Eat Foods that interfere with Thyroid Production such as broccoli, cabbage, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, kale, spinach, turnips, soybeans, peanuts, linseed, pine nuts, millet, cassava, and mustard greens.
  • Talk to your doctor before eating soy products if on medication. There is some evidence soy may interfere with absorption of thyroid hormone.

  • Drink Alcohol or smoke Tobacco. Alcohol is a depressant which can suppress the functions of the thyoid. Cyanide which is found in Tobacco directly inhibits iodide uptake and hormone synthesis.



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