A properly working Thyroid Gland is essential to your overall health.
Thyroid hormones assist nearly every organ in your body, allowing them to function at their peak performance. Having reduced thyroid levels, or hypothyroidism, can bring about a number of uncomfortable and unhealthy symptoms. You may feel tired or cold or perhaps experience hair and memory loss. You may even have a slowed heart rate, dry skin and brittle nails. Since the #1 function of your thyroid gland is to regulate how your body converts your food to energy, many people with decreased thyroid levels will also experience unexplained weight gain 0r an inability to lose weight.
The good news is that proper thyroid function and weight loss are still possible even when you have a low-functioning thyroid gland.
What causes hypothyroidism?
It could be as simple as decreased hormone levels which occurs naturally when we age. It could also be a result of Hashimoto’s disease (where your immune system attacks your thyroid), or an enlargement of the thyroid gland, commonly referred to as goiter. In these severe cases, your doctor may prescribe a prescription to combat these diseases, but you don’t need to be diagnosed with a disease to have a poorly-performing thyroid gland.
Another reason our thyroid level could be off is due to nutritional deficiencies. One of the most important deficiencies that may affect your thyroid is iodine. Iodine deficiencies affect billions of people worldwide and is a primary cause of intellectual and developmental disabilities. It was initially added to salt for a good reason - our body does not make this vital nutrient. However, in an effort to reduce our salt intake, we also have inadvertently reduced our iodine levels, and they need to be replenished.
Another culprit that slows your thyroid and depletes your iodine levels is prescription medications. Corticosteroids, which are used to treat everything from arthritis to asthma, have a devastating effect on your thyroid, as do antihistamines, pain medications and anti-depressants.
So what if you are experiencing these symptoms, but your thyroid levels are at a "normal" level? Does that mean that it’s all in your head and you just have to learn to live with it? No! You have to remember that what is considered a “normal thyroid range” can vary greatly from person to person. You should listen to your body and take charge of your health. If you are suffering, you can get relief from your symptoms- and you can do it naturally.
The Healing Power of Food
One way to naturally help your thyroid return to a normal function is through the healing power of food. Here are some suggestions on what to eat and what to avoid if you suffer from hypothyroidism:Eat more of theseIf your diet allows, feel free to enjoy these foods:
Eat less of theseDo not eat these foods more than twice a week:
- Low fat cheese
- Cow’s milk
- Low fat ice cream
- Low fat yogurt
- Saltwater fish
- Seaweed (including kelp, dulce, nori)
- Soy sauce
- Cauliflower (Any vegetable that falls into the broccoli family is a goitrogen and shouldn’t be eaten more than twice a week if you have hypothyroidism.
- Brussels sprouts
- Pine nuts
- Isoflavones block iodine
- Canola oil
The obvious drawback with using food to heal is that many of us have dietary restrictions, allergies, an intolerance to, or dislike of certain foods. When this happens, you need to supplement your diet with nutritional supplements.
Exercise boosts your health in countless ways and your thyroid is no exception. At a minimum you should be exercising for 40 minutes, three days a week. If you really want to give your thyroid a kick-start, you should be doing some sort of exercise every day. It can be as simple as taking a brisk walk or a ride on a bike. There are also plenty of exercises you can do at home by yourself or with the assistance of online videos. No excuses! If injury limits your movements, try eastern practices such as yoga, or another low-impact form of exercise. These practices help to regulate your body functions and clear the mind. Who couldn't benefit from that?
Thyroid-enhancing supplements are the easiest and most efficient way to get your thyroid to function optimally. They have also been shown to be very effective for weight management. Dr. Oz, a pioneer in bringing complimentary and holistic medicine to the mainstream, suggests the following natural supplements:
L-Tyrosine - an essential amino acid.
Kelp & Bladderwrack - provide naturally-occurring levels of Iodine
Schizandra & Ashwagandha - herbs used by practitioners of Easter medicine for centuries.
Cayenne - which increases circulation.
Copper, Magnesium Manganese, Molybdenum, Selenium & Zinc - all essential minerals necessary for proper thyroid hormone production
Vitamin B-12 - plays an extremely important role normal thyroid function
Vitamin D - "The Sunshine Vitamin" which has been found to fight cancer, increase immune function, strengthen bones, and enhance mood.
The synergy of these nutrients will help your realize the greatest benefits.
I know what you may be thinking, that’s a lot of pills! You’re right, it is, and taking all of them every day can get very expensive and time-consuming. So let me save you a ton of time and money.
You can purchase just one supplement blend that contains all of the best vitamins, minerals and herbs that have been recommended by both Ayurvedic and Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners for centuries to balance your thyroid function.
There are several options available, all with differing ingredients and potencies. Our personal favorite is Thyroid Support from Zhou Nutrition. This blend contains just the right amounts of the essential natural ingredients to get your thyroid function back on track.
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