The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped organ located at the base of the neck which releases hormones that in are in charge of regulating your metabolism, growth, heartbeat, internal temperature and many other things. So, when the thyroid gland stops working as it’s supposed to, a multitude of problems start to appear in your body.

Thyroid disease comes in two forms: hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism. The first one, hyperthyroidism, occurs when the thyroid doesn’t release enough hormone. Quite often, this happens when the gland itself starts to malfunction, which is also known as primary hyperthyroidism. This condition can also appear when the pituitary gland in the brain doesn’t send crucial signals to the thyroid which are essential to triggering the release of the thyroid hormone. This condition is known as secondary hyperthyroidism. In either case, the symptoms include overall fatigue, weight gain, depression and sensitivity to cold.

The opposite condition, hyperthyroidism happens when the thyroid gland produces too much thyroid hormone. Again, its symptoms are mainly opposite to the symptoms one can get when his or her thyroid doesn’t release enough hormone. The symptoms include nervousness, weight loss, sensitivity to heat, irritability and irregular heartbeat.

Diseases related to the thyroid gland are mainly dependent on genetic factors, however excess stress, environmental toxins, and nutrition also play a part. In this article, we’ll present to you the foods which have been proven to exacerbate thyroid disease, so that you can take the appropriate measures and eliminate them from your diet. Since you cannot control your genetics, you can always control your food choices. You may be even surprised by items on the list, especially number four because we usually think of it as the ultimate “super-food”.

Fast food

The thyroid uses the iodine that we ingest through our diet to create the hormones T3 and T4. The thyroid is actually the only organ in your body which uses this chemical element. In addition to the hundreds of reasons why you shouldn’t eat fast food when it comes to thyroid disease, it’s a well-known fact that fast food has a lot of salt in it, but a very small amount of iodine.

The majority of people nowadays, get their daily needed intake of iodine from iodized table salt, however, fast food restaurants aren’t required to use iodized salt in their food. Research has confirmed that fast food gives you a very small amount of iodine in proportion to all the sodium that you consume along with it.

 

Processed food

The same as fast food, packaged and processed also has a great amount of sodium, but rarely a great amount of iodized salt. You can check this for yourself, by reading the nutrition labels on the products. The majority of them, even the sweet ones, have more than 20% of the recommended daily sodium intake in just one serving. This amount is likely less than what you’d usually eat.

A diet that has too much sodium in it increases the risk for high blood pressure and heart disease and getting a large share of your daily sodium intake from processed foods adds little to almost no amount of essential iodine. That is why it always recommended that you prepare your meals at home using whole organic food and put iodized table salt in them.

Wheat

Celiac disease is a peculiar disorder where the body is not capable to handle the gluten in grains such as wheat, rye, and barley. For reasons still unknown to scientists, people who have celiac disease are also at a higher risk for thyroid disorder. So, if you or anyone you know has been diagnosed with this disease, avoiding gluten is extremely important for a variety of reasons. This will not only support healthier digestion, but it will also decrease the risk of developing a thyroid disorder as well.

If you don’t have celiac disease or any of the risk factors contributing to its development such as family history or specific autoimmune disorders, you would do well to start consuming certain varieties of bread. Nowadays, most companies are obligated by law to make these loaves of bread with iodized salt. You just need to make sure that you buy the whole wheat versions.

Soy

Soy has been a highly controversial food for many years. At first it was marketed as a healthy alternative to meat products, however, in recent years studies have shown evidence which suggests that soy can have an adverse effect on the thyroid gland’s function. It can inhibit the thyroid’s ability to normally absorb iodine, so if you happen to be deficient in iodine, soy consumption can greatly increase the risk of developing hyperthyroidism.

However, it’s not that bad, and scientists say that as long as you are eating soy in moderation and you don’t have a pre-existing iodine deficiency, you are not at an increased risk of developing hyperthyroidism. As with many things, moderation is key, the same with soy and especially if you’re a man, because soy can mimic the effects of estrogen in the body, estrogen being the primary female hormone.

 

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