The Connection Between Diet and Thyroid Function
Most doctors will tell you that diet has nothing to do with thyroid disease or dysfunction. This is simply not true. In this article and video (down below), you will learn just how important a role diet plays in thyroid health. Before we dive into the nutritional aspect, let’s start with a quick breakdown on the thyroid gland so that you can better understand this essential organ.
What is the Thyroid?
In your neck, where your cartilage sticks out, it’s that little butterfly shaped gland. One of its primary functions is to pump out a hormone called T4. That T4 hormone is what sets the metabolic pace of the body. It’s what regulates energy production and energizes cells to be able to produce adequate energy.
When the thyroid is not functioning normally, it can lead to hypothyroidism (low thyroid) or hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid). There are many nutritional factors that can lead to autoimmunity, which is the production of antibodies against one’s own thyroid or against one’s own thyroid hormone receptors. Hashimoto’s and Grave’s disease are autoimmune diseases of the thyroid. In this video, I will talk about specific things that can impact and affect the thyroid and how we can improve its function through nutrition.
How does the Thyroid work?
First of all, the body need some raw ingredients, just like you need hammers and nails to build a house. The body needs to have protein, magnesium, zinc and vitamin B-12 to produce TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) in the brain. Once TSH is produced, the brain sends a signal to your thyroid to make T4, which is the Thyroxine made up of the amino acid Tyrosine plus four molecules of iodine attached to it with the help of Vitamin C, B2 and B3. So, now we have T4 produced by the thyroid, but this is the inactive form of thyroid hormone. We need to convert it to T3 with the help of the nutrients, selenium and iron. With the active form of thyroid, it needs to get it inside of our cells in order to help regulate our metabolism. Vitamin A and D will bind to T3 and unlock your DNA and with healthy amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, we can ramp up your metabolism.
If you are missing any of these nutrients, you are going to have some form of biochemical thyroid suppression. This means, your thyroid pathways are not going to work efficiently.
Symptoms of a low thyroid (hypothyroidism)
- Low energy/fatigue
- Hair loss
- Dry skin
- Low libido
- Joint Pain
- Muscle Tightness/stiffness
- Weight Gain/Loss
- Gut Dysfunction
Triggers of hypothyroidism-What is causing yours?
- Processed Sugars
- GMO Soy
- Foods rich in Omega-6 Fatty Acids
- These same triggers also can also lead to hyperthyroidism (Grave’s disease).
What lab tests are recommended to check thyroid function?
- T4 TOTAL
- T4 FREE/BOUND
- T3 FREE/BOUND
- T3 REVERSE
- Micronutrient Testing
- Vit C, B2, B3, B12
- Vit A, D
- Omega 3-Fatty Acids
What Can I Do To Ensure a Healthy Functioning Thyroid Gland?
Your immune system doesn’t just wake up one day and decide to attack you just because of your bad genes. Your immune system wakes up and decides to attack you because it’s confused, overwhelmed, undernourished, and it’s created that paradigm based on your behavior.
You’ve got to backtrack the behaviors that you have in your lifestyle and diet. Your nutrition will impact the potential possibility that your thyroid is either going to work or not work.
Vitamin deficiencies, food allergies or food exposures, the wrong food exposures, infectious microorganism exposures, chemical exposures, and emotional causation are the biggest known triggering factors for autoimmune disease that you have the capacity to control and measure objectively.
- Get grains out of the diet
- Eat nutrient dense foods
- Evaluate nutritional deficiencies
- Avoid exposure to chemical and environmental stressors
- Maintain a healthy gut (free of yeast and harmful bacteria)
- Surround yourself in a positive, spiritual environment
Bookmark, pin, or print out the picture below so that you can take it to your doctor. The medical references are included!
What Foods Can I Eat to Support Healthy Thyroid Function?
- Protein: grass fed meats, free range chicken, wild caught seafood, beans (slow cooked)
- Magnesium: dark leafy greens, almonds, pecans, flax seed
- B-12: grass fed meats, free range chicken and eggs, wild caught seafood
- Iodine: wild caught seafood, seaweed, kelp
- Iron: grass fed beef, organic beef liver, spinach, sardines
- Zinc: grass fed meats, free range chicken, wild caught seafood, almonds
- Vitamin B2: grass fed meats, organic organ meats, almonds, green vegetables
- Vitamin D: sunshine, egg yolks, organic liver, wild caught fish
- Omega 3 Fatty Acids: wild caught fish, walnuts, chia and flax seeds
- Vitamin C: broccoli, brussel sprouts, citrus fruits, berries
- Vitamin A: free range eggs, green vegetables, organic liver
- Selenium: brazil nuts, organic liver, cold water fish, garlic