The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland that is in the front part of the neck. This little gland is responsible for regulating many of the thyroid hormones that have a various number of functions within the human body, such as: metabolizing of food, weight management, energy distribution, the rate of metabolism and regulating the human sleep cycle. Thyroid concerns are more common in women but it can and does affect males as well and the worst part is that you may have a low thyroid function and you may not even know it until the symptoms get worse.
Some of the symptoms of a low thyroid output (hypothyroidism) are:
• Weight gain
• Slow metabolism
• Feeling sluggish
• Poor sleep quality
• Poor brain function
• Digestive issues
• Joint pains
• Low body temperature
• Decreased libido
Sounds bad, I know. Here are a few ways to improve your hypothyroidism:
Lower Your Stress
Stress produces a hormone known as Cortisol. This hormone competes against the T3 thyroid hormones within your cells and can inhibit its absorption. Try to cut out any unnecessary stress factors and you will notice an improvement. Cutting out caffeine and supplementing with 3g of vitamin C daily will also help to reduce cortisol.
Avoid Soy Products
Large amounts of soy have been known to disrupt the output of the thyroid hormones. The high amount of isoflavones in soy can also cause damage to your thyroid gland.
Improve Your Diet
Try to cut out as much processed food, especially wheat from your diet and instead focus on antioxidant-rich fruits, vegetables and proteins that are high in vitamins, minerals and healthy fatty acids. These all help to heal and rebuild your body and provides the gland with the fuel necessary to produce the right balance of hormones.
Take Coconut Oil
Coconut oil helps to treat some of the symptoms of a low thyroid as it helps to increase the body’s metabolic rate and since it consists of medium chain fatty acids, helps to prevent weight gain and even assist with fat loss.
The most common cause of hypothyroidism is a lack of Iodine within the body. Most people just do not get enough Iodine from their diets and therefore it is necessary to supplement with it. Aim for 150mcg daily. Iodine is also found in foods such as sea vegetables, seaweeds, beans, cranberries and potatoes.
As previously mentioned, Vitamin C 3 grams daily also helps. Some other supplements that are known to be helpful are:
Selenium- this mineral helps to regulate the body’s Iodine stores and helps with the regulation of some of the hormones, including the ones produced by the thyroid. Aim for 100-200mcg daily.
Zinc- Zinc also helps with the production of certain hormones and its deficiency has been linked to hypothyroidism. 15-30mg daily is the recommended amount.