The thyroid gland makes use of iodine from the food you eat to produce two main hormones – triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4). These hormones regulate the body’s metabolic rate, as well as heart and digestive function, muscle control, brain development, and mood and bone maintenance. If the thyroid develops problems with its hormone-producing function, it can become enlarged.
The enlargement of your thyroid could mean serious trouble for your body. It may be caused by either hyperthyroidism, which occurs when it is overactive, or hypothyroidism, which happens when it is underactive.
Hyperthyroidism happens when your thyroid overproduces the hormone thyroxine. It accelerates your body’s metabolism, resulting in sudden weight loss, a rapid or irregular heartbeat, sweating, and being overly irritable. This condition mimics other health problems, making diagnosis tricky. Signs and symptoms include rapid weight loss despite not changing your diet, increased appetite, tremor in your hands and fingers, and – in women – changes in menstrual patterns, to name a few. You may also experience difficulty falling and staying asleep, as well as fatigue and muscle weakness.
Hypothyroidism, on the other hand, is a condition wherein your thyroid is unable to produce enough important hormones, resulting in an imbalance of chemical reactions in your body. This condition is common in individuals aged 60 and older. While it rarely causes symptoms in its early stages, it can cause a number of health problems, including obesity, joint pain, infertility, and heart disease, if left untreated. Its symptoms include weight gain, fatigue, an increased sensitivity to cold, constipation, a puffy face, hoarseness, muscle weakness, thinning hair, depression, and an impaired memory, among others.
The good news is that there are natural ways to combat these conditions. Vitamin C and B-complex can help counteract the symptoms of an overactive thyroid. Zinc, selenium, copper, iodine, and the amino acid L-tyrosine can help the thyroid maintain its proper levels.
Too much iodine in your system can be eased by the gypsywort herb when used as a tincture. Turmeric can reduce the inflammation of the thyroid, thanks to a compound called curcumin. Another alternative is water stepping, wherein the patient walks barefoot for a few minutes on wet grass. You may also use a number of homeopathic treatments to address the condition.
Since hypothyroidism is related to low levels of iodine, it makes sense to consume an iodine-rich diet. Taking kelp, a type of seaweed, can help normalize your hormone levels. It works hand in hand with vitamin E, which helps with the absorption of iodine. Amino acids L-tyrosine and L-tryptophan help your brain create chemicals like serotonin to boost your mood. Vitamins A, C, and B-complex, as well as essential fatty acids, are important in improving your thyroid gland’s function.
Regular exercise helps with improving your circulation, as well as in easing feelings of depression or anxiety. Exercise produces endorphins, also called the “happy” hormones. Furthermore, exercise can help promote weight loss, which is important since hypothyroidism leads to weight gain and a slow metabolism.
Keeping your thyroid healthy begins with a proper diet. Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, collard greens, and kale, among others, contain a natural thyroid-blocking compound, which makes them ideal for those with hyperthyroidism. Those who have hypothyroidism will need to eat iodine-rich foods like shellfish and saltwater fish.
Find more natural treatments for thyroid problems and other health conditions at Cures.news.