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1 In 10 Indians Have Thyroid, Do You?

Around 42 million Indians including children are suffering from thyroid issues. Usually it is seen more in women than in men. There are two types of thyroid - hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism. Hypothyroidism is more prevalent than hyperthyroidism. Usually people take it very lightly when they get to hear that they have thyroid and they know taking medicine is the only best solution they have. If your thyroid functioning is impaired then your metabolism goes down and risk of obesity and diabetes increases. So it’s very important for everyone to have their thyroid glands functioning properly for an overall good health.



Basics of thyroid hormones



The release of thyroid hormones is regulated by thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), produced by the pituitary gland. Iodine and tyrosine is essential for synthesis of thyroid hormones and proper functioning of the thyroid gland. T3 hormone constitutes about 7% of the thyroid hormone. It is the active hormone, and it sends messages to DNA to turn on metabolism and thus increases fat burning. It also helps to lower cholesterol, cures hair loss and constipation and even improves the memory. Thus, it's required for proper functioning of the body. T4 hormone constitutes about 93% of the thyroid hormone. It is inactive hormone and is used when it is converted into active T3.



What causes thyroid issue at the first place?



Gluten, coffee and sugar found in all processed foods and  in animal and dairy food products is one of the major cause of improper thyroid functioning. Nutritional deficiency  i.e. lack of essential fats like omega 3, fiber, iodine, essential vitamins like D and B and even few minerals like selenium, zinc, magnesium causes improper thyroid functioning. Other factors like environmental chemicals like BPA in cans, parabens in make up, viral infections, stress and metal found in seafoods also interferes with thyroid functioning.



Hypothyroidism



It is a condition where your thyroid glands become underactive and thus produces low amount of thyroid hormones. Since thyroid hormone levels are low therefore more TSH is produced to stimulate the production of thyroid hormones. This causes the TSH level to increase. The main cause of hypothyroidism is iodine deficiency and autoimmune disorder which is caused due to poor diet. Important symptoms include weight gain, fatigue, frequent infections, goiter, dry skin & hair, constipation, menstrual irregularity and intolerance to cold.



Hyperthyroidism



It is a condition where your thyroid glands become overactive and thus produces high amount of thyroid hormones. Since thyroid hormone levels are high therefore less TSH is produced. This causes the TSH level to decrease. The main cause of hyperthyroidism is excess of iodine in food or it can be due to autoimmune disorder which is due to poor diet. Important symptoms include weight loss, fatigue, dizziness, tremor, anxiety, excessive sweating, rapid heart rate, hair loss, enlarged thyroid glands.



Plant based nutrition dense diet perfect remedy to reverse thyroid



Plant based nutrition dense diet provides the essential minerals, nutrients, antioxidants required for proper functioning of the thyroid glands. Food like brazil nuts is an amazing source of selenium and essential fats. Essential fats helps in regulation of thyroid receptors. Sea vegetables like kelp and spirulina, unprocessed pink sea salt is extremely rich in iodine. Avocado, greens, broccoli, figs, nuts, coconut are good source of vit B. Ashwagandha is very effective for treating thyroid issues. Garlic keeps our gut healthy thus favouring the conversion of T4 to T3.



Take home message




  • Thyroid glands are the master glands and required for efficient metabolism and maintaining proper body temperature.

  • Hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism are two most common forms of thyroid related issues.

  • Plant based nutrition dense diet is very crucial for improving the function of thyroid glands and thyroid receptors while animal, dairy, processed foods makes the thyroid glands either overactive or underactive.