What is thyroid hormone?
Thyroid is an endocrine gland located at the base of the neck. It produces thyroid hormones T4(thyroxine) and T3(triiodothyronine). Thyroid hormones run your metabolism and energy production. If someone’s thyroid is messed up their metabolism will be trashed. Low thyroid affects practically every organ of the body negatively.
What are the symptoms of low thyroid hormone?
When the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormone or the conversion of T4 to T3 does not take place it causes following symptoms.
- Unexpected weight gain
- Cold hands and feet
- Feeling cold all the time
- Dry skin and brittle hair
- Hair loss
- Muscle loss and weakness
- Elevated cholesterol levels
- Low blood pressure
- Brain fog
- Irregular menstrual cycle
- Poor memory
How to increase thyroid hormone?
1.Eat more Sugar/Carbs
The thyroid gland requires glucose to function properly. Therefore, Incorporating simple and easy to digest carbs will improve the thyroid metabolism resulting in better functioning of it. Especially, fructose works as a fuel for your liver which directly supports the thyroid hormones.
Thyroid patients are often stressed out and sugar also helps relive stress by bringing down stress hormones like cortisol. If you have thyroid problems it is important to rest and relax and avoid stress as much as possible. Sugar and carbs are very good at bringing down stress hormones.
Eating sugar and carbs does not mean that you go out and chug on deserts, sweets and soft drinks. Instead incorporate foods like fruits, freshly squeezed orange juice, Raw honey, Potatoes, Homemade deserts made from good quality dairy and animal based fats rather than conventional vegetable oil, and store bought sweet sauces.
2.Decrease stress as much as possible
The thyroid gland has a deep connection with stress. When stress goes up thyroid function in compromised. Therefore, it is necessary to mitigate stress as much as possible. It is important to stay in a rest and relaxed state as it increases recovery and healing process.
Following are some of the best methods to reduce stress and get in a rest and relaxed state.
Things to avoid to reduce stress
- Avoid stimulants like coffee, teas and energy drinks as much as possible.
- Avoid fasting as fasting increases stress in the body.
- Avoid stressful conflicts with people which triggers stress.
- Avoid shock stimulus such as cold showers.
- Avoid heavy blue light exposure from screens especially at night before bed. Use blue light filter or blue light blockers.
- Avoid heavy exercise as it stresses the body.
Things to do to promote rest and relax state2
- Deep 8-10 hour sleep overnight is a must.
- Take magnesium supplement like magnesium glycinate as it is the king when it comes to decreasing stress.
- Hot showers/ Sauna 3 times a week.
- Sunlight exposure during the day.
- Eat more sugar/carbs.
- Eat more cholesterol rich foods like egg yolks, butter, cream, red meat etc.
- Eat more calories.
3.Eat plenty of protein rich foods
Protein supports the thyroid function as it is needed for the thyroid hormone production. Low body temperature is a common symptom of low thyroid hormone and protein is necessary for heat production in the body therefore, eating good amounts of it necessary.
Chicken, beef, lamb, fish, eggs, raw milk, yogurt are all high quality protein sources and provides plenty of it in the diet.
Many people think meat and dairy contains only protein however in reality they also contain plenty of iodine, zinc, selenium, copper, phosphorus, calcium, vitamin A, D, E, K and other trace minerals all of which are needed for proper thyroid function.
If you want to know more about how to get enough protein in your diet click here to read about that.
4.Get in selenium and zinc
Selenium and zinc are very essential for production and conversion of thyroid hormones. Plenty of both of these minerals are required to bring back the thyroid hormone to normal range.
Good sources are animal products such as chicken, mutton, pork, turkey, eggs, beef, liver, dairy etc. Brazil nuts are highest in selenium. Always soak the nuts for 12-24 hours before consuming them.
5.Get in iodine
Iodine is the basis of thyroid hormone. It is necessary to get in enough of it. Good sources of iodine are dairy, eggs, sushi and sea food, Iodized salt is also a good addition to the diet but it should not be the only iodine source.
On top of that high quality sea salts naturally contain good amount of trace minerals which are stripped away in common table salt.
You can get plenty of iodine from dairy and eggs. Always consume whole eggs and full fat dairy as the nutritional benefits of these foods lie in yolk for eggs and fat milk fat for dairy. You don’t get full nutritional benefits from low fat dairy and just egg whites.
6.Avoid these vegetables and soy
Vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, turnip, radish, kale, brussels sprouts and soy are high in something called goitrogens. Goitrogens interfere with thyroid hormone production.
Avoid these foods at all cost especially the soy and soy products like tofu, soy milk, soybeans, soy chunks as it also interferes with proper digestion and is highly estrogenic as well which is bad for health.
7.Avoid PUFAS/vegetable oil
Do you know the single most thing that causes obesity and chronic diseases? It’s vegetable oils like soybean oil, canola oil, peanut oil, sunflower oil, safflower oil and all other types of cooking oils. They are pro inflammatory and anti thyroid.
You can enhance the functioning o your thyroid simply by changing the type of dietary fat you eat. Vegetable oils when ingested produce toxicity in the body. Instead throw away these oils from your kitchen and use natural animal fats only such as butter, ghee, cream, tallow etc.
Thyroid hormone is very essential for good metabolism. To keep the thyroid functioning optimally we must decrease the stress as the thyroid hormone suppresses when the stress is high and supply it with the nutrients it needs to function optimally. Animal foods are rich sources of essential nutrients which are necessary for thyroid function. Sea food, meat, dairy and eggs are a must. One must also avoid thyroid inhibiting foods such as cruciferous vegetables, soy and vegetable oils.