Why does hypothyroidism occur and how can we battle it naturally? How do hormones affect it? How much iodine do we need and what are the best sources of it? Let’s dive in!
What is hypothyroidism?
When the thyroid does not produce enough thyroid hormone, we talk about hypothyroidism. The thyroid gland secretes the hormones thyroxine and triiodothyronine.
These hormones regulate growth and development and interfere with the metabolism of carbohydrates, lipids, and proteins, as well as increase oxygen consumption and basal metabolism, so people with this disease may have problems with excess weight.
The thyroid gland is the major gland of metabolism. When thyroid function is defective, we have lower basal metabolism. The thyroid is located behind Adam’s apple.
The synthesis and storage of thyroid hormones require iodine, which is also an integral part of these two hormones.
Thyroid dysfunction is also often associated with the occurrence of goiter that occurs when the thyroid gland is overactive or underactive.
Goiter as a result of hypothyroidism is caused by a deficient dietary intake of iodine and occurs in less developed parts of the world.
Iodine food sources
Seafood, seaweed, milk, iodine salt, supplements and of course balanced diet, can all help you get daily requirements of iodine.
According to the National Institutes of Health ( https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Iodine-HealthProfessional/ ), recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) for Iodine are as follows;
|Birth to 6 months||110 mcg*||110 mcg*|
|7–12 months||130 mcg*||130 mcg*|
|1–3 years||90 mcg||90 mcg|
|4–8 years||90 mcg||90 mcg|
|9–13 years||120 mcg||120 mcg|
|14–18 years||150 mcg||150 mcg|
|19+ years||150 mcg||150 mcg|
What are the causes and symptoms of hypothyroidism?
- Excessive consumption of soy
- Excessive ingestion or loss of iodine in the diet
- Thyroid removal
- Eating uncooked goitrogenic foods (broccoli, turnips, kohlrabi, radishes, cabbages, sprouts) -> The goitrogenic diet reduces and slows down thyroid function.
- Feeling sick
- Need for a lot of sleep
- Hair loss
- Excessive sweating
- Memory problems
Hypothyroidism and nutrition
Hypothyroidism as a result of iodine deficiency is reversible with iodized salt and fish.
When iodine is not the cause of the disease, we do not need to treat hypothyroidism, but it can slow down the progression of inflammation.
Hypothyroidism and weight gain
People with hypothyroidism have 15 to 40% reduced metabolism, which means that less energy is needed despite the higher activity.
A healthy woman needs around 2000 kcal to sustain, and a woman with hypothyroidism averages around 1300 kcal. So we need to reduce energy intake appropriately to prevent weight gain.
Diet for such disease should include whole grains and lots of fruits and vegetables, 20 to 30 grams of high-quality protein and fat in each meal. Lots of antioxidant-rich foods (spices) that fight free radical damage.