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.

Triiodothyronine
Thyroxine

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 importance of iodine in your diet

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;

 

Age Male Female
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?

Possible causes

Soy sauce
  • 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.

Symptoms

  • Feeling sick
  • Fatigue
  • Need for a lot of sleep
  • Depression
  • Hair loss
  • Excessive sweating
  • Overweight
  • 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.


 

 

13 Comments

  1. Adyns68

    Hi Jan

    I love the simplicity of your post, I got to understand the importance of thyroid in my body. Now, I am a vegetarian and I would like to continue enjoying my raw broccoli and radishes, but how can I avoid those foods to impair the normal operation of my thyroid? or will it be better if I steam them?

    Does the hyperthyroidism create discomfort in the neck? Or when you swallow food?

    Thanks

    1. Jan

      Thank you for your comment. You can proceed with broccoli and radishes, but try to avoid them raw. Steaming or cooking will help with normal thyroid functions.

      Hyperthyroidism can cause fatigue and also in some cases pain. You can develop a goiter, due to deficiency in iodine or thyroid dysfunction, but most goiters are painless.

      However, an inflamed thyroid gland can be painful.

      I hope that helps =)

  2. Gaurav Gaur

    Hi, Jan.
    Thanks for sharing your view and the in-depth information on Hypothyroidism. My wife is suffering with this issue from past eight years and is on medication. As you correctly said, she is also witnessing the weight gain and abrupt mood swing. We have not taken care of Iodine so far and would love to go for your recommendations as suggested.
    Warm Regards,
    Gaurav Gaur

  3. PrettySophia

    Hi, thanks for sharing this article about hypothyroidism. Most times I do wonder what is the cause of Goiter , but reading your article now have made me to understand the cause and I will like to share it to people around me the reason, the cause, the symptoms of hypothyroidism and how to avoid it . Thank you for sharing this educative article once again.

  4. Yongli

    Once I check my hormones, the doctor said I have potential having hypothyroidism. Symptoms are looking muscular as a female, weight gain, fatigue, skin are yellowish. Then I started to work out more, reduce trans fats in my diet, and rest enough. Slowly my skin turns fairer lesser yellow color, less fatigue but my weight is still the same. I had enough of iodin intakes, I eat seafood, seaweed, milk product to the point that I have high in both high-density lipoprotein and low-density lipoprotein. Maybe that’s the reason why my weight has to gain more than reduce, but I am actually feeling better. I think a balanced diet for me is still a better option, not to overeaten certain food might be the right thing to do.

    1. Jan

      I think you are on the right path. If and when you start introducing exercise and nutrient-dense foods, the body will begin to regain lost balance. You can maybe add a pinch of spice to your salty foods, cinnamon to your sweets and cloves to your tea. Those antioxidants have one of the highest ORAC values (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity).

      Another thing to do is make sure, you get enough sleep. Try to sleep in the dark to ensure melatonin gets released naturally in your body.

      I hope this helps 🙂

  5. Juliet

    Thanks Jan for this post on hypothyroidism. I see people with that bump in the neck, all I could think was something is not right but I didn’t know what. Oh, I really like broccoli, cabbage, radish and sprouts. I always eat my radish raw, now I’m scared hope my thyroid won’t start growing? I’ll start giving my radish a little cook. 

  6. Smoochi

    I must say that this is really an insightful post and i am very sure that the content of this article will be of so much help to many others, just as it has greatly helped me. This is a very detailed article on hypothyroidism. this is really clear and distinctive, the way you have explicitly explained the different ages.

  7. Benny

    An article of this quality takes a lot of time and energy to develop especially when it has to reach out to people with useful information. i also commend the beautiful website that you have created with nice templates. this is my first time of coming across hypothyroidism so i am happy you posted this.

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