To start things off, your thyroid gland is located in your neck – and as important as it is, not a lot of people actually know what it does. The gland controls how effectively your body makes proteins, how quickly it burns through its energy stores, and how sensitive your body is to certain hormones.
Basically, you need it functioning optimally around the clock.
Hypothyroidism is an endocrine disorder where your body can’t produce enough thyroid hormone – as a result, you take a hit to your basal metabolic rate, energy levels, tolerance to colds, and your ability to keep off excess weight.
Because of how diverse the symptoms are, many people often mistakenly attribute their signs to some other health problems (e.g. a virus, stress, etc.). They can suffer for years without knowing the real cause behind their illnesses.
Despite the disorder having the word “thyroid” in it, the actual cause comes from a dysfunctional immune system. In fact, 90% of hypothyroidism is actually caused by Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis – an autoimmune disease that consequently breaks down your thyroid as a result of an antibody-mediated immune response. So in a nutshell, your immune system breaks down your thyroid health thinking that it’s a threat.
So, what can you do to treat it?
Many of the safest, natural treatments for hypothyroidism actually come back to your diet. By changing the way that you eat and drink, you’ll improve the function of your thyroid and relieve the symptoms that the disorder has on your body. Here are three ways to do it:
1. Limiting Caffeine and Sugar Intake
This one may be a bit tricky, as one of the biggest symptoms of hypothyroidism is chronic fatigue. You’ll feel exhausted, often throughout different parts of the day – and as a result, you’ll want to dive head first into mug after mug of coffee. Unfortunately, loading up on high carb sugars and energy spiking coffees will just leave you feeling more exhausted after the effects wear off. Drinking coffee in moderation is usually the better way to go if you need it. Just don’t overload.
2. Eat Healthy Fats
There’s a big difference between the trans fats that you get from junk foods and the healthy fats that you get from olive oil, avocados, nuts, etc. Your body needs HDL (good) cholesterol to improve the health of your hormonal pathways, which consequently improves the function of your thyroid. Thankfully, many of these healthy fats do a great job improving your cholesterol levels and actually improve your heart health to boot.
3. Eat Glutathione
This powerful antioxidant is often used to increase the immune function of your body, including how it regulates and modulates itself to target the proper threats. This is why it’s so useful for combating the effects of Hashimoto’s disease, because it can help keep your thyroid strong and protected from damage.
While there aren’t many food sources that you can use to directly up your intake of glutathione, there are many out there that can improve your body’s ability to produce it. Bring more broccoli, squash, spinach, avocado, and cabbage into your diet if you want to increase your supply of glutathione.
Remember, hypothyroidism is often misdiagnosed as a number of other, more common health problems – leaving the main cause overlooked. By changing your diet and cutting out poor habits, you’ll be able to increase the function of your immune system and keep your thyroid healthy in the process.