A dysfunction refers to the functional impairment or abnormality of an organ or organ system. Therefore, thyroid dysfunction is used to pertain to any and all problems in the thyroid gland. Know more about thyroid dysfunction, its signs and symptoms, and certain foods that can help treat it.
Signs and Symptoms of Thyroid Dysfunction
Thyroid problems or diseases elicit different symptoms due to the under- or over-activity of the thyroid gland. The thyroid gland is the main organ responsible for the production of thyroid hormones which maintain and control the body’s metabolism.
There are different types of thyroid conditions that also cause different symptoms.The most common thyroid disease symptoms include:
1. Nervousness, trembling, and agitation
2. Poor mental functioning, reduced ability to concentrate, and general mental fogginess. Depressed moods and sluggishness are attributed to hypothyroidism while poor concentration results from hyperthyroidism.
3. Changes in the menstrual cycle such as prolonged and heavy bleeding or reduced and scanty menstrual flow are also brought about by thyroid dysfunction.
4. Bloating and fluid retention is a common sign of an underactive thyroid gland.
5. An increased heart rate, technically termed tachycardia, exemplified by palpitations or a racing heartbeat can be one of the symptoms of hyperthyroidism.
6. Muscle pain and aches may also be experienced due to various cases of thyroid disease.
7. A moderate amount of weight gain is often associated with abnormally lower thyroid gland activity.
8. Elevated blood cholesterol levels
9. Inability to tolerate heat or higher temperatures is a common complaint of patients with overactive thyroid glands. Consequently, those with under functional thyroids may constantly feel cold.
10. Chronic pelvic pain due to hormonal imbalances. Melissa Hines, a pelvic floor physiotherapist, identified this relationship with thyroid problems and the musculoskeletal system.
It is also important to note and remember that these symptoms are not specific for thyroid disease and may be caused by other conditions or may be the norm for some people. Therefore, if you experience any of these symptoms, it’s always best to seek medical or professional help and health care in order to evaluate your thyroid’s function through laboratory tests.
Food Suggestions and Restrictions order to help treat Thyroid Dysfunction
Dr. Amy Myers, medical doctor, scientist, and author of The Thyroid Connection believes in the extraordinary power of food to both harms and heal the body. In her book, she wrote about how the food you eat affects your energy levels, physical health, and state of mind.
Dr. Izabella Wentz, on the other hand, is a thyroid pharmacist who has been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. This is an autoimmune disease where the body’s immune system attacks the thyroid glands, compromising its function. She discovered an interesting connection between food triggers and symptoms of the disease.
Both doctors mentioned several foods and nutrients that can help in treating or reducing the symptoms of thyroid dysfunction.
1. Iodine and iron. Iodine and protein are the building blocks of thyroid hormones. When iodine levels are low, thyroid hormone is reduced. Iron is needed for the conversion of iodide from food into usable iodine molecules.
2. Selenium. This is needed to activate thyroid hormones for specific functions. Dr. Wentz recommends taking 200 mcg of selenium per day, which you can get through eating 4 to eight Brazilian nuts.
3. Zinc also allows your body to regulate and control the amount of thyroid hormones.
4. Omega-3 fatty acids and Vitamin A work together in helping your cells receive signals from thyroid hormones.
5. Vitamins B and D maintain the healthy balance of the immune system.
6. Probiotics found in yogurt also help keep the gut healthy, which is crucial for people with autoimmune disease.
7. Kale, lemon, broccoli, salmon, and avocados can provide nutrients to improve hormone balance while spices such as turmeric, cinnamon, ginger, and garlic help relieve the pain of the pelvic muscles.
Aside from consuming those in the list, you should also avoid gluten, which is a triggering factor for Hashimoto’s thyroiditis that could result to damage of the thyroid tissues.
Sensitivities to common allergy triggers like soy, nuts, eggs, corn, and dairy can also affect your immune responses and may induce inflammation. Processed carbohydrates may also result in higher blood sugar levels, which in turn increases thyroid destruction.