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10 Foods that Affect Thyroid Health

The thyroid is a small gland located in your throat, just behind your Adam’s apple. It helps regulate your body’s temperature, hunger levels, energy use, hormones, and metabolism. With so many important jobs, it’s no wonder that thyroid problems can cause widespread issues throughout the body!

Approximately 20 million Americans suffer from some type of thyroid disorder. The American Thyroid Association states that nearly 1 in 8 women in the U.S. are impacted by a thyroid disorder at some point during their life.

Unfortunately, thyroid disorders and thyroid disease can have a negative impact on almost every area of one’s life. Whether it causes you to struggle with weight gain or loss, anxiety or depression, lower energy levels, or everything in between, a properly functioning thyroid gland is crucial for great health!

Male thyroid anatomy

Signs and Symptoms of Thyroid Problems

Most thyroid problems fall into one of two categories, hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism.

According to WebMD, “hypothyroidism, also called underactive thyroid disease, is a common disorder. With hypothyroidism, your thyroid gland does not make enough thyroid hormone.”

WebMD also states, “hyperthyroidism means your thyroid makes too much thyroid hormone.”

The most common symptoms of hypothyroidism are:

  • Consistently low energy levels
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Dry hair and skin
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Forgetfulness
  • Unexplainable weight gain
  • Digestive issues such as constipation or bloating
  • Muscle weakness
  • Losing your voice

The most common symptoms of hyperthyroidism are:

  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia or sleep issues
  • Thin, brittle hair
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Racing heart
  • Muscle weakness
  • Excessive sweating
  • Eyes that appear large or sometimes bulge
  • Multiple bowel movements within a 24 hour period

What Causes Thyroid Problems

Hypothyroidism is when the thyroid doesn’t produce enough of the thyroid hormones T3 or T4 (or both in some cases). In the U.S., the most common cause for hypothyroidism is Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, where the body mistakenly attacks the thyroid, compromising its functioning. Across the globe, having an iodine deficiency in the diet is the number 1 cause of hypothyroidism.

Hyperthyroidism is when the body produces too many of the needed thyroid hormones. The American Thyroid Association states that Grave’s disease is the number one cause of hyperthyroidism in the United States. It can also be caused by lumps on the thyroid or taking too many T4 supplements.

Thyroid Problem Risk Factors

While many factors can contribute to thyroid problems, research shows the following are some of the most significant risk factors for thyroid problems:

  • Nutrient deficiencies in iodine, selenium, and zinc (important nutrients for thyroid function)
  • A diet filled with processed foods, caffeine, or alcohol which damage gut health
  • Mental stress such as anxiety or depression which can negatively impact the entire immune system
  • Genetic factors
  • Pregnancy or other hormonal changes
  • Lack of exercise and a sedentary lifestyle
  • Environmental pollutants

If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, we highly recommend consulting your health care professional.

10 Foods that Affect Thyroid Health

Food is an incredible thing — it can be your best friend or your worst enemy when it comes to thyroid health. Curious how food can impact thyroid health? Check out this list of 10 foods that affect thyroid health.

  1. Coconut oil – Coconut oil is packed with essential fatty acids essential for proper metabolic function. These fatty acids positively contribute to thyroid function, hormone production, and regulating the metabolism. Coconut oil can even help raise the body’s temperature and supply the body with natural energy!
  2. Dulse seaweed – Sea vegetables are a great sources of iodine and dulse seaweed offers one of the highest concentrations of iodine. It’s also full of potassium and a great source of protein.
  3. Fish – Fish is another great source of iodine and it also has the great benefits of omega-3 fatty acids which help keep the heart healthy!
  4. Beans – Beans are an excellent source of zinc and iron, providing quality proteins and an excellent source of vitamins B and C. Furthermore, beans such as lima or pinto are a great source of selenium, a powerful antioxidant.
  5. Eggs – Eggs contain nearly 16% of the recommended daily amount (RDA) of iodine! Always try to choose organic, free-range eggs.
  6. Almonds – Almonds are a small and mighty source of nutrients needed by the thyroid. They contain iron, selenium, and zin with essential B vitamins and a high protein content!
  7. Dark Green Leafy Vegetables – Spinach, kale, collard greens, swiss chard, mustard, or turnip greens are all great sources of iron, vitamin B, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin D, magnesium, and antioxidants! These will not only help thyroid health, but your health overall!
  8. Soy – Soy negatively impacts thyroid health. According to Stephanie Lee, MD, PhD associate chief of endocrinology, nutrition, and diabetes at Boston Medical Center, the hormone estrogen, can interfere with your body’s ability to use thyroid hormone. Those with hypothyroid should moderate their intake of soy.
  9. Gluten – Gluten is another food that may hamper the absorption of thyroid hormone replacement medication. If you do choose to eat gluten, stick to whole grains!
  10. Alcohol – Alcohol consumption can damage the body’s ability to produce the thyroid hormone as well as wreak havoc on thyroid hormone levels in the body. People with hypothyroidism should cut out alcohol from their diets or drink in incredibly careful moderation.

At Gold Coast Chiropractic, we firmly believe in treating the whole body, and in the power of chiropractic to restore order, function, and communication to the body. Dr. Fisher provides each patient with the utmost care in order to discover the root of what is causing their pain and ailments.

An expert in his field, Dr. Fisher is a member of Chiropractic Biophysics Non-Profit, Academy of Chiropractic, the Illinois Chiropractic Society, and the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association. He can be trusted with your chiropractic needs!

Do not let your life be plagued by health issues and ailments — get to the root of the source with chiropractic care!

Call Gold Coast Chiropractic at 312.988.9655 or email info@goldcoastchiropractic.com to schedule your appointment today!