The thyroid is no more uncommon health issue, especially amongst females. You could in a way say that more females suffer from thyroid as compared to males. Every other girl/woman will have either Thyroid or PCOS responsible for weight gain. This is an observation coming from the people I meet every day. Until I knew I am also one of the Thyroid sufferers (the irony of life !).
The thyroid is a gland shaped like a butterfly in the front of the neck. By the way, sometimes I feel it looks more like an insect :P.
So what’s the big deal about the Thyroid Gland, if you may ask! It may be the smallest but one of the most important glands in your body. It controls sleep, metabolism, usage of energy in your body, and your WEIGHT.
The thyroid gland produces thyroid hormones that are responsible for all its important functions. The Hypothalamus of the brain signals the pituitary gland to produce Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) which in return signals the thyroid gland to produce thyroid hormones thyroxin (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3).
If you go for a thyroid test for the first time, make sure that you examine TSH, T3, and T4 levels. Later, your doctor may advise you to undergo only TSH for future progress depending on your medical issues.
Under-productivity of the above hormones leads to’ Hypothyroidism ‘and over productivity results in ‘Hyperthyroidism‘.
Symptoms of Hypothyroidism
- Mental fogginess and forgetfulness
- Non-specific aches and stiffness in muscles and joints
- Excessive or Scanty menstrual bleeding
- Infertility/ Miscarriages
Symptoms of Hyperthyroidism
- Increased bowel movements
- Tremor (usually a fine shake)
Diet For Thyroid Patients
Hypothyroidism patients should avoid the intake of iodine supplements and depend on the iodine from food. Iodine is present in dairy products, multivitamins, shellfish, processed food, etc.
Calcium intake must be increased.
STOP alcohol and smoking.
Thyroid patients must avoid Goitrogens.
These are naturally occurring substances in food that can interfere with the functioning of the thyroid gland. Some of the Goitrogens are –
- Soybean/ Soy-based foods
- Vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, turnips, mustard, etc.
- Fruits like peaches, strawberries, and peach
- Peanuts, radish, tofu, spinach, and millet
Stress and Thyroid
I see a direct impact of stress on the functioning of the Thyroid gland from my personal experience. I did not have a thyroid 1 year back when I got all the tests done. 6 months back, I underwent stress due to some personal issues. In fact, still going through it! And I can tell you that my Thyroid is because of my continuous high stress!
Regular exercise is extremely important. Early diagnosis can prevent weight gain/loss. After guesswork of 6 months and 10 kgs weight gain, I woke up to realize that perhaps it’s time to redo all the medical tests!
I am taking Thyronorm 25 as per my Doctor’s recommendation. The dosage is directly proportional to your TSH level. Mine is not too high, so Thyronorm 25 is sufficient. I have a few friends who have been taking Thyronorm for 50 years since their TSH is always on the margin despite taking medicine. If they don’t take medicine, needless to say, it invites problems! BTW, I forgot to mention that you need to see an Endocrinologist for your thyroid.
Please let me know if you have any queries about Thyroid. I will try to answer as much as I know from my personal experience (read suffering.