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What is a thyroid gland?

The thyroid gland is the one of the largest glands in the human body, located in the neck, below the thyroid cartilage. This gland has the shape of a butterfly and it consists of two lobes, which are connected to each other with isthmus.

The thyroid gland produces 3 very important hormones:

  • T3 - triiodothyronine
  • T4 - thyroxine
  • calcitonin

These hormones regulate metabolism, the levels of energy, the temperature of the body, heart rate, blood pressure, mood, etc.

What is Hypothyroidism?

Hypothyroidism is a condition when your thyroid gland does not function normally and is not able to produce enough hormones.

Women are more likely to suffer from hypothyroidism then men.

What causes Hypothyroidism?

Hypothyroidism is caused by:

  • Autoimmune disease
  • Thyroid surgery
  • Radiation therapy
  • Medications
  • Treatment for hyperthyroidism, etc.

Symptoms of Hypothyroidism?

Symptoms vary from the amount of the hormone deficiency. These symptoms tend to develop slowly over years.

You may barely notice any symptom at the beginning, but with time the condition will get worse.

Signs and symptoms of hypothyroidism include:

  • Fatigue
  • Weight gain
  • Constipation
  • Muscle weakness
  • Increased sensitivity to cold
  • Elevated blood levels of cholesterol
  • Depression
  • Impaired memory
  • Slower heart rate
  • Pain and tenderness in your joints
  • Thinning of the hair, etc.

What to avoid and eat when you have hypothyroidism?

There is no hypothyroidism diet. But some foods and medications should be avoided at the same time when you take your thyroid hormone, like:

  • Soybean flour
  • Cruciferous vegetables - like cabbage or broccoli
  • Gluten - a protein found in foods processed from wheat, rye, and other grains
  • Fatty foods
  • Sugary food
  • Calcium supplements
  • Iron supplements
  • Multivitamins
  • Some ulcer medications
  • Coffee - studies have shown that caffeine blocks the absorption of the thyroid hormone, etc.

Foods that you should add to your diet if you suffer from hypothyroidism are:

  • Fish - tuna, salmon, trout or sardines who are rich with the omega 3 fatty acids
  • Nuts - are rich with selenium. Selenium is known to help the function of the thyroid gland. Eat more hazelnuts.
  • Whole grains - foods like rice, pasta, cereals are rich in fibers, which will help for constipation.
  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Seaweed - it is known that seaweed has a high concentration of iodine. Iodine is very important in the synthesis process of the thyroid hormones.
  • Dairy - like milk, cheese and yogurt
  • Beans - contain antioxidants, protein, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. They are also high in fiber, which is always good for constipation.

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