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Do You Have a Sluggish Thyroid

simple dietary changes thyroid naturally

Hormonal imbalances, slower metabolism, chronic fatigue and weight gain is not just common in women but also plaguing men. The reason lies in an underactive thyroid gland also known as ‘Hypothyroidism’. Apart from popping in a pill every morning, is there a way to manage this gland and ensure you put your best foot forward every day? Time and again research has proved that a lifestyle modification is the best way to manage underactive thyroid gland.

Before we get to the solution of the problem, let us first understand the cause of the sluggish thyroid gland. This butterfly-shaped organ has the master control to the most fundamental to complex mechanisms in the body. 90% of people with hypothyroidism have an autoimmune condition called “Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis” which wherein your own immune system attacks the thyroid gland. An antibody test reveals the exact cause of hypothyroidism.

Brain fog, piling on excess weight, dry skin, low tolerance to cold etc which indicate an underactive thyroid gland can be well managed with the below dietary modifications:

  • Up your multivitamin/mineral intake: Calcium, vitamin D, vitamin B12, iron, selenium, zinc, iodine levels can help boost hypothyroidism and increasing the intake of these in your daily food can only improve the response of thyroid hormones.
  • Say yes to fat: Restricting essential fat in the diet can further stress your thyroid gland and worsen the symptoms. Include ghee, flax seeds, nuts, avocados, coconut oil on a regular basis to avoid stubborn fat gain because of hypothyroidism.
  • Say no to empty calories: Refined sugar, processed foods can increase your intake of empty calories which means you do not get any nutrients out of these except calories. Avoid them to manage your thyroid gland better.
  • Look for underlying food allergens: Eating foods which you could be sensitive to or allergic to can further increase the autoimmune response especially in Hashimoto’s. Your Nutritionist should be able to help you identify such foods after analysing your foods intake and symptoms in detail.
  • Befriend more of the friendly bacteria: Probiotics or the positive bacteria in your gut can help improve your thyroid gland functioning by 20%. The next time you say not to homemade curd thinking it is fattening, remember that they can help you manage thyroid gland better and instead help in weight loss.
  • Exercising especially strength training and yoga are known to boost thyroid gland functioning. Adrenal fatigue leading to stress can further worsen hypothyroidism. Along with the above nutritional tips, getting sufficient sleep and exercising at least 150 minutes per week can further help manage your thyroid gland better.
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-Aruna Prasad
Consultant, Nutrition