The thyroid gland is located in the neck and produces thyroid hormones that are involved in regulating body temperature, metabolism and growth. In you suffer from hypothyroidism it means your thyroid does not produce enough thyroid hormones. Common signs of hypothyroidism are tiredness and fatigue, thinning hair or hair loss, weight gain and feeling depressed. Both men and women can have an underactive thyroid but it’s more common in women. In the UK, it affects 15 in 1,000 women and 1 in 1,000 men.
Conventional treatment for hypothyroidism is taking a hormone replacement therapy called levothyroxine to replace the hormones that your thyroid isn’t making.
The cause of hypothyroidism can be from autoimmune disease such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis or damage to the thyroid such as from treatment for a hyperthyroid. It is generally believed to be an irreversible condition that needs to be managed with indefinite use of levothyroxine.
There a number of things that can be done to support your thyroid and manage the symptoms of hypothyroidism. As there is a link with autoimmune disease and thyroid health it is a good idea to support your bowel health, remove pathogens and re-balance the gut microflora. There is also a contentious link between thyroid health and gluten sensitivity – so it might be wise to avoid gluten – and heavy metal toxicity – so it might be wise to avoid heavy metals and see an environmental medical specialist about checking your body load of heavy metals. There are also contentious links with soy consumption and thyroid health, so it might be wise to reduce your soy consumption. London nutritionist Steve Hines can help you make the right choices about these foods and toxins and support your thyroid health.
Next you can support your thyroid gland be eating the right foods. Thyroid hormones are made from an amino acid called tyrosine found in red meat and eggs, and iodine found in seafood and butter. Thus eating these foods is important. The gland also needs iron, B vitamins, vitamin C, zinc and selenium in order to turn these foods into hormones so eating a diet that in nutrient dense can also help.