The thyroid is one of the most important glands in our body - it secretes hormones that control weight management, energy production and even sleep - yet most people don’t even know where to find it, let alone how to support its function.
There are two main types of thyroid conditions - underactive thyroid (Hypothyroidism) and overactive (Hyperthyroidism). If you suspect you might have a thyroid condition, the first step is to get checked by taking a simple blood test. Make sure to read our blog on why your thyroid test might be wrong first, as often subclinical thyroid disorders can get overlooked by medical practitioners.
The only way to figure out exactly what is going wrong in the process is by taking a simple blood test to measure the following:
By analysing these results, your Naturopath can work out what’s really triggering your thyroid problems - whether it be an iodine deficiency, hormone imbalance, environmental toxicity, or inflammation.
There is a lot you can do to support your thyroid function without resorting to prescription drugs. In fact, eating naturally and utilising the nutrients from food and supplements is one of the best ways to support proper thyroid function. The way we eat can actually help, or hurt, our thyroid gland.
Iodine is an essential component of the thyroid hormone and is important for good thyroid health. Iodized salt was created to protect non-coastal people from thyroid goiters, but one surprising food that is a rich natural source of Iodine is seaweed! As an alternative to iodine supplementation, eat plenty of toxin-free sea vegetables or seaweeds. That might sound gross, but seaweed is actually in lots of food products like spirulina, hijiki, wakame, arame, dulse, nori, and kombu - all of which are loaded with iodine and other beneficial minerals. However, make sure that these are harvested from uncontaminated waters. The recommended dose is about five grams a day or about one ounce per week.
The button mushroom may be overlooked for its superfood qualities, but it’s actually one of the best natural sources of Selenium - a crucial mineral in the conversion of T4 to T3.
These are also rich in selenium and are great for boosting Thyroid function. In fact, 3 Brazil nuts a day is enough to give you a healthy dose of this powerful antioxidant and thyroid mineral.
Zinc is another mineral important for the conversion of T4 to the active T3, and it’s also a mineral that nearly all our new patients are deficient in. Surprisingly, pumpkin seeds have a healthy dose of zinc, but for maximum zinc-intake, the seeds should be eaten raw, as roasting them can deplete zinc intake.
Stay away from soy products
While I have made my thoughts on soy quite clear in previous blogs, if you struggle with thyroid function, it is best to avoid soy products as there is some evidence to suggest it may interfere with iodine absorption and thyroid function.
If you suspect you may have a thyroid condition and would like some advice, book a free 15min phone chat with a qualified Naturopath. Click here to book now.
Do you want to find out how natural health can help treat your thyroid condition and discover some of the super foods to eat and diet principles to follow to help balance your immune system?
Click here to access our free guide - Natural Remedies for Thyroid Health.
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