Thyroid health: What to avoid?

Five Daily Habits That May Worsen Thyroid

Expert's View Thyroid

When the thyroid gland is underactive, it may cause a few health complications. Knowing what habits may worsen thyroid functioning is vital.

Hypothyroidism is when our thyroid gland does not produce enough hormones to maintain a healthy thyroid balance.

While medication can help manage it, lifestyle also plays an important role. The thyroid is a small butterfly-shaped gland located near the windpipe. It regulates metabolism and how the body uses the energy produced.

From digestion to heart health, hypothyroidism can lead to a slowdown of metabolism. Hypothyroidism has become a leading health problem that can now be seen in people in their 30s and 40s, too.

Early Symptoms of Hypothyroidism 

  • Hard stools or constipation

  • Feeling cold (wearing a sweater when others are wearing a T-shirt)

  • Fatigue or feeling slowed down

  • Heavier and irregular menstrual periods

  • Joint or muscle pain

  • Paleness or dry skin

  • Sadness or depression

  • Thin, brittle hair or fingernails

Health complications that Hypothyroidism can cause

  • Fatigue

  • Constipation

  • Weight gain

  • Depression

  • Menstrual cycle

  • Arthralgia

  • Cold intolerance

  • Slow heart rate

  • Dry skin

Five Habits That May Worsen Your Thyroid

  1. High Sugar: Diabetes and thyroid are mostly related. Thyroid issues affect the sugar level, and diabetes can risk hypothyroidism as it affects the metabolic rate, too.

  1. Too much stress: In the hustle culture, we tend to put our mental health at stake. Too much stress can lead to irregular glucose levels. Digestive issues further make one more prone to developing autoimmune diseases. These health issues weaken the glands and make one more vulnerable to developing thyroid issues and worsen it if you are already dealing with it. One must learn to manage stress, as this can help reduce the chances of developing health issues.

  1. Processed Food: In the fast-paced contemporary era, people expect quick results. With a hectic culture and increased sedentary life, processed food intake has increased. This further affects insulin sensitivity and can lead to malfunctioning of thyroid glands. One must prefer freshly cooked home food.

  1. Iodine Deficiency: Severe iodine deficiency causes goiter and hypothyroidism because, despite increasing thyroid activity to maximize iodine uptake and recycling in this setting, iodine concentrations are still too low to produce thyroid hormone.

  1. Sleep Deprivation: Poor-quality sleep and sleep deprivation significantly affect the release of hormones from the thyroid. Sleep deviation can alter the function of the human hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid axis and is associated with altered levels of TSH, T4, and T3. There is also a correlation between poor sleep quality and subclinical hypothyroidism.

One must not also depend heavily on pure medication to manage the thyroid. If not taken in moderation and with proper doctor’s advice, the pill can do more harm than good. Therefore, leading a healthy lifestyle is important and will probably solve half of the health issues! Additionally, one must undertake thyroid tests regularly to assess the state of this hormone.

What foods can cause hypothyroidism?

Five Foods that can Cause hypothyroidism

  • Soybeans

  • Cassava

  • Cruciferous vegetables

  • Millet

  • Onions

Can hypothyroidism be cured?

If you have been diagnosed with an underactive thyroid, it is important to take your thyroid replacement hormone (levothyroxine) under the doctor’s guidance. However, there is no cure for an underactive thyroid, but the condition can be managed with levothyroxine (Synthroid, Levo-T, and others).

Which fruit is not good for the thyroid?

Some fruits, such as strawberries and peaches, and starchy food, such as sweet potatoes.

Is milk bad for the thyroid?

Regular milk consumption fulfils the body’s requirement for these two nutrients while helping it metabolize fat much faster.

Can I live a normal life with hypothyroidism?

Treating an underactive thyroid involves taking daily hormone replacement tablets, called levothyroxine, to raise thyroid levels. However, with proper treatment, one should be able to lead a normal, healthy life.