The thyroid gland plays a vital role in your body. It helps regulate your metabolism, body temperature, mood, and heart rate.
A person with hypothyroidism or an underactive thyroid may feel fatigued, sluggish, cold, and may gain weight. On the other hand, hyperthyroidism (an overactive thyroid) may cause sweatiness, anxiety, sleeplessness, and sudden weight loss.
HABITS THAT ARE BAD FOR YOUR THYROID
The truth is, you don’t have complete control over your thyroid function. Your genetics partly determine thyroid function. Luckily, you can improve thyroid function with lifestyle changes. Ditching these habits is a good place to start, if you are having thyroid issues.
1. Skimping on Fats
You probably know that eating fats does not make you fat. What you may not know is that a low-fat diet has a negative effect on thyroid function.
A low-fat diet can inhibit the absorption of vitamins and minerals. This is problematic, since your thyroid needs iodine, vitamin B12, magnesium and other nutrients to function optimally.
Increase fat intake by adding olive oil to salads, eating avocados every day, and snacking on nuts.
2. Low Iodine Intake
It is important to get adequate iodine during childhood, since it aids cognition and growth. You also need to consume enough iodine as you grow older. Research shows that low iodine intake can cause hypothyroidism.
Good sources of iodine include sea salt, sea vegetables, seaweed, blueberries, and potatoes. It is advisable for pregnant women to take iodine supplements, since they need extra iodine for the baby.
3. Eating too Many Cruciferous Veggies (for some people)
High intake of cruciferous veggies can increase the risk of thyroid cancer in people with iodine deficiency, according to research. However, research also shows that cruciferous veggies do not affect thyroid function in healthy individuals.
Do not cut back on veggies unless you have dry skin, frequent headaches, menstrual problems, difficulty losing weight, and other symptoms of iodine deficiency. Talk to your doctor if you have these symptoms.
4. Consuming Bromide-Containing Foods and Drinks
Bromide is a compound commonly found in some flours, bakery goods and soft drinks such as Sun Drop, Mountain Dew, citrus-flavored sodas, Fresca, and Squirt.
Research shows that bromide interferes with the metabolism of iodine and, as a result, lowers thyroid function.
Fasting can help renew your cells and keep you young. However, it may worsen symptoms in people with hypothyroidism.
This study found that thyroid concentrations changed during the fasting month of Ramadhan. Researchers say that hypothyroidism patients should increase the dose of levothyroxine when fasting. Also, extreme calorie-restriction may negatively effect on your thyroid.
Cigarettes contain toxins that affect thyroid function. According to this study, smokers with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis have a higher risk of hypothyroidism.
7. Drinking too Much Alcohol
Research shows that excessive drinking can lower thyroid function. But you may be surprised to find out that moderate alcohol consumption may actually lower the risk of thyroid cancer.