Thyroid issues such as hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) or hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid) are more common than most people think. According to the Thyroid Foundation of Canada, approximately 200 million people suffer from some type of thyroid condition worldwide—around 50 percent of which go undiagnosed.
While most people with thyroid dysfunction are placed on medication, there are steps you can take to improve your thyroid function naturally. This said, you should never go off or change your medication without consulting your doctor.
1. Avoid Gluten
It is not just people with celiac disease who are sensitive to gluten. The protein has been shown to cause damage to gut lining, which can lead to inflammation, as well as hormonal and digestive issues. This is why people who are sensitive to gluten are more likely to suffer from thyroid problems. In addition, gluten is processed with bromide, a compound that reduces iodine, a compound credited with balancing thyroid function.
2. Limit Sugar
Sugar is bad news. Consuming too much of the sweet stuff can lead to a huge range of health problems, including heart disease, diabetes, chronic inflammation and high blood pressure. As such, it is not surprising that high sugar consumption is particularly bad for people with thyroid issues. This is because thyroid hormones help to balance your blood sugar level, meaning that high sugar intake and an underactive thyroid may lead to weight gain and fatigue.
2. Eat food rich in probiotics
The health platform SUPPLEMENTnation states that there is a link between underactive thyroid and intestinal problems, particularly the overgrowth of bacteria in the gut. “Probiotics can help with such gastrointestinal issues since they are full of good bacteria that helps to keep the gut healthy. Probiotics can be found in certain foods, such as yogurt, kefir and kombucha. Also, supplements that contain Lactobacillus, including L. acidophilus and L. rhamnosus, are particularly beneficial when it comes to intestinal health,” said the website’s representative.
3. Say No to Stress
High-level stress, particularly chronic stress, can lead to thyroid problems. Those already suffering from thyroid dysfunction also often find that stressful events in their lives can worsen their condition. In order to prevent such episodes, it is crucial to take care of your mental wellness.
Why not try meditation, yoga or pilates. Walking in nature, taking up new hobbies or joining social gatherings are also great strategies to reduce the level of stress in your life.
4. Get Acupuncture
Acupuncture has many benefits—it can alleviate stress and anxiety, and reduce muscle tension. This ancient healing practice can also benefit people with thyroid dysfunction by restoring the hormonal balance. Acupuncture treatments generally take a holistic approach to healing, which takes into account all of the patient’s symptoms and aims to restore balance in the body.