Living With Hashimoto’s Disease or Hypothyroidism

Photo by: Bigstockphoto
Photo by: Bigstockphoto

Hypothyroidism or Hashimoto’s disease occurs when the thyroid gland is under-active. The thyroid is an organ that sits near the thyroid cartilage. An overactive immune system will react to the thyroid, inhibiting the gland from releasing the thyroid hormone. The thyroid is the largest organ in the endocrine system. It’s instrumental in the body’s metabolic rate. When it’s no longer working properly, it causes extreme weight gain, chronic fatigue and baldness. In some cases, hypothyroidism also causes dry skin, reduced alertness, and jaundice.

Because hypothyroidism symptoms are hard to detect, it’s diagnosed after a series of blood tests. People suffering from hypothyroidism may need to take hormone replacement drugs for the rest of their lives. The meds will compensate for the lack of thyroid hormones from an underactive thyroid gland.

Detecting and Dealing with Hypothyroidism

The thyroid gland controls your body’s metabolic rate. So if you’ve been feeling inexplicably tired or your metabolic rate is slow, check with your doctor. If you’ve been watching what you eat and you’re still not losing weight, you may have thyroid issues. If you’re in some kind of weight loss program, check your thyroid level first. Make sure it’s within the normal range prior to doing the program.

Eliminate Simple Carbs From Your Diet

If you’ve been diagnosed with hypothyroidism, it’s best to make better food choices to control your weight. You want to go for foods with low glycemic index. Because hypothyroidism is an autoimmune disease, it will affect your sensitivity to insulin. You will become more sensitive to high sugar foods. Eliminate foods made with refined sugars or simple carbs. These foods include white rice, pastas, and white bread.

Limit Foods Rich in Goitrogens

Limit your consumption of foods rich in goitrogens. Goitrogens are compounds that inhibit the thyroid from producing its hormones. Soy products, soybeans, and cruciferous vegetables are rich in goitrogens. By cooking these foods down instead of eating them fresh, you neutralize their goitrogens content. Cruciferous vegetables are dark leafy greens like broccoli, cauliflower, spinach and Brussels sprouts. Certain types of fruits should be cooked down as well because of their goitrogens content. These fruits include peaches, strawberries, and millets.

Increase Your Fiber Intake

We recommend boosting your consumption of high fiber foods. Rather than eating sugar-rich breakfast, nosh on whole grains, brown rice or quinoa. The fiber in whole grains and greens help normalize blood sugar level. They will make you feel fuller so you won’t overeat later in the day. Fiber also prevents constipation. People with hypothyroidism are susceptible to constipation so keep yourself hydrated as well.

Boost Your Iodine Intake

Iodine deficiency leads to thyroid problems, including hypothyroidism. Instead of using regular table salt, use iodized salt. Increase your consumption of shellfish and seaweeds. These foods are rich in essential vitamins and minerals as well as iodine.

Exercise Regularly

Dieting alone isn’t effective in shedding unwanted pounds. Exercise helps boosts the metabolic rate. If you’re suffering from hypothyroidism, you need to get fit to lose weight. Start with simple exercises. Those afflicted with Hashimoto’s disease tend to feel tired faster. So go slow. Walking or running for 30 minutes to an hour is a great way to start. If you’re ready for something challenging, we recommend Pilates, yoga or Zumba.

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