What is your Thyroid? And what is it in charge of?
The thyroid is one of the chief hormone regulating organs in the body located behind the suprasternal notch (dip at the bottom of your neck) between the larynx and “Adam’s Apple.” Since thyroid cells are the only cells in the body capable of absorbing iodine, the thyroid is in charge of combining iodine with tyrosine in order to produce the thyroid hormones thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). Since every organ in the body is dependent on hormones, and the thyroid governs over all other hormone producing organs such as the pituitary gland having good thyroid health is key to maintaining a great overall state of well-being.
What else effects my Thyroid?
I am all about addressing the root cause, so therefore if the thyroid is under stress, most likely there are a few other organs that are not living up to their full potential. Our body’s organs are all connected so if one organ is malfunctioning, there is a ripple effect throughout.
The Thyroid controls the secretion of hormone produced by the pituitary gland. For instance, if the Thyroid is deficient in producing the hormones T3 and/or T4 the pituitary gland responds by producing Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) to fuel the production of thyroid hormones. The pituitary gland then decreases its production of TSH in response to the thyroid’s normalization of T3 and/or T4. When the Thyroid’s production of the T hormones is functioning abnormally the thyroid can then experience something called hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism.
I have HYPER or HYPO THYROIDISM
We all love to self-diagnose ourselves because of the constant information provided by our new best friend otherwise known as the internet. Scrolling can be helpful when it comes to learning about the basics of diseases, infections, disorders, etc, however, there is a lot more to diagnosing someone with hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism.
Hyperthyroidism occurs when the thyroid produces too much of the T3 and/or T4 hormones to be released into your bloodstream. Your body is then unable to breakdown all of the excess T hormones and can lead to anxiety, fast heart beat and rapid weight loss.
Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid does not produce enough T3 and/or T4 hormones for the metabolism to function properly. Therefore, hypothyroidism can lead to weight gain, constipation, extreme energy loss, depression, you name it.
How to be a friend to your thyroid
First and foremost one of my main rules when promoting thyroid health is limiting the consumption of Brassica vegetables. Some of the most common Brassica vegetables that are my biggest ‘no no’s’ are Broccoli, Kale, and Brussel Sprouts. These veggies carry compounds called goiterogens that inhibit the Thyroid’s ability to use iodine to regulate the T3 and T4 hormones. So if you find yourself drinking kale juice, eating kale salads and snacking on kale chips you might want to reconsider.
Secondly, beans and grains contain carbohydrates that your body is unable to digest and also contain enzymes that block the full digestion of other starches. Since the entire body is connected often times when the metabolism is stressed trying to digest foods like beans and grains it causes stress on the thyroid therefore, it can no longer secrete the T3 and T4 hormones properly.
Thirdly, caffeine is a huge stressor for the thyroid. Caffeine can cause the thyroid to work overtime and exhaust it’s T3 and T4 hormone management. The best way to treat your thyroid right is to consume little to no caffeine, if you are going to indulge in a caffeinated beverage the best option is green tea.
Side Note: A great snack for your thyroid is Dulse because it is high in Iodine. I love to use it in smoothies, salads or soups as thyroid support.
NO Brassica veggies
And little to no Caffeine
Eat dulse for your thyroid