Hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism are conditions that affect the thyroid gland. The thyroid is responsible for releasing hormones that are crucial to many important functions like regulation of metabolism, heart rate, breathing, and body temperature. It also affects cholesterol levels, mood, energy, and weight management. Let’s take a look at the differences between hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism, and what you can do to help improve thyroid health.
Hyperthyroidism means the thyroid gland is producing too much of certain thyroid hormones (T4 for example). Symptoms of hyperthyroidism can include unexplained weight loss, brittle hair, sensitivity to heat, sleep issues, irregular heartbeat, weakness, fatigue, anxiety, irritability, and mood swings. However, these symptoms could also be signs of a more serious condition, so always check with your doctor. Some common causes of hyperthyroidism include an autoimmune condition like Graves’ Disease, and inflammation of the thyroid.
Conversely, hypothryoidism is a condition in which the thyroid gland is underactive and does not produce enough thyroid hormones. Symptoms of hypothyroidism can include unexplained weight gain, fatigue, weakness, thinning hair, decreased heart rate, dry skin, and depression. The most common causes of hypothyroidism include an autoimmune condition like Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, radiation therapy, inflammation of the thyroid gland, an iodine deficiency, and certain medications.
What You Can Do
Although thyroid issues are common, there are some things you can do to help improve the health of your thyroid and possibly reduce your risk of developing more serious thyroid conditions. The main thing you need to do is take a look at your diet. What you eat affects every system in your body, and proper nutrition is necessary for good health. Getting enough vitamins, minerals, and iodine in your diet is crucial to a properly functioning thyroid, in addition to all other organs and bodily systems. Some of the best foods to get iodine from are fish, shrimp, and other seafood because you also get omega-3’s. Cutting inflammatory foods and drinks out of your diet is also important because inflammation is one of the main causes of thyroid conditions. Inflammatory foods include processed foods, sodas, candy, breads, etc.
Taking certain supplements may also help provide the nutrients necessary for a healthy thyroid. Our product Thyroid Essentials is a great formula containing iodine, selenium, l-tyrosine, and several other ingredients that may help promote thyroid health. However, Thyroid Essentials is not recommended for people with thyroid conditions that require reduced iodine intake, unless directed by your healthcare professional. Bacopa 320 is another product that is great for overall hormone balancing, including thyroid hormones, and may help promote healthy memory and mood.
Thyroid issues are becoming more and more common, which is likely due to the stress and environmental toxins we encounter each day. Fortunately, proper nutrition and supplementation may help improve some of the symptoms of existing conditions, and may even help lower your risk of developing some in the future. Your health should always be a top priority, and we want to help you feel your best!
You can listen to our Would You Pass The Healthy Thyroid Quiz? podcast here.
You can also check out Dr. Lewis’ Thyroid Sniper: Shoot’n Straight with Dr. Stephen Lewis, D.C. book here.