Thyroid and You – The New Indian Express

News Express Service

BENGALURU: The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland that is located at the front of our neck, below the Adam’s apple. This gland produces hormones that help in regulating our metabolism, growth and developmental activities. When there is an imbalance in thyroid hormones, it leads to various problems such as altered metabolism, weight gain, bone and hair loss, increased risk of developing heart disease, hormone imbalance, celiac disease and diabetes. This is often called hypothyroidism, where our thyroid is not producing enough hormones, leading to rapid weight gain.

Hypothyroidism can affect any age group, including infants and children. Patients suffering from hypothyroidism often have difficulty losing weight. Focus on mindful eating, controlling portion sizes and balancing key nutrients across different ranges of food groups. Include foods rich in iodine, selenium, zinc, calcium and protein.

a note of caution
The path to recovery from hypothyroidism is normal. As long as the patient adheres to the drug regimen, there should be no complications. However, leaving it untreated can drastically affect your body, such as high cholesterol levels, subsequent heart disease, infertility and osteoporosis. Several studies have also shown that it can lead to the onset of other autoimmune diseases such as diabetes, arthritis and anemia. Therefore, early diagnosis and proper management of the condition can help prevent further complications.

Along with a healthy diet, engaging in physical activities like yoga, which stimulate and support the endocrine system and increase the oxygen supply in the body, will help the thyroid tremendously. Avoiding alcoholism and smoking can also help patients improve thyroid performance.

The foods mentioned above should be reviewed by a clinical nutritionist and endocrinologist.

It is advisable to write down the foods that interfere with the absorption of the thyroid medication and therefore should be avoided immediately in the morning and spaced out later in the day, such as coffee, soy, papaya, grapefruit and supplements that contain fiber as well as calcium. Read packaged food labels and include iodized salt, sprouted millet, and avoid using non-iodized pink salt to maintain thyroid health.

Nutritional supplements containing chromium picolinate used for weight loss impair the absorption of thyroid medications. Limit foods rich in goitrogen (cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, kale, millet, cassava, peanut oil, etc.) but not completely, as they are sources of essential nutrients.

Swollen face and dry skin
cholesterol levels
Joint stiffness or pain
impaired memory

Here are five foods you can benefit from.

Seeds and Nuts
Brazil nuts are an excellent source of selenium and zinc that help the thyroid function better. Additionally, chia and pumpkin seeds are rich sources of zinc and make a great snack option. The common food compulsion among these patients can be controlled through oilseeds and nuts, which are also a viable option and help with weight loss.

Beans and Legumes
These are rich sources of protein and can improve your metabolism, give you a feeling of fullness (satiety) and prevent you from gaining weight.

Thyroid patients who want to lose weight can consume egg yolks and egg whites as they will enrich their bodies with zinc, selenium and protein, essential for weight loss and stronger bones benefits.

Consuming vegetables like tomatoes and bell peppers may help weight loss thyroid patients
as they are rich in vitamin C, fiber and antioxidants.

Caffeine-free water and drinks
Increasing your water intake can help you with bloating issues, flush out toxins from your body, keep your hormones in check, and boost the weight loss process.

(Writer is Chief – Clinical Nutrition Dietetics, Hospital Aster CMI)

Thyroid and You – The New Indian Express

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