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Stress & Diet Cause Hypothyroidism

Thyroid glands are called the master glands of our body because being a major part of the endocrine system they help in various activities of our body to keep us healthy. Now, if for some reason you feel mentally tired, physically inactive, constipated, sudden chills, sudden weight gain or it seems hard to lose weight even after regular exercise habit and most importantly if you feel that you are losing hair towards the end of your eyebrow then for sure, you have hypothyroidism. Now that you know you have hypothyroidism, try and understand the root cause of this condition instead of jumping on to medications because they won’t fix your thyroid gland, nope!

Stress - A major contributor

We all have some kind of stress in our lives. It can come from family, financial, personal, social and there many more attributes which can cause stress in an individual. But we all should deal with it as soon as possible or else it may harm our thyroid glands. Cortisol is a stress hormone produced by adrenal glands and is actually a good hormone because it tries to regulate or modulate the changes that occur due to stress in our body like, maintaining proper blood glucose level but when we are too stressed our cortisol level shoots up and this causes our thyroid hormone that is, thyroxine to decrease which in turn causes decrease in DHEA hormone and finally, this leads to decrease of testosterone and estrogen production.  So we can see how bad stress is for our health. It can affect so many hormones in our body and cause imbalance.

Dietary Oils - again a major contributor

There is not a single day when we don’t consume oil in our food. Some oils are good like unrefined, cold pressed oils are very good for our body but the oils we get in the supermarkets are extremely bad because they are polyunsaturated oils. What I mean by polyunsaturated oils is, they are long chains of fatty acid molecules, which are highly processed and refined therefore very difficult to breakdown by our liver. Soybean oil, sunflower oil, corn oil, vegetable oil all of them are polyunsaturated oils. Actually, these oils were used to feed animals so that they can gain weight and now since it’s being fed to us we are also gaining weight. They decrease the production of thyroxine i.e. T3 hormone which communicates with the cell and ask them to convert fats into energy. And due to lack of communication these oils are stored as fats in our body and not converted into energy. Polyunsaturated fats oxidize quickly and turn rancid in our cells. This compromise our liver function and thus our liver is unable to produce the enzymes required for the conversion of T4 hormones to T3 which is the active hormone. So we see that polyunsaturated oils actually disrupts the communication between hormones and cells which is of utmost importance for our body.

Balanced plant based nutrition dense diet helps in reversing hypothyroidism

Yes, the word is “balanced”. Plant based nutrition dense diet rich in antioxidants, minerals, vitamins and phytochemicals helps in reversing and curing hypothyroidism only if eaten in a balanced way. Too much of anything is dangerous. Foods like brazil nuts, almonds, black walnuts, oats, ginger, garlic, beans, mushrooms, grains, legumes which are rich in iron, zinc, selenium, iodine, magnesium helps in proper functioning of the thyroid glands. One can eat cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower but it should be cooked and not eaten raw. Sea vegetables like kelp, spirulina are amazing sources of iodine which is required for synthesis of thyroid hormones.

Take home message

  • The thyroid gland is the master gland and very important for regulation of our metabolism.

  • Identify the root causes like stress and dietary oils which are major contributors to hypothyroidism.

  • Avoid the use of polyunsaturated oils as they inhibit the communication between your cells and hormones.

  • Stress is manageable by your body if low but disrupts your hormonal balance if too high.

  • Plant based nutrition dense diet can cure and reverse hypothyroidism if followed properly and not consuming too much of any vegetables.