The thyroid glands, located at the neck's base, regulate our body's metabolism and energy levels. However, alteration in the thyroid function can cause thyroid diseases, slowing down the body's metabolism and making you feel tired all the time.
When the thyroid glands do not produce enough hormones to push it into the bloodstream, it is known as hypothyroidism. Underactive thyroid or hypothyroidism causes excessive weight gain, fatigue etc., slowly affecting the entire body.
A recent study conducted by Jeevam health stated that 58% of the patients had symptoms even after taking medication. The study confirms that hypothyroidism medication without knowing the underlying cause hardly has any effect in treating the disease.
Wonder how to control thyroid? This article will talk about ways in which you can control your thyroid and our functional approach to cure it.
Have you ever wondered how your thyroid affects your body? And what happens when your thyroid glands stop functioning properly? Well, your thyroid glands regulate how your body cells use energy from the food you eat.
Our body metabolism controls our heartbeat, body temperature, calorie-burning, and a lot more. So, when the metabolism is slowed down due to underactive thyroid, it directly affects your body function and makes you feel fatigued.
There are several root factors why hypothyroidism occurs. One of the leading causes of hypothyroidism is a condition known as Hashimoto’s disease. Hashimoto thyroiditis, also known as Hashimoto disease, is a severe condition in which the immune system attacks the thyroid. Chronic food allergy is one of the main causes of the leaky gut where the intestinal lining is compromised- that triggers the immune system. Our immune system then attacks our healthy cells & causes chronic inflammation, ultimately causing Hashimoto's disease.
The symptoms of Hashimoto's thyroiditis may take years to develop. The symptoms are usually mild at the initial stages, and if not treated early, it can cause coma and severe health problems. Rather, it's much better that you treat your thyroid disorder immediately to avoid long-term distress.
Not only this, but untreated hypothyroidism can also lead to severe complications such as heart disease, infertility, goiter, and other health-related problems.
Some of the common symptoms of hypothyroidism include-
In case you have any of these symptoms, you can reach out to a thyroid specialist. A thyroid doctor will ask you to get some tests done and later prescribe you some thyroid medication to cure thyroid disease. However, keep in mind that hypothyroidism treatment works best when combined with a proper hypothyroidism diet, supplementations, and a healthy lifestyle.
“58% of the thyroid patients that share their experience are taking medications and still have persistent symptoms,” says Dr. Anish Musa, Functional medicine expert.
But why do the symptoms persist even after taking medications? Can we cure hypothyroidism permanently?
The truth is- the concerned hypothyroidism medications with associated side effects do not address the root cause of the disease. Hence, most hypothyroid patients suffer from the symptoms even after taking medications. So, what is the other way to control it? The answer lies in finding the root cause of the problem and then tackling it to get better.
For instance, iodine deficiency can tackle the problem by taking an adequate amount of iodine-rich food in the diet. It takes time to show results, and several factors such as lifestyle, food habits, etc., are associated with proper thyroid function.
However, if you ask us- is thyroid curable? We would say we can regulate it and improve the quality of life by diminishing the severity of the disease.
Are you someone who is struggling to control your thyroid disorder? But are your symptoms still persistent even after taking medicines? The only way out is- visiting a functional medicine doctor. Functional medicine is different from regular medicine because it looks for the root cause of the problem instead of addressing the symptoms. Let’s say you have a high TSH level; the first step in functional medicine would be to look for the cause of the symptoms and not the other way round.
Functional medicine does not include removing the affected part or introducing drugs to cure a particular symptom. It focuses on finding the reason why your body has the concerning symptom and working towards reducing it.
Let’s delve more into the functional approach and how it can show desired results in hypothyroidism.
Let’s assume three people have the same symptom- fatigue. And each of them can have fatigue due to several factors such as iron deficiency, hypothyroidism, etc. So, it is crucial to understand the root cause of the problem, and this is where the concept of functional medicine comes into place.
“The body is a highly complex web in which all systems and parts are related.” says Dr. Joshua J. Redd, DC, MS, DABFM, DAAIM, author of The Truth About Low Thyroid
According to him, every part of our body is related, and the thyroid does not function independently from our body. A similar study was conducted by Jeevam health that showed that 70% of the people with hypothyroidism had persistent symptoms even after taking medications. This study indicates that functional medicine is a better alternative. When combined with adequate diet and supplementation, we can reduce the severity of the disease and show better results.
We are what we eat. Now that we have talked about the functional approach towards hypothyroidism, we must understand that the diet also acts as a major factor in treating hypothyroidism.
For instance, certain foods can trigger our food sensitivities and food allergies and ultimately worsen our symptoms. So, are you sure you want to miss out on the crucial factor while struggling with hypothyroidism? I bet not!
A proper diet can help you stay fit and disease-free. It plays a vital role in treating hypothyroidism. While certain foods worsen the symptoms, some foods help enhance your thyroid function and deliberately improve your hormone secretion levels. However, one size does not fit all, and it is suggested that you reach out to a functional medicine doctor and get yourself a thyroid diet plan - that fits you and your food preferences.
“Nutrition isn’t one size fits all. What works for ONE doesn’t work for everyBODY.” Basheerah Enahora, MBA, MS, RD, LDN
Besides, if you have noticed an excessive weight gain due to your dysfunctional thyroid, you can consult a nutritionist who can plan out a thyroid diet for weight loss. You can look up functional medicine in India and book a call accordingly. At Jeevam health, we have experienced functional medicine doctors specialized in hypothyroidism; you can reach out to us too.
Here are few tips that can help you to regulate your thyroid disorder and live a healthy life-
Diet plays a vital role in regulating your hypothyroidism. Avoid highly inflammatory food such as sugar, refined oils, gluten and processed food is known to worsen your symptoms. Healthy eating habits not only help you regulate your thyroid levels but also prevent other diseases by keeping you healthy and fit. Wonder what food to eat? People believe that eliminating food can cut their calorie intake; however, a balanced diet that includes fish such as salmon, buckwheat, ghee, etc. to have a nutritious meal.
Exercise solely cannot cure hypothyroidism. However, it can help you to stay fit and stress-free. Doing exercise every day improves mood and combats several health diseases. When hypothyroidism medication, paired with exercise, can help you feel energized and regulate your thyroid function.
"Vitamins and nutrients can help fight the underlying causes of thyroid disorders, such as autoimmune processes and inflammation, and help improve a dysfunctional thyroid," says Raphael Kellman, MD, a functional medicine physician in New York City and author of The Microbiome Diet. However, you must not take any supplements without asking a doctor. It is important to take your doctor's advice on the type of supplementation you require. Taking iodine, selenium, and zinc-rich diets can help you regulate your thyroid hormone secretion.
A healthy lifestyle is a precursor for a healthy life. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle can make you healthy and happy. If you're not feeling well, there's much to be gained from focusing on a healthy diet, regular exercise, stress management, and more to help you feel your best with hypothyroidism, says David Borenstein, MD.
He also added that "It's extremely important to have a lifestyle that controls stress and provides proper nutrients," Many healthy lifestyle changes in your life can show better results. A study published in August 2011 in the journal Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice confirms that hypothyroidism patients who practiced yoga better managed the symptoms that accompany the disease and reported improvement in the quality of their lives after.
You cannot cure thyroid disorder permanently. However, you can diminish the severity of the disease and live a healthy, quality life. Besides, reversal of your symptoms is possible. Let’s say your thyroid gland is attacked by the immune system, then avoiding the trigger or the antibody is possible to prevent further damage. It is estimated that 20% of the cases of Hashimoto are now reported to repair glands, however, there are no such scientific methods to achieve that.
To combat the symptoms, you must find the root of your problem- a holistic approach to hypothyroidism. However, a hypothyroidism diet plan along with lifestyle changes is recommended to treat the thyroid disease.
Jeevam health thrives on treating the disease by uprooting the cause of it. We are a team of experts who specialize in treating hypothyroidism. Need help? Reach out to us