Thyroid Exam

Yesterday, we discussed various causes and signs of hypothyroidism.  Today, we’d like to discuss ways to prevent or protect against the development of thyroid disease.  Knowing the risk factors is an important part of your success in preventing thyroid conditions for you and your family.  

  • Treat Underlying CausesIdentify and treat the underlying causes of hypothyroidism such as food allergies, gluten, heavy metals, nutritional deficiencies, and stress.
  • Diet and Nutritional Supplementation There are multiple nutrients to support thyroid function.  Eat foods rich in iodine, vitamin D, omega-3 fats, selenium, zinc, vitamin A, and B vitamins.   Additional supplementation may also be necessary.
  • Avoid Over-consumption of Soy Has been linked to increased risk of thyroid disease, especially in the form of soy powders, patties, smoothies, etc.  Too much of these forms of soy may negatively impact your immune system.  Moderate consumption of fermented and organic forms of soy, like miso and tempeh, are the best choices. 
  • Stress Reduction – Incorporate some form of stress management into daily regimen (diaphragmatic breathing, guided imagery, visualization, meditation, meditative prayer, Emotional Freedom Technique, etc.).
  • Exercise – Initiate regular exercise regimen to support thyroid function.  A program of low-impact aerobic exercises and strength training is recommended, particularly for hypothyroidism.
  • Heat TherapyUse saunas and heat to eliminate stored toxins, which interfere with thyroid function.
  • No Smoking  – Cigarette smoke contains thiocyanate,  as well as other toxins.  However,  thiocyanate in particular, can trigger thyroid disease in susceptible individuals.  Yet another reason not to smoke. 
  • Avoid Fluoride Exposure There are many reasons to avoid fluoride (found in our water supply, toothpastes, dental rinses, etc.), but one of them is that it lowers thyroid function. It was actually used medicinally in Europe from the 1930’s through the 1950’s to treat patients with overactive thyroid glands. This is a serious issue because millions of people now suffer from low thyroid function.
  • Perchlorate – A by-product of rocket fuel production and found in various water supplies across the U.S.  This means that a large percentage of our nation’s produce has been contaminated with this poison and it is very much prevalent in our food supply.  Perchlorate has been linked to its negative influence on the thyroid gland.  Be sure you’re drinking pure water and using water filters in your shower and bath.  Also, if you have well water, get it tested for perchlorate contamination.
  • Celiac Disease – Researchers have found that some cases of autoimmune hypothyroidism can be prevented when properly diagnosed and treated early on for Celiac disease.  Also, thyroid antibodies can actually be reversed after 3 to 6 months of gluten avoidance in some individuals.
  • Ask for a Thyroid Collar When Getting an X-ray  This goes for dental x-rays or any x-rays of the head, neck, or collarbone area.  The thyroid gland is particularly sensitive to radiation.  Excessive radiation exposure is a known risk factor for various thyroid conditions.

 

Sources:

http://drhyman.com/blog/2010/05/20/a-7-step-plan-to-boost-your-low-thyroid-and-metabolis/

http://thyroid.about.com/od/thyroidbasicsthyroid101/ss/preventthyroid_10.htm#step-heading

photo:

http://blogs.einstein.yu.edu/5-questions-shed-light-on-6th-most-common-cancer/thyroidexam/