While there is no particular step you can take to definitely prevent thyroid disease, there are options you can do that can reduce your risk or, if you have been diagnosed with thyroid disease, it can help you slow down or stop the progression of his condition.
According to the American Thyroid Association (ATA), more than 12 percent of people living in the United States will develop a thyroid condition at some point in their lives.
The ATA also estimates that about 20 million Americans suffer from thyroid disease, but up to 60 percent may not know it.
Because undiagnosed thyroid disorders can increase your risk of developing a number of other medical conditions, it is important to know your family history of thyroid disease and pay attention to any unusual symptoms you have.
Before having x-rays, especially dental x-rays or x-rays that affect your spine, head, neck or chest, ask the technologist to place a thyroid collar on your neck if you do not provide it immediately. This necklace looks a little like the neck part of a turtleneck, and is heavy and lined in lead.
The purpose of the collar is to protect the thyroid gland from exposure to radiation. This is important because your thyroid is the most vulnerable part of the head and neck region due to its location and large size, and excessive exposure to radiation can cause thyroid cancer.
1. Stop smoking
Cigarette smoke has a variety of toxins that can affect your thyroid. Thiocyanate, in particular, interrupts the absorption of iodine, which in turn can block the production of thyroid hormones.
In general, smoking can cause elevated levels of thyroxine (T4) and a slight decrease in levels of thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH).
Cigarette smokers are also more likely to develop Graves’ disease, one of the leading causes of hyperthyroidism, as well as the eye complications of Graves’ disease, called Graves’ orbitopathy.
Eliminating smoking is not an easy task, so involve your doctor. There are a number of options available to help you through it.
2. Facilitate soy
Soy is a controversial ingredient, especially when it comes to the health of the thyroid. While it is unlikely to have an effect on your thyroid, and research supports this more and more, consuming soy in moderation is probably best for your overall health.
And if you have thyroid disease, it’s a good idea to take your thyroid hormone replacement medication (most people take levothyroxine) on an empty stomach and wait 30 to 60 minutes before eating. For soy products, it is best to wait four hours after taking your medication.
This is because the evidence has consistently shown that soy, as well as calcium, fiber, iron and other foods and medications, interfere with the absorption of levothyroxine in your body.
3. Do the thyroid neck check
One of the best things you can do in terms of early detection is to perform a thyroid neck check periodically. This simple test can detect lumps, bumps and swell in the thyroid if they are close to the surface.
However, many nodules and lumps cannot be seen or felt, so if you have other symptoms, you should consult your doctor.
All you need for this simple screening is a glass of water and a mirror. If you feel or see something out of the ordinary after following all the steps, be sure to see your doctor.
4. Keep potassium iodide at hand
You may want to buy some potassium iodide (KI) to keep it in your family’s emergency kit. KI is an over-the-counter supplement that, when taken within the first hours after a nuclear accident or attack on nuclear facilities, can help protect your thyroid from the risk of thyroid cancer.
The reason for this is that your thyroid needs iodine to function, which it normally receives from your bloodstream. However, it can not distinguish the difference between regular iodine and radioactive iodine, the type that is released from nuclear plants or from radioactive material during nuclear explosions.
Radioactive iodine can increase your chance of developing thyroid cancer, and it is especially risky for unborn babies, babies, and young children. When taking KI, you are saturating your thyroid with iodine so that it does not enter radioactive iodine.
In a radiation emergency, it is thought that the risk of developing thyroid cancer justifies the risk of taking KI. But if it is not directly in the path of a radioactive column, KI will not protect it from anything.
It can trigger or worsen hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism, exacerbate existing thyroid conditions and cause conditions such as the Jod-Basedow phenomenon and the Wolff-Chaikoff effect. It can also cause sialadenitis (an inflammation of the salivary gland), gastrointestinal disorders, allergic reactions, and rashes.
As such, you should only take KI when indicated by local health authorities during a nuclear emergency, according to the American Thyroid Association. There are several reasons for this, including:
Not all radioactive releases contain the radioactive iodine that causes thyroid cancer, so only health authorities will know if you need to take KI.
Authorities can tell you who needs to take KI, how much to take, when to take it, and for how long.
If you are not in a downwind area of a nuclear launch or accident, the probability that you need to take KI is very small.
5. Discuss selenium supplementation with your doctor
Selenium is a nutrient found in precise proteins, and the thyroid has the utmost concentration of selenium in the adult body. Maintaining a balanced level, either through a healthy diet or through supplements, can help prevent thyroid disease.
Even if you are getting enough selenium from the food you eat, the supplements can help strengthen your immune system.
Scientific studies have shown that selenium reduces antibodies against thyroperoxidase (TPO) in people with Hashimoto disease and in pregnant women, and decreases the symptoms of hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid).
In addition, in pregnant women, supplementation with selenium decreases the likelihood of developing permanent postpartum thyroiditis.
Since the body absorbs the organic form of selenium called selenomethionine better than the inorganic form known as sodium selenite, it is better to use selenomethionine as a supplement because it is more effective.
Of course, be sure to talk to your doctor first about taking selenium. Its role in the health of the thyroid has not yet been fully resolved. In fact, studies suggest that high levels of selenium in the body can be a risk factor for developing type 2 diabetes.
6. Get diagnosed and treat celiac disease
Celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder that causes your intestines to react strangely to gluten (a protein found in wheat, barley, rye, oats, and other related grains) is three times more common in people with autoimmune thyroid disease like Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and Graves’ disease.
It is not clear why this association exists, but it may be due in part to the genetic component of autoimmune diseases, as well as the fact that both conditions are quite common.
In addition, celiac disease causes a deficient absorption of essential minerals such as iodine and selenium, which can cause deficiencies and trigger thyroid dysfunction.
7. Visit your doctor regularly
It is important to consult your family doctor for regular check-ups, not only for your general health but also for your thyroid health.
This is especially true if you are at risk of developing thyroid disease; for example, if you have a family history of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis or Graves’ disease. In this case, your doctor may want to evaluate your thyroid hormone levels annually.
Food for the Health of Thyroid
To get all the nutrients necessary to produce healthy levels of thyroid hormones and convert inactive thyroid hormone to its active state, you must eat many of the four nutrients essential for thyroid health: iodine, selenium, zinc, and iron.
Each of them plays a vital role in the production and regulation of thyroid hormones. Also include a large amount of nutrient-dense foods that support overall health, including proteins, vegetables, healthy fats, and grass-fed, grass-fed, and wild-fed fruits.
It is also important to eliminate inflammatory, toxic and processed foods. These increase inflammation, wreak havoc on your intestines and put you at risk for long-term health problems.
Getting rid of toxic foods like sugar, alcohol, caffeine and junk food is one of the best things you can do for your health. Eliminates gluten, dairy, soy, and corn because they are all highly inflammatory.
During the healing process, you should also cut out grains, legumes, vegetables, eggs, nuts, and seeds. After restoring your thyroid function and eliminating your symptoms, you can re-add them one by one to determine which ones are well tolerated and can be added back to your diet.
The 8 best foods to eat for the health of the thyroid, according to an expert
1. Bone Broth
The bone broth contains gelatin and collagen, two superstars to maintain a healthy mucous lining, proper digestion, and intestinal functioning.
Glucosamine in bone broth helps repair a leaky gut by fighting inflammation and stimulating the growth of new collagen.
Bone broth is very simple to make at home, and there are so many companies nowadays that also produce bone broths prepared for when you do not have time to prepare your own batch.
Research has shown that omega-3s could play an important role in the reversal of chronic diseases related to the intestine, including metabolic disorders, obesity, and colorectal cancer.
Meanwhile, low levels of vitamin D have been connected with IBD and colon cancer. Increased intake of vitamin D dramatically reduces inflammation and promotes the activity of friendly bacteria in the intestine, which helps defend against infections such as salmonella.
Mint, a hybrid of water, mint, and spearmint, has antispasmodic properties that make it ideal for relieving irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and other gastrointestinal complaints.
Menthol cooling in mint relaxes the intestinal tract, reducing the pain, gas, and constipation associated with IBS with the same efficacy as prescription antispasmodics.
Coconut products of all kinds, including oil, cream, and yogurt, are antimicrobial, antifungal and antiviral, which makes them extremely useful when it comes to SIBO, excessive growth of yeast (such as Candida) and parasites.
Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT) in the coconut help in the absorption of nutrients and are beneficial for the management of gastrointestinal disorders.
Coconut yogurt comes with the additional advantage of probiotics to stimulate the growth of good bacteria in the intestine.
Fiber is essential for digestive health, including constipation and diverticulosis. Recent studies have also demonstrated the power of dietary fiber to reduce systemic inflammation and support a healthy immune response.
A single cup of raspberries contains 8 g of fiber, about a quarter of your daily fiber needs. Research has found that eating raspberries with a meal improves insulin sensitivity and satiety, and increases the amount of a certain type of good bacteria in the intestine that is often depleted due to diseases such as IBD.
6. Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar (or “ACV”) is a natural antimicrobial and can inhibit the growth of a certain type of bacteria that is high in lipopolysaccharides (LP).
The humble root of ginger is a historical remedy for digestive comleomoplaints. Ginger is known for its ability to relieve nausea and may help relieve symptoms associated with IBS, such as stomach cramps, gas, bloating, constipation and diarrhea.
It can also prevent heartburn by preventing acid from regurgitating back into the esophagus and killing harmful bacteria related to acid reflux.
In addition, ginger can help with the absorption of nutrients, which is often compromised when it comes to an intestinal infection.
Lemon has a high content of vitamin C, an antioxidant that suppresses inflammation, stimulates the immune system and is antimicrobial to maintain a healthy bacterial balance in your microbiome.
Vitamin C also plays a role in the formation of collagen, which is necessary for optimal function of the intestinal barrier.
Lemons are naturally detoxifying and help stimulate the production of bile to aid in digestion. Low bile acid is a risk factor for developing gastrointestinal problems such as SIBO.
Lemons also contain pectin, a type of prebiotic fiber that feeds good bacteria and decreases the number of bad bacteria in the intestine.