Hormones are responsible for just about every function performed by your body.
From blood sugar to blood pressure, sex drive, sleep, and metabolism, maintaining the right balance of hormones is critical to good health.
The thyroid is the control centre for the majority of the hormones your body uses, which means having too much or too little thyroid hormone can have major impacts on your health.
If you’re worried about the health of your thyroid, you might be looking for a thyroid naturopathic doctor to help sort things out.
As a naturopathic doctor in Mississauga, I want to help you learn about how thyroid hormones affect your body.
In the past, we’ve explored the thyroid quite a bit.
Today we’re going to look closer at what happens when your thyroid overproduces thyroid hormones, a condition known as hyperthyroidism.
Keep reading to find out more.
What Is Hyperthyroidism?
Your thyroid is a small, butterfly shaped gland located at the front of your neck.
It’s a part of your endocrine system, a collection of hormone producing glands.
This includes your:
- Pituitary gland
- Parathyroid gland
- Ovaries or testes
- Adrenal glands
Your kidneys also have endocrine functions, but they’re not strictly considered endocrine glands.
Each of these glands produces hormones.
- Estrogen, testosterone, and progesterone, produced by your gonads and adrenal glands
- Insulin, produced by your pancreas
- Cortisol, produced by your adrenal glands
- And many more
Your thyroid is responsible for the production of thyroid hormones.
These control a number of your body’s important functions, including metabolism, heart rate, body temperature, and mood.
With hyperthyroidism, your thyroid produces too much thyroid hormone.
What Are The Major Symptoms Of Hyperthyroidism?
If your body is overproducing thyroid hormone, you may experience the following symptoms:
- Feeling overheated very easily
- Losing weight, often despite eating more
- Irregular, rapid heartbeat
- Muscle weakness
- Tremors of the hand
- Irregular periods
- Frequent bowel movements
- Nervousness and irritability
- Tiredness, often paired with poor sleep
- Hair thinning
- Excessive sweating
- Swelling of the thyroid gland (goiter)
What Can Trigger Hyperthyroidism?
Graves’ disease causes your immune system to attack your thyroid gland.
This causes it to kick into over drive, and as a result it releases too much thyroid hormone.
Other things which can trigger the release of excess thyroid hormone include:
- Thyroid inflammation or swelling
- Nodules on the thyroid (either benign or malignant)
- High levels of the hormone T4 in the blood
- Too much iodine in your diet
- Tumours on the testes or ovaries
Is Hyperthyroidism Very Serious?
Left untreated, hyperthyroidism can result in a number of serious health problems.
- Irregular heartbeat which can lead to blood clots
- High blood pressure
- Heart failure
- Other heart issues
- Graves’ ophthalmopathy, an eye disease which can cause double vision, light sensitivity, and eye pain
Hyperthyroidism can also lead to a far more serious condition called thyroid storm, which, when untreated, can be deadly.
If you get treatment early, however, hyperthyroidism is manageable in the majority of cases.
Can Hyperthyroidism Be Cancerous?
Having a hyperactive thyroid gland does not lead to an increased risk of developing thyroid cancer.
Nor does having an underactive thyroid gland.
Naturopathic Solutions For Hyperthyroidism
If you are worried about hyperthyroidism, there are a number of natural ways you can get things under control.
Let’s take a closer look.
1. Eat Thyroid Friendly Foods
Your diet influences your body, including your thyroid gland, functions.
If you’re concerned about thyroid health, add more of these things to your diet:
- Fresh fruits and vegetables
- Lean protein
- Bone broth
- Herbs and spices with anti inflammatory properties like turmeric, rosemary, basil, and oregano
2. Avoid These Foods
People with overactive thyroid glands should avoid the foods high in iodine, including:
- Iodized salt
- Lima bean
Additionally, some other foods to avoid include:
- Excess sugar
- Artificial dyes
- Artificial flavours
- Processed and packaged foods
- Foods containing gluten
3. Get Enough B Vitamins
Low levels of vitamin B12 can result in feelings of weakness, dizziness, and tiredness.
Ensuring you get enough B vitamins can help alleviate and manage these symptoms.
Some foods high in B vitamins, and vitamin B12 in particular include:
- Organ meats such as liver
- Nutritional yeast
If you’re a vegetarian or a vegan, you might notice there aren’t a lot of options for you to get enough vitamin B12.
That’s one of the reasons why vitamin B12 deficiency is one of the most common nutrient deficiencies.
In that case, it might be ideal to supplement.
But before you add a new supplement to your routine, be sure to book an appointment here at the Mindful Healing Clinic first.
Adding a new supplement may cause issues with any other supplements, as well as medications or other health conditions.
4. Get Enough Selenium
There is evidence to suggest that selenium can be used to help provide treatment for both Graves’ disease and hyperthyroidism symptoms.
It’s a mineral which can be found in soil and water, as well foods including:
- Brazil nuts
- Chicken and turkey
- Sunflower seeds
If you are worried about getting enough selenium from food, you may consider a supplement.
But as mentioned above, be sure to book an appointment here at the Mindful Healing Clinic first.
5. Supplement With L Carnitine
L Carnitine is an amino acid which occurs naturally in your body.
It blocks thyroid hormones from entering some cells and can be used to help prevent and reverse symptoms related to hyperthyroidism.
Foods which contain L Carnitine include avocado, beef, chicken, and pork.
Book Your Appointment With Dr. Maria Cavallazzi, ND, Today
Are you experiencing symptoms associated with hyperthyroidism?
Have you been losing weight, despite not making any major changes to your diet or exercise routine?
Are you tired all the time, yet have trouble falling asleep at night?
Has your menstrual cycle become irregular?
I’m Dr. Maria Cavallazzi, a Mississauga based naturopathic doctor who can help by assessing your symptoms and offering a treatment plan designed to help you get your thyroid hormones under control.
Contact my office today to book your consultation.
Until next time,
Dr. Maria Cavallazzi is a medical doctor from Colombia where she practiced as a family physician for 8 years until she moved to Canada 16 years ago and became a naturopathic doctor in Mississauga.