From Dr. Mercola:
With all the conflicting information out there pertaining to your thyroid, especially regarding what to eat and what to stay away from, it may be confusing. And when trying to ferret out the facts from most conventional health practitioners, the contradictions can get frustrating.
You might hear, “Stay away from cruciferous vegetables because they might prevent your system from absorbing iodine,” or, “Don’t drink coffee because it could block your thyroid hormone replacement medication.”
One important thing to know about your thyroid is how central it is to your overall health, so ensuring it’s operating properly is critical. Just as importantly, hypothyroidism is often manageable via your diet.
What’s Your Thyroid For?
The butterfly-shaped thyroid gland straddling your windpipe, right under your larynx, is the “mainframe” that regulates your metabolism, controls virtually every function of your body and interacts with all the other hormones, from your insulin to your sex hormones.
Thyroid cells are the only cells in your body that can absorb iodine. Your thyroid gland takes iodine from foods — the only way iodine can be obtained — combines it with an amino acid called tyrosine and converts it to three types of hormones: triiodothyronine (T3), thyroxine (T4) and diiodothyronine (T2).
T3 and T4 are then released into your bloodstream for transport throughout your body, where oxygen and calories convert them to energy.1 Every cell of your body uses thyroid hormones, so thyroid-related symptoms can vary.
How Thyroid Issues Are Diagnosed: Symptoms, Tests and Complications
There are two main disorders related to the thyroid gland. Hypothyroidism, when your thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough thyroid hormone, is the most common, and often linked to iodine deficiency. Symptoms include:
✓ Cold sensitivity
✓ Hair loss, including eyebrows
✓ Rough skin; dry, tangled hair
✓ Weight gain
✓ Memory loss
It should be noted, though, that there are dozens of other seemingly unrelated symptoms of hypothyroidism, such as:
✓ Fallen arches
✓ Neck pain and stiffness
✓ Carpal tunnel syndrome
✓ Pale skin
Overactive thyroid, or hyperthyroidism,2 often called Graves’ Disease, is sometimes described as your body attacking its own thyroid. In some instances, its most common symptoms are opposites of those caused by underactive thyroid:
✓ Restlessness and irritability
✓ Weight loss
✓ Brain fog
✓ Frequent bowel movements
✓ Irregular heartbeat
✓ Protruding eyes
Several tests to get to the bottom of a thyroid imbalance include thyroid antibody, basal body temperature or TSH (thyroid-stimulating hormone) testing. However, laboratory testing for thyroid issues is sometimes problematic.
As many as 80 percent of people with hypothyroidism fail to register as such with standard testing. According to