Your thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland found under the larynx or larynx. It is an endocrine gland responsible for many vital functions, including metabolism. When you are hyperactive and produce too many thyroid hormones, you create a hyperthyroid disorder.
It is a type of thyrotoxicosis because excess thyroid hormone presents a toxic condition for your body. According to an article published by Nature Reviews Disease Primers, Graves disease is an autoimmune condition that is a common cause of an overactive thyroid. It is a common but serious condition that needs treatment.
What Causes Hyperthyroidism Disorder?
While Grave’s disease is a common cause of an overactive thyroid, it can also be caused by thyroid nodules. They are usually benign lumps on the thyroid. However, some nodules can be cancerous.
Sometimes your thyroid becomes inflamed and causes it to become overactive. The swollen gland loses too many thyroid hormones, causing an overactive thyroid. Unfortunately, it can soon lead to hypothyroidism, which is an underactive thyroid.
There are three variations of thyroiditis that you can have. The first is subacute thyroiditis, which causes a painful inflammation of the gland. An article published by Dr. James Hennessey states that this condition can last 3 to 6 weeks and can be caused by bacteria or viruses.
• Silent thyroiditis
The second variation is called silent thyroiditis because your thyroid may be inflamed and you have no symptoms. Still, it can lead to serious gland problems. According to an article published by the Canadian College of Family Physicians, this variation can be an autoimmune disorder sometimes found in postpartum women. The third type is postpartum thyroiditis, which can occur after the mother has a baby.
Sometimes you can get too much of a good thing. Without iodine, your thyroid could not make thyroid hormones. But if you get too much, you get a hormone overdose from a overactive thyroid.
Since many of the signs and symptoms of an overactive thyroid overlap with other health conditions, your healthcare provider cannot rely on them alone. Usually a blood test will confirm that your thyroid hormones are too high. In some cases, your healthcare provider may order a thyroid scan to check for enlargement and hyperactivity.
Left untreated, hyperthyroidism poses many risks to your health, warns an article published by the National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Diseases. These can include problems with your heart, muscles, bones, fertility, and menstrual cycle. You can also be at risk during pregnancy for you and your fetus.
Common signs of an overactive thyroid
Do you think your thyroid may be overactive? Some of the signs may be more obvious than others. Here are ten of the most common warning signs you may see:
- Reddened skin and excessive sweating.
- Redness of the palms of the hands.
- Appearance of urticaria (also called hives)
- Unexplained weight loss, regardless of a healthy appetite
- Eye problems, such as dryness, redness, and blurred vision
- Hair thinning or unexplained hair loss
- Loose and brittle nails
- Tremors or spasms
- Irregular pulse rate
- An enlarged thyroid gland also called a goiter
According to statistics published by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, approximately one person in every 100 people in the United States is diagnosed with this disorder. If you are a woman, you are between 2 and 10 times more likely to have it, says the article.
Additionally, the article lists possible risk factors for developing a hyperthyroidism disorder. These include a family history of thyroid disease, type 1 diabetes, adrenal disorders, or consuming too many foods high in iodine. You may also be at risk if you were pregnant in the last six months or if you were older than 60 years.
Healthy Eating Habits for Hyperthyroidism Disorder
The classical Greek philosopher Epicurus believed that we are what we eat. If you have an overactive thyroid, there are some foods that you should eat more and others that you should avoid. Although diet cannot cure overactive thyroid, the minerals in some foods can affect hormone production and make your symptoms more manageable.
• Low iodine foods to consider
While iodine is a necessary mineral for your health, too much can play a role in an overactive thyroid. Some health professionals recommend that you eat foods low in iodine if your thyroid is overactive. Here are some healthy and delicious foods you can enjoy:
- Fresh or frozen vegetables – canned varieties are loaded with salt
- Egg whites
- Salt without iodine
- Herbs tea
- Fresh or dried herbs and spices
- Vegetable oils like olive and canola
- Honey and pure maple syrup
- Fresh fruit, especially citrus
- Alcohol, in moderation
- Lean portions of beef or poultry
- Unsalted walnuts and nut butter
• Cruciferous vegetables
Your parents were right when they encouraged you to eat your vegetables. If you have an overactive thyroid, some of your best options include cruciferous vegetables. According to a study published by Nutrition ReviewsThese tasty greens have compounds that can benefit your condition by reducing the iodine in your thyroid.
These vegetables are called cruciferous because their four central petals are usually cross-shaped. They are also known as Brassica vegetables. Try incorporating some of these into your diet:
- Most dark green vegetables, such as turnip, mustard, cabbage, kale, and arugula. Another benefit of dark green vegetables is the beneficial antioxidants they provide.
- Cabbage and Brussels sprouts
- Bok choy
- Broccoli and Rabe
- Rutabagas and turnips
Although these vegetables are delicious and provide nutrients and fiber, do not go overboard with them. Brassica vegetables are high in sulfur. Consuming too much can cause painful bloating and gas.
You may not recognize this mineral, but it is essential to have it so your body can properly metabolize thyroid hormones. A study published by the National Journal of Endocrinology suggests that consuming foods rich in selenium may benefit certain hyperthyroid disorders.
Many of these nutritious foods are probably already in your diet. If you want more selenium, here are some foods to try:
- Light fish, such as tuna and halibut, in moderation.
- Lean portions of low-sodium beef or ham
- Lean portions of poultry
- Integral rice
- Eggs, in moderation
- Cottage cheese
- Brazil nuts
- Selenium-enriched cereals or pasta.
• Pump some iron
You already know that your body needs iron to be healthy, including your thyroid. Did you know that if you have low iron levels, it can be related to hyperthyroidism? This was one of the conclusions found in an investigation published by the Journal of the Formosa Medical Association. Here are some common foods that are rich in iron:
- Beans and lentils
- Sardines, in moderation
- Lean servings of beef, poultry, and pork
- Dark chocolate, in moderation
- Tofu, in moderation
• Calcium and vitamin D
One of the unfortunate associations with an overactive thyroid is a decrease in bone density, states an article published by the Indian Journal of Medical Research. This condition can lead to brittle bone disease and osteoporosis.
Vitamin D is also a vital nutrient for bone health. However, few foods are high in content. Most of the vitamin D you need comes from sunlight. Of course, you must be careful and use sunscreen, and avoid the sun during peak hours.
Increase your calcium intake naturally with these foods. Some are also fortified with vitamin D:
- Dairy products: milk, cheese, yogurt, in moderation
- Salmon, fresh or canned
- Sardines, preferably canned in water.
- Vegetables like kale, bok choy, and broccoli
- Calcium-fortified soy milk and tofu, in moderation
- Calcium-fortified orange juice, in moderation
Spice up your diet
According to an article published by the Indian Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism, turmeric it can positively affect hyperthyroidism disorder. Green chili peppers can also be beneficial. These spices are not only a tasty dish, but they are also anti-inflammatory.
• Foods to avoid or consume in moderation
It can be a bit tricky when looking for a balanced diet that benefits your hyperthyroid condition. While some foods may have beneficial vitamins and minerals to minimize your symptoms, the downside is that they can also be high in iodine.
Here are some foods you should try to avoid or eat in moderation:
• Foods to avoid
- Molasses or foods that contain it
- Go out with iodine
- Red dye or foods that have it
- Baked goods that include iodine conditioners.
- Caffeine: coffee, tea, chocolate, energy drinks, cola.
• Enjoy in moderation
- I am products
- Dairy products
Although hyperthyroidism is a common condition, it can cause serious health consequences if it is not diagnosed or treated. If you suspect your thyroid may be overactive, talk to your healthcare providers. They can work with you and a registered dietitian to find the best hyperthyroid diet for you.