According to he American Thyroid Association (ATA), about 20 million Americans suffer from some form of thyroid disease, but more than 60 percent of them are unaware of their condition.
The thyroid is a gland just under the Adam’s apple that regulates your heart beat, how fast you burn calories and other metabolic functions. It is hormone-producing, butterfly-shaped gland and influences every cell, tissue and organ in the body.
More likely to have thyroid problems are women. Some of the common thyroid dioredrs include hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, thyroiditis and thyroid nodules. Most of them are genetic in nature, and if they are not treated, can affect your metabolism and put you at a higher risk of cardiovascular diseases, osteoporosis and infertility. The thyroid diseases are life-long conditions.
If you are a thyroid patient, these are the 6 things you should avoid:
- Taking Your Thyroxine Tablet with Your Morning Coffee
They work best when taken on an empty stomach as it aids in better absorption. You can take them every morning in about 30-60 minutes before breakfast. You can also take them at night, 2 to 3 hours before you go to bed.
You should also keep in mind not to take your thyroid medicine along with fiber and milk-based foods; probiotics; calcium-fortified fruit juices; calcium, iron or other mineral supplements; and beverages like coffee. The best option is to simply take it with a glass of water.
It is best to take your medicine at a fixed time daily (or the frequency your doctor has prescribed). Maintaining a routine will ensure that you do not miss a dose.
2. Eating Large Amounts of Raw Cruciferous Vegetables
They contain compounds called glucosinolates that can interfere with thyroid hormone synthesis. Some examples of cruciferous vegetables are cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, spinach, Swiss chard, Brussels sprouts, bok choy, and sweet potatoes.
Excessive consumption of raw cruciferous vegetables can be detrimental for people suffering from thyroid disorders, especially for those with iodine deficiency or insufficient iodine intake.
So, watch your intake of goitrogenic foods, such as cruciferous vegetables, especially in raw form.
3. Not Managing Stress
According to a 2004 study published in the Thyroid journal, stress can be one of the environmental factors for thyroid autoimmunity.
If you are a thyroid patient, it is essential to manage stress. In fact, excessive stress may exacerbate an underlying thyroid condition.
When stressed, your body releases the hormone cortisol. Excess cortisol can interfere with thyroid hormone production.
Deal with your stress with restorative yoga, deep breathing, meditation, massage and a healthy diet.
4. Smoking Regularly
In addition, cumulative cigarette consumption is a risk factor in autoimmune thyroid disease.
Thyroid sufferers should stay away from tobacco to help prevent further progression of thyroid symptoms.
For a thyroid patient, smoking as well as exposure to secondhand smoke is not a good practice. A 2000 study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine showed that smoking is associated with an increased risk of developing clinically overt thyroid disease.
Cigarette smoke contains a compound called cyanide, which acts as an antithyroid agent. This compound directly inhibits iodine uptake and hormone synthesis. In addition, several other components in smoke can seriously affect thyroid functioning.
5. Neglecting the Darker Side of Soy Products
In addition to limiting your intake of cruciferous vegetables, consult your doctor before eating soy products. Soy contains phytoestrogens and goitrogenic compounds that affect thyroid function and interfere with the body’s absorption of the hormones produced by the thyroid gland.
So, restrict your intake of soy foods. Plus, avoid taking soy supplements; genetically engineered soy foods and soy junk foods including soy cheese, soy oil, soy ice cream and soy burgers.
6. Ignoring Medicines and Regular Check-ups
Do not stop taking medicines on your own even if you feel fine. Also, do not self-medicate as a wrong dosage can play havoc with your thyroid health.
For treating thyroid problems, proper medication is highly recommended. You should follow your doctor’s instructions and take prescribed medications without fail to get your thyroid hormone levels back to normal.
At the same time, you must regularly get a thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) blood test done, which measures the hormones in your thyroid against a healthy level. The test should be done once or twice a year to keep a check on your thyroid hormone levels.