Foods for Thyroid Disease

Thyroid Foods

Foods that we eat play a role in production of Thyroid Hormones, excessive action of the thyroid gland can cause Graves’ Disease, while under activity can cause Myxedema.

Thyroid Gland
Thyroid Gland

 Foods that reduce Thyroid Function

  • Certain foods contain chemicals which block the production of thyroid hormone, particularly cabbage, broccoli, rutabaga, cauliflower, kale, Brussels sprouts, watercress, and peanuts. Cooking partially inactivates the interfering chemical, known medically as a Goitrogen. Thus, in most cases it is wise to eat these foods cooked. Raw peanuts or soybeans should never be eaten. Fortunately, peanut butter is heated to a high enough degree that the Goitrogens are destroyed.”
  • Milk is a major contributing factor to thyroid problems, especially since modern dairy products often contain traces of antibiotics such as penicillin and hormones which place an even greater burden on your endocrine system.
  • Soy. Soy is a Goitrogen known to depress thyroid functioning.
  • Sugar. At  high level of sugar intake, there is a risk of damaging or even destroying the adrenal and thyroid glands.

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Hair Fall, Loss of Hair and Baldness

Strong Hair
Healthy Hair

Loss of Hair

Hair grow up around 1 centimeter per month. About 90 percent of the hair on your scalp is growing at any one time, while about remaining 10 percent of the hair is in a resting phase. the resting hair falls out and new hair starts to grow in its place after about 3 to 4 months. It is normal to shed some hair each day, as part of this cycle, losing about 100 hairs a day is normal. However, some people may experience more than normal hair loss.

 Hair Loss Causes

  • Genetics. If you have parents or family members that suffer from hair loss, there is an enormous likelihood that you will experience the same destiny. One can delay this process by keeping your hair and scalp healthy.
  • Illness. Hair loss may occur as part of an underlying disease, such as lupus, thyroid or diabetes. Since hair loss may be an early sign of a disease, it is important to find the cause so that it can be treated.
  • Hormonal changes.  Hormonal problems may cause hair loss. If your thyroid gland is overactive or under active, your hair may fall out. This hair loss usually can be helped by treatment thyroid disease. Hair loss may occur if male or female hormones, known as androgen’s and estrogen’s, are out of balance. Correcting the hormone imbalance may stop your hair loss.
  • Medication. Some medicines can cause hair loss. This type of hair loss improves when you stop taking the medicine. Medicines that can cause hair loss include blood thinners (also called anticoagulants), medicines used for gout, high blood pressure or heart problems, vitamin A (in excess only), birth control pills and antidepressants.
  • Diet. diets that are deficient in proteins may lead to severe health issues which may also affect hair health. This is why most shampoos and hair loss treatments are fortified with hair proteins and important vitamins like vitamin A, B complex and E that are needed to grow new hair.
  • Stress. Life altering stress or acute anxiety could lead to physiologic changes including hair thinning, changes in hair quality and ultimately hair loss.
  • Stretching your Hair. If you wear ponytails or cornrows or use tight hair rollers, the pull on your hair can cause a type of hair loss called traction alopecia.
  • Chemicals.  Use of chemicals to color or treat hair may also show the way to hair thinning and hair loss.

Hair Loss in Women

Whatever may be the cause, thinning hair is naturally a source of concern. Hair loss in women may have various causes, wide variety of factors can attribute towards Hair Loss in Women, these can be both common and unusual.

  • Any of the above mentioned causes
  • Disease
  • Stress (mental or physical),
  • Hormone fluctuations
  • Hormone Imbalance
  • Side effects of Medication

 Hair Loss Treatment and Prevention

  • Diet. Balanced Diet is important for hair health. Good overall body health is the key because if your body is not healthy your hair will become dry, brittle and easily broken. A good amount of protein, calcium, vitamins A, and C and folic acid is good.
  • Disease. Problems with your health often lead to hair loss. Anemia, thyroid disease, hormonal imbalance, vitamin deficiency or excess can cause hair loss. It is important to know, what is causing your hair loss and treat it.
  • Keep the scalp clean and moisturized. Make certain to keep your hair clean, use moisturizers with shampoo and conditioners. Excessive hair washing can actually cause more hair loss. once a day or even once every other day is alright. Use mild shampoos
  • Avoid Hot Shower. Very hot water removes too much of the essential oil from the hair and scalp and leads to dryness.
  • Comb. At all times use broad toothed and blunt headed comb preferably of wood. Do not comb your hair when wet. If you have a long hair, comb your hair from root to the tips as it aides in untangling.
  • Avoid Strong Chemicals. Repeatedly coloring or perming hair can leave it damaged, dry, and dull.
  • Avoid Pulling Hair. A stretched cap or a ponytail can also cause damage to the cuticle and result in hair breakage.
  • Scalp Care. Keep scalp healthy by regular moisturizing with good products and proper massages. Dry scalp causes noticeable dandruff.
  • Use Good Quality Products. Avoid using cheap and questionable men’s hair products. These products are the main reason bad hair health.

Graves Disease – An Autoimmune Disorder

Overview of Graves Disease

Enlarged Thyroid Gland
Normal Thyroid Gland

Graves ’ Disease, also recognized as Toxic Diffuse Goiter, is the most widespread source of hyperthyroidism. Hyperthyroidism is a disorder that occurs when the thyroid gland makes more thyroid hormone than the body requires. Hyperthyroidism causes many of the body’s functions to speed up. Graves’ Disease is an Autoimmune Disorder, in autoimmune diseases, the immune system attacks the body’s own cells and organs.

Causes of Graves Disease

It is caused by an abnormal immune system response that causes the thyroid gland to produce too much thyroid hormone. Immune system generates antibodies called Thyroid-Stimulating Immunoglobulins(TSIs). These antibodies cause your thyroid gland to produce more thyroid hormone than your body needs. The Thyroid is a 2-inch-long, butterfly-shaped gland in the front of the neck below the larynx, or voice box. The thyroid makes two thyroid hormones, triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4). T3 is made from T4 and is the more active hormone, directly affecting the tissues. Thyroid hormones circulate all through the body in the bloodstream and operate on virtually every tissue and cell in the body. Thyroid Hormones affect metabolism, brain development, breathing, heart and nervous system functions, body temperature, muscle strength, skin dryness, menstrual cycles, weight, and cholesterol levels.

Symptoms of Graves Disease

Graves Disease

Signs and symptoms of Graves Disease include one or more of the following:-

  • An enlarged thyroid
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Widened pulse pressure
  •  A hyperthyroid stare (infrequent blinking) or frank exophthalmos
  • Tremor
  • Sweating
  •  Palpitations
  • Smooth moist skin
  • Frequent bowel movements or diarrhea
  • Sleeplessness
  • Attention problems
  • Irritability
  • Weight loss despite increased appetite
  • Heat intolerance, sweating
  • Shortness of breath, difficulty breathing
  • Irregular menstrual periods
  • Muscle weakness
  • Difficulty controlling diabetes
  • Prominent, bulging eyes
  • Vision problems (such as double vision)

Diagnosis and Tests for Graves Disease

  • Physical Examination
  • Blood tests to measure levels of TSH, T3, and free T4. Graves’ Patients usually have lower than normal levels of TSH and higher levels of thyroid hormones. Another laboratory test measures the levels of the antibody known to cause Graves’ disease.
  • Radioactive iodine uptake. By giving, a small amount of radioactive iodine and later measuring the amount of it in thyroid gland with a specialized scanning camera, doctor can determine the rate at which thyroid gland takes up iodine. A high uptake of radioactive iodine indicates thyroid gland is overproducing hormones.
  • Imaging Tests

Treatment of Graves Disease

Following treatments of Graves’ disease are common:-

Antithyroid Drugs. These drugs reduce the production of thyroid hormone. Treatment with antithyroid medications must be given for six months to two years, in order to be effective. The main antithyroid drugs are carbimazole, methimazole, and propylthiouracil. These drugs block the binding of iodine and coupling of iodotyrosines. Antithyroid medications can cause side effects in some people, including

  • Allergic reactions such as rashes and itching
  • A decrease in the number of white blood cells in the body, which can lower a person’s resistance to infection
  • Liver failure, in rare cases

Radioiodine (Radioactive Iodine).  It is suitable for most patients, although some prefer to use it mainly for older patients. In radioiodine therapy, patients take radioactive iodine-131 by mouth. Disadvantages of this treatment are a high incidence of hypothyroidism (up to 80%) requiring hormone supplementation

Thyroidectomy (Surgical Excision of the Gland). Operating on a hyperthyroid patient is dangerous.  Preceding to Thyroidectomy,  preoperative treatment with antithyroid drugs is given. This modality is suitable for young patients and pregnant patients.

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