What Causes Low Thyroid Levels and How to Raise Them
What Causes Low Thyroid Levels?
First of all, what is hypothyroidism and what is hypothyroidism caused by? Well, hypothyroidism is when you have an underactive thyroid (as opposed to hyperthyroidism, which is having an overactive thyroid). So what causes low thyroid levels? Let’s establish what the thyroid is and what its function is, first.
What’s the Function of the Thyroid Gland?
The thyroid gland is a small, butterfly-shaped gland at the front and base of the neck. It is part of the endocrine system, which produces hormones that help to control many of our body’s important functions.
The primary function of the thyroid gland, in conjunction with the pituitary gland, is to regulate metabolism. The thyroid gland produces two hormones [T4 (thyroxine) and T3 (triiodothyronine)] for this purpose. Your thyroid gland and thyroid hormone levels also affect the heart, body temperature, cholesterol levels, and female menstrual cycles (is there any other kind…?).
The focus of this article will be the effects of low thyroid levels, or hypothyroidism, as opposed to hyperthyroidism, which is the condition of the thyroid gland being overactive, opposed to under active. This will be a future article.
What Causes Low Thyroid Levels?
The cause of low thyroid levels could primarily be a lack of iodine in your diet, since iodine is what the thyroid uses to make T4 and T3 hormones. Hypothyroidism is also sometimes caused by Hashimoto’s disease, or autoimmune thyroiditis, which is a condition that causes your immune system to attack your body’s tissues, including the thyroid gland. Hashimoto’s disease affects about 8 times more women than men, with about a 20 percent chance of women who develop thyroid issues after giving birth developing autoimmune thyroiditis. This condition is the most common cause of hypothyroidism, by a large margin.
Determining the root cause of hypothyroidism is crucial, and it seems to be a condition that doctors often have trouble diagnosing. And if they do diagnose it, there is a tendency to prescribe synthetic hormones, rather than addressing the root issue, or issues. It seems to me that this could be ultimately very counterproductive!
Physicians treating symptoms rather than the actual condition? No way!! Like that would never happen…
Environmental poisons are definitely contributors. These would include pesticides and herbicides, toxins in consumer goods like plastics and Teflon, toxins found in cosmetics, toiletries and cleaning products, as well as the various poisons in processed foods.
Industrial chemicals and heavy metals also contribute to the development of thyroid troubles, as do poor gut health, food intolerance, blood sugar imbalance, and a deficiency of vitamins and other nutrients.
The Effects of Low Thyroid Levels: What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Hypothyroidism?
Here is a list of the most common signs and symptoms of hypothyroidism:
- Weight gain / puffiness of the face
- Enlarged thyroid gland
- Dry skin
- Voice hoarseness
- Unusual sensitivity to cold
- Slow heart beat
- Muscular weakness, or stiff and/or sore muscles
- Slowed cognitive processes and poor memory
- Gall bladder and liver problems
- Hair loss
The effects of low thyroid levels can manifest in the form of a few or all of these symptoms. In either case, it is cause for concern.
Natural Treatment For Low Thyroid Levels: Raise Thyroid Levels Naturally
I’ll list some foods that increase thyroid levels, but some other ways to raise thyroid levels naturally that should be considered before visiting your dealer… I mean doctor, are as follows:
- Avoid stress. Stress is a killer on the immune system and can cause thyroid dysfunction.
- Exercise to keep blood flowing and improving gut health and metabolism.
- Get enough minerals. In order to convert T4 into active T3, the thyroid needs zinc, magnesium, copper and selenium. You can also use iodized salt, or sea salt high in minerals.
- Avoid soy. Eating large amounts of soy can trick your body into thinking it is getting sufficient amounts of thyroid hormones, as soy actually imitates these hormones.
- Improve your gut health!
- Get enough sleep.
- Get adequate sun exposure.
- Avoid drinking raw tap water. Get a good water filter to remove all the many toxins from your water that can do a number on your thyroid, not to mention your brain and overall health.
- Avoid processed foods and using Teflon cookware and plastic food containers.
- Be mindful of blood sugar levels.
Foods That Increase Thyroid Levels
Here is a list of foods that increase thyroid levels, but are also just plain good. Okay, spirulina is maybe an acquired taste, at best…
- Spirulina is rich in iodine and many other important minerals.
- Licorice root is good for the entire endocrine system, and provides energy.
- Eggs contain lots of both iodine and selenium, especially in the yokes.
- Fish also contains lots of selenium, as well as omega-3 fatty acids good for the thyroid.
- Brazil, Macadamia and hazelnuts. Again, selenium-rich.
- Dairy is quite rich in iodine, as well as probiotics for gut health.
- High-fiber starchy foods like potatoes, bread, pasta and rice.
- Meat, beans and other foods rich in protein.
Best Supplements for Thyroid Health
This thyroid supplement from PureFormulas makes maintaining thyroid health easy‚ with its comprehensive formula that contains a plethora of vitamins‚ minerals and herbal extracts to support healthy thyroid cell metabolism and hormone function.
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Melissa D from MILWAUKIE OR on 5/18/2021
“Good potency. I could feel the difference in 2 days. Easy to swallow. No after-taste!”
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Karen from Texas on 2/27/2021
“If I run out of these I do not have any energy.”
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ mykeah from Boise, ID on 8/19/2020
“Everything all in one! I was taking selenium, zinc, and iodine all separately, and it was expensive and I felt like I was constantly taking supplements. Then I found this and it has been great! Now I get everything I need for thyroid support in one supplement.”
There you have it. You now know what causes low thyroid levels in your endocrine system, and how to raise thyroid levels naturally with food, supplementation and good habits. We have learned what hypothyroidism is and explored the effects of low thyroid levels, and what are the signs and symptoms of hypothyroidism and what to do about it.
That’s pretty good fishin’, as my stepfather used to say.
If I left anything out, or if there is anything more about thyroid health or hyperthyroidism that I haven’t covered, please let me know about it below, along with any other thoughts, concerns or suggestions.