Thyroid Nodules Diet
The thyroid is a component of the endocrine system and its primary responsible is to create and release hormones which aid in controlling the body’s metabolic systems. This includes how the cardio and digestive systems operate, calcium levels, muscle and brain function and stabilization of the skeletal system. In order for the thyroid to perform at its optimal level the body must possess an appropriate amount of iodine. This is where a thyroid nodules diet is extremely important.
When a physician or layperson uses the word “thyroid nodule” they are discussing any unusual lump or mass that is present on or in the thyroid gland. Situated at the front of the neck and at its base beneath the Adam’s apple, the thyroid gland is said to resemble a butterfly because it spreads around the trachea. Naturally, these two extensions are connected by a band of tissue in front of the trachea.
What Exactly is a Thyroid Nodule?
Thyroid nodules appear quite frequently and can often form in groups. They are usually benign and are often not visible to the naked eye. They are diagnosed through ultrasonography and can be present in any area of the thyroid. Only 10 percent of these nodules are malignant and thyroid cancer only usually occurs in very aged males.
However, thyroid nodules can cause the overproduction or overproduction of thyroid hormone which results in hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism. When this is the case the nodules are referenced as “hot.” Both conditions have symptoms that illustrate the body’s metabolic rate is not on course. For instance, the body is either too hot or too cold, it either loses or gains weight rapidly and is either exhausted or experiences insomnia. Each condition is treatable through medication and a thyroid nodule diet.
Why Do Thyroid Nodules Develop?
There are numerous reasons or circumstances that can cause thyroid nodules to grow. These scenarios pose the greatest risk for thyroid nodules:
- Lack of minerals. In nearly all diagnosed instances of thyroid nodules, the body does not have enough iodine and selenium. These two minerals stimulate thyroid hormone production, aid in the overall being of the gland and shield it from damage from radiation and chemicals in the environment.
- Not enough Vitamin D. Many people do not realize vitamin D is processed from the rays of the sun and from trace amounts in several food items. Unfortunately, the majority of people do not have enough of this vitamin their bodies and it increases the incidence of cancer, thyroid nodules and even polyps that can occur anywhere in the body.
- Free radicals and radiation. With our technologically advanced society, we ingest radiation continuously by our normal daily lives. Cell phones, many electronics, satellite television and even the Internet emit radiation that is absorbed by the body. Radiation harms the body’s DNA and increases the risk for cancer. A wealth of research has illustrated the use of pesticides on food products is a major health concern and can cause thyroid nodules.
- How we and live. What we put on our mouths and expose ourselves to can certainly contribute to the creation of thyroid nodules. For example a heavy smoker and drinker has a higher risk, as do people that are overweight or have elevated levels of insulin. This is where an appropriate thyroid nodule diet comes into play.
How to Address Thyroid Nodules
The minority of people with thyroid nodules discover them by seeing them or touching them, but most people only find out they have thyroid nodules when they undergo a sonogram. Again, this may be a routine test or ultrasound because many people have thyroid nodules with no symptoms. Depending on the severity and placement of the nodules, a person might have the nodules biopsied to rule out cancer and have the thyroid scanned to determine if the nodules are causing hyper or hypo thyroidism.
What Can You Do to Prevent or Treat Thyroid Nodules Naturally?
In most cases, thyroid nodules will not need to be treated by surgical measures and only require medication, but there are things a person can do to either ward off these growths or to treat them with home therapy, such as a thyroid nodule diet of sorts.
These are some guidelines to follow to protect your body through a thyroid nodule diet:
- Eat Well. The thyroid gland is responsible for the regulation of the metabolic functions of the body, so it is conjoined to each component of it. Therefore, if a thyroid nodule diet that is high in fat, carbohydrates, starch and sugars is consumed, this will negatively impact the health of the thyroid. Consume as many vegetables and as much produce as possible. These are essential to provide nutrients in the diet for the thyroid to function at an optimal level.
- Find some selenium. Selenium is a tough mineral to extract from the diet because there are only residual amounts of it in soil. However, it is sold at many health food stores, drug stores, etc., as a supplement. The recommended dosage is 100 to 200 micrograms daily.
- Bump up your iodine levels. Again, iodine is only present in food in very low levels. It can be ingested through seaweed, but that would have to eaten each day. It is also in table salt, but a diet high in salt can cause health conditions such as high blood pressure and heart disease, so the best way to ensure the body’s iodine levels are correct is to take supplements. The recommended dosage is 160 to 400 micrograms each day. Bear in mind though, if a person has been diagnosed with a hypoactive thyroid they should not consume any excess iodine as their levels are already too high.
- No dairy. This may confuse some people as Vitamin D is associated with dairy and low levels of this vitamin can cause thyroid nodules to develop. The reason why people should avoid dairy products is they possess hormones that trigger grow swiftly. For instance, calves develop rapidly when they nurse because cows’ milk is intended to produce that effect naturally. Even if the milk is organic these hormones are present and can be a catalyst for rapid growth in the human body that can lead not only to the development of thyroid nodules but cancer.