How to know if you have a thyroid condition
When it’s working like it should, you probably don’t even notice. When it’s off, you’ll likely know it. Your thyroid regulates many of your body’s internal functions. When you have a thyroid condition, there are several signs that can occur. But with healthy food choices, you can ensure proper thyroid health.
According to Dr. Stephanie Thurman, a family medicine physician with Aurora Health Care, thyroid function can sometimes vary between hypoactive, lower than normal function, or hyperactive, higher than normal function.
“Your thyroid is kind of like an internal metronome, it helps your body stay in sync,’’ says Dr. Thurman. “It regulates everything from your heart rate, your internal temperature and overall metabolism.”
She explains that some signs to look for if your thyroid is hypoactive:
- Severe fatigue
- Very dry skin
- Unexplained weight gain
- Cold intolerance
Signs your thyroid is hyperactive:
- High heart rate or heart racing
- Unexplained weight loss
- Heat intolerance
“The good news is that you can do some things to help promote thyroid health,’’ says Dr. Thurman. “A lot of that is tied to what you eat. You want to reduce inflammation in your diet and include more vegetables and fruit.”
She suggests a Mediterranean-type diet to help reduce inflammation in your body and including four to five servings of vegetables per day, three to four servings of fruit, and plenty of lean protein such as chicken and fish. Healthy fats such as olive oil, nuts, and avocados are also healthy options.
“You also want to avoid processed foods,’’ says Dr. Thurman. “They are often high in refined sugar, high fructose corn syrup, and trans fats and can increase inflammation which can increase the risk of autoimmune flare ups including thyroid disease.”
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About the Author
health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Health Care and Aurora Health Care sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.