Before proceeding to the thyroid diet, it is important to know and understand the thyroid problem. Thyroid or thyroid gland is basically one of the largest endocrine glands present in the neck below the thyroid cartilage (which forms the “Adam’s apple). It has a butterfly like shape with two wings attached by a middle part (isthmus). This gland controls most of the body’s organ functions such as usage of energy by the body, making proteins and controlling the body’s sensitivity to other hormones. It is involved in the production of thyroid hormones of which, the most important are triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine, also known as tetraiodothyronine (T4) which account for 99% and 1% of thyroid hormones present in the blood respectively. The thyroid gland uses iodine from food sources like seafood, bread and salt to produce thyroid hormones.
Thyroid problems have become widespread, especially among women. There are basically two main thyroid disorders:
- Hypothyroidism: Hypothyroidism is characterized by production of thyroid hormone below the normal level. It often results in weight gain and is the most common form of thyroid disorder.
- Hyperthyroidism: This disorder is characterized by excessive production of thyroid hormone due to an overactive thyroid gland. Symptoms include increased heart rate, depression, weight loss and cognitive slowing. Medications include the use of radioactive iodine and thyroid surgery.