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It's Thyroid Awareness Month. Here's What You Need to Know

iStock_000028267926MediumThe thyroid is the butterfly shaped gland located just below the center of your neck.

It lives on the endocrine system with its brother and sister glands, the hypothalamus, pituitary, pineal, parathyroid, thymus, pancreas, adrenals, and gonads (ovaries and testes).

These endocrine glands secrete hormones that evoke specific responses in cells, tissues and/or organs throughout the entire body.

The thyroid specifically secretes hormone that is responsible for the metabolism of oxygen and glucose. Without the metabolism of oxygen and glucose, our cells won’t get the energy they need to thrive.

“The function of the thyroid gland is to take iodine, found in many foods, and convert it into thyroid hormones: thyroxine (T4) and triodothyronine (T3). These cells combine iodine and the amino acid tyrosine to make T3 and T4. Thyroid hormones are then released into the blood stream and transported throughout the body where they control metabolism (conversion of oxygen and calories to energy). Every cell in the body depends upon thyroid hormones for regulation of their metabolism.”[1]

To support proper functioning of this hardworking gland your body requires good quality protein plus iodine (as well as many other factors) to create those essential thyroid hormones.

The ocean is a great place to find iodine-rich protein foods that can nourish the thyroid and give it the nutrients needed to do it’s job.

Try these two yummy recipes and give your thyroid some love!

Salmon Miso Soup 

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Fabulous Fish Chowder

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Want more thyroid info? Check out my Nourishing Thyroid DVD.

Or Opt-In to have thyroid information delivered directly to your inbox.

[1] http://www.endocrineweb.com/conditions/thyroid/how-your-thyroid-works

  • leesy

    here’s what I don’t get – it is my understanding a hypothyroid CAN ingest iodine and hyperthyroid cannot. hyperthyroid creates a situation where the thyroid produces too much iodine and throws the thyroid into a hyper imbalanced state, increasing blood pressure, pulse, ect. why would a hyperthyroid patient like myself want to add more iodine into an already compromised system with a thyroid that is malfunctioning in a hyper thyroid condition?

    • Not ALL hypothyroid can ingest thyroid not all cannot. The reasons for hypothyroidism are numerous. It depends entirely on the root cause of the hypothyroidism whether iodine is a good idea or not.

    • @leesy – great question! I was hyperthyroid myself when I was first diagnosed. It’s a misconception that people with hyperthyroid and graves cannot ingest iodine. The thyroid cannot function without iodine. Whether or not you are absorbing the iodine is another topic entirely.

      • Elizabeth

        Hi Andrea! Can I ask what your did specifically during those 4 months after your diagnoses to heal yourself with nutrition? I’m hypothyroid but had no idea (was fit, maintained my weight, no real issues to speak of) and really hope to get this under control naturally with a better diet and lifestyle. My diet up to age 30 was extremely limiting and mostly vegetarian because I grew up always trying to be thinner and thinner. Now at 32 I’m hoping to begin reversing the damage I might have caused my body. Any advice?

  • Heiko Antoni

    as a Hashimoto – can I digest natural iodine ? or better stay away ??? thanx!!!

  • Ashley Thomas

    I am wondering if severely itchy shins and feet along with toenails that are yellowing and lifting off the nail beds are signs of thyroid issues or adrenal problems?!? I have read this a few different times now and just want to know if I am being paranoid or is it something?? TIA.

    • @disqus_HGdtonri4k:disqus itchy shins can be a sign of thyroid disease. The yellow nails lifting off the nail beds can be a sign of parasites and overgrowth of bacteria.

  • Cynthia Robinson

    Two of my favorite foods… miso and fish!!! :o)