Thyroid - what is it and what happens when it goes wrong?

The thyroid is an endocrine gland in the neck. It produces two hormones: thyroxine (T4) and Triiodothyronine (T3), these affect all the cells in your body and control things such as your heart rate and body temperature.

Having too much or not enough of these hormones can cause problems that may need treatment. Thyroid disorders are common and tend mainly to affect women, however, anyone can have a thyroid disorder.

Research estimates that about one in 20 people has some kind of thyroid disorder, which may be temporary or permanent. The thyroid regulates the speed your cells work.

If they work too quickly you may feel a quickening of the heart or increased bowel movements because you have hyperthyroidism or an overactive thyroid.

If you have too little the opposite is true, and you may feel tired and have slower digestion. There are two main types of thyroid disorder

Underactive thyroid

An underactive thyroid is also known as hypothyroidism. It's caused by the thyroid gland not producing enough thyroxine for the body’s needs. It is the most common thyroid disorder.

Modern life is tough on the hard-working thyroid. A 2012 study found a link between high levels of the stress hormone cortisol and the production of thyroxine. 

But if your body is not producing enough thyroxine, your thyroid becomes ‘under active’, which will then slow down your whole system.

Symptoms of an underactive thyroid:

  • Constant fatigue
  • Dry skin and brittle hair and nails
  • Weight gain
  • Constipation
  • Depression
  • Feeling cold

Furthermore, according to the NHS website, many cases of underactive thyroid are caused by the thyroid gland being attacked and damaged by the body’s own immune system.

What can be done?

  • Research  has shown that having a Vitamin D deficiency is common in an underactive thyroid. Topping up on oily fish, fortified foods and mushrooms could help.
  • Research  also shows the importance of selenium for a healthy thyroid, great sources of selenium are Brazil nuts, tuna, sardines, cereals and grains.
  • Chlorophyll, the dark green substance found in plants, helps support the immune system and our organic wheatgrass juice contains higher levels of chlorophyll than any other green vegetable, combining maximum benefits with maximum convenience. 
  • Low thyroid hormones can affect your body’s vitamin B-12 levels. Topping up your B12 can help restore some of the damage hypothyroidism caused. Our organic wheatgrass juice has a high B12 content and helps with topping up nutrient levels.
  • Exercise-can help manages weight and releases feel-good hormones, counteracting some of the effects of an underactive thyroid.

Overactive thyroid

An overactive thyroid - hyperthyroidism, can affect anyone. But it's about 10 times more common in women than men, and typically happens between 20 and 40 years of age.

It occurs when your thyroid gland produces too much of the hormone thyroxine.

Symptoms of an overactive thyroid:

  • Nervousness, anxiety and irritability
  • Mood swings
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Persistent tiredness and weakness
  • Sensitivity to heat
  • Swelling in your neck from an 
  • Irregular and/or unusually fast heart rate
  • Twitching
  • Weight loss

What can be done?

  • Eat a healthy diet. Increasing evidence shows a strong gut-thyroid link 
  • The mineral iodine plays a key role in making thyroid hormones. A low-iodine diet helps to reduce thyroid hormones. 
  • Eat lower iodine foods. The mineral iodine plays a key role in making thyroid hormones. A low-iodine diet helps to reduce thyroid hormones.
  • Eat antioxidant-rich foods, including fruits (such as blueberries, cherries, and tomatoes) and vegetables (such as squash and wheatgrass juice).
  • Avoid refined foods, such as white bread, pasta, and sugar.
  • Eat fewer red meats and more lean meats, cold-water fish, or beans for protein. Limit your intake of processed meats, such as fast foods and lunch meats.
  • Use healthy cooking oils, such as olive oil or coconut oil.
  • Reduce or eliminate trans fatty acids, found in commercially baked goods, such as cookies, crackers, cakes, French fries, onion rings, doughnuts, processed foods, and margarine.

As well as the physical challenges or thyroid disorders, the mental challenges can be just as great. Trying these natural remedies could be a way of encouraging positive thinking and taking control of our own body. Of course, always check first with your doctor before starting a new regime. 

Our organic wheatgrass juice can help to alleviate some of the symptoms of thyroid disease as it :

  • Provides a long-lasting energy boost, due to the particularly high levels of vitamins A, B5, B12 and E it contains.
  • Helps to rejuvenate skin, hair and nails from within, as it is full of minerals, enzymes and vitamins, especially vitamin E which has been proven to revitalise the body’s cellular structure.
  • Warding off the food cravings that may lead you to reach for a sugary snack, as it is packed with chlorophyll, which will keep you feeling fuller longer.
  • Maintaining a healthy digestive system, as abundant enzymes support the breakdown of food, while chlorophyll cleanses toxins from the gut.
  • Lifting mood by maintaining maximum health and relieving the stress we feel when we are physically depleted.

As one of the most nutritionally dense foods in the world, our 100% raw organic wheatgrass juice is a great way to maintain optimal general health. To order your visit our shop here today.