Hashimoto’s Disease is the most common condition that leads to hypothyroidism. It is an autoimmune disease where your body own antibodies fight the cells of the thyroid gland. Failure of the Pituitary Gland resulting in reduction or loss of Thyroid Stimulating Hormone secretion can also cause an under-active thyroid. These factors are disease specific and in some cases have a genetic component. But other causes such as stress, inactivity, and poor diet are life style choices, which also lead to hypothyroid symptoms.
In today’s society, there are so many stress factors in life such as the balance between work and home, your children’s activities and your own, cooking and cleaning. No wonder we stressed to the max! When I was having problems with an under-active thyroid, I basically knew my problem was related to life style choices. Of course, I had all the testing done to make sure I did not have an underlining disease or gland disorder but I really had to take a look at my life style. My day started at 5:30am and ended at 11:30pm to midnight everyday. I like what I do as a health care professional and I try to get a lot accomplished in one day but I had to start making myself go to bed at 9:30pm and this made a big difference on how I felt on a daily basis.
Inactivity is another one of those life style choices that cause hypothyroidism. We all know the benefits of exercise. So I am not going to go into it here. But 30 minutes of exercises can make a world of difference on how you feel physically. There are many different exercises such as yoga that not only help reduce stress but also can help you to lose weight.
A poor diet can also cause major problems with our body’s immune response to diseases. As the old saying goes, you are what you eat. To keep your thyroid performing at an optimal level, you need to eat foods rich in iodine, zinc, selenium, and cooper. Also the amino acid tyrosine is often deficient in hypothyroidism. Incorporate foods in your diet such as beans, nuts, pumpkin seeds, soy products, and fish to get plenty of these nutrients.
As you can see the causes of hypothyroidism can be two-fold one relating to life style choices and the other being a true disorder of the thyroid itself. Do an assessment of yourself and talk with your doctor to see if you fall in one of these categories or both. We all have control over our life style so this is something you can change immediately to help you reverse hypothyroid symptoms.