Thyroid Health: Tips for Maintaining Optimal Functioning

Did you know that thyroid hormone circulates through the bloodstream and affects nearly every cell in the body? It influences essential functions like heart rate, body temperature, breathing, digestion, muscle control, and brain development. The thyroid gland is regulated by the hypothalamus and pituitary gland in the brain.

Maintaining proper thyroid hormone levels is essential for overall health and well-being. Let’s explore tips for keeping your thyroid in optimal working condition.

  1. Nutrition and Supplements

The foods you eat and supplements you take can have an enormous impact on your thyroid health. Here are some tips:

  • Get enough iodine: Iodine is used by the thyroid gland to make thyroid hormones. Good sources include seafood, eggs, dairy products, and iodized salt. Be careful not to overdo it on iodine supplements without medical supervision.
  • Increase selenium intake: Selenium is an essential mineral that helps convert T4 to active T3 thyroid hormone. Brazil nuts, eggs, sunflower seeds, and crimini mushrooms are high in selenium.
  • Zinc: Oysters, beef, pumpkin seeds, yogurt, and chickpeas are excellent sources of zinc.
  • Optimize vitamin D: Vitamin D works together with calcium to influence thyroid hormone synthesis. Get your vitamin D from fatty fish, fortified dairy, and sunlight. You may need a vitamin D3 supplement during the winter.
  • Eat brassica vegetables: Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale, and other brassicas are rich in compounds that support healthy thyroid hormone levels. Lightly cook these veggies to get the most benefit.
  • Avoid soy and cruciferous veggies raw: Raw soy and vegetables like cabbage, cauliflower, and Bok choy contain compounds that may disrupt thyroid function when eaten in excess. Cook these foods to reduce negative effects.
  • Choose healthy fats: Omega-3 fatty acids from fish, olive oil, avocados, and nuts promote thyroid hormone production. Limit unhealthy trans and saturated fats.
  • Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water. Dehydration can negatively impact thyroid function.
  • Avoid added sugars: Added sugars promote inflammation, which can interfere with normal thyroid activity.

Following a balanced, nutrient-dense diet tailored to your individual needs can help keep your thyroid healthy. Work with a healthcare professional if you have specific nutritional concerns.

  • Exercise and Thyroid Function

Regular exercise provides many benefits for overall health and can also help maintain optimal thyroid functioning. The right types and amounts of physical activity can help manage thyroid-related symptoms, support hormone balance, reduce inflammation, and promote a healthy metabolism.

Recommended Activities:

  • Moderate cardio
  • High-intensity interval training
  • Strength training
  • Yoga and stretching
  •  Stress Management

The thyroid is extremely sensitive to stress. Both physical and emotional stress can disrupt thyroid function in a number of ways:

  • Stress triggers the release of cortisol, which can block the production of thyroid hormones and lead to hypothyroidism. Chronic stress keeps cortisol levels elevated, causing ongoing thyroid suppression.
  • Stress depletes important nutrients like selenium, zinc, and vitamin B12 that are needed for proper thyroid hormone production and metabolism.
  • Stress impacts sleep, which is critical for healthy thyroid function. Poor sleep increases inflammation, which interferes with T4 to T3 conversion.
  • Stress affects the gut microbiome balance, potentially reducing probiotics and increasing inflammation, both of which impair thyroid function.

To manage stress for thyroid health:

  • Make time for relaxation: Try meditating, deep breathing, yoga, or sipping herbal tea. Even 5-10 minutes daily can activate the relaxation response and rest your thyroid.
  • Prioritize sleep: Aim for 7-9 hours per night. Go to bed, wake at consistent times, and limit screen time before bed.
  • Connect with others: Loneliness takes a toll on the thyroid. Make time for supportive friends and family. Join a community group.
  • Get organized: Declutter your environment and schedule. Make lists and tackle one task at a time. Streamline obligations if you feel overwhelmed.

Learning to manage stress effectively shields the thyroid from its detrimental effects and creates balance for the whole body’s well-being.

Seeking Professional Help

It’s important to see a doctor if you experience any symptoms of a thyroid disorder. Some signs indicating you should get checked by a healthcare professional include fatigue, unexplained weight changes, changes in heart rate, swelling or enlargement in the neck, changes in mood, muscle weakness, hair loss, dry skin, fertility issues, and feeling cold when others are not.

Getting an accurate diagnosis requires blood tests to check levels of thyroid hormones. These tests should ideally be interpreted by an endocrinologist or thyroid specialist rather than a general practitioner. An endocrinologist has advanced training in hormonal conditions and will be most knowledgeable about optimizing thyroid health. When searching for a thyroid specialist, look for one who takes time to listen to your full health history and symptoms rather than relying only on lab results. They are willing to work with you to create a customized treatment plan based on your unique needs and preferences. With the right specialist overseeing your care, you can get your thyroid health back on track.

If you are looking for an endocrinologist, come to our endocrinology clinic. Our doctors are highly trained professionals equipped with the latest medical technology to help you achieve hormonal health. Call us on +1-347-384-5690 and get answers to all your queries. Log on to or visit us at 1797 Pitkin Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11212 to book an appointment with our endocrinologist to get the best treatment.