9 Crucial Things That Can Lead to a Hormonal Imbalance

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Though the thyroid gland is tiny, it controls lots of processes (including metabolism) in our body. When it doesn’t work properly, it may produce more or less hormones than the body needs. In both cases, people may notice unpleasant changes: sudden weight fluctuation, mood swings, skin issues, and even breast cancer.

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We worries about its followers. So we’ve decided to talk about some bad habits that can affect our thyroid.

9. You have too much stress in your life.

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Stress affects all your systems, including the endocrine system, in our body. If you’re in a constant state of tension, your thyroid stops working properly and produces too much or too little hormones. If you’ve already experienced problems with your thyroid, stress may lead to panic attacks or long-term memory loss. Lack of sleep and stressful work are also in the list of risk factors.

A hectic lifestyle makes us constantly feel nervous. To reduce the risks, we recommend to sleep enough, walk a lot, and do exercises. In some cases, it’s better to turn to a psychologist: they’ll help you to cope with stressful situations.

8. You don’t consume enough fats.

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When we want to start following a diet, we have to know which products we should stop eating. A low-fat diet will help you lose weight but many people stop consuming not just the bad fats but also the good ones that are extremely important for our brain and thyroid.

Useful fats are found in olive and linseed oil, eggs, dairy products, meat, fish, and wheat germ. It’s better to not quit eating these products. In this case, your diet will help you achieve positive results and your body will be healthy.

7. You eat too many soy-based products.

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The soybean contains lots of useful microelements, vitamins, and it can even replace products of animal origin. But it’s not recommended to eat too many soy products as they have an anti-thyroid effect: they make the thyroid work slower. When we eat a lot of soy-based products, the thyroid absorbs less iodine which is really important for the proper working of the thyroid.

How can we avoid this problem? Reduce the amount of soy foods you eat and add more products containing iodine: like vegetables, berries, fruits, and seafood. Cranberry, shrimp, mussels, squid, and sea fish are your thyroid’s best friends.

6. You eat too many cruciferous vegetables.

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Scientists from Oregon State University have figured out that raw cruciferous vegetables affect the work of the thyroid. It’s not recommended to eat a lot of cabbage, turnips, and radishes, especially if you suffer from iodine deficiency.

The thing is, these products contain glucosinolates, which contain nitrogen and sulfur (that’s why these vegetables are slightly bitter.) When these elements get inside our body, they affect our thyroid and can even cause a goiter. It’s better to eat vegetables like beets, tomatoes, and celery.

5. Smoking

Toxic diffuse goiter, Flajani-Basedow-Graves’ disease. 3D illustration showing enlarged thryoid gland in a female with hyperthyroidism

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Smoking doesn’t just affect our lungs. Different studies show that it’s also bad for the thyroid. Tobacco slowly makes the thyroid produce more and more hormones causing hyperthyroidism.

What’s more, the smoke contains toxins and it takes our body 6 days to remove them. During these days, the amount of iodine in the thyroid decreases. The level of thyroid hormones in your blood rises and the work of the thyroid worsens.

4. You consume too many products that contain caffeine.

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It’s fine if your day starts with a cup of coffee. But it’s not a good idea to drink it too often. Coffee and strong tea contain caffeine that increases the amount of cortisol in the body. This stress hormone affects the thyroid and our metabolism worsens.

Scientists still argue about the amount of coffee that won’t affect our health: it varies from 2 to 6 cups per day. 5 fl oz of grain coffee contains 110-160 mg of caffeine (depending on the type of coffee.) Keep in mind that products like chocolate, coca cola, and energy drinks contain caffeine too.

3. You eat high glycemic index foods.

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The glycemic index is a ranking of carbohydrate foods based on their immediate effect on blood sugar levels. A high glycemic index means that the process of breakdown is too quick. It’s important to pay attention to what you eat to keep your thyroid healthy.

High glycemic products are sweets, pastries, pasta, and white rice. These foods contain a huge amount of carbohydrates and affect the process of iodine absorption. The iodine deficiency leads to thyroid issues. Of course, it’s almost impossible to stop eating high glycemic index products, but you can reduce the amount of them in your diet.

2. You consume butter and margarine.

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People who like butter should be really careful. This product is on the list of high-cholesterol foods. Cholesterol affects the lipid balance and the work of the thyroid. In spite of this fact, it’s not recommended to stop eating foods containing animal fats. For example, butter is the source of selenium and vitamin D and it’s possible to control the amount of butter you eat.

As for margarine, it’s better to avoid this product. It’s made from trans fats, which damage our endocrine and cardiovascular systems and lead to obesity.

1. Alcohol abuse

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Alcohol is able to increase or decrease the pancreatic secretions. Both cases affect the body: women start experiencing menstrual problems and men start suffering from low libido. Thyroid issues also have a negative impact on the vegetative nervous system and may lead to tremors, tachycardia, bowel disorders, mood swings, and other unpleasant symptoms.

If your thyroid doesn’t work properly and produces excess hormones, the process of dehydrogenase synthesis slows down. Thus, the impact of alcohol on the body increases.

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Don’t worry, not all these factors lead to negative consequences. You just have to take care of your body and turn to a doctor if you notice any changes in your health.

How often do you visit your endocrinologist?

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