Thyroid disease has its own side effects, but what happens when those side effects, have their own side effects? It's a daunting landslide that can be difficult for Doctors to sort out and often times why patients are left feeling unheard.
Patients who have Hypothyroidism, whether you have a thyroid or not, can experience low stomach acid which prevents your body from absorbing the nutrients it needs to function. Nutrition is the intake of food substance considered in relation to the body’s dietary needs. When you eat well, your body feels good and it’s able to perform the necessary functions to meet your daily needs. Good nutrition consists of an adequate well-balanced diet that is combined with regular physical exercise. Poor nutrition – can lead to reduced immunity, impaired physical and mental development and reduction in productivity as well as multiple other side effects that mimic thyroid symptoms. To curb this, eating healthy and staying healthy, is the best way.
But, what if you cannot absorb nutrients? Nutrient deficiency is common among thyroid sufferers due to a low stomach acid?
It’s because of this that many patients still feel the side effects of thyroid disease despite having normal blood tests. Essentially it’s a side effects of a side effect. (Related Article: Nutrient deficiency & Thyroid Disease)
In general, the causes of poor nutrition range from poor personal food choices, poverty, health conditions like over or under-active thyroid, thyroidectomy, inability to digest food, age, etc. This can lead to mild and even severe negative side effects. And, in the worst-case scenarios, irreversible conditions. It’s little wonder then why WHO (The World Health Organization) advises people to eat healthily and avoid poor dietary choices.
The leading causes of poor nutrition are:
· Health conditions like hypothyroidism and thyroidectomy: the thyroid gland controls most of the body systems, including digestion. When it malfunctions, symptoms like weight gain, changes in dental health, hair loss, fatigue and obesity occur. But it doesn’t stop at that; it also lowers the stomach acid which the body needs to digest foods and absorb nutrients, stomach acid also also protects the body against dangerous bacteria. When the body doesn’t receive the needed nutrients, it becomes malnourished and develops side effects that also mimic thyroid side effects. It's why most thyroid patients say "my tsh is normal, but I don't feel normal." It can make life difficult and in some cases downright miserable. Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and diarrhea can also lead to poor nutrition. (Related Article: Nutrient deficiency & Thyroid Disease)
· Poor eating habits: This includes both under and overeating, eating junk foods and foods that are low in fiber. Skipping breakfast, eating too quickly, nighttime noshing (eating at odd night hours) are forms of poor eating habits that cause one to overeat and gain weight, not to mention constipation and bulimia.
· Age-related: Aging is an additional cause of poor nutrition. As a natural part of aging, changes that occur in taste and smell might decrease the appetite to eat which leads to nutritional deficiencies. Also, age-related diseases like cardiovascular diseases and hypertension have been pointed out as some causes of poor nutrition in the elderly. Poor nutrition is also found in younger persons, mostly as a result of peer pressure or the fad of the society which is spread through commercials and advertisements.
· Medications: Some over-the-counter medications and prescribed drugs affect the appetite and interfere with nutrient absorption and metabolism. People who take these drugs can suffer from the same nutritional deficiencies as those who eat poor diet.
Poor nutrition has the capacity of impairing ones daily health and wellbeing, thereby reducing our ability to live an active and enjoyable life. It is among the leading causes of stress, weight gain, obesity, and fatigue. It also diminishes one's ability to work and puts you at a higher risk of developing potentially life-threatening illnesses.
Here are some other side effects which are also common complaints of those who suffer from thyroid disease and who have had thyroidectomies.
· Tooth decay and deterioration of tooth enamel
· High blood pressure
· High cholesterol
· Type-2 diabetes
· Some form of cancer
· Eating disorder
· Certain forms of cancer
Advantages of good nutrition
The importance of good nutrition goes beyond maintaining a healthy weight. It can help:
· Reduce the risk of some diseases like heart disease, diabetes, stroke, cancer, osteoporosis
· Reduces high blood pressure
· Improves one’s ability to recover from illness or injury faster
· Increase energy level
· And better sleep
Steps to good nutrition
· Eat plenty of whole fruit not as juices
· Vegetable varieties and colors should have a permanent place in your daily diet
· Whole grains should consist of at least half of the cereals, bread, and pasta you consume
· Low fat or fat-free milk that provides calcium and vitamin D should be taken
· Alternative sources of protein like fish, beans, and tofu are healthier than meat and poultry
· Instead of sugary drinks, take fresh, clean tap water
· Eat sugary, fatty and salty foods occasionally
· Your food should consist of the healthy five food groups.
· Choosing organic when possible
· And, Supplementation like ThyVita
ThyVita not only helps your body get more of the daily nutrients it needs to function. ThyVita was created to help your body absorb more nutrients, and when you get that extra nutrition you get more energy, better sleep, less hair shedding, and improved focus. With ThyVita you actually FEEL a difference.
Nutrition is a critical part of health and development. Better nutrition leads to a stronger immune system, it lower risk of diseases such as diabetes, cancer as well as lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease. If you’re not sure what foods to focus on, talk with your doctor or seek the advice of a nutritionist or heath counselor. By improving your nutrition you’ll enjoy greater health benefits.
 World Health Organization: Nutrition. www.who.int/topics/en
 Sara Tomm: leading causes of bad nutrition. www.healthyeating.sfgate.com/leadingcauses-bad-nutrition-3333.html