These are the 8 most common thyroid myths

thyroid, endocrine, diabetes

We have written about the thyroid gland countless times, but with good reason – namely, with its weight of only 30 g, this butterfly-shaped gland has indescribable power, given that it can significantly damage the overall health and general quality of life of an individual if it does not function properly.

It is estimated that one billion people in the world suffer from some kind of thyroid disorder, and if we take into account that many people are not even aware that they have this problem, the real number is probably much higher. Whether it's hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, autoimmune disorders such as Hashimoto's syndrome, Graves’ disease, or nodules on the thyroid itself – each of these disorders has its devastating effects on almost all organ systems. The biggest problem is that these effects, if the disorders are not detected in time and adequately treated, worsen over time and lead to problems that, due to incomplete diagnosis and frequent symptoms, are often attributed to other causes.

Greater availability of information has largely helped in earlier and more successful detection of possible imbalances in the work of this gland, given that people today are much more informed about various health disorders. On the other hand, this same accessibility has also led to a certain confusion in understanding, because in the sea of ​​good advice, the wrong ones have also gone astray, and it is not always easy for an ordinary layman to determine the difference between sound facts and myths. Especially when the myths sound so convincing and/or promise an easy path to healing.

And while some of these myths are completely harmless, others can endanger your life and that is why it is so important to stop their spread. That's the purpose of this article – here are 10 thyroid myths you should stop believing today.

Myth 1: Only women suffer from an underactive thyroid
It's easy to believe this myth considering that women have a much higher prevalence of underactive thyroid, as much as five to eight times compared to the opposite sex. However, the fact is that hypothyroidism can also develop in men, so they should be aware of the risks and pay attention to the symptoms – especially if they are under the influence of certain risk factors such as a family history of thyroid disease.

Myth 2: The disease only affects older people
It is true that the tendency to thyroid diseases increases as we age, and increases rapidly after the sixtieth birthday, but it is wrong to think that youth gives us security in this matter. It is especially important to emphasize the risk of pregnancy – namely, young women can develop a thyroid disorder during pregnancy or in the period after childbirth, especially if the thyroid function was compromised before pregnancy, without the person being aware of it. Therefore, be aware of the symptoms and seek medical help in time, regardless of what you may think age is keeping you safe.

Prikaz štitnjače - gušavost
Myth 3: If I had a problem, I would know
Maybe not, if we take into account the estimate that a large percentage of the population suffers from a thyroid disorder without even knowing it – that is, that the disorder has not been diagnosed by a doctor. The problem is that a complete examination of thyroid hormones and antibodies is rarely done, but also that the most common symptoms of a slow thyroid function, such as fatigue, weight gain, insomnia and anxiety, are often attributed to many other diseases or causes.
And it doesn't help that sometimes it takes years or even decades for symptoms to develop, which makes diagnosis even more difficult because the person is unaware that they have a problem or attributes their mild symptoms such as insomnia or weight gain to stress or improper lifestyle habits. That is why it is important not to ignore the symptoms and to perform a complete thyroid checkup if there is a justified suspicion that something is happening with its work.
Myth 4: It's impossible to lose weight if I have an underactive thyroid
This is one of the most common myths that has not become so popular for no reason. Namely, a sluggish thyroid is often associated with sudden weight gain as well as difficult weight loss, so it is natural that people began to attribute their failure to lose weight exclusively to the thyroid and thus stopped trying.
The fact is that due to the lack of activity and thus the loss of muscle mass that keeps the metabolism healthy with age, it becomes more and more difficult to maintain a healthy weight. Likewise, it is a fact that a slow thyroid function also means a slow metabolism, which makes efforts to lose excess body weight much more difficult. But the keyword makes it difficult, not impossible, because in addition to all of the above, it is also a fact that, once therapy and targeted lifestyle changes are started, a person suffering from a thyroid disorder can really have a positive effect on their body weight and succeed in his intentions.
Read how to exercise with thyroid diseases (hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism).
Myth 5: I have to avoid vegetables if I have an underactive thyroid
Cruciferous or cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and kale have been considered forbidden foods when it comes to thyroid problems for decades, primarily because of their ability to block the absorption of iodine, which plays a key role in the production of thyroid hormones, but also because of the goitrogens they contain. But the development of food technology has done its job, and new studies have shown us the other side of the story – not only can you eat the mentioned vegetables, but considering the richness of the nutrients they contain, you should eat them if you have no other valid reason to eliminate them from your diet. .
Cruciferous vegetables are part of a healthy and balanced diet and as such are recommended for everyone, including those with thyroid disorders. You would have to eat really large amounts of vegetables for them to have negative effects, and cooking them alone helps to eliminate goitrogenic compounds that could affect their proper functioning.
Read about the 7 worst foods for your thyroid health.
Myth 6: If I start therapy, I will have to take it for the rest of my life
This may not necessarily be true considering that the method and length of the therapy itself depend on the cause of the disorder, and the causes are many – from genetics, stress, nutritional deficits, autoimmune attacks and toxins from the environment. Some women develop thyroid problems during pregnancy or after childbirth, and once the hormones are balanced, the symptoms disappear. Also, the therapy itself can be changed during life depending on the needs.
In any case, the fear of lifelong dependence on therapy should not be a reason to avoid it – it is often really the only way to normalize thyroid function and, given the many consequences of untreated thyroid disorders, continue to live a normal and healthy life life.Pregled štitnjačeMyth 7: More hormones – better performance!
If thyroid hormone therapy makes us feel good, does that mean that a higher dose would make us feel better? No way, this is another myth that can lead to serious consequences such as insomnia, tremors and heart problems. Stronger therapy will not give us more energy or make it easier to lose weight – it is very important to find the right dose of hormones to give the body exactly what it needs. If you experience any of the above symptoms, contact your doctor to help you find adequate therapy and restore hormonal balance.
Myth 8: Proper nutrition is enough to treat thyroid disorders
This myth is often associated with a gluten-free diet and iodine supplements, which are recommended as an alternative to classical methods of treatment, regardless of the thyroid disorder and whether there is a justified need for it. Although proper nutrition is without doubt the key to maintaining good health, in the case of serious disorders of the thyroid gland, it can be an insufficient substitute for therapy, thus significantly extending the time of disease development and making the treatment more complex.
Therefore, take care of proper nutrition, but be careful what advice you trust. Be aware of the signs your body is sending you and seek professional help in time.

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