by Dianne Trussell, BSc Hons, science & health educator & writer
How often do we think about our thyroid glands? Probably only when something goes wrong. Me too, but looking back, ever since puberty or earlier, my thyroid gland has probably been a little bit sluggish. Not pathological, just ‘not firing on all cylinders’. I used to need a lot of sleep, feel the cold, had cold hands and feet, poor digestion, put on weight easily which I found difficult to shift, plus my hormones were out of balance… these are all signs associated with low-ish thyroid activity. Ironically I had enormous amounts of energy for my high levels of physical and mental activity, from waking to bed-time, in contradiction to the pattern of low thyroid, which usually goes with poor energy levels. I was evidently getting my energy from somewhere else – and in retrospect I’d say it was nervous energy that kept me going.
Seemingly unconnected to these low thyroid signs, I did not want to eat broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower or beans. Something in my body didn’t want them, and I did not like the smell or taste of these foods, so it was easy for me to not eat them. That is still true today, and they make my body very uncomfortable for a few days if I consume them.
Fast forward to recently when I discovered that these foods are known to suppress thyroid function! So for me (not necessarily everyone) with my low-ish thyroid, they may not be suitable as regular dietary choices. Obviously my body knew this, even way back as a child, maybe even before scientific research brought us this information.