Why Do I Have A Salt Craving In Thyroid?

The thyroid organ is a butterfly-molded organ situated toward the front of your neck simply under the voice box (larynx). The Thyroid is a gland that helps the body produce thyroid hormone, which is the controller of our metabolism. You could face some problems with this organ, which various factors may cause.

So why do salt craving thyroid occur?

Hypothyroidism is the leading cause of salt cravings in the Thyroid. The thyroid hormone is not producing enough thyroid hormone, whose activity depends on salt, which is iodine. Thus, the body craves salt, which is a signal by the body to intake salt to make up for the deficiency.

Now let’s take a closer look at the thyroid disorders.

What Are Thyroid Disorders?

An under or overproduction of thyroid hormone can result in disorders. Thyroid hormone is necessary for proper body function. The thyroid gland has two types of conditions.

Hyperthyroidism

A thyroid gland that overproduces thyroid hormones is called hyperthyroidism. As a result, you may experience unintentional weight loss and rapid or irregular heartbeats. There are several treatments and diet options for hyperthyroidism.

hyperthyroidism

Hypothyroidism

Thyroid Hypothyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormone. The diminished thyroid hormone production can be caused by a specific disease, thyroid surgery, or certain medications.

  1. Actual change in your face (counting hanging eyelids and puffy eyes and face).
  2. Having a lower voice.
  3. Feeling more absent-minded (“cerebrum mist”).

Causes Of Hypothyroidism:

Primary or secondary factors can cause hypothyroidism.

Primary Hypothyroid

This condition means that the thyroid gland is not producing enough thyroid hormone. This is known as direct-acting hypothyroidism. The most frequent cause of primary hypothyroidism is defectiveness in THS ( thyroid-stimulating hormone). Other causes include iodine deficiency or hereditary conditions.

Secondary Hypothyroidism

This condition occurs due to an ineffective pituitary gland, the hypothalamus is either not producing thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH), or the pituitary is not producing enough TSH ( Thyroid-stimulating hormone).

Can Thyroid Issues Cause Cravings?

When our Thyroid is not performing well, cravings arise that signify certain deficiencies our body is going through. The desires can either be for sugars or salt.

Sugar cravings generally arise in hypothyroidism, which is usually associated with hypoglycemia (low blood sugar level). When Thyroid is not working efficiently, or the body’s blood sugar level is diminishing, sugar cravings arise that signal the intake of carbohydrates or sugar as the body needs the energy to work correctly. Other causes of sugar craving are stress, lack of proper sleep, or Mineral deficiencies.

Salt Craving Thyroid

On the other hand, the Salt craving thyroid is the second primary reason for hypothyroidism. The unavailability of salt in the Thyroid needed for its proper functions is also the cause of hypothyroidism. Hence, the body craves it. The craving is a sign that the body is deficient in certain minerals, and it is needed through diet.

salt-craving-thyroid

Thyroid Gland And Its Requirement

The primary nutrient our thyroid gland needs is salt, particularly iodine. Our Thyroid needs about 3g of salt per day to perform its proper function.

How Is Hypothyroidism Related To Salt Craving?

Hypothyroidism means the diminished rate of production of thyroid hormone. The principal constituent of the thyroid gland is iodine salt. A person with hypothyroidism has less thyroid activity due to low formation of thyroid hormone and less intake of salt through diet.

In this condition, our body craves salt. The salt craving is the message by our thyroid gland to intake salt to meet the body’s requirements.

Reasons For Salt Craving 

There are numerous reasons for craving salts which include :

Lack Of Sleep 

Sleep is the main factor in maintaining human health. Inadequate sleep can be one of the reasons for salt cravings. A recent study showed that sleep deprivation influences cravings for certain foods. 

Stress

 It is a psychological condition In which a person cannot concentrate on a particular matter. The lack of concentration and mood swings in stress leads to excessive cravings. 

Boredom

No activity or boredom is also the prevailing cause of excessive eating. The craving can be different with time. 

Increased Sweating

Sweating causes the release of sodium from the body. Minor sweating is acceptable such as in environmental conditions. But excess production of sweat causes the body to lose sodium from the body, which causes it to crave salt. 

Menstruation

During the process of rupture of unfertilized ovum, the body’s salt cravings increase, which is a cause of hormone disturbance. 

Is Eating Excess Salt Helpful In Hypothyroidism?

Our thyroid gland requires about 3 grams of iodine daily to maintain the proper functioning of the body. A quantity more than that can cause serious complications. Researchers have performed experiments and concluded that salt intake of more than 5g per day could cause increased Thyroid nodules or Thyroid cancer.

As a famous proverb that excess of everything is bad. Although a hypothyroidism patient has a low iodine level, over intake can prove fatal. 

Preferable Foods In Hypothyroidism:

A person with hypothyroidism should eat:

  • Eggs

 Eggs are a great source of protein. Whole eggs are a must to include in the diet. The yolk part of the egg contains iodine and selenium.

  • Meat: 

It is also a rich source of protein. You can eat all sorts of meats like beef, mutton, etc.

  • Vegetables:

 Well-cooked green leafy vegetables are preferred to eat in hypothyroidism.

  • Dairy Products:

All sorts of dairy products can be taken, either milk, cheese or yogurt, etc

  • Fruits: 

Fruits are rich in fibers. All kinds of fruits are beneficial to eat in hypothyroidism.

Foods To Avoid In Hypothyroidism:

They are certain foods you should avoid in hypothyroidism

  • All varieties of millets should be avoided.
  • In hypothyroidism, iodine or selenium can be taken in adequate amounts.
  • They should also be avoided.
  • Eat Fruits like peaches, strawberries, and pears.
  • Use of drinks like coffee, tea, and alcohol should be avoided in hypothyroidism. 

Can A Thyroid Patient Eat Salt?

As Thyroid is of two types, hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism, salt intake depends on the kind of Thyroid disorder you have. If you are a patient with hypothyroidism, you can intake salt up to 5g per day. As patients have inadequate amounts of salt present in the Thyroid.

On the other hand, hyperthyroidism is caused by excess salt production by the thyroid gland, so it is not preferable to eat too much salt as it can lead to severe complications.

What If Hypothyroidism Is Not Treated?

Hypothyroidism can become a hazardous ailment if you don’t seek treatment from a medical services supplier. In the event that you are not treated, your side effects can turn out to be more severe and can include:

  • Creating emotional well-being issues.
  • Experiencing difficulty relaxing.
  • Not having the option to keep a typical internal heat level.
  • Having heart issues.
  • Fostering a goiter (amplification of the thyroid organ).
  • You can likewise foster a genuine ailment called myxedema trance-like state. This can happen when hypothyroidism isn’t dealt with.

How To Fix Salt Craving?

Low salt levels are not known to be due to hypothyroidism. There is no need to eat extra salt if you have hypothyroidism.

Consult Your Physician

When you have salt cravings, you ought to converse with your primary care physician about it. Other clinical issues can create problems with your salt levels. Also, all salt cravings are not associated with hypothyroidism. Certain other conditions can also salt cravings. 

Plan Meals With Time

Cravings are somehow associated with what you eat the whole day. It is crucial to look up what you are eating the entire day. 

Eat Nutritious Foods

It is necessary to eat food rich in macromolecules and micromolecules so that the body can conserve energy for an extended period. 

Eat With Short Breaks

Most of the time, our body craves certain things when there is a deficiency. Eating at regular intervals makes up for the shortcomings, preventing cravings. 

FAQ’s

Question: What are the earliest noticeable symptoms of hypothyroidism?

Answer: There are sure signs and symptoms of hypothyroidism that slow gradually over time. These include feeling tired, having obstruction, putting on weight, having high blood cholesterol levels, not being able to endure cold temperatures, and having dry skin and hair.

Question: Which salt is best for a thyroid patient?

Answer: Iodine mixed with table salt is the most beneficial salt for thyroid health as it aids the Thyroid in releasing its hormone.

Question: Does salt affect hyperthyroidism?

Answer: Yes! Salt intake is the most alarming effect of hyperthyroidism. As hyperthyroidism patients already have overproduced thyroid hormone, more salt intake can worsen thyroid health.

Conclusion:

Salt cravings are associated with hypothyroidism. In salt craving thyroid, less production of thyroid hormone due to low salt levels in the body occurs. The average amount of salt intake per day is 5g. Having more salt than this can cause certain complications. 

All the salt cravings are not associated with hypothyroidism; specific salt cravings can be caused due to lack of sleep, stress, or boredom.

Charlotte Shantini Fernandes

Charlotte Shantini Fernandes

Charlotte Shantini Fernandes is an aspiring doctor with a deep passion for service. Knowing that everyone has a limited time on Earth, she believes that if there is something that could make you live a little more comfortably, breathe a little easier and smile a little wider, you should do it! She loves to write and uses this platform to create awareness and deliver concise information to the public with an optimistic hope that it will somehow make a difference in someone’s life someday.

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