7 Bad Habits that Can Affect Your Thyroid Health

Thyroid malfunction may be the consequence of poor stress management or from eating foods such as soy and gluten, even if you're not intolerant to them.
7 Bad Habits that Can Affect Your Thyroid Health
Maricela Jiménez López

Reviewed and approved by the doctor Maricela Jiménez López.

Last update: 26 May, 2022

In today’s article, we’ll talk about thyroid health. The thyroid is a small gland shaped like a butterfly that is located in the front part of your neck, right on top of the clavicle.

It’s an endocrine organ whose principal function is to secrete hormones that regulate the body’s vital activities.

It should also be mentioned that it’s necessary for metabolic activities, as well as a factor in your mood, heart rate, and body temperature.

Because of this, thyroid malfunction results in a series of consequences for your health. If it is not controlled, it significantly influences your quality of life.

For this reason, it’s important that you know which habits can affect it. Plus, it’s helpful to be aware of preventative methods that you can take so it does not become a serious problem.

As we continue, we want to share the 7 most common habits that you should try to avoid as much as possible.

Find out what they are!

Read also: The Health Benefits of Lentils

1. Smoking


Excessive smoking increases the probability of thyroid diseases since the toxins in cigarettes affect your gland health.

While the principal consequences affect the respiratory system, it’s not a surprise that smokers represent a large part of patients with thyroid issues.

This is because tobacco decreases the stimulating hormone in the thyroid whose job it is to help with metabolism, ocular health, and cardiovascular activities. 

2. A sedentary lifestyle

A sedentary lifestyle can be the cause of a large variety of illnesses that affect your physical and emotional health. However, usually, its effects are due to the malfunction of the thyroid.

Inactivity increases one’s tendency to accumulate fat. Because of this, it’s a major cause of weight gain, obesity, and other metabolic problems. 

Also, since it decreases the secretion of the thyroidal hormones, it can lead to hypothyroidism.

This disorder doesn’t just affect one’s ability to burn calories and fats. In addition, it can also increase one’s risk of suffering from cardiac diseases, hair loss, and fatigue. 

3. Poor stress control


Not knowing how to control the stress in our daily lives can be a triggering factor for thyroid malfunction.

The endocrine system is sensitive to our emotional state. When it’s going through an intense experience, it impacts the hormonal levels of our thyroid. 

As a consequence, the hormones become unbalanced and it affects the health of the other systems in the body.

4. Diets low in iodine

Low levels of iodine in our diet is a principal cause of thyroid problems like hypothyroidism. 

The body requires this substance to optimize the production of hormones in the thyroid. Thus, it’s necessary to get the necessary amount.

Fortunately, you can find it naturally in food such as:

  • Sea salt;
  • Marine vegetables;
  • Blueberries;
  • Natural yogurt;
  • Beans;
  • Potatoes;
  • Peas;
  • Pineapple;
  • Chocolate.

5. Alcoholic beverages


The dangerous effects of excessive alcohol consumption are nothing new. However, it should be mentioned that the thyroid is one of the most affected organs.

Although the liver is in charge of filtering and metabolizing these drinks, their toxins (which travel through the bloodstream) affect hormonal production.

Because of this, the consumption of alcohol can influence your ability to lose body weight and can play a role in the development of metabolic problems.

Read also: Improve Your General Health With These Exercises

6. Thyroid health linked to gluten

Patients with Celiac’s Disease or gluten intolerance can suffer from problems with their thyroid health as a consequence of the effects this protein has on the body.

Since the immune system attacks the healthy tissues in order to detect this substance in the body, it causes an inflammatory and metabolic reaction that affects your quality of life.

So, a gluten-free diet can improve the functions of the thyroid even for patients that do not have an intolerance. As a result, it can also promote weight loss.

7. Excessive consumption of soy


We cannot neglect the fact that soy is a food that has multiple nutritional properties that, to a large degree, can provide us with many different health benefits.

However, you should not eat it excessively since it can inhibit the absorption of the thyroid hormone, especially in patients that are already at risk.

In fact, those who are already diagnosed with thyroid disease should limit or completely eliminate this food and anything that comes from it.

Do you identify with any of these bad habits? If so, try to avoid them as much as possible as a preventative method to protect your thyroid. 
Practicing these bad habits often can be a potential trigger, even if you’re not susceptible to thyroid problems.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.