Keeping your thyroid healthy can be a challenge, but not impossible. To help everyone get a better understanding of how their thyroid works, Donna Rogers has 5 tips to keep your thyroid healthy and she also included a at home test for your thyroid.
5 Things You Can Do to Keep Your Thyroid Healthy
The thyroid is one of the most underrated organs in our body. In addition to most folks not knowing what this crucial gland does, over half of the people with thyroid disorders are not aware that it is thyroid problems that are causing them sleepless nights. Often, the symptoms of thyroid disease can be easily confused with those of other ailments. Symptoms such as fluctuations in your weight, body temperature, and even mood could be an indication that there is something wrong with your thyroid.
While it is imperative that you see an endocrinologist if you suspect that you have an issue with your thyroid, here are five things you can do to ensure your thyroid stays healthy.
- Get Checked
Of course, you need to take a thyroid test for you to know whether you have the condition; but do a little digging first. Find out whether thyroid disorders run in your family. Typically, if more than a few members of your family have thyroid disease, you are likely highly susceptible to getting thyroid dysfunction. So if thyroid conditions run in your family, it is especially crucial that your thyroid is monitored. In a typical physical exam, for instance, your doctor will scrutinize your thyroid by feeling your neck for lumps which might indicate an enlarged thyroid, goiter, or nodules.
Apart from a physical exam, if you are suspicious that you might have a thyroid disorder- due to either a range of symptoms or family history, ask the endocrinologist for a blood test to examine your thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) levels. Ordinarily, a result showing low levels of TSH implies that your thyroid hormone amount is too high. Conversely, high levels of TSH indicate that your thyroid hormone levels are too low. Both results point out to a malfunctioning thyroid. Your endocrinologist will then advise you about treatment options.
- Maintain a Nutrient-Rich Diet
Consuming the right vegetables and fruits will help maintain your thyroid and overall health. Ideally, you should eat vegetables and fruits that are high in iodine and antioxidants.
Iodine is the essential building block of thyroid hormones. A deficiency, therefore, may result in hypothyroidism. Additionally, those with hyperthyroidism can have the condition regulated by iodine because it slows down the release of thyroid hormones. However, do not over consume iodine as we already get enough from table salt and bread. The group that might need iodine supplementation is pregnant women since they need enough to cater to her and the child.
When it comes to vegetables, do not overuse kale. Kale is in the cruciferous class of vegetables which means they contain goitrogens. Goitrogens suppress thyroid function. Other members of this class include Brussels, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and sprouts. Therefore, eat only reasonable amounts in addition to cooking them as it reduces the effects of goitrogen.
- Manage Stress
Stress usually helps create the most conducive environment for an underlying thyroid disorder. This is because when you are under stress, your body produces cortisol. In addition to hindering your weight management, cortisol also interferes with the thyroid hormone production. This causes the thyroid to labor even harder to create adequate amounts of thyroid hormone.
Being overstressed also makes you vulnerable to autoimmune disorders associated with the thyroid. To protect your thyroid, you need to utilize stress management techniques.
Adequate sleep is also essential in managing stress and even more critical when dealing with negative thyroid symptoms.
Try the following practices for better sleep:
- Ensure that your room is cool
- Avoid caffeine at night
- Turn off all the lights and put your phone away 30 minutes before tucking in
- Make sure that your bed is comfortable
Regular exercise is the perfect antidote to individuals suffering from hypothyroidism. This condition causes depression, low energy levels, and weight gain. Thus, exercise helps alleviate these symptoms by naturally raising the body’s metabolism. Additionally, it also helps boost mood and energy levels.
Hyperthyroidism causes anxiety and insomnia, both whose effects can be lessened by regular exercise.
- Natural Supplements
The diets we have are not perfect. Therefore, using natural supplements can insure you against conditions that trigger thyroid disease. The best supplements that directly support thyroid function are iodine, selenium, vitamin D, vitamin B, and magnesium.
While taking care of your thyroid is essential, ensure that you consult with your doctor about your specific health needs.
Here is a infographic of thyroid function and there is a Thyroid Neck Check at the end.