Thyroid issues have been becoming increasingly common in recent years, prompting many questions surrounding thyroid health. What is the thyroid? What does it do? Where is it located? What is the difference between hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism? Hopefully this article can help answer these questions for you so you can ensure your thyroid stays healthy or, if there are already issues, that it gets better.
What Is The Role Of The Thyroid?
The thyroid is a gland that secretes hormones that regulate many metabolic processes, including growth and energy expenditure. If the thyroid becomes overactive or slow it will affect the metabolism accordingly, which can lead to a variety of symptoms that are often misdiagnosed. Thyroid issues are fairly common, with at least one in 20 people affected in their lifetime, and women more susceptible than men.
What Is The Difference Between Hypothyroidism And Hyperthyroidism?
The most notable difference between the two dysfunctions is the hormone output from the thyroid.Hypothyroidism means your thyroid gland is not producing enough of the thyroid hormone for the body’s needs, while hyperthyroidism means it is producing too much.
What Are The Symptoms?
The symptoms of each of these conditions can vary greatly because hormones affect so many aspects of how our bodies work. With hypothyroidism, you generally feel sluggish, have trouble concentrating, have dry skin and hair, experience muscle pains and cramping, are prone to fluid retention, and feel sensitive to cold.
With hyperthyroidism, unexplained weight loss is common, as are accelerated heart rate, trouble sleeping, irritability, anxiousness, and sensitivity to heat.
What Causes Thyroid Issues?
The most common causes for thyroid conditions are: chronic stress, toxicity buildup, iodine deficiency, accumulation of heavy metals, and various autoimmune conditions. Hyperthyroidism can be caused by conditions like Grave’s disease, which increase thyroid hormone production. Subacute thyroiditis and toxic adenomas are also conditions that lead to this. Hypothyroidism is generally triggered by conditions that reduce the production of thyroid hormone, like Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. The removal of the thyroid or an excessive exposure to iodide or lithium can also cause it.
How Can You Prevent Thyroid Conditions?
The key to preventing thyroid conditions is living a healthy lifestyle that supports a healthy thyroid and a healthy metabolism. If you have already been diagnosed with a thyroid condition, then you may need to give some extra care and pay more attention to your diet and lifestyle.
As suggested by Dr. Hyman, below is a 7-step plan to boost your thyroid and metabolism.
1. Treat The Underlying Cause Of The Dysfunction
Identify and treat the underlying causes of hypothyroidism, which include: food allergies, heavy metals, various nutritional deficiencies (like iodine), and most commonly, stress. If certain foods cause you digestive stress, like gluten and/or dairy, eliminate them from your diet.
2. Ensure Proper Nutrition
You can support proper thyroid function by optimizing your nutrition. Include foods that contain iodine, zinc, omega 3 fats, and selenium, among other essential minerals and vitamins. Try to completely eliminate any refined flours, sugars, and basically all processed foods, as these are generally loaded with sugars and other unhealthy ingredients.
3. Minimize Stress
Be sure to take time to meditate, exercise, practice breathing techniques, and spend time outdoors — all of the above have been shown to significantly reduce stress. If you are really stressed out, make sure to use these techniques regularly.
Practice specific thyroid stimulating exercises, which can boost thyroid function. Working up a sweat can also help you to safely remove toxins from your body.
5. Supplement Your Diet
You can use various supplements that help enhance thyroid function, including all the nutrients that are essential for proper thyroid and metabolism function. You may wish to speak to a holistic doctor or naturopath to find out exactly what’s right for you.
6. Heat Therapy
Consider using saunas and heat to eliminate toxins stored within the body.
7. Thyroid Hormones
Depending on the severity of your condition, you may need to start hormone replacement therapy. This can help to support your thyroid gland. Your doctor should be able to tell you exactly what will work best for you.
Remember, your body is a wondrous machine and its ability to heal itself is even greater than you can imagine. Trust that if you are following the necessary steps to get better, everything will work out. It just takes a bit of discipline, patience, and self-care — all things that most of us could use more of anyways.
Breakfast, blood sugar, & inflammation
Recent research has shown that Inflammation is responsible for 7 out of 10 Deaths in the United States. But it doesn’t have to be the same way for you.
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Did you know that one of the best times to stretch is right before bed? However…
What stretches should you do? Here’s a 1-minute stretch routine you can do before bed...
Lisa, Yoga Coach
eatlocalgrown / wisemindhealthybody
...easy, 3-minute exercise that completely cured his horrendous snoring! We can both finally sleep!
Today is a good day. Tonight will be even better. Why?
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Did you know that your bodyfat can become "calorie-resistant"?
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To your health!
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I bet you can’t guess which muscle in your body is the #1 muscle that eliminates joint and back pain, anxiety and looking fat. This “hidden survival muscle” in your body will boost your energy levels, immune system, sexual function, strength and athletic performance when unlocked.
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d) Hip Flexors
Take the quiz above and see if you got the correct answer!
In April, 2009, researchers stunned the medical community when they reported chronic inflammation as the root cause of several major diseases.
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Sponsored Health Resources
In the years that I've been working on this website project I've come across some amazing resources by some very special people. I'd like to share them with you here.
NOTE: I update these links often so please check back to see what's new!
1) Everyone knows green smoothies are healthy right? Have you heard of a “red” smoothie? If not, check out this story…
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5) Turmeric is amazing. The problem is - It's hard to absorb!
6) Wonder why your stomach still sticks out even though you're hammering the core exercises every day? It's a common myth that bulging belly is due to weak abdominal muscles.
7) Even if you're the most active of athletes, you may still suffer from tight hip flexors due to the amount of time you spend each day planted to a chair.
Enjoy! Let me know how these work out for you. And if you run across anything I've missed please let me know.