Are you suffering from sudden hairfall, losing weight or gaining weight all of a sudden, feeling lethargic all the time, diagnosed with osteoporosis or sexual fatigue? Do check your thyroid hormones through blood test under doctor’s supervision. Here is why you must get your thyroid checked to avoid any complications.
What’s thyroid and it’s function
Thyroid is a gland in the neck region which secret essential hormones necessary for the proper functioning of human body. This gland secrets 3 hormones, namely, Thyroxine (T4), triiodothyronine (T3) and calcitonin. These hormones help in controlling body’s basic metabolism, thus promote growth and development of physical and mental faculties. These hormones are under the control of our brain’s pituitary gland which secrets TSH (Thyroid- stimulating Hormone). Excess or deficiency of any of these hormones causes disorders mentioned below.
Condition of hypothyroidism and it’s management
When your thyroid gland is underactive and secret less Thyroid hormones, it is called hypothyroidism. This condition slows your metabolism, heart rate, body temperature, causes weight gain, anemia, sensitivity to cold, depression, hairfall, fatigue, constipation, swollen Thyroid gland (goitre) or dry skin. It occurs more in women than in men. It can be managed through oral medication and lifestyle modifications. It is diagnosed through blood test. Hypothyroidism is caused due to an autoimmune condition (Hashimoto’s disease), hereditary conditions, viral infection, pregnancy, inflammation of Thyroid or deficiency of iodine.
Management – Daily incorporate foods rich in iodine like eggs, iodized salt, dairy products, fish, seafood, chicken is needed. Have selenium rich foods like sunflower seeds, tuna, Brazil nuts, turkey, brown rice etc. Avoid processed foods like sugar, maida etc. Have vitamin B12 through supplements or foods like peas, beans, sesame seeds, dairy products etc and probiotics like cheese, yogurt, fermented foods. Have coconut and seasonal fruits like banana, mango and Zinc rich foods like cashew, mushrooms, pumpkin seeds etc.
Goitrogens are compounds that interfere Thyroid gland functioning and must be avoided, these foods include soy food like tofu, soybeans, soy milk etc, cruciferous veggies like cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, kale and green leafy spinach and sweet potatoes, fruits like peaches, strawberries, nuts and seeds (millets, pine nuts, peanuts etc). Pranayams like ujjayi pranayam is very effective in managing the thyroid. Yoga poses like the lion pose, bhujangasana (cobra pose), Ustrasana (camel pose), dhanuravakrasana (arrow pose) etc help boosting your energy levels. Maintain proper sleep timing and meditate to remain stress free.
Condition of hyperthyroidism and it’s management
When your thyroid gland is overactive and secret more than required Thyroid hormones, it is called hyperthyroidism. This condition causes sudden weight loss, palpitations (faster heart beat), anxiety, tremors, sensitivity to heat, brittle hair, disturbed sleep, thinning of skin, memory and concentration problems, mood swings or change in menstruation. It speeds up your metabolism and make you feel tired. Hyperthyroidism is caused mainly due to an immune system disorder (Grave’s disease) where your body’s antibodies turn on your thyroid gland to produce more hormones. People suffering from this disease have bulging eyes that causes blurred vision or vision loss. The cure is again through medication and lifestyle modifications.
Management – Have cruciferous veggies like cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli etc and foods with low glycemic index, foods low in iodine like non iodized salt, egg whites, honey, potatoes, oats, caffeinated drinks like tea, coffee without milk. Avoid soy based foods, diary, fish, seaweeds, iodised salt, egg yolks. Switch to coconut milk, almond milk. Have iron rich food like lentils, poultry, nuts, seeds and whole grains. Have calcium and vitamin D supplements, healthy fats like olive oil, sunflower oil, avacado, spices like turmeric, pepper, green chillies. Moderate consumption of nitrate based foods which increase absorption of iodine from the Thyroid gland like celery, lettuce, parsley, cabbage, spinach and beets is advisable. Gluten is a debatable component found in wheat, barley, rye and should be avoided if suffering from inflammatory problems. Yoga Asanas like Marjarasana (cow to cat pose), balasana (child pose), bhujangasana (cobra pose), ardh matsayasana (half fish pose) helps in combating hyperthyroidism. Silent meditative pose helps in calming the anxiety and restlessness.
Make sure to consult a doctor before following any of the above tips and always remain stress free to harmonize your thyroid hormones. Take care.