By Cheshire Que
Do you have difficulty losing weight despite adhering to a diet and exercise program? Have you been told that you have high cholesterol level in your blood? Do you often feel sluggish and exhausted more than normal? What about having hands and feet that are always cold to touch? Are you usually constipated? If you are experiencing some, if not all, of these symptoms, you may have an underactive thyroid gland.
The thyroid is a small butterfly-shaped gland that does not live up to its size because it does impact most, if not all, of the body’s processes. That includes metabolism, immunity, mental health, and more.
How do we ensure that our thyroid gland is functioning properly? It’s not just about being told what to eat. Protecting our thyroid gland entails a holistic approach that includes nutrition, detoxification, getting adequate sleep, and managing stress. That is, if you cannot totally avoid stress like most people in this planet.
Is your thyroid in need of some help? Here are some tips that will save your thyroid’s health:
S IS FOR SLEEP
If there is anything you can immediately do for your thyroid’s sake, it’s to get that snooze. Lack of quality sleep will cause your hormones to go haywire. This will eventually lead to imbalances and inflammation in the body, which destroys not only your thyroid but basically your entire bodily processes and organ systems. Sleep can be elusive for many. If you belong to that group of people, now is the time to reflect. What could be the cause of your sleep deprivation? Is it worry or fear? Is it too much screen time in bed? Is it lack of exercise, over-exercise, or too much food intake? Are you lacking the nutrients necessary to produce sleep hormones? Is your sleep environment not conducive to promoting sleep? That will include lighting, room temperature, sound, and even clothing. If you wake up in the middle of your sleep gasping for air or if you snore loudly and often, it is best to seek the help of a sleep specialist. The same goes for when you wake up feeling fatigued even after sleeping at least seven hours straight.
Avoid food contact with plastics. Choose organic whenever possible.
O IS FOR OPTIMUM NUTRITION
The way we eat has a great effect on the thyroid’s function. Too low and too much intake of calories can cause problems. This is the reason why starving oneself, as well as binge-eating will eventually damage that gland that is supposed to help you achieve a healthy weight range.
If you have an underactive thyroid, here are the nutrients that need to be consciously taken by your body: selenium, zinc, vitamin D, vitamin A, iodine, and iron. These nutrients will help with the conversion of thyroid hormone (T4) into its activated form (T3). It is best to consult a registered nutritionist-dietitian to plan your meals to include food sources of these nutrients.
It is also recommended to reduce exposure to toxins that may disrupt the endocrine system of which the thyroid is part of. Avoid food contact with plastics. Choose organic whenever possible. Eat a lot of fresh produce to help with the body’s detoxification. It is important to wash fruits and vegetables properly and remove the outer part of fresh vegetables.
There are some food that must be eaten in moderation (not more than three cups a week) because they contain goitrogens, which inhibit the thyroid function. These are mostly cruciferous vegetables like cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, and more. Soy and soy products contain isoflavones that prevent the absorption of synthetic thyroid hormones given to individuals with hypothyroidism.
S IS FOR STRESS MANAGEMENT
Learn to let go of things, situations, and people that you have no control over and are toxic in your life. You may not notice that you are under stress because you have a strong personality but the body deteriorates deep inside by producing chemicals and hormones that are inflammatory in nature. They block the conversion of your thyroid hormones into the activated form. That leaves you with no defense against processes that blunt your health.
Finds ways to transform your stress into something positive. Choose your battles. Learn to do mindful breathing. When you are in your busiest mode, that is when you need to take time off to meditate (prayer, emptying the mind, listening to ambient music, journaling, doing art, and the like). You need these in order to bring down the inflammation that is a characteristic of a thyroid disease.
Channel negative energy into something productive such as exercise. This will help you produce happy hormones.Too much exercise, however, will put the body in a state of stress. You will produce stress hormones that will again be detrimental to thyroid health.
Pay attention to your thyroid gland every day and you will reap the rewards of optimum health.