Contributed by- Dr. Snehal Gupta
Thyroid, the butterfly shaped gland might be small in size but is responsible for gigantic tasks. But, the sad news is the fast widespread of thyroid disorders throughout the globe. Almost 1 out of every 10 Indian suffers from thyroid disorder. Of late, a sudden spike in the number of thyroid cases among young women has been recorded which is a matter of grave concern.
Thyroid problems can be categorised under two heads:
Hypothyroidism: When the thyroid gland is underactive
Hyperthyroidism: When the thyroid gland is overactive
Thyroid disorders causes major hormonal imbalance in the body. Sudden weight changes, insomnia, restlessness, exhaustion are common for a person suffering from thyroid disorder. Thyroid disorders are hurricanes disguised as health issues capable of turning the world completely upside down.
But, let us focus on the brighter side of the story. It is very much possible to control thyroid problems with the right kind of health management. Some, valuable lifestyle tips can help effectively manage thyroid disorders and lead a long healthy life.
Lifestyle Tips for Thyroid
While medications play an important part in managing a health problem, leading a healthy lifestyle is the answer to a good and healthy life. No matter of medication can help if the person does not follow healthy lifestyle. Small and persistent changes in daily life choices can help achieve the goal. Some of such effective health tips are:
Sedentary lifestyle is one of the major culprit behind the rise in thyroid problems. Most metabolic disorders are a result of sedentary life, which can also put you at risk of other lifestyle disorders. With continued inactive lifestyle, the risk of obesity, heart problems and stroke is higher. Thus, an active lifestyle is necessary for proper thyroid management.
Proper night’s sleep can have miraculous effect. No matter how busy you are, never compromise on your sleep. The other advantage of being physically active and busy during the day day is that it helps fight fatigue and emotional problems, which are key problems of thyroid disorders. Moreover, it will help you sleep well at night and give you the much needed rest and relaxation.
Stress hormones can worsen thyroid conditions. So, grab a book, play your favourite sport or pull out your musical instrument – but try to be stress free. Proper time management and utilising the time doing what you like can help you stay happier and positive.
Weight changes are a major symptom of thyroid disorders. Maintaining ideal weight might seem like an impossible job but regular workout and diet management can help manage your weight better.
It is very much possible to cure thyroid with the right kind of foods. Some food tips for thyroid are:
- High fibre – Take a diet rich in fibre, plenty of fresh fruits, seasonal fruits, dry fruits, green and leafy vegetables. Include complex carbs in the form of oats, bran, whole grain products. It may be a good idea to cook veggies and avoid eating them in the raw form.
- Omega–3 fatty acids – As a rich source of healthy fats, make sure you have seeds like flaxseeds and chia seeds. They help in balancing thyroid hormones and maintaining weight. Coconut oil is also believed to help improve metabolism and fight fatigue.
- Probiotics – A great source of protein and other nutrients, probiotic foods like yoghurt or buttermilk are really good for health. They help to keep the gut healthy and reduce the anti-inflammatory response, ensuring better hormonal health.
- Water – Water plays an essential role in maintaining your metabolism, which is very much needed in thyroid problems. Also, it helps to fight bloating, constipation, fatigue and other symptoms of thyroid. So, drink plenty of water.
- Make sure you avoid foods containing preservatives, refined and processed food, triggers like gluten, dairy, soy, sugar, alcohol and any other food that you are particularly intolerant to. Instead, have anti-inflammatory foods like ginger, turmeric, warm water, green tea, nuts and seeds for better health.
- Experts suggest that having coffee immediately after taking thyroid pill can affect the absorption and efficacy of the medication. So, make sure you have it at least an hour later or better, have it at some other time of the day.
- Doctors usually advice persons with hypothyroidism to avoid cruciferous veggies, cabbage, spinach, peanuts, soy products while those with hyperthyroidism may benefit from these foods. These specific foods can be altered based on your thyroid condition and medical advice. Also, salt with iodine is advised in hypothyroidism but has to be avoided in hyperthyroidism.
Maintaining a balance of hormones and managing stress levels is the best thing to do. It is hence important to indulge in some regular exercises every day, in addition to being physically active throughout the day.
- Exercises – Any form of exercise can help but regular cardio or aerobics are extremely beneficial. Also, strengthening exercises or weight training must be planned at least twice or thrice a week. Stretching too is very good for better flexibility, supple muscles and reduced joint and muscle pain.
- Yoga – Many believe that it is possible to cure thyroid by yoga. The most popular yoga poses useful for thyroid are the shoulder stand pose, bridge pose, cobra pose, plough pose, fish pose, bow pose and sun salutation or surya namaskar.
These are general healthcare tips for thyroid – make sure you also follow these for healthy life and effective thyroid management. Moreover, it is necessary that you take your thyroid medications, as advised, keep a check on your thyroid levels and see your doctor at regular intervals.
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