The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland which is located in the lower part of the neck and it affects your entire body, starting from your metabolism, to heart rate, cholesterol levels, digestion, body weight, muscle function, energy level menstrual cycles, and even fertility. The thyroid is supposed to balance the hormones thyroxine and triiodothyronine, but when the balance is thrown off, the thyroid is unable to produce enough hormones which causes an underactive thyroid i.e. hypothyroidism. On the other hand, if the thyroid starts producing too much hormone, you can end up with an overactive thyroid, also known as hyperthyroidism. Either way, you’ll need to go back to the healthy balance, and we have a few tips on how you can do it naturally without jeopardizing your health.
Work on your lean muscle
According to studies, women with body mass index higher than 40 have a lower thyroid function. The relationship between weight and thyroid function is quite complex, and it’s not clear whether the high body mass index causes the lower function of the thyroid or vice versa, but one thing is certain − in order to maintain a healthy body and thyroid function, it’s essential that you work on your lean muscle and maintain healthy weight. Regular physical activity and a balanced diet are the first steps to achieving that goal, so make sure you change your dietary habits and introduce more exercises into your daily routine.
Maintain iodine levels
A thyroid disorder has been linked to iodine deficiency, mostly in women in childbearing age. However, if your first instinct is to reach for the salt, think again. Sodium is closely connected to high blood pressure and cardiovascular problems, so instead of reaching for your salt shaker, enrich your diet with sea food such as fish, shellfish and sea vegetables. Add a piece of kombu to a pot of beans or soup during cooking, or sprinkle kelp granules over your salads to satisfy the iodine intake. Plants grown in iodine-rich soil as well as some dairy products will also help with your iodine deficiency.
Fill up with healthy foods
Veggies, fruits, whole grains healthy fats and lean protein should be a part of your diet if you want to keep your thyroid function under control. Avoid raw cruciferous vegetables, and instead cook cabbage, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower and kale, so the goitrogens that they contain wouldn’t affect your thyroid. Contrary to popular belief, kale won’t disrupt thyroid function and you’ll be able to eat it in large quantities after you’ve cooked it. Aside from eating healthy, it’s important to control the speed of your eating as well. It’s essential that you let your brain catch up with your mouth and send signals to the stomach that you’ve had enough to eat, so you can avoid overeating and eventually gain weight. The thyroid controls your metabolism, so eat slowly and allow the thyroid to realize that the food is about to enter your body.
Create an exercise program
Your metabolism will slow down with age, which can cause obesity over time. This is why you should introduce regular exercise into your daily routine, to prevent the fat from storing in your body. Ask your personal trainer to create the program that will help you build muscle tissue. One of the great ways to build lean muscle is to start with weight training and interval training. This will especially benefit sluggish metabolisms, so if you haven’t been working out lately and you’ve noticed that you’re gaining weight more than usually, this is the program for you. Also, think about mixing the workouts up and combine aerobic exercises with flexibility and strengthening exercises. Light weight lifting, walking and yoga are the perfect examples of the workouts that will help you sped up your metabolism.
Autoimmune disorders such as the thyroid disorder tend to occur after stressful events, which is why it’s advisable to keep your stress levels low. Furthermore, stress triggers various diseases and is responsible for high blood pressure, cardiovascular diseases and various mental issues, which is more than enough a reason for you to relieve stress the best way you know how. One of the practices that’ll keep you stress-free is meditation. Take at least five minutes every day to isolate yourself from the outer world, and find your inner peace. Take deep breaths and focus on staying calm, to relieve stress. Scheduling a massage once a week can also be of great help, and it will keep you refreshed and energized for days. The yoga asanas can stimulate and support the entire endocrine system, so if you still haven’t tried out this practice, make sure you take a few classes and see all the wonders yoga can do.
Get enough sleep
Feeling tired throughout an entire day is one of the signs that your thyroid isn’t working properly, so it would be a good idea to have a sleeping pattern that you’ll stick to every day, including weekends. Going to sleep and waking up at the same time every day will help you get enough sleep and prevent you from feeling sluggish, but offer you enough energy to function well through the day.
The thyroid gland affects your entire body in several ways, which is why you should know whether it functions properly or not. If it turns out that you’re suffering from thyroid problems, make sure you start eating better, workout regularly, maintain iodine levels, manage stress, and get enough sleep. Also, make sure you always consult your doctor and test your thyroid regularly, to make sure it functions properly.