I have a few friends that actually have certain problems with their thyroid.
It’s funny because growing up I never heard anything about the thyroid or hormone imbalances and it makes me wonder what has changed in our society that this stuff is borderline an epidemic.
For those who are unfamiliar (like I was just a few years ago)…
The thyroid is a vitally important hormonal gland that plays a major role the maturation of the human body. It helps to regulate many body functions by constantly releasing a steady amount of hormones into the bloodstream.
More hormones are produced when the body needs more energy, like when it is growing or cold, or during pregnancy.
To give you a real-life example of how this information can change your life, I have a friend that was overweight their entire adult life. After getting some blood tests done they discovered her thyroid wasn’t working properly.
As soon as they addressed this she lost weight and looked and felt amazing because she also experienced higher levels of energy that she didn’t have prior.
The thyroid gland, a small butterfly-shaped gland in the front of your neck and is part of the endocrine system and its hormones travel from the thyroid gland through the blood to all parts of the body, where they do their work.
The thyroid gland uses iodine from the foods you eat to make two primary hormones.
However, the issues related to the work of this gland are common. Namely, it’s high or low activity leads to illnesses like hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism.
It is of vital importance to know all about these terms, the symptoms, causes, and treatments to prevent health issues successfully. According to statistics, 1 out of 20 people is susceptible to develop some thyroid issues in their life. Moreover, women are more likely to develop these illnesses.
Hypothyroidism vs. Hyperthyroidism
These two health issues are a result of the imbalance of the thyroid hormone. Its production should not be deficient nor excessive, to prevent hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism.
Hypothyroidism is a result of a deficiency of the thyroid hormone in the body. In the case of hypothyroidism, the individual experiences the following symptoms:
- muscle cramps
- muscle pain
- dry skin
- hard to focus
- water retention
- hair thinning or balding
- sensitivity to cold temperatures
By contrast, hyperthyroidism occurs in the case of excessive production of this hormone and leads to symptoms like an acceleration of heart rate, diarrhea, irritation, anxiety, unexpected weight loss, sleeping trouble, nervousness, and heat sensitivity.
In some cases, when the thyroid gland works too hard, it causes the formation of a large lump in the throat, as a symptom of lack of iodine, and it is called goiter.
However, your lifestyle is a determining influence on the incidence of these conditions. Namely, its most significant triggers are the following:
- Deficiency of Iodine
- Accumulation of toxins
- Metal buildup
- Chronic stress
Furthermore, conditions such as toxic adenomas, thyroiditis, or Graves’ sickness can cause the occurrence of hyperthyroidism, while overexposure may trigger hypothyroidism to iodine or lithium, thyroid removal or Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.
Simple Steps That You Can Do to Improve Your Thyroid Health
- Identify and treat the underlying causes. Find out what’s really triggering your thyroid problems – whether it’s iodine deficiency, hormone imbalance, environmental toxicity, or inflammation – to address it appropriately. For best results, consult an integrative medical practitioner.
- Load up on fresh iodine-rich foods. As an alternative to iodine supplementation, eat enormous amounts of toxin-free sea vegetables or sea weeds like spirulina, hijiki, wakame, arame, dulse, nori, and kombu, which are loaded with the thyroid-friendly nutrient, iodine, and other beneficial minerals. However, make sure that these are harvested from uncontaminated waters. The recommended dose is about five grams a day or about one ounce per week. Raw milk and eggs contain iodine as well.
- Pay attention to other key aspects of your diet. Munch on Brazil nuts, which are rich in selenium. Load up on foods high in vitamin A and omega-3 fatty acids. Veer away from gluten and soy-containing foods and beverages.
- Minimize your stress levels. Take a break, meditate, soak in the tub, go on vacation – do whatever works for you. Practice meditation and yoga.
- Make an effort to limit your exposure to toxins. Filter your air and water to avoid contact with poisonous contaminants. Use an infrared sauna and hot soaks to help your body combat infections and detoxify from petrochemicals, metals, PCBs, pesticides, and mercury. Taking chlorella for detoxification is also advised.
- Avoid all sources of bromide as much as possible – Bromides are a menace to your endocrine system and are present all around you. Despite a ban on the use of potassium bromate in flour by the World Health Organization (WHO), bromides can still be found in some over-the-counter medications, foods, and personal care products. Being a savvy reader of labels can save you from tons of toxic trouble.
- Get adequate amounts of sleep. Inadequate sleep contributes to stress and prevents your body from regenerating fully. For more helpful tips on getting high-quality sleep, please review my 33 Secrets to a Good Night’s Sleep.
- Exercise. Exercise directly stimulates your thyroid gland to secrete more thyroid hormone and increases the sensitivity of all your tissues to thyroid hormone. It is even thought that many of the health benefits of exercise stem directly from improved thyroid function. Walk your dog in the park, jog in the morning, and incorporate strength training and other core-building routines. You can also give Peak Fitness a try.