One of the most common health conditions bothering the population today is Hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism is mostly seen in women and old people. Hypothyroidism is caused by an under reactive thyroid gland in the human body.The thyroid gland is responsible for secreting the thyroid hormone in the body. Secretion of thyroid hormone in the correct quantity is crucial for body metabolism, for maintaining proper temperature and energy in the body, for protein synthesis and also reproduction.
Insufficient secretion of the thyroid hormone not only affects the overall functioning of the human body, but it also interferes with the routine activities of the person. Symptoms of hypothyroidism include weight gain, hair loss, over-tiredness, depression, dry hair, dry skin, irregular and heavy periods in women, forgetfulness, brittle nails, reduced heart beat, joint and muscle pains, cold intolerance, constipation, puffy face and eyes etc.
Other serious symptoms of hypothyroid can include goiter, which is enlargement of thyroid gland and change in voice. Let us have a look at few ways by which hypothyroidism can be kept in control.
Early Detection And Medication Helps
The symptoms of thyroid like weight gain, hair loss, fatigue etc. closely resemble many common health issues and that is the reason people generally neglect them. If you experience any of the symptoms mentioned earlier, immediately consult your doctor and get a thyroid test done.There is no harm in getting a thyroid test done. However, if hypothyroidism is left undetected and untreated, it can be extremely dangerous. It can lead to infertility in women, severe depression, myxedema, dementia that affects the normal functioning of the brain, thyroid cancer, and even coma.
It also can lead to “goiter” which results in extreme enlargement of the thyroid gland. Generally, you will be suggested to get a “TSH” (Thyroid Stimulation Hormone) test done. The TSH test gives the “Observed value of TSH” and it may also tell what what the ideal range of TSH should be.Euthyroid indicates the “ideal” or “normal” range of TSH, which is a 0.35-5.50 microIU/ml. TSH value below 0.35 microIU/ml indicates Hyperthyroid, which is caused by excessive secretion of thyroid hormone by an overactive thyroid gland.
TSH value above 5.50 microIU/ml indicates Hypothyroid, which is due to insufficient secretion of thyroid hormone caused by an underactive thyroid gland. There are some exceptions and conditions, which might give incorrect values. This information is also mentioned in the TSH report.Depending upon the result of the test, the doctor suggests the necessary medication, the dose of which may differ from individual to individual. Also, it is necessary to visit your doctor regularly and as per his advice, get thyroid levels checked again. Depending upon the thyroid levels, your doctor might increase or decrease your medicine dosage for thyroid and so on.
Role Of Exercise In Hypothyroidism
Exercise is a must for everybody including those suffering from hypothyroidism. Exercise plays a very important role in hypothyroidism. Exercise helps us improving our metabolism, helps in controlling depression, reducing the insulin level, digestion and in hypothyroidism, it can also help in increasing the thyroid hormone secretion. As mentioned earlier, hypothyroidism interferes with day-to-day activities of an individual.People suffering from hypothyroidism need to increase their will power to exercise because hypothyroidism leads to extreme weakness. It also may cause muscle and joint pains. Weakness and body pain leads to lack of enthusiasm and energy to exercise.
But exercising regularly is well worth the effort. Exercise time and type differs from individual to individual. Some of the exercises suggested for thyroid patients include pushups, walking, leg exercises, swimming, cycling, and dancing.Yoga is considered very gentle and effective in case of many health issues including thyroid disorders. Regular practice of yoga helps a great deal. Yoga exercises especially those, which include breathing, are helpful in hypothyroidism.
“Ujjayi Pranayama” is useful in hypothyroidism. Suryanamaskara, which is considered as a complete exercise is also useful. Other yoga asanas suggested for hypothyroid patients include Shavian, kapalbhati pranayama, pavanmuktasana, sarvangasana, dhanurasana etc.Your doctor who knows about your thyroid condition, your lifestyle, and routine and also the severity of the various hypothyroid symptoms you suffer from can help you plan which exercises and yoga asanas will be suitable for you. So, always consult your doctor before you make your exercise plan.
What Should A Hypothyroidism Diet Include?
First, we need to understand why we need to follow some basic guidelines while preparing our hypothyroidism diet plan. Hypothyroid patients generally suffer from obesity, extreme tiredness, digestion problems like constipation etc.So the hypothyroidism diet guidelines are based on weight control, making sure that food gets digested properly and keeping energy levels up by proper nutrition. Also, the reason why some foods are prohibited for thyroid patients is because they might adversely affect the secretion of thyroid hormone.
Hypothyroidism diet should be light and nutritious. It should include sufficient quantity of water, fruits, eggs, raw milk, vegetables, sea foods, natural foods, food rich in iodine, vitamins, minerals, and fiber containing foods, which will aid digestion. Nowadays, taking multiple meals instead of three main meals is suggested by many health experts.This applies for hypothyroidism eating plan as well. Because taking multiple meals will keep your energy level up and make you more active. It will also reduce fat storage in the body and help in controlling obesity. Certain foods, however, are considered to suppress thyroid hormone secretion and hence are prohibited for hypothyroid patients.
These foods include cabbage, soy products, spinach, cauliflower etc. As mentioned earlier, one specific diet plan cannot be suggested for all hypothyroidism patients. Therefore, make sure you speak to your doctor about your diet plan as well.Your doctor can access your condition and suggest you what you should include and what you shouldn’t in your diet. In addition to this, your doctors may add a multivitamin or an extra supplement, which needs to be taken along with your diet.
Positive Thinking And Strong Will Power
An under active thyroid gland does not lead to one but many health problems. Like I mentioned earlier, hypothyroidism can cause weight gain, dry skin and hair and such symptoms, which not only affect your health but also your appearance.Decrease in the energy level lowers our motivation to exercise. This might leave you depressed, inactive and also higher the chances of developing an inferiority complex. But remember that the medical treatments will work better if you develop a positive approach and will power to fight against the disease.
It is said that our mind controls our body and that indeed, is very true. So never think negatively about your health or your appearance and make sincere efforts to handle hypothyroidism. Do not expect results overnight and lose patience.Take small steps first. Start with simple exercises but make sure you do them regularly. Also, monitor what you are eating. Discuss any changes in the hypothyroid symptoms with your doctor and also ask him how you can improve your exercise and diet plan.
Gradually, your stamina will increase and your efforts will give you better results, not only health wise but appearance wise too. Talk to friends who also suffer from hypothyroidism and ask them how they take care of their health. Also share your experiences with them.Read inspirational books, which can help you, overcome your feelings of depression and helplessness. This can give you some more motivation and inspiration.