The thyroid gland is a part of our endocrine system and produces thyroid hormones which are important for our metabolic health. The thyroid gland regulates the body’s metabolic rate and controls the heart , muscles .digestive system.brain development and bone maintenance,It is located at the front of the neck.
The correct functioning of this gland depends on a good supply of iodine from the diet. The thyroid gland is controlled by the pituitary gland which secretes a hormone called TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone). The TSH tells the thyroid gland how much hormone to produce and secrete. The thyroid gland produces the hormones T3 and T4 which control our metabolic health.
Malfunctioning of the thyroid gland can cause two types of diseases. Hypothyroidism, where too little of the hormone is produced and results in a sluggish metabolism, weight gain and chronic fatigue; and hyperthyroidism, where there is a drastic weight loss and the body uses up energy too quickly. A normal blood test can detect these conditions easily. Prevention is always better than cure. A few changes in our life-style and dietary habits can help us to keep our thyroid in check.
5 steps to reduce the risk of thyroid disease;
Smoking is extremely harmful for our body as the toxins in cigarettes like thiocyanate block the production of the thyroid hormone and generally cause hypothyroidism, Cigarette smoking increases the incidence of goitre which is due to insufficient iodine absorption .Cigarette smoking also increases the risk of thyroid cancer so one must try to abstain from smoking.
2-Increasing the intake of selenium
Selenium is a very important antioxidant and helps to remove free radicals that are generated during the process of building up thyroid hormones. So it helps in the proper functioning of the gland and also checks premature ageing. Selenium is found in most meat products, brazilian nuts, fish, pasta, rice, cereals and yeast. These should be consumed in moderation to meet our daily requirements.
3-Limit the intake of processed foods
Processed foods such as ready meals, baked goods and processed meats can have a negative impact on our health. These tend to be high in sugar and trans fat. All these hinder the proper functioning of the pituitary gland which controls the thyroid gland. One should try to consume as little as possible of processed foods. They contain chemicals that are detrimental to the thyroid gland.
4-Eating a balanced diet
You are what you eat and eating a balanced diet including yoghurt, nuts, milk, eggs, fish, fruits vegetables, berries. This ensures that you get all the nutrients that are needed to keep the body healthy. When we eat right ,the body gets the required nutrition and is less susceptible to infections and inflammation. Reducing alcohol,caffeine and sugar in the diet will help to keep the thyroid levels in check.
5-Keep stress and anxiety under control
Chronic stress not only wrecks havoc on our overall health and well being but also affects our thyroid levels too. Stress impacts the thyroid gland and slows down the body’s metabolism and causes weight gain and fatigue too. Taking time to reflect and meditate can help the body to relax. Less stress means a proper functioning of the thyroid gland.
One should visit one’s doctor regularly for general health check. A healthy diet with regular exercise and a positive mindset can go a long way in keeping our thyroid levels in control.
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