Thyroid disease affects about 20 million people in the U.S. Women are about five to eight times more likely to have a thyroid condition than men.
If you have issues with your thyroid, you can experience anxiety, depression, weight issues, extreme fatigue, sleep problems, joint and muscle pain, hair loss, and brain fog.
Are you worried about your thyroid? If so, there are things you can do to have a healthy thyroid and feel great. Check out this guide on how to have a healthy thyroid:
What Does the Thyroid Do?
The thyroid is in the front of your neck and is shaped similar to a butterfly. The thyroid is a gland that produces hormones to control the essential functions of the body.
When your thyroid isn’t working properly, it can affect your whole body. The thyroid hormones control your body’s metabolism, which turns food into energy.
You can have an overactive thyroid called hyperthyroidism, or an underactive thyroid called hypothyroidism. The symptoms of these two are opposite because either your body is producing too much or too little hormones affecting your body.
How to Have a Healthy Thyroid
If you think you have a thyroid issue, talk to your doctor. Your doctor will go over your symptoms and check your thyroid hormone levels for a treatment plan. If you have a severe case, your doctor may prescribe medications, or for cancer, you can consider thyroid cancer natural treatment.
There are some lifestyle changes you can make that will also help your thyroid health. Most of these involve, keeping your weight down and eating right. You should keep your BMI (body mass index) below 40.
Eat the Right Foods
You need to fill your diet with nutritious foods such as whole-grain foods, fruits, and vegetables. Get your protein from lean sources such as beans and fish, and you should also stick to healthier oils like olive oil.
Make sure you eat a lot of dietary fiber, which is in vegetables in whole-grain foods.
Try eating grass-fed and organic meat when you can. Meat from grass-fed animals is healthier because they have lower fat and more nutrients.
You should also drink as much water as possible. Staying hydrated helps your metabolism function properly and can also get rid of water retention while reducing your appetite.
Eliminate Unhealthy Foods
Along with eating the right foods, you need to eliminate some from your diet. You should cut back simple carbs and bad fats.
You should reduce saturated fats found in things like cheese and meat. Transfats are also unhealthy, so cut back on things like margarine and other processed foods with hydrogenated oils.
Choose healthier fats. like vegetable oils and polyunsaturated fats, found in seeds, legumes, nuts, and fish.
You should stick with complex carbohydrates like vegetables, fruits, and whole-grain foods. This means eliminating things like candy, crackers, soft drinks, and potato chips. These junk foods are high in calories but don’t have many nutrients.
You should also cut alcohol and sugar intake. Limiting sugar and simple carbs helps your body maintain consistent blood sugar levels. Eating sugars in things like candy, cake, and other sweets give you a spike in blood sugar which stresses your hormones and thyroid.
Try to limit stress as much as possible; it may be able help your thyroid stay healthy. Look for way to manage stress through breathing exercises, meditation, yoga, or exercise.
It’s important to talk to your friends about issues and not bottle them up inside. You should also try to get enough sleep.
Try drinking green tea instead of caffeinated drinks like energy drinks, soda, and coffee.
Find something that helps you relax whether it’s an exercise class, hike, reading, dinner with friends, or taking a warm bath.
It’s important to stay moving as much as possible. If you are overweight, your metabolism is slowing down. You want to find an exercise program that builds muscles like weight training and interval training.
Exercise can also boost your mood by releasing endorphins.
Nutritional deficiencies can also make your thyroid disease symptoms worse. You want to make sure your iron and zinc levels, so you may want to talk to your doctor about supplements if your levels are low.
You should also watch for iodine deficiencies. However, don’t rely on table salt for iodine. You can also find iodine in food like fish, sea vegetables like kelp, shellfish, and dairy products.
Vitamin D is also another important vitamin for your immune health. Your skin makes vitamin D after sunlight exposure, but in some areas of the country, you may not get enough sun. Talk to your doctor about vitamin D supplements or eat vitamin D-fortified foods like cereals, dairy, and fatty fish.
Long-term exposures to chemicals can affect your endocrine system, including your thyroid. You should be aware of PFC chemicals (perfluorinated chemicals), which are in things like waterproof clothing, non-stick cookware, some carpets, and flame-resistant materials.
Some chemicals found in plastics and canned food linings can also cause thyroid hormone levels. Avoid antibacterial soaps that have triclosan, which can cause hormone regulation issues.
To avoid these, use regular soap, cook with stainless steel cookware, choose fresh or frozen vegetables over canned. When you store food, use glassware instead of plastic.
Use this guide on how to have a healthy thyroid to help you feel your best. Be sure to eat a proper diet, exercise, get plenty of sleep, avoid toxins, and treat any mineral deficiencies. This lifestyle may also help with thyroid cancer prevention.
If you are looking for other ways to stay healthy naturally, keep checking out our site for more advice on food, exercise, green living, and more.