Wellness: Say goodbye to your thyroid issues with just a few simple steps
Here's how you can use diet and exercise to manage your hormones naturally
Thyroid disease affects the function of thyroid gland; a butterfly shape gland in front of the neck. It pays a crucial role in controlling profuse metabolic processes in the body like producing hormones, maintaining homeostasis and even the ability of burning calories. Thyroid utilises iodine from the food we eat to produce essential hormones. The thyroid gland produces thyroxine/T4 which enters the bloodstream, a small portion of T4 gets converted to Tri-iodothyronine/T3; which is the active hormone. When the thyroid hormone levels i.e. T3/T4 levels drops in our body, the brain produces ahormone known as Thyrotropin releasing hormone (TRH); which in turn signals our pituitary gland to release the Thyroid stimulating hormone(TSH). This TSH then stimulates the thyroid gland to produce more T4 to maintain equilibrium in our body.
There are many kinds of thyroid disorders:
Hypothyroidism is when the body lacks the sufficient thyroid hormone i.e. your T3 & T4. Obesity or weight gain, lethargy, low energy levels, sometimes bone pain is common symptom.
Hyperthyroidism is when the thyroid gland produces an excess of T4. Reduction in weight due to increased metabolic activity is seen in these patients.
Goiter is when the thyroid gland becomes abnormally huge in size which can be due to a swollen gland, nodules on the gland or multiple growths on the glands.
Thyroiditis means inflammation of the thyroid gland. Hashimoto’s thyroiditis or Grave’s disease is the autoimmune disorder; which means it occurs when our body’s immune system starts attacking healthy cells instead of protecting them.
Most common these days is hypothyroidism. Follow these few tips to control your thyroid levels naturally and even to lose weight efficiently:
Eat your meals slowly! When you take adequate time to chew your food, your stomach can signal your brain that it is full. It takes around 20-25 minutes for the full signal to reach your brain, so take smaller bites.
Keeping a food diary will help you to keep a check on your eating habits. This could include time, quantity, dish and how frequently you eat. This habit also helps in finding out any trigger that increases a particular symptom in your body.
Exercise for 30 to 45 minutes exercise each day. This could be walking, brisk walking, jogging, skipping, yoga, meditation or even combination of all of the above. Movement is important to improve blood circulation and balance one’s hormones.
Sleep plays an integral part when it comes to healing or balancing hormones. And quality sleep is important to allow your body to go through detoxification, healing, repair and recovery. Plus, with deep sleep you allow your body to balance the hormones too.
Drink at least 2.5 to 3 litres of water a day. Sip slowly to hydrate each and every organ and flush out toxins — this also helps to balance one’s hormones.
Broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, lettuce, rajma and bajra, etc contain anti-nutritional compounds called goitrogens, which inhibit the uptake of iodine in the thyroid gland. This then affects thyroid hormone production. So avoid eating them raw, and cook them thoroughly as the goiterogens get reduced with application of heat.
The writer is the Chief Nutrition Officer, Luke Coutinho Holistic Healing Systems. She is a clinical nutritionist with a focus on healthy eating choices.
Photo courtesy: Avrielle Suleiman on Unsplash