Taking Care of Your Thyroid Health

Your body is home to a system of glands that control virtually every aspect of your health by producing hormones. From your mood to your body temperature, everything is controlled by these hormones. One vital gland in this vast network is your thyroid. Taking care of this tiny gland can be key to feeling your best.

Taking Care of Your Thyroid Health

What Your Thyroid Does For You

Your thyroid is a small gland that is located in the front of your neck and is responsible for the production of hormones that control numerous functions within your body. It takes iodine from the food that you eat to produce two hormones: triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4). These hormones, when released into the bloodstream, are responsible for controlling the metabolism (energy) of your body’s cells.

Think of all the processes in your body that require energy — for example, your heart needs energy in order to beat properly, and your stomach uses it in order to digest food properly. Thus, when your thyroid is not working the way it should, numerous other systems are affected. If your thyroid produces too many hormones, your heart rate goes up, you lose a lot of weight, and you can feel constant anxiety. If your thyroid doesn’t produce enough hormones, then you gain weight easily, feel more fatigued, and are more sensitive to cold.

Your thyroid plays an important role in your overall health and, therefore, deserves your attention. Don’t wait until you have problems to take care of it. There are simple things you can do to maintain or improve your thyroid health.

What You Can Do For Your Thyroid

For many people, small changes to lifestyle and diet can play a major role in improving thyroid health. If you feel that your thyroid may not be performing at quite the level you need it to, you may benefit from some of these simple changes.

  1. Exercise regularly. Put on your sneakers and timer, and get moving. It doesn’t take much to make a noticeable difference for your thyroid. Simply getting yourself moving for 30-60 minutes at least four days a week can stimulate your thyroid.
  2. Avoid foods that aren’t good for thyroid health. Your thyroid needs iodine. Certain foods will block your body’s absorption of iodine and leave your thyroid begging for more. If you have problems with hypothyroidism (under active thyroid), it’s best to avoid such foods as broccoli, kale, cabbage, and cauliflower (especially in raw form).
  3. Maintain healthy levels of vitamin D. Researchers have found that a lack of vitamin D can leave your thyroid susceptible to injury. If you are not getting enough vitamin D, then consider eating more foods rich in vitamin D (milk, fish, meat) or taking a supplement.
  4. Eat healthy fats. Fats help your body to use key vitamins in the foods that you eat. They also aid in the production of hormones. The kinds of fats that you eat are crucial to thyroid health. Saturated fats work to counteract the effects of hypothyroidism. They have been shown to improve your body’s insulin response, which aids in maintaining balanced blood sugar levels and reducing stress hormones. Stick to foods like natural butter, coconut oil, and meat from grass-fed animals. Other healthy sources of fat include olive oil, avocado, and fish.
  5. Reduce the amount of perfume you wear on your neck. What you put on your skin gets absorbed into your body. Many perfumes are filled with harsh chemicals that, when applied to the neck, are mostly absorbed into the thyroid. For optimal thyroid health, it is best choose perfumes that don’t have chemicals in them, such as ones containing essential oils.

By implementing these straightforward lifestyle changes, you can improve the quality of your thyroid health and save yourself from problems down the road. Your thyroid is an essential part of your body’s health and well-being. Treat it right and it will return the favor.

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