Understanding and Managing a Thyroid Problem Wisely
Although Thyroid disorders are common, they are the most under- diagnosed of all ailments. January has been declared as Think Thyroid month. The winter season aggravates thyroid so we must be careful and those with the problem must plan to check their levels regularly and specially at least during December or January.
What causes Hypothyroidism?
Hypothyroidism is the most common thyroid problem. Three factors which enhance this condition are stress, being overweight and lack of physical exercise. It has a strong genetic basis and gender basis, being more common among women.
What are the Symptoms?
One of the most common symptoms is that of feeling tired, drained out of all energy, lethargic and depressed. This is often accompanied by weight gain, swelling of feet body and face, water retention, irregular period cycles, dry skin, constipation and hair loss. Thyroid can also cause abnormal cholesterol and sugar levels.
Tips to control Hypothyroidism
The most important step to fight these symptoms is to try to walk for 25-30 minutes daily. Walking helps to produce endorphins which make you feel more positive and happy. A good brisk walk will get your heart pounding towards good health.
Another important exercise is leg lunges and leg rising forwards and to the sides. Use slow deliberate movements and be careful to keep your body balance while exercising.
Take time out every day to count the blessings in your life and say a big thank you to God. Smile as much as possible and laugh whenever you can. Forgive and forget unhappy things and events and thoughts about those who have hurt you, abused you or cheated you. Think of happy moments, sing, listen to music and dance if you can.
Drink plenty of water, two liters is the minimum and two and a half is ideal.
Reduce intake of stimulants like caffeine (in coffee, tea and soft drinks) to help the adrenal system heal and recharge.
Limit the intake of sugar and sugary foods as they stimulate high insulin production which makes you want to eat more and therefore you will gain weight rapidly.
Control the intake of carbohydrate foods in your meals i.e. bread, rice, chapatti, idli, dosa, etc. Make sure you eat fresh salad along with lunch and dinner, so that it fills you up and you donít overeat the roti or rice. Also try to eat a fresh fruit at 11am and 6pm which will prevent you from being too hungry at lunch time or dinner time.
Choose foods high in fiber which will help to raise your metabolism and also the fiber will relieve you of constipation. Choose whole wheat bread instead of white bread. Try to eat dhalia upma instead of sooji upma. Try to eat cereals like cornflakes or wheatflakes, oats and ragi porridge, instead of idlis and dosa. Eat wheat or ragi puttu instead of rice puttu. Restrict rice intake to lunch time and make sure dinner is a whole wheat meal of atta rotis or whole wheat bread as the metabolism is low at night. Fruits and salads are also a good source of fiber
Try to avoid foods rich in iodine like broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and prawn, crabs and shellfish.
Get Vitamin B12, Total Calcium and Vitamin D Total levels tested, especially if you are a vegetarian. These deficiencies are common in thyroid patients.
Lastly take medicines regularly, donít change or stop medication without consulting your doctor and keep your levels tested so that you can keep a good control on your problem. Medication must be taken first thing in the morning, on an empty stomach, one hour before any beverage or food is eaten.