The thyroid gland, a butterfly-shaped organ located in the base of the neck, performs a crucial function in the body. It releases hormones which are responsible for regulation of the growth, metabolism, and energy of the body.
Therefore, any disruption of its function is very dangerous, as it affects the overall health. An overactive thyroid is linked to hyperthyroidism, a condition in which it releases too much of the hormone while its low activity leads to hypothyroidism.
Knowing the causes, symptoms, and treatments of these conditions is very important, as it is the best preventive measure against them. Statistics show that 1 in 20 people is prone to developing some form of thyroid issue in their lifetime. It is important to mention that women are more susceptible to these issues than men.
Hypothyroidism vs. Hyperthyroidism
Both health issues are caused by an imbalance of the thyroid hormone. To prevent either of them, the production of this hormone shouldn’t be deficient nor excessive.
Hypothyroidism is a result of a deficiency of the thyroid hormone in the body and it causes various symptoms, such as dry skin, cramping, muscle pain, excess fluid in tissues, fatigue, sensitivity to cold temperatures, thinning of hair, and trouble in concentration.
On the other hand, hyperthyroidism is a result of an overactive thyroid gland and causes symptoms like heat sensitivity, nervousness, sudden weight loss, irritation, anxiety, diarrhea, sleeping trouble, and accelerated the heart rate.
Sometimes, an overactive thyroid gland can cause a formation of large lump in the throat which is called goiter and it is a symptom of deficiency in iodine.
The lifestyle is the major cause of these conditions and the most significant triggers include:
- Deficiency of Iodine
- Accumulation of toxins
- Metal buildup
- Chronic stress
In addition to this, conditions like Grave`s sickness, thyroiditis, or adenomas can also cause hyperthyroidism while hyperthyroidism may be caused by overexposure to iodine, thyroid removal, or lithium.
Prevention and Treatment
1. Proper Nutrition
The prevention and treatment of these issues heavily depends on your diet. You should increase the intake of zinc, iodine, selenium and omega-3 fats, and reduce the intake of processed foods, sugar, and refined flours.
Regular exercise promotes proper thyroid function and thus re-balances the production of thyroid hormone.
3. Stress Management
Stress is one of the most common causes of thyroid-related issues. Hence, practicing relaxing activities, such as yoga, walks in nature, meditation, and breathing exercises, will help you deal with stress better, reduce tension, relax, and thus prevent the aforementioned issues.
4. Heat Therapy
Heat therapy or sauna sessions are effective at detoxifying the body and eliminate toxins, which are often the underlying cause of thyroid-related issues.
Even though you should consult your doctor prior taking some alternative products, there are many effective products and supplements which promote proper thyroid function.
6. Prevent Thyroid Problems by Preventing Their Causes
Needless to say, preventing thyroid issues heavily depends on preventing their causes. Therefore, you should adopt a healthy diet without gluten and dairy products, reduce nutritional deficiencies, reduce stress, and treat allergies on time.