Have you ever wondered how your body controls essential daily activities such as metabolism, growth & sleep? It’s all thanks to the thyroid gland.
The butterfly-shaped thyroid gland is the key contributor to your digestion, brain function, and sleep. Therefore the right balance of thyroid hormones ensures overall good health.
In this blog, let's see what are the risks of imbalanced thyroid levels, thyroid treatment, and tips to control your thyroid levels.
Understanding thyroid levels:
The three main hormones used to evaluate thyroid function are:
T3 - Triiodothyronine
T4 - Thyroxine
TSH - Thyroid stimulating hormone
TSH is a hormone that acts as an instructor to release optimal amounts of T3 & T4 hormones into the blood to carry out these activities.
Now let’s see the optimal health range of these hormones.
|Thyroid Harmones||Optimal health range|
|TSH||1.8 - 2.5 mIU/L|
|Total T4||6.0 - 11.9 mcg/DL|
|Free T4||1.0 - 1.5 ng/DL|
|Total T3||90 - 168 ng/DL|
|Free T3||2.8 - 3.5 pg/mL|
There are two possibilities of thyroid diseases when the thyroid levels are not controlled.
- Hypothyroidism - where your thyroid gland is unable to produce enough hormones
- Hyperthyroidism - In this, your thyroid secretes hormones in an excessive amount.
Risks of uncontrolled thyroid levels:
Altered levels of thyroid, increased or decreased, are equally dangerous. Uncontrolled thyroid levels might lead to severe conditions like
- Cardiovascular diseases
- Period issues
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Brittle bones
- Bulging of the eyes
- Vision impairment
- Skin issues
How to overcome your imbalanced thyroid levels?
When it comes to overcoming your thyroid disease, medications are often the first step. But you may wonder why. It’s because regulating your hormone levels is the most important step.
This means giving thyroid hormone supplements like thyroxine for hypothyroidism and medication to block hormone production (such as methimazole) in hyperthyroidism.
You can overcome your thyroid disease by being consistent with your medications.
Note: Self-medication can be dangerous. It is advisable to reach out to a thyroid specialist for safe treatment.
4 pillars that can help you to maintain your thyroid levels:
Some lifestyle habits can reduce the chances of facing thyroid illness again. Here are a few steps that you can follow to reduce your thyroid levels.
You are what you eat
Your body is like a car and it needs the right fuel to run properly. All those processed foods can make your body slow and sluggish. Instead fuel your body with nutritious foods like vegetables, fruits, and whole grains to support your thyroid health. Confused about what foods to include and exclude to maintain your thyroid levels? Here’s a list to help you choose foods to reduce thyroid levels.
Foods that are healthy for your thyroid:
- Green leafy vegetables
- Cruciferous vegetables - You can consume them in moderate amounts after cooking
- Dried fruits
Foods to stay away from if you are having thyroid issues:
You are now coming to the most crucial part. Certain foods can severely negatively affect your thyroid health. You must know and avoid them to control thyroid levels.
- Canned drinks
- Processed meat
- Fast foods
- Dairy foods
- Sugary treats
- Soy - It’s consumption might interfere with thyroxine absorption.
- Alcohol - It can interfere with the absorption of thyroid hormone in your body.
- Fried foods
Exercise (but the right way)
The approach to exercising with thyroid is quite tricky. At the end of a long day you may not have the time, energy, or motivation to exercise. Even a walk or a swim may feel like a daunting task with joint pain.
But exercise can assist you to maintain thyroid levels and reduce the symptoms of thyroid conditions. You can start small and gradually increase the duration and intensity of exercise.
Here are some beginner-friendly exercises:
- Resistance bands
If you are looking for an exercise plan to lose weight and reduce thyroid levels check out this.
Do you know that stress could worsen your thyroid levels?
There are two ways stress can affect your thyroid levels -
- Stress lowers metabolic rate and immunity, thus paving the way for autoimmune diseases.
- Cortisol, also dubbed the “stress hormone”`, can suppress the production of TSH hormones.
But, don't worry. There is good news. Adapting stress management techniques can help maintain your thyroid levels. Some tips to get you started:
- Take a breather. We all need a break from time to time. Pick an activity that you find relaxing and set time aside for it each week.
- Practice mindfulness. Living in the present is the best thing you can do for your mental health
- Work on your sleep. Aim to sleep 7-8 hours each night. Switch off the lights, keep your phone away and get ready to sleep by 10 pm.
- Don’t hesitate to seek help from a professional. Even if you have close friends and a supportive family, talking to a therapist can help address deeper issues..
- Exercise regularly. Even a small walk around the park can help you relax.
Taking regular advice from your physician and attending routine check-ups will help you stay on track with your thyroid levels. It is also extremely important for high-risk thyroid groups to undergo periodic check-ups to understand their current state of thyroid levels.
Any imbalance in thyroid hormone levels directly impacts your health in multiple ways.
Close monitoring of thyroid levels through regular check-ups, physician visits, and proper medications can balance hormone release.
However, planning daily routines as part of your lifestyle such as diet, exercise & stress management is the key to the control mechanism.