Many times we swear word to our Thyroid hormones and never cede a sole option to lambaste them for all our inclusive health complaints from being obese to round the clock weariness to mood swings. And then with crowning achievement we weened, god why i diagnosed with hypothyroidism, it glanced as stout at least with hyperthyroidism i will look leaner. That’s it!
We only baptise it with “fatter and leaner” and never racked our brain afar to it- I mean the root cause of it, how it gonna alter my overall health status. We just exasperate with the discomfit which comes to pass us and endure all our life as a sufferer of it. But here I enjoined you all that here they are not the wrongdoers, it’s we the Homo Sapiens.
Yeah I got you, it sounds nuts. But before pursuing let’s think about it, are we the victims of our hormones or to our inappropriate lifestyle patterns? Lifestyle means, how much we fell associated while doing any deed and how much importance we offer to our body in return which not only nurtures us but acculturate with our unwholesome living patterns.
As i always assert, womans need peculiar care in respect of everything and it can only vouchsafe by herself only, nobody else from out of doors will come and take care of you.
I gravely stupefy when we overlook our eating patterns because we have to feed others first properly, modify our foods preferences because it might be not satiate others taste buds, ill-suited timings for the nosh because what an old citizens kin will think, disturbed sleep patterns, no time to excercise because now i am bushed up by steering the one and all tantrums, so land up with bona fide logic, am not having time and this goes on, which finally ends in depressing mood status, stress, many health issues and yeah thyroid related issues are one of them. Now our journey begins towards medications because we didn’t leave any other option for our body.
Alas, we tend to live in this vicious cycle and compromise with our health. Rather we should procure a savvy approach for grasping the roots of our issues and listen up our body so that they function in a skillful way for which they are actually made for.
Presenting a de facto Thyroid Glands:
In a simple way, it is a butterfly shaped endocrine gland located in front of the neck, below our Adam’s apple ( simply understand it is related to the deepening of our voice). It secretes 3 hormones : T4 ( thyroxine), T3 (triiodothyronine), Calcitonin.
It is estimated that women are 5 to 8 times more likely to be prone to thyroid related diseases.
It regulates our body metabolism (the way our body utilises carbohydrates, fats, proteins), controlling heart, muscles, digestive functions, growth and development in children, bone maintenance, temperature regulation, helps in releasing feel good hormones (dopamine) etc. You will wonder how this small underrated gland acts as a engine that keeps our body running and affects the way nearly every organ in our body works.
Their Action Principle:
Let me make you understand this in a simpler way, the secretion of our 2 thyroid hormones i.e T3 and T4 (a forerunner which gets converted into vital form of T3) is controlled by TSH (Thyroid stimulating hormone).
Now TSH is balanced by two other glands,
a) Anterior pituitary gland which is located behind our nose, near the underside of our brain.
b) Hypothalamus which is located undersurface of our brain by TRH (Thyrotropin releasing hormone).
So here’s a chronicle of humans thyroid history in which, the anterior pituitary gland produces TSH which tells thyroid gland to produce T4 and T3. But it also gets the signal to produce TSH from hypothalamus also. So what happens that, Hypothalamus will produce the TRH, which will signal to the pituitary to stimulate the thyroid to produce T4 and T3 by secreting TSH. Hush! Half Mission accomplished.
Proceeding further, when our blood sense less TH levels than normal range, then our brain commands Pituitary to secrete high TSH which in turn secretes high amount of thyroid hormone (T3 and T4), which leads to hypothyroidism.
Alternatively, when our blood sense high TH than normal range, then our brain commands Pituitary to secrete less TSH which in turn secretes low amount of thyroid hormone (T3 and T4), which leads to hyperthyroidism.
What Triggers them:
Any imbalance in our thyroid gland and it’s hormones can cause variety of problems like:
Goitre (it means that thyroid gland might be enlarged which can either be the result of iodine deficiency or an autoimmune disorder called Hashimoto’s thyroiditis), Thyroiditis (it means thyroid inflammation which is usually occur from a viral infection or autoimmune condition), Graves Disease (a condition in which the thyroid is overstimulated), Thyroid cancer (uncommon form but is curable), Thyroid nodule (small abnormal mass or lump), Thyroid storm (a rare form of hyperthyroidism), Hyperthyroidism, Hypothyroidism etc.
Hypothyroidism, a prevailing dilemma of life!
One of the most common problem which occurs when thyroid gland gets underactive. Due to which we attain weight, feeling of tiredness, feel cold, weakness and aches in muscles and joints, hair loss, itchy & dry skin, feeling depressed, trouble in concentrating, heavy/ irregular periods etc.
It can contribute further to high cholesterol, diabetes, low bone density, low levels of vitamin D etc.
The underlying causes are many but the major ones are: autoimmune disorder (most common cause, in which our body’s immune system attacks healthy cells), Thyroid surgery, iodine deficiency in diet (major in India), Stress, over response to hyperthyroidism treatment, Congenital Disease (that occurs at or before birth), pregnancy, pituitary gland disorders etc.
Inconveniences caused by them:
Hypothyroidism give on to drop our metabolism with lowering the rate of growth and repair of many body parts and we end up in feeling tired, gain weight, weakness & aches in muscles & joints, hair loss, feel cold, itchy & dry skin, feel depressed, trouble in concentrating, irregular/ heavy periods etc.
The art of making our problem worse:
- Improper diet: Whosoever thinks that by fasting or with fancy diets you gonna win the battle of weight loss is completely wrong. Understand by our inadequate lifestyle we hitherto stressed our body already. Now the remaining entanglement done by getting into restricted diets which leads to nutrient deficiency which in turn give rises to digestive issues by preventing absorption of nutrients which may be functionally deficient thus, resulting in low T3 which are essential for the overall work of body.
Iodine and tyrosine (a protein) is needed for the production of thyroid hormone. Not only this our neurotransmitters, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, amino acid all are involved in this process.
- Over exercise: Due to hypothyroidism our body’s metabolic rate is very slow, so instead of burning calories, the amount of energy our body used at BMR also gets decreases, so our body stores more calories from diet as fat. And now we burnt out overtime in gyms which leads to loss of muscle tissues and further lowers our metabolic rate, which again means you are burning less fat throughout the day.
Researches suggests that 30 minutes of exercise a day may provide additional weight loss benefits and maintains overall fitness. Exercise 150 minutes in a week followed by rest day is sufficient.
- Stress: Any kind of stress either physiological stress( cold exposure, starvation, excessive physical activity, blood sugar imbalances, excessive inflammation etc), emotional stress can distress the whole thyroid function by inhibiting the enzyme (which are again proteins) to convert T4 into T3 (remember I described it somewhere). So what it mean that our so called stress interferes with our thyroid hormone.
Our body makes excess cortisol (a stress hormone) in response to stress which in turn shuts off normal bodily functions like- digestion, reproductive function, thyroid hormone production also.
I know, you might be thinking that what about the thyroid problems which are not in our hands, I mean genetic ones. See we make fewer options on this as we can’t do anything with our genetics but what we can do is to strengthen our Immune system. Understand through Life style measures we can improve the way our Immune system functions because that can ease down our symptoms.
Brief Suggestions have – to do with it:
- Take proper balanced diet loaded with rich green leafy and seasonal vegetables, fruits, wholesome foods, lean proteins, healthy fats. Take adequate diet rich in iodine, selenium, zinc, iron etc.
- Maintain your physical activity, bring variations to it. Remember start with a slow pace and remain consistent towards it. Don’t over exert yourself .
- Do something relaxing everyday for at least 10 minutes.
- Eat mindfully with proper attention, there should be no distractions. Understand hurried or late meals without sparing any thought for the body’s requirements result in imbalance, the root cause of lifestyle diseases.
- Grab 6-7 smaller meals in a day but at fixed timings. Don’t overlook your eating patterns.
- Avoid excess salt and all type of processed foods. In fact they are worse for your proper thyroid functioning.
- Foods like, soya, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, peanuts etc should be consumed in moderate way. In short there are few foods which contains a substance called “goitrogens” which interferes in iodine absorption but only when taken in raw, so it’s better to consume them in balance way after cooking.
- Maintain your sleep patterns in a regular fixed way. This gonna give time to your body to recover and makes you energised for the next day.
- Practice some yoga, meditation, breathing exercise it will help you to combat the stress.
- Understand combination of food and your medications can restore thyroid function and minimise your symptoms.
- Talk to your doctor about your issues, who understands thyroid physiology and better motivate you first for living healthy lifestyle rather than medications.