What is Hypothyroidism?
Hypothyroidism is a common thyroid disorder. This disease affects the thyroid gland’s ability to produce thyroid hormone, thus an under active thyroid.
The thyroid gland releases hormones through the bloodstream and distributing it in all parts of the body, from the brain, heart, colon, skin, muscles, nails and so on. This gland can be found in the front lower part of your neck. If you place your fingers in the middle of your neck you’ll be able to feel your thyroid gland.
Is The Thyroid Gland Important?
The simple answer is a resounding yes. Your thyroid gland is the one responsible for converting food into energy or the process of metabolism. Metabolism is an important body function, without it we won’t be able to convert food to energy, be able to change our body temperature and so on. An inactive thyroid can affect your body’s temperature, your rhythmic heartbeat, ability to burn calories and digestion. When your body doesn’t have the right amount of thyroid hormone, how your body process will slow down significantly. Resulting in fatigue, constipation, sluggish feeling and the increased need to sleep. Another symptom of hypothyroidism is weight gain. This is usually due to the other symptoms of hypothyroidism, such as lethargy and slow metabolism.
What Causes Hypothyroidism?
The common cause of hypothyroidism is the inflammation of the thyroid gland or Hashimoto thyroiditis. This is an autoimmune disorder that causes your body to produce antibodies that destroy your thyroid gland. Another cause could be a viral infection.
Living with this disorder can be difficult. You need medication and a constant visit to the doctor to monitor your hormone level. We’ve compiled a few tips to help you manage living with hypothyroidism.
- Hypothyroidism can cause your body to hold on to salt and water causing bloating. This can be one of the causes of our sudden weight gain, though most of the time our total weight gain is compromised by water retention. So, don’t avoid drinking your water in fear of bloating.
- If taking your thyroid medication is helping you deal with the symptoms of hypothyroidism in the beginning, you should be wary of the challenges you’ll experience afterwards. When you go back to your normal hormone range, keeping your healthy weight can be a struggle. The old habits and symptoms can still affect your current weight.
- Exercise as much as you can. This can be a difficult tip to follow since hypothyroidism can cause lethargy, but simply walking fifteen minutes a day can help improve your health. Exercising can help boost your slowed down metabolism and help improve energy levels. Try to at least exercise 15 to 30 minutes a day.
- Reduce Stress. People who suffer from hypothyroidism are at higher risk of stress and depression. This can lead to poor eating choices, lethargy and loneliness. You can curb your stress by trying different activities such as yoga, meditation and exercise. These activities can help reduce your stress levels. High stress levels can further affect the thyroid gland and cause it to go slower. Look out for your stress trigger and do what you can, to avoid them.
- Get the right amount of sleep every night. A symptom of hypothyroidism is the feeling fatigue and a sluggish feeling. This makes you more prone to sleep more than normal or the stress can affect your sleeping pattern. Either way, getting too much or not enough sleep can further affect your thyroid gland. If you feel really tired, keep your naps to a 20 minutes maximum.
- Plan your meals. This is important to succeed in living a healthy lifestyle with hypothyroidism. One of the few factors that greatly affects your thyroid is your diet. Make sure to keep your diet balance. Eat more fruits, vegetables and lean meats.
Do whatever it takes for you to stay healthy. One of the most important things you have to remember is to take your medication every day and on time. With proper medication, your thyroid will not be able to produce the thyroid hormone your body requires to function. Always stay up to date with your doctor, since hypothyroidism can be a bit of a roller coaster. The doctor can increase or decrease your medication through the whole process.