The thyroid is the largest gland in your endocrine system. Your endocrine system regulates your hormones. Your thyroid gland is located in your neck and when functioning optimally, produces two hormones known as T3 and T4, which are regulated by TSH within the body. Some of the functions of your thyroid include controlling how your body makes energy and proteins, and how your hormones communicate with one another.
Hypothyroidism is a low-functioning thyroid. Symptoms can include chronic fatigue, loss of appetite, low body temperature, weight gain, elevated cholesterol, painful premenstrual periods, heavy periods, fertility problems, dry scaly skin, constipation and even depression.
Hyperthyroidism is an overactive thyroid. Symptoms can include sudden weight loss, increased appetite, nervousness, anxiety, irritability, menstrual changes, difficulty sleeping, heat sensitivity, rapid heartbeat and fatigue.
In summary, your thyroid is responsible for helping your metabolism and hormones functional optimally. When your metabolism and hormones are imbalanced this can make it difficult to lose or maintain a healthy weight and you may experience infrequent or painful menstrual cycles, as well as acne and breakouts.
These foods can slow and suppress thyroid function. Some of these foods, such as soy, can mimic hormones within the body that can affect hormone production and thyroid health.
These foods are great healthy choices in general, and also contain nutrients such as iodine, selenium, iron and vitamin A, which support hormone production and a healthy thyroid.
Exercise improves blood circulation, which can help hormones produced by the thyroid circulate throughout the body, including hormones that help regulate metabolism, which in turn helps us regulate our weight.
Eating processed and sugar-laden foods can compete with or replace what would have been a healthier choice. These types of foods also cause inflammation, reduce circulation, can mimic or interfere with hormones, and reduce thyroid function.
Many medical and health experts agree that our fast-paced and high-stress lifestyles can and do take a great toll on our overall health. Many yoga poses specifically can stimulate the thyroid and supportive surrounding glands (good for those with hypothyroidism). Yoga and meditation help us to de-stress, slow down and breathe. These techniques support an overall healthy body, which is key for a healthy thyroid.
If you are concerned or curious about your thyroid health, please see your health care provider for appropriate testing, care and treatment plan.
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