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Your thyroid is a small, butterfly-shaped gland situated at the base of the front of your neck, just below your Adam's apple. Hormones produced by the thyroid gland do everything from maintaining your heart rate to regulating your body temperature to controlling your body weight.
Millions of people worldwide suffer from thyroid dysfunction and several don't know about it. This is primarily because people don't tend to link the common symptoms first with a thyroid disease. Some people suffer from mood swings, trouble with memory, weight gain or fatigue -all of which they look upon individually as a problem and hence not piecing together the puzzle of their real medical condition. Here are a few insights that'll help you cope:
How does the thyroid gland work?
About 85% of the hormone produced by our thyroid gland is T4, which is an inactive form of the hormone. After T4 is made, a small amount of it is converted into T3, which is the active form of thyroid hormone. T3 is then converted to free T3 or reverse T3. It is the free T3 that forms the base of thyroid functions.
What is hypothyroidism?
Hypothyroidism, or an under-active thyroid, accounts for 90% of all thyroid imbalances. The signs and symptoms of hypothyroidism develop slowly, often over a number of years which is why it is often missed from regular treatment charts. For instance, fatigue and weight gain are often attributed to stress, lifestyle changes and natural ageing process. But as time goes by, some of the symptoms show a higher level of manifestation like muscle weakness, elevated blood cholesterol, thinning hair, puffy face, hoarse voice and slowed heart rate.
This disease may also occur in newborns, infants and children. Symptoms include excessive sleepiness, poor muscle tone and constipation. It is important to diagnose and treat it early as in severe cases it may lead to mental and / or physical retardation.
In children and teens, it can result in stunted growth, and delayed puberty.
What is hyperthyroidism?
It's the opposite of hypothyroidism, which means in this case the thyroid overproduces hormones. Common symptoms include lack of sleep, weakness, irregular heartbeat, elevated blood pressure and hand tremors. While genetics is partially responsible for it, it is also triggered by autoimmune disorder. Hyperthyroidism can be treated with medication, radioactive iodine (not the first or best choice as it harms white cells too) and surgery. Keeping a focus on your calcium and sodium intake is crucial to curb the disorder.
Conventional treatments rely mainly on drugs and surgery. Alternative treatments involve diet and lifestyle changes. Taking multi-vitamins, going gluten free, getting a good night sleep, and reducing stress is all said to help heal your thyroid gradually.
Today, most of us live a hectic life, be it pressing deadlines or tiring social engagements, but in all this hustle and bustle, we often tend to neglect our health. Do we know that for all of us, there is a great need of preventive care, especially in today's world where the threats have magnified? This also includes being able to get the proper guidance to imbibe a healthier lifestyle with regular tests and health checkups that will help us in knowing our present state of health and will help us in identifying risks and threats well in advance.
Almost seven out of ten fatalities or deaths are caused due to chronic diseases and that half of these cases do not recognize the early symptoms and risks with proper screening and regular check-ups.
These preventive health checkups are actually life saving, as they update you on how fit and healthy you are. Preventive health care basically deals with the prevention of diseases and conditions that may be caused due to environmental factors, genetic predisposition of the patient, lifestyle choices as well as disease agents. In this field, constant check ups and preventive action equips people to deal with and ward off these causes so as to prevent the onset of a number of disease and ailments. Here is everything you need to know about preventive healthcare.
In today's time it is very simple to get a preventive health check-up done, all it takes is a simple blood and urine test at a lab and you will be able to know all you need to know about your health. Further, if there has been an outbreak of an epidemic where you live, then preventive health care will help in getting the right tests done at the right time so as to ensure that you get proper vaccinations. With preventive healthcare, you can also get genetic testing done on a regular basis so as to learn more about preventing diseases like asthma, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and many others that one might inherit genetically.
It is time that we take care of ourselves by booking a full body check up today and live a healthy and stress-free life.
Tiredness isn't just a result of working too hard. Tiredness or fatigue can be described as a lack of energy and motivation and can be physical, mental or a combination of both. Tiredness is often a symptom of a much larger health issue such as anemia, diabetes, thyroid disease or heart diseases.
Lack of sleep
Fatigue is one of the first symptoms of sleep deprivation. A minimum of 7-8 hours of sleep is needed on a daily basis to keep a person healthy. Quality of sleep also plays a major role here. Patients of sleep apnea also commonly show signs of fatigue.
A balanced diet helps maintain your weight and keeps you energized. Eating a lot of junk food can make your blood sugar levels fluctuate. When these sugar levels drop below normal, the person is likely to feel tired and drained out.
Anemia is a condition where the body suffers from a lack of iron. Without enough iron the red blood cells in blood cannot carry oxygen to all parts of the body. This makes the heart work faster to pump blood and can make you tire easily.
Caffeine is said to wake the system up and boost energy levels. However, like sugar, caffeine makes energy levels fluctuate. As the level of caffeine in the body reduces, the person will begin to feel tired. Not drinking enough water along with your coffee can worsen this situation.
Water is necessary not only to keep the body hydrated but also to keep it energized. This is because the loss of fluid in the body can result in lowering the blood volume. This makes the heart work harder to pump oxygen to the brain and other parts of the body.
Fatigue is often not diagnosed till very late. There are many reasons for this. Primary amongst these are:
* Age: We assume that we are feeling tired only because we are growing older. However, the cause of fatigue may have nothing to do with age.
* Gradual onset: We are often not aware of how tired we are until we reach a point where we are completely drained out. Fatigue has a very gradual onset and is rarely noticed in the early stages.
* Misinterpretation: Complaints of feeling tired are often mistaken for lack of motivation and laziness.
The easiest way to prevent fatigue is to maintain a regular waking and sleeping schedule and to eat a healthy diet. Also, try and be physically more active.
Diabetes is a disease that affects the way your body deals with glucose in the blood and the glucose absorbed from the food you ingest. Diabetes is generally of two basic types - Type 1 and Type 2. Apart from these two types, there are other kinds as well including gestational diabetes that some women suffer from during their pregnancy. Type 2 Diabetes is a condition where the cells of the body do not make proper use of the insulin being produced by the pancreas.
- Weight: Being overweight is one the foremost side effects and sometimes, even cause of Type 2 Diabetes. To make your life easier, you can lose weight so that the complications involved are that much less. Diet and exercise are key for appropriate weight loss. Watch your diet so that you can eliminate high cholesterol as well. This can ensure that unnecessary amount of fat does not stick to your muscles and organs, which in turn will fuel better functioning of the same.
- Health Care: Being fit with Type 2 Diabetes does not merely mean staying within your normal weight range. It also means taking care of your medication and insulin doses so that you can function in a more normal way. Make your family and friends your support system as you go about life so that people can help you and recognise symptoms when something goes wrong. Be in constant touch with your health care providers and the general physician you see so that they are in the loop and you know exactly what to do in case there is an emergency.
- Exercise: Being active is a great way to keep your blood sugar level low even as you ensure that you heart is in good condition. This will further eliminate the risk of heart disease, hypertension and high cholesterol. Sweating it out also helps the insulin work in a better manner within your body.
- Balance: While you may be asked to remove sugar from your diet, there is no need to stay away from proper meals. You can have a fibre rich diet that also has plenty of fruits and vegetables so that you get your due nutrition and maintain a fit body.
Watching your lifestyle is the main thing you need to do if you are suffering from Type 2 Diabetes.