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Sleep is the best reliever of all stress and physical pain. Not only is it important to get sleep, but also to sleep soundly and without any disturbance. The quality matters. Here are a few tips to get better sleep:
- It is important to maintain the same sleep schedule every single day. This helps to naturalize your body clock and get the best quality sleep.
- Switch off all mobile phones, laptops and other electronic devices. Their artificial glow not only hampers your eyesight, but also prolongs the amount of time your body takes to relax and fall off to sleep.
- If your back pain causes you to continually wake up in the middle of the night in discomfort, then sleep with a pillow or cushion between your legs so as to straighten out your back and relieve pent up stress.
- The importance of your pillow can never be stressed upon enough. Your pillow should be not too fat, hard or soft. It should just about support the natural curve of your neck, so that it is perfectly aligned with the centre of your body. Correct sleeping postures are extremely important.
- Make sure your room is nice and dark so as to stimulate the secretion of a hormone called melatonin that is regulated by light exposure. Darker the room, greater melatonin, making you more sleepy.
- Those who exercise regularly and well are known to be fitful sleepers. Exercise well before bedtime. If required, do some light yoga or stretching exercises that promote sleep.
- What you eat throughout the day makes a difference to the quality of your sleep. Stay away from too much caffeine, alcohol, or a heavy meal just before sleeping. They only make you stay awake for longer and may cause heartburn or stomach trouble. Don't drink too much water, or else you will be making more midnight trips to the bathroom than clocking those sleep hours.
- Try to keep your head clear of all worries and stress when in bed. Regular meditation and deep breathing can help.
There is no end to all the things you can do to sleep well and comfortably. It is important to be self-disciplined to sleep well and hence be a healthy individual.
Thyroid cancer occurs in the cells of the thyroid gland which is found at the base of your neck, just below your Adam's apple. Your thyroid produces important hormones like TSH that regulate your heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature and weight. Thyroid cancer is an uncommon kind of cancer which usually doesn’t cause symptoms in the early stage.
However, symptoms like the following mean that you should see a doctor immediately
- A lump on your neck that can be felt
- Changes in your voice, including an increase in hoarseness
- Difficulty in swallowing
- Pain in the neck and throat
Risk factors and causes
The precise cause of thyroid cancer and the risk factors is still unknown, but research is going on to try to find out more. There are, however, a number of factors that may increase your risk of developing thyroid cancer. These are called risk factors. These are a few common ones:
- Benign or non-cancerous thyroid disease like:
- An enlarged thyroid or goitre
- Thyroid nodules or adenomas
- Inflammation of the thyroid called thyroiditis
- Benign thyroid disease is genetic. You are more at risk of getting thyroid cancer if you have family members with this disease. Your risk is even higher if more than one member of your family is affected.
- Exposure to radiation:
- Any type of radiotherapy to the neck area can increase your risk of developing thyroid cancer years later.
- Exposure to high levels of radiation in the environment can also increase your risk.
- Diabetes - A number of studies are pointing to the fact that diabetes may play a big role in thyroid cancer risk. Research is confirming that there is a very strong role in metabolic syndrome, obesity, and diabetes as precipitating factors in thyroid cancer development. Plausible reasons that may link diabetes to higher thyroid cancer risk include:
- Chronic thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) stimulation: Diabetics are susceptible to disruption in thyroid hormone balance, upping cancer risk. Elevated circulating insulin levels in type 2 diabetics with insulin resistance increase risk too. Anti-diabetic medication is linked to thyroid cancer.
- Concomitant increased body mass index (BMI): In diabetics is also associated with increased risk for cancer in general, and thyroid cancer in particular.
- Chronic exposure to glucose: This has been linked recently to increased thyroid cancer risk.
- Elevated prevalence of vitamin D deficiency: The diabetics in animal studies is linked to increased cancer risk.
- Inherited gene: Your risk of developing thyroid cancer goes up if you have inherited an altered gene that causes a bowel condition called familial adenomatous polyposis or FAP. So, you should get yourself tested if anyone in your family has this genetic condition to see if you have the same altered gene.
- Sex: Being female Thyroid cancer is more common in women than men.
- Weight: People who are overweight may have a higher risk of getting thyroid cancer. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult an Endocrinologist.