Thyroid is an endocrine gland situated in the neck and produces the thyroid hormone. This hormone is then carried through the blood to different cells of the body. It helps the body organs to keep working as they should and also helps maintain body temperature. The two major thyroid hormones regulate protein, fat, carbohydrate and vitamin metabolism and are also responsible for proper differentiation and development of cells. In simple words, if this gland is underactive all the bodily functions slow down and if it is hyperactive it causes increased metabolism. Apart from these two issues of hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism, there can be structural abnormalities to the gland or it might have tumors (benign or cancerous) affecting its normal functioning and in turn the whole body. Hence a healthy thyroid gland is of prime importance for a proper functioning of the body and a healthy life.
Management of Thyroid
Depending on the condition of thyroid, it requires different ways to manage it. Let us first have a quick look at the common issues of thyroid…
Hence the first measure to manage thyroid is to have a proper intake of iodine. Having iodine rich salt if you are deficient in iodine is a common way to avoid the swelling of the thyroid gland to form goiter. It is also important to not have salt in excess as it may lead to other autoimmune diseases. Having the right amount of iodine can go a long way in the management of thyroid.
One needs to put extra emphasis on the diet as a healthy diet is the means to a healthy body. Soy products, processed & packaged foods, high sugar foods and aerated drinks and caffeinated beverages need to be avoided when on the road to recovery from thyroid. No need to make changes in cruciferous food like cabbage, broccoli once you are on thyroid medicine.
Smoking and Alcohol
A regular need to smoke or have drinks can impair the healing process of the thyroid gland. Hence it is best to stop smoking and drinking and stay sober.
The most important aspect in the management of thyroid is its medication. Depending on the issue there might be lifelong hormone replacement medicines needed for some patients. In such cases, it is important to take them regularly and on an empty stomach each morning half an hour before any food intake or as advised by the doctor. This treatment needs to be well supervised by a specialist to see if the levels of thyroid hormones are improving accordingly.
In rare cases of structural disorder or cancerous thyroid, the patient might have to undergo a surgery to remove the entire gland or just cancer-causing nodule or lobe.
Since thyroid has grown to be one of the most common problems that people suffer from all over the world, it is best not to ignore and see a specialist. The condition may be common but the effects can in most cases do irreparable harm to the body. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!