The thyroid gland, in the lower front of the neck, releases hormones in the bloodstream that affect almost every part of your body, from your brain and heart, to your skin and muscles. It also controls metabolism which is the process of changing the food you eat into energy. When the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormone, it is called hypothyroidism.
Symptoms of hypothyroidism include:
- Hair loss and dry hair
- Dry skin
- Sensitivity to cold
- Decreased heart rate
- Goitre (swollen thyroid glands)
- Weight gain and difficulty in losing that weight
- Persistent jaundice
Hypothyroidism is not curable, but it can be controlled with the right medication. Along with taking your medicines, you can also adopt the following lifestyle changes:
- Eat right: While there is no specific diet for hypothyroidism, you should consume vegetables, fruits, whole grains, healthy fats and lean proteins. Since gaining weight is a common symptom of hypothyroidism, eating the right things can help you maintain your weight.
- Regular exercise: Exercising can reduce stress, improve energy and help you maintain your optimum weight. Aerobics (for example, cardio), flexibility and strengthening workouts can help with hypothyroidism. Other than that, light weightlifting, yoga and walking, are also beneficial. Do not forget to consult your doctor before you start on any of these exercises.
- Reduce stress: Hypothyroidism is chronic, and the one thing that worsens chronic diseases is stress. Stress has serious repercussions on your overall health. So it is important to reduce your stress as much as you can. Meditate daily, at least for five minutes, and schedule a weekly massage to deal with your stress.
- Get enough sleep: Fatigue is a symptom of hypothyroidism; you feel tired and sluggish throughout the day. The best way to counter this is to establish a schedule for sleeping. Try to sleep and wake up every day at the same time in the night and in the morning. Generally, sleeping for seven to eight hours is recommended.
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