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With a lot of women today suffering from thyroid diseases such as hypo or hyperthyroidism, there is also a lot of fear-mongering going around. Let’s learn to distinguish between the myths and the facts.
For women, hormones have always been something to blame. For our mood swings we blame hormones; when we gain weight it is hormones that are to blame and when we do not get our periods, hey hormones!
Yes, hormones are the reason and you can blame them but how much are we in sync with our own diet and mental state? Two out of ten women are suffering from hypo or hyperthyroidism – what can be the reason of this new age disease which is leaving our bodies in disharmony?
In my practice, I started getting many patients in a row who were very keen on losing weight but their major issue was their TSH level which was elevating fast and their metabolism going slow. With their concern rising, one thing which was common to all was poor lifestyle habits and a high level of anxiety; most of them also subscribed to the many myths related to thyroid diseases.
In this section, I intend to clarify some myths regarding thyroid diseases and their symptoms. (We, women, do have a tendency to overthink.)
Our bodies are made in such a beautiful way that in case of any disorder, our body’s defense mechanism comes into play for protecting it. Symptoms like gaining weight, constipation, mood swings and fatigue are the first ones which start surfacing and they act as an indication of the disease. This is where thyroid immediately comes into the picture but do not get prejudiced – some of these can also be a result of poor eating and no workout. Jumping to conclusions is not healthy; gaining weight and not losing it easily can also be due to your daily regimen.
Mood swings can also be due to low vitamin intake and low iron, not necessarily your thyroid – that means no running for a thyroid investigation immediately; first, it is time to improve your health on a daily basis.
Now let us read about various factors which are the reason for thyroid dysfunctions. This part needs to be covered in two important spheres of health -mental and physical.
Now that mental health importance is rising in our country how can we not consider our mental health? Women with suppression: that is how I would like to put. In the midst of taking care of yourself and your family when did you last took a few minutes to voice out your thoughts? There may have been thoughts going on in your mind when you were looking at those skinny jeans before somebody called out to you for help in the house. Yes, did you just imagine your figure in those jeans? Then you suppressed those thoughts and went back to your routine.
We doctors always have one common reason for diseases, that is stress, and patients always counter our pointing at stress by saying, stress is a part of life, isn’t it? It is time now to ponder over stress and decide to come of that vicious cycle. It is time to sit down with those stressors and notify your inner self that you are done with dealing with them.
Now that thyroid is situated in our throat area it is time to deal with the stress by voicing out our desires as women and understand your stress by letting it emerge in the form of words.
Write down your emotions and analyse them one by one.
Give yourself 10 minutes daily to love your self.
Take time out for a walk in nature to feel some fresh air.
After the mental sphere is dealt with (which is actually 60 percent of the disease), let us discuss the next sphere.
When we talk about the physical sphere one main important factor we cannot reverse is the genetic hazard. The single most important thing we can do however, to prevent thyroid diseases is following a good diet as well as including exercise in your daily regimen. If you are already diagnosed with thyroid issues due to your genetic disposition then it is time to gear up.
Besides genetic disposition, another cause can be autoimmune factors where our own antibodies are disturbing our system.
Avoid goitrogenic food which will degrade the functioning of the thyroid which includes cabbage, cauliflower, soy, and peanuts etc.
Exercise daily for 30-45 minutes.
Have small meals at small intervals.
Now that we have addressed the most important spheres which need to be taken care of, let us discuss the key times when the thyroid is likely to disfunction.
Pregnancy is one such time when thyroid functions may be disrupted. There is a chance of you developing hypo or hyperthyroid functions in the gestation phase (i.e. 9 months of pregnancy) but this usually gets back to normal levels once you have delivered the baby.
Women during menopause are again prone to dysfunction of the thyroid gland – menopause is again a time like puberty when our hormones start dancing in a haphazard manner.
With all the hype created around the lifestyle diseases like diabetes, hypertension, PCOS and hypo or hyperthyroid, an environment of stress is created and leaves you in anxiety, whereas this is the time when you have to maintain calm and make the necessary changes in your life.
With this article I hope thyroid diseases seems very simple to tackle – gear up beautiful ladies, it’s time to bring in a change in your daily routine and self-love is the first step.
Image via Unsplash
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