The new year and new decade are here! Why not resolve to make healthy lifestyle changes you can sustain not only through the year, but the entire decade!
We’ve all heard of our thyroid, most of us even know someone who has faced thyroid health concerns or even thyroid cancer, but do we really understand why our thyroid is so important to our bodies functioning and our ability to achieve optimal health?
The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland in the front of our necks which produces the hormone thyroxine. Our thyroid controls how our bodies use energy from food, aka our metabolism. Thyroid health is critical because if you do not have enough thyroid hormone your body processes slow down, if you have too much of the hormone your metabolism overaccelerates.
- Regulates metabolism
- Controls body temperature
- Regulates heartbeat
- Supports immune system functionality
- Stimulates blood flow to the brain
- Supports oxygen flow to the kidneys, heart, liver, and skeletal muscles
- Promotes healthy sleep, mood, and mental health
- Regulates how your body burns calories
- Is vital for proper bodily function, overall health, wellness, and longevity…left untreated, thyroid diseases can lead to heart failure and be deadly
Hypothyroidism vs Hyperthyroidism
Hypothyroidism–when your thyroid gland is unable to produce enough of the hormone your entire body will slow down as your body is using energy slower than it should. Symptoms include: a constant feeling of cold, cold hands and feet, puffy skin and bloating, fatigue, exhaustion, brain fog, forgetfulness, unexplained weight gain, constipation, dry skin, hair loss, muscle and joint aches and pains, heavy or irregular menstrual periods, and depression.
Hyperthyroidism–when your thyroid gland overproduces the hormone and causes the body processes to speed up as your body is using energy faster than it should. Symptoms include: rapid heartbeat, heart palpitations, anxiety and nervousness, irritability, weight loss, heat intolerance, trouble sleeping or insomnia, weakness in the muscles and joints, vision and eyesight problems, increased appetite, light or skipped menstrual periods, and a visibly enlarged thyroid gland.
Contributors to thyroid disorders, disease, and cancer include:
- Environmental toxicity
- Iodine deficiency
- Grave’s disease
- Exposure to high levels of radiation
- Family history of goiters or thyroid cancer
- Over 20 million Americans have a form of thyroid disease, sadly, 60% are unaware of the issue or have been misdiagnosed
- Thyroid issues impacted people of all ages and ethnicities
- Women are 5 times more likely to have thyroid issues than men
- People aged 30-50 are hat the highest risk for developing thyroid cancer
- Even with proper diet and exercise, if your thyroid hormone is not in balance you will face weight loss challenges
- Thyroid disease is preventable and treatable! A holistic approach, combined with diet and lifestyle changes, will improve your thyroid and overall health! Maintaining a healthy, nutritional diet filled with fruits and vegetables will reduce your risk of thyroid and other diseases!