Today, May 25th we acknowledge once again World Thyroid Day. A day that was created with the intention to promote awareness about thyroid-related diseases. Recognized globally by the American Thyroid Association in cooperation with the European Thyroid Association the Asia-Oceania Thyroid Association and the Latin American Thyroid Society, to empower people with education about the thyroid gland and its related conditions.
according to the ATA, the thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped endocrine gland that is normally located in the lower front of the neck. The thyroid’s job is to make thyroid hormones, which are secreted into the blood and then carried to every tissue in the body. Thyroid hormone helps the body use energy, stay warm, and keep the brain, heart, muscles, and other organs working as they should.
Hard to believe that this tiny gland is capable of so much, as it takes care of so many important functions in our bodies but it is true and it must not be underestimated. It regulates your body’s metabolism as well as growth and development. It makes three different types of hormones: thyroxine, or T4, and triiodothyronine, or T3, and calcitonin. T3 and T4 are responsible for metabolic rate. Calcitonin is involved in calcium and bone metabolism.
The thyroid itself doesn’t simply release T3 and T4 to regulate metabolism. Instead, it relies on the pituitary gland to send a signal. When T3 or T4 levels are low, the pituitary will release Thyroid Stimulating Hormone, or TSH, which will then trigger the thyroid to release more hormones. In many cases, TSH levels are used as a benchmark for overall thyroid health. Also, the one important marker used to check for "Thyroid Cancer" is thyroglobulin, make sure to consistently monitor yours if you have been diagnosed with thyroid cancer.
Almost all types of thyroid problems or diseases are broken up into two major categories—hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism. Diseases of the thyroid will generally cause the gland to get out of whack. TSH levels will be elevated in the case of hypothyroidism, or an underactive thyroid. And TSH levels will generally be low to unmeasurable in a case of hyperthyroidism or an overactive thyroid. To read more about other types of thyroid conditions click here.
Tips to keep your Thyroid Healthy
Take Magnesium.- this is an important mineral essential for our body function. Unfortunately, many of us are deficient in this vital nutrient which is naturally found in some foods like dark chocolate, avocados, nuts, legumes, seeds, and some fatty fish. Also, there are very good quality supplements available in the market, consult with your health care practitioner.
Avoid Gluten.- gluten is known to cause a toxic response with people that have an autoimmune disease and Hashimoto's.
Take Selenium.- many of us are deficient in this important thyroid nutrient which can trigger autoimmune conditions and thyroid diseases.
Take Iodine.- this is an essential supplement for thyroid health. When you have low levels of iodine, your thyroid swells up in an attempt to absorb additional iodine from your bloodstream. This swelling is one cause of goiter, which can trigger a series of health events that can lead to poor thyroid health.
Exercise.- a good exercise routine will support your thyroid and your overall health.
Follow a clean diet.- I personally like to follow a plant-based diet to learn more click here.
Sleep.- good sleeping patters will help keep your hormones in check and your health in general.
Avoid Sugar.- high sugar consumption not only suppresses our immune system and causes weight gain but it also affects our hormones.
Please always check with your trusted health practitioner before adding or changing any supplements or diet regimen. I hope you have found this article helpful. Happy World Thyroid Day!