Your thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland that sits just below your Adam’s apple. It is small, but has a big job: Your thyroid is responsible for making hormones that affect just about every aspect of your body’s organs, cells and tissues. Thyroid hormones help to regulate things like your heart rate, body temperature and metabolism. Think of your thyroid as your metabolic engine; keeping this little powerhouse healthy is vitally important to keeping your whole body healthy. Unfortunately, there are threats to thyroid health that include:
The result of damage to the thyroid gland is either too much or too little thyroid hormone released. Too much can cause sweating, changes in appetite, fatigue, weakness and sleep disturbances. Too little and you may experience weight gain, dry skin, constipation and depression. To protect your thyroid, reduce your exposure to these threats where possible. Luckily, diet can make a difference in helping your thyroid gland protect itself from environmental harm.
Of the thyroid threats listed above, stress is one of the most common and the most in your control. Go for a walk. Practice yoga. Spend time with friends. Read. Breathe deeply. Decrease your stress and protect your thyroid powerhouse.
— By Elisha Rain, MS, CN, Bastyr dietetic intern, and Debra Boutin, MS, RD, chair and dietetic internship director, Department of Nutrition and Exercise Science at Bastyr University.
Purchasing food grown closer to your home will provide great health, economic and environmental benefits.
There are ways to help treat IBS using safe, natural products, and life-style intervention.
There are many ways to monitor and change your individual risk of heart disease.