Your thyroid is a gland in your neck that helps regulate various body functions, including your metabolism. Lifestyle habits can impact your thyroid function and choosing healthy ones can minimize your risk of thyroid problems. Thyroid disorders happen when your thyroid produces insufficient or excessive thyroid hormones. If you experience any unusual symptoms, make sure to seek medical advice.
#1 Eat a Balanced Diet
One of the most effective ways you can support your thyroid health and your immune system is by eating a healthy diet.
You should include the following foods into your meals:
- At least four servings of vegetables every day
- At least three services of fruit every day
- Healthy fats like avocados or extra-virgin olive oil
- Lean proteins from fatty fishes or beans and lentils
Avoid processed foods that are usually high in sugar and use preservatives and other unhealthy ingredients.
#2 Talk to Your Physician about Supplements
Certain supplements like selenium, vitamin D, probiotics, and iodine can help protect your thyroid, but you should check with your doctor before taking any. Some lab tests can determine whether you need to take supplements and what dosage is appropriate.
Adequate supplements can boost your immune system and promote your thyroid function, but you want to avoid taking too many. While iodine plays a central role in creating thyroid hormones, taking too much of it can cause problems like weight gain, stomach pain, or fever.
#3 Manage Your Stress
When you experience high or persistent levels of stress, your thyroid function and metabolism can slow down and lead to weight gain. Blood sugar dysregulation can happen too. All these factors can cause chronic fatigue and mental health issues like depression and anxiety.
To reduce your stress, you can:
- Avoid technology at night or use a blue light blocker
- Implement a sleep routine with regular bed and wakeup times
- Engage in mindful activities like meditation, yoga, or breathing exercises
- Spend time outdoors
- Speak to a therapist
Limiting your stress has many health benefits including for your thyroid.
#4 Avoid Environmental Toxins
Exposure to environmental toxins or endocrine disruptors can impact your immune system, which can lead to thyroid problems.
Reducing your exposure to the following toxins can support your thyroid health:
- Perfluorinated chemicals or PFCs
Being mindful of ingredients in household products is especially important when you are pregnant or have young children.
Other steps you can take are regularly washing your hands with soap and water and choosing glass containers rather than plastic ones for your food.
#5 Quit Smoking
Giving up smoking and the use of other tobacco products is a common health recommendation. Toxins present in cigarette smoke can cause thyroid problems by interfering with iodine and your body’s production of thyroid hormones. Tobacco use can also lead to Graves’ disease, a common cause of hyperthyroidism.
Do not hesitate to talk to a doctor about treatment options to stop smoking. This can help you quit tobacco products successfully for long-term health benefits.
If you have thyroid concerns, contact Advance ER at (214) 494-8222 to talk to a medical professional about your next step.