PREVENTIVE HOME TIPS
Easy Tips to manage frequent symptoms of thyroid
Although there is no definite cure for hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism, taking the prescribed medication on time, getting a complete thyroid test as advised by your doctor, and following certain simple home remedies for thyroid frequent symptoms, can help you lead a healthy normal life and can manage frequently seen thyroid problems to some extent. Read below some useful suggestions.
Thyroid and fatigue
Fatigue is one of the most common symptoms experienced in hypothyroidism as a result of decreased thyroid hormone production. This condition in turn results in triggering of restlessness and irritability, a common sign arising due to fatigue caused due to hypothyroidism. On the other hand, in hyperthyroidism, fatigue can be attributed to disrupted sleep patterns, anxiety and stress.
Tips to combat thyroid fatigue:
- Fatigue is often confused with tiredness not only in thyroid but also in many other conditions. A tiredness can go off after a sound sleep or a long weekend break whereas fatigue should be monitored and managed to stay on top of it.
- Recommended exercises for thyroid along with some simple exercises 4-5 times a week can make one feel physically tired and can contribute to sound sleep during nights, which manages fatigue during daytime to some extent.
- Poor fluid intake is also linked to fatigue. So, it is advised to consume recommended amount of water along with fruit juices on regular basis, which can combat fatigue effectively.
- Keep all the digitalized screens away at least 2 hours before going to sleep and maintain the room temperature on a comfortable scale which has the ability to affect sleep quality.
- Avoid naps in the afternoon that reduce sleep quality during nights. If you are the one habituated to naps in the daytime, the duration of nap should not be more than 20 mins.
- Including a balanced diet, cutting processed and junk food can help to reduce fatigue and powers with energy whole day.
Weight gain is mostly associated with hypothyroidism (under active thyroid gland), where production of thyroid hormone is reduced, which results in decreased metabolic rate eventually leading to weight gain. A point to be noted here is losing weight with thyroid disease is not a difficult task, but it takes some time and determination.
Tips to lose thyroid weight:
- First and foremost, weight loss is not an overnight miracle, it is a process. Do not try to lose weight fast with hypothyroidism. Eating in small portions and frequent meals (at least 6 meals a day rather than eating 3 big meals) is the success mantra of many weight watchers.
- A food diary or digital record of the total calorific intake in a day is the smartest way to curb unwanted calories and know where to correct eating patterns.
- Remember to include foods like ginger, lemon, cucumber, mint which exhibit detox properties and can be consumed throughout the day.
- Cut down all the simple carbohydrates (white rice, maida, bakery products).
- Physical activities such as dancing, swimming, running, lifting weights and free hand exercises not only help in reducing weight but also helps in maintaining good Body Mass Index. It has been observed that hitting the gym at least 3 times a week can help to lose weight faster. Also, one can incorporate 150 minutes of aerobic activity (brisk walking or Zumba) in a week along with a healthy diet to reach the desired weight loss goals.
- Stay hydrated always. Water effectively flushes out accumulated toxins and aids in weight loss. Sipping a cup of warm water at least 30 mins before a meal can manage binge eating and can control hunger pangs.
Weight loss with hyperthyroidism(overactive thyroid) is highly linked to thyroid hormones, which regulates metabolism. In patients with hyperthyroidism, due to increased production of thyroid hormone, the metabolic rate increases and the deposited fats including healthy fats are metabolised at a higher rate which eventually results in visible drastic weight loss.
Tips to weight gain with hyperthyroidism:
- Your sudden decrease in weight may have affected the way you look. The key to regain and maintain healthy weight are intake of nutrition rich good number of calories and exercises.
- Include dense foods especially in the breakfast, which are for better thyroid function like lentils, calcium rich foods like yogurt, eggs, full cream milk, homemade cheese, fruits like banana, mango, chunks of tender coconut, handful of dry fruits such as cashewnuts, peanuts, almonds, dates etc. Lunch/Dinner options must include high protein veg/non-veg food items suitable to your palate and carbs like rice and multi grain wheat.
- Including avocado at least 3 times a week in diet can power with healthy fats and healthy thyroid nutrients.
- Consumption of unsalted nuts and nut butters and homemade clarified butter/ghee in limited quantity daily can help in gaining/maintaining weight in a healthy way.
- Eating 2 bananas at least 4 times a week will keep your body healthy & manage weight loss.
- Flax seeds are also one of the major sources of healthy fats which can be easily included in diet regime to maintain weight and reduce constipation.
- Last but the most important exercising for 20 mins daily can give your body good shape along with taking care of your heart & release of hormones. Best exercises.
Sometimes, untreated and prolonged hypo and hyperthyroidism cause hair loss. In fact, many times hair loss in women is a direct indication of hormonal disorders like thyroid and PCOD. Hair fall in thyroid is also accompanied by thinning of hair and this is seen in entire scalp rather than in discrete areas. The key to regrowth can be with successful treatment of the thyroid, though it may take several months to years to regain the natural volume of hair.
Tips to manage thyroid hair loss:
- There is nothing such as instant miracle cures like hair gels, shampoos, conditioners or hair oils available commercially which claim regrowth within limited period of use. Always check for ingredients.
- Avoid practising of brushing or combing extreme dry and wet hair, as wet hair is highly susceptible to breakage while combing it. Combing extreme dry hair may lead to follicular spilt-up of complete hair from its root. Always apply a detangling serum/ light oil (coconut oil) which not only gives protection against hair breakage, but also detangles hair knots easily.
- Use wide- toothed brushes or combs especially for long hairs.
- Regular use of hair straighteners and continuous change of hair styles along with the usage of hair styling products are known to put a lot of traction on hair. So just like skin care, keep a hair care regime as simple as possible so that you can follow it at least twice a week.
- It is always recommended to talk to your doctor before taking any hair loss supplements as they may interfere with thyroid medications.
- All oils such as almond oil, olive oil, castor oil, argon oil are highly beneficial for hair massage. However, application of lukewarm coconut oil before bedtime can improve blood circulation, relieve stress, soften dry hair and manage hair loss to great extent.
- Last but not the least, stress plays a huge role in hair loss /thinning. Too much worry about hair/ looks can also lead to anxious and stressful conditions. If need be, speak with a doctor if your hair fall is getting out of control.
Low or high thyroid hormone levels can affect the process of digestion and sometimes lead to sluggish metabolism which results in constipation.
Tips to manage:
- The bowel cycle is for about once to thrice in a day for a normal healthy person. It is a concern when the person cannot poop once in a couple of days and they are experiencing discomfort while bowel movements.
- Rely more on fibrous foods like oatmeal, figs (anjeer), apples, bananas, beans and all kinds of salads. Psyllium husk(Isabgol) a dietary fiber with laxative properties is proven beneficial if taken thrice a week. This can be mixed up with oatmeal for added benefits.
- Stay hydrated always as even a mild dehydration can lead to constipation.
- Do not rely on laxatives very often as they may become habitual.
- Sipping up lukewarm water in early hours of a day can alleviate constipation.
- Incorporate more watery vegetables like cucumber, tomatoes, and fruits like watermelon, apple, which can manage constipation to a greater extent.
- Consuming probiotic foods like curd or cheese occasionally can minimize constipation.
- Even if there is no relief by following the above remedies and if constipation persists for extended period, then do not hesitate to discuss with your doctor.
Irritability, anger currents and mood swings
Constant managing of weight in both hypo and hyperthyroidism, routinely taking medication, regular thyroid tests and check-ups, fluctuations in thyroid levels, maintaining normal thyroid levels, often makes the life of thyroid patients monotonous and cumbersome which leads to sudden anger currents and mood swings, unpredictably at times. In order to keep yourself going, you may try the following tips to feel better.
Tips to control anger:
- Stress management with some practices like yoga and aerobics can help in managing mood swings to a greater extent .Playing of favorite tracks or songs, slight dance moves , romantic dinners can reduce irritability to greater extent.
- Sleep has a huge role to play in stabilizing mood swings. Adequate sound sleep always brings a sense of mindfulness, which prevents unpleasant episodes of anger and emotional outbursts.
- A better medication and a healthy diet always plays a key role in managing mood swings.
- It is always advised to maintain a fixed sleep routine as irregular sleep timings can make one irritable during a day and can result in mood swings.
- Sukhasana (Easy Pose) Marjaryasana (Cat Pose) Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Bend)Salamba Sirsasana (Supported Headstand)Savasana (Corpse Pose) are the yogasanas proven to relive stress and promote concentration. Meditation can also power one with stable mindedness and by practising it regularly one can have emotional control.
- Stay well hydrated, as even dehydration can cause mood swings and anger currents.
- Now one is aware that all the above emotional reactions are amplified due to imbalance in thyroid hormones, one must keep calm and be strong enough to come on top of sudden urges of irritation, anger and emotional outbursts.
- Cut down all the processed foods, rely on fresh fruits and vegetables as processed foods interfere with thyroid medications.
Numbness and tingling in hands
Tingling and numbness is most commonly seen in untreated hypothyroidism and it is due to peripheral neuropathy, a condition in which there is a mild to severe damage to peripheral nerves.
Tips to reduce numbness:
- Levothyroxine, the most commonly prescribed thyroid drug can significantly relieve the symptoms of peripheral neuropathy
- Eating a well-balanced diet, and a regular exercise can effectively help to reduce tingling in hands.
- A warm compress can instantly improve the sensation of tingling in arms.
- Using a stress ball can increase blood circulation and helps in relieving numbness along with anxiety.
- Nighttime massage with warm mustard oil or coconut oil will surely help in reducing numb and tingling sensation to a certain extent.
Underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) is commonly associated with signs of forgetfulness and trouble in concentrating, which is also known as brain fog sometimes. People often mistake this as false, absent mindedness and will many times relate this with stressful lifestyle. However, in this modern world of gadgets, passwords and account numbers one cannot afford to take forgetfulness for granted. We must endeavor and try to regain memory and stay vigilant all the time.
Tips to remember:
- Being sad or anxious about this condition will not help anyone to overcome forgetfulness, instead doing mental exercises, keeping calm and adhering to the below will help to improve conditions in a much better way.
- Sticking to a fixed routine makes it easy to remember the things easily. Hence make your own routine according to your comforts and follow it religiously.
- Making a to-do list, using sticky notes and setting reminders for different tasks can manage forgetfulness to a large extent. Writing or noting down tasks in diary/gadgets is a good idea to prevent forgetting of events and tasks.
- Playing memory games can effectively reduce forgetfulness and improve concentration. But having stated that, one should restrict playing it for not more than 1 hour in a day.
- Staying active can improve cognitive ability of the brain. So, it is recommended at least including 150 minutes of exercises per week like aerobics (brisk walking, jumping rope), lifting weights, walking or gymming can help to remain mentally fit.
- Playing sudoku & chess also enhances remembering capacity along with quick thinking and decision making.
- Last but not the least, if the forgetfulness is getting serious such as inability to recognize relatives, friends or having trouble in differentiating between places and time zones one must not hesitate to discuss with the physician without any further delay. This could be an onset of some other condition such as dementia.