Prevention of thyroid diseases: how to avoid problems
Among the causes of problems with the thyroid gland, a sedentary lifestyle is practically not mentioned, and diseases of this organ, which occur according to statistics in 5% of the population, are rarely mentioned in contraindications and absolute prohibitions for sports, fitness, and physical education. However, athletes and supporters of a healthy lifestyle need to be aware of possible dysfunctions, primary symptoms, and methods for preventing thyroid diseases.
On the one hand, this will prevent the development of pathologies, which are all irreversible and require lifelong treatment. Well, on the other hand, such information will be useful to those who are planning or are already taking biological supplements that stimulate the thyroid gland. And there are many such people. Thyroid regulators today help to effectively get rid of excess body weight and also allow you to reach a higher level of fitness.
Functions of thyroid hormones
The thyroid gland is located just below Adam’s apple, behind the thyroid cartilage of the larynx, and resembles a 4-centimeter butterfly, which clasped the trachea with its wings. It belongs to the organs of the endocrine system. The thyroid gland produces thyroid hormones T3 and T4, as well as calcitonin. To understand how important the normal functioning of this gland is, we list the processes in which the hormones that it produces are involved:
1. Triiodothyronine (T3), whose molecules contain 3 iodine atoms each, performs the following functions:
- regulates the rate of tissue oxygen uptake
- stimulates the synthesis of its own proteins, participates in carbohydrate metabolism and the breakdown of fats
- maintains the tone of intestinal motility;
- accelerates the excretion of cholesterol and triglycerides
- is needed for the production of sex hormones and vitamin A, the absorption of B12 and the growth of bone tissue, and in childhood and adolescence – for the normal development of the central nervous system.
2. Thyroxine (T4) duplicates most of the functions listed above, but without its molecules containing 4 iodine atoms each, it is impossible in the human body:
- the implementation of part of the processes occurring in some parts of the brain;
- control and increase the endurance of skeletal muscles;
- differentiation of growing tissues;
- normal functioning of the nervous and immune systems.
3. Calcitonin is a peptide-protein that regulates calcium-phosphorus metabolism, preventing calcium leaching, and also maintains strength and regulates bone wear, taking part in:
- stimulation of the production of osteoblasts (new, young bone tissue cells)
- inhibition of the synthesis and functional activity of osteoclasts (cells that destroy bone tissue)
The last of these hormones is also a tumor marker. A high concentration of calcitonin in the blood indicates cancer (carcinoma) of the thyroid gland.
Thyroid diseases in women, which cause a deficiency of T3 and T4, lead to ovarian dysfunction (cyclic uterine bleeding, rare or absent menstruation, infertility), and the production and spontaneous flow of milk without pregnancy are possible. An excess of hormones can also cause failures of the monthly cycle in the direction of its slowdown up to its complete disappearance.
Diseases of the thyroid gland in men, accompanied by a lack of production of T3 and T4, lead to a decrease in sexual desire, and then to impotence. But diseases with excessive secretion of thyroid hormones lead to damage to the testicles and male infertility.
Prevention of thyroid diseases: simple recipes
While chronic sleep deprivation and wakefulness at night + physical and mental overstrain is almost a 100% guarantee of problems with the endocrine glands, thyroid prevention is quite simple and does not require special efforts or financial investments. We list the main methods on how to restore the thyroid gland, or rather its work, in cases where hormone therapy is not yet needed.
Daily routine control, quality, and sufficient sleep
For the health of the thyroid gland, it is important that a person maintains a balance between work and rest, between time with physical activity and muscle relaxation. In the prevention of thyroid diseases, special attention is paid tonight sleep. It not only has to last 8 hours. At the same time, it is important to sleep in darkness, silence, and always from 00:30 to 4:00 (during the functional activity of the endocrine glands).
Outdoor time and exercise
Absolutely everyone, regardless of age and gender, including those who go in for sports or fitness, daily walks in the fresh air are recommended to prevent problems with the thyroid gland. You should walk non-stop away from busy highways, in any weather, from 20 to 60 minutes, shortly before bedtime.
The optimal types of physical activity for the prevention of thyroid disease are strength training, yoga, Pilates, and any kind of cardio activity, including swimming and dancing.
Avoiding conflicts and competent way out of stressful situations
For the prevention of the thyroid gland, it is extremely important to learn how to avoid or resist extreme psycho-emotional stress and stressful conditions, since they are one of the triggers for the development of diseases of this endocrine organ. It is necessary to help the body adequately to the prevailing circumstances. This can be one or a combination of several ways – physical relaxation, breathing exercises, autogenic training, medication, meditation, aromatherapy, spa treatments, other types of relaxation, and a pleasant, healthy pastime.
Foods for Thyroid Health
One of the main conditions for the prevention of thyroid problems is maintaining a sufficient level of iodine in the body. The diet must contain one product from each item on this list :
- seaweed or other algae, cod, tuna, mackerel, seafood, walnuts, and pine nuts;
- brazil nuts, eggs, chicken breast, turkey, sardines, halibut, brown rice, pearl barley, whole grain oatmeal, garlic, onion, spinach, mushrooms, pasta (t / s), bread (c / s), sunflower, and pumpkin seeds;
- sesame seeds and butter, parmesan and other hard aged cheeses, mature beef, almonds, hazelnuts, parsley, dill, basil, leafy greens, bream, pink salmon, and sea bass;
- apples, persimmons, bananas, apricots (dried apricots), cranberries, blueberries, feijoa, kiwi, and olives.
We emphasize that it is necessary to use the products listed in the first paragraph, as well as iodized salt, taking into account the individual characteristics of the problem with the thyroid gland – whether it is deficient in iodine or vice versa, T3 and T4 are produced in excess. By the way, it is better to eat foods rich in iodine for dinner; in the evening, iodine is absorbed better and more fully. With regards to other products, they are all needed, but also only in quantities that will not lead to hypervitaminosis and excess minerals.
What foods should be avoided
To avoid problems with the thyroid gland, you should abandon excessive, both daily and total weekly consumption:
- legumes, including soy and products made from it
- cruciferous – all types of cabbage, radish, lettuce
- sweets, flour, products with added sugar
- strong tea, coffee, and other stimulating drinks
The internet is full of advice on avoiding gluten. This should be done only by those who have a good reason for this – poor tolerance. Gluten does not affect the functioning of the thyroid gland, or the production of hormones T3, T4, and calcitonin.