You have left your purse in your car again and put it down to your muddle-headedness! But it has been going on for quite some time hasn’t it? You are losing hair in clumps, you are feeling fatigued, your skin has been looking terribly patchy recently. But you never really thought these symptoms were linked did you? Till the day you thought of visiting your doctor and he/she suggested a thyroid test!
A thyroid test? But why? It’s only stress, you reassure yourself, but take the test just to calm your jangled nerves. The results came and you couldn’t quite believe your eyes! Incredulously you ask yourself, what have you been doing wrong? Why are your thyroid levels are so high? you pay an urgent visit to the doctor, wondering ho you got affected, since you have always placed a lot of emphasis on nutrition and exercise, and even included foods to help thyroid issues, but nothing has helped.
If you are one of those who are wondering whether you need to take that all-important test too, have a look at the following checklist to know whether you really need to worry too and how to deal with the disease if you are tested positive.
Symptoms of low thyroid (Hypothyroidism)
Low thyroid levels also show many symptoms which are mild at first and then gradually rear their ugly head as time goes by. Catch the disease early so that you can control it better. If you have hypothyroidism, you make too little thyroxine, so you may have the following symptoms:
- Trouble remembering things
- Lacking clarity in thoughts
- Pain and stiffness in joints and muscles
- Swelling of your face, tongue and around the eyes
- Speech problems, voice turn hoarse
- Changes in skin, it may turn rough, scaly, yellowish etc.
- Changes in the texture of hair, it becomes coarse and brittle
- Brittle nails
- Elevated blood pressure levels
- Elevated cholesterol levels.
- Weight gain
Symptoms of high thyroid (Hyperthyroidism)
High levels of thyroid can have another set of symptoms. But what does an overactive thyroid mean? When your thyroid gland is overactive it makes too much thyroxine. The extra thyroxine causes many of your body’s functions to speed up. In contrast, if you have hypothyroidism, you make too little thyroxine; this causing many of the body’s functions to slow down.
- Being restless
- Hand tremors
- Weight loss, although you have an increased appetite
- Profuse sweating and hating the heat
- Diarrhea or feeling the urge to go to the toilet to pass stools more often than normal
- Skin problems, thinning of hair and itching
- Menstrual changes
- Tiredness or muscle weakness may also be a symptom
- A swelling of your thyroid gland or goiter appearing on your neck
An early morning pill is what it takes to control thyroid, but we all know that nutrition plays a vital role in controlling thyroid and mitigate its severe complications. So if you have been diagnosed to have a thyroid disorder, a balanced nutrition that is nutrition for thyroid problems, combined with exercise can help you keep the disease under strict control.
Exercises to Control Thyroid
“I cannot seem to lose weight because of thyroid.” You have heard this time and again from someone who is suffering from the disease. Most people suffer from depression, as they don’t seem to lose weight despite their best efforts. But the right exercise and diet can indeed work wonders. Add to that a positive outlook and you can slay any problem coming your way.
It’s true that the tiny gland can play a big role in affecting your metabolism. Most of the time it becomes sluggish and you abhor the weighing machine. Fluctuating thyroid hormones can result in a steep rise in your cholesterol and triglyceride levels, all the more reason to step up your exercise routine.
Think of the mood- boosting endorphins, the happy hormone that everybody swears by, which gets released only when you exercise right, like the exercises to help thyroid. A combination of light cardio and strength training works just right in controlling thyroid. Do low impact cardio like aerobics which is kinder to your joints. Never ignore the elliptical or the cycle as they are the best bets when you have to control your weight and consequently, your thyroid problems. These are some of the exercises for thyroid disorder.
Yoga to the rescue
Yoga is indeed a total synchronization of mind and body. Try these poses to imbibe a deep sense of relaxation and also your metabolism the right impetus to unveil a happy and fit you.
- Sarvangasana: Sarvangasana is the most important pose to stimulate the thyroid gland and control thyroxin. This is a very effective yoga pose which causes blood flow from legs to head region thus improving blood circulation. This is also an effective thyroid exercise to lose weight.
- Lie on the carpet with legs together.
- Raise your legs upright to an angle of 90 degrees. Now press on the floor with your palms, taking support from the floor, lift your waist and bring your legs forward. Then keep them vertical onto the ground.
- Bend your hands, hold your waist with the palms, balancing and raise the legs to an angle of 90 degrees to the floor. Body and legs should be straight, vertical to the floor.
- The whole weight of your body should be resting on the shoulder blade, so adjust if it is not straight. Rest your elbow on the floor with palms supporting the body.
- Maintain the pose for 50 or 100 counts. Keep your eyes on the toenails. The legs should not move.
- Lower the legs, toes, and back. Move your hands from the back and place it on the floor. Briskly bring the back to the floor, with the legs and lie down.
- Take rest and do it again. After finishing two rounds follow it up with Shavasana.
- Viparitakarini: The meaning of Viparita is ‘reverse’, or the opposite and Karni means is ‘by which’. Viparitakarni helps to balance the functioning of the thyroid and eases the complication caused by hypoactive thyroid. This is also one of the important asanas for treating your thyroid disorder.
- If you are practicing the supported version of the exercise, set a bolster or firm, long pillow on the floor against the wall, which will enable to do the asana correctly.
- Begin the pose by sitting with your left side against the wall. Your lower back should rest against the bolster if you’re using one.
- Gently turn your body to the left and bring your legs up onto the wall. If you are using a bolster, shift your lower back onto the bolster before bringing your legs up the wall. Use your hands for balance as you shift your weight.
- Lower your back to the floor and lie down. Set your shoulders and head on the floor, in a relaxed position.
- Shift your weight from side-to-side and press your buttocks close to the wall. Let your arms rest open at your sides at a comfortable position, palms facing up. If you’re using a bolster, your lower back should now be fully supported by it.
- Let the heads of your thigh bones release and relax, dropping toward the back of your pelvis.
- Close your eyes and hold for 5-10 minutes, breathe concentrating on each breath.
To release, separate yourself away from the wall and slide your legs down to the right side. Use your hands to help press yourself back up into a seated position.
- Halasana (Plough pose): Hala means plow. The pose resembles Indian plow hence, it is known as hall asana. This yoga exercise gives compression to the neck and activates the thyroid gland.
- Lie on the carpet and join your legs together.
- Raise your legs straight to an angle of 90 Degree.
- Thrust your palms; raise your waist and legs, bending the big toe on the floor and keep the legs straight.
- Balance the whole weight on the shoulder blade, shift both the hands over the head, join the fingers hold the head with it and relax the elbows on the floor.
- Move a little forward, putting the thumb toes outward.
- Stay in that position and count to 100.
- Matsyasana (Fish pose): Matsya means fish, and in the final pose; the asana takes the form which resembles that of a fish. Hence, the name is Matsyasana. Matsyasana provides a good stretch to the neck region; thereby stimulating the thyroid gland.
- Sit on the carpet or mat; fold both legs together in the form of Ardha Padmasana or Sukasana.
- Thrusting hands on the carpet gradually lie down.
- Place the palms beside your ears, towards the shoulder blade.
- Pressing palms and waist raise the torso and head. Then place the crown of the head on the floor.
- Place both the hands on the thighs and relax your elbow on the floor. If possible hold the toe with the fingers.
- Now lower the crown of the head and lower body on the floor making an arc shape on the back. Maintain the pose for at least 50 or 100 counts.
- Release the fingers, thrust the palms on the floor and raise the head and shoulder blade, rest them on the floor. Unfold the legs, straighten them and rest in Shavasana pose.
- Ustrasana (Camel pose): This asana also gives a nice stretch to the neck region. This is a very good exercise for thyroid patients.
- Come to your knees, and keep your legs hip-distance apart. Place your hands on the hips, with your thumbs on your sacrum, which is the bone plate at the base of your spine. Keep your hips over your knees and internally rotate your thighs, squeezing them toward each other.
- Inhale to engage your lower belly and reach your tailbone toward your knees, creating space between your lower vertebrae.
- Take a deep breath, lift your torso and draw your elbows toward each other, allowing your rib cage to expand.
- Keep your torso raised, your core engaged, your spine long, and your chin tucked as you drop your hands to get hold of your heels.
- Press the heels of your hands into the heels of your feet while draping the fingers over the soles. Keep lifting through your torso.
- Now lift your shoulders to allow your back muscles between the shoulder blades to rise up and cushion your cervical spine. Gently lower the head and neck and gaze at the tip of your nose.
- To exit the posture, bring your chin back toward your chest and your hands to your hips with your thumbs on your sacrum. Engage your lower belly and use your hands to support your lower back as you come up slowly.
Recipes for Thyroid Care
If exercise covers the one-half, nutrition covers the other half. Instead of thinking what are the thyroid foods to avoid, think about what are the thyroid foods to eat list, as you won’t feel deprived. Consider nutrition as the weapon with which to nourish your body and make it strong enough to resist all kinds of diseases. Here are a few recipes to help you to do away with hunger pangs and also provide your body with the required nutrition to feel energized and healthy.
1. Coconut Pan Cake
Overcoming fatigue and listlessness seem like insurmountable tasks, so you should not always go for taste, but understand how important you feel after eating something, as it helps you judge whether the food is good for you. Take the instance of this pancake, it is nourishing and fortunately delicious as well.
- ½ c. organic coconut milk
- ½ Tbsp. organic raw apple cider vinegar
- 6 large pastured eggs
- 8 Tbsp. Organic Coconut Flour
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 10 drops Stevia Clear Liquid Stevia
- 1 Tbsp. Coconut Sugar
- 2 tsp. organic cinnamon
- First, make the coconut buttermilk. Combine coconut milk and apple cider vinegar. Let it stand for 10 minutes.
- Blend the coconut buttermilk, eggs, and coconut sugar together in a blender or mixer until they are well- combined.
- Add the coconut flour, baking soda, and cinnamon. Blend nicely or till it is smooth.
- Let the batter rest for five minutes.
- Heat a safe, non-stick grid to medium heat. Pour batter into the pan to make your regular pancakes Cook for about 1 minute per side and then flip. Continue making batches.
- Serve with a simple sauce made from organic ingredients as you can.
2. Banana Bread
Store bought bread have way too many preservatives, and hence harms your body in more ways than one. Try this recipe and imbibe in the goodness of this nutty bread. All the ingredients in this recipe are really great for thyroid function, especially Iodine in the bananas and the Selenium in the Brazil nut.
2 bananas, mashed
1 1/2 cups brown rice flour
1 tsp. baking powder
3/4 cup brown rice, old fashioned
3 egg whites
1/2 cup raisins
1/3 cup applesauce
1/3 cup chopped up Brazil nuts
1 tsp. cinnamon
All the ingredients in this recipe are really great for thyroid function.
- Combine all wet ingredients: banana, applesauce, eggs, and vanilla. Set them aside. Now combine the remaining dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Add the dry mixture to wet mixture slowly, stirring away continuously until the two are nicely combined.
- Pour the cake mixture into a greased baking tray. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C), until the top, is brown and there are cracks visible on the top.
3. Spicy Brown Rice
If you are trying to shed weight, brown rice is a wonderful option for you. It is rich in selenium and manganese, very essential to control your hypothyroid levels.
- 1 cup of brown rice
- 15 cherry tomatoes
- 1 avocado
- few sprigs cilantro
- 2 garlic cloves (minced)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 lemon (squeezed)
- Cook brown rice as directed. Mix all ingredients together, and then season to taste and serve on a flat plate. It is great for lunch as well as dinner.
4. Pumpkin Pie
If you have thyroid problems, you must avoid sugar like the plague. That is what you get to hear from most of the nutritionists, but a healthy version of your favorite dessert can be consumed without any guilt. Try this dessert not only for its nutritional value but also for its superlative taste.
- 2 cups of pre-soaked (12-hours) almonds or almond pulp
- ½ cup of dates
- ½ tsp. vanilla
- ¼ tsp. sea salt
- 1.5 cups coconut milk (BPA-free can)
- 3 cups pumpkin puree
- ½ cup dates
- 2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
- ¼ tsp. vanilla
- ¼ tsp. sea salt
- 1 cup coconut oil, melted
Topping (after frozen)
- 1 tbsp. or more fine coconut dusting
- ¼ tsp. pumpkin pie spice dusting
- Soak almonds for about 12 hours.
- Add all in the food processor and blend until coarse, but not powdered.
- Put a little bit of coconut oil the bottom of the springform pan.
- Press into the bottom of the spring form pan.
- Put it in the freezer while you make the filling.
- Using a blender, blend all the ingredients except the coconut oil until smooth.
- Add the coconut oil and blend. Pour into the pie crust.
- Topping after a cold: sprinkle coconut and pumpkin pie spice on top to decorate.
- Put in refrigerator overnight or longer, so that it sets nicely.
- Remove from fridge and the spring form pan. Use a knife around the edge of the springform pan to loosen the pie.
- Add topping: sprinkle coconut and pumpkin pie spice on top to make it look appetizing.
This is a great snack made from the nutritious lima beans. It will help with your blood sugar levels as well. So try this simple recipe and eat something nutritious and tasty when you are hungry.
- 1 can of lima beans
- 1/3 cup lemon juice
- 1 to 2 cloves minced garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 cup finely minced parsley leaves
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- Just take all the above ingredients (except the parsley) and blend well until nicely pureed.
- Then take the parsley leaves and blend it in the blender, and leave it in the refrigerator for a few hours. Lastly, add the paprika as a garnish and serve with chopped vegetables like carrots or celery.
Follow the doctor’s advice to the tee, and find solace in foods. Yes, even thyroid problems can be kept well under control with proper diet and exercise. It’s a question of mind over matter. If you can think you can combat thyroid with aplomb, you will be able to do it easily. So bank on the best food for thyroid function and exercise and say hello to a brand new healthy you!