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Nearly every family today has a lady suffering from hypothyroidism, be it the mom or the daughter. In the past few decades, the prevalence of hypothyroidism has suddenly shot up to nearly 27% adult women having asymptomatic autoimmune thyroiditis, the most common form of hypothyroidism.

In hypothyroidism, your thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough thyroid hormones T3 and T4. Thyroid hormones are essential for functioning of nearly every organ of the body. In the absence of adequate amounts of thyroid hormone, your body’s natural functions begin to slow down, especially of the reproductive, cardiac and digestive system.

 

What are the signs and symptoms of hypothyroidism?

The signs and symptoms of hypothyroidism can vary from person to person depending upon the severity and progression of the disease. However, a mix of any of these symptoms are commonly seen.

Physical signs and symptoms:

  • Weight gain
  • Muscle weakness
  • Muscle pain and stiffness
  • Joint pain and stiffness
  • Slow heart beat
  • Decreased sweating
  • High cholesterol level
  • Constipation
  • Dry skin
  • Brittle nails
  • Hair thinning and dryness
  • Face puffy and swollen
  • Voice hoarseness
  • Infertility and pregnancy complications
  • Menstrual cycle changes
  • Feeling cold, cold extremities
  • Difficult breathing
  • Hearing difficulties.

Symptoms related to mind and emotions:

  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Impaired memory
  • Poor concentration
  • Physical signs and symptoms also add to the mental stress

 

How to cope with the signs and symptoms of hypothyroidism?

Consulting an endocrinologist to diagnose and adequately treat hypothyroidism is extremely important. Regular blood tests and everyday thyroid hormone supplements form the mainstay of treatment. But apart from these, here are some ways you can cope with your hypothyroidism better on a daily basis-

Indulge in some mind games: Keeping your mind active creates a vibrant and positive aura which helps to minimize symptoms. Play games like scrabble, Pictionary, card games etc. which involves your brain to plan winning strategies. Play with people who can give you a tough competition. Initiate group games and activities that will envelope you with friends. Solve puzzles involving mathematics or perhaps a Rubic’s cube. These games will help you improve concentration.

 

Do a good deed: Involve in social service or volunteer for charities. These activities will keep you socially active and elevate mood, keeping depression at bay. Don’t let lethargy get the better of you; be social, meet friends and relatives often and talk to your neighbors.

 

Exercise: Consider practicing yoga or any sport. Yoga will improve blood circulation, tone and strengthen the muscles and boost your metabolism even when you are resting. Exercise will help you maintain a healthy body by cutting down those extra inches that you may put on because of hypothyroidism. In addition, exercises help to release natural mood elevator hormones, thereby keeping you healthier and happier.

 

Get a Pampering massage: Get yourself a soothing massage to relax and recharge your vitality. Massage is a great stress buster.

 

Drink plenty of Water (A life savior!): Drink enough water to detoxify your body. It cleanses the body and excretes the toxins. Water helps to replenish the hydration of dry skin and hair which may occur due to hypothyroidism. Constipation too can be managed better. Drinking enough fluids is important when exercising and it can help control calorie intake too. Dieters choose drinking lots of water and fluids for a weight loss strategy as it help you indulge less in other higher calorie beverages. Opt for water-rich foods including fruits and vegetables.

 

Eat healthy: Keep a check on what you are eating. Maintain a good balance of carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and fats. Avoid foods that contain goitrogens like- Soy foods, certain vegetables like cabbage, broccoli, spinach, cauliflower, etc. Goitrogens are foods that mimic thyroid hormones and can aggravate hypothyroidism symptoms.

 

Sleep well: Early to bed and early to rise is an age old formula. Sleep for 6-7 hours at night. Take a nap in day time if needed. Good sleep recharges the body and helps recuperate from the wear and tear the body undergoes. Importantly, most of the vital hormones including your thyroid hormones are believed to be secreted during deep sleep.

 

Consider alternative therapies: Ayurveda, acupressure, acupuncture, reiki, pranic healing, color therapy, magnet therapy, etc. all have a lot to offer to cure your physical and mental symptoms. Note- these therapies may be safely taken along with your regular thyroid medicines after a green signal by your endocrinologist.

 

Talk to your doctor: Do not skip your daily dose of medicine and do not miss your doctor’s appointment. Inform him of the frequency and intensity of your old signs and symptoms, make a note and inform of any new symptoms or any other changes in the body. Discuss your treatment plan and follow the doctor’s advice.

If you had hypothyroidism and are cured now using an alternative therapy, share with us here! Help out a fellow reader.

 

Photo by Miguel Salgado on Unsplash

About the Author

Dr. Rachita Narsaria

Dr. Rachita Narsaria

Poet, bookworm, tech-worm, nature lover, entrepreneur