Tag Archives: thyroid gland

Is Your Thyroid Slowing Down? – Harvard Healthbeat

I confess to utter ignorance about my thyroid gland and what it has to do with my body and well being. So, this email from Harvard, interested me.

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“The thyroid is butterfly-shaped gland in the neck. It produces the hormones that regulate metabolism. Low levels of thyroid hormone can cause a range of symptoms including fatigue, constipation, dry skin, brittle nails, hair changes, aches and pains, and feeling down. Untreated, an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) can increase the chances of developing high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and heart disease.

“Women are more likely than men to have problems with their thyroid, particularly as they get older. In some women, the onset of thyroid trouble is so gradual that it’s hardly noticeable; in others, symptoms come on abruptly over the course of a few weeks or months. These include:

•    Fatigue. You may feel unusually tired and have less energy.
•    Cold intolerance. You may feel chilly even when others around you are comfortable.
•    Appetite loss, weight gain. When metabolism is dragging, you need fewer calories so your appetite may decrease — at the same time, you are using fewer of the calories you do eat, so more are stored as fat.
•    Cardiovascular effects. Low levels of thyroid hormone can lead to high blood pressure as well as elevated levels of total and LDL cholesterol. Over time, an underactive thyroid can compromise the ability of the heart to pump blood effectively.
•    Mental effects. Hypothyroidism and depression share many of the same symptoms, including trouble concentrating, memory problems, and loss of interest in things that are normally important to you.
    Other signs and symptoms. Hypothyroidism can cause symptoms throughout the body, from constipation to muscle aches and pain around the joints. Skin, hair, and nails may become dry and thin.
•If you have any of these symptoms, see your doctor. She or he will examine you for signs of hypothyroidism, and may recommend blood tests to check thyroid function.

If this has piqued your curiosity and you want to learn more from Harvard, you can purchase A Guide to Women’s Health: Fifty and Forward, a Special Health Report from Harvard Medical School.

Tony

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7 Foods Rich in Iodine

Our Better Health

Published on January 18, 2011, Last Updated on June 11, 2014

The thyroid gland synthesizes thyroid hormones and iodine is an essential trace mineral that is crucial for the thyroid to function properly. Eating foods rich in iodine ensures the thyroid is able to manage metabolism, detoxification, growth and development.

Research has shown that a lack of dietary iodine may lead to enlargement of the thyroid gland, lethargy, fatigue, weakness of the immune system, slow metabolism, autism, weight gain and possibly even mental states such as anxiety and depression.

The good news is that there are many popular foods with iodine, all of which are easy to incorporate into your daily diet.

The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for iodine is 150 micrograms daily for everybody over the age of 14. The RDA for children ages 1-8 is 90/mcg every day, ages 9-13 is 120/mcg every day. If you’re pregnant or…

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