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5 Signs That You May Be Suffering From A Thyroid Problem

5 Signs That You May Be Suffering From A Thyroid Problem

Located above the Adam’s apple, the thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland that can have a huge impact on various bodily functions. According to The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, about 30 million U.S. citizens have a thyroid disorder and half of them are silent sufferers who are undiagnosed. In addition to this, women are 10 times more susceptible to thyroid disorder than men.

The thyroid produces a hormone which regulates your body’s metabolism, temperature, and heartbeat. When your thyroid is over- or underactive, it’s known as a thyroid disorder. If it’s underactive, it produces too little of said hormone and vice versa. So, what causes the thyroid to go haywire? It could be an autoimmune attack, genetics, stress, pregnancy, toxins in the environment, or nutritional deficiencies. Whatever the reasons, you should be able to spot some key signs of this silent killer. Here are 5 of the most crucial signs of thyroid disorder:

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1. You are feeling tired, depressed, or anxious.

Feeling exhausted and having little or no energy are issues related to various medical conditions, but they are strongly linked with Hypothyroidism (the thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough of its hormone). If you feel tired all day even after a full night’s sleep, that is a clue that your thyroid is not working properly. Having too little of the hormone in question in your bloodstream means that your muscles are not getting that get-going signal. Further still, the hormone deficiency can also have an impact on the level of “feel good” serotonin in the brain, which causes depression.

If you feel anxious all day long, you might have Hyperthyroidism (the thyroid gland produces too much of its hormone). Flooded with continuous “all systems go” messages, your whole body may spin into overdrive. If you are unable to relax and feel jittery all day long, that means that your thyroid may be “hyper.”

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2. Your blood pressure is not normal.

High blood pressure can be a symptom of a thyroid disorder. Both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism have been pointed to as culprits. By some estimates, people who suffer from hypothyroidism are at a higher risk of developing high blood pressure than those who do not. One popular theory is that low levels of thyroid hormone can slow the heartbeat, which can in turn adversely affect blood vessel wall flexibility and the heart’s pumping strength. Both may cause high blood pressure.

3. Your appetite or taste buds are altered.

Too much thyroid hormone (hyperthyroidism) results in feeling hungry all of the time; therefore, increased appetite can be a sign of thyroid disorder. Furthermore, people with hyperthyroidism never gain weight and, in most of the conditions, they are underweight. If you are underweight and unable to gain weight after you’ve exhausted all of your options, then you should consider getting your thyroid checked as early as possible.

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On the other hand, an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) can alter your sense of smell and taste. People suffering from hypothyroidism start gaining weight. If you are overweight and unable to lose weight, then you should also consider getting your thyroid checked.

4. The shape of your neck feels abnormal.

A lump in your throat or a change in your voice could be an important sign of a thyroid hormone disorder. You can check this by taking a good look at your neck to see if you can detect any signs of swelling around your thyroid. You can physically check your own thyroid at home using the following instructions:

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Take a hand mirror and watch your throat area as you swallow water. You should be looking for any protrusions or bulges in the thyroid, which is above your collarbone but below your Adam’s apple. You can try this many times to get an idea about the position of your thyroid gland. If you see anything that is suspicious or lumpy, see your doctor.

5. Your hair is thinning or falling out.

Brittle, dry hair that falls or breaks out can be a sign of hypothyroidism. Having too little of the thyroid hormone disrupts the hair growth cycle and puts many follicles into the “resting” mode, which results in hair loss. Sometimes, this hair loss happens all over your body.

Keeping Your Thyroid In Check:

Thyroid disorder is considered a “silent killer because many people ignore its symptoms and its symptoms are associated with other ailments. Relying on the above-mentioned signs, you can easily detect the presence of thyroid disorder. If you find that you have any of these symptoms, you should see your doctor as soon as possible.

Featured photo credit: Consumerreports.org via article.images.consumerreports.org

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Last Updated on August 12, 2019

12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

Nutrition plays a vital role in brain function and staying sharp into the golden years. Personally, my husband is going through medical school, which is like a daily mental marathon. Like any good wife, I am always looking for things that will boost his memory fortitude so he does his best in school.

But you don’t have to be a med student to appreciate better brainiac brilliance. If you combine certain foods with good hydration, proper sleep and exercise, you may just rival Einstein and have a great memory in no time.

I’m going to reveal the list of foods coming out of the kitchen that can improve your memory and make you smarter.

Here are 12 best brain foods that improve memory and brain power:

1. Nuts

The American Journal of Epidemiology published a study linking higher intakes of vitamin E with the prevention on cognitive decline.[1]

Nuts like walnuts and almonds (along with other great foods like avocados) are a great source of vitamin E.

Cashews and sunflower seeds also contain an amino acid that reduces stress by boosting serotonin levels.

Walnuts even resemble the brain, just in case you forget the correlation, and are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, which also improve your mental magnitude.

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2. Blueberries

Shown in studies at Tuffs University to benefit both short-term memory and coordination, blueberries pack quite a punch in a tiny blue package.[2]

When compared to other fruits and veggies, blueberries were found to have the highest amount of antioxidants (especially flavonoids), but strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are also full of brain benefits.

3. Tomatoes

Tomatoes are packed full of the antioxidant lycopene, which has shown to help protect against free-radical damage most notably seen in dementia patients.

4. Broccoli

While all green veggies are important and rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, broccoli is a superfood even among these healthy choices.

Since your brain uses so much fuel (it’s only 3% of your body weight but uses up to 17% of your energy), it is more vulnerable to free-radical damage and antioxidants help eliminate this threat.

Broccoli is packed full of antioxidants, is well-known as a powerful cancer fighter and is also full of vitamin K, which is known to enhance cognitive function.

5. Foods Rich in Essential Fatty Acids

Your brain is the fattest organ (not counting the skin) in the human body, and is composed of 60% fat. That means that your brain needs essential fatty acids like DHA and EPA to repair and build up synapses associated with memory.

The body does not naturally produce essential fatty acids so we must get them in our diet.

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Eggs, flax, and oily fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel and herring are great natural sources of these powerful fatty acids. Eggs also contain choline, which is a necessary building block for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, to help you recall information and concentrate.

6. Soy

Soy, along with many other whole foods mentioned here, are full of proteins that trigger neurotransmitters associated with memory.

Soy protein isolate is a concentrated form of the protein that can be found in powder, liquid, or supplement form.

Soy is valuable for improving memory and mental flexibility, so pour soy milk over your cereal and enjoy the benefits.

7. Dark Chocolate

When it comes to chocolate, the darker the better. Try to aim for at least 70% cocoa. This yummy desert is rich in flavanol antioxidants which increase blood flow to the brain and shield brain cells from aging.

Take a look at this article if you want to know more benefits of dark chocolate: 15 Surprising and Science-Backed Health Effects of Dark Chocolate

8. Foods Rich in Vitamins: B vitamins, Folic Acid, Iron

Some great foods to obtain brain-boosting B vitamins, folic acid and iron are kale, chard, spinach and other dark leafy greens.

B6, B12 and folic acid can reduce levels of homocysteine in the blood. Homocysteine increases are found in patients with cognitive impairment like Alzheimer’s, and high risk of stroke.

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Studies showed when a group of elderly patients with mild cognitive impairment were given high doses of B6, B12, and folic acid, there was significant reduction in brain shrinkage compared to a similar placebo group.[3]

Other sources of B vitamins are liver, eggs, soybeans, lentils and green beans. Iron also helps accelerate brain function by carrying oxygen. If your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen, it can slow down and people can experience difficulty concentrating, diminished intellect, and a shorter attention span.

To get more iron in your diet, eat lean meats, beans, and iron-fortified cereals. Vitamin C helps in iron absorption, so don’t forget the fruits!

9. Foods Rich in Zinc

Zinc has constantly demonstrated its importance as a powerful nutrient in memory building and thinking. This mineral regulates communications between neurons and the hippocampus.

Zinc is deposited within nerve cells, with the highest concentrations found in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for higher learning function and memory.

Some great sources of zinc are pumpkin seeds, liver, nuts, and peas.

10. Gingko Biloba

This herb has been utilized for centuries in eastern culture and is best known for its memory boosting brawn.

It can increase blood flow in the brain by dilating vessels, increasing oxygen supply and removing free radicals.

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However, don’t expect results overnight: this may take a few weeks to build up in your system before you see improvements.

11. Green and Black Tea

Studies have shown that both green and black tea prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine—a key chemical involved in memory and lacking in Alzheimer’s patients.

Both teas appear to have the same affect on Alzheimer’s disease as many drugs utilized to combat the illness, but green tea wins out as its affects last a full week versus black tea which only lasts the day.

Find out more about green tea here: 11 Health Benefits of Green Tea (+ How to Drink It for Maximum Benefits)

12. Sage and Rosemary

Both of these powerful herbs have been shown to increase memory and mental clarity, and alleviate mental fatigue in studies.

Try to enjoy these savory herbs in your favorite dishes.

When it comes to mental magnitude, eating smart can really make you smarter. Try to implement more of these readily available nutrients and see just how brainy you can be!

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Reference

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