Is it just midlife, or is your thyroid slowing down?

Maybe you’re feeling tired and having trouble concentrating — or perhaps you’ve noticed changes in your hair or weight, or just feel blah. You might easily attribute these issues to other health problems, or to simply getting older. But these symptoms can be signs of a sluggish thyroid.

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.

Get your copy of A Guide to Women’s Health: Fifty and Forward Midlife can be a woman’s halftime celebration. Not only can it be an opportunity to reflect on and rejoice in the life you’ve lived, but it is also a good time to plan your strategy for the future. This report will help you determine the conditions for which you are at greatest risk and do your best to avoid them. It will also help you to better manage chronic conditions that may erode your quality of life, and to deal with physical changes that are more bothersome than serious. It is designed to give you the information to make the choices today that will ensure you the best health possible tomorrow.

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.

Hypothyroidism is usually treated with a daily dose of synthetic thyroid hormone, taken as a pill. This medication works exactly like your body’s natural thyroid hormone. It may take some time to find the right dose for you. Once you do, symptoms usually improve dramatically. Your doctor will check your thyroid function usually once or twice a year to be sure that your dose of medication remains optimal.

For more on steps to a longer and healthier life, buy A Guide to Women’s Health: Fifty and Forward, a Special Health Report from Harvard Medical School.

Controlling your weight is key to lowering stroke risk

There is a lot you can do to lower your chances of having a stroke. Even if you’ve already had a stroke or TIA (“mini-stroke”), you can take steps to prevent another.

Controlling your weight is an important way to lower stroke risk. Excess pounds strain the entire circulatory system and can lead to other health conditions, including high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, and obstructive sleep apnea. But losing as little as 5% to 10% of your starting weight can lower your blood pressure and other stroke risk factors.

Get your copy of Stroke: Diagnosing, treating, and recovering from a “brain attack”  Protect your brain: That’s the strategy that Harvard doctors recommend in this report on preventing and treating stroke. Whether you’ve already had a mini-stroke or a major stroke, or have been warned that your high blood pressure might cause a future stroke, this report provides help and advice.

Of course, you’ll need to keep the weight off for good, not just while you’re on a diet. The tips below can help you shed pounds and keep them off:

Move more. Exercise is one obvious way to burn off calories. But another approach is to increase your everyday activity wherever you can — walking, fidgeting, pacing while on the phone, taking stairs instead of the elevator.

Skip the sipped calories. Sodas, lattes, sports drinks, energy drinks, and even fruit juices are packed with unnecessary calories. Worse, your body doesn’t account for them the way it registers solid calories, so you can keep chugging them before your internal “fullness” mechanism tells you to stop. Instead, try unsweetened coffee or tea, or flavor your own sparkling water with a slice of lemon or lime, a spring of fresh mint, or a few raspberries.

Eat more whole foods. If you eat more unprocessed foods — such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains — you’ll fill yourself up on meals that take a long time to digest. Plus, whole foods are full of vitamins, minerals, and fiber and tend to be lower in salt — which is better for your blood pressure, too.

Find healthier snacks. Snack time is many people’s downfall — but you don’t have to skip it as long as you snack wisely. Try carrot sticks as a sweet, crunchy alternative to crackers or potato chips, or air-popped popcorn (provided you skip the butter and salt and season it with your favorite spices instead). For a satisfying blend of carbs and protein, try a dollop of sunflower seed butter on apple slices.

For more information on lifestyle changes you can make to help prevent a stroke, buy Stroke: Diagnosing, treating, and recovering from a “brain attack”, a Special Health Report from Harvard Medical School.

Bible verses for today’s meditation and inspiration: Matthew E. McLaren’

Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. Jeremiah 29:12 NIV

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Romans 12:12 NIV

And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Matthew 6:7 NIV

The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. Psalm 145:18 NIV

‘Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’ Jeremiah 33:3 NIV

“For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” Matthew 18:20 NIV

 Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. Hebrews 4:16 NIV

who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. Matthew 6:6 NIV

Recommended contacts for prayer request and Bible study

www.agapetemplesda.com

www.adventistontario.org

https://www.hopechannel.com/au/learn/courses

breathoflife.tv/

http://www.nadadventist.org/article/15/contact-us

https://3abn.org/all-streams/3abn.html

https://www.adventist.org/en/utility/contact/

It Is Written

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Show Buttons
Hide Buttons