Thyroid Health and Aging: Maintaining Optimal Function As You Get Older
As we age, it is important to take special care of our bodies, including our thyroid. Our once-strong thyroid can decline over time, leading to an imbalance of hormones and an array of unpleasant symptoms. Fortunately, with the right lifestyle, you can maintain optimal thyroid health and function as you get older.
Understanding the Thyroid
The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland located at the base of the neck. It produces hormones – T3 and T4 – that help regulate our metabolism, energy and how we extract nutrients from the food we eat.
Thyroid Health and Aging
Unfortunately, our thyroid is not immune to wear and tear associated with aging. In fact, our thyroid’s ability to produce hormones and absorb nutrients declines as we get older.
The most common signs of thyroid aging are fatigue, unexplained weight gain, hair loss, dry skin, depression, lowered fertility and irregular periods.
Maintaining Thyroid Health as You Age
Get Regular Check-Ups
It is important to get regular check-ups with your doctor to monitor your thyroid health, especially if you are experiencing any of the above symptoms. Your doctor can perform blood tests to check your hormone levels and rule out any more serious conditions.
Eat a Healthy Diet
Eating a healthy diet rich in nutrient-dense foods is essential for maintaining optimal thyroid health. Make sure you include lots of fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, as well as lean proteins like fish, poultry, and beans. Limit your consumption of processed foods, saturated fat, and refined sugars.
Regular physical activity also helps keep your thyroid – and your entire body – in optimal health. Aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise a day, such as walking, biking, swimming, or yoga.
Get Enough Sleep
Getting enough quality sleep helps keep your thyroid hormones balanced and your metabolism functioning properly. Aim for 8 hours of quality sleep each night.
Chronic stress can put a strain on your thyroid, so it is important to manage stress in healthy ways. Try activities like yoga, deep breathing, and meditation to help manage your stress levels.
As we age, it is important to keep our thyroid functioning properly. With the right lifestyle choices, such as eating a healthy diet, getting plenty of exercise, managing stress levels, and getting regular check-ups with your doctor, you can maintain your thyroid’s health and optimal function as you get older.
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