The thyroid is a small butterfly-shaped gland located at the front of the neck. It carries out an important role in the body’s processes, such as regulating heart rate, body weight, temperature, menstrual cycles, nervous systems and cholesterol. Thus, an overactive or under active thyroid gland can greatly affect one’s ability to carry out basic functions.
The thyroid gland uses iodine from food we eat to make triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4). These two hormones should be balanced as an imbalance can cause hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) or hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid).
Elevated cholesterol levels
Heavier than normal or irregular menstrual periods
Unintentional weight loss
Fatigue or muscle weakness
Nervousness, anxiety and irritability
Tremor, usually in the hands and fingers
Treatment for thyroid problems starts by first identifying the underlying problem and restoring the balance of thyroid hormones using medication. If you have hypothyroidism, you will need hormone replacement, while you will need medication to slow down thyroid hormone production if you have hyperthyroidism. More complex cases may require further scans or surgery to remove the thyroid gland altogether as a last resort.
While there is no 'thyroid diet', certain foods can help improve thyroid function if you suffer from hypothyroidism. These include:
Seaweed. Kelp, wakame, and nori are rich in iodine, a mineral needed for thyroid hormone production.
Nuts and seeds. Brazil nuts, macadamia nuts and hazelnuts contain selenium, which supports a healthy thyroid function.
Fish. Fish, like salmon and cod, is rich in Omega-3 and selenium, both of which reduce inflammation.
Yoghurt. Yoghurt is rich in zinc, which has been shown to increase T3 and T4 hormone production.
Eggs. Aside from being an excellent source of protein, eggs also contain iodine and selenium. Make sure to eat the whole egg, including the yolk where most of the nutrients are.
If hypothyroidism is not managed properly, it may lead to cardiovascular problems such as heart failure, renal complications, infertility, muscle weakness or nerve injury and increase the risk of miscarriage during pregnancy.
If hyperthyroidism is not managed properly, you may experience heart problems, brittle bones, eye problems, red and swollen skin and thyrotoxic crisis.
Suffering caused by negligence or inadequate management of thyroid conditions and additional healthcare costs in the event of health complications can be avoided by taking charge of your chronic condition and actively seeking treatment to keep it well-managed.
Typically, individuals may expect a total of 4 medical appointments to manage their hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism. This may include a combination of video consultations and home visits.
For most individuals, a Speedoc nurse will visit you in your home, at your convenience, to take blood samples required for the thyroid hormone measurement.
You will need to fast for eight hours prior to your visit. Thereafter, our team will inform you on what you need to do when scheduling your appointment. If you requested for additional tests, the specimens will also be taken during this visit. All specimens will be sent to the laboratory on your behalf.
Three to five days after your nurse visit, a video consultation with a Speedoc doctor will be scheduled to review your lab test results. Your doctor will explain the results to you and discuss your course of treatment over the next year. Medication will be prescribed to you if needed, and you can clarify any doubts with the doctor during the session.
Six months later, our team will reach out to schedule a follow-up nurse home visit. During the visit, your nurse will perform blood taking for the same tests, so that a comparison of the results can be drawn to measure the effectiveness of your treatment.
Similar to the previous visit, a doctor video consultation will be arranged three to five days after your nurse visit to review your lab results. The doctor will then conclude your treatment for the year with a new medication prescription and you will have the option to renew your enrolment.
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