When you exercise and eat healthily, every part of your body improves its function. But sometimes, certain parts of your body can get left out because of the habits you practice. For example, looking at bright screens all day can damage your eyesight, and an eye-healthy diet can only do so much to stop you from wearing glasses.
While an active and healthy lifestyle benefits your whole body, some of your organs require special care more than others. Below is a list of those organs and how to care for them:
1. Thyroid Gland
Your thyroid gland is located at the base of your neck. It’s shaped like a butterfly, but you shouldn’t see it bulging from your neck. A bulging thyroid gland is an inflamed one and requires medical attention.
Sadly, thyroid problems are alarmingly common, especially among women. Some experts believe 30% of women will develop a thyroid problem in their lifetime.
An autoimmune disorder, especially Hashimoto’s Disease or Grave’s Disease, cause most thyroid problems. Hashimoto’s leads to hypothyroidism or underactive thyroid, while Grave’s leads to hyperthyroidism or overactive thyroid.
To care for your thyroid glands, aim to consume four to five servings of vegetables and three to four servings of fruits each day. Stock up on lean protein and fatty acids as well; you can get them from salmon, herring, mackerel, and anchovies. Increase your supply of healthy fats, which come from extra olive oil, avocados, nut butter, and coconut oil, to name a few.
If you suspect that you might have a thyroid problem, research tried-and-true treatment for thyroid symptoms, then consult an endocrinologist. If you’ve been diagnosed with thyroid disease, follow your treatment plan; it may involve avoiding certain foods, like processed foods and seemingly healthy cruciferous vegetables. Uncooked, cruciferous vegetables (bok choy, cauliflower, broccoli, etc.) contain goiter producers with thyroid hormone synthesis.
Heavy drinking may seem excusable if you exercise daily and eat vegetables, but your liver may pay the price of this pastime. Liver disease is one of the most life-threatening diseases to contract.
Aside from moderating your drinking, avoid exposure to toxins from aerosol products, insecticides, chemicals, and additives. Your cleaning products at home may contain those. If you have to use them, wear a mask and ensure that the room is properly ventilated.
Good hygiene is also important. If, for some reason, you got exposed to someone else’s blood, clean up thoroughly and get tested by your doctor for your safety. That said, avoid sharing your items as well, such as your toothbrush, razors, and nail clippers. Those contain microscopic amounts of your blood.
Proper hand-washing protects your liver too, and so do vaccinations. If you haven’t got your hepatitis A and B shots yet, get them as soon as possible. Sadly, there’s no vaccine for hepatitis C. Hence it’s crucial to maintain optimal liver health.
Our kidneys are another body part we take for granted. An unhealthy kidney can also lead to life-threatening diseases, which only dialysis or a kidney transplant can cure.
To avoid kidney problems, keep your weight and blood sugar levels in check. Your blood pressure matters, too. It should stay at 120/80. If it consistently measures above 140/90, you may have high blood pressure. Consult your doctor immediately to get back to healthy blood pressure levels.
Drinking plenty of water is one of the simplest ways to care for your kidney. If you’ve had kidney stones in the past, prevent another infection by drinking more than one to two liters of water every day. Be mindful as well if you take NSAIDs or over-the-counter pain medication. Taking them regularly can damage your kidneys. If you need them for chronic pain, consult your doctor regarding drug alternatives.
4. Spinal Cord
If you often deal with back pain, chances are you’ve been neglecting your spine health. Exercising regularly can help prevent pain, but if you sit all day afterward because of work, your spine will still suffer issues.
Get used to a proper posture when sitting. Invest in an ergonomic chair, table, and even a keyboard. Avoid bending your neck too much, which tends to happen when you use your smartphone. There are also ergonomic tools that improve your posture during smartphone use, so check that out as well.
Hydration and sleeping positions affect your spine health too. Drink plenty of fluids and use supportive pillows and a mattress when you sleep. The exact type of pillow and mattress you need depends on your usual sleeping position.
By paying attention to these body parts, your healthy lifestyle won’t just benefit your mental health and weight. You can confidently say that you’re healthy from the inside and out. Best of all, you’d reduce your risks for any disease.