Hearing health is affected by the condition of the thyroid gland. It is well known that the thyroid is responsible for regulating the body’s metabolism. Thyroid problems can cause symptoms such as weight loss or weight gain, among other things. But the thyroid can also impact one’s body in other ways. Chronic fatigue, headaches, heart palpitations, and even hearing loss can occur. So, be cognizant of how important it is to protect your hearing from thyroid problems.
It is also good to know that the National Thyroid Awareness Month is every January. During this time, professionals study the link between hearing loss and thyroid problems. They work diligently on how you can preserve your hearing by keeping your thyroid in working order.
What constitutes the thyroid?
A butterfly-shaped gland located below your larynx and at the front of your neck, the thyroid is part of the endocrine system. It secretes hormones that affect the way the body uses energy. Two hormones, triiodothyronine and thyroxine, which are known more casually as T3 and T4, respectively, use iodine from food to be produced. Thyroid disease is caused by an overabundance or deprivation of T3 and T4. The side effects listed above will, therefore, occur if there is too much or too little of these hormones.
Thyroid disease and hearing loss
A link exists between hearing loss and thyroid diseases, despite the link’s mysterious cause. Hashimoto’s Disease, Grave’s Disease, and Pendred Syndrome contribute to or cause hearing loss. Another condition with a more direct connection to hearing loss is thyroid cancer. Hearing loss may arise from radiation used to treat thyroid cancer or other cancers of the neck and head. Conversely, cisplatin, a chemotherapy medicine for thyroid cancer, is ototoxic, being harmful to hearing.
Maintaining a healthy thyroid
Despite the potential for anyone to get thyroid disease, there are four ways to maintain your health and keep your thyroid in good working order. One way is to have healthy eating habits. A healthy thyroid can be maintained by consuming foods high in antioxidants, such as squash, tomatoes, and blueberries. However, it is good to reduce consumption of raw cruciferous vegetables, such as cabbage, brussels sprouts, kale, and broccoli. Studies indicate that eating raw vegetables in large amounts can negatively impact your thyroid. Also, consume more wholesome foods, rather than junk food because junk food contains starches and refined sugars.
A second way would be to increase your exercise to better promote thyroid health and overall general health. Getting regular exercise is a good way to promote optimal health for anyone. But improved blood circulation and the production of T3 and T4 are more positively regulated with moderately intense aerobic exercise. Exercising 30 minutes per day, five days a week will successfully bolster your health. Also, exercising will boost your metabolism, which will counteract the risk for thyroid disease.
An essential mineral for the production of thyroid hormones is iodine. The third way you can help your thyroid function is to increase your intake of this mineral. Your thyroid might produce less T3 and T4 if there is an iodine deficiency. Goiters and hypothyroidism can result. Iodized salt, seaweed, dairy products, eggs, and seafood are fortified with iodine. However, too much iodine can cause adverse effects, so speak with your doctor about whether or not you have proper iodine levels.
The last way you can increase your thyroid health is to take other supplements. Vitamins and other minerals, not just the mineral iodine, can lead to a healthy thyroid. Specifically, Vitamin D, selenium, Vitamin A, and iron will help to ensure a healthy thyroid. But don’t forget to speak with your doctor to find out if you have a deficiency and if you should, therefore, take certain vitamins and minerals.
The association between hearing loss and thyroid disease is clear, despite the many factors that can lead to hearing loss, so it is important to protect your ears by keeping a healthy thyroid. If thyroid disease is already a reality for you and you are concerned about your hearing, contact a hearing aid specialist to test your hearing and recommend a course of action.