WHAT IS A THYROID GLAND?
The thyroid is located in front of the neck. It is produces hormones that control your metabolism and your weight. It makes two thyroid hormones called T3 (triiodothyronine) and T4 (thyroxine). These hormones ensure that your metabolism, weight, and mood, among many other body systems are working well.
When these hormones are out of balance and when the thyroid is not active enough, it is known as hypothyroidism. This is when the thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough hormones to support the optimal functioning of the different systems in your body.
This can result in many different symptoms, which may seem vague and unrelated.
- Weight gain
- Tired and run down
- Hair loss
- Brain fog / slow movements and thoughts
- Feeling cold
- Dry skin
- Swelling in the neck
- Low mood / depression
- Muscle aches and weakness
- Muscle cramps
Other, less common symptoms:
- Dry skin and brittle nails
- Numbness or tingling in the hands
- Abnormal menstrual periods
How does hypothyroidism affect your metabolism?
The thyroid hormone helps control the speed of your metabolism. The faster your metabolism, the more calories your body burns at rest. People with an underactive thyroid make less thyroid hormone, which means that they have a slower metabolism and burn fewer calories at rest. This causes many of the symptoms listed above. Research shows that aerobic exercise can help boost your thyroid hormone levels. Additionally, eating more protein may help boost your metabolism.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
Do a thyroid self-exam.
Stand in front of your mirror and look out for an enlarged thyroid gland. Move your head back, take a sip of water, and as you swallow, examine your neck below the Adam’s apple and above the collarbone. Look for lumps, then repeat the process a few times. If you see a lump, then you need to visit your GP as soon as possible.
If you think you have symptoms of a thyroid problem, it is best to ask your GP if you should be tested.
Make lifestyle changes to support thyroid health and weight loss:
1. Cut out simple carbs and sugars
- Focus on complex carbohydrates like starchy vegetables and legumes.
- Avoids simple sugars like sweets and fizzy drinks.
- Foods like refined grain products and sugary drinks have a high glycemic load and may increase inflammation in the body.
- Eat enough calories. If you don’t, it can cause a stress response and result in less production of T3 (triiodothyronine – the active thyroid hormone) production.
2. Eat more anti-inflammatory foods
- Anti-inflammatory foods can help ease joint aches and pains as well as depression, all of which can result from an underactive thyroid.
- And anti-inflammatory foods can help support the immune system, which is often in overdrive in people with hypothyroidism.
- Anti-inflammatory foods support the intake of the essential nutrients needed for healthy thyroid function. These include magnesium, B vitamins, zinc, selenium, iron, and vitamin C.
- Eat more leafy green vegetables, tomatoes, fatty fish, nuts, fruit, and olive oil – these help inflammation. Less burden on the liver.
- Healthy liver function vital as it is responsible for converting 60 percent of T4 [the thyroid hormone thyroxine] to T3.
3. Stick to small, frequent meals
- A sluggish thyroid means a slower digestion, so eating smaller balanced meals, more frequently, is advisable. This will help support balanced blood sugar levels and decrease cravings.
- A diet high in healthy fats, moderate proteins, and moderate to low carbohydrates is best for thyroid function.
4. Keep a food diary
- Logging your daily food intake will help you keep track of how much food you consume and it will help make sure that you are eating a balanced diet.
5. Move your body
Exercise is important to build into your lifestyle. It will help burn calories and keep your weight and health in check.
6. Take the right supplements
Herbs that promote thyroid health:
- Fucus vesiculosis (Bladderwrack) and Withania somnifera (Winter Cherry / Ashwagandha), help balance thyroid hormone production for thyroid health.
Trace minerals that promote thyroid health:
- Iodine and selenium promote normal thyroid hormone production, enabling your thyroid to increase your metabolism to help you lose weight.
Check out our NEW Thyroid Active Tablets, coming soon!