Suffering From Thyroid? Tips To Keep In Mind If You Are Determined To Shed Some Weight – News18

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Reported By: Shreeja Bhattacharya
Last Updated: March 22, 2023, 10:00 IST
New Delhi, India
It might not be an easy process initially but do not give up! (Image: Shutterstock)
Achieving a healthy weight can be a struggle when you are living with hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism occurs when your thyroid gland is underactive. Thereby disturbing the functioning of all other systems it is responsible for. The thyroid gland is the regular of the metabolism in the body, ranging from the endocrine system, digestive system, energy metabolism, appetite regulation, weight loss or gain and regulation of body temperature.
So first we need to understand why it’s underactive or the root cause of hypothyroidism-  Is it due to a nutritional deficiency? Or is it because you have been in a calorie deficit (or undereating) for far too long?
According to several studies, if hypothyroidism occurs due to nutritional deficiency, you need to get your blood tests done and assessed from a functional perspective rather than a conventional perspective. So apart from your regular T3, T4 & TSH levels, you must look for markers like Vitamin D, Blood Glucose Levels, and Insulin Resistance (as low Vitamin D has been associated with increased glucose and insulin resistance, which can lead to hypothyroidism), iron (because iron is required for T3 to get into the body cells, and a lack of iron can cause issues).
Functional medicine also recognises the liver’s role in the conversion and excretion of thyroid hormones. The following nutrients are utilized in the role of detoxifying excess thyroid hormones: L-carnitine, choline, vitamin A, selenium, zinc, magnesium, calcium and B vitamins.
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Liver toxicity can contribute to the development of elevated fT4 levels due to the reduced ability to convert T4 into T3. This can occur due to deficiency in any of the cofactors required for conversion which are: vitamin A, B vitamins, selenium, zinc and magnesium
Low-calorie diets can also impair the conversion of T4 to T3. So one needs to be mindful when getting into a calorie deficit, and consult an expert rather than just winging it by themselves. Is it from a psycho-emotional context of feeling powerless or suppressing emotions relating to the thyroid like grief, depression, heaviness, loneliness, etc? If your struggle is due to the psycho-emotional context of hypothyroidism, you can take support from a coach to counter the feelings of grief, depression, heaviness etc.
Getting expert support to help you manage your emotions, whilst controlling your external surroundings and the people you interact with on a daily basis can play a huge role in helping you lose weight with thyroid!
Other things to keep in mind include-
Watch out for goitrogen-rich foods
Certain food groups contain thyroid-disruption goitrogen which can be easily denatured by cooking. These foods should be eaten in small amounts and preferably cooked if someone has been clinically diagnosed with an autoimmune thyroid condition.
Goitrogen-rich foods are broccoli, kale, turnip, cauliflower, mustard, cassava, pine nuts, pears, peaches, bamboo shoots, sweet potato, brussels sprouts, cabbage, peanuts, strawberries, spinach etc. It’s important to eat these foods with caution and preferably after mild cooking to ensure easy absorption.
Weight is only one symptom of hypothyroidism
Thyroid is a big regulator of metabolic function. Yes, you may gain weight with hypothyroidism, but it is only one of the many symptoms. Other symptoms include hair loss, dry skin, fatigue, depression, heart palpitations and constipation. Understand what symptoms you are experiencing and take early action to help you stay fit and healthy.
So addressing the above with the help of an expert, here are some tips for people with hypothyroidism to lose weight in a healthy manner.
Cut down on simple carbs and sugars
Refined carbs like white bread, pasta, rice, cakes, brownies etc are highly processed food with little to no nutritional value and contain high amounts of sugars. They can contribute to rapid increases in blood sugar levels and can contribute to creating insulin resistance in the body over a period of time. Thus rendering low functionality of insulin in the body leading to more weight gain. You can break this cycle by managing your blood glucose spikes better which can be done with the help of choosing the right foods, having the right supplements and engaging in postprandial walks or other activities.
Move your body!
“Exercise can make you beat stress as well as stay happy. Regular exercises help strengthen the body, regulate the hormones and build up energy, and increase metabolism. If you are someone living with hypothyroidism, starting to exercise can be a challenge especially when you feel fatigued, and experience a bad mood or low energy levels. However, you can start with small exercises and movements to encourage more exercise in your daily routine," says Miten Kakaiya, Fitness Coach and Founder of Miten Says Fitness.
Consult an expert to not just lose weight but overturn hypothyroidism
Hypothyroidism may keep making your weight loss journey a struggle if you don’t address it. Follow the advice of your functional health coach and watch your dietary intake, activity levels, and nutrient deficiencies at the right time to promote healthy balancing of the thyroid hormones. If your thyroid level isn’t where it should be, it may not just make it difficult for you to lose weight, but can also bring long-term health concerns. Check your thyroid hormone levels regularly and monitor them with the help of a functional healthcare provider to assess how your health protocol plan is working and take the right steps toward stabilizing it.
Miten further added, “It may get harder to lose weight when you have hypothyroidism, but it is not impossible! All you need is good willpower, the right support system (in the form of your friends & family) and focused actions to make things happen."
A functional health coach can be your go-to to understand what works best for you and how you can incorporate a healthy lifestyle that will help you lose weight whilst managing your thyroid better.
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