How to lose weight with thyroid problems: Diet and Weight Loss Tips for Thyroid Patients
Hypothyroidism and Weight Gain
Hypothyroidism is strongly associated with weight gain. In fact, weight gain is one of the most common symptoms of hypothyroidism—and is what ultimately leads many people to the diagnosis of thyroid disease.
Managing your weight can be a challenge with an underactive thyroid, which may be caused by Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, medication side effects, a goiter, thyroid cancer, removal the thyroid gland, treatment of hyperthyroidism, iodine deficiency (though less likely in the United States), or a number of other conditions.
Verywell / Laura Porter
The Thyroid/Weight Gain Connection
Hypothyroidism has long been associated with weight gain (and hyperthyroidism with weight loss), but the exact biochemical cause of this link is not completely clear. That said, there are several mechanisms that may explain the connection in cases of low thyroid function.
The two most active thyroid hormones, thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3), circulate in the body, and they affect your metabolism through their interaction with your:
- Fat cells
Thyroid hormones normally help the body break down fat, and they help the liver and pancreas function to metabolize stored calories to be used for energy. These hormones also help the muscles throughout the body as they use energy. And when there is an adequate amount of thyroid hormones circulating in the body, the hypothalamus, which is a regulator of thyroid hormone in the brain, decreases the amount of thyrotropin regulating hormone (TRH) secretion.
All of these actions can be disrupted when you have decreased thyroid hormones or diminished thyroid function. Along with symptoms of low energy, the body also holds on to calories, storing them as fat, which is especially difficult to burn off and metabolize.
Losing Weight With Hypothyroidism
If you have hypothyroidism, losing weight can be very challenging. Many people think that once you start taking thyroid hormone replacement medications, the weight just falls off. While treatment can help you lose some of the weight you have gained, it takes planning, hard work, diet, exercise, and getting enough sleep to shed a number of pounds.
Determining how far off you are from your ideal weight and body fat can help you assess how much weight you need to lose. A body mass index (BMI) calculator can help you get started.
Another step to weight loss is determining your own basal metabolic rate (BMR), which can help you gauge your metabolism and guide you in coming up with a target calorie intake per day.
An optimal diet minimizes simple carbohydrates and sugars and focuses on lean proteins and vegetables. A meal plan for hypothyroidism can keep you on track in terms of calorie goals.
You also need to be careful to avoid goitrogenic foods, which can disrupt your thyroid function. If you are struggling to lose weight, consider working with a nutritionist to find a dietary plan that works best for you.
Exercise can also help you lose weight. Current guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend that adults get 150 minutes of moderate exercise and two sessions of muscle-building each week.
However, people with hypothyroidism may need to go beyond these recommendations to lose weight.
Sleep deprivation is strongly linked to weight gain, and that association is clear whether you have thyroid disease or not. Getting enough restorative sleep on a regular basis can help prevent weight gain and help you keep weight off.
A Word From Verywell
If you have thyroid disease, you know that there are many symptoms. Mild to moderate weight gain is almost always part of living with hypothyroidism, and obesity, while less common, can be a problem as well. Usually, adequate thyroid treatment, as well as some lifestyle strategies, are needed to maintain a healthy weight—and to feel your best overall.
Thyroid weight loss diet: Best foods and tips for thyroid patients to lose weight
Hypothyroidism is a condition when the body doesn’t produce enough thyroid hormones, which play a crucial role in growth, metabolism and healing. Thus, for people with an underactive thyroid, it can also be hard to lose weight and bring on the additional struggle.
In some cases, underlying thyroid issues can also be the root of ineffective fat loss and weight management.
Therefore, the first step often, advised during any weight loss journey is for people to correct their thyroid problem.
In case you have been having a hard time getting rid of the stubborn weight with your thyroid, we tell you some of the best foods and easy ways to get your metabolism working efficiently and lose weight for good.
Do people with thyroid gain weight easy?
For people with an underactive thyroid, metabolism functioning is impaired.
Our metabolic system plays a crucial rule in impacting healthy body functioning as well as impacts the way we burn calories. Therefore, if you have problems with your metabolism, or have a slow metabolic rate, you can gain weight easier, and even find it harder to shed off excess kilos.
A slow metabolism can also impose additional health risks, including blood pressure and cholesterol flare-ups. Thus, it is imperative to balance out the diet and correct thyroid problems for a healthy life.
Diagnosis is also important. The longer it takes for you to get diagnosed, the more weight you may end up gaining.
Can your diet help beat hypothyroidism?
While a good quality diet can regulate hormonal function and help manage thyroid condition better, it should be noted that foods alone cannot cure hypothyroidism. However, eating the right type of foods, which offer good nutrition, exercise and any medication which you may have been advised can help minimize your symptoms.
If your thyroid remains stable, and you have better control over your lifestyle, weight loss will become easier.
A good thyroid controlling diet also depends on your body’s ability to burn calories, nutrients, metabolizing and food sensitivities. However, it is important to incorporate foods that have nutrients such as:
Increase your iodine intake
As per statistics, 1/3rd of the world’s population suffers from iodine deficiency.
Iodine is also an essential mineral that helps stimulate thyroid function in the body. Thus, if you have hypothyroidism, make sure you add iodine to your diet, which will increase the TSH production in the body. Having foods like table salt, fish, dairy, eggs can greatly help.
Having fibre is important
For thyroid patients, scoring plenty of fibre is one of the best ways to lose weight. Fibre helps regulate digestion, speed up the elimination of bad toxins and most importantly, will also help keep the calorie intake in check. Ensure that you get plenty of fruits, veggies, pulses in your daily diet. Supplements may also be considered.
Have more selenium-rich foods
Selenium is yet another important trace mineral that helps the body generate plenty of TSH hormones. Enough selenium in your diet can also help eliminate free radicals, which contribute to weight gain. Certain studies have also indicated that selenium can also strengthen immune function in the body.
Consider adding selenium-rich foods like Brazil nuts, sardines, eggs and various types of legumes.
Limit your intake of sugar and high-carb foods
Sugar and high-carbs are enemies to weight loss. Therefore, if you want to get your thyroid under check and lose weight in an optimum manner, try limiting or minimizing the number of sugar sources in your diet. High starchy carb foods, which again, can add sugar will be detrimental for you. Consider adding foods that do not spike insulin levels, such as foods that have a low-glycemic index.
Many also consider opting for the Paleo diet, which involves the consumption of a low-sugar, whole foods diet.
Similarly, some people also benefit from following a low-carbohydrate diet, such as the Ketogenic diet.
Increase anti-inflammatory foods
Foods that help the body cut down on active inflammation, or act down on autoimmune functions which can disrupt thyroid functioning can also help speed up weight loss for thyroid patients. An anti-inflammatory diet may garner benefits too.
Include more gluten-free products
A lot of researches have established a link between gluten sensitivity and certain autoimmune conditions, such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, which can result in an underactive thyroid. Therefore, shifting to gluten-free products may help some manage their hypothyroidism and see weight loss results.
Consider changing the timing of your meals
One of the simplest ways to rev up your metabolism and accelerate fat burning is by tweaking the timing of your meals. Many thyroid patients benefit by following a fasting regime, or restricting the number of meals they have in a day, or have them at a certain time. Following a fasting window can also help cut down on cravings, processed food consumption and regulate hunger hormones. Do remember to take care of any deficiencies beforehand.
Hydration is crucial for faster weight loss, and one of the simplest way to keep hormones under check.
Adequate water intake will also cut down water retention, improve digestion and toxin elimination from the body. It can also reduce your appetite. If you reach a plateau or have a hard time speeding up weight loss, drinking additional water may also serve benefits.
What foods should you avoid having?
Some foods, such as the ones which contain goitrogens can interfere with thyroid functioning and disrupt weight loss.
Since with hypothyroidism, you can gain weight easier, avoiding foods which are listed below can help:
-Highly processed foods
-Certain fruits, such as peaches, pear, strawberries
Instead, having more foods such as eggs, meat, fish, vegetables, gluten-free grains and seeds, some forms of dairy and non-caffeinated beverages will be better for you.
Are there exercises that can help?
Exercising is an important aspect of healthy living. In fact, several studies have now proven that certain exercises can help regulate thyroid functioning in the body and improving metabolic function.
If you are suffering from hypothyroidism and aim to lose weight, working out for at least 1 hour a day may be required.
Prioritizing the kind of exercise you do can also help. For example, strength training, muscle-building exercises, lifting weights, Pilates may be more effective than simple cardio, when it comes to regulating TSH levels and optimizing weight loss.
Real Ways to Lose Weight with Hypothyroidism Once & for All
Did you know something as small as a gland interfere with weight loss? If trying to lose weight with hypothyroidism and insulin resistance, here’s all you need to know!
Days turn into weeks, weeks turn into months, and months turn into years. .. All of that time dedicated to good health and the scale actually increased. How could that possibly be?
A small gland in the neck and insulin resistance may be the culprits. Read on to find the link between your thyroid and weight gain, and just how losing it may involve an insulin resistant diet.
What Is Hypothyroidism?
Hypothyroidism, also known as underactive thyroid disease, is a condition in which the thyroid gland does not produce sufficient thyroid hormone.
Thyroid Use and Functions
The thyroid is a small, butterfly-shaped gland in the neck and responsible for producing thyroid hormones that control metabolism.
In its simplest use of the word, metabolism is the total physiological processes in which the body transforms calories from food into usable energy to carry out vital processes, including producing and repairing body cells and circulating oxygenated blood.
Ultimately, metabolism is ongoing and continues even when the body is at rest, or more formally known as basal metabolic rate (BMR).
Symptoms of Abnormal Thyroid
When thyroid hormone levels are abnormal, metabolism is typically affected. The impact is dependent on the amount of thyroid hormone produced and can result in hypo- or hyperthyroidism.
Again, hypothyroidism is when the thyroid gland produces lesser amounts of thyroid hormones. When the thyroid hormones are low, metabolism starts to slow down. In the case of an underactive thyroid, weight gain generally follows. Unless dealing with a severe case, an average of five to 10 pounds is gained.
Additional symptoms of hypothyroidism include:
• Hair loss
• Cold intolerance
• Muscle cramps
• Memory loss
• Abnormal menstrual cycles in females
Hyperthyroidism, on the other hand, is when the thyroid gland is overactive thyroid metabolism is known to speed up and may lead to weight loss. Individuals with hyperthyroidism may also experience the following symptoms:
• Increased sweating
• Heat intolerance
• Muscle weakness
• Agitation and nervousness
• Shortness of breath
• Irregular heart rhythms
• Vision changes
What’s more, insulin resistance may be a natural consequence of thyroid dysfunction and may make it more difficult to manage weight.
Insulin Resistance Symptoms
Insulin resistance is a condition in which cells do not respond well to insulin and cannot sufficiently easily take up glucose the blood, thus leading to high blood sugars.
Individuals with prediabetes, also known as borderline diabetes, already have some degree of insulin resistance. If left uncontrolled, blood sugars start to elevate over time and the risk of type 2 diabetes increases.
Though often unnoticeable, prediabetes symptoms may include:
• Increased urination and thirst
• Energy loss and fatigue
• Blurred vision
• Darkened skin, or medically known as acanthosis nigricans
Additional signs and symptoms of insulin resistance to be on the lookout for include:
• Cravings toward sugar and starches
• Heightened hunger following breakfast
• Feeling weak or shaky if meals are not consumed in a consistent fashion
• Difficulty losing weight
The combination of insulin resistance and hypothyroidism can make weight gain much easier and losing it much harder. Fortunately, managing both conditions does not have to be a defeat, nor should it be.
How to Lose Weight with Hypothyroidism & Insulin Resistance
While weight loss may be a little tougher, especially with the presence of insulin resistance, there are steps to tackle hypothyroid weight gain.
Medication for Hypothyroidism
First and foremost, a diagnosis and prescribed synthetic thyroid hormone can help restore compromised metabolism caused by hypothyroidism.
An improved metabolism from medical treatment may result in weight loss, although typically not dramatically.
Further weight loss and health can surface with the inclusion of diet and exercise.
Diet & Exercise
Sticking to a healthful diet naturally reduces caloric intake when metabolism is slowed down, along with lowering inflammation in the body that often coexists with an underactive thyroid.
To get the cells functioning back to normal, an insulin resistant diet balanced diet with protein, carbohydrates, and fat can provide adequate nutrition while monitoring calories.
Ultimately, reduce the intake of highly processed and refined products and incorporate more wholesome foods, including:
• Whole grains, or at least choosing whole grains over refined grains 50 percent of the time.
• Fruits and veggies, particularly choosing fresh varieties rather than those purchased with added sugar, salt, and other preservatives.
• Lean proteins and plant-based proteins, which may include poultry, eggs, and legumes.
• Milk and dairy products, in which low-fat varieties can further control calorie and saturated fat intake.
• Healthy fat sources, particularly those rich in unsaturated fatty acids such as olive oil and fatty fish.
Sticking to a healthful diet naturally reduces caloric intake when metabolism is slowed down, along with lowering inflammation in the body that often coexists with an underactive thyroid. Celiac disease may be a risk factor for hypothyroidism, necessitating a thorough evaluation for a gluten-free diet.
In addition to making dietary changes, participate in moderate to intense exercise for 30 minutes to an hour most days of the week. Jogging, cycling, dancing, and swimming are forms of cardio exercises that increase heart rate and facilitate calorie burn.
Strength training two to three times per week helps facilitate muscle strengthening and building. An increased muscle mass helps increase BMR, the resting metabolism compromised with hypothyroidism.
Ultimately, seek out the care of a practitioner to help manage insulin resistance and thyroid problems symptoms.
A healthcare professional will assess and discuss safe methods that may work best for you. They will also provide careful monitoring to measure the effectiveness of treatment and reevaluate as needed.
The Bottom Line for Insulin Resistance, Hypothyroidism & Weight Loss
Hypothyroidism and insulin resistance might make weight loss more challenging. However, losing weight with either or both is not off the table!
Seeking out medical assistance is helpful to diagnosing and treating each condition, especially if medication is warranted. Adopting healthy lifestyle habits, including eating a nutrient-dense diet and exercising regularly, can likewise be helpful for shedding weight and unleashing a healthier, happier you.
Thyroid Information. American Thyroid Association. www.thyroid.org/thyroid-information/.
How To Lose Weight With An Underactive Thyroid: Your 6-Step Guide
[Last updated 28th December, 2018]
Losing weight and keeping it off can be a struggle.
Especially if you have an underactive thyroid. Your metabolism has slowed down and you’re almost always feeling tired.
But if you break down the process into small steps, and tick each box as you go, weight loss comes much easier.
This guide covers the 6 fundamental steps required to successfully lose weight with an underactive thyroid.
1. Optimise Your Thyroid Medication
I wanted to begin with a nutrition recommendation, but correcting your thyroid medication first priority.
If your medication is not helping to correct TSH and your T3 and T4 thyroid hormone levels, as well as relieve symptoms, then weight loss goes from difficult to impossible.
Work with your health care provider to determine what type of medication is better for you, and also to find the optimal dose required. While Levothyroxine is on average more effective, Armour is reportedly much better tolerated.
There is no difference between taking your thyroid hormone meds in the morning vs evening. Choose whatever is easier for you to have it on a fasting stomach (1, 2).
Summary: It is fundamental to work with your doctor to explore what type and dose of thyroid medication is best for you. Until your thyroid hormone levels are corrected, weight loss is much more difficult.
Cut Back on Added Sugars and Refined Starches
I need to begin with this clarification:
Carbohydrates are not inherently bad for you. That is, they do not make you fat or sick on their own (I wrote in detail about it here). It always comes back to total calories consumed.
That said, carbs in the form of added sugars and highly refined starches are unhealthy and unnecessary. They offer almost zero nutritional benefit (known as “empty calories”) and make up a large portion of the excess calories we consume.
In fact, the average American adult’s consumption of added sugar increased by more than 30% in the last 30 years, with children consuming approximately 20% more. This was illustrated below by Obesity.org.
Fortunately those numbers have began to reverse; a trend that needs to continue. Nevertheless, cutting back on added sugar is still the most simple and direct way to cut out excess “empty” calories.
This is done by limiting intake of junk foods, flavoured drinks (including juice), alcohol, white bread, most cereals and muesli bars, and a good portion of packaged food in your supermarket’s “health food” aisle. That includes gluten-free junk food… it’s still junk food.
Now it’s unrealistic (and unfair) to expect yourself to completely avoid added sugar every day of the year. But you need to begin taking actionable steps that help you cut back and form healthier habits.
Start by not having junk foods at home, or at least keep them out of sight in a cupboard you never use.
Summary: Added sugar makes up a large portion of the excess calories an average person consumes each day. Cutting down on your intake is critical if you want to successfully lose weight.
3. Base Meals Around Vegetables and Protein
If you want to lose weight with an underactive thyroid, these should be the foundation of almost every meal you make, and plated first when serving.
There are 2 main reasons for this:
1. Protein is paramount for weight loss
The main benefit of protein is that it’s much more satiating than both fat and carbs. That is, it has a unique ability to reduce appetite and therefore your overall caloric intake too.
Studies show high protein diets may also reduce obsessive thoughts about food by 60% and cut desire for late-night snacks by half (3, 4).
Foods high in protein include meat, seafood, eggs, nuts, legumes (beans) and dairy.
Protein is also the muscle-building nutrient, so a high protein diet complements regular exercise.
2. Vegetables provide most vitamins, minerals and other micronutrients
The nutrient-density of meals is even more important for those with hypothyroidism and other autoimmune diseases, where nutrient absorption and deficiency are more common.
Emphasis goes to green leafy vegetables, mushrooms and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage.
Veggies are also our greatest source of fiber, a nutrient that feeds the healthy bacteria in our gut. Studies show that long-term low fibre intake will completely throw out the balance of your gut bacteria; the effects on the gut health of mice was irreversible (5).
Fiber supplements are also an option if you want to be extra sure you are meeting your requirements.
As a general guide, the protein portion of your meal should be the size of your palm, and salad/vegetables the size of your hand. This would leave about 1/4 or less of your plate for carbs (such as rice or potato or pasta).
Summary: Protein foods and vegetables should make up the majority of your plate. They are generally the most filling and/or nutrient-dense foods per calorie.
4. Increase your intake of Selenium and Zinc
Selenium and zinc are two nutrients directly involved in thyroid function.
It’s critical that a diet for hypothyroidism contains adequate quantities in order to optimise thyroid hormone production and metabolism.
Selenium is an essential mineral that helps the body to recycle iodine. That’s the reason the thyroid has the highest selenium content (per gram of tissue) of all our organs (6).
Therefore, it’s thought that low selenium levels contribute to hypothyroidism through alternate mechanisms related to iodine. For this reason it’s fundamental to eat a diet that contains many selenium-rich foods, such as:
- Brazil nuts
- Tuna and sardines
- Beef and chicken
Zinc is an essential mineral required to regulate Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH).
In fact, the metabolism of zinc and thyroid hormones are closely interlinked, which is why a deficiency can lead to alopecia (hair loss) (7).
While zinc deficiency is very uncommon in the developed world, it’s still recommended to eat a variety of zinc-rich foods (8). This includes:
- Oysters and shellfish
- Beef and chicken
- Legumes, nuts and seeds
- Milk and yoghurt.
Iodine is also important for thyroid health, but in reality insufficient iodine levels that can harm the thyroid is extremely rare in developed countries (9).
You’re much better off focusing on selenium and zinc-rich foods, many of which contain iodine anyways.
Summary: Consuming a diet naturally rich in selenium and zinc is critical for maintaining a healthy thyroid and metabolism.
5. Take regular walks or start lifting weights each week
“You can’t out-exercise a bad diet.”
This is true, especially when your metabolism is slower than normal. That’s why this article places so much emphasis on dietary changes.
However, if you want to kick-start your weight loss then regular exercise is the best way to do it.
Weight loss ultimately comes down to expending more energy (calories) than you consume. Although it’s much more complex than “eat less, move more” (there are many biological factors to consider), being active helps to burn additional calories. It also improves aspects of health that even perfect nutrition can’t provide, such as strength and mobility.
You don’t have to put yourself through miserable high-intensity workouts either. Research shows that low-intensity exercise that lasts longer – such as regular long walks – are just as effective for weight loss, especially if you are just starting out (10).
A general guideline is to walk for at least 60 minutes or 10,000 steps on most days.
Unable to do cardio exercise
Regularly lifting weights (or bodyweight exercises) is also highly beneficial, especially if mobility is an issue for you. In fact, it’s equally as important as cardio and we should be doing both where possible.
Known as resistance exercise, it still helps burns additional calories, but with the added benefit of building lean muscle. The more muscle you have, the faster your metabolism and the less likely you are to fall ill (11).
There are numerous resistance exercise programs on Youtube for beginners, and you can do it all at home if you invest in a pair of dumbbells or even one kettle bell.
Summary: Regular exercise helps to kick-start weight loss and speed up the entire process. It also improves your strength, mobility and metabolic health. If mobility is a problem for you, lifting weights or bodyweight exercises are a fantastic alternative.
6. Trial The Autoimmune Protocol Diet (Optional for Hashimoto’s)
This step is only for those with Hashimoto’s or another autoimmune disease, and only recommended if you already consistently follow steps 1 to 5 but are still very overweight.
The Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) is an elimination diet that temporarily cuts out numerous food groups including dairy, grains, nuts and seeds, legumes, nightshade vegetables and more. It is said to have emerged from the Paleo movement (and sometimes referred to as Autoimmune Paleo), but to describe it as Paleo seems too basic.
The AIP goes by the premise that certain food chemicals and compounds cause low-grade inflammation in the gut of individuals with an autoimmune disease (in this case Hashimoto’s disease). Low-grade inflammation appears to be a driving factor behind many modern health conditions, including autoimmune diseases, metabolic disorder and obesity too (12).
By removing the everyday trigger foods in your diet, inflammation subsides giving your body the opportunity to recover and “reset”; known medically as remission. This is what occurs in celiac disease patients when they remove gluten from the diet, or most IBS patients following a low FODMAP diet.
Is It Evidence-Based?
I’ll admit I was highly sceptical of this theory at first; researchers in the area of rheumatology/immunology rarely do randomised trials on elimination diets (the only way to prove “cause and effect”). That means we still cannot reliably say what foods influence autoimmune diseases and their symptoms (nor to what extent).
Does it help because you cut out specific trigger food components? Or because such restriction inadvertently forces you to eat healthier consistently? Or is it a combination of both? It’s hard to say, but we cannot ignore the abundance of non-trial and anecdotal evidence (personal testimonial) that indicate AIP helps with a variety of symptoms.
Although only temporary, elimination diets like AIP are highly restrictive and can get complicated if you take medications for other medical conditions or are at risk of nutrient deficiencies. It’s fundamental you speak with your doctor before beginning.
Summary: Trialling the Autoimmune Protocol is an option if you have Hashimoto’s disease and have found steps 1 to 5 are no help. It may help with weight loss given its (theoretical) influence on inflammation and its highly restrictive nature.
Additional Tips to Lose Weight With An Underactive Thyroid
Here are some extra pointers to help you lose weight with an underactive thyroid:
- Prioritise sleep: Alongside poor diet and exercise, short sleep duration is one of the strongest risk factors for obesity. Good quality sleep is fundamental for weight loss.
- Thyroid support supplements: Anecdotal reports suggest supplements can give you more energy, at least for the first few months of use. But they’re likely unnecessary if you regularly eat nutritious foods.
- Use smaller plates and small spoons: Studies show the bigger the plate and the bigger the cutlery, the more calories we consume (13). This proven phenomenon is called the Delbouef illusion.
- Plate your meals first: Instead of putting all the prepared food at the table (like a buffet), plate your meal first and then sit down. You are much less likely to go for a second (or third) round.
- Drink lots of water: Keep a water bottle on hand wherever you go. Research suggests the more water we drink before meals, the fewer calories we eat overall (14).
- Be mindful: Mindful eating is about becoming more aware of your experiences, physical cues and feelings about food. It is based on a form of meditation called mindfulness.
How To Lose Weight With Hashimoto’s
Weight gain is a common symptom of thyroid disease. Like many people with Hashimoto’s, I struggled with both weight gain and weight loss throughout my thyroid journey. When people struggle with their weight, eventually they look to the thyroid, so in some ways we can thank our bodies for letting us know there is something going on that we need to focus on.
Unfortunately, as many people see those pounds begin to pack on, they are often advised to start a low calorie diet. The problem with following a low calorie diet is that we often become deficient in macro and micronutrients when we reduce our calorie intake, and over time, we may be inadvertently sending our bodies a message that we are experiencing a famine.
To protect you, your body will slow down your metabolism in an effort to run on fewer calories to make sure you do not starve. This makes weight loss even harder. So for many people, low-calorie diets are NOT the solution.
So what diet is best for you? Well, that will require a little experimentation, and often, the most helpful diets may also help your thyroid symptoms. Is there anything other than diet or medication that you should be looking at? Absolutely!
I’d like to share some helpful lifestyle strategies for weight management and Hashimoto’s. You’ll be surprised by just how big of a role your thyroid, adrenal and nutrient levels play in unexpected weight gain!
In the following article, you’ll discover:
- How suboptimal thyroid levels affect your weight
- Thyroid medications and weight gain
- What is the best thyroid diet for weight loss?
- Best foods for weight loss
- How the adrenals affect your weight
- How much exercise should you get? Can it make you feel worse?
- Best supplements to reset your metabolism
8 Helpful Strategies for Weight Management and Hashimoto’s
1. Get Your Latest Lab Values
Get your latest lab values for TSH, Free T3, and Free T4 from your doctor. You may have been told that these numbers were “normal,” but sometimes when these numbers are on the outskirts of normal, your metabolic rate may still be impaired, making it more difficult for you to burn calories.
Additionally, new guidelines have redefined the normal range for TSH to be below 3 μIU/ml; however, not many labs have implemented this guideline. Your doctor may be using old ranges. Thus, many physicians may miss the patients who are showing an elevated TSH, which means that you do not have enough thyroid hormone on board and that you are hypothyroid. (This is one reason why patients should always ask their physicians for a copy of any lab results!)
Many patients are told their TSH is in the “normal” range, but their levels are actually on the higher side of this range, which could be one reason why they may find it harder to lose weight.
Functional medicine practitioners have further defined that normal reference ranges should be between 1-2 μIU/ml for a healthy person not taking thyroid medications. Anecdotally, most patients feel best with a TSH between 0.5-2μIU/ml.
Here’s a handy reference chart of optimal thyroid ranges:
You can check out my article for more information on thyroid lab tests!
Remember, thyroid medications are dosed in micrograms — that’s 1/1000th of a milligram! — and sometimes a teensy increase in the dose can make a world of a difference. Talk to your doctor to discuss revising your dosing, as optimizing your thyroid levels can repair your metabolic rate and help you lose weight more easily.
2. Consider the Type of Medication You Are Taking
Synthroid, a medication that contains the T4 hormone, is the most commonly prescribed medication for an underactive thyroid. However, the T3 thyroid hormone is more effective for maintaining our metabolism. In theory and on paper, T4 gets converted into T3; however, there are many potential factors (including genetics) that can prevent this conversion from happening in the human body!
Factors that Inhibit T4 to T3 Conversion
|Fasting||Chemotherapy||Diabetes||Soy||Growth Hormone Deficiency|
|Iodine Excess||Heavy Metals||Cigarettes||Alcohol||Kidney and Liver Disease|
Furthermore, under stressful situations, T4 gets converted to Reverse T3 instead of T3. Reverse T3 is an inactive molecule related to T3, but without any physiological activity, it is a dud that just takes up space and blocks the active T3 from activating the receptors.
So what can one do to boost their T3 levels? Taking thyroid medications that contain T3 will help ensure that the right hormone is getting to the right receptors.
Some report more weight loss with T4/T3 combinations (Armour*, Nature-Throid, compounded medications) versus T4 medications (Synthroid, Levoxyl, Tirosint) alone. T4 is a precursor to T3, but some individuals do not convert T4 to T3 properly, and the T3 component is the metabolically active one.
In addition to losing weight, many patients that start taking a combination T4/T3 product often report that they feel better as well! For more information, be sure to read my article on which thyroid medications are best and my top 11 thyroid medication tips.
*Note: While Armour Thyroid does not have any gluten-containing ingredients, it is not tested for gluten content, and cannot be certified as gluten-free. Armour does contain sodium starch glycolate, which can be derived from wheat or corn.
3. Consider the Type of Diet You Are Eating
Are you following The Standard American Diet (S.A.D.)? The S.A.D., which is full of sugar and simple carbohydrates, is perfectly designed to cause us to gain weight year after year. Even yogurts that are marketed as “healthy” contain the equivalent of 16 teaspoons of sugar!
Instead of eating processed and pre-made meals, I like to think about eating “real food”. If it wasn’t considered food 200 years ago, we probably shouldn’t be eating it now!
Divorcing the S.A.D. is often a step that many of us must take to not just lose weight but to also feel better, and in some cases, minimize or eliminate the attack on the immune system.
Some Hashimoto’s and hypothyroidism diets that have been helpful include the Body Ecology diet, the Paleo diet, the Virgin diet, Autoimmune Paleo (AIP) diet, GAPS diet, SCD diet, Weston A. Price diet, or the Mediterranean diet. 63 percent of 2332 readers that I surveyed in 2015 reported positive weight changes when they tried the AIP diet! A great way to see if the AIP diet might work for you is to try my 2-Week Recipe Plan for FREE. That’s 14-days worth of delicious meal plans and recipes!)
These diets are meant as a starting point, as you may need to modify these diets to fit your own individuality.
After all, people with Hashimoto’s usually have multiple food intolerances—especially to gluten.
Here are a few rules of thumb to consider:
- Eliminate sugar, processed foods of all kinds, gluten, dairy, corn, rice, and other simple carbohydrates. (Carbohydrates get stored in our bodies as fat.)
- Focus on eating lots of good meats and vegetables (preferably organic), and good fats like avocados, olive oil, and coconut oil.
- Make sure you’re getting enough protein. If you’re struggling with that, consider adding in a great protein shake. (Consider adding Rootcology’s Organic Pea Protein or AI Paleo Protein powder to your daily smoothies!)
- Don’t count calories, rather, eat until you are satisfied.
After an initial week or two of withdrawal, your body will start to thank you. You will start noticing stomach aches, bloating, acid reflux, and fatigue subside. You will also start to lose weight without trying.
If you’ve been eating a clean diet for some time but your weight isn’t budging, you may also want to consider food sensitivity testing to remove foods that are specifically inflammatory to you. Many of my clients who have played with their current diets have seen progress in weight loss after eliminating foods per their food sensitivity results.
4. Consider Taking a Probiotic or Eating Fermented Foods
New research is showing that people who are overweight have an imbalance of bacterial flora in their intestines. Those who are overweight may have particular bacteria strains that extract more calories from food compared to those found in people who are not overweight. This means you could be eating the same amount of food as your friends yet gaining more weight from it!
Probiotics and fermented foods that contain beneficial bacteria may be helpful with balancing your bacterial flora. As a bonus, since 70 percent of your immune system resides in the cell walls of your digestive system, supporting your gut health will also help support your immune system. (1)
Here are some of the probiotics that I recommend and that you may consider:
- Saccharomyces boulardii (S. boulardii) – This is a beneficial yeast that helps to clear out pathogenic bacteria, candida, some parasites (including Blastocystis hominis), and H. pylori, an infection that has been implicated in ulcers and has been linked to Hashimoto’s.
- Probiotic 50B by Pure Encapsulations – Containing 50 billion colony forming units of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium strains, this is a great high dose probiotic that promotes a healthy intestinal ecology and supports gastrointestinal and immune health.
- VSL #3 – This probiotic has been clinically studied for ulcerative colitis and irritable bowel syndrome. Please note, this is a very expensive probiotic, but you can get it covered by your insurance if you have the right diagnosis.
- Klaire Ther-Biotic – This is a less expensive but equally effective brand of high dose multi-strain probiotics recommended by brilliant nutritionist friend, Tom Malterre.
- MegaSporeBiotic – This spore-based probiotic has a unique mechanism of action, which allows it to directly modulate the gut microbiome. Spore-based probiotics have shown promise in various autoimmune diseases and in reducing allergies and asthma. Spore-based probiotics also have an ability to boost Lactobacillus colonies, so they can be used concurrently with Lactobacillus probiotics as well as in place of them. Unlike Lactobacillus probiotics, spore-based probiotics can reduce SIBO and increase gut diversity by boosting the growth of other beneficial flora. Clients and colleagues with Hashimoto’s have reported the following after using MegaSporeBiotics for thirty to ninety days: a reduction in thyroid antibodies, an improved mood, less pain, better bowel movements, more energy, and a reduction or complete elimination of food sensitivities.
High-dose, multi-strain probiotics can be very helpful for people with Hashimoto’s in general. However, they may be problematic for people with SIBO, which can be caused by an overgrowth of various bacteria, including Lactobacillus and Streptococcus bacteria, which are often found in probiotics. Be sure to check out my article on probiotics and consult a local functional medicine practitioner to find the right probiotic for you!
5. Adrenal Support and Stress Response
Our bodies have this amazing capability to heal. When you’re in the “rest and digest” stage, or anabolic process, your body is actively repairing and healing itself.
When you experience stress, your body goes into “fight or flight response” mode, diverting its attention from healing and digestion; and goes into emergency mode, pumping your body full of adrenaline to prepare it to survive what your body perceives to be a life threatening event. Many people cite a traumatic incident in their lives as the precursor to when their Hashimoto’s symptoms began. Adrenal stress is a very common reason behind why people may hit a weight loss plateau.
There are 3 potential stages of adrenal dysfunction: Stage I, Stage II, and Stage III.
- Stage I – In Stage I, there will generally be too much cortisol production. Your total cortisol level is going to be elevated throughout the day.
- Stage II – In this stage, the total cortisol level will be normal, but there will be some abnormalities where it might be high in the morning, then too low in the afternoon, and then high again in the evening. This can produce some annoying symptoms like blood sugar swings, irritability, or an afternoon crash.
- Stage III – This is an advanced stage where the adrenals become depleted and do not produce enough cortisol. You’ll be running on empty and have very low levels of cortisol throughout the day. This often times leads to chronic fatigue.
You can reset your adrenals by getting more rest, limiting caffeine intake, and getting your daily dose of the ABC’s: Adrenal Adaptogens, B Vitamins and Vitamin C.
The supplement Adrenal Support™ by Rootcology contains all three of these adrenal tonics that can balance out adrenals, whether they are over or underactive.
Please note, severe cases may require further intervention. You can get your adrenals tested with adrenal saliva tests, like the ZRT Adrenal Stress Profile. You can order this test through your doctor, or you can order it yourself. In some cases, stressed adrenals may actually lead to poor absorption of foods.
Just like everything else, your stress hormone cortisol needs to be in balance. Too much, and you store excessive belly fat; too little of it, though, and you can feel extremely fatigued. Thyroid symptoms of fatigue can actually be due to low cortisol levels. If you have chronic stress, your body will eventually be unable to produce enough cortisol, DHEA and progesterone.
(Experiencing other symptoms aside from fatigue? As a pharmacist, I am amazed that the simple strategies that I have found to work 9 out of 10 times for symptoms like anxiety, fatigue, muscle wasting and hair loss are not widely taught in medical schools. Through years of trial and error, I created the Thyroid Symptom Hacker eBook for my private clients to address these issues. You can actually overcome fatigue in three days! I recommend this as a resource to anyone with thyroid issues.)
6. Choose a Physical Activity You Enjoy
Choose a physical activity that you will enjoy and continue, such as walking, yoga, swimming, Pilates, running, Zumba, or P90X. Whatever you do, make sure you enjoy it. Now perhaps you are saying, “Physical activity?! I’m exhausted even after a full night’s sleep. I can’t even imagine getting enough energy to think about exercise, let alone do it.”
However, you will need to tailor your activity based on your adrenal levels and the stage of adrenal dysfunction your body may currently be experiencing (as per #5). The more advanced the stages of your adrenal dysfunction are, the less likely you’re going to be able to tolerate exercise.
Generally, when it comes to exercise, we find that in Stage I adrenal dysfunction, things like running, aerobic sports, and CrossFit are going to make people feel better. In people with Stage III adrenal dysfunction, however, these types of activities may make them feel worse and worsen their adrenal fatigue and dysfunction. A person with Stage III dysfunction may do better with more gentle, relaxing exercises like yoga and stretching, as well as with muscle building exercises like lifting weight. Remember: muscle boosting is great for our own internal metabolism. Having more muscles will actually make it easier for you to lose weight!
One of the things you can do is just give yourself a good rule of thumb for when it comes to exercise. If you are exercising, and you find that you feel exhausted after the exercise, this generally means that what you just did was too much for you. A good amount of exercise should make you feel refreshed and energized. You should feel like you should be able to do it all over again once more.
Something that I have had some of my clients do when they were in Stage III adrenal dysfunction is actually cut out exercise. It seems counterintuitive, but in this stage, when their adrenals were very dysfunctional, they were not able to tolerate exercise. Even walking or jogging could be too stressful for their bodies that it would actually make them worse. I’ve actually had some ladies who were able to lose weight by exercising less, which is always surprising, and at the same time, great progress.
Again, it’s important to find the appropriate amount of exercise and tailor your needs to your own body.
7. Consider Medication Side Effects
As a consultant pharmacist, I have witnessed numerous people having major changes in weight gain with the use of certain medications.
Birth control, in particular, can be associated with significant weight gain, and 45 percent of my readers with Hashimoto’s reported that stopping birth control helped them normalize their weight. I’ve written about the impact of birth control on our health in this article.
As people with Hashimoto’s are often misdiagnosed with anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, etc. I would be remiss to report the important impact of psychotropic medications on weight gain.
The biggest culprits associated with weight gain include antipsychotic medications which were traditionally developed for schizophrenia but are used on and off label for conditions like bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety, irritability and even insomnia! In my experience, Zyprexa was the worst offender. I have seen people gain 100+ pounds on this medication. Other antipsychotics include Seroquel, Risperdal, and Abilify.
Antidepressants such as Prozac, Zoloft and Lexapro can also contribute to weight gain. The antidepressant Wellbutrin, however, is less likely to cause weight gain.
I recommend speaking with your doctor or pharmacist about your current medications to see if they could be potential culprits for causing weight gain, and if weight neutral alternatives exist.
8. Address Your Nutrient Deficiencies
One of the surprising reasons why people hold onto excess weight is because they are malnourished. It may seem counter intuitive that a person who is overweight would be nutrient deficient or malnourished, however, our nutritional status isn’t based on just calories alone.
The human body requires macro and micro-nutrients to thrive, and proper nutrient status depends on our intake of nutrients, digestion of food, and absorption of the nutrients from the food.
Without these nutrients, your body may sabotage your weight loss efforts by slowing down your metabolism or causing you to have cravings or feel hungry, even when you have had enough to eat.
Let’s review how to address nutritional status:
Intake of Nutrients
I recommend eating a nutrient dense diet like the Paleo diet or Autoimmune Paleo diet for most people with Hashimoto’s as a starting point. Additionally, taking supplements can help with addressing your nutrition.
The most common nutrient deficiencies in Hashimoto’s are B vitamins (including thiamine and B12), selenium, magnesium, vitamin D, and ferritin.
For more information on each of these, please read my recent article The 6 Most Important Nutrient Deficiencies in Hashimoto’s.
Another common deficiency that may lead to weight gain is inadequate intake of protein. I recommend starting your day off with a blood sugar balancing smoothie (bonus: it’s great for reducing cravings and hunger) that includes a hypoallergenic protein source, such as my Rootcology AI Paleo Protein. Smoothies and protein powders allow your body to absorb more nutrients, even if you don’t have perfect digestion, as the foods are more bioavailable and are easier to digest and absorb.
Additionally, I love adding green juices to the mix as another great way to boost your nutritional status. Green juices also have tons of nutrients that are easy to absorb and digest.
Digestive enzymes, such as Betaine with pepsin for protein digestion, as well as fat specific and broad spectrum digestive enzymes, can also help you get more nutrients from your food. Furthermore, blends with enzymes such as Rootcology’s Veggie Enzymes can help you digest fibers and starch in fibrous foods such as raw vegetables and fruits. If you have insufficient levels of digestive enzymes produced naturally in the pancreas, Rootcology’s Pancreatic Enzymes Plus may also be beneficial. The bromelain, trypsin and chymotrypsin in this supplement target and break down specific amino acids (the building blocks of proteins) in the duodenum (the first section of the small intestine), where pancreatic enzymes are normally released. (Please speak with your practitioner before considering pancreatic enzymes if you are currently taking broad spectrum digestive enzymes, as some of the ingredients may overlap.) I have an article all about Using Enzymes for Hashimoto’s you may want to check out. 35 percent of my readers reported that digestive enzymes helped them optimize their weight!
Absorbing your nutrients is dependent on a variety of factors, including the state of your gut and the function of your liver.
I already talked about the impact of probiotics on weight — 36 percent of my readers reported that a probiotic can help with weight optimization. Part of the reason for this is because probiotics help us extract nutrients.
Supporting Your Liver
The liver is an important player in nutrient status. In fact, the liver is the organ that processes the nutrients we absorb from the small intestine. 38 percent of readers reported improvements in weight status with using liver support! I’ve written a comprehensive article all about liver support! Check it out here.
Another root cause of why you may not be properly absorbing nutrients could be due to small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) or an unwanted guest in your gut, such as an infection or parasite. 41 percent of my readers with Hashimoto’s saw improvements in weight after utilizing SIBO protocols, and 36 percent saw improvements with parasite protocols (I don’t have an article on this yet, but more information on parasite protocols can be found in Hashimoto’s Protocol).
Your Weight Loss Action Plan
In an effort to slow down your body’s metabolism, stress, skipping meals, and toxicity can cause the body to attack the thyroid, as well as promote weight gain. Preventing further attacks on your already delicate thyroid is of prime importance, as you may know if you’ve read my new book Hashimoto’s Protocol. By optimizing your thyroid hormone levels, following a thyroid-friendly diet, adding probiotics and fermented foods to your daily regimen, considering a T4/T3 combination medication, repairing your adrenals, getting the appropriate amount of exercise for your body, and optimizing your nutrients, your health may greatly improve — and you may even notice that losing weight will become easier!
Remember, you are not alone. Losing weight with thyroid disease is POSSIBLE. Many of my readers have seen dramatic and positive weight loss results after implementing these lifestyle changes, and reported feeling better, too. You can be one of them! And you are WORTH it — so get your body and health on the right track today!
I hope this helps and wish you all the best in your health journey!
P. S. You can also download a free Thyroid Diet Guide, 10 Thyroid friendly recipes, and the Nutrient Depletions and Digestion chapter by signing up for my weekly newsletter. You will also receive occasional updates about new research, resources, giveaways and helpful information.
- Hyman M. How Good Gut Health Can Boost Your Immune System. EcoWatch. 2015. https://www.ecowatch.com/how-good-gut-health-can-boost-your-immune-system-1882013643.html. Accessed January 15, 2018.
Note: Originally published in March 2015, this article has been revised and updated for accuracy and thoroughness
Moderate weight loss is sufficient to affect thyroid hormone homeostasis and inhibit its peripheral conversion
Thyroid hormones are important determinants of energy expenditure, and in rodents, adipose tissue affects thyroid hormone homeostasis via leptin signaling. The relationship between thyroid hormones and nutritional status in humans has been assessed primarily in drastic dietary or bariatric surgery interventions, while limited information is available on serial assessment of this axis during moderate, prolonged dietary restriction.
To evaluate the effects of moderate dietary restriction on thyroid hormone homeostasis, 47 subjects with a body mass index (BMI) of 25-45 kg/m(2) were enrolled in a longitudinal intervention study; 30 nonoverweight volunteers were also enrolled as controls. Overweight and obese subjects underwent a 12-month individualized dietary intervention aimed at achieving a 5-10% weight loss.
The intervention resulted in a 6.3±0.9 kg (6.5±1.0%) weight loss. At baseline, thyrotropin (TSH) and T3 concentrations correlated significantly with fat mass (R=0.257, p=0.024 and R=0.318, p=0.005, respectively). After weight loss, T3 decreased significantly (from 112.7±3.1 to 101.8±2.6 ng/dL, p<0.001) in the absence of significant changes in TSH or free T4 (fT4). The decrease in serum T3 correlated with the decrease in weight (R=0.294, p<0.001). The T3:fT4 ratio decreased significantly (p=0.02) in individuals who lost >5% body weight.
T3 concentration closely correlates with individual nutritional status, and moderate weight loss results in a decrease in T3 with minimal changes in other thyroid hormone homeostasis parameters. The data suggest that a decrease in peripheral conversion of the prohormone T4 into its hormonally active metabolite T3 is at least in part responsible for the observed changes in thyroid hormone homeostasis.
How Thyroid Issues Can Lead to Weight Gain After 50
In a previous article I discussed the effects of estrogen on your body and subsequent weight gain. Then I followed with a discussion on cortisol, also known as the stress hormone.
This week I am going to assess how having a low functioning thyroid could be adding to your weight gain woes, even if all your blood levels come back normal.
Weight gain can be directly linked with thyroid problems. Thyroid issues develop over time. You may have been displaying signs of low thyroid function in your 30s or 40s but were able to push through it.
Back then you were able to exercise a little more to lose any extra weight, or sleep in over the weekends to make up for any tiredness. You probably did not give these changes a second thought.
As you enter your late 40s, these symptoms tend to become more apparent because of any hormonal fluctuations that are also experienced during that time. You need to listen to your thyroid and the signs your body is receiving, and nurture your thyroid if you want to lose weight and gain energy.
Weight gain is typically linked to an under active thyroid because it slows down your metabolism. This results in weight gain and difficulty losing extra weight.
An under active thyroid gland, a condition referred to as hypothyroidism, is where your thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough hormones. Common signs of an under active thyroid are tiredness, weight gain and feeling depressed.
Women’s weight tends to fluctuate, especially when hormone levels are shifting, which happens as you approach menopause. Many women try to diet to counter this with unhealthy eating plans or a plan that does not address their thyroid, only to make things worse.
Eating the wrong foods can decrease your gut mobility, which slows down your metabolism and causes you to gain more weight. Then, when you find that you do not get the weight loss you were expecting, you revert back to your old eating habits.
Low thyroid function is associated with weight gain due to the fact that the thyroid gland controls fuel-efficiency and your metabolism. With too little thyroid, the fuel (your food) is burned at a lower rate. If meal sizes are the same, weight gain occurs.
Tiredness associated with low thyroid function also can find you too tired to exercise as much as you would like to, further adding to weight gain.
A note of caution: Although weight gain often occurs with hypothyroidism, it is a nonspecific change because increasing weight also occurs with decreased exercise, stress and as a side effect of many drugs.
So do not be quick to assume that you have an under active thyroid if you have gained weight or are unable to lose weight.
Estrogen dominance can decrease your thyroid activity by inhibiting the release of thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH). TSH is a hormone secreted by your pituitary gland when your thyroid hormone levels are low. Low thyroid function can also cause progesterone levels to decrease.
An under active thyroid, referred to as hypothyroidism, can present with symptoms that are usually mild and nonspecific. Therefore, it can be easy to dismiss them at the start as not being particularly important. But this is an issue that needs to be addressed.
Hypothyroidism stems from a problem with the thyroid gland, which reduces the amount of the hormone thyroxine it produces.
An under active thyroid can lead to fatigue, brain fog, weight gain, depression, constantly feeling cold and even hair loss. All of these can also be experienced during perimenopause and menopause. A common cause of hypothyroidism is Hashimoto’s disease.
You do not have to have a disease of the thyroid to feel the effects of low thyroid function.
Many of my clients would be in tears with the tiredness and exhaustion they experience, yet blood tests come back normal, making them feel that they are going crazy. It certainly does not help when their doctor will not listen to what they are feeling and will only respond to blood tests.
What could be happening is a condition referred to as sub-clinical hypothyroidism where your thyroid is not working to its full potential but blood tests are coming back within normal ranges.
All your blood tests may come back normal but you are most certainly experiencing nearly every symptom associated with low thyroid function. Even low thyroid function can lead to weight gain, especially when it is interconnected with other hormonal issues.
If your thyroid is not functioning as well as it should be, all of your efforts to curb weight gain and achieve hormone harmony may be futile.
Hypothyroidism can occur at any stage in life but it most commonly occurs in women between the ages of 40 and 50. At this age, some women mistake their symptoms are just a part of the menopause or getting older.
Both perimenopause and hypothyroidism commonly occur in midlife women. Perimenopause is a phase that happens for all women and the incidence of hypothyroidism increases with increasing age, especially in women. Therefore, perimenopause and new onset hypothyroidism may occur together.
Here are top 5 tips to improve your thyroid function and help curb the battle of the belly fat.
A diet high in processed foods can cause inflammation in the body. It also inhibits the thyroid hormone conversion of T4 to T3, T3 being the active form that the body uses.
There is a strong connection between gluten reactions and the thyroid. Some people will be able to completely put their conditions into remission by going gluten-free, while others may need to dig a bit deeper. Eliminating gluten from your diet for 1-3 weeks can be of great benefit.
Two nutrients directly involved in thyroid function are selenium and zinc. Consuming a diet naturally rich in selenium and zinc is critical for maintaining a healthy thyroid and metabolism. These foods include brazil nuts, tuna, sardines, eggs and pumpkin seeds.
Get more Vitamin D into your body. This fat soluble vitamin is necessary for thyroid hormone production in the pituitary gland. So be sure to get out and bare your arms and legs at least 20 minutes a day, without UV protection to absorb essential Vitamin D.
Add a green smoothie to your diet. This is one of the best ways to make sure you are getting enough nutrients into your day. It is easy to make, easy to digest and packed full of vitamins and minerals that your body needs.
Do you think your thyroid is sluggish? Have you had any blood tests to ascertain if your thyroid function is low only to be told everything is fine? I would love to know what experience you have had. Let me know in the comments below.
90,000 is it possible to lose weight with hypothyroidism
You reduce your portions of food almost every day, and your weight grows. You cook your own chicken breast and nibble on raw carrots, pork and butter, you are even afraid to sniff, and the weight grows. You sweat in the gym and walk up to the twelfth floor every day, and the weight still grows. It may be time to check your thyroid function.
Thyroid gland work
This small butterfly-shaped gland, wrapped around the front of the neck, manages to influence the functioning of the entire body by producing a number of neurotransmitters – chemicals through which communication between nerve cells, as well as between nerves and muscle cells, is carried out.In particular, these are dopamine, serotonin, adrenaline and norepinephrine. About a third of all depressive conditions are associated with a malfunction of the thyroid gland: if it is not active enough, the adrenal glands try to hedge it by releasing an increased amount of adrenaline and cortisol into the bloodstream. As a result, a person feels both stressed and tired at the same time.
The main function of the thyroid gland is the production of thyroxine, a hormone that activates our metabolism. As soon as this gland, for one reason or another, ceases to adequately cope with its direct responsibilities, the so-called subclinical hypothyroidism makes itself felt.Its main symptoms are as follows: you constantly want to wrap yourself up warmly, while those around you are by no means cold; your skin dries up, and no moisturizing creams can cope with this dryness; you are overcome by chronic fatigue that does not go away even over a long weekend; your body temperature is slightly below normal. If you are a man, problems with potency may begin, hypothyroidism in women often leads to the fact that menstruation now and then comes at the wrong time. Hair may begin to fall out, muscles sometimes cramp.And also – you gain weight, even eating only lettuce leaves. The thyroid gland and excess weight may be related; hypothyroidism and obesity often go side by side.
Fatigue and drowsiness are signs of hypothyroidism
Hypothyroidism is insidious in that it sometimes very successfully disguises itself as a number of other diseases, as well as temporary malfunctions in the work of an absolutely healthy organism. The fact is that if the thyroid gland malfunctions, almost all metabolic processes are disrupted.With the same symptoms, it is easy to suspect you have heart problems, and problems with the nervous system, and a disease of the gastrointestinal tract; you may decide that your kidneys have just chilled, that your liver is playing naughty again, that you are trite to be nervous about blockages at work. Sometimes people suffering from hypothyroidism go from one specialist to another for months, or even years, trying to understand what is wrong with them, why no treatment helps, why, despite any efforts, excess weight does not go away.If this is about you, it’s time to make an appointment with an endocrinologist. Your doctor will prescribe a number of tests for you, in particular, to determine the level of TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone of the pituitary gland) in the blood. Laboratory diagnosis of hypothyroidism is highly reliable; if the test results confirm the diagnosis, substitution therapy will be your salvation – the constant intake of the hormone thyroxine, the production of which your thyroid gland has ceased to cope with.
Legends about iodine and not only
Unfortunately, in recent years there has been a misconception that iodine, more precisely, iodine-containing preparations, can cope with insufficient activity of the thyroid gland.However, things are not so simple. Yes, iodine is necessary for the body; yes, with hypothyroidism, its content in the blood falls – but having purchased drugs that compensate for iodine deficiency, the disease cannot be defeated. The problem is that with an insufficient amount of thyroxine, our body simply stops assimilating iodine. Therefore, it makes sense to take all kinds of supplements containing iodine only as part of complex drug therapy.
Hormonal treatment, sadly, is also surrounded by myths and legends.It’s the twenty-first century, and many people still believe that “hormones are dangerous.” And even that “they get fat from hormones.” In fact, it is not the hormones themselves that are dangerous, but the hormonal imbalance, including the one that leads to hypothyroidism. It is with this imbalance that preparations containing thyroxine are designed to cope. Yes, they will have to be taken for quite a long time, and in some cases, for example, when hypothyroidism is caused by an autoimmune disease, lifelong hormone replacement therapy is also indicated. But in the end, it is the hormones that will help you lead a full life – and yes, finally get rid of such an unpleasant symptom as obesity with hypothyroidism.
Women at risk
Unfortunately, thyroid disorders can occur at any age and in people of both sexes. However, the most vulnerable group of the population is young mothers: they are often trapped by such an unpleasant condition as postpartum thyroiditis.
During pregnancy, a woman’s immune system is temporarily deactivated; this is necessary so that antibodies and immune cells do not begin to attack the placenta, considering it a foreign element. Accordingly, immediately after the birth of the baby, the maternal immunity is again actively involved in the work.In some cases – even too actively, mistakenly attacking harmless thyroid tissue and destroying them. This is how postpartum thyroiditis occurs – an autoimmune inflammation of the thyroid gland. At first, the amount of hormones produced by the thyroid gland jumps sharply, and the young mother has symptoms of hyperthyroidism – increased irritability, fussiness, rapid pulse, subfebrile (slightly elevated, not higher than 37.5 degrees) temperature, sudden mood swings and even weight loss at normal or enhanced nutrition.And then comes the phase of hypothyroidism: absent-mindedness, memory impairment, constant exhausting weakness, swelling – and steadily growing weight.
Good news: 80% of new mothers suffering from postpartum thyroiditis get rid of it safely – of course, with proper treatment, which was started on time. Not too good news: the remaining 20% of women have to put up with thyroiditis for their entire lives. The latter, however, is not a catastrophe: at the current level of development of medicine, life with thyroiditis may well be active and happy.
At the slightest suspicion that your mood and weight jumps are outside the normal range, you need to make an appointment with a gynecologist-endocrinologist or just an endocrinologist. Yes, while you are breastfeeding, hormone replacement therapy is not advisable – but as soon as you stop breastfeeding, your doctor will select the medication you need.
Another period when women are at risk of developing thyroid imbalance is menopause. The problem is that the symptoms of age-related changes in the body are very easy to confuse with symptoms of hyper- or hypothyroidism, especially without being a doctor.If you are a lady of an interesting age, and menopause bothers you more than your peers, it is better to play it safe and visit an endocrinologist.
Hypothyroidism in children
Unfortunately, thyroid malfunction occurs even at a tender age. Congenital hypothyroidism usually manifests itself as follows: the child is born rather large (more than four kilograms), looks edematous, his umbilical wound does not heal for a long time and the jaundice of newborns does not go away.Growing up, such a baby is abnormally calm: he sleeps a lot, reacts sluggishly to stimuli, rarely stains the diapers due to a sluggishly working intestine. At first, parents are happy that their “hero” is growing by leaps and bounds and is a little trouble, but if the diagnosis is not made on time, there will be few reasons for joy. The later the treatment of congenital hypothyroidism is started, the more severe the consequences for the physical and intellectual development of the child will be.
Newborns must be tested for hypothyroidism
Fortunately, today in domestic maternity hospitals, all babies are mandatory checked for a number of congenital diseases, including hypothyroidism.On the third or fifth day after birth, blood is taken from the child’s heel and checked for TSH levels, and the parents are certainly informed of the abnormal results. If hormone replacement therapy is started in the first month of a baby’s life, then there is every chance to prevent developmental delays.
You turned to a neuropsychiatrist about a depressive state, but the drugs prescribed by him do not help? It is worth checking with an endocrinologist.With thyroid dysfunction, antidepressants do not give an effect – you need to adjust the hormonal background.
90,000 How to lose weight with hypothyroidism? – Weight loss at the rate of
Hypothyroidism is a decrease in the production of thyroid hormones – thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) and thyroxine (T4). Dysfunctions of its functions often cause excess weight, since the thyroid gland is responsible for metabolic processes throughout the body. Including the rate of burning calories. When hormone levels are lowered, energy expenditure slows down.Hypothyroidism can be a serious obstacle on the way to being slim, but proper treatment and well-organized nutrition will help overcome it.
How hypothyroidism and other thyroid diseases develop
The precursors of hypothyroidism are various types of thyroiditis, radioactive irradiation of the thyroid gland, an excess of iodine in the body, a lack of iodine in the diet and various anomalies of the thyroid gland.
Iodine is needed for the production of thyroid hormones.Consumption below 80 mcg / day creates a dangerous situation for the organ. The optimal amount of iodine for adults is about 150 mcg / day. This amount is easily absorbed by a balanced diet. 100 grams of seaweed without additives contains 150-300 mcg of iodine, in hake meat 160 mcg, pollock 150 mcg, cod 135 mcg. Eating iodized salt also helps to cover the daily requirement for a trace element (calorifier). If iodine is not enough, endemic goiter develops – another unpleasant disease of the thyroid gland.High doses of iodine are dangerous for a long time and also cause hypothyroidism.
Some foods block the delivery of iodine to cells. These include turnips, rutabagas, red cabbage and cauliflower, turnips, mustard, tapioca and dairy products from cows fed the above foods. Abuse of them leads to thyroid dysfunction.
Rigid, low-calorie diets hit the thyroid gland, forcing it to produce fewer hormones, which also becomes fertile ground for the development of diseases and a decrease in metabolism.
How to check the thyroid gland and metabolic rate?
Only a doctor can diagnose, as the symptoms of various thyroid disorders are very similar. Among them are chronic fatigue, muscle weakness, swelling, low body temperature and heart rate, excess weight, constipation, dry skin and hair loss. Sometimes dysfunctions of the thyroid gland are accompanied by the development of iron deficiency anemia and menstrual irregularities. Only an endocrinologist can diagnose hypothyroidism.To do this, you need to do an ultrasound scan and donate blood for the hormones T3, T4, TSH.
Depending on the disease, the doctor prescribes the intake of iodine-containing or hormone-containing drugs. In hypothyroidism, synthetic T4 and T3 are often prescribed to normalize hormone levels. You should not be afraid, because it is the violation of their balance that interferes with losing weight. The dosage of the drug can only be determined by an endocrinologist based on your examinations. You cannot prescribe medication to yourself, even if you suspect you have a thyroid disease, which, in your opinion, interferes with losing weight.You run the risk of further disrupting the balance of hormones and causing irreparable harm to health. The drug and dosage are selected only by the doctor individually for each patient.
If you suspect you have a decrease in metabolism and hypothyroidism, you are overweight, your thermometer shows a low temperature, you suffer from constipation and experience other symptoms described above – contact your endocrinologist. Similar symptoms can be experienced with various violations of the organ. An accurate diagnosis and competent treatment will restore good health, stop weight gain and help reduce it.
Nutritional features for weight loss in hypothyroidism
Not only weight loss depends on proper nutrition, but also the effectiveness of treatment, since some foods can affect the absorption of iodine and the absorption of drugs for the treatment of hypothyroidism.
Foods to limit in hypothyroidism:
- Goitrogenic foods leading to an enlargement of the thyroid gland. These are cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, millet, broccoli, turnips, rutabagas, turnips, soybeans, some fruits and other products.These foods can be in the diet, but only cooked. Heat treatment reduces their toxic properties.
- Simple carbohydrates, as in people with thyroid dysfunction, every calorie counts and the presence of sweets, sugar, honey or a lot of fruit can interfere with weight loss.
- White flour bakery and pasta, white rice. These foods, like simple carbohydrates, prevent weight loss and contribute to constipation.Better to replace them with diet bread, bran bread, durum wheat pasta, brown or brown rice, which have been less processed and are rich in fiber.
- Refined vegetable oil should be excluded because it suppresses thyroid function. In case of organ diseases, the amount of fat must be strictly controlled – at the level of 25% of the daily calorie intake.
The calorie content of the diet should be reduced by 10-20% due to fats and simple carbohydrates.The diet itself should be based on a high intake of protein and fiber.
Nutrition rules for weight loss in hypothyroidism:
- 30% of your diet should come from lean and moderate protein sources. Fatty protein should be excluded.
- The daily rate of fiber is 25-40 g. This amount is enough to provide saturation and normalize intestinal motility. Increase fiber gradually to avoid bloating and flatulence.
- A protein breakfast along with fiber will provide long-term satiety and will also nourish your muscles. It is in the morning and after training that muscles are well receptive to protein. This breakfast will have a positive effect on metabolism and well-being.
- Aim to get about 30 grams of protein with each main meal and eat a serving of vegetables to help you stick to your diet.
- Adequate amount of water will help to solve the problem of puffiness and get visible weight loss results faster.
Certain foods and vitamins interfere with the absorption of medicines, so doctors recommend taking medicine in the morning. If you are taking hormonal medications to treat hypothyroidism, plan your meals in advance. You should not combine their intake with the use of foods rich in calcium and iron – at least four hours should pass. You should also refrain from coffee – at least an hour should pass between taking medications and coffee.
Sports for diseases of the thyroid gland is a prerequisite for losing weight.Strength training helps build muscle tissue, thereby stimulating metabolism, and cardio training increases endurance and helps burn more calories (calorizator). Any physical activity will be beneficial. If you haven’t exercised before, start with a few minutes of daily morning exercise to build your exercise habit.
Author: Ekaterina G., nutritionist, fitness blogger (specially for Calorizator.ru)
Copying of this article in whole or in part is prohibited.
90,000 Influence of the thyroid gland on weight
The thyroid gland has practically no effect on weight. The effect of the thyroid gland on weight is much less than that of mayonnaise, beer or donuts.
What do we know about the thyroid gland?
- That she is “the little conductor of a large organism.”
- That it affects the metabolism.
- That her hormones make her legs freeze and her hair falls out.
Description of the effect of the thyroid gland on human weight
The thyroid gland regulates the metabolism of the whole organism, it can speed it up, it can slow it down.All other manifestations are a consequence of metabolic changes and should be logically interconnected.
With a lack of thyroid hormones in a person, metabolism slows down. He needs fewer calories to maintain basal metabolism (basal metabolism is the expenditure of energy to maintain body function). If a person’s basal metabolic rate was 1200, and became 800, then the missing 400 kcal will be deposited on his body. 400 kcal – 44 grams of fat per day, 1,300 grams per month (1.3 kg).
With a slowdown in basal metabolic rate, a person becomes lethargic and apathetic, and his appetite also decreases, and his bowel function slows down and the amount of digestive enzymes decreases, so some of the calories are simply not absorbed.
With a decrease in thyroid function, it is very difficult to lose weight. But one has only to normalize the level of hormones, as the same activities will give an excellent effect – the excess weight will begin to go away.
The thyroid gland can cause severe swelling that increases weight.Distinguishing weight gain due to edema from alimentary (excess food intake) set is easy. These are the only types of kilograms that will go away if a person’s hormone levels are normalized.
Fat by itself will not go away with the normalization of hormones. He can leave with the observance of elementary dietary measures, I already wrote this. Why is that? Appetite will also increase. What are 400 calories? Less than 100 grams of smoked sausage, 6-8 pieces, or even less. These are not the quantities on which something really depends.And the assimilation of the eaten will go more actively.
If there are disorders in the thyroid gland (any: ultrasound findings, increased antibodies, increased thyroglobulin levels), and the TSH level is normal, then weight fluctuations are not her fault. Only an increased TSH level, which means a lack of thyroid hormones (this is a negative feedback mechanism, the higher the TSH, the less thyroid hormones the thyroid produces) can be related to weight.
Author: Endocrinologist, Candidate of Medical Sciences Tanygina Natalia Ivanovna.
5 Thyroid Health Products
Violation of the full functioning of the thyroid gland is usually associated with a deficiency in the body of nutrients: vitamins and minerals. With minor disruptions in the endocrine system, a person feels constant lethargy, decreased performance, memory impairment.
Further weakening leads to serious pathologies.For example, the formation of goiter, swelling, weight gain or a sharp decrease in body weight with increased appetite, sleep disturbances, irascibility and irritability, high temperature.
Endocrinologists distinguish several causes of thyroid diseases. Among them, a special place is given to unbalanced nutrition, which leads to a lack of important trace elements in the body. In fact, this organ of the endocrine system “fades away” without receiving a full-fledged “recharge” from the outside. The synthesis of hormones T3 and T4 is sharply reduced, which leads to the development of a whole bunch of chronic pathologies.Various medications are used to treat thyroid diseases.
However, for the prevention of diseases, endocrinologists are advised to periodically take multivitamin complexes with trace elements in the form of food additives.
Vitamins for the thyroid gland
Stable feeding of the endocrine system with hormones is provided by the following vitamin groups:
- Retinol (A) – is responsible for protein biosynthesis. Vitamin A group has a beneficial effect on the immune system, improves the condition of the mucous membranes, bones and teeth.Retinol strengthens nails and hair, relieves puffiness and flabbiness of the skin, and has a good effect on vision. Usually, for prophylaxis, the complex “A” + “E” is attributed to enhance the positive effect of the impact.
- Vitamins B6, B12 – pyridoxine and cobalamin. Vitamin B group accelerates metabolic processes. Increased metabolism prevents the appearance of goiter, obesity, diseases of the cardiovascular and endocrine systems.
- Cholecalciferol (D) – comes from food and is also synthesized in the skin under the influence of moderate amounts of UV rays.Deficiency of this compound leads to the disease hypothyroidism (long-term lack of hormones T3 and T4). Endocrinologists recommend eating foods high in this substance or taking vitamin supplements periodically.
- Antioxidants. This group includes tocopherol (E). Vitamin supplements based on this compound are very popular in cosmetology. They slow down the aging process, relieve skin puffiness, smooth wrinkles. Tocopherol improves the absorption of iodine compounds by cells.He is also credited along with the “A” group for the mutual amplification of the effect. However, doctors advise not to abuse the intake of tocopherol, since its excess with a lack of selenium causes hypothyroidism.
In addition to vitamin complexes, the health of the thyroid gland depends on the presence of trace elements in the body. Important minerals include:
Iron is a trace element that affects the level of hemoglobin in human blood. The normal iron content helps to steadily transport oxygen to the organs and tissues of the body.As with antioxidants “E”, excess or lack of the mineral leads to problems with the endocrine system, in particular, causes hyperthyroidism.
Selenium is a trace element, without which the production of hormones T3 and T4 is impossible. This mineral protects organs from oxidation, improves metabolism, controls growth and supports reproductive function in men. Lack of selenium leads to diseases such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis – immune problems.
Iodine – without this trace element, the endocrine system will not be able to fully function.The mineral participates in metabolic processes and in the synthesis of more than 100 enzymes, regulates the body’s water-salt balance. The lack of an element leads to the formation of goiter and the development of hypothyroidism, impairs intellectual abilities. An excess of iodine compounds leads to poisoning of the body.
Products for thyroid disease
To reduce the risk of endocrine system pathologies, doctors recommend a diet with substances important for thyroid health. For the prevention of diseases and the treatment of the organ, it is necessary to include the following foods in the diet:
- Feijoa and persimmon – these iodine-containing fruits can be eaten at any time of the year.Fruits are also rich in sodium, magnesium and iron. In addition, persimmon and feijoa are a storehouse of vitamin compounds A, C and P.
- Fresh seafood includes mussels, crabs, fish, lobsters, shrimps, squids, etc. The same iodine products as persimmon and feijoa. Contains zinc, fatty acids, phosphorus, protein, B12. People who love seafood have strong immunity, their endocrine system is regularly fueled by important hormones.
- Seaweed is the primary source of iodine compounds.What prevention of endocrine diseases would do without this ingredient? It is enough to eat 70-100 grams of seaweed per day for the body to stably produce thyroid hormones. It also contains phosphorus, magnesium, silicon and a number of other beneficial minerals.
- Red fish – salmon, trout, pink salmon, salmon and any red meat contain tyrosine. This substance helps to synthesize the necessary hormones. If there is enough red fish in the diet, then calcium, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, phosphorus enter the body.In addition, fish liver is a source of selenium.
- Spinach, onions – strengthen the immune system, and are also natural antioxidants. In addition, spinach contains a unique set of trace minerals important for endocrine health. These are phosphorus, zinc, iodide compounds, sodium, manganese and others.
It should also be noted the benefits of apples, berries and nuts for all body systems. Pine and walnuts are rich in iodine compounds. Apples and blueberries contain antioxidant substances that protect cells from the harmful effects of free radicals.
Endocrinologists do not just talk about a balanced and correct diet. According to WHO statistics, over 670 million people in the world suffer from various forms of hyperthyroidism, and more than 1.7 billion are at risk of contracting endocrine system pathologies. Almost 70% of this number love and eat junk food every day. This is a reason – to think!
What kind of food should be given up in case of problems with the thyroid gland:
- Sugar. All popular and cheap food contains incredible amounts of sugar.These are sweet and carbonated drinks, cakes, cakes, sweets and more. There is more harm than good from such food. Autoimmune diseases and diabetes mellitus are caused by uncontrolled consumption of sweets. With such a diet, the level of hormones decreases, almost all systems are overloaded, the body does not perceive insulin.
- Fried and fatty foods contain unhealthy trans fats. If you love eating fried foods, try adding more greens, fish, and seaweed to your diet.In case of obvious problems with the endocrine system, the consumption of fried foods should be reduced and even excluded, because it reduces the production of hormones T3 and T4.
- Gluten is a substance (gluten) found in cereals and causes great harm to a healthy body. Foods high in gluten cause autoimmune disorders such as Addison’s disease, type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and hypothyroidism. Gluten is found in baked goods, premium wheat bread, etc.
- Semi-finished products, fast food, preservatives – all this food cannot be called useful for human health and the endocrine system.
As for alcohol, coffee, cigarettes and strong tea, they should also be excluded from the diet in case of problems with the production of hormones T3 and T4. A healthy person can afford to drink coffee or wine in moderation, but with pathologies of the immune system, such “weaknesses” will lead to serious complications.
Proper diet, physical activity and vitamin complexes are the three pillars on which the health of the endocrine system rests. We told you what food is desirable to include in the daily diet, and which one is better to refuse.We recommend buying multivitamin complexes, and even more medications for treatment only after consulting an endocrinologist. The specialist will also help you choose a special diet, monitor the results of treatment or prevention.
Tokareva Lyudmila Georgievna, therapist of medical offices 36.6
THERE ARE CONTRAINDICATIONS, BEFORE USING IT IS NECESSARY TO CONSULT A SPECIALIST
90,000 Excess weight and thyroid gland – how to gain excess weight due to the thyroid gland
More than once we have heard from obese women the phrase “I don’t eat anything at all, but the weight does not go away!”.In fact, “I don’t eat anything” turns out to be not entirely true – a woman eats less than before, but the calorie content of the food that enters the body is sufficient to preserve body fat in the same amount.
But sometimes all the conditions are really met, the amount of carbohydrates and fats consumed is reduced, and the arrow on the scales stubbornly stands still.
So it’s time to see an endocrinologist to check how your excess weight and thyroid are related.
Place your hand on the front of your neck.Bring your fingers together a little, you can easily feel a small seal in the front. This is the “thyroid gland” – a small gland that has a huge impact on the work of the entire body. It produces hormones that regulate the main metabolic processes – the absorption of carbohydrates, the breakdown of proteins and fats. All this happens with one goal – from any resources to give us the energy needed for the operation of each cell, as fuel for a machine.
This energy is provided primarily by carbohydrates. When there are few of them, the body starts to process fats.Low-carb diets are based on this very rule of engaging fat burning.
What happens when all stocks are used up? Energy needs to be taken somewhere, and the “digestion” of muscle tissue begins. This is exactly what happens to those who, of their own free will or forcibly, are constantly seriously malnourished. “Skin and Bones” is about them.
Overweight and thyroid
Malfunctions of the thyroid gland can be caused by various reasons. In this article we will look at something else – what failures are and how they affect weight.
The first type is low activity of hormone production, otherwise hypothyroidism. Its first signs:
- permanent fatigue,
- blunt emotion,
- indistinct anxiety,
The fact is that the production of dopamine (the hormone of joy) and serotonin decreases, to compensate for them, the production of adrenaline and cortisol, which are responsible for tension and stress, increases.And now you are exhausted and alarmed at the same time. The metabolic rate in hypothyroidism decreases, proteins and fats are processed more slowly and carbohydrates are absorbed worse. Plus a decrease in vitality. And the kilograms begin to grow even without increasing the amount of food.
The second type is increased activity, hyperthyroidism. In short – the gas pedal of your body is constantly pressed, all processes are accelerated. Heart, blood flow, digestion, metabolism – everything is working faster than necessary. The body is out of balance.Insomnia, inability to concentrate, irritability, rapid pulse, shortness of breath fall on a person. And all this against the background of weight loss, no matter how much food is eaten.
The list of diseases in both cases is huge. But it cannot be otherwise when the basis of life is disturbed – metabolic processes that combine excess weight and the thyroid gland.
Overweight due to the thyroid gland
Low activity of hormone production and metabolism physiologically directly leads to weight gain.In addition, for example, with hypothyroidism, the body temperature drops below 36.6 degrees. With a chill, we try to drink hot, warm up under a blanket and eat something, switching TV channels. That is, excess weight due to the thyroid gland is aggravated by a decrease in overall tone and unhealthy diet.
What to do? First of all – contact an endocrinologist, donate blood. Nowadays, there are a number of analyzes that give an accurate assessment of the malfunctioning of the thyroid gland. Treatment of hypothyroidism is carried out with hormone replacement therapy, designed to very gently “wake up” the thyroid gland, to stimulate metabolism.
Do not be afraid to gain even more from hormones. In this case, they are designed to speed up metabolism, that is, they directly contribute to the processing of fat!
Normalization of nutrition is the second important aspect of treatment. Vegetables, unsweetened fruits, fiber, bran, white fish, lean meats, cottage cheese. You need buckwheat, oats, seafood and seaweed, figs and dried apricots. And drink the water!
Remember that hypothyroidism takes 3-4 times longer to “lose” weight than a healthy person.It is important to return vigor and vitality – start with walks, gradually increase physical activity, try to experience more positive emotions. And then the body will begin to return the metabolic rate more and more actively.
90,000 5 ways to lose weight with hypothyroidism | MISSFIT.RU
Targeted weight loss does not always go as planned. If there is a disease that interferes with losing weight and keeping fit, motivation quickly disappears. However, the following 5 tips will help you lose weight despite hypothyroidism.
How to lose weight with hypothyroidism?
How to lose weight with hypothyroidism?
Anyone who wants to lose weight often follows the rigid diet and exercise regularly. But if the weight does not change for a long time, the reason may lie in health problems, for example, hypothyroidism. The thyroid gland produces too few hormones that our bodies need to support important metabolic processes. Due to the slower metabolism, less energy is expended, which ultimately leads to excess weight.
The good news: , even with hypothyroidism, you can really lose weight. You can do this using the following methods!
1. Include movement in your daily life
To stimulate metabolism and thus maintain thyroid function, you need to be physically active. But this isn’t just endurance training or strength training once a week. If you want to lose weight with hypothyroidism , then you should include enough physical activity in your daily routine.Walk more often, carry your purchases home, or ride your bike, and after dinner take a short walk instead of lying on the couch.
2. Correct dosage of medication
With hypothyroidism, it is extremely important to have regular check-ups with a doctor. If during the consultation it is found that the body is producing too little thyroid hormones, pills can help solve the problem. They compensate for the missing hormones and speed up the metabolism.Usually pills need to be taken for life. Once thyroid function and metabolism are normalized, it will be easier to lose weight. But since hormone levels change, it’s important to see your doctor regularly.
3. Pay attention to regular meals
Nutrition plays a key role in losing weight, especially in hypothyroidism. It is not only what you eat that matters, but also when you consume food. Ideally, you should have 3 meals a day to give your metabolism a break to rest.To do this, you need to do without snacks of any kind. Instead of snacks, focus on a diet rich in fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
4. Be patient
Even if it sounds too simple to be true: to lose weight, including hypothyroidism, you have to be patient. After you start taking the medication, the body will need some time to get used to it and respond to it as needed. It can take several months for the metabolism to rebuild, and the effort is successful despite the hypothyroidism.It is important not to lose sight of the goal and to be patient.
5. Include iodine and protein in your diet
If you want to lose weight despite hypothyroidism, you should include two nutrients in your diet: iodine and protein. Iodine is very important as it is needed by the thyroid gland to produce hormones. It is found in fish, seafood, dairy products and iodized salt. In addition, you should eat protein-rich meals. Not only does it support the thyroid gland, but it also speeds up metabolism and fat burning.Foods such as meat, fish, eggs, soy products, and legumes are high in protein.
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“The problem of obesity is solved by diet and physical activity”
– Good afternoon, the program “About health and not only with Dr. Faradzhov” is on air.I am Huseyn Farajov. Today we continue our cycle of programs, which will be devoted to obesity, overweight. And we begin to talk about diseases and conditions in which such a problem as obesity occurs. Our guest is Stanislav Khan – endocrinologist, nutritionist, postgraduate student of the Department of Endocrinology No. 1 of the Sechenov University. What is obesity?
– I will adhere to the same opinion, like all evidence-based endocrinologists, that obesity is a disease, usually chronic, which, like any chronic disease, requires constant treatment and maintenance.
Huseyn Farajov :
– What is the most common cause of obesity?
– Obesity for the most part has an alimentary character, when there is no specific reason, people call it hormonal imbalance or problems with the adrenal glands, as a rule, obesity has an alimentary character when we eat more than is required for our vital activity.
– Does an obese patient come to you when you decide to watch hormones and prescribe hormones?
– Almost from the doorway it is clear who has hormonal causes of obesity, and there are quite a few of them in the general population, in 97 percent of cases obesity causes an alimentary nature, but nevertheless, sometimes there is still suspicion when we want to exclude a hormonal cause.
– We will look at several diseases that are most commonly associated with obesity, and the first is autoimmune thyroiditis.
– Autoimmune thyroiditis – a fairly common disease, usually affecting young women, but also occurs in men. In the human body, antibodies to TPO begin to circulate in large enough quantities, an analysis familiar to many, for some reason, affects the thyroid gland, and it cannot produce hormones T3 and T4, which are needed for normal metabolism, primarily for energy metabolism, so that our cells had as many ATP molecules as they need, and rapidly dividing cells are primarily affected, these are skin cells, hair cells, the nervous system, the gastrointestinal tract, and hence complaints such as hair loss, dry skin, general weakness, fatigue, depressive conditions.To identify this disease, it is enough to pass the first stage of the hormone TSH, it is quite sensitive, it is a hormone that is secreted by the anterior lobe of the pituitary gland, and already by its results we can suspect autoimmune thyroiditis and, as its manifestation, primary hypothyroidism.
– A person who is overweight decides to be examined, now everyone loves to come to the laboratory and get tested. If you take the thyroid gland, then TSH is enough, one analysis.
– First of all, we must think about the financial component of the patient. You can pass expensive tests for all trace elements and get 2-3 analyzes from there, which will be really informative. The same thing here, if there are suspicions, then it is enough to first pass TSH, when it rises, then look not at T3 and T4 at once, but free T4 and antibodies to TPO. If there is an increase, you can come to an endocrinologist and he will prescribe only those examinations that are needed.
– What are the symptoms of autoimmune thyroiditis?
– This disease is difficult in terms of diagnosis, because there are masks of hypothyroidism, the manifestations can be very diverse, and they are not specific. There is no specific complaint that would most likely indicate this disease. These can be complaints ranging from hair loss, dry skin, lesions of the gastrointestinal tract, ending with menstrual irregularities.But still, for objectivity, these manifestations from the side of menstrual irregularities should be in advanced forms, when hypothyroidism is pronounced and it has not been treated for a very long time, only then these complaints are added.
– What further examinations are taking place?
– Diagnosis of autoimmune thyroiditis includes three points: hypothyroidism, confirmed by laboratory tests, that is, an increase in TSH, a decrease in free T4, the presence of antibodies to TPO and a change according to ultrasound of the thyroid gland.Often they like to put confirmed autoimmune thyroiditis on the basis of ultrasound only with absolutely normal thyroid function, and this can cause anxiety on the part of the patient.
– We often see “diffuse changes in the thyroid gland.”
– And after that, the diagnosis of CAIT follows, and this is unqualified, because there are no criteria that would confirm autoimmune thyroiditis.
– Do you always palpate the thyroid gland of patients?
– During the coronavirus, we do it with gloves, without an epidemic, we did it with our own hands.
– And in the future this is a constant intake of drugs? What does the treatment consist of?
– If there is hypothyroidism, the body lacks thyroid hormones and must be replenished.You need to replenish with pills that are now available on our market, they are not so expensive, daily taken 30-40 minutes before meals strictly on an empty stomach. And in advance I will tell you the most important fears of our endocrinological patients, that they were “put” on hormones or just any unwillingness, avoidance of hormones, it is absolutely incomprehensible why our patients are so afraid of hormones. Thyroid hormones are vital, especially if we are talking about women who are planning a pregnancy. There are hormones that are worth fearing, but these are glucocorticoids, when they are necessary for the patient for health reasons, side effects occur, including those that appear externally.
– In this case, the intake of hormones is constant and it is not recommended to change the dose on your own?
– We select the dose for the patients.
– But the patient cannot change the dose, I say this because patients do this, they can simply cancel the appointment because they feel good, or go to another doctor who says they have gone too far, stop taking.
– There have been cases when, while taking thyroxine, TSH normalizes in just a month and a half. And the patients thought they had recovered and stopped taking the drug. Trust me, if you had autoimmune thyroiditis and primary hypothyroidism, if you retake TSH, it will rise again in a month and a half, so this is a constant intake, a lifelong therapy. But here I can immediately calm down psychologically, it seems scary at first glance that you need to take the drug every day throughout your life, but autoimmune thyroiditis is a rather “good” disease, which, when compensating for hypothyroidism, if you take the right dose, the life prognosis does not decrease in any way …Therefore, here you do not need to torture yourself, look for and rediscover America, take the drug, live peacefully and enjoy life.
– There were times when there were no drugs, just think about how life was then. Now there is an opportunity to take medications and live well. What can the use of glucocorticoids lead to, because they are increasingly prescribed. What is the danger here and what pitfalls can there be?
– During the coronavirus, many are interested in the question that large doses of glucocorticoids were prescribed in the hospital.Indeed, even a short intake can have negative consequences for the body, but it is important to understand the balance of risk and benefit. Sometimes glucocorticoids are the only possible therapy for autoimmune diseases that are serious enough that it would be foolish not to take glucocorticoids because of their side effects. Therefore, doctors, rheumatologists, including, weigh the benefits and risks several times, and if the scales are in favor of a positive effect on the patient, then glucocorticoids must be prescribed, and the patient must take them in order to live as long as possible.
– In this case, it is very important that this group of drugs should not be used independently.
– During the residency, the professor, the head of the department, told us. A young enough patient had manifestations of Cushing’s syndrome, these are large cheeks, a moon-shaped face, a hump appears, thin limbs, red striae, that is, stretch marks, they are present in obese patients, but with Cushing they cannot be confused, these are bright purple stretch marks.Outwardly, the patient was fat, all the manifestations were like from a textbook. But the fact is that they could not find a substrate, a tumor neither in the adrenal glands, nor in the brain, in the pituitary gland, and only after a while she called the doctor herself and sent a photo of the cream with which she smears the dog, and everything turned out to be much easier.
– Tell us a little about Cushing’s disease.
– Stanislav Khan:
If we talk about the profit of this program, we often see another pointless tests at our appointment, when people try to check the adrenal glands, although this makes very little sense, and fatigued adrenal syndrome is a disease that is not in evidence-based medicine, but nevertheless people in search of the cause of weight gain (it’s hard for everyone to admit that the reasons are because we eat a lot) donate cortisol, many doctors now prescribe cortisol in the morning, and sometimes they bring increased cortisol with huge eyes.And I hasten to upset: in one third of cases this may be the norm, I also have increased cortisol in the morning, I passed it for the sake of interest. Cortisol in the morning is the analysis that is given only in one case, when we are trying to exclude adrenal insufficiency, that is, when there is little cortisol in our body.
– Increasingly, I see directions for cortisol in the appointments of doctors of various specialties. How should a person prepare and pass this analysis correctly?
– If we still suspect an increased secretion of cortisol in the body, then we should use the methods that we have adopted.This could be an overnight suppression test with dexamethasone, and the technique is actually very simple. At 23:00 we take two dexamethasone tablets and in the morning of the next day we donate blood for cortisol. And our goal, since this is an overwhelming test, is to suppress cortisol with this dexamethasone. If it is less than 50 in the morning, then you need to rejoice, there is a high probability that you do not have hypercortisolism in your body, that is, hyperproduction. The second validated test is the analysis of saliva in the evening, but it is not suitable for everyone; smokers will have higher cortisol.And the third test is the collection of daily urine for cortisol. These three tests are informative, and cortisol in the morning is absolutely not informative analysis. Only now a colleague cardiologist called me from a consultation, to whom my patient, who has increased cortisol, came to her, my recommendations were few, and she also wants to find out from the cardiologist that this is not dangerous.
– Let’s talk about insulin resistance. As a urologist-andrologist, I pay attention to this at the reception, and when men with excess weight come, we first of all think about it.Tell us about this condition and when can you suspect insulin resistance?
– I in no way deny the state of insulin resistance, I only deny its laboratory diagnosis, because a blood test for insulin is the second most in demand, although it is absolutely not informative. Now stones from both doctors and patients will fly at me, but nevertheless insulin is the analysis that is not informative, but they are trying to count the HOMA index, the Caro index, which say that the patient has insulin resistance, no, because insulin itself is very variable, it depends on what you ate the day before, and we do not measure insulin in the blood.The same is at the appointments, patients often come with a clear certainty that they have been diagnosed with insulin resistance, although this is not a diagnosis, and they are prescribed metformin, glucophage is better known among the people, and they take it with absolutely normal levels of glucose, glycated hemoglobin, this is wrong because the indications for metformin are diabetes and prediabetes.
Insulin resistance, in simple terms for patients, in a normal state, when we eat food that contains carbohydrates, our blood glucose level naturally rises, an elevated blood glucose level is not the norm, and all our systems are trying to remove this glucose from the bloodstream.And it is removed mainly into three tissues: liver, muscle tissue, the most important organ that consumes glucose, and adipose tissue. Insulin is produced, insulin can be thought of as keys, opens doors to these cells, and glucose is released from the bloodstream.
What Happens With Insulin Resistance? Insulin resistance accompanies overweight, adipose tissue becomes larger, the pancreas has a certain limit when it is able to produce insulin. Insulin is released, but it is either not enough, because the tissue has become larger, or it cannot open the door, and we have a compensatory release of more insulin, and we can sometimes detect an increased level of insulin.But my main point today is that insulin resistance is the cause of obesity. What they love to do, and there are huge insinuations that first insulin resistance, then obesity, this is not entirely true. A causal relationship, on the contrary, is first overweight, extra pounds, and only then insulin resistance appears pathogenetically.
– Enough for taking glucose, glycated hemoglobin, TSH.Should prolactin be included on this list?
– Not everyone, only if there are complaints, because prolactin has certain manifestations. In women, this is a violation of the menstrual cycle, the discharge of colostrum from the breast, a decrease in libido, in men, a decrease in potency. If there are such manifestations, they will not necessarily be associated with hyperprolactinemia, that is, increased prolactin, then it is worth really passing prolactin. But increased prolactin is not a reason to sound the alarm, it does not mean that you have hyperprolactinemia, because it is a very sensitive indicator, it can be influenced by stress, sexual intercourse, physical activity.We’re looking at the prolactin boost itself. If at a rate of up to 500 it is increased, 600, or even 700, or even 800, this is a physiological increase.
– Do I need to look at macroprolactin right away, or is prolactin enough?
– It all depends on the level of promotion. The next step is to think over time to watch a slight increase in prolactin. If this value is much higher, then you can test it for macroprolactin.
– After what number do you start the survey? After all, very often there is overdiagnosis, they saw high prolactin – immediately an MRI of the brain.
– Based on my practice, from 1200, 1300 and above, then I will take prolactin and macroprolactin in the second stage, if it is not macro, then I will already send it to the MRI of the brain, and everyone in a row, even with a slight increase in prolactin, to do MRI of the brain is waste of money and time.
– Obesity is possible in all these conditions. Will the manifestations of excess weight be outwardly different in autoimmune thyroiditis, in diabetes?
– Any weight loss begins with a trip to an endocrinologist, many people want to find the reasons, and even if you have autoimmune thyroiditis, it cannot lead to obesity, there will be a slight increase in body weight, plus 3-5 kilograms, but this is not obesity.Therefore, whatever the running hypothyroidism, do not dump everything on it.
Hyperprolactinemia, that is, increased prolactin, there can be severe obesity, but also in rare cases. Endogenous hypercortisolism can lead directly to obesity, when cortisol in the blood is increased, but here obesity will have its own specific characteristics, the structure of the body, which will allow us to suspect. Therefore, I will single out only one disease, because there was a patient who went to the gym three times a week, ate properly and, unfortunately, there was little effect.But even then there was not obesity, there was overweight, which after surgical treatment, when we removed the source of cortisol production, leveled off, now she is a model.
– You are treating major diseases. How do you treat obesity?
– At the reception, we see a bunch of upset faces when we say that hormones do not affect your weight, because I personally do not invent diseases.If the hormonal balance is in order, then we are telling the patient the truth, and there are many resentments and tears, because the patients sometimes hope to find something. If there is no source of extra pounds, then here the simplest traditional recommendations are to work with nutrition. Patients should also not forget about an important component, this is psychological support, because many have eating disorders, but it is better to talk about this with specialists.
My approach is to work with nutrition, I give patients 3 months or six months, and if a patient comes to me and says that it’s not working out, we need some kind of push, need support, we consider the issue of drug therapy.Now there are these drugs on the market, and I actively use them in my practice, but it is necessary to convey to the patient that this is not a replacement for all recommendations, this is as additional help, only with this thought we must prescribe them.
– That is, for three months you only work with eating behavior.
– Diet. I do not like the word diet, because diet has some kind of time limit.This is a rational diet, balanced in calories and in the ratio of proteins, fats, carbohydrates and fiber, and this is physical activity. If there is no effect for 3 three months or half a year, the patient gains even more and herself asks for some help, we offer medications.
– How often does it have a percentage effect?
– It is extremely rare, but sometimes even surprising for me, 1-2 people out of 100 come, just someone took over, someone continues to go with the flow and recruit further.
– What drugs do you use?
– In my practice, I am guided by the recommendations for obesity, there are three drugs: sibutramine, orlistat and liraglutide.
– All these drugs are prescribed by a doctor. What are the indications and contraindications for these drugs and when do you prescribe them?
– Sibutramine, you can find Gold line plus in pharmacies, its point of application is appetite and acts more on reducing appetite.It is important to analyze patient complaints here. If they have a brutal appetite or nocturnal hunger, we can prescribe sibutramine. The drug is registered, there were questions about its safety, now this question is open, that is, we cannot say unequivocally that it is dangerous or safe, more research is needed.
– And yet there must be evidence. I always give my example, I took this drug, and it helped me, I worked out a model of food intake for myself.
– Patients do not have to appoint themselves, from here there are scary stories on the forums.
– What are the contraindications for Gold line?
– Severe cardiovascular diseases, that is, patients with coronary heart disease, we should not recommend such drugs, with uncontrolled arterial hypertension, when it is very difficult to treat high blood pressure, heart rhythm disturbances.And we will have to cancel the drug if we see an increase in heart rate or blood pressure itself, and this should all take place under the supervision of a doctor, a seemingly harmless drug should clearly have its own safety profile.
Orlistat is a wonderful drug that is indicated for patients who have a large percentage of fatty foods in their diet, such patients also occur. This drug blocks enzymes that break down fats in our gastrointestinal tract, and approximately 30 percent of the fats are not absorbed or enter the bloodstream, but are excreted naturally.The drug is good, it works locally, you can also find it in pharmacies.
– Who is it suitable for?
– If we analyzed the food diary and counted fats, proteins and carbohydrates, and we see the prevailing proportion of fats, this drug will be recommended and it will be effective. Side effects, you can already guess what. And these are not even side effects, this is a consequence of his point of application.If there is still a lot of fat in the diet and you take the drug, these fats will not be broken down in the body, they must go somewhere, and you yourself understand what complaints will arise against this background.
– Is it loose stools?
– If. It can be leakage from the very place of fat, and many patients who do not understand how it works say that terrible situations arise when laughing, sneezing, and this is due to the fact that they take it uncontrollably.And if we reduce fats in our diet and additionally take the drug, such side effects are leveled. Orlistat contains an additional substance, gum arabic, which helps to mitigate these side effects. They exist, but they are less and less common.
– Huseyn Farajov:
What are the contraindications for this drug?
– Individual intolerance, because any drug has it.And at first glance, I will not say serious contraindications.
– I think that the state when the chair is not controlled will be another wake-up call for the patient – stop eating fatty foods. It should work, and the side effect can be turned into educational. And the drug saxenda.
– This is liraglutide, now there is a drug called Saxenda, which is registered for obese patients.The drug is wonderful, an agonist of a glucagon-like peptide, it has a lot of additional positive effects. It reduces the movement of food through the gastrointestinal tract, thereby reducing appetite, increasing energy metabolism, that is, we lose more calories. There are disadvantages, these are contraindications, acute pancreatitis, and there is an open question about medullary thyroid cancer, you also need to be careful, at least take a blood test for calcitonin.
– In any case, this is a prescription drug and under the supervision of a doctor, do not self-medicate.In what cases do you prescribe it?
– Liraglutide is wonderful, because it also has a good effect on the heart, there is research that preserves the beta cells of the pancreas. The disadvantages are its price, the drug is not cheap, especially for a country like Russia, it costs about 22 thousand five pens, they are enough for about two months, and the injection form of administration, that is, subcutaneous injections, is psychologically difficult for many patients to take.If all contraindications are excluded and the patient is ready to take this drug financially, I will prescribe it with pleasure. I have a lot of patients on orlistat, these are those who are financially more difficult and they have a lot of fat in their diet, and Saxenda, too, a huge pool of patients are on it.
– What is the duration of treatment with Saxenda?
– Saxenda is not limited in admission, we look at social factors, if it is difficult financially, but at least half a year we are trying to pull, we reduce the dosage.The therapeutic dosage is 3 milligrams, we reduce it to at least 1.8-2.4. It all depends on the goals, if the patient is comfortable, he can take it for a long time.
– Drawing a conclusion from our conversation, there is always a way out, the most important thing is to find your doctor. And if obesity is a disease, then it should be treated by a doctor. Your wishes for patients or people who are struggling with obesity.
– Obesity is really an epidemic, it is a problem that plays a big role with the development of our society, so everyone should understand that this is not a cross on himself, there is help, the main thing is to ask for help.Start taking active steps, change your lifestyle, change your diet, physical activity and find your doctor who will help you with this. I wish you the best of luck along the way.
– Be healthy, watch your weight, but do not forget that the feeling of happiness should be present in any case.