Is Your Thyroid Weighing You Down?
Do you suffer from thyroid issues? Did you know that by enhancing your thyroid, you boost your metabolism? A good metabolism means weight stabilisation (or weight loss if your body needs it), improved energy and a better night’s sleep – overall a healthier you!
So why is the thyroid important for metabolism?
This butterfly-shaped gland sits low on your neck, around your windpipe, and produces the hormones that regulate your metabolism, digestion and heart function, as well as brain development, mood, muscle control and bone structure.
When it comes to weight loss, the more efficient your thyroid is the easier it is to maintain or lose weight!
How do I know if my thyroid is healthy?
Your thyroid can be under-functioning (also known as hypothyroidism) or over-active (hyperthyroidism).
Hyperthyroidism is very common, especially in women – with every 2 in 100 affected. Stress plays a big role in this. When stressed your thyroid slows down its production of hormones, which in turn slows down your metabolism. So you may be eating the same (or more!) but your body is not metabolising the food as quickly, therefore storing the excess energy as fat. This is another way that stress and weight gain are linked.
Thinking about where we’ve come from, during the caveman days stress might have been caused due to famine (or getting chased out of your cave by a saber tooth tiger!). In this instance, the stress response would’ve been beneficial for you, as your body stored the fat so that you could survive the famine. However these days, in our modern way of living, stress is felt on a daily basis by most people. This isn’t great news for our thyroid or our waistline.
If your delicate hormonal balance changes due to stress, you may experience hypothyroid symptoms such as:
- weight gain, and
- difficulty losing weight.
All due to a sluggish thyroid.
On the other hand, hyperthyroidism occurs due to your thyroid gland becoming overactive. This produces more thyroid hormones than your body needs, and can result in symptoms such as:
- excessive sweating,
- difficulty sleeping.
- weight loss, and
If you can relate to any of these symptoms, a simple way to check your thyroid at home is by checking your own temperature! A reading of 35°C would indicate a slower thyroid, whereas a reading of 37°C would indicate a healthy, balanced thyroid.
What causes thyroid issues?
A common cause (and the easiest one to fix) of thyroid imbalance is actually your diet. In particular a deficiency of two minerals that are very important for the thyroid – iodine and selenium. Australians are at a risk of iodine and selenium deficiencies, due to the low iodine content in our soils and not eating the correct foods that contain both of these minerals .
One thought was to include iodine salt into the diet to combat the soil deficiency, however this is a bad idea as iodine salt is oxidised and can actually damage the thyroid.
How can I nourish my thyroid?
Your best bet is to get your daily dose of iodine and selenium naturally through foods, such as:
- seaweed (nori sheets),
- dulse flakes
- brazil nuts,
- tofu, and
You only need 3 Brazil nuts each day to get your daily dose of selenium!
Other thyroid boosting tips…
As we now know, stress slows down your thyroid. So partaking in stress-busting activities is a good idea. You could go for a walk, do yoga or pilates, meditate, paint… whatever reduces your stress and makes you feel calm.
Here we have Racheal, a Naturopath at Kissun Clinics, talking about enhancing your thyroid to enhance your metabolism.
If you are concerned that you may have thyroid issues, we can help! Call the clinic on (07) 4946 7910, or book online to see one of our in-house Naturopaths who can test for, and confirm, the health of your thyroid.
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