HYPERthyroidism, HYPOthroidism, and Hashimoto’s; what is the difference, and what role do they play in your weight loss challenge?
Have you been eating clean, exercising regularly, but still GAINING weight?
Are you feeling lethargic and a little depressed?
It could be a number of things such as a food allergy, intolerance or even as simple as needing to tweak your regimen of “eating clean” but sometimes, it can be your thyroid gland. The thyroid gland releases hormones that affect nearly every part of your body and if there is something wrong with it, losing or gaining weight can be more challenging.
Meet Marne: My friend and contributor to my vegetarian/vegan jump start program, Marne Moore was diagnosed several years ago with Grave’s disease, which is the leading cause of HYPER-THYROID. What this means is that her body was OVER producing the thyroid hormone. She had a sudden, unexplained weight loss of 15 pounds, a fast heart rate and had stopped having her periods for about a year. I know…sounds great, right? She asked her doctor WHY she had to fix it. Her doctor told her that it would be difficult to conceive unless she got her thyroid regulated. She also had anxiety and nervousness over trivial things like finding a parking space at the grocery store.
Radioactive what? A common treatment for hyperthyroid, is radioactive iodine. YES, the “call in the hazmat squad” kind of radioactive material. The thyroid absorbs the radiation which kills all or most of the gland. Each patient receives the same amount of radioactive iodine in spite of sex, age or weight. In some cases they will maintain some thyroid function and continue producing the hormone; but in most cases, like with Marne, all or most of the gland will be destroyed and the patient will go the opposite direction and become hypothyroid where not enough hormone is secreted.
How can food help Hyperthyroidism? Hyperthyroid patients should load up on cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cabbage, bok choy are 3 examples) but AVOID iodine rich foods. Graves disease usually occurs in women or men under the age of 40. Some other symptoms to look for are, increased appetite while losing weight, irritability, anxiety, increased heat sensitivity and perspiration, reduced libido, changes in menstruation or erectile dysfunction, enlargement of the thyroid gland (goiter) and a tremor or weakness in your hands.
Hypothyroidism is when you have an under-active thyroid. Signs of hypothyroid include weight gain, fatigue, low libido, muscle cramps, constantly being cold and having dry skin & nails. Hypo-thyroid is often treated with daily medication. However, the foods you eat could also help the condition.
How should you modify your food for hypothyroidism? Hypothyroid patients should actually AVOID excessive amounts of cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussel sprouts, kale, collard greens) as they can SUPPRESS thyroid function. Yet, they should eat foods containing iodine such as seafood, shelf fish, kelp or kelp tablet supplements, iodized salt or sea salt. One of my current clients is hypothyroid and we have been helping her to LOSE weight by eliminating dairy and grains from her diet.
What is Hashimoto’s disease? Hashimoto’s is another thyroid disorder and is considered an auto-immune disease. Hypothyroidism is a condition but Hashimoto’s is a disease. Hypothyroidism is usually CAUSED by Hashimoto’s. With Hashimoto’s, the antibodies react against proteins in the thyroid gland, causing gradual destruction of the gland itself, making the gland unable to produce the thyroid hormones the body needs. The detection of Hashimoto’s is usually the enlargement of the thyroid known as a goiter or sensitivity in the neck area when wearing a scarf or neck tie. Hashimoto’s is the leading cause of hypothyroidism but can occasionally go hyperthyroid; cycling back and forth between the two conditions. For example, periods of anxiety/insomnia/diarrhea/weight loss may be followed by periods of depression/fatigue/constipation/weight gain.
The cause of thyroid disorders are contributed to many causes, family history, eating disorders, drug use (recreational & diet type drugs), eating too much iodine or exposure to excess radiation, and postpartum thyroiditis. Regardless, the following vitamins are essential to producing thyroid hormones and are found in ALL of my favorite foods. We can protect and promote our own healthy thyroids by eating these vitamin rich, healthy foods.
- B Complex Vitamins- meat, poultry, milk, yogurt, green leafy vegetables, avocado, egg yolks, cheese, beans, peas, whole grains
- Vitamin C- citrus fruits, peaches, papaya, strawberries
- Vitamin E- Nuts, seeds, green leafy vegetables, wheat germ, fortified cereals
- Niacin- liver, chicken and eggs, beef, fish (tuna & salmon), cereal, peanuts, legumes, avocados, dates, tomatoes, broccoli, carrots, sweet potatoes, asparagus, mushrooms
- Zinc- Meat, cereal, shellfish, nuts and seeds
And, one of Marne’s favorite meals: “Healthy-Thyroid Salads”
2 cups Raw Spinach
1 small Tomato
¼ cup garbanzo beans
¼ cup shredded carrots
¼ cup sliced button mushrooms
¼ cup fresh, sliced strawberries
4 ozs of grilled chicken or salmon
1 TBSP sunflower seeds
1 TBSP olive oil, 1 TBSP balsamic vinegar
Those affected by thyroid disorders may have more challenges than those without the disorder, but they CAN live a normal, healthy, fit life! By learning the right healthy eating habits and exercising regularly, you CAN achieve your goals!
Excuses or Solutions…YOU decide!
About Natalie Jill
Natalie Jill helps people across the globe reach their health, fitness, life and business goals. Natalie is a well known Licensed Sports Nutritionist and Certified Personal Trainer who was diagnosed as having Celiac Sprue over 12 years ago, and that is why she specializes in weight loss consulting and helping people with food allergies and intolerance’s. Learn how Natalie handled adversity and find out how she "made her own luck". Ready to change your life today? Start by CLICKING HERE.