How Thyroid function affects Weight and How to Support it in natural ways
Updated: Sep 24
One of the main causes of unintentional weight gain, meaning putting on weight without increasing the consumption of food or liquid and without decreasing the activity, basically when not trying to gain weight, is the malfunction of the Thyroid.
But what is it?
The thyroid is a small, butterfly-shaped gland located at the base of your neck just below Adam’s apple. It’s part of an intricate network of glands called the endocrine system which is responsible for coordinating many of your body’s activities. The thyroid gland manufactures hormones that regulate your body’s metabolism.
Several different disorders can arise when your thyroid produces too much hormone (hyperthyroidism) or not enough (hypothyroidism).
Hypothyroidism is the opposite of hyperthyroidism. The thyroid gland is underactive, and it can’t produce enough of its hormones. It’s more common than Hyperthyroidism and affects more women than men.
Hypothyroidism is often caused by Hashimoto’s Disease, surgery to remove the Thyroid gland, damage from radiation treatment, family history, stress, nutrients deficiency, aging or hormonal imbalance (Progesterone/ Estrogen ratio).
Too little thyroid hormone production leads, among other symptoms like fatigue, dry skin, memory problems, depression, and constipation, to weight gain.
As the thyroid hormone is important for growth, repair, and metabolism, people with hypothyroidism may often gain weight easily
There are many medications on the market that can manage Thyroid dysfunctions.
However, we can support Thyroid and naturally reduce the symptoms even if under medication.
These are some of the ways:
1. Increase your intake of protein as it may help to boost your metabolism
2. Try to do some moderate or high-intensity cardio like fast-paced walking, running, hiking, and rowing aerobic exercise. There are findings that high-intensity aerobic exercise may help boost your thyroid hormone levels.
3. Add selenium and zinc-rich foods to your diet to boost your selenium and zinc levels. This includes Brazil nuts, tuna, sardines, eggs, and legumes for Selenium and Oysters, other shellfish, beef, and chicken for Zinc.
Selenium and Zinc both help activate thyroid hormones so that they can be used by the body.
4. Use unrefined salt such as Himalayan or Celtic Sea Salt as they are rich in Iodine and support the transport of Iodine into the Thyroid gland. A deficiency of Iodine can lead to Hypothyroidism.
5. Avoid Goitrogens (the name comes from goiter that is an enlarged Thyroid gland that may occur with Hypothyroidism) which are naturally occurring substances that can interfere with the function of the Thyroid gland.
Foods that contain goitrogens are
Soy foods: tofu, tempeh, edamame, etc.
Certain vegetables: cabbage, broccoli, kale, cauliflower, spinach, etc.
Fruits and starchy plants: sweet potatoes, cassava, peaches, strawberries, etc.
Nuts and seeds: millet, pine nuts, peanuts, etc
6. Reduce consumption of food packaged in plastic, cans, and tetra packs as they contain a compound called Bisphenol-A which has been shown to interfere with Thyroid function.
7. Support your Gut. An imbalance gut flora or an infection can interfere with Thyroid function and stimulate an auto-immune response against the Thyroid Gland resulting in Hashimoto’s disease. Contact me for more information on my state of art stool tests if you suspect you have digestive issues.
8. Reduce your Sugar intake as excess Insulin can have a suppression effect on the Thyroid, so avoid refined carbs and sugary food and drinks and give priority to protein and healthy fats.
In conclusion, the Thyroid gland has a huge role in our metabolism and in managing weight, if you do suspect you have Thyroid issues, get it tested straight away to prevent complications that might occur. I regularly arrange a full panel Thyroid test for my clients to identify which areas of the pathway are not working properly and address them.
That’s all for now.
PS. Book your FREE Discovery Call with me on chiaranutrition.co.uk to know more about it, see how I can help you, and have your Thyroid properly tested.