08 Oct A Big Diet and Supplement Mistake that Could Backfire for Weight Loss
With so many people struggling with their weight today more and more are searching for solutions on the internet. Perhaps this is you?
The trouble is that it’s so hard to know whether people presenting information on the net are really the experts they claim to be. Often times they have a vested interest, like selling you some weight loss product, including many “natural” supplements.
You may already be aware that your thyroid gland, a little butterfly-shaped gland that sits in the front of your neck produces thyroid hormones that regulate your metabolism. And, you might come to the logical conclusion that by boosting your thyroid hormones it will in turn boost your metabolism and therefore you’ll burn more fat. Well, you’re right! But, it’s not as simple as that unfortunately because our bodies are like very complex machines.
I want to discuss a mistake some people make, and that is to simply eat high quantities of kelp or iodine supplements which you can buy on the net or in the health food shop. Yes, iodine is a crucial mineral needed to make thyroid hormones, but we actually need a lot of other nutrients including the minerals selenium and iron, as well as a good level of progesterone for good thyroid hormone levels.
The problem for some, not all people is that high doses of iodine if not actually needed can actually cause thyroid problems! Recently a case was documented in a medical journal of a 45 year old woman with no previous thyroid disease who went on a “thyroid diet” which included high doses of kelp.
This triggered her thyroid to become over-active and she experienced two months of hyperthyroid (over-active thyroid) symptoms including as anxiety, insomnia, tremors, and heart palpitations. Subsequently she lapsed into hypothyroidism (under-active thyroid) and was treated with thyroid replacement for 3 months to normalise her thyroid hormone production, after which she stabilised.
Although it was not mentioned in the article, it’s most likely this woman had early stage Hashimoto’s disease, an autoimmune disease of her thyroid gland, which is generally not detected with the standard thyroid function tests GPs do.
In the early stage of Hashimoto’s disease, which is the most common cause of low thyroid hormones and is far more common than most people realise, it’s possible to have fluctuations from overactive to underactive thyroid hormone levels. (Actually, the incidence of autoimmune disease has increased four to five fold in the last 40 years!)
I have Hashimoto’s disease myself and experienced fluctuations from high to low and back again for a few months before I was diagnosed. At the time I couldn’t figure out what was going on with me – I was only in my mid-thirties and was too young to be going through menopause. Luckily, after some major panic attacks, a number of sleepless nights and thinking I was really going crazy, my GP at the time tested my thyroid hormone levels and found the problem.
Back to iodine though. According to Dr Datis Kharrazian, author of “Why Do I Still Have Thyroid Symptoms When My Lab Tests Are Normal?”, taking iodine when you have Hashimoto’s disease is like throwing gasoline onto a fire. Iodine stimulates production of the antibodies known as TPO antibodies which indicates an autoimmune flare up. Some people will develop symptoms of an overactive thyroid, while others do not, but tests will show a higher level of antibodies either way.
Apart from destruction of the thyroid gland which in the long term slows your metabolism down and causes difficulty with losing weight, a flare up means increased inflammation, not only in your thyroid gland, but throughout your body. Immune chemical messengers released into the blood can affect other tissues too and any level of inflammation in your body will obstruct your ability to burn fat!
So what you need to understand is that foods can have strong effects on your hormones, including your thyroid hormones. In fact, it’s your hormones that dictate whether your body stores or burns fat, not just how many calories you eat. Sure, if you’re massively over-eating you will gain weight, but fat loss is not about beating your body into submission with hours of gruelling exercise and starving yourself. (See my post on Why The Biggest Loser Drives Me Crazy!)
What you need to focus on is eating foods that help to reset your hormones. These are the very same foods that will also keep you feeling satisfied for way longer than many of those so-called “healthy” foods you’ve been eating on the popular weight loss diets out there.
Would you like help getting your slim, healthy body back without the starvation, deprivation and misery so you can fully enjoy the summer this year feeling more energetic, happy and alive?
Over the last 10 plus years I’ve been helping people like you to lose weight and regain their health, happiness and sanity naturally. I’d love to help you too. I can help you to work out if you do have a thyroid hormone problem too, including testing and what to do about it. Just give me a call on 1300 599 872 to apply for a Complementary Discovery Session with me.