Many women have read or been told that their unexpected weight gain may have something to do with their thyroid health. It is not always the case, but it is certainly a possible factor.
Our thyroid gland is one of the major key players of how our body regulates our metabolism and how it uses the nutrients from the foods we eat. Studies also show that even the slightest changes that occur with our thyroid gland can have an impact on our weight.
Sudden weight gain and hypothyroidism
Although not everyone can blame their thyroid for unexpected weight gain there are others who have found their difficulty in losing weight can be attributed to hypothyroidism.
If a person has hypothyroidism, it means their thyroid gland is functioning in a sluggish manner. This sluggishness leads to an impaired ability of the gland to produce the right hormones. As a result, the ability to use the nutrients provided by food in a properly functioning manner will also slow down.
The reason more women are prone to having issues with their thyroid health and weight gain is because the thyroid glands are linked to other systems in their body. Some of the key systems which impact on thyroid function are the neurotransmitters, adrenal glands and reproductive hormones.
How can you avoid weight gain and thyroid problems?
One obvious answer to this question is to maintain a healthy and balanced diet. When it comes to nutrition, consistency is very important.
If you are diagnosed with hypothyroidism it is very important that you are consistently only eating healthy foods all the time, not just when the urge takes you.
It is an all-too-common scenario to embark on a healthy food program only to relapse, then repeat the cycle.
This yo-yo dieting can adversely affect metabolic rate, weight gain and overall health.
How to support thyroid health
Thyroid health or otherwise is not a random event and there are steps you can take to care for your thyroid. Here are some recommendations.
- Eat whole foods to obtain essential vitamins and minerals. Selenium, iodine, zinc, copper and iron are some of the nutrients required for thyroid health.
- Those people who follow a low-salt diet and those who live in northern climates will possibly suffer from iodine and vitamin D deficiencies. Please consult your doctor before taking any vitamin D and iodine supplements.
- Always observe your eating time for regular meals and snacks. Avoid skipping meals and ensure that you eat breakfast to kick-start your metabolism.
- Protein and fiber should always be present in every meal. Learn which foods are good sources of fiber and protein so you can plan your meals to include them.
- Foods made from gluten, sugar, processed foods and alcoholic beverages should be strongly avoided because they contain substances that can negatively affect proper thyroid functioning.
- Broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower are a few examples of goitrogens that should be eliminated from a sufferer’s diet because they contain thyroid-suppressing compounds.
- Exercise for at least thirty minutes every day to maintain healthy circulation and improve the ability of the thyroid to distribute the needed hormones.
If you find yourself experiencing some or any of the symptoms of hypothyroidism such as dry skin, low energy, insomnia, weight gain, depression, joint pain, heart disease and allergies, it may be time to consult with your doctor.
With ongoing awareness and application it is very possible to alleviate the effects of hyperthyroidism, which will make weight control easier and lead to better overall health.