So you’ve been eating right, working out regularly, watching your portions, getting a full night’s sleep, and yet…those pounds just won’t budge! When you do all the right things and find that the benefits elude you, that’s when you may need to look a little deeper. For a number of people, much of their effort is lost due to an underactive thyroid.
Hypothyroidism is a condition that results in the body lacking sufficient levels of thyroid hormones. Because the purpose of thyroid hormones are to manage the body’s metabolism, people suffering from this condition are likely to have symptoms associated with a slow metabolism, such as weight gain. Approximately 10 million Americans suffer from hypothyroidism. The condition is more common than people think, and often times people have the disorder and are not aware of it. Recognizing the symptoms of hypothyroidism is key to receiving proper treatment for the management of the disorder.
Symptoms of an Underactive Thyroid
There are a number of symptoms that may indicate an underactive thyroid. These include:
- Hair loss
- Sensitivity to cold
- Decreased libido
- Memory loss
- Muscle cramps and aches
- Coarse, dry hair
In severe cases of hypothyroidism, other symptoms may occur as well:
- Slowed speech
- Increase in tongue size
You may not experience every symptom, but still be diagnosed with a sluggish thyroid. Everyone’s experience is different, so while one person may notice severe fatigue, another may see that their hair is becoming very coarse.
An underactive thyroid can range from minor to severe. This is seen on the thyroid stimulating hormone level test. If the hypothyroid has a lower TSH level, it indicates the case is mild, because the hormone levels have not decreased to the point that they have impacted the metabolism. The more severe the hypothyroid becomes, the more symptoms will be experienced.
Hypothyroidism symptoms aren’t always obvious, but understanding what to look out for is important. Recognizing the condition early on will give you time to manage it and prevent it from getting worse.
Hashimoto’s disease is a condition that causes your immune system to attack your thyroid. The resulting inflammation leads to hypothyroidism. Hashimoto’s disease is most commonly the cause of hypothyroidism in the US. This disease primarily affects middle-aged women, but may also affect anyone of other ages.
Doctors test thyroid function to detect Hashimoto’s disease. The easy treatment of this disease with hormone replacement is simple and effective.
Hypothyroidism Diet Plan
Because of the slowed metabolism, someone suffering from hypothyroidism may always feel tired have a hard time keeping excess weight off of their body. Many people suffer from thyroid weight gain. Because of this, thyroid-friendly foods should be eaten in order to help stay healthy and at a proper body weight. Here are some great foods to help prevent weight gain caused by an underactive thyroid.
Cold water fish – These fish have ample omega-3 fatty acids that are essential for balancing hormones. Balancing omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids in a thyroid diet will reduce inflammation, as well as support neurological function. Wild fish such as salmon, sardines, and mackerel are rich in omega-3s and increase neurotransmitter activity to support a healthy immune system.
Coconut Oil – Another one of the great thyroid foods to prevent thyroid weight gain is anything that includes coconut oil. Coconut oil provides medium-chain fatty acids that support a healthy metabolism, fight fatigue, and increase energy. Coconut oil is a staple of thyroid foods and it is easy to digest. It nourishes the digestive system with its antimicrobial, antibacterial, and antioxidant properties that work to suppress inflammation. It also helps improve the immune system and can increase endurance, brain function, and your mood while also stabilizing your blood sugar levels.
Sprouted Seeds – Flax, chia, and hemp seeds provide ALA, which is a healthy fat for a proper hormonal balance and proper thyroid function. Having enough fats in your diet supports healthy brain function and mood, while also lowering inflammation.
Clean Water – Water not only helps with hydration, it also helps with digestive function. Additionally, it prevents moodiness and fatigue. To avoid constipation, sugar cravings, and low energy, drink at least eight ounces of water every two hours.
High-fiber foods – People who suffer from hypothyroidism can have digestive difficulties. A high-fiber diet helps with digestive health and improves heart health, supports a healthy weight by making you feel full, and balances blood sugar levels. Some ways to increase fiber intake are to more fresh produce, lentils, and seeds.