Hyper & Hypothyroidism and Nutritional Therapy

An ultra sound of the thyroid gland

Common expressions:   “I am so tired” and  “I feel cold”.  We can thank the small gland that’s wrapped around the trachea, our thyroid for various sensations. This small butterfly organ has 3 principle functions: cellular differentiation, growth and metabolism. Two key hormones (thyroxine) promotes the body’s growth & development and with help from the parathyroid gland, there’s bone formation and control of calcium in the blood (hormone calcitonin). The small double lobed gland claims to fame are also attributed to: sleep patterns, weight maintenance, moods, immune system, muscle agility and heart rate, etc.                                                                                     

While the thyroid is busy deciding how it will control the bodies energy, there may be an over production of the thyroid hormone (autoimmune disease or Graves Disease) it’s called Hyperthyroidism. Other causes linked to hyperthyroidism may be attributed to inflammation, nodules or tumors on the thyroid. You may notice an increased heat rate with exercise and excessive sweating with or without exercise.

There maybe a time  in it’s lifespan that the thyroid hormone output is reduced, called Hypothyroidism. Some of the initial symptoms are: weight gain with no change in diet or exercise, depression, and exhaustion.  The negative effects of untreated hypothyroidism are: increased cholesterol levels, strokes, cardio vascular disease and the immune system that turns on the body first attacking the thyroid itself (Hashimoto Disease). THE GOOD NEWS is that hypothyroidism is easily treated through daily medication.

Typical reference ranges for normal thyroids

Test From To Units
TSH 0.4 4.5 mU/L (milliunits per litre)
FT4 9.0 25.0 pmol/L (picomoles per litre)
FT3 3.5 7.8 pmol/L (picomoles per litre)

These ranges are only a guide. The reference range for FT4 in particular does currently vary between methods and so any ‘typical’ reference range quoted will be subject to method and local interpretation

Test results outside the reference range

  • high SH level with a low FT4 level: Hypothyroidism (under-active thyroid)
  • low TSH level with a high FT4 level and a high FT3 level: Hyperthyroidism (over-active thyroid)
  • Abnormal TSH levels together with normal FT4 levels indicate you may be at risk of developing a thyroid disorder
  • A low TSH levels together with a low FT4 levels can indicate a disorder of the pituitary gland

SYMPTOMS OF MALFUNCTIONING THYROID  can be noticed at any age and can even be misinterpreted as signs of aging;

Diagnosis. After a blood diagnosis, your doctor will prescribe a medication that you will take every morning, so that your thyroid wakes up in the morning with you, one hour after taking the medication you may eat. Within 2 weeks to 2 months, most symptoms will go away and your energy will return. The medication is something that you will take the rest or your life, a small price to pay for remaining healthy. “As of February 2010, at most laboratories in the U.S., the official “normal” reference range for the Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) blood test runs from approximately .5 to 4.5/5.0 according to the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists.
MEDICATION INTAKE  will make a difference in homeostasis. The time of day that you take your “Synthroid” can influence how you feel, level of alertness, how you sleep and stability in weight. Studies performed show that medication taken at bedtime allows for proper absorption of the medication, without interference from nutritional minerals that could otherwise alter it’s function. Changing the time of day that you take your medication should be discussed with your Doctor.  For observation purposes they may have the switch made after a blood draw in order to better control the variables and achieve accurate documentation of the TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone).

NUTRIENTS

There are several nutrients that play key roles in the thyroid gland and the thyroid hormone function: zinc, copper, iodine, selenium and omega-3 fats. A multi-vitamin along with eating foods high in these minerals, is essential for normal thyroid hormone production and metabolism.

Dietary sources of zinc include: seafood, beef, oatmeal, chicken, liver, spinach, nuts and seeds.

Copper is mainly found in liver and other organ meats, eggs, yeast, beans, nuts and seeds.

Iodine is also an important building block for thyroid hormone.  Nutritional sources of iodine include sea fish, sea vegetables (kelp, dulse, hijiki, nori and kombu) and iodized salt.  Iodine is such a key component of thyroid health. 

FOODS TO LIMIT.  A high LDL Cholesterol number accompanied by a high Triglyceride number is linked to Insulin resistance, often noted with hypothyroidism. Foods that should be eliminated: white flour, white sugar, rice, pasta, bread, corn, potatoes (all types), cereal, desserts, dairy products, meat, citrus fruits. Caffeine, calcium should be consumed in limited amounts.   Goitrogen foods are also able to block iodine, therefore, utilization of these foods should be limited. They include:turnips, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, mustard, cassava root, soybeans, peanuts, pine nuts and millet, (peaches and strawberries may also interfere). Cooking, however, usually inactivates goitrogens.

BEST FOODS to promote metabolism: Sour fruits (kiwi, juice of fresh lemon), pears, apples, plums, fish, turkey, chicken, legumes and vegetables.

Selenium.  One of the best natural sources of selenium is Brazil Nuts. Selenium is an important mineral that contributes to the health of the thyroid. 1 ounce of nuts a day will benefit the small gland.

Omega-3 fatty acids will also contribute to normal thyroid function, which can be found in fish and fish oils, as well as vitamin A, which improves thyroid receptor binding and thyroid hormone activity.

Tyrosine, an amino acid and a precursor for making thyroid hormoneA deficiency of tyrosine or low protein diets can contribute to low thyroid function.  Check with your doctor if supplementation at a dose of 500-1,500 milligrams (mg) daily, which has therapeutic benefits, is needed.

Exercise. Daily exercise stimulates thyroid gland function and increases tissue sensitivity to thyroid hormone.  Try walking, biking, dancing at least 20 minutes a day.  However, walking 30 minutes twice a day, seems to encourage both the fuctionability of the thyroid and weight loss versus weight gain normally associated with hypothyroidism. While with hyperthyroidism an exercise regimen should be advised by a doctor in order to monitor a fast heart rate.

By Kimberly Crocker

References

Remove Alcohol for Quick Weight Loss

A fast approach to weight loss is by halting drinks that can influence weight retention. Alcohol is the most social and common kind of ‘drug’ we can take, and it’s a normal part of our society and socializing to have a few drinks. We’ve been drinking alcohol for centuries from simple fermented drinks to classy wines, champagnes, and exotic cocktails. There are obvious health and social problems associated with excessive or binge consumption of alcohol, but what about its effects on people aiming for weight loss?

All alcoholic drinks contain a significant amount of calories per serving, and we often have a lot more than just one serving! But how much damage does this do for your weight loss efforts? An ideal dietary plan reduces calorie intake by 250-500 calories per day to achieve a good amount of healthy weight loss per week.  One can easily see that 1-2 drinks per day puts pay to any good nutrition plan you might follow during the day. Simply said: 1-2 alcoholic drinks can seriously halt weight loss.

Another way to look at the effect alcohol has on weight loss is to compare the equivalent time needed to spend doing fitness training to burn these calories off! An individual of average fitness level and of average weight would apply the following effort to burn off 2 alcohol servings:

Training time required to burn off calories from alcohol:

Alcoholic drink Walking Swimming Running Cycling
Beer (355ml) 30 mins 17 mins 12 mins 13 mins
Light beer (355ml) 20 mins 11 mins 8 mins 9 mins
Low carb beer (355ml) 23 mins 13 mins 9 mins 10 mins
White wine sweet (200ml glass) 40 mins 23 mins 16 mins 18 mins
White wine dry (200ml glass) 29 mins 16 mins 12 mins 13 mins
Red wine (200ml glass) 28 mins 16 mins 11 mins 12 mins
Spirits (on ice / neat) 13 mins 7 mins 5 mins 6 mins
Water 0 mins 0 mins 0 mins 0 mins

There’s a lot of work to be done if  a few (or more) drinks are consumed. Think of all the blood, sweat, tears, and hard work that can go into a great fitness session….and how easily the efforts  can be reversed by drinking alcohol!  Additionally, alcohol contains no essential nutrients and reduces the absorption of Vitamins A, D, E, K, folate, B I, and B2 by altering Biotin (B7).  Lastly, alcohol does not contribute to muscle glycogen, so you may be left short on carbohydrates (Fruits, Vegetables and Whole Grains), which you need in order to train hard.

While it is true that red wines contain a natural phenol “resveratrol”, which permits blood cells to smoothly pass each

Handful of blueberries for improved health.

other instead of sticking to one another,  consider trading in your wine glass for fiber.  Resveratrol is also found in peanuts, soy, cranberries, blueberries, and Itadori tea which maybe a good substitute for red wine and linking it to possible human longevity.

By gaining knowledge on how to improve weight loss efforts, you can begin to feel better about your own appearance and body’s health over the next week, as your initial loss can be 2-7 pounds within the first days of working towards your new objective!

By: Kimberly Crocker

References:

Beauty of Wine and Grape Juice

Vitamin “H” for Haar and Haut

http://www.completefitness.com.au/articles/nutrition/alcoholweightloss.php

Personalize Weight Results in 5 Easy Steps

5 Easy Steps to Personalize New Weight Results!

To burn fat around your waist there are some easy habits and exercises you can start today. Your body is genetically programmed to store fat around the waist area. Some people tend to have a harder time keeping fat off their waist. With simple lifestyle changes and enjoyable exercise choices you will be able to lose a few inches off your waist by burning fat with noticeable results in a months time. 

Step 1
The easiest way to start to burn waist fat is to cut out the excess fat currently in your diet. Concentrate on the fat already stored in your waist, not on new fat. Eliminate fast food. Easy to make Recipes can be made at home were you can the ingredients. Include fish into your diet 3 times a week and aim for adding lean meat, beans or soy into your menu plan. Minimize the amount of cheese to 1 ounce per day. Reduce other high fat dairy products you eat including changing from 2% milk to skim milk. Eliminate fried foods and salty snacks!!! 

Step 2 
Watch what you are drinking. ADD WATER, Reduce wine and beer to one glass a day, Eliminate all soda’s and juices (100% juice is okay) from your daily nutritional intake.  The sugars and added ingredients in soda’s are not good for your body and since your body can not use them the SUGARS (sucrase) ARE STORED AS FAT. 

Step 3  
Replace white breads in your diet with whole grain bread. Replace plain pasta with whole grain pasta. Only eat whole grain cereals.  You body converts white breads to sugar, which in turn will result in added waist fat. Opt for more vegetables and fruits when making your Grocery Shopping List for Weightloss in 5 Tips 

Step 4   If you are not already doing so, start some general moderate exercise. Exercise 4-5 times per week. The exercise should include 20 minutes of cardio such as hill climbing, jogging, biking, swimming, hiking, etc. The general exercise will balance your input of calories and stop the addition of new waist fat. Walk 20-30 minutes per day. 

Step 5 
Concentrate on core exercises. Do a core workout for 15 to 20 minutes every 3rd day. You will not need any more than this to quickly reduce waist fat. Do not increase the frequency of the core exercises, give your body time to recover. There are many great core workouts out there or you can develop your own routine. Core workouts include sit-ups, leg lifts, and mason-twists. There are many other exercises that concentrate on the waist to the mid-section of the torso. 

IMPORTANT: Document in a journal:
Weight
Waist Circumference (passed around waist and over belly button)
Daily Exercise
Drinks
Foods for the day (include condiments.) Read more Tips to Modify Recipes 

Exercising your core as little as 30-45 minutes per week, along with the diet changes are the keys to burn waist fat.               BELIEVE that you will succeed! 

Kim Crocker 

References 

A comparison of the effects of swimming and walking on body weight, fat distribution, lipids, glucose, and insulin in older women-the Sedentary Women Exercise Adherence Trial 2.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20197194 

Effect of nutritional counselling and nutritional plus exercise counselling in overweight adults: a randomized trial in multidisciplinary primary care practice. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20026554 

Modification effects of physical activity and protein intake on heritability of body size and composition. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19710197 

Photograph http://www.savvy-diets.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2006/11/Reduce%20belly%20fat.jpg

Getting from depression to”Walking on Sunshine”

Seasonal Affective Disorder is often linked to depression and one of the many pathologies related to lack of sunshine.   However to get through the dreary days a small vacation may help somewhat to overcome the moment, as will an investment into some fluorescent light bulbs that are kept on in the home through out the day or using sun lamps with in your home.  Research has shown that your body only needs 15 minutes of sunshine per day, but psychologically you may be beaten down and looking for other tricks that can be more helpful. Tell your doctor what you are feeling so that he can diagnose and can help you set up a plan by doing any or all of these: prescribe medications, exercise and nutrition.

Your doctor may prescribe various anti-depressants at a lower dose in order to keep the hormone serotonin at higher levels. Serotonin is naturally produced by your body converting a mineral into a hormone. If the body is not able to produce enough serotonin or if it is quickly absorbed by the blood this is called depression.

Exercise is also encouraged during this time to increase the endorphins within the brain so that your response to a grey day may not be no longer dread, but “Spring is around the corner!”  Get the blood pumping! Your body will feel more energized and you will feel more focused.  It can be as simple as a 30 minute walk per day!

Lastly, nutrition is key to helping it all come together.  Tryptophan  is a mineral found in a variety of foods to help fight depression, they include: chocolate, bananas, poultry, meat, whole grain pasta, figs, fish, peanuts, dairy products, especially milk and cottage cheese.  Investing into some shopping time along with a warm glass of milk before bed time will allow the tryptophan to convert to serotonin which directly affects a happier mood when waking up and beginning the morning.

Foods to AVOID.  Any foods or drinks (Diet) with aspartamine (aspartame or phenylalanine) should be avoided.  Multiple studies have shown this artificial sweetener to depress serotonin levels. Those with a history of mood disorders or depression have been linked to a severe reaction after consuming aspartamine.

By Kim Scardicchio

Healing for your skin https://eatknowhow.wordpress.com/category/acne-healing-food/

For Your Entertainment Walking on Sunshine Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q-5Xgkzb-f4

Stepping out and Walking Tall

The fresh air and singing birds often beckon hibernating individuals out to exercise and to “get into shape”.  Having someone to walk with is a great way to promote the idea of “well-being” and you can effectively lose weight by exercising for 30 minutes each day.  Recently, a client scheduled a time to go for a walk and after five minutes I was asked to slow down my stride. This is a common complaint that I hear from individuals when encouraging them to walk at an aggressive pace (more than leisurely).  After ten minutes of walking they feel sharp pains in the chest area.  Increased blood flow will cause the pain in the chest as you are asking your heart to work more than it usually does.  Slow the pace down and take water with you.  Water supplies our body with two critical elements: hydration and oxygen.  Over exertion will lead to shortness of breath and over extension of muscles produce lactic acid, (in layman’s terms, your muscles will be sore).  Therefore, it is critical that we listen to our bodies. 

Additionally, nutrition is important to keep our hearts healthy by implementing a proper diet.  Eating an assortment of 4 fruits and 5 vegetables will provide your organs with much needed vitamins and minerals.  Healthy fatsfound in olive oil, nuts and seeds are needed to keep muscles lubricated.  

Applaud your efforts for taking the first steps to being healthy. Star walking at a leisurely pace and gradually increase your speed.  Slow down if you feel pain and drink water along the way.  Eventually, you can pursue going outside your comfort zone and jog for 2 minutes and walk for 3 minutes.  Challenge yourself and flip the time by walking for 2 min.’s and jogging for 3 min.’s.  Within a matter of a month you will feel stonger and healthier.

Sleep and Lose Weight?

Yes… it is possible to lose or gain weight while you sleep!  This based on daily calorie intake, exercise and what are you eating at dinner and before you go to bed.

Eating a bowl of popcorn, potato chips and drinking a coke one hour before you go to bed will help you gain a few calories while you sleep, as opposed to eating an orange or a banana.

Sleep in of itself allows the growth hormone to adequately work on tissue and cellular repair, resulting in burned calories for the individual.  For example, a woman that is 5’5″ (163 cm), that sleeps 7 hours, will burn approximately 489 calories.  A man with the height of 5′ 10″ (1,75 cm), that sleeps for 7 hours, burns approximately 540 calories.

Additional weightloss can be promoted while we’re sleeping by slightly raising  our metabolism a few ours before bedtime.  Complete your exercise regiment 3-4 hours before bedtime, so that you are not so stimulated that you are unable to rest, yet you’ve promoted your metabolism to function at a higher rate.  Additionally, have dinner  4 hours before going to bed so that your dinner stays in your duodenum, the first part of the small intestine for 4 hours (before moving onto  the second part of the small intestine). If you digest food closer to your bedtime it will result in a restless sleep pattern for you.

To encourage weightloss, dinner should include 4oz  (114g) of protein: Fish, Poultry, Pork, or Lean Beef. Accompanied by 3 servings of vegetables and a fruit.  (1 serving of bread or pasta optional).  A serving of fruit or vegetables is the equivalent of a 1/2 cup, salads are 1 cup for a serving. 

Dinner (example)      

Begin with a glass of water 10-15 minutes before eating your meal. Promotes hydration and slows down eating, contributes to satiety (feeling full at end of meal).                                    

4 oz salmon

salad with 1/2 cup tomatoes (vinaigrette dressing 1-2 tbsp)

bowl of lentil soup (Optional: add 1 cup cooked pasta.)

1 medium orange

1 oz or 28 g of walnuts

Glass of wine

Nutrition facts: 1-Protein, 2-Omega 3 (alimentary fat, great for the HEART!!), 5-Fiber, 1-bread optional

(If opting for pasta (60 g), mix in 1/2 to 1 cup steamed or sauteed vegetable.  May pass with crushed nuts or Parmesan Cheese.)

Wine has also been linked to weightloss, because of it’s active polyphenols/antioxidants that work hard to get rid of toxins in the body.  Red wine is a great source of Vitamin C and E.  A few of their benefits contribute to the health of our skin and eyes.

By Kimberly Crocker