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Thyroid Health & Weight Management

Posted on October 29, 2014 by Ruth Buttigieg | 0 comments

With 1 in 10 people in the UK being diagnosed with a thyroid-related condition, in this blog we aim to help you understand the thyroid gland’s function and how it is involved with weight loss and overall health.


What is the Thyroid Gland?


The thyroid gland is an endocrine gland (a gland which secretes hormones) and is responsible for secreting two main hormones called:

  •       Thyroxine
  •       Triiodothyronine

These hormones are responsible for controlling the body’s metabolism and if one becomes defective it can cause problems in the body.


One of the major thyroid problems which can occur is hypothyroidism also known as an underactive thyroid. This condition occurs when the thyroid is underactive; an underactive thyroid effectively means that it slows down the body’s functions and therefore slows down your metabolism. The main symptoms include:

  •       Extreme tiredness
  •       Weight gain
  •       Constipation
  •       Intolerance of cold
  •       Thinning of hair
  •       Swelling of face

With the functions of the body being slowed down, it means that weight loss can become a big issue. For many women weight gain will occur and trying to lose this weight may be difficult. However this is not to say that weight loss is impossible, but rather that it will be slower and when embarking on a weight loss journey, it is about making realistic expectations.


Another common cause of thyroid problems stems from the body attacking the thyroid gland i.e. an autoimmune reaction. Individuals who have an allergy/intolerance at wheat and especially gluten are more at risk of developing thyroid problems as the same antibodies that attack the wheat protein, will attack the thyroid gland as these have a very similar structure.  


Whilst having a compromised thyroid function will lead to weight issues, the science shows that on its own, this is only responsible to around 10-15lbs weight gain. However, the thyroid gland controls many other areas of the body that are closely interlinked with weight loss. Hence the weight problems associated with a compromised thyroid function, are caused due a “snowball effect”.


How can a low carbohydrate dietary approach help?


It is important to fuel your body correctly.


On such a plan you will be consuming adequate amounts of protein and beneficial fats which help to contribute to the normalisation/improvement in thyroid function. Also, the addition of beneficial fats helps to increase the production of the thyroid hormones which in turn helps towards establishing hormonal balance.


Following the Natural Low Carb Store principles, you are fuelling your body through a low carbohydrate, high protein moderate fat approach. What this means is that by removing refined carbohydrates we are activating the body’s fat burning mechanism. Therefore throughout your weight loss journey with us you are losing fat and maintaining muscle mass.


We embrace those carbohydrates that are based on dietary fibre rather than simple and/or complex carbohydrates. The difference between these carbohydrates is the way they are digested within the body. By choosing these vegetables and fruits, the essential micronutrient requirements are met whilst ensuring no blood sugar spikes in the progress.


The way the Natural Low Carb Store plan works allows you to lose weight without feeling deprived. You will be losing weight by eating real food as well as being able to maintain your social life. It is not about deprivation, it is about eating the right foods and learning to make the right food choices.




References:


Amino, N. (1988). 4 Autoimmunity and hypothyroidism. Bailli\`ere's Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, 2(3), pp.591--617.

Strieder, T., Prummel, M., Tijssen, J., Endert, E. and Wiersinga, W. (2003). Risk factors for and prevalence of thyroid disorders in a cross-sectional study among healthy female relatives of patients with autoimmune thyroid disease. Clinical endocrinology, 59(3), pp.396--401.

Thomas, B. and Bishop, J. (2007). Manual of dietetic practice. Oxford: Blackwell Pub.

Volek, J., Sharman, M., Love, D., Avery, N., Scheett, T., Kraemer, W. and others, (2002). Body composition and hormonal responses to a carbohydrate-restricted diet. Metabolism, 51(7), pp.864--870.

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