One in ten suffers from thyroid issues. Most of the time it’s hypothyroidism and women is much more likely than men are to develop thyroid issues. So if you’re a young girl reading this, it’s your duty to know everything about hypothyroidism. It might affect you or your relatives at some point in your life.
Hypo means less and Thyroidism is anything related to your thyroid gland (a gland present in your neck and responsible for producing two key hormones, i.e. T3 and T4. These two hormones regulate your metabolism.
Anything that’s going wrong with your thyroid gland has a carryover to your metabolism. Your metabolism determines the speed with which your body works, so it determines your body’s temperature? How fast you can use energy from food? Your heartbeat? And most importantly, how you can burn calories?
It has a one to one relation with your overall fitness levels. And that’s why hypothyroidism is a fitness issue in many cases, because a lack of the thyroid hormones can lead to a slower metabolism, which in the long term leads to weight gain.
Once you gain weight, it slows down your metabolism even more. And it causes many long term issues. So a lot of middle aged women in their 40s or 50s will gain a lot of weight.
Suddenly they struggle to lose weight, and it’s actually a hormonal issue. It’s nothing to do with their food habits, but most of the time hypothyroidism goes undetected.
And that’s why it’s such a big issue.
Hypothyroidism and the slower metabolism can lead to weight gain, a struggle with losing weight, depression, changes in your mood, changes in your menstrual cycle, and a bunch of long term issues as well.
Long term outcomes include heart disease, infertility serious joint pain, and obesity, but those are long term outcomes.
As I’ve always said, any kind of lifestyle disease like thyroid can be cured by fixing your diet and fixing your exercise regime.
But the point to note here is that hypothyroidism is one of those rare lifestyle diseases, that of two types;
- One which can be fixed by fixing your fitness and diet,
- The other cannot be fixed so simply so as much as dietitians and fitness influencers will tell you that I’ll cure your hypothyroidism through your diet, that may not be the case every time.
So let’s get into the science of it.
Symptoms of hypothyroidism
- Sudden weight gain
- Struggling to lose weight
- Swelling in your neck,
Type and cure for hypothyroidism
Type 1- Can fix
The first kind of hypothyroidism is the most common case, and it can be fixed just through your diet. It happens due to the iodine and iron deficiency. In order to fix this iodine deficiency, you need to include iodine rich foods so that’s primarily seafood or seaweed, if you’re a non-vegetarian. If you’re a vegetarian, you can go for iodide salt or curd.
Also ask for the iron rich foods, if you’re a non-vegetarian, include a little bit of red meat once a week in your diet. And if you’re a vegetarian, go for beans and go for dry fruit. So iodine and iron help with the production of T3 and T4.
Goitrogens are foods that affect the production of those two hormones in your thyroid gland. And these are foods you want to avoid.
List of Goitrogenic foods;
- Mustard Greens
Now, these were the diet factors that you need to change. If you’re someone dealing with hypothyroidism.
Type 2- Cannot be fixed
In this case, you cannot fix it with just fixing your diet and your fitness regime. I am of the opinion that if possible, you shouldn’t be putting medication inside your body. And all kinds of lifestyle diseases can be fixed just by fixing your diet and exercise plan. But this is one of those rare instances where you need to turn to medicine and doctors.
The second kind of hypothyroidism involves your body producing antibodies against your thyroid gland. So this is a genetic issue that runs in families. Now, if anyone of you suffered from this kind of issue, it’s likely that you might as well. In this situation, your body produces substances that actually go and attack your thyroid gland and prevent it from producing those T3 and T4 hormones.
In the process, you end up with hypothyroidism and your metabolism slows down and you get all those bad outcomes of having hypothyroidism. So the solution to this problem is that, firstly, go see a doctor. The doctor is going to prescribe a manmade form of the T4 hormone to you. So that’s a synthetic drug, but it will help you cure your thyroid problem if you back it up with the correct diet and exercise plan. And coming to exercise, that’s always the main solution in long term problems like this.
**Remember, if you have a habit of exercising regularly, it’s very likely that you won’t end up with hormonal issues like this when you’re older. That’s what exercise can do for you. Obviously, it can help you burn off fat, but it also perpetually increases your metabolism.
You always have a fast metabolism. If you’re dealing with thyroid issues, take up an exercise regime. Your main job is to keep your body active if you don’t move forward, your body will move backwards. If you’re someone who has an active lifestyle throughout your life, you won’t end up with thyroid problems later in life.
And even if you have thyroid problems currently you can get rid of them completely by taking up an exercise regime along with a little help from medication. Of course my biggest advice to every single woman who is suffering from thyroid issues is that firstly again just like all hormonal problems in 2017, this is a very common, very normal issue. Get yourself tested, get yourself educated and get yourself fit again.