Did you know that potentially your inability to lose or maintain your weight is due to your thyroid function?

Read this article below and know that Accredited Practising Dietitians can you nutritionally manage it if there is a concern! 

How is the thyroid involved in metabolism and weight management?  

The thyroid is a small organ located in your neck and its thought to be the “operations manager of a company” i.e. your body. The thyroid produces two hormones T3 (triiodothyronine) and T4 (thyroxine) into the blood when the brain releases another hormone TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone). This gets the heart pumping more efficiently to make the cells in the body breakdown nutrients faster. This then maintains the body’s metabolism! (aka, important for weight management).

Click here for a great TED Talk explanation.

So, what does HYPOthyroidism mean?  

Hypothyroidism is when the body is not producing enough thyroid hormone. This is an autoimmune condition where the body is attacking the thyroid cells due to a variety of reasons. The way to identify Hypothyroidism is through a blood test that assesses your thyroid function. Your GP can go through this with you to determine the need for medical management. 

Some warning symptoms include:

  •  Fatigue

  • Weight gain

  • Cold intolerance

  • Puffy and pale face

  • Muscle pain

  • Constipation

  • Headache

  • Poor memory or attention span

  • Depression

  • Brittle hair & nails

How to treat Hypothyroidism? 

The treatment approach for hypothyroidism is to take oral thyroid hormone medication, usually with a drug called levothyroxine which converts to T4 in the body. However, diet is also important in managing hypothyroidism but is not a cure! Here are the three critical nutrients that you want to be consuming sufficient amounts of. 

1.      Iodine 

The thyroid is responsible for absorbing iodine and making up the two thyroid hormones, T3 and T4. According to the nutrient reference ranges, the average adult needs 150mcg of iodine per day. Iodine deficiency is a potential cause of hypothyroidism. Not as common is Australia but a very important nutrient you don’t want to be deficient in. There are a handful of foods that can help you achieve your daily requirement but interestingly, 6 oysters give you 100% of your daily needs!

2.     Selenium 

Selenium is another mineral which is found mostly in the thyroid tissue. It is responsible for the formation of thyroid hormone metabolism. According to the nutrient reference ranges, the recommended intake for Selenium is 60mcg per day for adult women and 70mcg per day for adult men. 

3.     Zinc 

Zinc is essential to the production of thyroid hormones, and thyroid hormones are essential for the absorption of zinc. The Recommended daily intake for zinc is 8 mg per day for women and 11mg per day for men. 

If you are curious about best sources of these nutrients and how to practically integrate them into your diet, we would love to see you in our clinic.

Tatiana  🙂