Could your thyroid be slowing down weight-loss?

Symptoms of a Thyroid issue and foods to be cautious about when losing weight

The thyroid gland produces hormones that interact with almost every cell in your body.  If is not working properly you can experience a myriad of symptoms. For me, Weight-Gain or difficulty losing weight is the one I look out for most in clients.

To be clear from the start of this article, the thyroid  is the one area of the body that I find the most difficult to work with because many clients switch from over to under active and have to alter medications. Also this tends to happen around the menopause which complicates everything. You might be asking why am I writing about it!

Awareness. Be aware of the symptoms and certain foods which I list below, before you embark on a weight-loss plan.

If you have a thyroid issue, please seek a specialist who has dealt with many cases and has practical and medical insight.

Here are a list of the symptoms caused by thyroid dysfunction.

Fatique, Cold extremities, Difficulty losing weight, High Cholesterol and triglycerides, Decreased sweating, Depressed mood/mood swings, Muscle and joint pain, Dry skin, Hoarseness, Brittle nails, Low blood pressure, Brain fog,  poor short-term memory, Low basal body temperature, Loss of hair, Headaches, Poor temperature control,  Sensitivity to cold, Slow pulse rate, Recurrent infections, Constipation, Low libido, Enlarged tongue with teeth indentations, Loss of hair on outer edge of eyebrow, Tingling or numbness in extremities.


If you suspect your thyroid is under or over active, your doctor can assess your symptoms and test your bloods for the hormones, TSH, T4, T3. If there is auto-immunity in your family, please mention it to your  doctor and get checked for thyroid antibodies. 

According to Genova Diagnostic, measuring just TSH and T4 is largely ineffective at diagnosing mild hypothyroidism and they offer an additional 24-hr urine thyroid test. T4 is converted into active T3 in the liver and kidneys and a urine test may be effective in testing if this conversion is taking place.

Nutrients for the Thyroid

To produce thyroid hormones, you need adequate iodine and selenium and the amino acid tyrosine from protein foods. You also need a diet rich in zinc, Vitamin A, E, C, D, B2, B3, and B6.

What is not good for the Thyroid?

There are a number of medications to be aware of that suppress thyroid hormones along with alcohol and smoking. Your Pharmacist is the best advisor on this area.

Yo-yo dieting and eating below your minimum calories (BMR) are, in the long-term, potentially damaging to the thyroid. There is an article on my site ” What is Metabolism and a safe Calorie levels for successful weight-loss” that provides you with more information on this area.

Long-term or chronic Stress is damaging to the thyroid. There is an article on chronic Stress and the steps to manage it, also on this site.

The Foods to be aware of

There are certain foods that contain goitrogens.  Avoid eating large amounts of these foods and do not eat them raw, never in the morning time or on a regular basis.  Avoid soya and millet. Cook cruciferous vegetables (kale, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussel sprouts, cauliflower)  really well and this reduces the goitrogen content.  Just have 1 serving of these vegetables at a time and  monitor how you feel for a few days afterwards. They are incredibly healthy foods for the liver so I would not avoid them completely.  Avoid turnip and swede, choosing parsnip or carrot instead. Cook with olive oil over rapeseed oil. There are other foods to limit or avoid such as mustard greens, kohlrabi, horseradish, bok choy, rutabagas, butter beans, pine nuts, linseeds, bamboo shoots and corn. Fruits include  peaches, apricots and strawberries.

Increase your intake of omega 3 from oily fish (salmon, mackerel, herring, trout, anchovy) or supplement it as it helps to increase cell wall sensitivity to all hormones.

Ensure your diet is rich in fruit and vegetables to get antioxidants such as Vitamin A, E and C into your diet, particularly the orange and yellow vegetables like carrots. You could also take a supplement of A, E, C, Carotenes, selenium, iodine, and a B-complex.

What helps the thyroid to increase its activity? 

Physical exercise, prolonged exposure to the cold, a safe reduction in calorie intake (if calorie intake is high) and high protein.

Recommended Reading – Hypothyroidism : The unsuspected Illness by Broda Barnes, M.D. and Hormones, Health and Happiness by Steven F Hotze, M.D


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