By: Brigitte M. Britton, H.N.
Founder-Holistic Nutritionist-Author & Organic Chef
The thyroid hormones regulate your body’s energy utilization, metabolic rate, body heat and they also regulate how sensitive your body is to other hormones. Therefore your thyroid hormones affect your capacity to produce energy, burn fat, and sustain a healthy metabolism. People should realize just how crucial thyroid hormones are for fat loss and for overall good health and balance. When the thyroid isn’t working impairment in thyroid hormone production, such as seen in the case of hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid), leads to a sluggish metabolism, intolerance to cold, and a diminishing capacity to break fat storage for energy. The principle thyroid hormones are T4 (tyroxine) and T3 (triiodothyronine). T3, the active hormone, is 7-10 times more potent than T4, which is actually a pro-hormone the key hormone here is T3 so we need to convert as much as possible from T4. In a healthy body up to 80% of T4 is converted to T3 by peripheral organs such as the liver, kidney, and muscle. For burn stubborn fat you need to make sure your organs are working at their peak. An underactive thyroid condition is mainly caused by thyroid suppressing chemicals. These chemicals include: drugs, plasticizers, industrial iodides, petro-chemicals, antiseptics, selenium salts, and many thyroid inhibiting substances that are found in the foods we eat. Hypothyroidism is also a result of extreme low calorie restriction, low protein intake, and a deficiency or excess in iodine and selenium. One of the most typical factors of hypothyroidism is an impairment in the body’s capacity to convert T4 to T3. This impairment is largely caused by chronic calorie restriction and amino acid deficiencies. The thyroid is a highly evolutionary conserved organ which evolved to support the primordial shift of organisms from the sea – the iodine-rich habitat – to more iodine deficient grasslands and woodlands that were the early human habitats. This means that the human species evolved to do well on a moderate to low iodine diet. By effectively trapping and storing iodide ions from foods that contained little iodine, the human body has been capable of utilizing this mineral for hormonal production and optimal organ functions. As is the case with most substances, either too little or too much can cause a problem. About 100 years ago, populations in certain world areas suffered from epidemics of underactive thyroid due to iodine and selenium deficiency in the soil. Since then, iodine and selenium supplementation became a mandatory method to prevent hypothyroidism. The problem is that in the past 50 years supplementing with iodine and selenium has turned out to be utterly counter-effective. There are five symptoms of an underactive thyroid: A lower body temperature. Check your body temperature upon rising. If it’s below 97.5 degrees you may suffer from an underactive thyroid. Abnormally high TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) as determined by a blood test. A TSH value over 1.50 means that your thyroid isn’t functioning properly and as a consequence your body over pumps TSH to compensate. Many doctors mistakenly regard a TSH value of 2.50 as borderline high. But based on recent research, the true high limit of TSH is 1.50. Chronic fatigue and difficulty losing weight or leaning down. Thyroid suppressing chemicals include: petrochemicals, PCBs, pesticides, industrial iodides, chemical detergents, parabens, chlorine-containing substances, cobalt, and cadmium paints. In addition, you should avoid: chronic extreme caloric restrictions, high glycemic foods, chlorinated or fluorinated water, and thyroid suppressing (goitrogenic) foods. It’s important to stay away from substances that suppress thyroid hormone activity like soy products, uncooked cruciferous vegetables, parsnips, cassava, millet, and Brazil nuts and certain drugs such as diuretics, iodide antiseptics, and histamines are thyroid suppressors.