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Hypothyroidism And Weight Gain May Be Prevented

Nov 22, 2007
Learn how hypothyroidism can cause weight gain and how you might prevent it.

I have been working with a client recently who is in great physical condition but about 30 pounds heavier than she would like. And though she works out like a trooper and her diet is calorie controlled and healthy, she has been unable to drop much below her current weight, even after working with me for a few months.

This was frustrating to both of us until she learned from her doctor that she has an underactive thyroid gland or what is called 'hypothyroidism'.

This revelation led me to do some research on the thyroid gland and the hormones that it produces. I wish to share my findings with you in the hope that you will learn what to do to maintain a healthy thyroid.

I found out that thyroid problems are more common than diabetes and heart disease and that 1 in 20 Canadians suffer from thyroid dysfunction, and that women are 10 times more likely than men to have thyroid problems.

Apparently, taking care of thyroid health may be as simple as ensuring adequate iodine in your diet.

The thyroid gland is a tiny , butterfly-shaped gland at the front of the windpipe. This small gland looks after most of your bodys organs including the heart, brain and liver.

The gland uses tiny amounts of iodine to produce two types of hormones, which regulate cell growth and metabolism. Thyroid hormone keeps the rest of the body working at the right speed.

Although the trace mineral iodine is only needed in small amounts by the body, it is an essential nutrient, critical for thyroid health and proper physical and mental development.

Without adequate iodine, the production of thyroid hormones is slowed. An underactive thyroid or hypothyroidism can cause fatigue, sensitivity to cold, memory loss, weight gain, loss of hair, high blood pressure and dry itchy skin. It can also lead to much more serious health problems if untreated.

Fatigue and weight gain are the two most common symptoms of the problem.

Many people aren't getting enough iodine in there diet and in fact, iodine deficiency is a world wide health concern and the leading cause of thyroid problems.

In North America iodine is added to table salt to help alleviate the problem, but anyone on a low sodium diet or opting to use sea salt or alternatives becomes at risk for an iodine deficiency.

For the protection of the thyroid gland the average person requires 160 micrograms of iodine per day.

If you don't get it from table salt, iodine can be found primarily in kelp and other sea vegetables, sea food, milk, eggs and whole grain breads. Kelp is by far the richest source and is richer than other sea vegetables such as dulse or spirulina.

Primarily because of the iodine content, kelp is reputed to boost thyroid function, stimulate weight loss and be beneficial for brain tissue, sensory nerves, spinal cord and blood vessels. Kelp is also rich in B-Vitamins (important for heart health and combating stress), and vitamin K, which helps maintain healthy blood clotting.

I am hoping that the addition of iodine to my client's diet may help her to shed some weight and perhaps it could help you to avoid this health risk.

See your doctor if you suspect you may have hypothyroidism for an accurate diagnosis and treatment.
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