Monday, May 03, 2010

Low thyroid harms your quality of life & does slow weight loss....

Today's Post: Monday, 5-3-2010

Back in March this year on 3-18, Dr Mark Hyman’s blog had an article about how low thyroid can make you feel de-energized and prevent fat loss by lowering your energy level and metabolism.

Fri, 5-7 newsflash: Avoid eating farmed fish. (Virtually all salmon in restaurants is farmed.) Not only is it high in many pollutants, I recently found out that the PCB's its very high in harm and lower thyroid output !

It seems that excessive mercury levels in your body slow or reduce thyroid function to produce those effects. This past Friday, our last post had some ideas to cut the amount of mercury you ingest and get rid of some of any you may have now.

This time, we’ll discuss how to do some of the other things he lists that can boost low thyroid to solve that problem. (I add to the supporting actions a good bit to make it clear what you can do to achieve them.)

Some of those methods also improve and protect your health and also directly help with fat loss!

Whether or not you are pretty healthy now but simply want to want to increase the odds in your favor or you have definite symptoms of thyroid deficiency, the nondrug methods will help your thyroid function best, they will improve your health, and as I noted some of them help fat loss directly.

But that difference also determines whether or not to see a doctor to have your thyroid levels checked.

If you feel tired all the time without some clear reason such as getting less than 6 hours a night of sleep or taking statin drugs etc, you might well want to see a doctor to have your thyroid levels checked. (By the way, most people can protect their heart better with other methods than statins as we have often posted on. And those methods do NOT produce the fatigue and lack of energy taking statins often do.) If you have gained weight without eating more poorly and are so tired you have real trouble doing any exercise and/or feel cold or have trouble losing weight even when you do the right things, and particularly if you are female, you may have low thyroid.

Then, if you do see a doctor and get the most used test for TSH levels you may have two challenges. ( Low levels of TSH below 2.9 are desirable. Higher levels of 3.0 or more indicate low thyroid.)

1. Dr Mark Hyman says that new guidelines from the American College of Endocrinology say that TSH levels of 3.0 or more indicate low thyroid. He also notes that many doctors are unaware of these new guidelines and only treat patients with severe low thyroid of 10.0 or more. That means that a test result of the doctor saying the results were OK but where you do NOT see the number, may simply be wrong. So, you must ask for the actual number your TSH test found to know your result. And, if it’s between 3.0 & 9.9, you may need to see a different doctor for treatment.

2. The best results for treating low thyroid with the least side effects Dr Hyman suggests come from using thyroid extracts such as those from Armour. The synthetic drugs tend not to work as well and quite often have side effects people want to escape. However, using the thyroid extracts is something that to be both safe and effective must be managed by a doctor skilled in their use. If that’s not something your current doctor does, you may need to find one that has this expertise.

All that can cost money and be a real hassle to do so, unless your symptoms are pretty definite, you might want to consider doing the other things in this post first. And, if you do get treated also, you will get best results for your thyroid and your weight and fat loss if you do the things we list next anyway.

3. High levels of inflammation tend to decrease thyroid function. Surprisingly there are not only many, many things you can do to decrease inflammation, if you do most of them, you will gain massive protection for your heart, protect yourself from some cancers, and remove an obstacle that may be slowing your thyroid down now. But that’s not all! Many of these actions directly cause fat loss compared to the alternatives many people do. Even better, lowering inflammation improves your body’s ability to let you know when you have eaten too much according to Dr Al Sears.

(High inflammation as measured by the HS CRP test for C-reactive protein levels has been found to predict heart attacks and may in fact be a direct cause of heart disease and heart attacks.)

So, from virtually every desirable point of view, you will be very well served to do everything you possibly can to lower excess inflammation.

Here’s that list!

a) Surprisingly, regular exercise lowers inflammation. That’s true even if you initially get sore muscles or occasionally get minor injuries that produce short term inflammation during your exercises. Since regular exercise also helps with both losing fat and keeping it off, be SURE to include this method.

b) One of the largest causes of inflammation in the way most people in the United States have been eating and many still do, is that they get TEN times too much omega 6 oils when too much causes inflammation while at the same time getting less than half the omega 3 oils their body needs. Excess omega 6 oils cause inflammation while omega 3 oils lower it.

The solution clearly is to severely limit eating excess omega 6 oils and being sure to get enough omega 3 oils.

That’s a big change from what most people now eat. Corn oil, soy oil, safflower oil, and even canola oil are all high in omega 6 oils. Corn oil and soy oils are cheap and so are often used in packaged foods and salad dressings to keep their cost down. (Refined grains and the foods made from them are also high in omega 6. Making a strong effort to virtually never eat them, also helps cut back on omega 6. But they are even worse than that for many other reasons which we’ll cover soon.)

Extra virgin olive oil is the most health supporting substitute when you need or want to use oil. It also keeps LDL cholesterol low as the omega 6 oils do. But unlike the oils high in omega 6 it does NOT increase inflammation or lower HDL which is a significant explanation of why the Mediterranean diet tends to be so very heart protective.

Lastly, the inflammation lowering caused by taking omega 3 supplements made from purified fish oil and eating wild caught fish high in omega 3 is a very strong effect. (In addition, the DHA omega 3 oil is both protective for your brain and may even improve your brain’s functioning. For example, pregnant women who get enough DHA wind up with children with higher IQ’s later.)

So, if you basically and totally switch from using omega 6 oils to using extra virgin olive oil and omega 3 oils, it’s like taking an enormous lever and forcing down your chronic inflammation and its tendency to cause excess pain, heart disease, some cancers, and reduced thyroid function.

I’ve run out of time today, so the last post in this series on reducing inflammation and boosting your thyroid function and fat loss will be tomorrow.

We’ll post on how ingesting less sugars and other high glycemic foods cuts inflammation and what supplements lower inflammation or boost your thyroid.

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Anonymous Carmella said...

Thanks for sharing, David. As a hypothyroid, I really need to focus on my health. I'm taking bovine , eating the right fruits and veggies, and exercising, too.

5:03 AM  
Blogger David said...

Sounds good Carmella.

Eating fruit and many kinds of vegetables every week helps quite a bit for your health.

And, exercise has astounding health benefits from just a few walks a week up to an ideal exercise program that adds interval cardio and strength training and includes 7 miles or more of walking every week.

You didn't say you are also cutting way back on sugar and refined grain and eliminating foods with high fructose corn syrup and all soft drinks -- both regular and diet.

Doing those things too will give you a smoother and more reliable flow of energy and help you avoid fat gain or to remove any you now have.

The reading I've done suggests that for many people the kind of thyroid you take may get the best results and fewest side effects.

And, if the kind in your link really does come from cows fed only grass, that confers near total protection from mad cow disease since cows that get it do so from contaminated feed -- NOT from grass.

8:34 AM  
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4:01 PM  

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