For those of us who have had the problem of unintended weight gain, this is a "must-read" article. Why? … Because it can answer the question of why we gain weight, especially around the mid-body, and how we can lose it.
Let's start with the basics:
1. The thyroid gland controls our metabolism
2. When the thyroid gland stops functioning optimally, weight gain occurs
3. Avoiding certain foods and consuming "thyroid boosting" foods and supplements can allow us to return to a more normal weight level
Here's a simple way to see if you might have a thyroid issue. It's called the "straw test". Take a straw-sized amount of hair (about a quarter-inch in diameter or 60 strands). Starting at the scalp on top of your head, grasp the hairs between your thumb and index finger. Gently yet firmly, glide your finger and thumb along the length of the hairs straight upwards towards the ceiling. After you come to the end of your hair, check to see how many strands of your hair have been pulled free. If there are more than six strands of hair, there is a possibility of a thyroid problem.
Other symptoms besides weight gain (or unintended loss of weight in the case of hyperthyroidism or Hashimoto's thyroiditis) and hair thinning can occur with thyroid disorders. The most common that are seen clinically are fatigue, intolerance to cold, dry skin, muscle aches, fingernail changes sometimes with ridging, headaches, constipation (although diarrhea can occur as well), bloating, and thinning of the outer third of the eyebrows. To check your eyebrows, hold a pencil straight up along your outer eye. If your eyebrow extends beyond the pencil, then the eyebrows probably are not considered to be a sign of a faulty thyroid gland. But … if the eyebrow does not extend beyond the pencil, you need to keep reading this article.
3 FOODS TO AVOID
Wheat Gluten – Wheat gluten sensitivity is seen in a majority of people with thyroid disease. Sometimes referred to as simply gluten, this protein is thought to contribute to intestinal problems such as Leaky Gut Syndrome. Gluten can be found in breads, pasta, even some lipsticks contains gluten. Ironically, the most popular thyroid medication also contains gluten. Some people are so sensitive that they can not tolerate even the small amount that's in the wafer given during Communion at a Catholic mass. Fortunately, a gluten-free wafer is available now.
Soy – Variations of soy are found in many foods. Many people who are sensitive to gluten are also sensitive to soy. There are lab tests to verify which foods each individual is sensitive to and these tests can be ordered by a knowledgeable doctor.
Processed Foods – Packaged, processed foods typically contain higher concentrations of chemicals that potentially can interfere with normal thyroid function. When detoxing the thyroid, it is best to avoid processed foods and stick to fresh, organic fruits and vegetables as much as possible.
Foods that are "thyroid boosters" include avocados to help inflammation, orange and yellow produce for vitamin A, and mushrooms for their selenium content. We highly recommend opting for organically grown foods and meats that are antibiotic-free.