Are your thyroid hormones to blame for your slow metabolism? Let’s talk signs, symptoms and tests For more advice from Fitter Food visit our website …
– Hi, guys.
So one thing we get asked a
lot of questions about lately
because we've been talking about it
with some of our videos,
is basically thyroid hormone function.
So most of us are slightly
aware of kind of the role
of thyroid hormones,
because they are implicated
in our metabolism and
specifically the kind of speed
at which our metabolism can run.
So for those of you out there
with a weight loss goal,
this might be something that
you've kind of looked into,
or you're slightly curious about.
Maybe you've been to your GP
because you've had some
issues losing weight,
maybe some other symptoms
of low thyroid function.
Just a couple, I'm not a
big fan of symptom lists,
because it could be so
many different things.
But a couple of things I tend to look for
when I'm working with clients
would be generally kind of slow function
in every system in the body.
So it could be sluggish digestion,
which might mean that you
end up with things like
constipation and some other kind of issues
with irritable bowel syndrome.
It could be kind of slow
function of your brain cells
so we get brain fog.
Maybe kind of, even at
its worst, depression.
The cells can't generate and repair,
so we tend to have things
like slow healing of the body
if you kind of cut yourself,
or the nails don't grow, or
your skin doesn't look too good,
look too healthy, maybe
your hair's falling out,
loss off half the eyebrow
is thought to be related
to thyroid hormone conditions.
So, generally, kind of things
just don't seem to be working,
and of course, fatigue and no
energy is an obvious factor.
So if you have those symptoms,
you may go to your GP
and get your thyroid hormones tested.
Sometimes that will flag something up.
But sometimes you'll be told actually
you're in the healthy reference range,
kinda of tootle off and maybe
given some kind of solution.
Sometimes it seems like antidepressants or
something to tackle one of your symptoms.
So what you really need to know
is that test doesn't give
you a kind of comprehensive
picture of all of the thyroid hormones.
So I'm gonna talk you through
how the thyroid hormones
actually operate around the body
and give you an idea about
what their function is,
what nutrients we need
to basically make sure
we've got those raw ingredients
for thyroid hormones
and for the conversions that take place,
and anything that might inhibit
thyroid hormone function.
So firstly you can kind
of take the information
and review your lifestyle
or your nutrition.
But, secondly, you might wanna kind of go
and speak to your GP about
further testing options,
maybe if you look at
private testing instead.
So we're gonna kick off by
understanding thyroid hormones
a little bit better.
We have a little white board here.
So you can see, first
of all, thyroid hormones
generally start off in the brain.
So we have something called
thyroid stimulating hormone.
It's produced up here
by a pituitary gland,
which is also kind of taking messages
from another gland in the brain,
that massive gland, hypothalamus,
which is kind of reading the situation,
everything from the outside environment
to the inside environment of the body.
So we start off with TSH
and this is what you GP
will generally measure.
And they have a reference range.
It's actually different
in every single country.
Well, not every single,
most countries is different.
I like to see kind of around
two, maybe just slightly below
in terms of what I'm looking for.
But, actually, a GP reference
range can be anywhere
from three, five, 12, depending
on the country that you're in.
So it just goes to show some
of these reference ranges
are based on unhealthy populations,
'cause that's who visits the GP.
So it's not necessarily a good indicator.
So I like to see TSH around two.
Now what TSH does is the
TSH is produced in the brain
and it speaks to the thyroid gland.
And you can see that's
here, located in the neck.
And the thyroid gland here
is basically responsible
for producing thyroid hormones.
But, specifically, you can see here
I've got a little arrow coming out.
So we get T4 and T3 being
produced by the thyroid gland.
Now the first point I
want you to understand
is that thyroid hormones
themselves are made of things,
they're actually made
of tyrosine and iodine.
So tyrosine is the protein
and iodine is a mineral
that we get from things
like seafood and seaweeds.
And, actually, most of it
are very deficient nowadays.
We don't eat enough foods with iodine
in our daily basis.
Tyrosine we get from things
like meat, fish, eggs.
So, again, you could
look at your nutrition,
whether you're eating tyrosine-rich foods,
that would be really helpful.
Next thing to know, most
of the thyroid hormones
is actually in the form of T4,
and this is called thyroxine.
And it's bound up, it's
not in its active form
and the reason being thyroid hormones
act on every single cell in the body.
So you can imagine they're
being released here,
and they might start acting
to sort of every single cell
they come across.
So it has to be bound up.
And it has to be basically
kind of piled into a taxi
and taken off around the body
so that it can reach all
the cells do their jobs,
do their function.
So it gets put in a taxi called
thyroid binding globulins.
Those are proteins, by the way.
We think of protein for the muscle mass,
but proteins do so many other things.
One thing that they do is they
kind of transport mechanisms.
They are the taxis.
And they can kind of latch on
to the various different hormones
and carry them around the body.
So a lot of it's moving around the body
in its little protein taxi.
And, actually, in the liver here
is where we get most of our conversions.
So a lot of the thyroid
hormones are taking to the liver
and its kind of bound form,
as T4, it's not active yet.
And this is where it can be
made active, by the liver.
But the liver requires an
enzyme for this process.
And that enzyme is selenium-dependent.
So selenium is another mineral
that we need to have good
amounts of.
And most of us, again, are deficient.
Most of us think they're
eating two Brazil nuts a day
will meet our selenium needs,
but it doesn't necessarily.
So, again, go away, look at
things like fish and seafood,
rich sources of selenium.
There are, we see some in Brazil nuts,
but some of you may need
to supplement, again,
if you have a deficiency.
So, in the liver, the
thyroid hormone is bound,
but it can be converted into T3,
which is the active form.
Or it can be converted into reverse T3,
so where T3 is kind of
like the accelerator pedal
on a cell, it kind of goes in and says,
"Right, let's do this,
let's get the job done."
kind of allows it, fuels
it, to do its thing.
Reverse T3 is the opposite.
It's the brakes on the
cell doing its thing.
So it's the breaks on your metabolism.
And what the body does at this stage
is kind of work out whether
you've got enough fuel
for a start to kind of do
all the metabolic things
that we need to do.
And if you haven't, because
maybe you're on a really
low calorie diet, this is
where low calorie diets
can actually really
hinder thyroid function.
It will convert the thyroid
hormone into reverse T3.
And what that does is kind
of latch onto the cell
where T3 would do its work
and stop T3 making that cell do its thing.
So it kind of blocks.
It's an inhibitor, basically,
it blocks the actual thyroid hormone.
But if we get free T3
going around the body,
that actually goes over to a cell.
So this cell here can
be any cell in the body.
In can be a cell in the digestive system.
It could be a neuron,
so it's a brain cell,
it could be a muscle cell.
And T3 comes along.
And it's really special, so most hormones
can only attach to a receptor site,
like a little satellite dish.
You don't even see that, guys,
I'm not even showing you guys.
Most hormones have to
go to a receptor site
outside the cell, they're not allowed in.
So this is insulin and the sex hormones,
all the other hormones.
But T3 is really special, it gets to go
across the cell membrane
and into the cell.
And actually there's a
receptor site on the nucleus
and what I call the
nucleus, but most people,
when I do my talks, I kind of explain
the nucleus is kind of like
the Chief Executive of a cell.
It knows everything that needs to be done
and it has all the
instructions in its head,
but it kinda needs a signal from T3
to basically do its thing.
It needs some energy as well.
That's another entirely, another webinar.
But it needs a number of things.
It needs to have a T3.
And then what it does is it basically
starts spouting out
instructions to the ribosomes
and they start kind of making proteins
and then, obviously, loads
of different functions
in the body can take place.
So T3 goes into the cell,
vitamin A is really important
for this process, because vitamin A
is basically kind of part of
the receptor on the nucleus.
So we need to have good
levels of vitamin A.
Now vitamin A, obviously, is
very rich in animal products.
But some people ethically
might want to avoid them,
or maybe thinking of avoiding
them for dietary reasons,
to lose weight, to be
healthy, whatever it might be.
But it is a nutrient that we need.
We can get it from betacarotene,
which is in things like
carrots, basically kind
of orange vegetables
will offer betacarotene
which is then converted
into vitamin A.
But some of it's actually genetically
aren't very good at that.
So, again, if you eat a lot of carrots
and get a slightly orange
tint to your hands,
it's believed that you maybe,
you aren't converting it
into vitamin A very effectively.
So some people do need to
have some animal products.
They feel better.
And it supports thyroid function.
So the reason I'm telling you all this
is, one, so we've already got
a collection of nutrients.
I'm just gonna pop this down for a second.
And so the things that can
really hinder thyroid function,
because it's starting in the brain,
anything that kind of
crosses the brain barrier
and starts to impact the
function of the pituitary gland.
So this goes for things like
reproductive hormones as well
is gonna have an impact on
thyroid hormone production.
So that is anything from
kind of inflammation,
if you have infections in the gut,
they kind of have a nasty bi-products
called polysaccharides, which
pass over into the body,
into the blood stream and can wreak havoc.
And, again, and that's
right into kind of the brain
and stop those kind of
glands being able to produce
the hormones.
And also we have things
like environmental toxins,
so things like mercury,
fluoride’s another one
that blocks a lot with thyroid hormones,
and we can actually start to
kind of block those conversion,
or, again, just create kind of a
low grade inflammatory
response and issues with
all of the cells in the body
kind of getting damaged.
So these are things that
might affect that process
that I've just walked you
through from taking place
So what you guys can do, first of all,
is make sure that you're
eating the nutrients
that we've just mentioned.
We had iodine, tyrosine,
selenium, vitamin A.
Vitamin D also plays a role,
Zinc is also very important.
Zinc can be kind of
important for lots of things
in the body, so you have to make sure
people who got good intakes
with these within their diet.
If you do go to your GP,
what you're gonna come away with
is probably TSH and maybe total T4.
And those two, alone, as you could see,
don't really give you the picture,
because maybe your thyroid
hormones aren't converting
at certain places.
Maybe you don't have free T3.
Maybe you have too much reverse T3.
Maybe there's too much kind
of the binding proteins
that are kind of caught
up the thyroid hormones
and they're not able to do
their job and act on the cells.
So there are other things.
The most common thing
that I see at the moment
is something known as Hashimoto's,
which is an auto-immune condition,
where actually the immune
system is starting to attack
the thyroid gland.
So we tend to see low levels of T4
and actually very high levels of TSH,
because what the brain
is doing is kind of,
it's getting some feedback
with these now thyroid hormones
operating around the body.
And it starts pumping out
thyroid stimulating hormone
even higher.
So once we're getting it kind
of in a coming over three,
I see that a little bit at kind of 10, 12,
some even higher, then we know
that something is going wrong
and we need to kind of intervene.
So a GP would offer
you, usually, thyroxine,
which is a form of, basically
it's just hormone replacement therapy.
And in some cases, it's
absolutely essential.
It makes people feel better.
But what I would say is in the background,
you have to go away and look at what is it
that was causing the problem.
Where does the problem lie?
Is it in a conversion?
Is it in a production issue?
Is there an infection?
Is it autoimmune related?
Your doctor can actually test antibodies
towards the thyroid gland,
there are three or four.
So you might wanna go back and say
It's all very well telling me
I have low thyroid function,
if you've been diagnosed,
but ask if they can check
thyroid antibodies, because
you could do so much
with nutrition at that
point in time to calm down
the immune system, and also
work on addressing gut function.
I did do this with somebody,
with a practitioner,
functional medicine, nutritional therapy.
Of course you can contact us
and talk about working with us.
We've got some online
programmes like Fit16
that have elimination diets in there
and are designed to basically build up
your nutrient status, get rid of things
that might actually kind of
cause inflammation in the body
and start to wreak havoc
with the different systems.
And, again, kind of look
actually, just rebuild
in the body, rebuild function.
And lifestyle is really
important for this.
So we can't have high amounts of stress.
We can't have too much exercise,
we can't have sleep deprivation.
We can't have no exercise.
We've gotta get that balance right
so that all the differences in the body
have what they need to function.
So the symptoms that we experience
are basically feedback from your body.
Something's not working
right and you need to fix it.
And this is exactly what
we're trying to teach people.
Let's find out what's not working
and basically let's fix it
with a combination of food,
getting to bed earlier,
sleep, stress management,
all those things,
are really, really important.
And maybe nutritional supplements.
So as you can see, we do
need to possibly go in,
have some interventions with
various different nutrients
to basically almost like a catch-up phase,
bring the body up to speed.
And then from that point on,
which you can kind of focus on
are maintenance plans.
So hopefully you found this helpful.
Again, do jump in the Comments box
if you have any questions
about thyroid hormones
that we've been diagnosed.
You can also get in touch with us directly
if you wanna email [email protected],
see if we can help you there.
Have an awesome day, hope
you found this useful.

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