724: What Everyone Needs to Know about Their Thyroid

There are some health strategies that help EVERYTHING – whether you want to lose weight, have more energy, support your thyroid or balance your hormones, this episode is for you!

We don’t need to get hung up on every little detail, complex strategies or competing health goals. The reality is that there are a few big rocks that influence everything!

Today we’ll be talking about stress, nutrition, toxic exposure and bacterial imbalance – regardless of your health goals, you’ll want to listen to today’s episode!

Mentioned on Today’s Show:

The probiotic I take for mental & emotional health

The probiotic I take for digestion & immune health

Butcher Box

The Hormones & Fat Loss Miniseries begins with episode 011

233: How To Protect & Heal Your Thyroid – Part 2

233: How To Protect & Heal Your Thyroid – Part 2

Did you listen to part 1 of how to protect & heal your thyroid? If you’re wondering how to improve thyroid health, this series is right for you! Make sure you start with part 1!

You absolutely can improve thyroid health. You can protect your thyroid and prevent future problems.

You can & you should!

Your thyroid is about way more than your weight or your metabolism.

Every single cell in your body has receptors for thyroid hormones and your thyroid plays a role in just about every aspect of health.

Your overall health, metabolism and body composition all depend on the health of your thyroid.

In part 1, we covered what the thyroid is & what it does. I shared my recent thyroid diagnosis and the symptoms which preceded it.

In researching how to improve thyroid health & function, I’ve shared several diet & lifestyle strategies that will make a big difference!

Listen Now

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How to Protect & Heal Your Thyroid – Part 2

What is your thyroid?

Your thyroid is a small gland in your throat. It’s an endocrine gland, secreting hormones your body needs for nearly every bodily function.

What does it do?

Your thyroid controls the metabolic rate of every organ in the body. Remember that your metabolic rate isn’t just about body weight. It’s about energy & fuel. Metabolic rate refers to the ability & efficiency of your body to get the energy & nutrients it needs from fuel you consume or fuel stored in your body as well as the ability & efficiency of your body to store fuel in the form of fat, muscle and bone.

Your thyroid regulates & influences countless bodily processes including breathing, heart rate, menstruation, muscle development, fat burning, sleep, body temperature, cholesterol production and more.

What can you do to protect and heal your thyroid?

  • Control your blood sugar by limiting processed foods & following the Golden Rules of Carbs & Fat Loss
  • Minimize stress
  • Support your microbiome
  • Get enough vitamin D via food, sunlight and/or supplementation
  • Cut out gluten and gluten-like components (corn, oats, etc)
  • Identify & eliminate food allergens (even mild ones!)
    Common food allergens include dairy, eggs, wheat, grains, nuts & seeds
    The food allergen test I am taking can be purchased here
  • Consume enough (but not too much) iodine
  • Eat selenium rich foods like brazil nuts, turkey, chicken
  • Eliminate trans fats and limit unsaturated fats

Want to join the Fat Loss Fast Track? Last chance this year!

Get More Information Here

Resources

Chris Kresser’s Free Thyroid Report

Fall 2016 Fat Loss Fast Track

Gluten reactions can last up to 6 months (research)

Benefits of reducing iodine

The Paleo Cure by Chris Kresser

The Hormone Cure by Sara Gottfried

Food Allergy Testing

Vitamin D Supplement

Join me at ASCEND in Nashville!

Wanna Help?

If you find the Primal Potential podcast help, it would mean the world to me if you’d take a minute to leave a rating & review! That helps show platforms display my podcast to new listeners! Thank you so much for your support! I can’t tell you how valuable it is!

233: How To Protect & Heal Your Thyroid – Part 2

232: How To Protect & Heal Your Thyroid – Part 1

Here’s the deal guys: your thyroid is about way more than your weight or your metabolism.

Whether you have a thyroid issue or you don’t, we all must ensure we’re doing all we can to protect & heal this critical endocrine gland.

Every single cell in your body has receptors for thyroid hormones.

Your overall health, metabolism and body composition all depend on the health of your thyroid.

Even if you don’t have a thyroid gland and you’re on synthetic thyroid hormones, you absolutely can & will from many of these strategies.

In today’s episode I share my recent thyroid issues and what I’m doing about them along with what your thyroid is, what it does and some of the things you can do to protect and heal your thyroid.

Listen Now

Download Episode

How to Protect & Heal Your Thyroid

What is your thyroid?

Your thyroid is a small gland in your throat. It’s an endocrine gland, secreting hormones your body needs for nearly every bodily function.

What does it do?

Your thyroid controls the metabolic rate of every organ in the body. Remember that your metabolic rate isn’t just about body weight. It’s about energy & fuel. Metabolic rate refers to the ability & efficiency of your body to get the energy & nutrients it needs from fuel you consume or fuel stored in your body as well as the ability & efficiency of your body to store fuel in the form of fat, muscle and bone.

Your thyroid regulates & influences countless bodily processes including breathing, heart rate, menstruation, muscle development, fat burning, sleep, body temperature, cholesterol production and more.

What can you do to protect and heal your thyroid?

In today’s episode, part 1, we talk about the importance of blood sugar balance, gut health and bacterial balance. We’ll go into many more strategies in part 2. For now:

Want to join the Fat Loss Fast Track? Last chance this year!

Get More Information Here

Resources

Chris Kresser’s Free Thyroid Report

Fall 2016 Fat Loss Fast Track

The Paleo Cure by Chris Kresser

The Hormone Cure by Sara Gottfried

Join me at ASCEND in Nashville!

Wanna Help?

If you find the Primal Potential podcast help, it would mean the world to me if you’d take a minute to leave a rating & review! That helps show platforms display my podcast to new listeners! Thank you so much for your support! I can’t tell you how valuable it is!

233: How To Protect & Heal Your Thyroid – Part 2

Episode 013: Hormones & Fat Loss Part 3: Optimizing Your Thyroid

The thyroid hormones tend to take a lot of the blame when it comes to an ability to burn fat or chronic low energy levels. The thyroid hormones are incredibly sensitive to our diet, lifestyle and environment and then can totally derail our fat loss efforts if they are out of balance. In today’s episode we talk about the factors required for optimal thyroid function and how we can implement specific nutritional, exercise and lifestyle strategies to optimize our thyroid function naturally!

Listen now!

Download Episode

Common Obstacle: The thyroid hormones tend to get a lot of the blame when people struggle to lose weight. You hear people say all the time that they struggle with their weight because they have a “slow thyroid” or something to that effect. There is no doubt that thyroid hormones play a major role in both weight loss and weight gain. What many people don’t realize is that you can naturally improve your thyroid function via the foods you eat and your lifestyle habits.

Facts: Your thyroid is a gland that secretes hormones. You can think of your thyroid as your body’s metabolic thermostat. The hormones secreted by your thyroid influence the function of pretty much every cell in your body. When your thyroid is functioning optimally you feel energetic, vibrant and optimistic. Weight management is easier. When it’s not functioning optimally you might feel tired, depressed, sluggish and foggy while experiencing weight gain, bloating and trouble regulating your body temperature.

You don’t have just one thyroid hormone. There are actually several thyroid hormones and they all function differently. They are produced and released based on signals the thyroid receives from the brain. Your thyroid is extremely sensitive to external inputs such as diet, environment, stress and toxins. Suboptimal diet and lifestyle choices can wreak havoc on your thyroid. Fueling your body properly will help your thyroid do its job. It can increase your energy and your ability to lose weight. NOT fueling your body well impairs your thyroid function.

An overview of thyroid hormones:

  • T3 is your active thyroid hormone. It regulates your body’s fuel usage and temperature
  • T4 is a precurser to T3. T4 is active and doesn’t play an active role until it is successfully converted to T3
  • Reverse T3 is also inactive. In times of stress, injury, illness or caloric restriction, your body slows your metabolism to conserve energy by producing more reverse T3.

Remember that your body is designed for survival. I say that all the the time because I think its so important. We have to look at all our diet and lifestyle choices based on the messages they send to our body’s survival instincts. When you drastically reduce your calorie intake, your thyroid function slows down. Why? Because your body senses that fuel intake is limited and it doesn’t want to allow you to burn off your stored energy in case you need it. When you slash your calorie intake, your thyroid hormone production is reduced and much of the thyroid hormone you will produce and release will be the inactive form. This is your body’s way of conserving energy in times of perceived threat.

Practical Implementation:

  • Do not crash diet. Do not drastically cut calories. This triggers your body to go into survival mode and produce more of your inactive thyroid hormones.
  • Avoid thyroid disrupters like bisphenol-A (found in plastics), red dye #3 (found in processed foods) and dioxin (found in non organic produce and meat)
  • Fuel your body with quality nutrition and be sure to meet your daily requirements for zinc, selenium and iodine.
  • Eat to balance your blood sugar by limiting processed foods and junk carbohydrates
  • Lift heavy weights and engage in high intensity interval training to increase the sensitivity of your thyroid hormone cell receptors

Resources:
Episode 11 – Eating to Optimize Hormones for Fat Loss Pt 1
Episode 12 – Eating to Optimize Hormones for Fat Loss Pt 2
Hormones & Fat Loss ebook! 50 pages of diet & lifestyle strategies to help you naturally optimize your hormones and get into fat-burning mode!!

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Underactive Thyroid? Improve Thyroid Function Naturally

Underactive Thyroid? Improve Thyroid Function Naturally

The thyroid hormones tend to get the most attention from the general public when it comes to weight loss. You hear people say all the time that they struggle with their weight because they have a “slow thyroid” or something to that effect. There is no doubt that the thyroid hormones play a major role in both weight loss and weight gain. They are significantly impacted by insulin, cortisol, leptin and the other metabolic hormones. Fortunately for most of us, there are ways to improve thyroid function naturally via the foods we eat and our lifestyle choices. Before we dive into what we can do, let’s establish a basic understanding of our thyroid hormones.

There are several thyroid hormones and they all function differently. They are produced and released based on signals the thyroid receives from the brain. Your thyroid is extremely sensitive to external inputs such as diet, environment, stress and toxins. Suboptimal diet and lifestyle choices can wreak havoc on your thyroid. If you take away one thing from this post, let it be that last sentence. Your diet and lifestyle have a MAJOR impact on your thyroid hormones. If you want optimal thyroid function, you need to eat and live accordingly!

Let’s talk about several thyroid hormones and how they are different from one another. First up is T3. T3 is the hormone we’re typically referring to when we think about metabolism. It is an active hormone that regulates your body’s fuel usage and temperature. T4 is the precursor to T3. In order to be impactful, T4 must first be successfully converted. Reverse T3 is a completely inactive thyroid hormone. All three of these hormones need to be successfully produced and they need to be produced in the proper ratios. If the overall amounts or the ratios or off, your thyroid function will be impaired.

Producing these hormones in adequate amounts and proper ratios is not all that is required for your thyroid to function optimally. The hormones must be successfully released from the cell and they must successfully attach to the precise receptor on the cell it is targeting. All those factors must be in place or else you’ll impair thyroid function.

Remember that your body is designed for survival. When you drastically reduce your calorie intake, your thyroid function slows down, taking your metabolism with it. Why? Because your body senses that fuel intake is limited and it doesn’t want to allow you to burn off your stored energy in case you need it. When you slash your calorie intake, your thyroid hormone production is reduced and much of the thyroid hormone you will produce and release will be the inactive form. This is your body’s way of conserving energy in times of perceived threat.

Similarly, when your leptin levels are low or you are resistant to leptin (due to being overweight or obese or consuming a very high carbohydrate diet), your thyroid function will decrease. Again, your body is either not getting signaled, or cannot properly receive the signal, that there is adequate stored energy in your body so it opts to downshift your metabolism to keep you “safe”.

High levels of estrogen can also slow your overall thyroid function. The presence of excess estrogen increases certain proteins that bind to your thyroid hormones and render them inactive. The thyroid is producing the hormones you need but they aren’t able to do their job because their receptor has been taken.

Finally, cortisol impacts your thyroid function. This relationship is a little more complicated. You’ll remember that in small, intermittent doses, cortisol is a significant fat loss ally. In these small, intermittent doses, cortisol can make your thyroid more efficient. Unfotunately, as is more often the case, excess cortisol inhibits the conversion of T4 (your inactive thyroid hormone) to T3, the active form. Why would we have excess cortisol? Chronic stress. Let it goooooo.

As you can see, there is a lot that can go wrong and impair thyroid function, leading to a slower, less efficient metabolism and an impaired ability to burn fat. Fortunately, there is a lot we can do to support the thyroid through diet, lifestyle and exercise.

First of all, proper thyroid function relies on several key nutrients. Here’s the thing – these nutrients MUST be consumed daily because our bodies have no ability to store them. Which nutrients am I talking about? Specifically iodine, zinc and selenium. If you aren’t sure if you are getting enough of these, your best bet is to take a high quality multivitamin. Nutrition is critical for optimal thyroid function.

As has been the case with all the hormones we’ve talked about so far, one of the most impactful changes we can make to maintain metabolic hormone balance is to control our blood sugar. Avoid dramatic peaks and valleys. The most straightforward and effective way to do this is to cut out processed foods and limit wheat and grain products. In fact, avoiding them completely is the ideal. Start by cutting out processed foods and focusing on vegetables, meat, fish, poultry, nuts, seeds and some fruit. However, as you make this transition be sure you aren’t drastically cutting your calories. Remember that dropping your calories slows your thyroid function. Eat when you’re hungry, stop when you’re full.

Finally, lifting heavy weights and high intensity interval type training improves thyroid function by increasing the sensitivity of the cellular receptors to which your thyroid hormones need to attach to function.

I hope you’re beginning to see a trend as it relates to balancing and optimizing your metabolic hormones. They all work differently but they all impact each other. Not only that, they all benefit significantly from a healthy diet that minimizes the blood sugar spikes that result from processed foods, wheat and grain products.

If you want to know more about hormones and fat loss, check out my free podcast!

Episode 2: Why Hormones Trump Calories
Episode 7: Hormones, Carbohydrates and Fat Loss

There’s also my new ebook! 50 pages of information and specific diet & lifestyle strategies to help you naturally balance your hormones and get into fat burning mode!