Friday, August 21, 2015

An often overlooked cause of weight gain

Since two out of three of us are overweight or obese, it’s safe to say many of us have overindulged in the food department and have become BFFs with the sofa.

But in many cases, we’ve had help with our weight gain.

As a matter of fact, in addition to weight gain, ALL of these symptoms can all be caused by the malfunctioning of one tiny body part.  Can you guess what it is?
  • Fatigue, sluggishness or weakness 
  • Dry skin 
  • Brittle nails 
  • Hair loss and/or coarse or dry hair 
  • Increased sensitivity to cold 
  • Constipation 
  • Memory problems or having trouble thinking clearly 
  • Heavy or irregular menstrual periods 
  • Swelling of the arms, hands, legs, and feet
  • Hoarseness 
  • Muscle aches and cramps 
  • Low blood pressure 
  • Infertility 
  • Sleep irregularities 
  • Depression
  • Give up?
It’s your thyroid gland.

Let's take a closer look at this small but powerful gland, why problems with it are often missed, and natural ways to help keep yours healthy.

The ULTIMATE powerin an itty bitty living space
Your thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland that sits in in front of your neck just above your collarbone and wraps its "wings" around your larynx (voice box).

Thyroid hormones are used by EVERY SINGLE CELL in your body, so if it isn't working right, it can affect you from head to toe.  That's why you see such a wide variety of symptoms in the list above--ANYWHERE in your body is fair game.

Here are just some of your thyroid’s jobs:
  • Regulate your metabolism
  • Stimulate the absorption of glucose into your cells
  • Help with nutrient absorption
  • Prevent the release of calcium from your bones
  • Regulate your heart rate and muscle function
  • Keep your stomach acid at a healthy level
  • Help your liver excrete the toxins that it filters out of your bloodstream
An expertly designed system
Your thyroid operates under a very efficient system, working with your hypothalamus and pituitary glands.

Your hypothalamus is like a security system, monitoring your body's functions and conditions like your temperature, whether you’re stressed, etc.

When it senses some tweaking in your body functions needs to take place, it alerts the pituitary to "pass the message" on to the appropriate gland to make sure the proper hormones are released to get your body back into balance.

When the needed hormones must come from your thyroid, your pituitary releases thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) which triggers the thyroid into action.

Then your thyroid releases thyroxine (T-4) and sends it into the bloodstream.  When the T-4 finds where it needs to go, it’s converted to its active form T-3 (triiodothyronine).  Then it delivers the message to your cells and your body function gets restored.

Too high or too low?
The thyroid can malfunction by either working too much (HYPERthyroid) or not enough (HYPOthyroid). 

1- Hyperthyroid
Hyperthyroid is when there is an overproduction of T-3. 

People who are hyperthyroid are often irritable, have rapid heartbeat, hand tremors, hair loss, nervousness, sleeping problems, increased perspiration and protruding eyeballs.

One of the common causes of hyperthyroid is an autoimmune condition called Graves’ disease.

2- Hypothyroid
On the flip side, hypothyroid is when the thyroid is not producing enough T-4. 

People with hypothyroidism often gain weight despite dieting, have increased allergic reactions, suffer continuous fatigue--often waking up just as tired as before they went to sleep, brittle nails, dry skin and lowered sex drive.

Hypothyroid can be caused by nutrient deficiencies--especially iodine, zinc, selenium, vitamin A and magnesium.

Low functioning thyroid can also be the result of an autoimmune disease--known as Hashimoto's thyroiditis.

In addition, hypothyroidism can stem from hyperthyroidism.  When someone's thyroid is working in overdrive (hyper) for long enough, eventually it can become exhausted and crash into a low functioning hypothyroid.  

It's often missed
Typically most mainstream doctors don't do enough tests to detect thyroid malfunction, so it can frequently be missed.

When assessing thyroid function, many doctors will do only a TSH test.  But since TSH is secreted by the pituitary, that test primarily assesses the functioning of your pituitary—not necessarily your thyroid! 

Plus the TSH test measures your blood level of thyroid hormone at that one moment in time when your blood is drawn. 

But your thyroid hormone levels are constantly changing—so a “snapshot” blood test is not always an accurate picture of what’s really going on 24/7 with your thyroid.

A far more accurate and sensitive test that assesses thyroid health is the "TRH challenge test" also known as the “TRH Stimulation test.”  Be sure to ask your doctor to include this test in your workup.

Pamper your thyroid
Since your thyroid literally affects your health from head to toe, it’s crucial to make your body a more supportive home for it and take in the nutrients to keep it healthy.

The best way to do that is to have a healthful diet of real foods and ensure proper digestion so you can better absorb needed nutrients.

The Great Taste No Pain eating system can help you with this important goal.

In Great Taste No Pain, you will learn the best foods to pair together for more efficient digestion and assimilation of nutrients. 

Plus it really delivers on the great taste promise—you’ll get a collection of easy recipes featuring nutritious real foods that are lip-smacking delicious and good for you too!

Having a diet of real foods will help prevent nutritional deficiencies in the minerals like iodine, zinc and magnesium that are so crucial to proper thyroid function. 

Note:  If you also have a gluten challenge, Great Taste No Gluten is your ticket instead.  

You’ll get the same food pairing advice as in Great Taste No Pain, plus guides for living a gluten free lifestyle and a collection of tasty gluten free recipes.

Address the immune piece too
Both hyperthyroid and hypothyroid can be caused by improper immune responses--known as an autoimmune disorder

So a wise approach for anyone possibly fighting an autoimmune disease is to come head to head with the culprit that's causing the problem to begin with -- the immune system.

That's where probiotics may be a big help and here’s how:

Your immune system has two types of T-cells--Helper T cells and Regulatory T cells.

Helper T cells patrol your body, looking for dangerous invaders. Once they detect a real or perceived threat, they multiply themselves and attack, stirring up inflammation.

Regulatory T cells tell Helper T cells to calm down, so they help stop inflammation and keep your harmless tissues safe.

Probiotics can help to encourage more of your immune system’s Regulatory T cell to form, which naturally fight inflammation and help “tame” the Helper T Cells.

And unlike the immune-suppressive drugs typically prescribed for autoimmune conditions, probiotics can help work with your immune system to address its mixed-up responses--without the drug side effects! 

Super Shield probiotic formula was designed to be a potent and effective helper for a wide variety of health challenges, including autoimmune diseases.

One of Super Shield's strains, Lactobacillus Rhamnosus, helps to strengthen your gut-barrier function and has been shown to have a beneficial impact on autoimmune conditions as well as constipation (which is a typical hypothyroid concern). 

Additionally, Super Shield's 12 other potent strains will help keep your gut flora in proper balance, support the health of your immune system overall.

Help support the health of your thyroid and I’m sure you’ll see a difference in how you feel (and in your weight!) very soon.

To your health,

Sherry Brescia

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