Can Exercise and Diet Cure Hypothyroid

Workout and Diet for Hypothyroid

Neha Maheshwari Agarwal sent this message almost a month back:

I am 28 n mother of 2 month old baby. I am also suffering from hypothyroidism. My height is 5.4 and weight is 69. I really wanted to reduce weight and be healthy. I am also feeding my baby. Please suggest some diet plan and exercise which I can follow along with taking care of baby.

This was my follow up question from her

Did this hypothyroidism problem occurred after pregnancy?

And she replied: No it was from earlier around 6-7 months.

The reason I asked this question from Neha was that during pregnancy or after delivery, it gets probable for a women
to contract health problems like appendicitis, diabetes, hypothyroid, blood pressure etc. A child when moving out of his mother’s womb, pulls a lot of good and bad things from his mom’s body. This is the reason for a lot weakness in women just after pregnancy. And this is the reason our elders ask us to eat a lot of nutritious food. And may be this is the reason they say that a women takes a new birth when she gives birth to a child :)

Talking about Neha’s query. Hypothyroidism has many symptoms like laziness, constipation, muscle aches, hair fall, brittle nail and hair, menstrual disturbances, thickened skin, weight gain etc etc. Neha’s symptoms were sugar cravings and increase of appetite.

So much harm can be caused due to the imbalance of the hormones that are produced by this little gland called thyroid. Thyroid rests like a butterfly in front of our wind pipe, regulating the metabolism of all the carbs, proteins, fats that we eat. Basically it metabolizes all nutrients, vitamins, minerals etc. Ohh well except junk food, processed food or trans fats :P

So, if we really look forward to have a marvelously carved body with an excellent fat burning ability then we will have to etch it loud and clear on our minds that we will have to take care of our thyroid gland. How?

First let us understand the basic functioning of the thyroid gland. Check out the image below:

Workout and Diet for Hypothyroid

The main player/hormone that are produced at the thyroid gland are t3(triidothyronine) and t4(Thyroxine). The signals to produce t3 and t4 comes from the hormone called TSH(thyroid stimulating hormone) that is produced at pituitary glands. Signals to produce TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) comes from a hormone called TRH (thyroid releasing hormone) that is produced at a gland called hypothalamus. Hypothalamus is located inside our brain.

As per a book I am reading: Imagine the thyroid gland as a furnace and the pituitary gland as the thermostat. Thyroid hormones are like heat. When the heat gets back to the thermostat, it turns the thermostat off. As the room cools (the thyroid hormone levels drop), the thermostat turns back on (TSH increases) and the furnace produces more heat (thyroid hormones). And imagine the hypothalamus as the person who regulates the thermostat since it tells the pituitary gland at what level the thyroid should be set.

Ahaa! There we got to know of a connection between the main thyroid hormones and our brain. So, when we stress our mind, we stress our hypothalamas and hence disturb t3 and t4 production thus disturbing our metabolic rate.

*Promise me now, you will always stay happy and won’t take stress* Else no ranting for weight loss :P

In a nutshell, our Brain senses the presence of thyroid hormone is our blood and accordingly instructs the release or withdrawal of thyroid hormone in our blood. When the hormones are in excess the situation is hyperthyroidism and if the hormones are in scarcity then it is hypothyroidism. No enough thyroid hormones or hypothyroid means no good metabolism, no good calcium absorption, weight gain and tons of other problems.

How to keep hypothyroid problem in check?

Nutrition wise: With diet our basic aim should be to enhance the production of t3 and t4 hormones. Logical? How do we do it? By eating food that helps the production of t3 and t4. Iodine + tyrosine(protein) are essential for producing thyroid hormones and tyrosine comes from protein L-phenylalanine. So, without adequate iodine and proteins in our diet we cannot improve the production of thyroid hormone.

Eat this iodine and pottassium rich food: Banana, milk, whole grains(chappati made from different grains), strawberries, carrots, apple, berries, tomato, cucumber, zuccini, leafy vegetables. I wrote zuccini because I get the local one here. No need of getting any imported food.

Remember you need the protein tyrosine also? Eat dals, curd, kadhi, eggs, cottage cheese. I know you don’t want to eat any of this food as you find all of these foods fattening and worry about the calories in them. Ummmm, okay mattar paneer, rajma chawal, chole chawal are not fattening unless we make them in curries drenched in oils :P Which we usually do. But yes the namkeen, the biscuits, the ice creams, the sugary drinks that we eat and drink, just like that, are fattening. In every way. So if you have to avoid something than avoid them. Instead of venting your calorie counting sense out on a humble, delicious and nutritious coconut water. Try to vent it out on the big glass of sugary drinks etc ;-)

Increased nutrient and calorie intake not just supports the thyroid but also encourages improved metabolism. Why don’t we start worrying about the nutrients instead of calories? :P

Workout wise: Move as much as you can. Walk, run, dance, jump, do aerobics or cardio exercises to mobilize the deposited fat. Yoga has asans that help to stimulate the functioning of thyroid gland. Search an experienced teacher and get going.

Sleep like a dead horse. I mean literally sleep like a dead horse :P . Stay stress free, when you feel stressed, may be ask your mind to shut up and relax :D . Prepare, eat and think only and only nutritious food. Make these changes sincerely in your life and you will find the deposited fat subsidizing coyly from your body and the thyroid gland behaving appropriately as required.

I wish none of us wake up to those thyronorm tablets in our lives. Let us empower our health. Cheers!

Do tell if you want more input from my side. Until tomorrow when I will write on Dharani’s query :)

Loads of Love

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Can Exercise and Diet Cure Hypothyroid

4 thoughts on “Can Exercise and Diet Cure Hypothyroid

  1. Bharathi Baskaran

    That is indeed an awesome post Nidhi,
    I have been continuosly following your articles and it had been very very helpful in reshaping me.

    Thanks a lot.


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