Displaying items by tag: thyroid

Wednesday, 25 May 2016 18:51

A Very Personal Story

I am going to share with you a very real and personal story. It has actually taken me weeks to be able to write this, and quite honestly, I am still a little nervous to share it.

You see, many years ago I had an eating disorder. I was basically anorexic. My boyfriend broke up with me, my grandfather had a stroke and my mother got cancer. Within months, my grandfather and then my mother passed away. Now, most of you know this is why I got into Nutrition but what you probably didn’t know was that I had an unhealthy relationship with food back then. I basically didn’t eat. I was too stressed out and sad and the last thing I wanted to do was eat.
I lived on coffee and cigarettes. Holding it all together, seemingly.
Over the years, I gradually put back on the 15 lbs I lost, and managed to maintain that healthy weight through the birth of my daughter and my journey to become a nutritionist. P.S. I had given up smoking too btw.
Then…..around age 35
I started to gradually put on some weight. Not a lot, but enough to make me feel unhappy with myself. I went to a Nutritionist (Yes, I knew I needed to hand the reigns over to someone else) and dealt with my digestive issues and worked on supporting my adrenals and thyroid. I was healthy.
My weight continued to creep up and at this time, I was working out pretty hard in the gym. I was eating clean and trying every type of eating under the sun and nothing was working. Trust me, over the years I did the Master Cleanse, Cabbage Soup Diet, Vegetarian, Paleo, Low Carb, High Fat… UGH!!! It’s crap!!!

And the saying goes in the Nutrition world is, if you just eat clean, your weight will normalize.
Well, I call BULLSHIT! (disclaimer: I am not saying you can eat whatever you want, what I am saying is IN SPITE OF HEALTHY EATING and EXERCISE…. I was still putting on weight.

I started working out more. And I was beginning to see a glimmer of that old eating disorder start to resurface. I was teaching you how to safely lose weight, telling you to eat more and yet I couldn’t do it myself. 

I was NOT on a low-calorie diet. I was eating about 1600 calories a day on average. But it still wasn’t enough. My metabolism clearly was adapting to the shortage of food. I trained for a 25 km Multi-Sport race last year and that was the straw that broke the camel’s back.  I was tired, stressed and my adrenals were not functioning optimally.  I hated food, I was “eating clean” and still putting on weight.   I was afraid of certain foods and avoiding them in my obsession.  I stopped teaching weight loss classes because I didn’t believe in it anymore. I felt like a joke.

Then I read an article that changed my life.  It was written by a woman who had lost 85 pounds and teaches healthy weight loss like I do.

This was the eye opener, reprinted with permission.

"Good Dieting Candidate
Your doctor has advised you to lose weight because it is affecting your health.
You lack energy and you're tired all of the time.
Your weight holds you back from regular day activities.
Your doctor says you have high blood pressure or high cholesterol and has cleared you to exercise.
Your waist circumference is greater than 35 inches.
You have a family history of cancer.
Your knees, hips and back hurt on a regular basis due to excess weight on your joints.
You want to feel more comfortable in your skin.

Bad Dieting Candidate
You think you will only be happy once you hit your weight loss goal.
You're caught in a cycle of yo-yo dieting... Binging one day and depriving the next.
Ladies: You've stopped getting your period. This happened to me for 5 years. You can read all about my experiences overcoming hypothalamic amenorrhea here.
You think of dieting and/or exercise as punishment.
You equate your self-esteem to the number on the scale.
You've been dieting for at least 6 months and you have plateaued, despite being in a caloric deficit."  Ange Hauck

With guidance and more education, I am happy to be feeling better in my own body. 

If you would like to learn more, please book a free 20-minute phone chat with me so I can guide you through healthy weight loss, balancing your blood sugar and your hormones.

Deanna Trask RHN
Holistic Nutrition, Sports Nutrition, Weight Loss, Hormone Balance, Blood Sugar Balance, Digestion and Food Sensitivities
1405 2nd Ave W, Owen Sound
www.nutritiousliving.ca
519-270-1889

Published in Weight Loss
Wednesday, 25 May 2016 18:16

4 Hormones that Control Your Weight

4 Hormones That Control Your Weight

It’s Monday and you spent the entire weekend clearing out your cupboards, throwing away all of the ‘bad’ foods, grocery shopping and preparing your meals for the week. You feel really good about being ‘good’ this week.

The diet has to work this time.

By 10:00am you are on a roll, about to eat your mid-morning snack and then it happens… you get called into a meeting and leave your apple and 1 tablespoon of natural peanut butter on your desk. Hunger sets in but you can’t leave the emergency last minute meeting.

By 1:00pm you are starving, only having had your breakfast at 7:30am. It’s been five and a half hours since you’ve last eaten. You take one look at the salad you were so excited to eat, turn on your heels, and head for the nearest coffee shop. A salad isn’t going to cut it today… you are starving.

As the guilt sets in for skipping your salad and deviating from your diet on day 1 you think to yourself, “If I had a little more will power I would have eaten my salad.”

Sound familiar?

Willpower is no match for hormones and hormonal based food cravings. See, hormones help to regulate metabolism, blood sugar control, sleep, stress, cravings and your weight. You probably heard about the importance of balancing your hormones before, still, let me explain to you the 4 hormones that are in charge of your weight.

Once you understand just how powerful your hormones are you will be in a stronger position to keep them balanced so that they work for you instead of against you.

4 Hormones That Control Your Weight:

Insulin:
Fat storing hormone. Carries glucose molecules out of your blood stream to be delivered to your working muscles. Stores glucose (carbs) as fat for later use when muscle cells are full.

Cortisol:
Stress hormone. Secreted in response to emotional or physical stress (fit or flight response). Chronic stress keeps cortisol in the blood stream resulting in lowered immunity, suppressed thyroid function (metabolism), blood sugar imbalances (insulin) and increased abdominal fat.

Leptin:
Satiety controller. This hormone regulates hunger and feelings of being full. It’s signaled by the hypothalamus and secreted in fat cells. If leptin resistant you don’t feel full and keep eating. Tied to insulin and food cravings. Insulin resistance and leptin resistance are two hormones that can severally damage the body’s ability to lose weight.

Ghrelin:
Stimulates hunger. Secreted in the lining of the stomach and from the pancreas. Ghrelin increases before meals to stimulate hunger and is supposed to decrease after meals. Tied to leptin, which induces feelings of being full. When leptin resistance, insulin resistant and stressed out (high cortisol), ghrelin doesn’t shut off constantly telling your body you are starving.

See, it’s not your fault. Hormone imbalances are to blame.

When your hormones are out of whack you crave carbs or fatty foods. You feel hungry most of the time and never quite feel full and satisfied. You have a hard time sleeping because you are under stress, which perpetuates the problem further. When you are stuck in this cycle weight loss is next to impossible.

So how do you turn it around and balance the 4 hormones that promote weight loss?

1. Avoid all simple sugars, processed grains and foods with hidden sugars.

Sugar promotes high levels of insulin secretion. This includes 100% whole wheat and whole grains. Replace your grains with high fiber beans, lentils, fruits and vegetables.

2. Start your day with a protein and fat breakfast.

Protein and fat promote feelings of fullness, keeps blood sugar levels stable and signals the hypothalamus that you are full. Try to have 2-3 whole eggs with 1 cup veggies cooked in 1-2 tsp of coconut oil.

3. Eat every 4 hours.

Avoid snacking every 2 hours or so. When you are constantly eating, your body doesn’t have time to use up the glucose for energy and never gives your hormones a break. Your meals should be big enough to keep you feeling full for 4 hours.

4. Don’t over exercise or do long bouts of cardio.

Remember, we are trying to reduce cortisol levels (stress). Long bouts of cardio create a stress response in the body. Short, intense workouts, like sprints or weight lifting, is the best way to go. Workouts shouldn’t last more than 30 – 45 minutes if done at the right intensity.

5. Get 7 hours of sleep every night.

The body repairs itself during sleep. Your liver completes its detoxification cycle and your pancreas processes out the remaining glucose. When you don’t have quality sleep it creates a stress response, elevates insulin levels and gives you cravings for carbs.

Balancing your hormones is vital to your goal of losing weight. Follow these 5 tips above to gain better control over your hormones and the weight will start to come off. The best part is that when you do the work to balance your hormones, losing weight isn’t a battle of wills anymore.

Do you still want more help?  I create personalized plans to help you balance your blood sugar, balance your hormones and lose the weight.   Book your Free 30-minute consult today.

Published in Hormones
Tuesday, 03 May 2016 15:29

Hypothyroidism Risk/Symptoms Checklist

You’ve gone for blood work and your doctor says your results are “normal”.  Your TSH reading is in the normal range, so your thyroid function is fine.  So why are you still experiencing symptoms? Lack of energy, weight gain, cold hands and feet, hair falling out and low sex drive.

Just because you fall within the “normal” range does not mean that this score is normal for you.  Because we are all bio-chemically unique, one person may feel great with a reading of 4.0 while you may feel best at 1.0.  Some doctors are reluctant to prescribe medication unless your reading is above 5.5, but if you are experiencing symptoms, suspect you are in the early stages of thyroid disease.  

So what is a girl to do when all else seems to fail? Well, there are a few things your Holistic Nutritionist can help you address to hopefully get your body back to a better state of balance.  Thyroid hormones require a balance of macro and micro nutrients.  Cleaning up your diet and identifying food sensitivities can go a long way to reduce the stress placed on the body and in turn the adrenals and thyroid.  Addressing mineral deficiencies, liver and digestive disturbances as well as managing other stressors such as lifestyle and exercise can all be beneficial to certain individuals.  

Hypothyroidism Risk/Symptoms Checklist

You can use this checklist to bring to your health practitioner to help aid in getting a proper diagnosis of hypothyroidism, or as background information in your discussions regarding fine tuning your dosage so you are at the optimal TSH level for your own level of wellness.

My risk factors for hypothyroidism include:

____ I have a family history of thyroid disease
____ I have had my thyroid "monitored" in the past to watch for changes
____ I had a previous diagnosis of goiters/nodules
____ I currently have a goiter
____ I was treated for hypothyroidism in the past
____ I had post-partum thyroiditis in the past
____ I had a temporary thyroiditis in the past
____ I have another autoimmune disease
____ I have had a baby in the past nine months
____ I have a history of miscarriage
____ I have had part/all of my thyroid removed due to cancer
____ I have had part/all of my thyroid removed due to nodules
____ I have had part/all of my thyroid removed due to Graves' disease/hyperthyroidism
____ I have had radioactive iodine due to Graves' Disease/hyperthyroidism
____ I have had anti-thyroid drugs due to Graves' Disease/hyperthyroidism

I have the following symptoms of hypothyroidism, as detailed by the Merck Manual, the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, and the Thyroid Foundation of America

____ I am gaining weight inappropriately
____ I'm unable to lose weight with diet/exercise
____ I am constipated, sometimes severely
____ I have low body temperature (feel cold when others feel hot/need extra sweaters, etc.)
____ I feel fatigued, exhausted
____ Feeling run down, sluggish, lethargic
____ My hair is coarse and dry, breaking, brittle, falling out
____ My skin is coarse, dry, scaly, and thick
____ I have a hoarse or gravely voice
____ I have puffiness and swelling around the eyes and face
____ I have pains, aches in joints, hands and feet
____ I have developed carpal-tunnel syndrome, or it's getting worse
____ I am having irregular menstrual cycles (longer, or heavier, or more frequent)
____ I am having trouble conceiving a baby
____ I feel depressed
____ I feel restless
____ My moods change easily

____ I have feelings of worthlessness
____ I have difficulty concentrating
____ I have more feelings of sadness
____ I seem to be losing interest in normal daily activities
____ I'm more forgetful lately 

I also have the following additional symptoms, which have been reported more frequently in people with hypothyroidism:


____ My hair is falling out
____ I can't seem to remember things
____ I have no sex drive
____ I am getting more frequent infections, that last longer
____ I'm snoring more lately
____ I have/may have sleep apnea
____ I feel shortness of breath and tightness in the chest
____ I feel the need to yawn to get oxygen
____ My eyes feel gritty and dry
____ My eyes feel sensitive to light
____ My eyes get jumpy/tics in eyes, which makes me dizzy/vertigo and have headaches
____ I have strange feelings in neck or throat
____ I have tinnitus (ringing in ears)
____ I get recurrent sinus infections
____ I have vertigo
____ I feel some lightheadedness
____ I have severe menstrual cramps 

 

If you check off several of these symptoms and would like to make some positive changes, book an appointment with me and we will create an individualized plan to start returning your body to health. 

Click here to start working with me

Deanna Trask RHN

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  519-270-1889

Published in Deanna's Blog