The little-known health condition affecting a million Australians that is causing weight gain, and the signs to watch out for
- Susie Burrell and Leanne Ward highlighted thyroid dysfunction as a big problem
- The thyroid greatly affects your metabolism and can cause your weight to shift.
Leading dietitians have shared the signs and symptoms of thyroid dysfunction as it has been revealed to affect one million Australians and more women than men.
Susie Burrell from Sydney and Leanne Ward from Brisbane co-host the popular nutrition podcast. The Nutrition Couch whose objective is to dispel the myths around diet and healthy eating and explain how the best results can be produced.
Thyroid dysfunction involves over or under activity of the thyroid gland. Your thyroid creates and produces hormones that play vital roles in many different systems throughout your body.
If your thyroid is not working properly, you can gain or lose weight quickly and unexpectedly.
Dietitians shared the signs and symptoms of thyroid dysfunction as it was revealed to affect one million Australians and women more than men (Susie Burrell and Leanne Ward pictured)
According to Susie and Leanne, it is “vitally important” that the thyroid gland is functioning and perfectly balanced.
“The thyroid gland regulates metabolism along with many other things, and thyroid problems can have a profound effect on how we feel on a day-to-day basis,” Susie said on the show.
He added: “Over a million Australians live with thyroid dysfunction and it’s particularly common here because our soil is so low in iodine, which is important for regulating thyroid function.”
The dietitians explained that the thyroid is a gland that is “at the front of the neck, close to where the larynx is.”
“It has a key role in regulating a number of body systems, including body and brain temperature, energy levels and metabolic function,” Susie said.
If you have thyroid dysfunction, your thyroid gland will be underactive (hypothyroidism) or overactive (hyperthyroidism).
Hypothyroidism is more common than hyperthyroidism.
“The thyroid gland regulates metabolism along with many other things, and thyroid problems can have a profound effect on how we feel on a day-to-day basis,” said Susie (shown as the ideal food dish to help with thyroid dysfunction )
Hypothyroidism – the facts
Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) is a condition in which the thyroid gland does not produce enough crucial hormones.
Over time, untreated hypothyroidism can cause a host of health problems, including obesity, joint pain, infertility, and heart disease.
The first symptoms of hypothyroidism may be fatigue and weight gain.
But as metabolism continues to slow, patients may develop more obvious problems.
These may include constipation, dry skin, weight gain, a puffy face, muscle weakness, high blood cholesterol, and joint pain, stiffness, or swelling.
Most cases of underactive thyroid are caused by the immune system attacking the thyroid gland and damaging it, or by damage that occurs as a result of thyroid cancer treatments or an overactive thyroid.
Hyperthyroidism – the facts
Hyperthyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland produces too much thyroid hormone. This condition is also called an overactive thyroid. This condition is also called an overactive thyroid.
Hyperthyroidism speeds up the body’s metabolism. That can cause many symptoms, including weight loss, hand tremors, and a fast or irregular heartbeat.
Thyroid hormones control the way the body uses energy, so they affect almost every organ in the body, including the way the heart beats. With too much thyroid hormone, many of your body’s functions speed up.
Early symptoms of hyperthyroidism include nervousness, irritability, mood swings, trouble sleeping, feeling tired all the time, muscle weakness, and diarrhea.
You may also start to lose weight quickly and unexpectedly if you have an overactive thyroid.
While it is a medical condition that needs to be managed accordingly, dietitians said a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, dairy, complex carbohydrates, and protein will help (pictured)
Leanne said that the signs and symptoms of both dysfunctions are different but characteristic.
If you have hypothyroidism, the signs may be excessive tiredness, increased sensitivity to cold, sudden constipation, weight gain, and bloating and dry skin.
If you have hyperthyroidism, symptoms include nervousness, anxiety and irritability, trouble sleeping, mood swings, muscle weakness, sudden unexplained weight loss, and diarrhea.
There are some diet strategies for both, but thyroid dysfunction is a medical condition. A diet can’t fix it,” Leanne said.
“If you have either, it requires specific management with a GP to get the balance right.”
Some might mistake it for iron deficiency, since many of the signs and symptoms are similar.
If you suspect that your thyroid might not be working properly, the best thing to do is get your levels checked.
Dietitians advised that you also modify your diet and be sure to include at least five servings of fruits and vegetables a day, many high-fiber and starchy foods such as potatoes, bread, rice or pasta, and some dairy products, as well as beans, legumes , fish , eggs, meat and other proteins.