We all know how difficult it can be to lose weight at the best of times but just imagine how hard it is to shed even a single pound of body fat when you’re battling hypothyroidism. The reality is that this is a condition that is affecting more and more people’s lives every single year, and it shows no signs of actually stopping.
There are almost 28 million people in America who have been told by their doctors that they have an underactive thyroid. But even more surprising than this number is the fact that there are way more people out there that are still waiting to be diagnosed and given the treatment they require to get better.
Aside from hypothyroidism, there’s another condition that’s also getting more and more common and it goes by the name of subclinical hypothyroidism. This disease doesn’t actually do anything to the individual’s thyroid but it still leaves them experiencing many of the symptoms that are common with people that usually have full blown hypothyroidism. The good news however is that if the person just improves their diet for the better then everything can be flipped around.
So what happens when the individual is suffering from hypothyroidism? Well more than likely it will leave them with a much slower metabolism which will result in them burning way less calories than normal.
Any person out there that doesn’t have thyroid glands that are working properly will find that they will struggle to lose weight. This is because the thyroid glands are responsible for creating two very important hormones known as T3 and T4. These hormones are basically what control your body’s rate of metabolism.
So any individual who doesn’t have enough of these hormones will find it a lot harder to lose weight! This is precisely why losing weight can be do damn difficult.
However those of you that are absolutely dedicated to getting results will be glad to know that you can get it done by following the tips below:
Tip 1: Get a Fully Qualified Doctor to Properly Diagnose and Then Give You Treatment
The first step you must implement is to make sure that you get a fully qualified doctor to thoroughly check you over to give you the diagnosis and treatment that you need.
How you are diagnosed will totally be dependent upon the results of the blood test that your doctor actually gives you. This simple and quick blood test will basically be measuring exactly how much T3, T4 and thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) you have inside your body. Should the results come back to show that you have really high amounts of TSH but really low amounts of T4 and T3 then it’s pretty much guaranteed that you do indeed have hypothyroidism!
The American Thyroid Association states that you need to have a TSH level of about 2.5 mIU/L to be officially considered as being hypothyroid.
Those of you that do get the diagnosis that you do actually have an underactive thyroid will go on to be prescribed with some sort of synthetic T4. Most of the time you’ll be given medication that goes by the name of levothyroxine. The great thing about this medicine is that it will help to get your levels of thyroid hormone right back into the healthy range where it should be to get your metabolism fired up again.
Tip 2: Start Making Meals That Are Really Healthy and Nutritious
The best and most effective way to help yourself lose all the weight you want to lose is to make sure that you start eating healthy and nutritious meals. Not even hypothyroidism will be able to stop you from losing weight if you can do this. Every single meal that you sit down to consume should contain a healthy portion of both protein and vegetables.
You might not realize this but protein is actually very satiating. It has been shown to not only keep hunger at bay for a good number of hours but it also helps to protect your metabolism boosting muscle mass, which is very important when you are focused on trying to lose weight and get into shape.
Tip 3: Begin Consuming Tons of Foods High in Fiber and Totally Avoid Processed Junk Foods
Nothing out there is going to be more detrimental to your long term weight loss success than you eating junk foods that do nothing but cause you to gain weight! Seriously you need to do your level best to dump these foods in favor of foods that contain a good amount of fiber in them. The first benefit you’ll notice is that fiber rich foods are very good for keeping your hunger at bay.
Of course the other benefit of getting a good amount of fiber into your body is that it will help to prevent any sort of chronic constipation from occurring which is very common among people that suffer from hypothyroidism.
Tip 4: Exercise Properly
Truth be told, after diet exercise is going to be the key to you really getting the dream body you’ve always desired. So regardless of the time that you’re able to dedicate to exercise every single day, it’s going to be in your interest to make sure that you’re doing whatever you can.
The really great thing about exercise is the fact that it contributes to weight loss a lot more than just helping you burn calories in the moment. Rather it will help to build up a good amount of high quality muscle mass which is essential to getting your base metabolic rate to rise and rise.
And as we all probably know the higher an individual’s metabolism the more weight they are going to end up burning over the long term!
The only way to really overcome hypothyroidism for good and lose the weight you want to lose is by making sure that you remain consistent in your efforts and never allow hypothyroidism to stop you from getting what it is that you want.
Believe me, only you can stop yourself from getting the results that you truly desire! This means you just need to make sure that you keep a positive mind and that you keep moving towards your goals every single day! Do this and believe me soon enough you will end up in the best shape of your life.
Make sure that you head over to http://hypothyroidismdietplan.org/ where you will find all the latest and greatest on exactly what you need to get into the best health of your life, even if you happen to be suffering from an underactive thyroid!
It’s that time of year when moms start to worry about making sure their precious littles are sufficiently protected from the bugs of summer. If your kids are anything like mine they don’t want to play outside in the heat of the day, when the bugs are few and far between, and who could blame them? When the sun starts to fade and the temperature dips though they get a second wind and they hit the door running. Unfortunately the bugs (ie mosquitoes) have the same idea. My kids have already come inside with fresh bugs bites only to spend the remainder of the evening itching up a storm. During the summer months lots of families can be found several evenings a week attending some sort of outdoor event so bugs become a problem.
First we need to set up a good offense and send everyone outside with some protection…a bug barrier. A super easy and natural way to repel bugs is to make an essential oil spray. Just put some clove, basil, juniper, pine, or cedar oils inside a carrier oil like Jojoba or grain alcohol and spray as needed. Even easier and cheaper than that is to use garlic juice and water and spray as needed. You can also buy a more natural product if you don’t want a DIY product. We like and use the Badger Anti-Bug Twist-Up Stick. You put it on lightly or thick and it smells really nice without being at all greasy. No harmful DEET!
You can also get proactive by planting strategically around your house with plants that the bugs don’t like. Rosemary, basil, catnip, and lemon balm are a few plants you can grow that have wonderful insect-repelling qualities
What do you do though when you or the kiddos get bit or stung by ants, bees, mosquitoes and other buggy creatures despite your best efforts? Here are some…
Natural Ways to Soothe and Heal Bug Bites and Stings
Aloe Vera – Cut a small section of your plant (seriously every family needs to have at least one Aloe Vera plant in their home) and rub on, allowing the juices to dry and soothe.
Apple Cider Vinegar – Apply a few drops of ACV directly and allow to dry. Repeat as needed. You can also add a couple cups to your bath water for a soak.
Onion – Take a thin slice of onion and apply directly to the bite/sting. Great for bee stings!
Baking Soda Paste – Mix some baking soda with water to form a paste and apply as needed to soothe and help with itchiness.
Toothpaste – Rub on a bit of a natural toothpaste brand and allow to dry. I haven’t tried it yet but I think Earthpaste Peppermint would work really well for this since it has natural clay in it and peppermint is soothing and cooling.
Lavender Oil – A few drops applied directly to the wound.
Local Raw Honey – This is soothing and it has antimicrobial properties which is awesome for when dirty little fingernails are scratching and digging, thus opening the door for infection. Apply directly to the bite.
Banana Peel – Rub the inside of a banana peel on the wound. Very effective but usually needs to be repeated hourly.
Tea Bags – After brewing up a batch of tea use the bag to soothe any bug bites.
Crushed/Chewed Leaves – Crush up or chew up some basil or plantain leaves until they are soggy. Apply directly to the bite/sting.
Lemon/Lime Slices – Apply directly.
Do you have a natural bug bite remedy that works well for you?
In light of Father’s Day, I wanted to share some information on the harmful effects that could be caused by endocrine disrupting chemicals, or EDCs, and how exposure could be negatively affecting the men in our lives. Studies have shown there are reproductive issues potentially caused by contact with EDCs that could be avoided by taking action! First, it’s necessary to be aware of the toxins most of us come into contact with on a daily basis so healthy choices can be made to start ridding us of any dangers, for good.
So what are EDCs and how do they affect us? Humans depend on a well-functioning endocrine system to regulate the release of hormones essential for metabolism, growth, development, sleep, and mood, and EDCs may alter the functions of the hormone system, resulting in negative health repercussions. While some EDCs occur naturally, synthetic varieties can be found in many household and industrial products, as well as food additives.
Some well known examples of EDCs include phthalates (used to soften plastics), BPA (in much of our plastic products), parabens (in personal care products), and pesticides (on some produce & genetically modified foods). However, there are many more EDCs with less popular names, so it’s a good idea to seek natural alternatives to some common household products that could be hazardous. Taking steps toward avoiding EDCs can help us make positive changes for our families and our health!
The reason I’m discussing EDCs is because evidence has shown that exposure could cause the following reproductive concerns in men:
Reduce semen quality
Low sperm counts
Testicular and prostate cancer
Miscarriage in your partner
So before you opt to take that plastic lunch container or pick up fast food, consider trying the following simple ways men (and their families) can help reduce contact with the chemicals:
1. Choose a natural shaving cream (and natural bath and body products)
When possible, select products made from plant based materials and natural oils, to avoid contact with parabens and other toxins. It’s a great tip to steer clear of the word “fragrance,” which is a general term that doesn’t disclose the specific ingredients that could be harmful.
2. Stick with regular soap and water
Try to avoid “antibacterial soaps as well as toothpastes that may contain triclosan, a chemical that could interfere with thyroid hormones. And according to the FDA, there is no evidence that “antibacterial” has any health benefits over standard soap and water. Kind of makes you feel like you’ve been fooled!
3. Skip the fast food
Toxins known for their “non-stick” quality could be lurking in the paper fast-food wrappers/containers of your favorite drive-thrus! Just another reason besides health benefits to stay away from all that grease!
4. Cook at home
Say goodbye to quick microwavable dinners, which could have BPA in the wrapping. Instead, take time to cook your meals in safer cookware (like glass, stainless steel, or cast iron) and avoid non-stick options that could emit toxins like PFOAs. Plus, cooking together means great family time!
5. Pack your lunch
Avoid plastic and Styrofoam packaging, silverware, cups and other disposable items. Instead, bring your lunch in glass or stainless steel containers and pack a reusable water bottle.
6. Eat “cleaner”
Choose organic fruits and vegetables whenever possible as they’ve been shown to have less pesticide residue. And either way, rinse all your produce to avoid consuming chemicals. Also, try to avoid canned foods, as there can be BPA in the lining.
Of course, reproductive health issues among men are not the only concerns linked to EDCs, however, the above tips are a great place to start to invest in your health. For further information on this article, you can visit http://bit.ly/12wwnee.
The ingredients in shampoos, soaps, and other body washing products are something that I never gave much thought to until I had children. Okay, okay…you got me. Truth be told I didn’t even give it much thought after my first child was born. I was one of those naive consumers who thought that the government would never allow products with unsafe ingredients to be sold to the public. I thought that if a product was on a store shelf then it MUST be approved by Uncle Sam and it MUST be safe for me (and my children) to use. Why on earth would my government allow corporations to sell me toxic products right? It just wouldn’t happen!!
Yeah, that is what I used to think and that is what many millions of people in this country think right now. Sadly, it is not based in reality. The truth is that corporations get away with far too much and they are allowed to use the research and data they pay for to show that their products are safe. The fox is guarding the hen house. Also no one looks at the cumulative exposure of all ingredients we come into contact with. For instance when a company uses a known carcinogen in their product they hide behind the fact that their own scientists have deemed it safe in the small quantities that they use. Yet they do not tell you that they also use this ingredient in their body wash, lotion, and deodorant. That small dose isn’t so small when you consider just how many products the average person uses.
Remember the first Batman movie with Michael Keaton in it? I like to use that movie to illustrate the point. When the Joker was poisoning the population no one could figure out how. It was Batman who figured out that he had poisoned various chemical components of beauty products and that their combination would trigger some rather nasty side effects. Use the hair spray alone and you would be fine but combine that hair spray with lipstick and deodorant and you just poisoned yourself. That was a movie but reality isn’t so far off the mark.
I was awakened to the dangers of blind consumerism when my first child became very sick and I found myself pregnant again. I was bound and determined to parent “smarter” and make better choices. To this day (that was nine years ago) I haven’t let up on my demand for safe and non toxic products and I still insist upon boycotting the companies who don’t seem to have a conscience when it comes to our health and safety. My children are older now and typically use the same products I do for washing…simple bar soap. Though I do have one child who insists upon a liquid body wash and back when they were little we used organic baby shampoo. It is worth the time and effort to source out the safer products.
Below are some common shampoo ingredients and the health problems they have been associated with:
You don’t have to take anyone’s word for it though. Check the Skin Deep Database from the Environmental Working Group and look up these ingredients or the ones on your current bottle of shampoo and body wash. When you learn that products sitting on store shelves everywhere contain ingredients that can cause organ system toxicity or cancer you start to realize that no one can protect us from these things except us. The government is not doing it and we can’t wait around for them to start. It may never happen. We need to educate ourselves about everything we buy and start making better choices NOW. This is especially important for any products we buy that are going to be used on our children. We cannot unfairly burden their small bodies with toxic products, especially when there natural, safe products out there to use instead.
The water industry is a booming business right now. Portable water pitchers, under the sink water filtration systems, and bottled water are abundant. Because it is such a big business it can be easy to kind of push the marketing hype out of our minds and stick to our tap water. We have cheap accessible water flowing into our homes every day so it can be downright annoying to constantly hear how we need to buy more “stuff” or buy bottled water to ensure we have clean and safe water to drink. Add to this the fact that in recent years we have heard reports that bottled water is basically the same stuff coming out of the tap and it is easy to see why some people don’t know what to believe.
These issues aside though we do have some serious issues facing our water supply. The quality of the water flowing through our homes has been on the decline. How can it not be since the quality of our air, soil, and environment in general is on the decline? There are an ever-increasing amount pollutants working their way into our lives that pose a serious challenge to water treatment facilities and they are having a difficult time keeping up. Existing infrastructure may be aging and the city budget may be getting tighter, exacerbating the problem. This is why most municipalities use chlorine in their water treatment plants because it is a highly effective and cheap solution to the problem. It is an inexpensive disinfectant that will kill bacteria and other microbes found in the water.
The solution is not without its own problems though and sadly we are left to wade through the evidence on this one ourselves and scramble to do what we can to save ourselves from the “cure” inflicted upon us my our cities and townships. The sad truth is that chlorine is hazardous to our health. When chlorine is added to water supplies it mixes with other chemicals in the water and forms compounds that can trigger free radicals and cause a number of health problems. We end up with chlorine in the water obviously but also some byproducts, most notably Trihalomethanes (THMs). THMs are used in other industries as solvents and refrigerants and they are known environmental pollutants. They are also considered to be carcinogenic.
Researchers of late have linked them to rectal, bladder, and breast cancer. In fact women with breast cancer have 50-60% higher levels of these THMs in their fat tissue than women without breast cancer. The American Journal of Public Health has declared that “up to 2/3 of the harmful effects of chlorine are due to inhalation and skin absorption while showering.” The Albert Einstein College of Medicine found that “food allergies and the rising rate of new allergies were both associated with chlorine exposures from various sources.” We all know how food allergies have skyrocketed in the last couple decades. Can it be the chlorine in our water supply???
In addition, breathing in the steaming chlorinated air (think showers/baths) can affect your lungs and bronchial tubes. Here are some other problems that chlorine in your water can cause besides the higher risk of cancer (as if that wasn’t enough).
• problems with circulation
• lung and breathing problems
• increased asthma attacks
• thyroid problems due to blocked iodine receptors
What we drink certainly matters so I completely understand the need for clean drinking water and the gravitation to bottled water. Yet it is such a waste (environmentally and economically) and it does not address the fact that we are still being exposed to the toxins we are trying to avoid every day as we shower, bathe, and brush our teeth. Chlorine in city water and its byproducts are absorbed through the skin and inhaled into the lungs each and every day unless we take steps.
So what can you do to avoid the exposure? As much as it might seem like you are giving in to consumerism and big business by buying water filtration products they actually do protect us from a serious hazard. If you can afford it, it is advantageous to use them and there are solutions for a variety of budgets.
Whole House Filtration
The broadest line of attack and the best option is to get a whole house water filtration system like those sold at Hydrocare USA. All the water coming into your home is filtered at the source so the tap water in your kitchen is safe for drinking/cooking and the water you bathe with and brush your teeth with is also filtered and safe. The above mentioned company is one of the most reasonably priced sources for this kind of product. According to a certified independent lab test they remove 99% removal of Chlorine and they also reduce lead, mercury, THMs, VOCs, and other chemical nasties all without a loss in water pressure. Their basic unit sells for less than $500 and the replacement filters, which are good for 6-12 months, sell for $79. All in all a very reasonable price for the health benefits you are reaping. For those worried about fluoride, Hydrocare also has another unit that will remove 90% of that as well. Compare their units and benefits here.
If you have well water you may be not have to worry about chlorine and its byproducts but you too may want to consider a whole home filter. Well water can have a distinct and off putting smell and it can leave your tubs, sinks, and toilets rusty and discolored. Ground water can also be contaminated by local environmental pollutants and runoff and a whole home filtration system can help with that.
Other options include…
Under Sink Filtration Systems
These are great if you want to avoid wasting resources on bottled water. These units fit under your sink and they filter the water you use to drink and cook with. They are relatively cheap, usually anywhere from $100 to $300 and you need to buy replacement filters every few months. The downside is that these do nothing to filter chlorine and other contaminants from our bathing water.
Portable Water Filters
You are no doubt familiar with the water pitchers you can buy that filter a couple quarts to a couple gallons of water at any given time. Brita and ZeroWater are two big brands that make these. They are great if you have a very limited budget. The downside is that you constantly need to refill them and you go through filters quite fast which can be pricey in the long run and wasteful since they are made of plastic.
Bath/Shower Filter Attachments
If you have an under the sink filter or a portable one for drinking water you may also try to piecemeal a whole house filtration system by buying a shower head that filters water or a bath ball that does the same. I highlight some of those options in an earlier post about Harmful Effects Of Chlorine. While they are nice to have on hand if you don’t have the option to buy a whole house system they don’t work as well usually. They require frequent filter replacement, and in the case of the bath balls they take several minutes to do their job which can be inconvenient. They also do nothing to filter the water you use for drinking and cooking.
I am happy to see how affordable whole home filtration is becoming. We currently rent and haven’t wanted to invest in a system for someone else’s home so we have a piecemeal system going on currently. When I hear about the latest research into chlorine and its byproducts though I wonder if that is not a mistake in the long run. With a whole house filtration system available for under $500 I think the price has finally come down to a place that makes it worth the investment, even if we are renters.
Which of these options have you taken advantage of to reduce your family’s exposure to chlorine, THMs, and other chemical nasties in the water supply?
Hi there! I am a green, paleo, crossfit mom of three. I am concerned about health, wellness, and sustainability issues. This is my life. This what I am passionate about. Come get to know me and feel free to connect. Enjoy!