If you are faithfully working the Keto lifestyle and still not receiving any of the benefits it has to offer, it may be an underlying thyroid imbalance. In this article Why Is Keto Not Working For Me, I am going to give you a brief idea of what the thyroid is and how an imbalance can affect your Keto results.
Thyroid Hype – what is it?
The Thyroid is a gland in your neck that makes hormones, this regulates growth and development through the rate of metabolism; according to the dictionary.
I want to explain what the thyroid is and give you a base understanding of how important the thyroid’s functionality is. It regulates your metabolism and when your metabolism isn’t working properly it off sets many other functions of the body. You can’t metabolize or break down food properly if the main source is imbalanced.
So, the thyroid controls how the metabolism works and the pituitary gland with the guidance of the hypothalamus both control the thyroid. As stated above your thyroid gland is located in the neck by your wind pope and the pituitary gland is behind the bridge of your nose, which is all attached to the base of your brain. With all of these very important parts being so closely in proximity to the brain you can see how important their roles are and how they can affect many other functions in the body. So if any one of these vital body parts start malfunctioning it immediately causes confusion in the body.
The reason I want you to know how close the thyroid gland is to the brain is because you need to understand the affects of what an off balance thyroid can actually do.
When I was a teenager I was beyond moody, sensitive, depressed and angry. You’re probably thinking, yea typical teenager right? Which is exactly what my parents thought, little did they know my body was out of balance. After many counselling sessions and problems at school they consulted my Doctor. After running some blood tests and setting me up with an Endocrinologist they discovered I had an imbalance of estrogen and testosterone as well as an under active thyroid. As my Endocrinologist explained to me, my body actually thought it was either pregnant or was going through menopause. So it was not just typical teenage behavior and I was far from menopausal or pregnant. Not only did it affect my moods, I started having abnormal hair growth on my face and gaining unexplained weight.
So If your hormones or thyroid is not functioning at a normal level all the dieting and living healthy will not help.
If you think you may have an imbalance of hormones ask your Doctor for a full report of thyroid function. Some Doctors will only do a basic check up and assume because that result came back normal there are no other problems.
As a rule your Doctor should check your TSH levels, TSH is short for thyroid stimulating hormone. If this is high or low then more testing is required, most Doctors will only test your TSH level and your T4 hormone level. When in fact there are four hormones directly relating to your thyroid function and all four should be tested. These hormones are T1, T2, T3 and yes T4.
So if you are following a healthy regiment or the keto lifestyle faithfully and your feeling tired, agitated, moody, depressed, your hair is thinning, unexplained weight gain or loss you may want to have a chat with your Doctor. If you do have a hormonal imbalance that goes untreated getting healthy or trying to lose weight may be a battle you don’t win and this can be extremely frustrating and lead to failure.
2 Most common thyroid disorders
There are many thyroid related disorders but the most commonly diagnosed are:
Firstly I want to talk about hypothyroidism as this is one I can relate to. After being diagnosed and medicated for hypothyroidism I noticed a big change and so did my parents. Treatment was only one pill a day and regular blood tests to make sure my levels didn’t change, as they can from time to time.
Hypothyroidism just means that the thyroid gland is not producing enough of the thyroid hormone. When this happens it slows the metabolism and can have many symptoms such as listed below:
- Weight gain
- Difficulty losing weight
- Brain fog
- Loss of memory
- Abnormal menstrual cycle
- Weakness & fatigue
- Hair loss or thinning
You don’t need to have all of these symptoms to have an imbalance in your thyroid hormones. Having two or more of these symptoms warrant a Doctor visitation. If you have already been diagnosed and treated with an imbalance and you’re still having symptoms you should request to see an Endocrinologist.
Moving onto the complete opposite of the first commonly known thyroid disorders is hyperthyroidism sometimes known as “graves disease”. This is when your thyroid is overactive and produces too much of the thyroid hormone, hence “hyper”. This disorder involves more health risk than hypothyroidism. So when your thyroid is overactive this in turn speeds up everything metabolically. This also can be treated with a medication once daily and follow up visits for testing levels of hormone production. Your Doctor should also be looking into why your thyroid is over active as well as treating it.
Symptoms of this thyroid disorders are as follows:
- Muscle weakness
- Heart palpitations
- Fast heart rate
- Unexplained weight loss
- Shaky hands
- Dry skin
- Irregular menstrual cycles
Again you do not need all of these symptoms to be concerned, its always best to be safe rather than sorry. Two or more of these symptoms and you should make an appointment to talk it over with your Doctor.
Most thyroid disorders are genetic so its also a good idea to look into family health history. Some people may even have a mild thyroid disorder that shows no symptoms, so if thyroid disorders run in your family it is best to be tested. Another thing to consider is just because you were tested and showed no abnormalities does not mean that your thyroid function won’t change down the road. Regular tests should be done if any of your family history has thyroid disorders, especially if your having symptoms.
Calm your hormones!
So, in relation to the Keto lifestyle it is very important to make sure your thyroid is functioning on a normal level. Other wise all of your efforts may not progress into experiencing any of the many benefits this lifestyle has to offer. This may cause you to feel defeated and that you are doing something wrong when in fact you are not. Take preventative measures to make sure you have healthy hormones so you don’t end up quitting and go back to living a not so healthy lifestyle again.
Throughout my life I have heard many people say “oh, its just a thyroid problem” and if you have an imbalance I’m sure you have heard it to. This is coming from a poorly educated person, as the thyroid is very important and is connected directly to your brain through the pituitary gland. So let’s stay healthy and if you are having any symptoms please see your Doctor to discuss your concerns and always do your genetic homework.