Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis – What Your GP Isn’t Telling You

hashimotos health care

If you've been diagnosed with Hashimoto's Thyroiditis you're probably experiencing numerous symptoms such as: chronic fatigue, weight gain, anxiety, digestion issues, constipation, insomnia, morning headaches, hair loss, joint or muscle pain, and many others. You may have been labelled a hypochondriac or chronic complainer by your doctor until your diagnosis was confirmed.  And of course the frustration continues because the conventional course of treatment is to wait until the condition progresses - when your own thyroid can no longer produce enough of its own hormone - and then supplement with thyroid hormones . However, more research is uncovering some of the inner workings of our immune system and the development of Hashimotos.  The good news: it is often a condition that can be managed and even reversed over time.  So what isn't your GP telling you?

Eating to Protect Your Brain

Cognitive decline in the elderly is emerging as an urgent medical and social problem as their numbers expand. Unfortunately, the resources needed to care for the growing numbers of those with dementia are inadequate and will continue to be an increasing economic burden. Therefore, successful strategies to promote healthy brain ageing are important. Better nutrition is a promising target for intervention efforts to support healthy brain ageing and there is increasing evidence that specific nutrients may aid in the prevention or delay of cognitive decline.

One Simple and Easy Way to Lose Weight and Increase Energy

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For many years now, our western lifestyle has had us eating more processed food and fast food that doesn't really require much chewing. More of us are eating at our desks or on the run and generally not paying too much attention to what or how we're eating. Increasingly the result is bigger waistlines, fatigue, and indigestion.

Chewing and Weight Loss

Thorough (or mindful) chewing is the easiest way to slow down at a meal and achieve satiety or a feeling of fullness on less food. When we chew, we mechanically break food down into smaller pieces (the bolus). This makes it easier for food to travel through the esophagus to the stomach. When the bolus reaches the stomach, the stomach wall starts to expand. This expansion causes signals to be sent to the brain, telling us that we are starting to feel full. There can be a 20 – 30 minute delay between the time that we ingest food until feelings of satiety are activated. When we eat quickly, we are more likely to overeat before we get this feeling of being full. Then we get the uncomfortable feeling of being overfull. So, chewing food more thoroughly slows the amount of food entering the stomach. This results in feeling full with less food eaten. It introduces an automatic delay factor - less food in and more chance of weight loss.

Chewing and Energy

To understand the link between chewing and energy, we need to review a bit of digestion physiology.

A number of activities occur when we take the time to chew food thoroughly:

  • we have more time to smell and savor our food. The smell and sight of food activates a series of signals from the brain to the cells in the stomach lining encouraging secretion of stomach acid. This stomach acid (hydrochloric acid) is essential to the continuing breakdown of food into a form that allows absorption of nutrients into our cells.
  • enzymes are released by the salivary glands in the mouth which start to chemically break down food (specifically carbohydrates) while still in the mouth. Generating saliva also activates the secretion of hydrochloric acid in the stomach.
  • both the mechanical and chemical breakdown of food increases the surface area of the food bolus, making further digestion and absorption of nutrients more efficient.

The longer that the food stays in the mouth undergoing both this mechanical and chemical dissolve, the easier digestion is on the rest of the body. When digestion requires less energy to transform our food to the smaller particles that we can absorb, there is more energy to be used elsewhere in the body.

How much Chewing is Enough?

That depends on both the texture of the food and how calorie-dense it is. Dry or crunchy food may take longer to chew. A calorie-dense food (and this includes yogurt and smoothies) should be chewed more thoroughly in order to add that delay so you're not tempted to overeat.

Chewing your food slowly and more thoroughly is the easiest way to improve the health and function of your digestive system and, consequently, your overall health. By freeing up the energy in the digestive system, it's available to be used elsewhere in the body.

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Can a Health Coach Change Your Life?

personalized health coaching programs for women with Hashimoto's

Do you want to make changes to your life but feel stuck? Are you frustrated because of the conflicting information on what’s healthy and what’s not? Or are you just finding life overwhelming? You’re not alone.

Most ‘get healthy’ programs won’t work because they don’t recognize your individual circumstances such as lifestyle (including family, friends, work, stress levels), or your individual physiology (food sensitivities, metabolism, gut health, etc). One size does not fit all.

When Stress Has You Running for Cover – 8 Ways to Increase Your Stress Resilience

It's widely accepted that while some stress in our lives can be beneficial, too much stress can have profound effects on your health – including weight gain, adrenal stress, anxiety, and fatigue. These effects can ultimately increase the risk of significant health issues. But probably the most immediate effect is feeling that you've not only lost control but have also lost the ability to fully enjoy life.  Improving your stress resilience is key to improving your health.

Why You Must See ‘That Sugar Film’

THAT SUGAR FILM (PG) Directed by Damon Gameau

I’m not normally a film reviewer but the trailer for this documentary fascinated me. THAT SUGAR FILM is described as one man’s journey to discover the truth about sugar. Damon Gameau embarked on an experiment to document the effects of a high sugar diet on a healthy body, consuming only foods that are commonly perceived as ‘healthy’. It is entertaining, fun and informative.

Is Sugar the Enemy? Is Honey any Healthier?

​Despite all of the negative press about sugar, our bodies need sugar to survive. It is the main source of energy used to maintain cellular function and growth. However, the form or chemical structure of the sugar consumed can be important – sucrose, fructose and glucose are the main types that I’ll discuss here. Also of importance is the source of the sugar – is it freely added as in added table sugar or consumed as the natural parts of fruits and vegetables or added to processed food as either a preservative or flavour enhancer. Another issue is the amount consumed – how much is too much?

Weight Loss – Is When We Eat More Important Than What We Eat?

Obesity and the associated health concerns of cardiovascular disease, type II diabetes and metabolic disease are increasing in the developed world in spite of all of the information available on leading a healthy lifestyle. We know that we should stay away from excessive amounts of high-fat and high-sugar (mostly processed) foods and keep physically active. However, the reality of making wholesale changes in behaviour shows that most people find it difficult to lose weight. Researchers at the Salk Institute suggest that more innovative strategies, such as fasting, be considered.

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