The Thyroid a Powerful Weight Regulating Gland

22 09 2018

Updated 22 September 2018

The thyroid is a small gland in the neck no bigger than a buckeye butterfly.  But this glands hormone also influences other hormone producing glands which have much to do with our weight and other important metabolic interactions and bodily functions.  Just because these glands are small, does not mean they are insignificant.

Walk More to Burn Additional Calories

It is seen through patient and animal research that hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid gland) can cause many types of problems:  weight gain, depression, sluggishness, fatigue, bad mood, unhealthy appearance, impotence, water retention that adds to excess weight and cellulite, pear-shaped figure, infertility, PMS, hardening of the arteries, cystic breasts/ovaries (including breast/ovary cancer), irritability, bad complexion, puffiness under the chin, forgetfulness, irritability, apathy, dry skin, intolerance to cold, enlargement of the thyroid and unhealthy hair, nails and teeth.

If you have hypothyroidism to the degree where one quarter of the thyroid hormone thyroxin is produced, you may also suffer from chronic fatigue.  On the opposite end of the spectrum, hyperthyroidism causes an overactive thyroid gland condition that has the opposite effect on the body’s metabolism.  The “hyper” condition speeds up the metabolic process, causing underweight and hyperactive tendencies.

A more serious disorder from an underactive thyroid is a goiter (swelling in the neck area).  This occurs because the thyroids enlarge to compensate for lack of iodine in the diet.  However, a goiter can occur, even if you’re not iodine deficient.  This swelling or enlargement of the thyroid glands is also known as Graves Disease.  Regardless of whether you have a hypo/hyper thyroid condition, both conditions untreated can become a life threatening situation.

Before I get more into the meat of the matter let’s first understand what trace mineral stimulates the thyroids hormone “thyroxin” secretion.   A very important mineral is iodine.  There is also another one needed that works with iodine to manufacture the thyroxin hormone.  And that mineral is Tyrosine, an amino acid.  Luckily Tyrosine can be consumed through many types of high-protein foods such as chicken, milk, cheese, beans, bananas, soy products, peanuts, almonds, fish, turkey, etc.  Iodine, along with tyrosine is required to produce a normalized balance of the thyroxin hormone to stabilize our caloric burning furnace.

Spoil your children in moderation. Walk and share fun exercise activities with them.

There is a TSH (Thyroid-Stimulation Hormone) test that tells a treating physician if your thyroid is producing proper amounts of thyroxin hormone to keep your metabolic system balanced.  The test determines if your thyroid is working correctly through reading TSH levels in the blood.   This stimulator hormone is produced by the pituitary gland.  So as the pituitary gland slows down within the metabolic system it releases more TSH to signal “speeding” up the thyroids production of thyroxin.  This test can determine proper levels of TSH hormone in the blood.  The TSH hormone release is directly related to many interconnecting metabolic processes.  If all other metabolic processes are working correctly, the thyroid hormone release stimulated by TSH should normalize all metabolic functions which impact weight loss/gain and mitigate other disorders.  But if too little, or too much TSH is produced than the test will show ranges from under/over active and normal thyroid gland.

Normal TSH test scores will be between 0.4 and 2.5.  A low score of 0-0.4 is hyperthyroidism.  And if the score is between 2.5 and 4, this means there is risk for hypothyroidism.  Anything higher can lead to a major health concern.  Many doctors will resist treating patients until they hit a 10.  This is basically due to the delicate balance and interactions these hormones and chemical exchange relationships have on the entire metabolic system.  Nevertheless, if your measurement is at 4 or above, or below 2.5, you should discuss a treatment course with your medical specialist.

Although your thyroid only requires a hundred thousandth of a percentage of your body weight in iodine (150 micrograms daily – the best sources of iodine comes from seaweed, onions, seafood and salt); without it the thyroid cannot function.  If you don’t have enough of this mineral, you gain weight.  But if you get enough of it in your diet, adding more through supplementation will do absolutely no good because the glands function is balanced, or better known as “normalized effect”   That is, if your thyroid is functioning normal, iodine will not help because the thyroid is already normalized and functioning correctly.

If you must take an iodine supplement for an underactive thyroid, kelp is the best organic source.  It appears to have “the best “normalizing effect on the thyroid gland.  However, if your iodine dose is incorrect, it is possible to supplement with too much, or too little.  Some of the symptoms of iodine over supplementation include:  Severe acme, become underweight, emotional imbalances, hyper-activity, mental and emotional instability, negative effects on thyroid glands, skin irregularities (welts on arms/face, rough skin) and problems with focus, or spaced out feelings.

Getting enough iodine in the diet should not be a problem since we get it in our everyday table salt, processed and fast foods and through its presence in crop fertilizers.  However, the key issue with our iodine in our everyday diet is, most of us do not get organic iodine (e.g., seaweed, “kelp”).  Homeopathic doctors have prescribed kelp, vinegar, B6 and a lecithin diet for treatment of obesity and other types of preventative disorders for years.  The diet is also beneficial to brain tissue, sensory nerves and spinal cord.

However the normalizing effect of iodine benefits for an overweight problem gets lost in translation within the market place for those desperate to lose weight.  That is, consumers are lead to believe if iodine is good for the thyroid, than more is better whether you need it or not.  But there could be nothing further from the truth.   There is another way to look at this statistically.  Eighty percent of all thyroid cases are diagnosed as the hypo-type.  But this percentage does not equate to eighty percent of those that are obese have a thyroid problem.

Aerobic workouts good for the cardio Muscular endurance

Let’s also not forget those who choose “not to exercise, or eat healthy diets,” but have healthy thyroids with plenty of iodine in the diet.  They will not lose more weight by increasing iodine intake.  Also, 8 times out of 10 thyroid disorder diagnosis are more prominent in women than men.  And as a natural progression of aging, increased risk of thyroid disease occurs naturally.  And if you have an autoimmune disorder, type 1 diabetes, or rheumatoid arthritis your at higher risk for thyroid disease.  These diseases and other factors are the tip of the iceberg when it comes to diagnosing whether or not your thyroid needs stimulation to help you manage your weight.

If you do supplement your diet with iodine, it is important to understand it is also important to get enough vitamin A as well.  Vitamin A allows the thyroid gland to absorb the iodine.  If absorption of iodine through the gland does not occur optimally, then the production of thyroxin will occur relative to the glands absorption rate.  Recall, with reduced thyroxin hormone production, you have a lower BMR that does not help your weight loss and overall health goals.

One last point I’d like to touch on regarding a hyper-thyroid condition.  There are many cases documented where speeding up the thyroids function will cause weight loss.  But there are also cases where speeding up the thyroid function causes weight gain.  You ask how this is possible.  Because, by increasing the metabolic function, you also increase appetite.  Here is another truth, for those that lost weight during hormone treatment, once the hyper-active treatment stopped the weight came back.

Dogs need exercise as well to keep their body weight healthy.

Therefore, it appears that thyroid treatment to treat obesity does not appear to be real useful in many obesity cases.  This is why you should seek a treating physicians advisement to get help identifying the cause of your weight gain problem.  If you are diagnosed with thyroid disease, then you’ll likely be prescribed a synthetic thyroxin to replace the hormone your thyroid can no longer produce.

By working with your doctor to adjust to the necessary doses, you’ll begin to look and feel better.  In other cases some of you may need a combination of treatments to regulate, or lose body weight that include thyroxin prescription, diet and exercise.  And in other weight loss/gain situations – relative to disease and disorder(s) diagnosis…

Varying medical treatment strategies may be necessary as opposed to thyroid treatment. The point being, your thyroid may not be the problem. It may be one of several other connecting hormone functions dependent on the thyroid hormone that has malfunctioned and needs treatment.

References,

American Thyroid Association.  Thyroid and Weight.  2005. http://www.thyroid.org/patients/brochures/Thyroid_and_Weight.pdf

Hastings, John.  The Truth about the Thyroid.  The Oprah Magazine. Jan 2009. http://www.oprah.com/health/The-Truth-About-the-Thyroid-and-Weight-Gain

Veracity Dani.  How Iodine Accelerates Weight Loss by Supporting the Thyroid Gland.  Natural News.com, June 25, 2005.  http://www.naturalnews.com/008902.html

Woodard, Marc T.  GH-Hormone Stimulator the Fountain of Youth Elixir?  Mirror Athlete’s Fitness Secrets!  23 February 2012.  http://www.mirrorathlete.com/2012/02/23/exercise-is-the-anti-aging-hormonal-fix/

Woodard, Marc.  Low Testosterone, another Man-Made Risky Fix?  Mirror Athlete Fitness Secrets. January 22, 2012.  http://www.mirrorathlete.com/2012/01/22/low-testosterone-another-man-made-risky-fix/

Author: Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, ARNG, CPT, RET. 2012-18 Copyright. All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Inc., http://www.mirrorathlete.com, Sign up for your Free eNewsletter.





Foods and Drugs that Don’t Mix Well

7 04 2013
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Many natural foods don’t mix well with medications

Many don’t realize some foods can interact badly with prescription drugs when consumed together.  Those that fail to read the dietary warning’s listed on specific pharmaceutical labels, or disregard the prescription use instructions can cause health risk to the body.

Listed below are 7 common prescription drugs and foods that when consumed together can increase health risk and/or cause severe ill-health side effects.  There are many chemical reactions that occur within our bodies to keep the metabolism and overall physiology balanced.  And when using pharmaceuticals it is important to understand, even the most benign appearing foods can cause an unhealthy chemical reaction within our bodies.

    The prescription drugs, incompatible foods, side effects and treatment use for various medications listed below are not fully disclosed.  The point is, one only needs to understand everything we put into our bodies causes some kind of chemical reaction.  Therefore, it is important if you take any pharmaceutical, ask your pharmacist if there is any food that would cause an ill-health effect, or risk to overall health when taken together.

Listed are commonly prescribed medications & foods that don’t interact well.

1.  Anti-depressants – SSRI’s (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors) – Lexapro, Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, etc.  MAOI’s (Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors) – Isocarboxazid, Phenelzine, Selegiline, Tranylcypromine, etc. Their relative generic counterparts are: Marplan, Nardil, (Emsam, Eldepryl, Zelapar) and Parnate.

Drug treatment purpose:  Anti-depressants are effective in treating depression, panic and other anxiety disorders.  They also require special considerations with regard to diet restrictions.  MAOI’s are normally used when other anti-depressants fail.  When used as prescribed they will boost mood by improving brain cell communication.

Side effectsDiarrhea, dry mouth, sleepiness, lightheadedness, dizziness, low blood pressure, nervousness, muscle aches, insomnia, weight gain, sense of taste, hampered sexual drive, erectile dysfunction, difficult urinating, tingling, or prickling sensation on skin.  If removed from anti-depressants too fast the following withdrawal effects are likely: insomnia, flu-like symptoms, fatigue, irritability and anxiety may follow.

Non-compatible foods:  Aged cheeses, pickled, or fermented sausages (pepperoni, salami), luncheon meats, beef liver, chicken liver, yeast-containing foods and beverages that have the compound tyramine in them.  This compound has an effect on blood pressure.  If the bodies MAO (Monoamine Oxidase) enzyme is inhibited by MAOI medication, it is necessary to avoid the foods that contain this compound.  If this diet restriction is not followed, then blood pressure can increase towards critically unhealthy levels.

Health risk when prescription and non-compatible foods are taken togetherHigh levels of tyramine in the body can lead to high blood pressure, heart arrhythmia and brain hemorrhage.

2.   Anti-anxiety – Benzodiazepines are the most common anti-anxiety drugs, e.g., Ativan, Klonopin, Valium, Xanax, etc., and Generic: lorazepam, clonazepam, diazepam and alprazolam are all sedatives and bind with the brains natural sedatives to calm you down.

Drug treatment purpose:  To help relax and reduce anxiety.  Anti-anxiety drugs are also known as tranquilizers.  Anti-anxiety medications work by slowing down the central nervous system [reduced brain activity] and have a relaxing effect on the mind and body.  They are also prescribed for sleeping and muscle spasm disorders.  Often antidepressants will be prescribed to relieve symptoms of anxiety.

Known side effects:  Addiction, inability to focus-learn, uncoordinated, clumsiness, confusion, disorientation, blurred vision, upset stomach, lightheadedness, sleepy, impaired judgment, nausea, memory loss.  Long term users of these medications also experience depression.  High dosages and long term use will likely increase suicidal thoughts and feelings.  Benzodiazepines can also cause the opposite of a calming effect like mania, aggressive behavior, or hostility, rage and even hallucinations.

Non-compatible foods:  Alcohol.  When these drugs are mixed with alcohol the sedative properties on the brain and body is amplified.  Not only do you feel more drunk, but more tired and forgetful.  Coffee and drinks with caffeine in them affects anti-anxiety and asthma medications.

Health risk when prescription and non-compatible foods are taken togetherYour breathing rate is significantly slowed down and risk of respiratory failure increases.

3.  Antibiotics – Monodox, Dynacin, Sumycin, Cipro, Levaquin, etc. Generics: minocycline, tetracycline and doxycycline, etc.  This listing represents a few of many antibiotics that could be prescribed.

Drug treatment purpose:   Antibiotics are used to kill bacterial infections.  They are not effective against fungal (ringworm or vaginal yeast infection), flu, or the common cold.

Side effects – Antibiotics are relatively safe when used appropriately.  However, like any medication unwanted side effects do occur.  If you experience any skin rash, hives, wheezing, anaphylaxis (shortage of breath), swelling of lips, tongue or face seek medical attention immediately.

Non-compatible foods:  Dairy products have calcium in them.  Calcium tends to bind with the antibiotics if a dairy product is consumed within a two hour window after taking the medication.  Vitamins and Antacids can also decrease the efficiency of antibiotics.  For example, ciprofloxacin an antibiotic used to treat urinary tract and abdominal infections among other things; when mixed with antacids becomes less effective when it binds to magnesium and calcium.

Health risk when prescription and non-compatible foods are taken togetherThis binding prevents the antibiotic from absorbing into the body to fight an infection rendering various antibiotics useless.  When this happens the medication stays in the intestine and leaves the body at the next bowel movement.  Yet there are other antibiotics used for strep throat and ear infections where dairy products have no impact on those medications.

4.  High blood pressure, or anti-hypertension medications – Univasc, Zestril and Monopril can raise your potassium levels.  Common generics: Hygroton, Lozol, Mykrox, Diuril, Lasix, Esidrix, etc.  There are many specialized medications that are designed to treat both diuretic and high blood pressure cases.

Drug treatment purpose:  To lower blood pressure and reduce blood clotting risk.  Many classes of blood pressure medications include a diuretic treatment component.   These medications help to rid the body of excess water and sodium and help to control blood pressure.  Diuretics are often used in combination with other medications like anti-clotting prevention treatment that use aspirin and Plavix.  When patients are at high risk of stroke or heart attack, doctors often prescribe Plavix as an anti-platelet drug for blood clotting prevention.  The first line of attack is aspirin.  Both anti-clotting and blood pressure medications may likely be prescribed together, but not always.

Known side effects:  Gout,increase in blood sugar level, leg cramps, weakness, impotence may occur.

Non-compatible foods:  Limit foods high in potassium like bananas, salt substitutes with potassium, spinach, leafy greens and sweet potatoes.  Eating a banana one day, or leafy green the next should be ok.  But you’ll want to confirm diet and frequency of consumption with your prescribing physician.

Health risk when prescription and non-compatible foods are taken togetherToo much potassium in the body can cause your heart to beat irregularly and in severe cases can cause cardiac arrest.  Also, two foods that can keep blood clotting medications from working are garlic and ginger.  They can cause excessive bleeding as they both have high doses of blood thinning agents in them.

5.  High cholesterolStatin drugs (blood cholesterol lowering medications) include: Lipex, Mevacor, Zocor, Crestor, Vytorin or Lipitor, to include generics like simvastatin, lovastatin, or atorvastatin, etc.

Drug treatment purpose:  Lower High Blood Cholesterol.

Known side effects and health risk:  As of recent studies, the following health risks are possible; memory loss, diabetes and muscle pain.  The food and drug administration has officially linked statin drugs with forgetfulness, confusion and increased blood sugar levels that would be of concern for diabetics.  Liver injury is also possible and is rare.

Non-compatible foods:  Some cholesterol medications can be affected by grape fruit juice or the fruit.  It is the inhibiting properties of this fruit that keeps the intestine and/or liver from breaking down the drug and increases the risk that the drug will accumulate in the body and become toxic.  It is the citrus that blocks the enzyme in the intestines and prevents the metabolism of these drugs.  The active component in this fruit is not yet known.  Check with your prescribing doctor about grapefruit products in the diet.  There are some statin medications that are not influenced by this fruit.  It is also true some immune drugs and allergy drugs like Allegra are affected by grapefruit.

Health risk when prescription and non-compatible foods are taken togetherGrapefruit and its juice should be avoided using heart medicines and a number of other prescriptive drugs for cardio and immunological health related problems.  Be sure to consult with the prescribing physician with foods you should consume when on these medications.

6. Blood thinner – Coumadin (generic: warfarin) Aggrenox, Aspirin, Jantoven, Heparin, Lovenox, Plavix, etc.

Drug treatment purpose:  The job of blood thinners is to thin the blood for patients that are high risk of heart attack, or developing blood clots.

Known side effects:  Each medication listed can cause a combination of the following side effects; Nausea, irritated stomach, abdominal pain, diarrhea, headache, dizziness and indigestion.  Coumadin and Heparin can cause serious bleeding inside the eye and intestine, or cause bruising, blood in the urine, nose bleeds.  Other problems include kidney function, difficulty breathing and muscle aches.

Non-compatible foods:  Since Vitamin K (thickens blood) is found abundantly in leafy greens, they can block the effects of the blood thinners.  Leafy greens that can effect of blood thinners are Brussels sprouts, collard greens, spinach, cabbage, lettuce, alfalfa sprouts, asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, parsley, kale, Swiss chard and Green tea.  Other foods that may impact blood thinner medications include:  cranberries, as well as the juice, garlic and ginger.  They can actually increase the blood thinning properties of the blood thinners that could amplify their effect.

Health risk when prescription and non-compatible foods are taken together:   Increased risk of stroke and heart attack.

7.  Thyroid – Synthroid, Armour thyroid, Levoxyl, Cytomel, etc.  Generic: Levothyroxin, thyroid desiccated, levothyroxine, liothyronine, etc.

Drug treatment purpose:  Used to regulate the thyroid glands to normalize hormone functions throughout the body when they fail to produce enough thyroid hormone.  Effective treatment can increase energy, mood disposition and body weight regulation.  To include supports male and female characteristic traits.

Known side effects:  Thyroid medications do not cause side effects if taken in the correct dose.

Non-compatible foods:  Tofu, soymilk (soy products) and walnuts can prevent your body from absorbing the thyroid medication.  It may not be necessary to give up these foods, but let your physician know about your dietary preferences.  It is very possible your soy diet preference can be resolved with a modification of dose.

Health risk when prescription and non-compatible foods are taken togetherWeight gain, obesity and other ill-health and disease complications.

References,

American Heart Association.  Types of Blood Pressure Medications.  http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/HighBloodPressure/PreventionTreatmentofHighBloodPressure/Types-of-Blood-Pressure-Medications_UCM_303247_Article.jsp

Ankrom, Sheryl.  Dietary Precautions While Taking MAOIs.  Former About.com Guide, updated June 17, 2009.  http://panicdisorder.about.com/od/treatments/tp/MAOIDiet.htm

Club Red.  Some Foods and Medications Just Don’t Mix.  January 2012.  http://www.clubreduva.com/food/food-articles/food-for-thought/january-2012-food

Drugs.com.  Common Side Effects, Allergies and Reactions to Antibiotics.  http://www.drugs.com/article/antibiotic-sideeffects-allergies-reactions.html

Drugs.com.  Underactive Thyroid (Hypothyroidism) Medications.  http://www.drugs.com/condition/hypothyroidism.html

Harris, Gardiner.  Safety Alerts Cite Cholesterol Drugs’ Side Effects.  The New York Times.  February 28, 2012.  http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/29/health/fda-warns-of-cholesterol-drugs-side-effects.html?_r=0

Helpguide.org.  Anxiety Medication.  http://www.helpguide.org/mental/anxiety_medication_drugs_treatment.htm

Rodgers, Linda.  Foods and Medications that Don’t Mix.  Grand Parents.com http://www.grandparents.com/health-and-wellbeing/health/food-drug-interactions

Mayo Clinic Staff.  Depression (major depression).  Monomine Oxidase Inhibitores (MAOIs).  http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/maois/MH00072

NBCNews.com. Foods to Avoid When You’re Taking Meds.  26 October 2006.  http://www.today.com/id/14785552/ns/today-today_health/t/foods-avoid-when-youre-taking-meds/#.UUeuPBesjTo

Vega, Jose M.D., Ph.D.  Side Effects of Coumadin, Plavix and Other Blood Thinners.  About.com.  http://stroke.about.com/od/caregiverresources/a/blood_thinners.htm

WebMD.com.  Hypothryroidism.  http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/hypothyroidism-medications

Woodard, Marc.  41 Drugs to Die For.  Mirror Athlete’s Fitness Secrets.  24 October 2010.  http://mirrorathlete.com/blog/?p=909

Woodard, Marc.  Defeat Anxiety and Panic Attacks.  Mirror Athlete Fitness Secrets.  24 November 2010.  http://mirrorathlete.com/blog/?p=966

Woodard, Marc.  How to Deal with Depression.  Mirror Athlete Fitness Secrets.  25 August 2008.  http://mirrorathlete.com/blog/?p=38

Woodard, Marc.  The Thyroid is a Powerful Weight Regulating Gland.  Mirror Athlete Fitness Secrets.  21 May 2012.  http://mirrorathlete.com/blog/?p=1341

Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, CPT, MSC ARNG Retired.  2013 Copyright, All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Publishing @: http://www.mirrorathlete.com,  Sign up for your Free eNewsletter.





Incompatible Food and Drug Mixes

7 04 2013
Visit our Home Site "Click on Image"

Many natural foods don’t mix well with medications

Many don’t realize some foods can interact badly with prescription drugs when consumed together.  Those that fail to read the dietary warning’s listed on specific pharmaceutical labels, or disregard the prescription use instructions can cause risk to the body.

Listed below are 7 common prescription drugs and foods that when consumed together can increase health risk and/or cause severe ill-health side effects.  There are many chemical reactions that occur within our bodies to keep the metabolism and overall physiology balanced.  And when using pharmaceuticals it is important to understand, even the most benign appearing foods can cause an unhealthy chemical reaction within our bodies.

    The point is, one only needs to understand everything we put into our bodies causes some kind of chemical reaction.  Therefore it is important to understand, if you take any pharmaceutical, ask your pharmacist if there is any food that would cause an ill-health effect or risk to overall health when taken together.

Listed are commonly prescribed medications & foods that don’t interact well.

1.  Anti-depressants – SSRI’s (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors) – Lexapro, Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, etc.  MAOI’s (Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors) – Isocarboxazid, Phenelzine, Selegiline, Tranylcypromine, etc. Their relative generic counterparts are: Marplan, Nardil, (Emsam, Eldepryl, Zelapar) and Parnate.

Drug treatment purpose:  Anti-depressants are effective in treating depression, panic and other anxiety disorders.  They also require special considerations with regard to diet.  MAOI’s are normally used when other anti-depressants fail.  When used as prescribed they will boost mood by improving brain cell communication.

Side effectsDiarrhea, dry mouth, sleepiness, lightheadedness, dizziness, low blood pressure, nervousness, muscle aches, insomnia, weight gain, sense of taste, hampered sexual drive, erectile dysfunction, difficult urinating, tingling, or prickling sensation on skin.  If removed from anti-depressants too fast the following withdrawal effects are likely: insomnia, flu-like symptoms, fatigue, irritability and anxiety may follow.

Non-compatible foods:  Aged cheeses, pickled, or fermented sausages (pepperoni, salami), luncheon meats, beef liver, chicken liver, yeast-containing foods and beverages that have the compound tyramine [protein containing foods] in them.  This compound has an effect on blood pressure.  If the bodies MAO (Monoamine Oxidase) enzyme is inhibited by MAOI medication, it is necessary to avoid the foods that contain this compound.  If this diet restriction is not followed, then blood pressure can increase towards critically unhealthy levels.

Health risk when prescription and non-compatible foods are taken togetherHigh levels of tyramine in the body can lead to high blood pressure, heart arrhythmia and brain hemorrhage.

2.   Anti-anxiety – Benzodiazepines are the most common anti-anxiety drugs, e.g., Ativan, Klonopin, Valium, Xanax, etc., and Generic: lorazepam, clonazepam, diazepam and alprazolam are all sedatives and bind with the brains natural sedatives to calm you down.

Drug treatment purpose:  To help relax and reduce anxiety.  Anti-anxiety drugs are also known as tranquilizers.  Anti-anxiety medications work by slowing down the central nervous system [reduced brain activity] and have a relaxing effect on the mind and body.  They are also prescribed for sleeping and muscle spasm disorders.  Often antidepressants will be prescribed to relieve symptoms of anxiety.

Known side effects:  Addiction, inability to focus-learn, uncoordinated, clumsiness, confusion, disorientation, blurred vision, upset stomach, lightheadedness, sleepy, impaired judgment, nausea, memory loss.  Long term users of these medications also experience depression.  High dosages and long term use will likely increase suicidal thoughts and feelings.  Benzodiazepines can also cause the opposite of a calming effect like mania, aggressive behavior, or hostility, rage and even hallucinations.

Non-compatible foods:  Alcohol.  When these drugs are mixed with alcohol the sedative properties on the brain and body is amplified.  Not only do you feel more drunk, but more tired and forgetful.  Coffee and drinks with caffeine in them affects anti-anxiety and asthma medications.

Health risk when prescription and non-compatible foods are taken togetherYour breathing rate is significantly slowed down and risk of respiratory failure increases.

3.  Antibiotics – Monodox, Dynacin, Sumycin, Cipro, Levaquin, etc. Generics: minocycline, tetracycline and doxycycline, etc.  This listing represents a few of many antibiotics that could be prescribed.

Drug treatment purpose:   Antibiotics are used to kill bacterial infections.  They are not effective against fungal (ringworm or vaginal yeast infection), flu, or the common cold.

Side effects – Antibiotics are relatively safe when used appropriately.  However, like any medication unwanted side effects do occur.  If you experience any skin rash, hives, wheezing, anaphylaxis (shortage of breath), swelling of lips, tongue or face seek medical attention immediately.

Non-compatible foods:  Dairy products have calcium in them.  Calcium tends to bind with the antibiotics if a dairy product is consumed within a two hour window after taking the medication.  Vitamins and Antacids can also decrease the efficiency of antibiotics.  For example, ciprofloxacin an antibiotic used to treat urinary tract and abdominal infections among other things; when mixed with antacids becomes less effective when it binds to magnesium and calcium.

Health risk when prescription and non-compatible foods are taken togetherThis binding prevents the antibiotic from absorbing into the body to fight an infection rendering various antibiotics useless.  When this happens the medication stays in the intestine and leaves the body at the next bowel movement.  Yet there are other antibiotics used for strep throat and ear infections where dairy products have no impact on those medications.

4.  High blood pressure, or anti-hypertension medications – Univasc, Zestril and Monopril can raise your potassium levels.  Common generics: Hygroton, Lozol, Mykrox, Diuril, Lasix, Esidrix, etc.  There are many specialized medications that are designed to treat both diuretic and high blood pressure cases.

Drug treatment purpose:  To lower blood pressure and reduce blood clotting risk.  Many classes of blood pressure medications include a diuretic treatment component.   These medications help to rid the body of excess water and sodium and help to control blood pressure.  Diuretics are often used in combination with other medications like anti-clotting prevention treatment that use aspirin and Plavix.  When patients are at high risk of stroke or heart attack, doctors often prescribe Plavix as an anti-platelet drug for blood clotting prevention.  The first line of attack is aspirin.  Both anti-clotting and blood pressure medications may likely be prescribed together, but not always.

Known side effects:  Gout, increased blood sugar levels, leg cramps, weakness, impotence may occur.

Non-compatible foods:  Limit foods high in potassium like bananas, salt substitutes with potassium, spinach, leafy greens and sweet potatoes.  Eating a banana once a day, or leafy green the next should be ok.  But you’ll want to confirm diet and frequency of consumption with your prescribing physician.

Health risk when prescription and non-compatible foods are taken togetherToo much potassium in the body can cause your heart to beat irregularly and in severe cases can cause cardiac arrest.  Also, two foods that can keep blood clotting medications from working are garlic and ginger.  They can cause excessive bleeding as they both have high doses of blood thinning agents in them.

5.  High cholesterolStatin drugs (blood cholesterol lowering medications) include: Lipex, Mevacor, Zocor, Crestor, Vytorin or Lipitor, to include generics like simvastatin, lovastatin, or atorvastatin, etc.

Drug treatment purpose:  Lower High Blood Cholesterol.

Known side effects and health risk:  As of recent studies, the following health risks are possible; memory loss, diabetes and muscle pain.  The food and drug administration has officially linked statin drugs with forgetfulness, confusion and increased blood sugar levels that would be of concern for diabetics.  Liver injury is also possible and is rare.

Non-compatible foods:  Some cholesterol medications can be affected by grape fruit juice or the fruit.  It is the inhibiting properties of this fruit that keeps the intestine and/or liver from breaking down the drug and increases the risk that the drug will accumulate in the body and become toxic.  It is the citrus that blocks the enzyme in the intestines and prevents the metabolism of these drugs.  The active component in this fruit is not yet known.  Check with your prescribing doctor about grapefruit products in the diet.  There are some statin medications that are not influenced by this fruit.  It is also true some immune drugs and allergy drugs like Allegra are affected by grapefruit.

Health risk when prescription and non-compatible foods are taken togetherGrapefruit and its juice should be avoided when using heart medicines and a number of other prescriptive drugs for cardio and immunological health related problems.  Be sure to consult with the prescribing physician with foods you should consume when on these medications.

6. Blood thinner – Coumadin (generic: warfarin) Aggrenox, Aspirin, Jantoven, Heparin, Lovenox, Plavix, etc.

Drug treatment purpose:  The job of blood thinners is to thin the blood for patients that are high risk of heart attack, or developing blood clots.

Known side effects:  Each medication listed can cause a combination of the following side effects; Nausea, irritated stomach, abdominal pain, diarrhea, headache, dizziness and indigestion.  Coumadin and Heparin can cause serious bleeding inside the eye and intestine, or cause bruising, blood in the urine, nose bleeds.  Other problems include kidney function, difficulty breathing and muscle aches.

Non-compatible foods:  Since Vitamin K (thickens blood) is found abundantly in leafy greens, they can block the effects of the blood thinners.  Leafy greens that can effect of blood thinners are Brussels sprouts, collard greens, spinach, cabbage, lettuce, alfalfa sprouts, asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, parsley, kale, Swiss chard and Green tea.  Other foods that may impact blood thinner medications include:  cranberries, as well as the juice, garlic and ginger.  They can actually increase the blood thinning properties of the blood thinners that could amplify their effect.

Health risk when prescription and non-compatible foods are taken together:   Increased risk of stroke and heart attack.

7.  Thyroid – Synthroid, Armour thyroid, Levoxyl, Cytomel, etc.  Generic: Levothyroxin, thyroid desiccated, levothyroxine, liothyronine, etc.

Drug treatment purpose:  Used to regulate the thyroid glands to normalize hormone functions throughout the body when they fail to produce enough thyroid hormone.  Effective treatment can increase energy, mood disposition and body weight regulation.  To include supports male and female characteristic traits.

Known side effects:  Thyroid medications do not cause side effects if taken in the correct dose.

Non-compatible foods:  Tofu, soymilk (soy products) and walnuts can prevent your body from absorbing the thyroid medication.  It may not be necessary to give up these foods, but let your physician know about your dietary preferences.  It is very possible your soy diet preference can be resolved with a modification of dose.

Health risk when prescription and non-compatible foods are taken togetherWeight gain, obesity and other ill-health and disease complications.

References,

American Heart Association.  Types of Blood Pressure Medications.  http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/HighBloodPressure/PreventionTreatmentofHighBloodPressure/Types-of-Blood-Pressure-Medications_UCM_303247_Article.jsp

Ankrom, Sheryl.  Dietary Precautions While Taking MAOIs.  Former About.com Guide, updated June 17, 2009.  http://panicdisorder.about.com/od/treatments/tp/MAOIDiet.htm

Club Red.  Some Foods and Medications Just Don’t Mix.  January 2012.  http://www.clubreduva.com/food/food-articles/food-for-thought/january-2012-food

Drugs.com.  Common Side Effects, Allergies and Reactions to Antibiotics.  http://www.drugs.com/article/antibiotic-sideeffects-allergies-reactions.html

Drugs.com.  Underactive Thyroid (Hypothyroidism) Medications.  http://www.drugs.com/condition/hypothyroidism.html

Harris, Gardiner.  Safety Alerts Cite Cholesterol Drugs’ Side Effects.  The New York Times.  February 28, 2012.  http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/29/health/fda-warns-of-cholesterol-drugs-side-effects.html?_r=0

Helpguide.org.  Anxiety Medication.  http://www.helpguide.org/mental/anxiety_medication_drugs_treatment.htm

Rodgers, Linda.  Foods and Medications that Don’t Mix.  Grand Parents.com http://www.grandparents.com/health-and-wellbeing/health/food-drug-interactions

Mayo Clinic Staff.  Depression (major depression).  Monomine Oxidase Inhibitores (MAOIs).  http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/maois/MH00072

NBCNews.com. Foods to Avoid When You’re Taking Meds.  26 October 2006.  http://www.today.com/id/14785552/ns/today-today_health/t/foods-avoid-when-youre-taking-meds/#.UUeuPBesjTo

Vega, Jose M.D., Ph.D.  Side Effects of Coumadin, Plavix and Other Blood Thinners.  About.com.  http://stroke.about.com/od/caregiverresources/a/blood_thinners.htm

WebMD.com.  Hypothryroidism.  http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/hypothyroidism-medications

Woodard, Marc.  41 Drugs to Die For.  Mirror Athlete’s Fitness Secrets.  24 October 2010.  http://mirrorathlete.com/blog/?p=909

Woodard, Marc.  Defeat Anxiety and Panic Attacks.  Mirror Athlete Fitness Secrets.  24 November 2010.  http://mirrorathlete.com/blog/?p=966

Woodard, Marc.  How to Deal with Depression.  Mirror Athlete Fitness Secrets.  25 August 2008.  http://mirrorathlete.com/blog/?p=38

Woodard, Marc.  The Thyroid is a Powerful Weight Regulating Gland.  Mirror Athlete Fitness Secrets.  21 May 2012.  http://mirrorathlete.com/blog/?p=1341

Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, CPT, MSC ARNG Retired.  2013 Copyright, All rights reserved, MirrorAthlete Publishing @: http://www.mirrorathlete.com,  Sign up for your Free eNewsletter.





The Thyroid is a Powerful Weight Regulating Gland

21 05 2012
Most are not aware, additives in food’s do impact our metabolisms.

The thyroid is a small gland in the neck no bigger than a buckeye butterfly.  But this glands hormone also influences other hormone producing glands which have much to do with our weight and other important metabolic interactions and bodily functions.  Just because these glands are small, does not mean they are insignificant.

     It is seen through patient and animal research that hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid gland) can cause many types of problems:  weight gain, depression, sluggishness, fatigue, bad mood, unhealthy appearance, impotence, water retention that adds to excess weight and cellulite, pear-shaped figure, infertility, PMS, hardening of the arteries, cystic breasts/ovaries (including breast/ovary cancer), irritability, bad complexion, puffiness under the chin, forgetfulness, irritability, apathy, dry skin, intolerance to cold, enlargement of the thyroid and unhealthy hair, nails and teeth.

     If you have hypothyroidism to the degree where one quarter of the thyroid hormone thyroxin is produced, you may also suffer from chronic fatigue.  On the opposite end of the spectrum, hyperthyroidism causes an overactive thyroid gland condition that has the opposite effect on the body’s metabolism.  The “hyper” condition speeds up the metabolic process, causing underweight and hyperactive tendencies.

     A more serious disorder from an underactive thyroid is a goiter (swelling in the neck area).  This occurs because the thyroids enlarge to compensate for lack of iodine in the diet.  However, a goiter can occur, even if you’re not iodine deficient.  This swelling or enlargement of the thyroid glands is also known as Graves Disease.  Regardless of whether you have a hypo/hyper thyroid condition, both conditions untreated can become a life threatening situation.

     Before I get more into the meat of the matter let’s first understand what trace mineral stimulates the thyroids hormone “thyroxin” secretion.   A very important mineral is iodine.  There is also another one needed that works with iodine to manufacture the thyroxin hormone.  And that mineral is Tyrosine, an amino acid.  Luckily Tyrosine can be consumed through many types of high-protein foods such as chicken, milk, cheese, beans, bananas, soy products, peanuts, almonds, fish, turkey, etc.  Iodine, along with tyrosine is required to produce a normalized balance of the thyroxin hormone to stabilize our caloric burning furnace.

     There is a TSH (Thyroid-Stimulation Hormone) test that tells a treating physician if your thyroid is producing proper amounts of thyroxin hormone to keep your metabolic system balanced.  The test determines if your thyroid is working correctly through reading TSH levels in the blood.   This stimulator hormone is produced by the pituitary gland.  So as the pituitary gland slows down within the metabolic system it releases more TSH to signal “speeding” up the thyroids production of thyroxin.  This test can determine proper levels of TSH hormone in the blood.  The TSH hormone release is directly related to many interconnecting metabolic processes.  If all other metabolic processes are working correctly, the thyroid hormone release stimulated by TSH should normalize all metabolic functions which impact weight loss/gain and mitigate other disorders.  But if too little, or too much TSH is produced than the test will show ranges from under/over active and normal thyroid gland.

     Normal TSH test scores will be between 0.4 and 2.5.  A low score of 0-0.4 is hyperthyroidism.  And if the score is between 2.5 and 4, this means there is risk for hypothyroidism.  Anything higher can lead to a major health concern.  Many doctors will resist treating patients until they hit a 10.  This is basically due to the delicate balance and interactions these hormones and chemical exchange relationships have on the entire metabolic system.  Nevertheless, if your measurement is at 4 or above, or below 2.5, you should discuss a treatment course with your medical specialist. 

     Although your thyroid only requires a hundred thousandth of a percentage of your body weight in iodine (150 micrograms daily – the best sources of iodine comes from seaweed, onions, seafood and salt); without it the thyroid cannot function.  If you don’t have enough of this mineral, you gain weight.  But if you get enough of it in your diet, adding more through supplementation will do absolutely no good because the glands function is balanced, or better known as “normalized effect”   That is, if your thyroid is functioning normal, iodine will not help because the thyroid is already normalized and functioning correctly.

     If you must take an iodine supplement for an underactive thyroid, kelp is the best organic source.  It appears to have “the best “normalizing effect on the thyroid gland.  However, if your iodine dose is incorrect, it is possible to supplement with too much, or too little.  Some of the symptoms of iodine over supplementation include:  Severe acme, become underweight, emotional imbalances, hyper-activity, mental and emotional instability, negative effects on thyroid glands, skin irregularities (welts on arms/face, rough skin) and problems with focus, or spaced out feelings.

     Getting enough iodine in the diet should not be a problem since we get it in our everyday table salt, processed and fast foods and through its presence in crop fertilizers.  However, the key issue with our iodine in our everyday diet is, most of us do not get organic iodine (e.g., seaweed, “kelp”).  Homeopathic doctors have prescribed kelp, vinegar, B6 and a lecithin diet for treatment of obesity and other types of preventative disorders for years.  The diet is also beneficial to brain tissue, sensory nerves and spinal cord. 

     However the normalizing effect of iodine benefits for an overweight problem gets lost in translation within the market place for those desperate to lose weight.  That is, consumers are lead to believe if iodine is good for the thyroid, than more is better whether you need it or not.  But there could be nothing further from the truth.   There is another way to look at this statistically.  Eighty percent of all thyroid cases are diagnosed as the hypo-type.  But this percentage does not equate to eighty percent of those that are obese have a thyroid problem.

     Let’s also not forget those that choose “not to exercise, or eat healthy diets,” but have healthy thyroids with plenty of iodine in the diet.  They will not lose more weight by increasing iodine intake.  Also, 8 times out of 10 thyroid disorder diagnosis are more prominent in women than men.  And as a natural progression of aging, increased risk of thyroid disease occurs naturally.  And if you have an autoimmune disorder, type 1 diabetes, or rheumatoid arthritis your at higher risk for thyroid disease.  These diseases and other factors are the tip of the iceberg when it comes to diagnosing whether or not your thyroid needs stimulation to help you manage your weight.

     If you do supplement your diet with iodine, it is important to understand it is also important to get enough vitamin A in the diet as well.  Why is this?  Vitamin A allows the thyroid gland to absorb the iodine.  If absorption of iodine through the gland does not occur optimally, then the production of thyroxin will occur relative to the glands absorption rate.  Recall, with reduced thyroxin hormone production, you have a lower BMR that does not help your weight loss and overall health goals.

     One last point I’d like to touch on regarding a hyper-thyroid condition.  There are many cases documented where speeding up the thyroids function will cause weight loss.  But there are also cases where speeding up the thyroid function causes weight gain.  You ask how this is possible.  Because, by increasing the metabolic function, you also increase appetite.  Here is another truth, for those that lost weight during hormone treatment, once the hyper-active treatment stopped the weight came back. 

     Therefore, it appears that thyroid treatment to treat obesity does not appear to be real useful in many of the obesity cases.  And this is why I recommend you visit your treating physician to get some help identifying the cause of your weight problem.  If you are diagnosed with thyroid disease, then you’ll likely be prescribed a synthetic thyroxin which will do a great job at replacing the hormone your thyroid can no longer produce.

     By working with your doctor to adjust to the necessary doses, you’ll begin to look and feel better.  In other cases some of you may need a combination of treatments to regulate, or lose body weight that include thyroxin prescription, diet and exercise.  And in other weight loss situations relative to disease and disorder(s) diagnosis, varying fit-healthy medical strategies as opposed to thyroid treatment will apply.

 References,

 American Thyroid Association.  Thyroid and Weight.  2005. http://www.thyroid.org/patients/brochures/Thyroid_and_Weight.pdf

 Hastings, John.  The Truth about the Thyroid.  The Oprah Magazine. Jan 2009. http://www.oprah.com/health/The-Truth-About-the-Thyroid-and-Weight-Gain

 Veracity Dani.  How Iodine Accelerates Weight Loss by Supporting the Thyroid Gland.  Natural News.com, June 25, 2005.  http://www.naturalnews.com/008902.html

 Woodard, Marc T.  GH-Hormone Stimulator the Fountain of Youth Elixir?  Mirror Athlete’s Fitness Secrets!  23 February 2012.  http://mirrorathlete.com/blog/2012/02/23/exercise-is-the-anti-aging-hormonal-fix/

Woodard, Marc.  Low Testosterone, another Man-Made Risky Fix?  Mirror Athlete Fitness Secrets. January 22, 2012.  http://mirrorathlete.com/blog/2012/01/22/low-testosterone-another-man-made-risky-fix/

Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, USA Medical Services Officer, CPT, RET.  2012 Copyright, All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Publishing @: http://www.mirrorathlete.com,  Sign up for your Free eNewsletter.