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Thursday February 14th 2019


Metabolism, Hormones, Thyroid And Weight Issues, Oh, My!

Post Published: 02 April 2010
Category: Guest Bloggers, Thyroid Nutrition Hormones Metabolism and Weight Loss
This post currently has 24 responses. Leave a comment

(Written by, Kevin Guest Blogger, Founder (GlycoNutrients)


The human body is ridiculously hard to understand. In fact, science knows very little about it. As pointed out to me by Liz Schau, metabolism and weight control are of extreme interest to those who suffer from thyroid problems. This is because hormones secreted by the thyroid control the basal metabolic rate (BMR), which determines the amount of oxygen used up by the body over a specified amount of time. A low level of thyroid hormone is associated with a low BMR, just as an overproduction of thyroid hormone is associated with a high BMR.

But it is impossible to focus on a single gland and its hormones, especially when dealing with complex topics like metabolism and weight management. There are many factors beyond thyroid hormones that help determine your metabolism and, ultimately, the success you will have in losing weight and keeping it off. Take a second to visualize your car. Now answer this question: How does it move forward? Most drivers’ answers would be, “press the gas pedal” Mechanics will say that fuel is injected into carburetor and go into a little more detail as to how the motor works. Ask this same question to a physicist and his answer will surely include chemical reactions that take place in the engine, volume and pressure displacement in the gas tank, torque on wheels, etc. Metabolism is even more complex and you are sure to get a different explanation depending on who you ask. That being said, I will do my best to touch on important points regarding metabolism. But what I wan you to get out of this is that there are many variables that you need to be aware of and weight loss/maintenance goes well beyond caloric intake (which I am adamantly opposed to) and thyroid issues.

Hormones and Metabolism

We have already established that hormones secreted by the thyroid play an important role in metabolism. But so do other hormones such as insulin, epinephrine, glucagon, and more. Hormonal balance is essential to maintaining a proper metabolism. I understand there is little that can be done to find balance of hormones secreted by a gland (like the thyroid) that has been removed. But it is important that you take ALL glands and their hormones into considerations when attempting to improve your metabolism for effective weight loss. Learn about triggers for weight gain like how the presence of insulin blocks fat consumption and promotes fat and glycogen accumulation. In other words, look beyond the thyroid and know that even after being diagnosed with a thyroid problem, you are still not out of the fight.

Hormone Regulation

Many hormones are regulated by the brain/nervous systema as responses to the environment. Epinephrine (adrenaline), for example, is a fight or flight response hormone. It would promote fat and glycogen breakdown for immediate energy if, as you are reading this, a lion were to jump through your nearest window. It would allow you to break the world’s record in the quarter mile run, no matter how out of shape you might be. That may be an exaggeration, but not by much. Other hormones are regulated by our diet, like insulin. It’s production is directly related to the amount of blood glucose levels. By maintaining a proper balance of as many hormones as you can, you are sure to increase your chances of weight loss.

Glycemic Index

Food with a high glycemic index will spike blood glucose levels. Short-term it’s bad because as alluded to earlier, when your body has a lot of blood glucose it says “stop burning fat; we have plenty of glucose in the blood that we can use”. But because there is a spike and most likely an excess of glucose, the body then says “well, we have extra so let’s store it for when we can’t find food”. Long-term, it could lead to insulin resistance. See, your body believes it is still a hunter gatherer and doesn’t know you sit around all day in front of a computer and you have available to you, in one soda, more sugar than you should be able to come across in the next couple of days (please note it’s an example, I did not do math for sugar content/requirements). Aim for consumption of foods with a low glycemic index and a high soluble fiber content to help reduce the absorption rate from intestine to blood, reducing the amount of insulin (and other hormones that promote fat storage) in the blood.

The point that what we eat influences mechanisms that regulate metabolism has been made. It is much more complicated than how I have paraphrased it and there is certainly a lot more that needs to be told. But you effectively understand that:

diet hormonal product metabolism and that hormonal imbalances metabolic problems

Whey Protein vs. Whey Peptides

Recent studies suggest that certain peptides, which can be derived from whey protein, can be an effective tool to promote fat utilization.

Whey protein is taken from milk and commonly used by bodybuilders to build mass. It is a big complex and is usually ineffective at anything other than increasing muscle volume. Which could translate into fat burn because a larger muscle consumes more fat than a smaller one, but there is a lot of weight lifting involved and frankly most of us don’t have the time (or money for personal trainers) that is required for this to be effective.

Whey peptides on the other hand are smaller subunits that are removed from whey protein by specific enzymes. The difference between a peptide and a protein is the length in its amino acid chain (under 100 it is considered a peptide; 100 or more is considered a protein). In essence, most of the whey is disposed and only key components that are known to play an important part in inhibiting fat accumulation and promoting fat consumption are kept. These peptides are rich in leucine, isoleucine, and valine amino acids. Recently (February 18th of this year) Medline Plus reported that “Researchers suggest that isoleucine could effective in treating obesity…

There are four main mechanisms in which our whey peptides work to accelerate fat loss:

  1. Protein synthesis – provides three branched amino acids (leucine, isoleucine, and valine) essential for your body to make protein
  2. Inhibition ACE – angiotensin-converting enzyme promotes storage/accumulation of fat. By inhibiting it, it loses it’s ability to store fat, thereby preventing the formation of new fat cells.
  3. Promotes production of CCK (only if taken 20 mins before a meal) – cholecystokinin is secreted by gland after you have consumed some food (some fats or proteins) and send signal to the brain telling it that you are satisfied and to stop making you fell hungry
  4. Calcitrophic Hormone Regulation – regulates whether you will burn the fat or not.

We refer to a blend of these whey peptides as an advanced peptide technology.

Keep in mind, you body is extremely intricate and just as complex. Although some may see an immediate improvement by taking a whey peptide supplement, it is important to remember that activity, stress, diet, mood, and other factors will contribute to hormonal secretion, recognition, and ultimately absorption into target cells and users are encouraged to become more active, improve/modify their diets (most notably to a low glycemic diet), and commit to a few other lifestyle changes.

As a final note… Your body will stop burning fat if it is intoxicated. Everything described above will be null once your blood gets to a certain level of intoxication after burning fat. The body uses stored fat to protect itself from toxins by storing toxins in adipose (fat) tissue. As fat is burned, toxins are released. The more fat you have, the more toxins you’ve accumulated. If you are not eating a diet VERY HIGH in antioxidants (overweight people are strongly encouraged to take a good antioxidant supplement) your body has a tougher time getting rid of these toxins. Water is also good for toxin disposal and is probably one of the main reasons water consumption should be increased in all people (especially those attempting to lose weight). Weigh yourself in pounds, divide by two. The number you get is the number of ounces of water you should drink per day, as it is very close to the amount of water your body uses on a daily basis (most exists your body as urine, sweat may not notice it because it evaporates, and every time you exhale).

What questions do you have for Kevin? What are your thoughts about metabolism, hormone regulation, glycemic index and Whey Protein vs. Whey Peptides? Do you eat foods rich in antioxidants? Do you take supplements? What is working about your nutritional program and what isn’t working?

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24 Responses to “Metabolism, Hormones, Thyroid And Weight Issues, Oh, My!

  1. Dana says:

    Very interesting article, explains a lot that I didn’t quite understand. What are some examples of food that are high in antioxidants?

  2. Dear Thyroid says:

    Dana, what a great question. I’m looking forward to Kevin’s response.

  3. There are several. The most obvious, and probably most well known antioxidant is vitamin C which is present in all citrus fruits (oranges, limes, lemons, grapefruits, and other sourish tasting fruits). In fact, it’s vitamin C (ascorbic acid) that gives these fruits their sour taste.

    Vitamin A is also a strong antioxidant. This is most commonly found in orange to red vegetables (and tomatoes). It’s beta-carotene (precursor for vit a) that gives them their color.

    Other good antioxidants: green tea, the Australian wild bush plum (is one of best vitamin C sources), read wine, grapeseeds, squash, peaches (vit A), all sorts of berries (esp. strawberries, blueberries), pomegranate, watermelon (careful, this has a very high glycemic index), flaxseed.

    The idea is to eat as many different types of fruits and vegetables to get as many different types of antioxidants and phytonutrients (some of which could have antioxidant effect).

  4. Christine says:

    Thank YOU! Thank YOU! Some information I can actually wrap my brain around. BRAVO!

    What are your thoughts about metabolism, hormone regulation, glycemic index and Whey Protein vs.
    My thoughts are muddled, I don’t know what to do, how to do it, upside down, right side up – to the left or the right – eat, don’t eat… UGH UGH UGH

    Whey Peptides? I just started to do some research after hearing more about this – so I am eager to learn more.

    Do you eat foods rich in antioxidants? That would be vegetables and fruit – my problem, due to a gastro issues, is the need for low fiber – not sure how to get the natural antioxidants with low fiber and roughage.

    Do you take supplements? Calcium! Calcium! Calcium! and more Calcium (loss of parathyroids) + lack of absorption so includes a shot once a week of B12

    What is working about your nutritional program and what isn’t working? What Nutritional program? The primary doc says one thing, cardio says another, neuro says something else, endo hasn’t really talked about a nutritional program yet, concentration is getting my numbers stable.

    I’d love to know – what should I eat? Having been hypothyroid, hoshimotos, multi-nodular goiter w/cancer, thyroidectomy 7 months ago – HYPO until a couple of weeks ago – now HYPER (ugly ugly ugly)
    I NEED to lose weight – I don’t know who the woman is that is looking back at me in the mirror!! (not all because of thyroid – but rather the depression, lack of energy, extreme fatigue, migraines etc that led to a less than healthy lifestyle)
    Low Glycemic? High Protein? Gluten Free? Vegetarian? Organic? Coconut Oil vs Olive vs Corn? and so on and so on and so on
    I would love, hell I’d find a way to pay for some instruction from someone who knows what they are talking about… point me in a direction – I swear I’ll stick to it!

    (can you hear my frustration!?!) 😉

  5. Christine says:

    PS along with the gastro issues – I avoid things with seeds as well…. grrrrrr

    Help me “Obi WanKevin” you may be my only hope 😉

  6. Christine says:

    Oh and add to all of this (on the hormone home front) I had a total and complete hysterectomy 16 years ago at ripe old age of 29 (more cancer). So “hormonally” I am screwed! LOLOL

  7. WOW… Christine, you leave very little space to maneuver.

    I would start by eating as healthy as possible, according to what you doctors have said. While MD’s are not the best at telling their patients what to eat, they are usually pretty good at telling their patients what NOT to eat. A lot of the restriction have to do with medication interactions.

    Write down everything one doctors says and take it to the next one and ask “what can I eat, and what can I not?” Then ask him about what the previous doctor suggested, etc. Until that gets straightened out because you need a game plan that you can follow.

    Second, start with supplements. Beyond the weight loss, a good supplement will provide essential nutrients that are missing from your diet (and as you have pointed out, much of the natural sources of nutrients have been eliminated from your diet). We carry was we call an “Optimal Health System” which contains the only antioxidant on the market that has been tested in human blood (other antioxidants have values determined in a lab – in vitro), the only vitamin/mineral supplement with ALL required nutrients and all extracted from plants (others either lack nutrients or have minerals extracted from mines), a phytohormone supplement (not animal hormones, but rather precursors that body uses to make required hormones), and a glyconutritional supplement. E-mail me for more questions about supplements: glycotrainer at gmail dot com.

    But the main thing is to follow doctors’ orders especially if you are taking medications.

  8. A.D.B. says:

    Thanks for sharing the antioxidant list. Some of those I’ll need to avoid (nightshade plants like tomato and peppers) but there’s plenty in the list to benefit from. Peaches are also considered a goitrogen, so I’ll be avoiding those.

  9. Kevin says:


    Like I said… The important thing is to stay withing your doctors’ guidelines when it comes to foods you cannot consume.


    I just thought of this, have you asked any of your doctors (or have they said anything) about the use of a probiotic?

    Kevin :: Glyco Trainer
    On Twitter: @glycotrainer
    Web Site: http://www.GlycoTrainer.com

  10. Kevin says:


    As I eluted to earlier, the best way to go about determining food you should eat is to stay within the boundaries your doctors have set. These recommendations can be for specific health condition but are usually to prevent drug interactions. This is the only part of nutrition in which they are trained.

    I just thought of something. What have your doctors (or have you asked) said about the use of a probiotic?

    Kevin :: Glyco Trainer
    On Twitter: @glycotrainer

  11. Liz says:

    LOVE the low-glycemic eating, Kevin! I also highly recommend it!!!

  12. caroline lamont says:

    Wow!! I must be really intoxicated, I can’t seem to shift an ounce and I am so active. Kevin what are your thoughts on those body cleansing kits you can buy from the health food store, do you recommend them

  13. Christine says:

    After reading your post – I emailed my endo (Yes – she is awesome that way)… sugar/diabetes is/was a concern (my blood sugar since my thyroidectomy is doing much better – getting closer to that under 100 blood sugar finally!)

    She indicated that they following a low-glycemic index way of eating would be very beneficial to me. I have an appointment next week with the gastro so I will talk with him about this also.

    Poor absorption has been a problem for quite a while (like years). With HYPO – think sluggish gastro function – never was a problem for me – quite the opposite (never went anywhere I didn’t know a bathroom was), despite additional fiber etc. caused great pain, labor like spasms – it was all so frustrating, besides dealing with the effect of a diseased thyroid. Was on a multi-vitamin and probiotic but was not effective at that time.
    Now that I am HYPER – which can lend to a quick running gastro function” (if you will), well I am the exact opposite of that now. UGH UGH UGH BUT the upside it would seem is that my absorption factor has improved (going from extreme HYPO to extreme HYPER) etc. Went from 400 TSH daily to now at 200, B12 several times a week (no B12 absorption at all) to once a week. Healthier bloodwork overall – after too many years to count of being a mess. Upswing she calls it! I’ll take it.

    The concern has been to find a balance, I was on migraine medication, preventative and as needed, depression and anxiety medication, thyroid medication, T3/T4 meds (again non-existent), spasmotic medication, reflux meds, sugar meds, blood pressure meds etc. etc… You get the picture.

    I am now on only Synthroid, Cytomel, B12 shots, and I take anti-spasmotic meds as needed. Since my thyroidectomy I am off of all other medication I am happy to say. (although they are talking of a med for my heart – given the extreme side effect of the HYPER now)

    Endo’s feeling is a probiotic would be very helpful as well as additional supplementation. If I am now absorbing as one should – this is a great time and opportunity to set my body right.

    I’d like to put together a “game plan” and see what the gastro thinks about what I can or cannot handle now.

    My hope is for radiant health. Better energy – constant steady energy – a healthy body, soul and mind. 🙂 I’d like to be off of all meds – except my thyroid medication (which I know is for the rest of my life). I think with a healthier body, comes a healthier mind, a better outlook on life in general. What I can do as naturally as possible would be delightful. I am ready to make that lifestyle change.

    Oddly enough, since my thyroidectomy I have a some difficulty with grains (think pasta, whole wheat grains, breakfast foods etc… ) that is why I was wondering about those that suggest “gluten free”. But I worry about the “carb load” and it’s conversion to sugar – and it’s impact overall.

    Whew – bet your glad I popped in and commented eh? LOLOL
    I’m all about reading – learning – finding my way through the maze ….. I am in the process of claiming my life back – my terms, my way! 🙂

    I appreciate all that you brought to the table today, you gave me something to discuss with my docs and to learn more about.

    With thyroid disease, no matter the “type” we are often so consumed by what it is doing to our body – that we are undone – fighting – swimming upstream to a better and healthier life. I don’t think we always think about the impact of what we put in our body and it’s role with what we face as “thyroid challenged” folks.

    I keep thinking “garbage in – garbage out” LOLOL (I spent too much time at the computer today in the office)

    Thank YOU thank YOU for your time, patience and willingness to help 🙂 You simply RAWK!

  14. Kevin says:


    I am glad you popped in and commented. I learned more from your posts than you could possibly learn from mine.

    And believe me, “I get the picture.” Sadly enough, it is all too common for physicians to play a time of chess with the disease. Unfortunately, the medication adjustments are normally done as a reaction to compensate for an error.

    The VERY FIRST thing I can tell you in grain, and really any kind of food digestion (which ultimately will lead to improved absorption) is to chew very, very, VERY well. Carbohydrates are mostly broken down by enzymes in saliva. Take much smaller bites and chew until it is thick liquid, then swallow (true for anything). An additional benefit is that most vital nutrients, like vitamin c and glyconutrients, are absorbed sublingually (below the tongue). Chew more, release more nutrients in mouth, greater chance of absorption there.

    Sublingual absorption goes from mouth directly to blood.

    Next, your stomach will be much efficient at breaking down what it does receive.

    Eliminate your liquids during meals. If you improve your chewing, you will not need anything to drink (I don’t). Think of you stomach like a little beaker with an acidic solution of HCl and enzymes. If you buy a bottle of concentrated soap at the store and want to dilute it, you add water, right? The same applies to the solution in your “beaker” (stomach). Add water to dilute and make less effective. I don’t eat withing 30 minutes after drinking water and I don’t drink water within 2 hours after eating one of my three meals (or 40 mins after eating a snack like an apple or a small handful of almonds).

    Not all supplements are alike. Looks for ones that claim to have all nutrients derived from plants. “Natural” can mean anything that is produced naturally (including mined metals and heavy metals like mercury). Get a guarantee that your probiotic contains live cultures. Many companies will not provide food for the little guys inside the capsules to save money. Look for supplements that are certified by third parties to have GMP’s.

    For more information about why to supplement and the correct ways to select a supplement, go to my glycotrainer.com/supplementation.

    In regard to a gluten-free diet… I would have to deffer to anything that Liz may have to say about it as I don’t know too much. I think some people can be sensitive to it and not others. I don’t shy away from any food group. When I do eat pasta, it’s whole grain; when I do eat bread, it’s well toasted multi-grain; when I do eat seeds, it’s in extreme moderation (I’ll have maybe 3/4 of a handful every couple of days or so). For me, it’s about variation.

    I keep a log of what I eat and it helps me plan meals in advanced. I plan meals at night for the next day and base those meals on what I have eaten in the past couple of days. I can somewhat judge nutritional info and see what I may be lacking. Variety works for me, it may not be the same for you, though. But the idea is for you to be in control of what you eat and not be under the control of hunger and temptation to eat what you shouldn’t.

  15. Kevin says:


    I forgot to mention that in addition to chewing well and taking a probiotic supplement, you may also benefit from an enzyme supplement.

  16. Kevin says:


    I don’t know about the specific “body cleansing kits” that you are talking about but I just did a search on google and couldn’t find ingredients for the ones I looked at. This scares me.

    Check out this article I wrote a couple of days ago about “9 Easy Steps Towards Better Health Without a Change in Diet or Exercise” at glycotrainer.com/9-easy-steps-towards-bette-health-without-a-change-in-diet-or-exercise/.

    Everyone can benefit by implementing these 9 suggestions.

    Personally, besides drinking more water than anyone else that I know, exercising regularly, watching what I eat, and taking what I believe to be the best supplements, I don’t do anything extra for “cleansing”.

    FYI: How many bowel movements do you have per day? If the number doesn’t equal the number of meals you have per day, you have a slow/unresponsive digestive system.

    Kevin :: Glyco Trainer
    On Twitter: @glycotrainer

  17. Kevin says:

    I really appreciate all of your questions and comments.

    Thank you for letting me know that you liked the article. I have enjoyed your replies and have learned a great deal.

    I wish you the best of luck. And please e-mail me at any time. You may also follow me on twitter (information below).

    Kevin :: Glyco Trainer
    E-mail: glycotrainer at gmail dot com
    On Twitter: @glycotrainer
    Blog: glycotrainer dot blogspot dot com
    Web Site: glycotrainer dot com

  18. Christine says:

    What you stated about “Sublingual absorption goes from mouth directly to blood” would make a lot of sense. It as after allowing my Synthroid to dissolve under the tongue or in my cheek – did we see my numbers go to the other direction. It was at the endo’s suggestion that we try doing this with my daily thyroid meds. It obviously worked – in fact worked too well, thus being in HYPER land now.

    Makes a lot of sense!

  19. Kevin says:

    Oh yeah.. tons of meds are now for sublingual use.

    I’m glad at the very least you now understand what is going on. Quick, run to the nearest mirror and look under your tongue! What do you see? Answer should be big fat red/purple blood vessels.

    Almost look tender and thick enough to draw blood from, don’t they?

  20. Christine says:

    Hmmm Kevin – I wonder if I might be able to try B12 Sublingual again… I sure would like to get away from the weekly belly shots – ugh!

    Understanding, knowledge is a very powerful tool in life and in dealing with our disease. I am all about the learning!!

    Have a wonderful Easter weekend

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  22. Colin Kostek says:

    Thank you very much for your helpful post!
    Guys always have no idea why they couldn’t get rid of unwanted weight or have a better figure. The problem is they finding for a magic bullet which brings them what they desire immediately while all they should do is keep reading informative articles like this as well as do the exercises.

  23. Donna says:

    Thank you Kevin. I am going to make a point of doing some things differently because of you!

    On a lighter note when I drank a few bottles of red wine a week I was so healthy. I gave up indulging when I was pregnant 10 years ago and only have a glass of wine on occasion now. Makes me wonder, not that it will change what is done but perhaps can help me otherwise.

    You are appreciated. Thanks!

  24. Bee says:

    kevin-IF THE # OF BMs DOESN’T EQUAL THE # OF MEALS PUT IN I HAVE A SLOW/ UNRESPONSIVE DIGETIVE SYMPTOM? MY DIGESTIVE SYMPTOM must be dead and atrophied..i actually emplore higher powers for a good crap…Like Christine, my guts are a mess right now. I usually throw myself into some type of gastric distress in late spring bcuz of my love of fruits, veggies, whole grains….i’m presently on a very low residue diet and have been for 4.5 wks because of a diverticlitis attack…my worst one yet. This article came at the perfect time and i am so glad Christine asked the ?s-i am on the cusp for insulin resistance and all i’m able to eat presently are potatoes, white bread ,white pasta, squashes, minimal fruits. I can’t take my metformin right now because of abd. cramping…I am on a probiotic and use an occasional yogurt with active bacteria. However, I’m afraid i’m not getting the proper nutrients and that i’m just going to make my IR worse. It’s awful I tell ya

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