Tips to Make Your New Year’s Resolutions Successful

December 29, 2017 | Linda J. Dobberstein, Chiropractor, Board Certified in Clinical Nutrition

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Tips to Make Your New Year’s Resolutions Successful
With the New Year upon us, resolutions are made with diet changes, healthy exercise and sleep routines. A renewed focus occurs on improving health and metabolism. Physical activity, healthy lifestyle choices and eating plans like the Leptin Diet are at the foundation of healthy living. Yet, sometimes progress is slow because of a metabolic roadblock which may dampen and interfere with healthy thyroid and leptin function. Several vital tips can help you identify areas of concern and help provide an incentive and steer you in a direction of better choices and healthy nutrition. These are also great things to check for with your annual physical.

Thyroid

The thyroid gland and leptin hormone are at the core of healthy metabolism and weight management. Many things interfere with thyroid function. As a result, numerous symptoms occur with dysfunctional thyroid gland function and impaired thyroid hormone function. To get a sense of your metabolism and thyroid health, take the Thyroid Quiz

Thyroid lab tests may be helpful as symptoms may overlap with other disorders. Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) is the most common method of thyroid hormone measurement. Optimal TSH range is 1.3-1.8 mIU/L. Levels higher than 3.0 mUL are still within the standard reference range, but is considered subclinical hypothyroidism. Levels over 5.5 indicate hypothyroidism. TSH lab values do not identify actual thyroid hormone levels or thyroid antibodies, thus other thyroid lab tests may be needed to truly see the whole picture.

Other thyroid tests include free T4 (fT4) and free T3 (fT3). Optimal fT4 levels are 1.2-4.9 mg/dL. Optimal fT3 levels are 300-450pg/mL. Reverse T3 (rT3) indicates that thyroid hormone conversion from T4 into T3 is going in the wrong direction. High cortisol levels, inflammation, and zinc deficiency can lead to elevated rT3. If family history or symptoms suggest thyroid concerns, get thyroid antibodies checked and do repeat measurements as levels fluctuate. Thyroid antibodies include thyroid peroxidase (TPO Ab), thyroglobulin (TGB Ab), and thyroid stimulating hormone antibodies (TSH Ab)

Insulin resistance and obesity reflect leptin resistance. Take the Leptin Quiz to see how your score. Leptin levels can also be checked by blood tests.

Basic nutritional support for healthy thyroid function includes selenium, manganese, tyrosine, ashwagandha, guggulipid, iodine, B vitamins, zinc, copper, iron, and magnesium.

Blood Sugar

Everyone needs to know how well they are managing their blood sugar. Elevated blood sugar, diabetes, insulin resistance, and even low blood sugar all place a stress response on metabolism and thyroid. At least once a year, check your fasting blood sugar and hemoglobin A1C levels. Consider checking your fasting serum insulin levels. Elevated insulin levels reflect impaired insulin function and coexists with leptin resistance. Imbalanced insulin levels also affects body temperature

Optimal fasting blood sugar level is 65-85. The normal range is between 80-100. Healthy A1C levels are at 5.5 and lower. An A1C level of 5.7 - 6.4 is considered pre-diabetic. Even at a pre-diabetic level there is significant strain on the body and an increased risk for neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s Disease. Diabetic medications like Metformin come with substantial risks. Consider nutritional support like chromium, omega-3 DHA, B vitamins, gymnema sylvestre, gugulipid and cinnamon to help blood sugar and insulin function.

Cholesterol

Cholesterol has gotten a bad rap over the years and is often viewed as a villain. Elevated cholesterol may occur for a number of reasons including hypothyroidism, but our body needs cholesterol for every single cell in the body. Cholesterol is a building component of cell walls, hormones, enzymes, protein, and antibodies. Some of the most common reasons for elevated cholesterol pertain to inflammation and oxidative stress, hypothyroidism, toxins, chronic infections, and dysfunctional metabolism with obesity and impaired blood sugar management.

Optimal total cholesterol value is between 160-180 mg/dL. Ideal HDL cholesterol is 37-70 mg/dL. Ideal triglyceride values are 80-115. Ideal LDL is less than 100 mg/dL. LDL particle size should be large and fluffy as opposed to small and dense which can be measured in a blood test. Consider omega-3 DHA, guggulipid, niacin, and pantethine for basic support. Many of these nutrients support thyroid function too. Gugulipid/guggulsterones are also noted for their support with cholesterol, blood sugar and thyroid.

Homocysteine

Homocysteine is frequently thought of with heart disease, stroke, and many eye disorders. However, elevated homocysteine also reflects an impaired metabolism and hypothyroidism. Ideal levels are less than 7.2. If you have never had this checked, put this on your to-do list this year. Homocysteine measurement is often overlooked by providers, yet it can provide significant insight into healthy metabolism and is involved with the critical process of methylation

Iron

Iron, a trace mineral, is vital to metabolism. Too little and too much iron can lead to impaired thyroid function, distressed blood sugar management, and affect exercise capacity. Iron deficiency and iron excess/hemochromatosis create high levels of oxidative stress and inflammation in the body. Normal iron level is 85-120. Serum ferritin is the earliest indicator of iron imbalances in the body. The serum ferritin lab reference range for men is 12-300 ng/mL and women is 12-150 ng/mL. Optimal serum ferritin levels are generally between 50 - 100 ng/mL. Menstruating women often do better with levels closer to 100 ng/mL.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is involved with many different functions in the body acting both as a hormone and vitamin. Impaired vitamin D levels and function in the body leads to obesity, hypothyroidism, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, autoimmune disorders, increased LDL levels, bone loss, impaired balance, higher levels of inflammation, and regulates thousands of gene signals. Optimal Vitamin D are between 50 ng/ml and 80 ng/ml.

Lab values given in this article reflect optimal or functional lab values. This reflects a tighter reference range, but does not indicate pathology. Please work with your health care professional for proper evaluation.

Thyroid and a healthy metabolism affects the whole body. Subtle or significant changes with blood sugar, cholesterol, homocysteine, iron, and vitamin D may cause or reflect impaired thyroid hormone function. Support of the thyroid may be needed to help support blood sugar, cholesterol and homocysteine levels. Vitamin D and iron, if levels are low, may be needed to help thyroid hormone function. Fundamental nutritional thyroid support includes B vitamins, selenium, manganese, iodine, and tyrosine. Many find that additional support may be needed to reduce thyroid inflammation that causes hypothyroidism.

Healthy adrenal function is also essential for thyroid metabolism. Consider support such as vitamin A, quercetin, curcumin, magnesium, omega-3 DHA, omega-6 GLA, cordyceps, and pantethine to help manage inflammation and support adrenal activity. Restoration of a healthy metabolism often requires more than eating less and exercising more. Use these tips to help make your resolutions a greater success!

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