When it comes to the amount of food you eat, too much or too little can wreak havoc on your thyroid. Whilst our thyroid plays a big role in appetite control, under-eating can actually impact the health and functionality of our thyroid gland and its ability to produce necessary hormones for the body. Thyroid health is extremely important because it regulates your body’s metabolism which subsequently influences every bodily function, including your heart rate, body temperature, nervous system, brain development, digestion, and more.
When the body enters a calorie deficit, it deprives the body of essential nutrients required for multiple functions, including the thyroid gland. Starvation slows down the thyroid significantly. This results in the downregulation of T3, an important thyroid hormone, causing further issues such as changes in skin and bowel habits, fatigue, and muscle weakness - to name a few. For females, the risk of developing a thyroid issue is higher than men.
In recent years, intermittent fasting has become more popular in the health and wellness space. Whilst intermittent fasting has multiple health benefits, it can also be detrimental to a person’s health (especially women) if it is done improperly or if an individual has an underlying health condition that isn’t suited to a calorie reduction. When we fast, our body ultimately goes into survival mode because it does not know when it will be fed again. This can raise your stress hormone, called cortisol. Higher levels of cortisol can wreak havoc on your reproductive and thyroid health, as stressful situations often cause your thyroid function to down-regulate.
Your thyroid dictates how you feel and function. If you are considering incorporating intermittent fasting into your regime, speak to your healthcare professional to help make an educated choice based on what is best for your body’s unique needs. Remember, one size does not fit all.