Thyroid- What You Should Know

What should you know about your thyroid.

The thyroid gland is small, but plays a big role in how you feel and your day to day health.

The thyroid is made up of two small glands located at the lower aspect of your neck on each side of your wind pipe. You can frequently feel the thyroid if it is abnormally enlarged. Enlargment can also give you a sensation of pressure on your throat , trouble swallowing, choking or sensation of needing to cough.

Thyroid Anatomy

This butterfly-shaped gland can be found in the lower part of your neck. The two “wings” fold around your windpipe. The thyroid is responsible for secreting hormones: T3 (trio-iodothyronine) and T4 (thyroxine) into the bloodstream.

These hormones are involved in the delivery of energy to the cells of the body.

Here is how the system works. The thyroid helps regulate your metabolism along with the pituitary gland and the hypothalamus. When the body needs more energy, a chain reaction is touched off.

The hypothalamus is first to respond. It releases TRH (thyrotrophin releasing hormone). This then signals the pituitary to produce TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone). The message it sends to the thyroid is to produce T4. This hormone hangs around in the bloodstream until it is needed. T4 doesn’t have a direct job in the cycle except to be converted to T3 which produces the energy the body needs.

The T4 hormone is converted to T3 when more is needed by the body.

It then increases the metabolic rate of the cells throughout the body. It initiates the fight-or-flight response in the body (heart rate increases; fats are broken down for energy consumption).

The entire body starts producing energy.

The thyroid has two jobs in its normal state. It helps the enzymes needed by the cells to pass through the cell membranes. Inside the cell, it helps the mitochondria (the powerhouse of the cell) to produce energy.

Diseases of the Thyroid

The thyroid, like other glands and organs, can have problems.

The two that most people are familiar with are hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism.

Hypothyroidism is often blamed for weight gain or the inability to lose weight, feeling tired or lack of energy, dry skin, coarse hair, psychological changes such as depression.

The thyroid produces thyroid hormone which plays a roles in many bodily functions including your bodies metabolism and the utilization of nutrients available for energy.

During hypothyroidism, the thyroid is not producing enough energy for the body. This can lead to weight gain, tiredness, depression, dry skin, dry brittle nails and problems with other organs of the body.

It can be due to a lack of sufficient iodine in the system; however, this is rare in developed countries.

Another reason could be Hashimoto’s disease, an autoimmune disease where the body begins producing antibodies against the thyroid causing it to slow down hormone production.

Hyperthyroidism can have the opposite effect.

It can be linked to overactive nodules within the thyroid, inflammation of the thyroid or an autoimmune disease called Graves’ disease.

In any case, the thyroid shoots into overdrive and produces more hormone than the body needs. That can lead to weight loss, muscle weakness, sleeplessness, excessive perspiration, anxiety, palpitations of the heart and other organ problems.

Thyroid diseases tend to affect women more than men.

Thyroid disease can affect many aspects of your life including productivity and health. If you are concerned you may have a thyroid problem, talk to your doctor. A simple blood test will tell your doctor if your thyroid is functioning appropriately or if you have a problem with an overactive or underactive thyroid gland.

Top Weight Loss Apps

With increased use of mobile phones and devices it only makes sense that weight loss apps are springing up everywhere! If you own a mobile device why not take advantage of tracking your weight loss efforts while on the go.
Below is a rundown on some of the top weight loss apps available today.

Thin Cam
This weight loss app retails for $0.99 and is a way to maintain your food diary no matter where you are. The neat thing about this app is that it allows you to take a photo of your plate of food. So you end up with a daily photo food journal.
If you want more help from a nutritionist you can join Thin Cam and pay a monthly fee. This gets you personalized attention from a nutritionist. They will look at your eating habits and make recommendations and come up with a healthy eating plan for you.

Eat This Not That
Have you ever found yourself wondering what to eat? You are trying to make healthy choices but you can’t figure out what foods to swap that are healthier. The Eat This Not That app solves this problem for you.
This app currently costs $4.99 and provides users with thousands of easy food swap choices. The app also contains a calorie counter and personalized weight loss plans.
The Eat This Not That app has over 13,000 food choices and 10,000 grocery products are listed.

5K Runner: Start running C25K (couch to 5K) app
This app will get you training to run a 5K. You train for 35 minutes three times a week for eight weeks. The training program runs on an interval training basis with each interval slowly increasing. You have an audio coach that guides you along the way.
Currently selling for $0.99

Jillian Michaels Slim-Down Solution – Diet, Fitness, Exercise Advice
This free app provides you with daily tips, slimming advice and recipes. Plus you get step by step exercise videos and free weekly pod casts. This app has received great reviews and people are enjoying the meal plans.

Nike Training Club
Another great free app. This app provides you with your own mobile personal trainer. The app contains 85 workouts which will help you get that lean and toned body you always wanted.
Nike also provides users with bonus workouts from celebrities’ and professional athletes.
Users rate this app as very motivational!

All-in YOGA HD: 300 Poses & Yoga Classes
This $0.99 app contains over 300 poses with videos and audio guides. Images are in 3D so you can really see how to perform the moves correctly. The app also gives you access to a magazine with recipes.

Boot Camp Challenge
This boot camp challenge will take you through an 18 day boot camp done by a veteran U.S. Army trainer. The boot camp includes cardio, stretching and stretching exercises.

The boot camp challenge app can be purchased for $3.99
Boot Camp App

This great fitness app includes over 1000 exercises for $0.99. Also included are over 45 tailored workout routines. You can easily track your fitness progress and find suitable exercises to add to your daily workout.

The above weight loss apps are just a small selection of the hundreds of apps that are available. If you own any type of mobile device then why not take advantage of technology to really ramp up your weight loss and fitness goals.

How To Use Technology To Help You Lose Weight

It is so easy to embrace new technology when it comes to using our iPhones and iPads. But have you thought about incorporating technology advances into your weight loss and exercise efforts?
If you are serious about losing weight or just exercising then why not keep your food or exercise log online? Even better especially if you are on the run, is to take advantage of the numerous weight loss and fitness apps that are now available. Many of these apps are free to download or cost just a couple of bucks.
No matter what type of mobile phone you have there are certain to be apps for it. Just do a search online for blackberry fitness apps or weight loss apps for droid.
If you don’t own a mobile device, don’t worry, there are plenty of free online exercise and weight loss tools available too.
Many weight loss and exercise sites have free tools that allow you to track your goals and your activity levels. For example you can track yourself walking a certain path regardless of where you live. Just do a search for online walking routes and you can find lots of options for planning a new walking regimen.
It is not just apps and online diaries that are new technology items for weight loss. Many people are now wearing heart rate monitors throughout the day. These monitors are capable of recording how many calories you burn each day. A great way to really maximize your weight loss!
At one time heart rate monitors where big and bulky and had to be attached by a strap around your chest. Today with all the new advances in technology you can purchase heart rate monitors which can be worn as a watch on your leg or on your arm.
Prices vary as well, you can purchase a basic heart rate monitor for around the $20 mark or spend over $100. It really depends on your requirements so look carefully at each monitor before purchasing.
Another great piece of newer technology when it comes to losing weight is using a gaming system such as Wii. It is easy to load up a workout routine and you simply follow along. These types of fitness programs are extremely popular and are fun for the whole family. It might be something worth looking into.
Some of the games include products like Wii Sports and Wii Resorts as well you can find more sports specific games. One of these is the Wii Fit with Balance Board an absolutely wonderful way to get fit using new technology method.

The 5 Secrets To Effective Consistent Weight Loss

The following article is from over at  on the five secrets to weight loss.


The 5 Secrets To Effective Consistent Weight Loss

There are five secrets to weight loss everyone wanting to lose weight for the holidays or next years trip to the beach should know.

Everyone knows that losing  the pounds can be both difficult and frustrating, so why not keep it as simple as possible. We are more likely to achieve success with any goal if we start out with baby steps and build up as we go along. Losing weight should not be approached any differently. Make your first weight loss goal losing one pound, then two pounds, until you have reached you total weight loss goal.

The following are the five secrets to safe, effective weight loss:

 The first secret to weight loss is to talk to your doctor. Your doctor can help you decide the best weight loss program to start with and determine if you may have some underlying medical condition that is preventing you from losing weight. An underactive thyroid gland is a good example of a medical condition that may cause you to gain weight and affect your motivation to exercise. Your doctor will also determine if you have any medical reasons to not be undertaking a weight loss program. 

 Another great secret to weight loss is to improve your posture. This may not create immediate weight loss, but certainly will make you look thinner. If you look thinner you will feel thinner and this will boost your self esteem, improve your confidence and give you motivation to exercise and follow a healthy weight loss diet.  This can also help with the weight loss process itself because good posture when you perform exercises will lead to more effective workouts.

 The third secret to weight loss is to get your whole family involved. It can be very tempting to ditch the salad had have a hamburger with your husband or a taco with your wife, but if the entire family is eating healthy foods, weight loss won’t seem so depressing. Keep the junk food out of the house completely, and everyone will be healthier. Get your family involved in exercising or at least encouraging you to exercise after they know how important weight loss is to help you become healthier and live longer.

The next secret is keep it simple and realistic. It is alot easier to lose one pound a week than it is to lose ten pounds in a week. You have to lose the first pound before you can lose that extra 20-30 pounds you have been lugging around. If you get frustrated from lack of progress or slow progress you will end up abandoning your weight loss program. Start simple by learning what you have to do to lose one pound a week then build on that foundation. Your self esteem will go up when you see you are actually losing weight and keeping it off. This will keep you motivated to keep moving forward with your weight loss plan.

The last secret is to look at what you do through out the day and use those activities to help you in your weight loss plan. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Park in the last parking spot at the mall or at work and walk to the front door. Cut out coffee and replace it with tea in the morning. Go outside to play with your children instead of staying indoors. Go out dancing instead of seeing a movie. These little things may not make a big impact on your life in general, but if you do them regularly, the burnt calories will add up and you’ll start to see real results.

If you get nothing else from this report, remember that losing one pound a week only requires you to cut out 500 calories per day or burn 250 calories with exercise and decrease your intake 250 calories.