And ultimately, if your adrenal glands are stronger than your pancreas, this can potentially lead to
diabetes. If your pancreas is the stronger organ, which is more common, then you get fatigue, lowered
body temperature, and low blood sugar (hypoglycemia).
All these factors mean that insulin resistance is probably even more of a factor for overweight people with
hypothyroidism than for the general population.
How to Lose Weight and Fight Insulin Resistance
Weight loss is the most important method of eliminating insulin resistance. So it's one of those chicken
and egg situations. The less you weigh, the less insulin resistant you will be. But insulin resistance makes
it difficult to lose weight.
So, for people who are insulin resistant, one of the only effective methods is by eating a low fat, low
carbohydrate, protein sufficient diet. This means that in addition to the usual restrictions of a low-fat diet,
you also need to seriously limit intake of sugar and starches, cutting back on pasta, rice, potatoes, white
flour breads, cereal, corn, peas, sweet potatoes, desserts, dairy products, meats, and fruit with a high
You may feel frustrated that there's nothing left to eat. But you need to rethink your eating habits,
shifting to a diet of chicken, turkey, fish, non-starchy vegetables, legumes, and certain grains. And for
those who are insulin resistant, once you start eating this way, you'll find it easier, as your carbohydrate
cravings will subside dramatically.
Finally, according to Jean-Pierre Despres, PhD, Professor of Medicine and Physical Education and
Director of the Lipid Research Center at Laval University Hospital in Quebec, "Exercise is probably the
best medication on the market to treat insulin resistance syndrome." "Our studies show that low intensity,
prolonged exercise -- such as a daily brisk walk of 45 minutes to an hour -- will substantially reduce
insulin levels," says Dr. Despres.
This article was adapted from the book, The Thyroid Diet, by Mary Shomon
Mary Shomon, About.com's Thyroid Guide since 1997, is a nationally-known patient advocate and best-selling author of 10 books on health, including "The Thyroid Hormone Breakthrough: Overcoming Sexual and Hormonal Problems at Every Age," "The Thyroid Diet: Manage Your Metabolism for Lasting Weight Loss," "Living Well With Hypothyroidism: What Your Doctor Doesn't Tell You...That You Need to Know," "Living Well With Graves' Disease and Hyperthyroidism," "Living Well With Autoimmune Disease," and "Living Well With Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia." Click here for more information on Mary Shomon.