Thyroid Body Type

The thyroid body type has long, fine-boned limbs and a long, slender neck and can be described as lean and rangy. She has the racehorse or greyhound look. Her dominant gland is the thyroid gland, which is the soft, fleshy gland situated in front of the neck or Adam’s apple. The thyroid gland produces thyroid hormone, which stimulates and controls the metabolic rate. When in good health, the thyroid-shaped woman has a high metabolic rate and burns up food calories efficiently. Of all the body shapes, the thyroid is the hardest to fatten and generally, these types will be able to eat high calorie and high fat foods without gaining weight easily. Thyroid body types do not have as many fat cells as the other body types and are thus less able to store fat. They also have lower insulin levels, which is another reason they do not store fat from carbs. It is not uncommon for thyroid body types to try and put on weight, but they do not build muscle easily. Thyroid-shaped women are often nervous types and may be described in colloquial terms as “living on their nerves” or “highly strung”. They often find it hard to relax and many are workaholics or high achievers. They seem to be always on the go and their high level of mental and physical activity helps to keep them slim.

On the surface, thyroid-shaped women appear to have abundant energy, however, it is rather superficial and they lack the enduring stamina of android-shaped women. To keep themselves going, thyroid types often crave quick energy boosters and stimulant substances. Many consume large amounts of sweets and chocolates, coffee, hot spicy foods, cigarettes, diet pills and other stimulants to boost their energy levels when they start to flag. This makes them feel energetic for several hours until they flag again when more stimulants are required. Such stimulant substances cause their thyroid gland to produce more thyroid hormone and their adrenal glands to pump out more adrenaline. These hormones produce a temporary high and raise blood sugar levels, which enables the thyroid-type woman to continue her frenetic pace. If these bad habits continue for years, the thyroid and adrenal glands eventually suffer from a state of depleted exhaustion and weight gain or chronic fatigue occurs. Once the thyroid and adrenal glands become exhausted, the metabolic rate slows down and weight gain may occur. Fat is deposited upon the abdomen and thighs, while the limbs remain relatively slim or even skinny.

Thyroid-shaped women often miss meals, preferring to snack on quick fixes such as chocolate, coffee and cakes. They also have the highest incidence of eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia. The late Lady Diana was a classical thyroid-shaped woman with long, slender limbs. She had the typical thyroid personality and displayed a propensity for eating disorders. If a thyroid-shaped woman is very underweight, she will produce lower amounts of estrogen compared to the amounts she produces when her weight falls into the normal range. She also has relatively less estrogen than the gynaeoid-shaped woman who tends towards estrogen excess. Because the thyroid-shaped woman tends to be low in estrogen or hypoestrogenic, if she becomes underweight, she will lose fat first from the estrogen-dependent areas of her body, namely her breasts, buttocks and upper thighs. Thyroid-shaped women who fall into the very underweight range, often have such low levels of estrogen, that their menstrual periods become very infrequent or stop completely. This is most undesirable because, if it persists, the chronically low levels of estrogen increase the risk of osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease. This is because our bones, heart and blood vessels require adequate amounts of estrogen to stay healthy.

I always encourage thyroid-shaped women to take care of their thyroid and adrenal glands by avoiding quick-fix stimulants such as sugar, caffeine, alcohol or cigarettes. These things will make their blood sugar levels unstable, causing highs and lows in blood sugar; the so-called “sugar slippery dip” effect. To avoid low blood sugar levels, they need regular meals containing first-class protein such as seafood, meat, dairy products, or a combination of grains, nuts, seeds and legumes. Thyroid women need a regular intake of protein and complex carbohydrates. This will stabilize blood sugar levels and strengthen the thyroid and adrenal glands. This will also avoid the state of chronic fatigue caused by thyroid and adrenal exhaustion.

Thyroid-shaped women with low levels of estrogen are usually very slim to underweight and may desire to increase the size of their breasts and buttocks. In other words, they may want to look more feminine and curvaceous. To do this, it will be necessary to gain weight and increase the levels of estrogen in the body. The latter can be done with the oral contraceptive pill, which is ideal in younger women requiring regular periods and contraception, or with natural hormone replacement therapy in older, menopausal women. If these methods are not suitable, another strategy to increase body estrogen levels is to consume foods that have a significant content of natural plant estrogens. Plant estrogens are called phytoestrogens and do not increase the risk of breast cancer. Estrogenic substances have been discovered in over 300 different plants and although they are relatively weak, if they are consumed regularly, they may be helpful in boosting the body’s estrogen supply:

Foods and herbs containing estrogens

Alfalfa Aniseed Chickpeas
Clover Fennel Flaxseeds
Garlic Green beans Hops
Licorice Maca root Olives
Olive oil Peas Red beans
Rhubarb Sage Sarsaparilla
Soya beans Split peas

The thyroid body type in women

Each of the four different body types has unique hormonal and metabolic characteristics. That’s why some people put on weight easily and others don’t!

It is possible however to change the distribution of fat and muscle in your body, not only with exercise, but also with the technique of nutrigenomics. Nutrigenomics is best described as turning off or on certain genes, by using specific supplements and foods. By regulating such genes, we can change our metabolism, our biochemistry, our hormonal balance and in the long term, our body shape.

Extra points for thyroid women

Thyroid women should avoid artificial sweeteners, synthetic diet pills, smoking and excess levels of caffeine. They should avoid refined sugars found in white flour and white sugar. They will benefit from herbal teas containing chamomile and peppermint and dandelion coffee. They need to eat regular meals containing complex carbohydrates (cereals, wholemeal breads, grains, nuts, seeds, legumes, wholemeal pasta, etc.) and protein from seafood, eggs, lean red meats, poultry, yogurt and mild cheeses. Thyroid women need to do regular exercise to build up their bone density and increase muscle mass. Suitable exercises are brisk walking with hand weights, aerobic workouts, yoga, Pilates, swimming and weight training.

For thyroid body types, the products that would be most suitable are Adrenal Plus Support, Magnesium tablets or powder, Vitamin C and Thyroid Health capsules. Additionally, Femmephase is a natural estrogenic formula and can be used by menopausal women to boost plant estrogen levels.