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Health: The truth about thyroid and your hormones

Hormonal disorders like Thyroid and PCOD (Polycystic Ovarian Disease) are two of the biggest health concerns for women. Fitness expert Rujuta Diwekar tells Vinitha Ramchandani how to come out on top of it

She’s the face that you conjure up in your head when you think of fitness, weight loss and celebrities. Rujuta Diwekar, expert in sports sciences and nutrition has released her fourth title, The PCOD Thyroid Book. It has been described as an answer to everything that one ever wanted to know about hormones. “Be as compassionate with your body as it has been with you.” reiterates the soft-spoken fitness guru, which. is the founding theme of her latest offering. Excerpts from an interview with Diwekar that gleamed a few interesting facts:

Also read: Hypothyroidism on the rise in Mumbai women

Q. Why did you choose to write a book on two of the most unglamorous subjects?
A. A lot has happened since I wrote Women And The Weight Loss Tamasha, in 2011, where these got written about as separate chapters in the book. The diagnoses, and more importantly treatments, have gotten more aggressive.
Very little is known about these hormonal disorders. The book is an effort to raise awareness about these conditions, advocate a change in lifestyle to help the hormones find their balance and allay the fears of infertility or diabetes that come with these disorders.

Q. In the book, you write that we never consider our hormones until our bodies bloat or we put on weight, and how hormones are the first thing we blame instead of our irresponsible lifestyles. Tell us how can we start taking charge of our bodies and mind.
A. First of all, change your perspective overall and your lifestyle, specifically. Exercise has to become a part of life. Hanging out with friends should be redefined and not be limited to eating out and meeting at cafés. Bedtime should not mean alone time with gadgets or sleeping to television. Secondly, adopt a more holistic lifestyle that leads to long-lasting changes. Taking on something that makes you look thin in the next one week, is the mother of all goof ups.

The PCOD-Thyroid Book, Rujuta Diwekar, Westland Publishers, Rs 299.  Available at leading bookstores and e-stores
The PCOD-Thyroid Book, Rujuta Diwekar, Westland Publishers, Rs 299.  Available at leading bookstores and e-stores

Q. What were some of the biggest revelations to you as a dietician?
A. The only formula that works is discipline and consistency. Acknowledging small changes accelerates results.

Q. Of all the hyped-up facts that you have busted in this book, list out as the most significant, and why?
A. Understanding of our period cycle like a dance performance because we just don't know enough about our menstrual cycle. This allows us to accept bloating, breakouts and bad moods as normal. We suffer them even though really small changes in diet and lifestyle could prevent them forever.

Q. Did you face any challenges while writing this book?
A. There were no challenges. The good part is that in many ways talking of taboo or lesser-known subjects that are liberating.  

Also read: Facts and stats on thyroid

Q. How does one achieve that ‘balance’ between weight-loss obsession or an over-complacency?
A. 1) Take it a step at a time. First, know your body better; this way we don't get as obsessed with weight loss.
2) Like all things in life, education is the key with our health, well being and hormones. Knowledge has the ability to rid us of food fads, weight obsession and even poor self-esteem.  

Q. What’s next from the writer’s desk?
A. A book on Indian super foods that focuses on local food systems is in the offing as well as another that will be a dedicated diet book for kids.

Did you know?

The thyroid gland is located at the lower part of the front of the neck. The function of the thyroid gland is to produce hormones that regulate the body’s metabolism. In early 1900s, English physiologists William Bayliss and Ernest Starling named chemicals as hormones.

Five point plan for patients with thyroid and PCOD



1.
Eat home cooked food and don’t succumb to readymade breakfast cereals on their promise of fibre of weight loss.

2.
Strength-train for improved insulin sensitivity as lack of it is at the root of the problem. Don’t spend time staring at the treadmill to finish the 500 kcal mark.



3.
Make regulated bedtime a priority; don’t stay up late to complete work assignments.

4.
Learn to accept compliments, and don’t reduce your life goals to dropping weight on the scale.

Rujuta Diwekar (in pic) advocates an active lifestyle
Rujuta Diwekar (in pic) advocates an active lifestyle

5.
Our bodies function better with nutritious food and not low-cal or low-fat food.

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