Do You Have An Overactive Thyroid
Millions of people have an overactive thyroid gland. Many don’t know it. This condition, known as hyperthyroidism, occurs more often in women than in men. Since the thyroid gland controls the body’s metabolism, an overactive thyroid puts the body into overdrive.
The symptoms of an overactive thyroid can be subtle and suggest any number of other health problems, ranging from a bowel problem to heart disease or a mental health issue. Some of the signs and symptoms of an overactive thyroid include:
- Heat intolerance. A sped-up metabolism leads to an increase in body temperature.
- Exhaustion. A body perpetually in overdrive tires out more quickly.
- Emotional changes. Fatigue coupled with an overstimulated central nervous system can lead to a variety of emotional changes. Anxiety intermixed with depression, as well insomnia or irritability, are not uncommon.
- Perspiration and thirst. As your body temperature rises, your sweat glands tend to overwork, and you feel the need to continually replenish fluids.
- Constant hunger. As your body uses up energy, it tends to cry out for more. Some people have an insatiable appetite.
- Unexplained weight loss. Even though you may eat constantly, you could lose weight, usually between 5 and 10 poundseven more in extreme cases.
- Racing heart. You may notice your heart racing out of the blue. This can occur when you are exerting yourself or when you are relaxing. You may find your pulse is much faster than normal.
The Weight Loss Challenge
Losing weight is hard work for anyone, but it can definitely be more of a challenge when you’re dealing with hypothyroidism. Researchers aren’t exactly sure why this is, but low T3 levels and hormone resistance issues may play a role. In some cases, knowing how much to eat and discussing the best foods with a dietitian or nutrition professional can be a helpful first step.
Thyroid Hormone And Brown Adipose Tissue In Energy Homoeostasis
Thermogenically active brown adipose tissue is found in adults. Hence, the presence of thermogenically active D2 BAT in an adult is clinically important. In the recent years, the presence of BAT has been recognized as an important target for treating obesity. The energy homeostasis in the BAT has been found to be affected by a great extent by thyroid hormone signaling. Thyroid hormone signaling, particularly by inducing type II deiodinases, has a cardinal function in brown tissue adipogenesis. The BAT gets activated by local D2 mediated action. D2 increases expression of the gene Ppargc1a by enhancing thyroid hormone signaling, which coactivates thyroid hormone receptors, leading to increased expression of the gene Ucp1. Dio2 is also upregulated by increased T3 signaling. These D2-dependent pathways provide the mature brown adipocyte with its full thermogenic identity. D2 dependent T3 is necessary for BAT to be functional and also for brown adipogenesis as demonstrated by preclinical trials and cell line studies. Thereby, activation of BAT in adults, specifically through thyroid hormone-mediated pathways, has a potential role in treating obesity.
Levothyroxine And Synthroid Are Both T4 Only Medications
So here is the primary problem:
Levothyroxine and Synthroid are both T4 only medications.
Most Doctors will prescribe T4 medication under the assumption that your body will have no problem converting T4 into T3.
And in a perfect world, a world without stress, inflammation or other hormonal imbalances – it would.;
But that’s not the world we live in…
Nowadays it’s VERY uncommon if someone has their stress managed, has no issues with blood sugar/insulin/leptin, has a normal menstrual cycle, is not overweight, has never done yo-yo diets, or has normal adrenal function.
Do any of these symptoms or situations sound familiar?;
Chances are high that you are dealing with 1 or more of them.;
And in states such as these, your body will turn T4 into reverse T3 as a way to “put on the brakes” and slow down your metabolism and cause symptoms of hypothyroidism.
Normalization Of Thyroid Function After Weight Loss
The hyperthyrotropinemia of obese patients was found to revert after weight loss induced either by bariatric surgery or by hypocaloric diet. Weight loss induces a significant decrease in serum fT3 and TSH levels. It seems that even simple changes of lifestyle, characterized by increased physical activity and improvement in body composition without concomitant changes of BMI lead to a decrease of TSH and fT3. Modification in body composition reduces the state of inflammation, decreases the secretion of cytokines, and consequent worsening of thyroid function This phenomenon further implies that autoimmune destruction of thyrocytes is not responsible for the raised serum TSH, and the changes in thyroid function tests are largely functional.
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Weight Gain After Hyperthyroidism Treatment Is Common: What To Know
With Kristien Boelaert, MD, PhD, and Reshmi Srinath, MD
After successful treatment for her overactive thyroid , the patient , not only gained all excess the weight she had lost while her thyroid gland was in overdrive, but the weight continued to creep up.
This is common complaint repeated by many people who visit the discussion board on EndocrineWeb. Understandably, June was so distraught with the undesirable weight gain, so she stopped taking the medication meant to normalize her thyroid levels.
Synthroid And Birth Control
In most cases, youll continue to take Synthroid during pregnancy if you were using the drug before becoming pregnant.
But if youre sexually active and you or your partner can become pregnant, its still important to talk with your doctor about your birth control needs. Theyll recommend whether you need to use birth control while youre taking Synthroid.
Its important to note that Synthroid may interact with certain birth control drugs. For more information about birth control drugs that may interact with Synthroid, see the Synthroid interactions section above.
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Can Thyroid Weight Gain Be Reversed
Some people with hypothyroidism do lose weight once they start taking levothyroxine. However, most thyroid weight gain will need to be reversed with lifestyle changes and medical assistance when needed. Can Hypothyroidism Go Away on Its Own?
It is occasionally possible for hypothyroidism to go away without treatment. This would occur in a temporary inflammatory condition of the thyroid, called thyroiditis, which generally reverses itself in time.;
However, if you have especially low thyroid levels, it is likely that you will need to take medication for the rest of your life. The good news is that hypothyroidism is not a progressive disease and is easily controlled with medication, so you can live a normal life.
What Does A Tsh Level Indicate
Remember when we were talking about TSH levels? TSH is a hormone released by the pituitary gland that stimulates the thyroid gland to produce more thyroid hormones. If your TSH levels are too low, then you may have an overactive thyroid gland â with your body producing too much thyroid hormones, which can lead changes in your bodyâs metabolism. And if you have high TSH levels, then the reverse is true: you may have an underactive thyroid gland thatâs not producing enough hormones.
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Getting The Right Diagnosis
Hypothyroidism is more likely to develop in women, and a personal history or family history of thyroid issues can increase your risk. To accurately test for hypothyroidism, a blood test for thyroid stimulating hormone is used. Even small changes in your thyroid hormone levels will cause very big changes in TSH secretion. The TSH test is really accurate and is the appropriate test for 99 percent of cases. Other lab tests for thyroid function are supplemental, and may not be clinically relevant or appropriate, adds Dr. Bloomgarden.
Once a diagnosis is confirmed, your physician will work with you to find the appropriate treatment. The most frequently used treatment for hypothyroidism is replacing the hormone with a substitute, known as levothyroxine . This is a precursor to the active hormone and seeks to replicate the hormones your body is failing to produce properly. Your body does not care if you make or take thyroid hormone, adds Dr Bloomgarden.
Causes of hypothyroidism can include:
Symptoms of an underactive thyroid can be nonspecific or reflect other issues. You may experience:
- Dry skin
Other Causes Of Hyperthyroidism
Hyperthyroidism can also result from thyroid nodules. These are lumps that develop inside the thyroid and sometimes begin producing thyroid hormones. Large lumps may create a noticeable goiter. Smaller lumps can be detected with ultrasound. A thyroid uptake and scan can tell if the lump is producing too much thyroid hormone.
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About Dr Kent Holtorf
Kent Holtorf, M.D. is the medical director of the Holtorf Medical Group;with locations in Los Angeles, Foster City, Atlanta, and Philadelphia. He is also founder and director of the non-profit National Academy of Hypothyroidism , which is dedicated to dissemination of new information to doctors and patients on the diagnosis and treatment of hypothyroidism.
Dr. Holtorf has personally trained numerous physicians across the country in the use of bioidentical hormones, hypothyroidism, complex endocrine dysfunction, and innovative treatments of chronic fatigue syndrome, weight loss, fibromyalgia, and chronic infectious diseases, including Lyme disease.
He has been a featured guest on numerous TV shows including CNBC, ABC News, CNN, EXTRA TV, Discovery Health, The Learning Channel, The Today Show, The Doctors, Dr. Dean Edell, Glenn Beck, Nancy Grace, Fox Business, ESPN, Rush Limbaugh, CBS Sunday Morning, Sean Hannity, So Cal News, and quoted in numerous print media including the Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, US New and World Report, San Francisco Chronicle, WebMD, Health, Elle, Better Homes and Garden, US Weekly, Forbes, Cosmopolitan, New York Daily News, Self magazine, among many others.
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What Is The Relationship Between Hyperthyroidism And Weight
Since the BMR in patients with hyperthyroidism is elevated, many patients with an overactive thyroid do, indeed, have some weight loss. Furthermore, weight loss is related to the severity of the overactive thyroid. For example, if the thyroid is extremely overactive, the individuals BMR increases which leads to increased calories needed to maintain the body weight. If the person does not increase the amount of calories eaten to match the excess calories burned, then there will be weight loss. As indicated earlier, the factors that control our appetite, metabolism, and activity are very complex and thyroid hormone is only one factor in this complex system. Nevertheless, on average the more severe the hyperthyroidism, the greater the weight loss observed. Weight loss is also observed in other conditions where thyroid hormones are elevated, such as in the toxic phase of thyroiditis or if the dose of thyroid hormone pills is too high for a patient. Since hyperthyroidism also increases appetite, some patients may not lose weight, and some may actually gain weight, depending on how much they increase their caloric intake.
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What Is The Relationship Between Hypothyroidism And Weight Gain
Since the BMR in the patient with hypothyroidism is decreased, an underactive thyroid is generally associated with some weight gain. The weight gain is often greater in those individuals with more severe hypothyroidism. However, the decrease in BMR due to hypothyroidism is usually much less dramatic than the marked increase seen in hyperthyroidism, leading to more modest alterations in weight due to the underactive thyroid. The cause of the weight gain in hypothyroid individuals is also complex, and may not be related to excess fat accumulation. Most of the extra weight gained in hypothyroid individuals is due to excess accumulation of salt and water. Massive weight gain is rarely associated with hypothyroidism. In general, 5-10 pounds of body weight may be attributable to the thyroid, depending on the severity of the hypothyroidism. Finally, if weight gain is the only symptom of hypothyroidism that is present, it is less likely that the weight gain is solely due to the thyroid.
What Tpo Antibody Levels Indicate
When TPO antibody levels are found in profuse amounts in your blood, itâs a red flag that your thyroid gland may be malfunctioning because of an autoimmune disorder. Not everyone with high TPOab levels has a badly-working thyroid gland, but elevated levels are commonly seen in individuals with autoimmune thyroid diseases, such as Hashimotoâs thyroiditis.
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Hypothyroidism And Hair Fall
In both Hypothyroidism and Hyperthyroidism types of the thyroid, people can begin to face hair fall, dry hair, or thinning of hair. It is common to face hair fall in the thyroid but it certainly needs to be treated and should not be overlooked.
Hair fall in the thyroid occurs due to the disbalance in hormones, T3 and T4 are essential hormones for our body and a disbalance in these two can affect the scalp and weaken the roots resulting in thinning of Hair and slow regrowth.
Alopecia which is an autoimmune condition can be seen at its peak with the thyroid. It can cause patches of hair loss on the scalp, it can also cause baldness over time if not treated with proper care.
Studies have shown that certain medicines that are taken to ease out thyroid also affect hair fall in some people as they are strong and may or may not suit everyone.
Treating An Underactive Thyroid
Treatment for an underactive thyroid involves taking daily hormone replacement tablets, called levothyroxine, to raise your thyroxine levels.
You’ll initially have regular blood tests until the correct dose of levothyroxine is reached. This can take a little while to get right.
Once you’re taking the correct dose, you’ll usually have a blood test once a year to monitor your hormone levels.
You’ll usually need treatment for the rest of your life. However, with proper treatment, you should be able to lead a normal, healthy life.
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Adrenal Support And Stress Response
Our bodies have this amazing capability to heal. When youre in the rest and digest stage, or anabolic process, your body is actively repairing and healing itself.
When you experience stress, your body goes into fight or flight response mode, diverting its attention from healing and digestion; and goes into emergency mode, pumping your body full of adrenaline to prepare it to survive what your body perceives to be a life threatening event. Many people cite a traumatic incident in their lives as the precursor to when their Hashimotos symptoms began. Adrenal stress is a very common reason behind why people may hit a weight loss plateau.
There are 3 potential stages of adrenal dysfunction: Stage I, Stage II, and Stage III.
- Stage I In Stage I, there will generally be too much cortisol production. Your total cortisol level is going to be elevated throughout the day.
- Stage II In this stage, the total cortisol level will be normal, but there will be some abnormalities where it might be high in the morning, then too low in the afternoon, and then high again in the evening. This can produce some annoying symptoms like blood sugar swings, irritability, or an afternoon crash.
- Stage III This is an advanced stage where the adrenals become depleted and do not produce enough cortisol. Youll be running on empty and have very low levels of cortisol throughout the day. This often times leads to chronic fatigue.
The Connection Between Hot Flashes And The Thyroid Gland
In this post, we would like to specifically look at the connection between the Thyroid gland, a part of the endocrine system, and hot flashes. The Thyroid gland serves a vital part in the metabolism of the human body, and is responsible for the production of two particular hormones T4, or L-thyroxine, and T3, or L-triiodothyronine. T4 is considered a prohormone, whereas T3 is considered the active hormone of the thyroid gland.
These hormones are produced through the utilization of Thyroperoxidate, an enzyme that is able to oxidize iodine. Iodine is a trace substance that plays a crucial part in the formation of both T3 and T4 hormones. T4 hormones consist of 65% iodine and T3 hormones consist of 58% iodine3.
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High Thyroid Hormone Levels
Perhaps youâve been feeling lots of anxiety before an important job interview â and it just doesnât seem to go away. Well, it could be more than just nerves, since high thyroid levels are known to heighten anxiety.
This is just one example of the consequences of high thyroid hormone levels. Other consequences? Swift weight loss, high blood pressure, and thinning hair â to name a few. When your thyroid hormone levels get too high, you can also experience tremors and an irregular heartbeat â and have a hard time concentrating or sleeping.
As you can see, high thyroid hormone levels can disrupt your health in many different ways â the frightening aftermath of a thyroid gland gone awry. Fortunately, medical researchers and scientists have discovered several different causes of hyperthyroidism . Autoimmune disorders â such as Gravesâ disease â can lead to an overactive thyroid that pumps out too much thyroid hormones . A malfunctioning pituitary gland can likewise coax your thyroid gland into gushing out too much thyroid hormone. Dietary supplements intended for weight loss may also trigger hyperthyroidism TSH levels . In some cases, a healthcare provider may prescribe thyroid medication to help rebalance hormone levels in the body.