The Role Of Thyroid Hormones
Thyroid hormones heavily influence your metabolism, your body temperature, and your appetite regulation. Your thyroid works closely with your hypothalamus, a small area of your brain, to maintain both your weight and your energy balancewhat’s left after you eat and your body uses the calories it needs.
How this happens exactly isn’t clear, but one thing is certain: It isn’t thyroid hormones alone that play a role in how much energy your body uses. Thyroid hormones work along with a number of other hormones, proteins, nuclear receptors, and chemicals too, which is why it’s such a complicated process.
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.
Getting Your Thyroid Tested As A Step To Weight Loss
In the book Thyroid Mind Power, HowtoLearn.com Expert, Richard Shames, M.D., ;says The majority of people ;who have a thyroid issue are still undiagnosed.
This is because mild or borderline thyroid problems do not show up on standard blood tests performed in routine doctor visits.
So how do you determine if thyroid hormones are causing weight loss problems? ;Better thyroid and hormone testing is available, if you know how to look for it.
Since thyroid problems represent one of the most common of all medical disorders, the likelihood that your weight loss difficulty is thyroid related needs to be carefully considered.
Thyroid dysfunction has a high probability of being passed on through your family tree and with it, you may have weight loss problems.
If anyone in your family, especially your immediate family, has had a thyroid problem, then you are in line for a thyroid problem as well. ;It is just that simple. You may also struggle with weight loss or even be underweight.
Your family history is important to document, along with associated illnesses, and physical signs, and combined with a really detailed symptom list. Check all of these to see if they could be one of a combination of weight loss problems.
Richard Shames, M.D.
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Signs Your Thyroid Is Making You Gain Weight
Going up a couple of pant sizes could be caused by any of these ‘healthy’ habits secretly behind your weight gain, but it’s also one of the top symptoms of hypothyroidism. Also called an underactive thyroid, hypothyroidism is a condition in which your metabolism-running thyroid gland doesn’t make enough thyroid hormones to meet your body’s needs.
Hypothyroidism is more common than you would believe; the metabolic disease affects;4.6% of the U.S. population and millions of people are currently hypothyroid and don’t know it.
There are over a dozen common symptoms of hypothyroidism, and weight gain is one of the most prevalent.
“Patients with hypothyroidism will have a generalized slowing of their metabolism and reduction in their basal metabolic rate ,” explains Dr. Reshmi Srinath, assistant professor of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Bone Diseases at Mount Sinai.
“This can lead to changes in the way their body expends energy. With a lower metabolic rate, people may gain excess weight eating a similar diet. Some of this may be excess fat, but there may also be fluid retention.” So, even if you’re diligently dieting and working out, you may still gain weight if you have hypothyroidism.
You’re Having Digestive Problems
We know constipation is an embarrassing topic that no one likes to discuss, but if you can’t boot your bowel issues, it might be time to call up your doctor. Without enough of the metabolism-controlling thyroid hormone, many of your body’s functions slow down. One of these functions is the action of the digestive tract, which will start to slow down. Hypothyroidism can weaken the contraction of the muscles that line your digestive tract, causing stool to move too slowly through the intestine. If your sluggish digestive tract isn’t due to hypothyroidism, consider eating a banana. The super fruit is rich in fiber to help increase stool weight, potassium to help you avoid bloating and cramping, and prebiotics to help feed good gut bacteria and improve digestion.
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Change Your Brain Chemistry
Hunger is intricately tied to your brain chemistry. When the hypothalamus senses you need energy, it issues the brain neurotransmitter neuropeptide Y with the message eat carbohydrates. The surge of NPY is what you experience as hunger. This system can be dramatically altered by several factors, all of which can be present in chronic thyroid disease:
* Your metabolism is too slow for the appetite level set by your brain. What your brain perceives as appropriate food intake levels can then exceed your bodys metabolism, creating weight gain.
* Your body is under stress, which interferes with the neurotransmitter functions, and is known to reduce the release of serotonin.
Natural alternatives to boosting serotonin include aerobic exercise and the herbal treatment called St. Johns Wort .
How Is Hashimotos Disease Treated
Hashimotos disease is treated with a daily dose of . This is the same hormone that your thyroid gland makes. You will probably need to take thyroid hormone pills for the rest of your life. Talk to your doctor or nurse about any questions or concerns.
You may have to see your doctor or nurse a few times to test the level of thyroid stimulating hormone in your body. Thyroid hormone acts very slowly in the body, so it can take several months after the start of treatment for symptoms to go away. Once your TSH level is normal, your doctor or nurse will need to see you less often.
The same treatment dose usually works for many years. But your TSH levels may change sometimes, especially during pregnancy, if you have , or if you take . Your doctor or nurse may need to adjust your dose.
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You’re Constantly Wearing 5 Layers
If you’re still wearing your winter coat when it’s 60 degrees and sunny, you might be suffering from hypothyroidism. It might be easy to adjust the temperature in your house or car, but patients who have hypothyroidism struggle to regulate the temperature in their bodies. Because the thyroid gland controls your body temperature, when hypothyroidism patients’ bodies make too little thyroid hormone, body temperature tends to decrease because less energy is being burned by downstream cell targets. Less energy compounded with slow metabolism equals less heat. One part of your hypothyroidism treatment may be changing your diet. If so, you’ll want to look at these 25 Best Foods to Eat for Your Thyroid and Metabolism.
Eat This, Not That!
Thyroid Weight Gain Solutions
At least now we understand that weight gain in the thyroid is not just because of thyroid hormone deficiency, its much more than that.;So we need to devise a strategy for thyroid weight gain.
Its the underlying inflammation and mitochondrial destruction which is slowing down our whole metabolic system.;
So can you speed up your thyroid to lose weight?;Certainly yes we can speed up your whole body to recover from all this damage which has happened and this will in turn help to lose weight.
1.;Diet:;As I mentioned before there are several weight-loss diets out there and they might work for some time.;But what they dont remember is that diet is just one piece to this whole puzzle.;So from a diet perspective, I will encourage you to eliminate all simple carbs from your diet and also sugars from your diet as much as possible.
Eliminate gluten and dairy again as much as possible.;Focus on eating more vegetables, clean protein, and good fat in your diet.;Add lots of fiber-containing food like whole grains, chia, flax seeds.;Drink green tea on a daily basis at least 2-3 cups.
Also, eat lots of turmeric and ginger, they reduce inflammation and can be helpful.;focus on reducing carbohydrate-rich foods and introduce more protein and good fat-containing food.
2.;Intermittent Fasting: This can be a game-changer for a lot of people.;Intermittent fasting gives you that metabolic flexibility which is lost for us.
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What Is Causing Weight Gain After Antithyroid Drug Therapy
Dr. Boelaert still cant say for sure why individuals who are treated with antithyroid drugs to reverse their hyperthyroidism show a tendency to gain back the lost weight plus more. “It appears something in the disease process or perhaps from the treatment makes them end up heavier.” Clearly, more research is needed for us to understand the specific mechanisms behind the shift upward in body weight as a result of non-surgical treatment for overactive thyroid, she says.
Also, we know that appetite signals get disturbed when the thyroid goes out of whack, she says. When patients come in for treatment, ”lots of patients say, ‘I am losing weight although I feel like am eating like a horse.'” After the antithyroid treatment begins, at least some people may continue to eat the same larger amounts that they have grown accustomed to, and this may contribute to the weight gain, she says.
Do appetite signals return to normal once treatment begin? “We don’t know, but we hope to study this,” Dr. Boelaert says.
She worries about the adverse effects that are associated with overweight. “People with an overactive thyroid already have an increased risk of cardiovascular disease,” she explains. “If they then become overweight or obese, that is a further ‘hit.”’ So recognizing your increased risk for heart disease, and concerns about weight gain should be discussed with your doctor, and incorporated into your treatment plan.;;
Address Weight Gain from Antithyroid Drug Therapy;;
Avoid Weighing Yourself Every Day
When trying to lose weight, the biggest challenge can be trying to not gauge the changes on a regular basis. If you have a condition, then you may be disappointed since your weight can fluctuate from time to time. This fluctuation is due to several factors and some you may not have control over.
Therefore, if you are working on your weight, its important to weigh yourself at regular intervals. Although people who get on the scale regularly stand a high chance of losing more weight within a short period, the sudden fluctuation can discourage you to boycott the practice even if you were sailing in the right direction.
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The Function Of A Healthy Thyroid
The thyroid gland produces hormones T4 and T3 .Both regulate metabolism which determines your heart rate, blood pressure and weight. Thyroid hormones also affect the production of a key stomach hormone, gastrin which aids in proper food digestion.
Millions of Americans have some form of thyroid dysfunction. Among that number, many havent even been diagnosed.
When the thyroid does not produce enough T4, your body can no longer metabolize food groups efficiently; this is because hypothyroidism often slows down your metabolism and alters how food is digested in your stomach. The result is typically weight gain, one of several symptoms associated with hypothyroidism.
The More Medication Myth
You may have heard that thyroid hormones can be used to lose weight, even in people without thyroid disease. While synthetic thyroid hormones have been used this way in the past, research has shown that most people gain all the weight back once they stop using them. Worse, being on thyroid hormones unnecessarily can result in serious side effects.
For people who are already using levothyroxine, increasing the dose above what’s needed can lead to more weight loss, but it’s usually not significant and those pounds are often gained back once the dose is decreased again. This is also an unhealthy way to lose weight as an increased dose is also associated with adverse reactions, including heart issues, insomnia, headaches, menstrual irregularities and skin rash.
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Rule Out Hypothalamic Obesity Disorder
When the hypothalamus does not function properly it can affect your thyroids ability to take up T4 and convert it to T3. In this situation, hypothalamic obesity disorder can develop. With this condition, your nervous system continues to react as if you are starving, and you continue to gain weight.
Even with severe caloric restriction and high exercise, if you have hypothalamic obesity disorder, your metabolism is so impaired that it focuses on storing calories, rather than burning them, causing continued weight gain. In hypothalamic obesity disorder, there can also be an overproduction of insulin, which can further contribute to obesity.
How Thyroid Function Can Affect Your Weight
Thyroid hormone helps regulate your metabolism. Your metabolism is how much energy your body uses and at what rate. This means that thyroid hormone also affects your basal metabolic rate. This is how much energy your body uses to keep functioning while its at rest.
In most cases, excess thyroid hormone is associated with a high basal metabolic weight. This means that your body burns more energy while its at rest, so weight loss is a common symptom of hyperthyroidism.
This also means that not producing enough thyroid hormone is usually associated with a low basal metabolic rate. Therefore, hypothyroidism can cause weight gain. Your body isnt burning as much energy, which can lead to a calorie surplus.
But your metabolism is affected by a lot more than just thyroid hormone. Other hormones, how much and what you eat, your physical activity, and many other factors play a role. This means that thyroid hormone levels arent the whole story when it comes to losing or gaining weight from thyroid conditions.
Some people with hyperthyroidism might experience weight gain instead of the more common weight loss. Some reasons why that might happen include:
Cut Back On Added Sugars And Refined Starches
I need to begin with this clarification:
Carbohydrates are not inherently bad for you. That is, they do not make you fat or sick on their own .It always comes back to total calories consumed.
That said, carbs in the form of added sugars and highly refined starches are unhealthy and unnecessary. They offer almost zero nutritional benefit and make up a large portion of the excess calories we consume.
In fact, the average American adults consumption of added sugar increased by more than 30% in the last 30 years, with children consuming approximately 20% more. This;was illustrated below by Obesity.org.
Fortunately those numbers have began to reverse; a trend that;needs to continue. Nevertheless, cutting back on added sugar is still the most simple and direct way to cut out excess empty calories.
This;is done by limiting intake of junk foods, flavoured drinks , alcohol, white bread, most cereals and muesli bars, and a good portion of packaged food in your supermarkets health food aisle. That includes gluten-free junk food its still junk food.
Now its unrealistic to expect yourself to completely avoid added sugar every day of the year. But you need to begin taking actionable steps that help you cut back and form healthier habits.
Start by not having junk foods at home, or at least keep them out of sight in a cupboard you never use.
When Your Thyroid Underperforms And Cant Produce Enough Of The Thyroid Hormone Needed To Regulate Many Bodily Functions It Can Cause Weight Gain But The Good News Is That The Condition Can Be Treated
But other times, you can blame your thyroid.
If you have hypothyroidism, it can slow your metabolism and make it harder for you to lose pounds and maintain a healthy body weight. Thats because the condition causes your thyroid to underperform and become underactive and unable to produce enough of the thyroid hormone necessary to allow your body to function properly.
Your metabolism, in addition to regulating your body temperature and your heartbeat, affects how efficiently and effectively your body burns calories.
What causes your thyroid to underperform? There are a number of conditions and circumstances that can cause hypothyroidism; the most common is Hashimotos thyroiditis, an autoimmune disorder that causes your body to produce antibodies that attack and destroy the thyroid gland, leading to chronic inflammation. Over time, your thyroid loses its ability to produce enough thyroid hormone. The condition tends to run in families and most commonly occurs in middle-aged women, though it can affect men, women and children of any age.
Learn more about 15 Things Your Thyroid Can Affect.
Other things, like pregnancy, can affect your thyroid. Known as postpartum thyroiditis, the condition causes the thyroid to become inflamed after pregnancy, making thyroid levels first increase, then sharply drop. This condition usually resolves itself. Sometimes a thyroid problem can be caused by issues with the pituitary gland or hypothalamus, as well.
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