If you indulge in unhealthy eating habits or don’t exercise for too long, there is a chance that you will end up gaining weight. But for people with over-active or under-active thyroid gland, they can still gain weight even after observing a healthy lifestyle.
The thyroid gland is referred to as the master of metabolism. The gland is located under the skin, just below the Adam’s apple. The thyroid gland has two lobes, measuring about two inches long, and connected in the middle. It looks more like a bow tie or a butterfly.
As simple as it looks, the thyroid gland has a crucial role in the body, regulating your metabolism. If the gland produces too much of the thyroid hormone, it will spike your metabolism. Hyperthyroidism can cause you to gain weight. It comes with the side effect of increasing appetite, so you will end up gaining weight in the long run. Hyperthyroidism also causes other undesirable effects such as increased anxiety, exhaustion, diarrhea, shaky hands, and heat intolerance.
If your thyroid gland produces insufficient hormone, your metabolism slows down. You may end up feeling depressed, sensitive to cold weather, dry skin, fatigue, and weight gain. The weight gain due to hypothyroidism is minimal, usually 3-10 pounds, but it is sufficient to interfere with your self-esteem. Most people with hyperthyroidism gain weight because of fluid buildup in the body. Hypothyroidism interferes with the proper functioning of the kidneys.
Thyroid Hormone Replacement Therapy
Thyroid hormone replacement therapy refers to a treatment regimen whose goal is to restore the levels of thyroid hormone in the body. To determine whether your thyroid gland is functioning optimally, the doctors will conduct a blood test that evaluates the levels of TSH (thyroid-stimulating hormone) in the body.
Once TSH levels have been assessed, your doctor may recommend thyroid hormone replacement therapy to correct hypothyroidism. Most of the thyroid hormone replacement therapies comprise synthetic T4 or desiccated thyroid from animals.
When getting treatment for hypothyroidism, most of the patients prefer taking a holistic approach to restore their levels of thyroid hormone. This may include taking iodine supplements, desiccated thyroid hormone, or thyroid replacement hormones.
A comprehensive thyroid treatment plan should begin with lab testing to determine the levels of TSH, T3, T4, and thyroid antibodies. Your physician should be in a position to discuss your symptoms and how your lifestyle has been affected since the onset of the symptoms. This information will guide your physician to develop not only a precise hormone therapy, but also lifestyle and nutritional recommendations to enhance your overall well-being.
Is Thyroid Hormone Replacement Therapy Effective for Weight Loss?
Weight loss is a serious problem even for people with well-functioning thyroid glands. For some people, thyroid hormone replacement therapy can help them lose weight. Others will not lose weight even after completing the thyroid hormone replacement therapy. For the sake of your overall health and weight loss efforts, you should consider working closely with your doctor to get the most out of your thyroid hormone replacement therapy. Besides taking your medications, you should also consider including the following in your treatment plan.
• Eating the right food: Some foods such as raw kale, soya beans, and other uncooked cruciferous vegetables aren’t good for your thyroid gland. These vegetables may contain thyroid blocking compounds known as goitrogens. If you have to eat these vegetables, make sure they are cooked. Many doctors recommend eating seaweed and low-mercury fish for additional iodine. You should also consider using supplements for thyroid health. If you are seeking to lose weight, consider trimming down your caloric intake to healthy levels.
• Keep Moving: Regular workout turns your body into a fat-burning machine. However, hypothyroidism can interfere with your ability to exercise as you tend to get exhausted quickly. First, engage in simple workouts such as jogging, aerobic exercise, or even playing tennis. As you get better, you can tune up your training to include some weight lifting and running. Always consult with your physician before engaging in any physical exercise.
• Limit alcohol consumption: Excessive consumption of alcohol compromises the kidney and liver function. This is likely to cause hormone imbalances in the body.
• Avoid stress: Stress can cause fatigue, poor eating choices, and depression. When you are under pressure, your body releases a stress hormone called cortisol. Too much cortisol in the body can affect the production of thyroid hormone.
If you are struggling with thyroid problems, don’t hesitate to contact us today to learn how you can improve the quality of your life with thyroid hormone replacement therapy. Call us now at 205-352-9141.