For most people, their weight-loss journey is a struggle. Many find it difficult to fight food cravings, eat healthy, and get a proper amount of exercise. However, for millions of Americans, the struggle results from more than just poor motivation. According to the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, almost 15 million people suffer from an untreated thyroid disorder, which can negatively affect a person’s ability to lose weight. Women are 10 times more likely to be affected by a thyroid disorder than men. This blog will discuss the link between the thyroid and weight loss.
Understanding the Thyroid
The thyroid is a gland at the base of your neck. This gland produces the thyroid hormone, which is responsible for helping regulate your metabolism. An overproduction of thyroid hormone (known as hyperthyroidism) increases your metabolic rate, and an underproduction of thyroid hormone (known as hypothyroidism) slows your metabolic rate. Men and women with slow metabolisms have more trouble losing weight.
Patients with hypothyroidism are more likely to experience weight gain and struggle to lose weight than patients with thyroids that function normally. Signs that you may have hypothyroidism include:
- Excessive weight gain
- Chronic fatigue
- Muscle weakness
- Feelings of sadness or depression
- Hair changes
- Heavy menstrual bleeding
Hyperthyroidism occurs when your body is producing too much thyroid hormone and is usually accompanied by excessive weight loss. However, hyperthyroidism can be harmful if left untreated. Common signs of hyperthyroidism include:
- Excessive weight loss
- Constant feelings of hunger
- Rapid heartbeat
- Feeling anxious or irritable
- Problems sleeping
- Hot flashes
- Fewer or lighter periods
Testing for Hypothyroidism
At Vitality Medical & Wellness Center, we test for hypothyroidism in patients experiencing symptoms and struggling to lose weight. Thyroid testing uses a blood sample to evaluate your levels of thyroid hormones, including Free T3, Free T4, TSH, and TPO. Knowing if you have hypothyroidism can help us better tailor your weight-loss plan.
Treating a Thyroid Disorder for Successful Weight Loss
Treating your thyroid disorder is only one component of your weight-loss plan. If you are diagnosed with hypothyroidism, proper treatment will be determined. A diet and exercise program tailored to your needs and lifestyle will then be provided. Other hormone irregularities may also be identified and treated. All these treatments in combination with your hard work will help you succeed in a safe and effective weight-loss program.
If you are struggling to lose weight or believe you might suffer from a thyroid disorder, schedule your consultation at Vitality Medical & Wellness Center today. Contact our office at (702) 660-4968 or fill out our online contact form here for additional information.