HYPOTHYROID WEIGHT LOSS: WHY YOU CAN’T LOSE WEIGHT!
As a hypothyroid you are probably aware that unexpected weight gain and a sluggish metabolism is one of the side effects of having low thyroid. But even with taking meds, sometimes it may be hard to shake the weight gain. Today I am discussing the reasons why you just can’t lose the weight and what you can do about it. Nutrient deficiency is at the center of most people with hypothyroid problems.
UNDERSTANDING OUR THYROIDS
Our thyroid hormone (TSH, T4 and T3) essentially regulates our metabolism. If any of these hormones are off balance, it affects how our body functions and more specifically our metabolism.
According to Dr. Peter Osborne, a holistic nutritionist and chiropractor at Town Center Wellness in Texas “… TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone) that comes from your brain and … travels to your thyroid gland and tells your thyroid gland to produce T4. That T4 is what we call inactive thyroid hormone. The T4 travels through the bloodstream and when it gets to the peripheral tissues it is converted into T3, what we would call the active form of thyroid hormone. T3 then has to get inside of your cells. DNA is in the center of the cell inside the nucleus. On the surface of the cell nucleus we have this little tiny key hole called the nuclear receptor and, in the case of thyroid hormone, that little nuclear receptor is where thyroid hormone binds. We get the binding of T3 onto that nuclear receptor and that my friends is what increases your metabolism.”
What the above simply means is that without adequate amounts of TSH, there will be low levels of T4 and subsequently T3. Now does that means we should simply focus on the production of TSH? No, as thyroid conditions can rise from low levels of T3 or T4 as well. Medication as prescribed by your health practitioner typically addresses low thyroid by increasing one or all three of the above mentioned thyroid hormones.
Now, the issue is what happens if you are on medication and still not able to reverse the symptoms of your hypothyroidism, specially your metabolism? There are two things you should take into consideration:
- hypothyroid medication often come with side effects such as weight gain an,
- it may take your body some time to adjust to the medication and figure out your ideal hormone level.
So have patience! Other than that, focus on nutrition and being active.
HYPOTHYROIDISM: BEYOND MEDICATION
There is a strong connection between nutrient intake or better yet nutritional deficiencies and thyroid diseases. For example, in the early 20th century governments started mandating Iodine to be added to table salt because Iodine deficiency was causing goiter (aka an enlarged thyroid) and hyroshima disease.
As it turns out Iodine, Vitamin B2 and Vitamin C are critical to making T4. “There’s a mechanism inside your thyroid gland that helps to draw iodine into the thyroid gland. That mechanism is a little kind of doorway called a symporter and it requires Vitamin B2 and Vitamin C. That symporter won’t work to bring iodine into the thyroid gland unless you have these two nutrients in place to run that symporter pump” (Source: Hypothyroid Mom)
Protein, magnesium, zinc and B12 on the other hand help produce TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone). Finally, selenium is responsible for converting free T4 into active T3 hormones. “Without selenium we won’t convert T4 to T3. What we’ll actually do without selenium is make another compound called Reverse T3 (RT3). Reverse T3 is also inactive.” (source: Hypothyroid Mom).
So why does the above matter? It matters because it means you have the power to heal. It means with making changes to your diet you can impact your thyroids and subsequently your weight.
HYPOTHYROIDISM: HEALING AND LOSING WEIGHT
Now, the very first step to healing is to follow your health practitioner’s advice and take any medication as prescribed.
The second step is to look at your diet and make appropriate tweaks. Make sure you are getting adequate amounts of protein and nutrients to support your thyroids. You may want to invest in some supplements such as a protein powder, a multi vitamin, a B12 supplement, and Spirulina. (please do read my post on 6 Supplements For Hypothyroidism)
You should also strongly consider removing foods that interfere with thyroid function. Gluten, wheat, refined grains, eating large amounts of raw cruciferous veggies can all affect your thyroid hormones.
Last, but not least, get active! Hit the gym three days a week and aim to increase your lean muscle mass. Muscle is an active tissue that requires energy for upkeep… which means an increase in metabolism! It is a great tool to help your reduce your body fat and keep it off permanently. You want to take every precaution to get back to good health!
Ready for the next step to healing? Get onto my online training program that includes a meal plan specifically for hypothyroidism, a cheat sheet, supplement guide and more!)