More Than Weight Management

More Than Weight Management

Many people who struggle to lose weight no matter what they are doing often find out that they have a problem with their thyroid not producing enough hormone.

T3 and T4 are both produced by the thyroid and have significant effects on overall health. However, hypothyroidism does not always present with difficulty losing weight and often, the thyroid can be having problems long before symptoms start to develop.

  • Fatigue

  • Increased sensitivity to cold

  • Dry skin

  • Weight gain

  • Constipation

  • Muscle weakness/stiffness/tenderness

  • Depression

  • Impaired memory

  • Thinning hair

  • Enlarged thyroid (goiter)

  • Many, many others

People always associate hypothyroidism with weight gain, but most do not realize how large of a role the thyroid plays in so many bodily functions. The above-listed are only a handful of symptoms that can present with hypothyroidism, which can even cause death by myxedema (a type of coma) if left untreated.

Causes

Thyroids can be underactive for a variety of reasons from autoimmune to surgery to even overtreatment for hyperthyroidism. Even certain medications can reduce thyroid activity enough to cause problems. There are less common causes of hypothyroidism:

  • Congenital disease

  • Pituitary disorder – If the pituitary does not produce enough thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), the thyroid will not produce enough of its hormones.

  • Pregnancy – During pregnancy, some women can produce antibodies for their own thyroid, causing an immune response to attack their own tissue.

  • Iodine deficiency – Iodine is essential to the production of thyroid hormones, so a deficiency can prevent the thyroid from producing enough hormone.

Management

Hypothyroidism can be diagnosed with a simple thyroid blood test that tests for TSH and THT (Thyroid hormone thyroxine). Luckily enough, it can be managed as easily as it can be diagnosed with medication prescribed by your doctor. Synthetic thyroid hormone can be taken by mouth daily to help keep levels stable within the body. The treatment is often lifelong and because as the thyroid becomes less and less active due to whatever is causing the disease doses will have to be changed regularly. Despite these apparent downsides, with proper management and care from a dedicated healthcare provider, symptoms should resolve soon after treatment begins. Here at Thrive, our certified Functional Medicine (IFM) providers are accustomed to treating complex and intertwined health issues like hypothyroidism from a functional and preventative standpoint. Allow Thrive to play an integral part in your journey to optimal health and wellness in 2019!

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