Within our clinic we have treated a variety of women with unusual weight gain or difficulty losing weight. And we are often asked by them “Is it my thyroid?”
The answer for many of these women is YES, but the connection is not always simple. Thyroid function is intimately connected with your metabolism — thyroid hormones basically regulate calorie consumption. But a healthy thyroid also depends on the proper functioning of other body mechanisms, including your neurotransmitters, your reproductive hormones and your adrenal glands.
Weight gain and your thyroid
Because patients with an underactive thyroid tend to have a very low basal metabolic rate, one of the most noticeable symptoms of hypothyroidism is weight gain and difficulty losing extra weight.
Another reason that can often lead to weight gain is the bodies “metabolic rate” continues to fall as calories are reduced when dieting. That’s why some women with low thyroid can have weight gain even when they severely restrict calories. You must understand your entire health picture and not just your thyroid in order to fix your metabolism.
How the Thyroid affects Women
More women than men suffer from hypothyroidism. Most thyroid problems occur within the gland itself and often don’t reveal themselves until a broader pattern of hormonal imbalance develops. That’s why thyroid issues, menopause and weight gain often appear together.
Why do women experience low thyroid and weight gain with such frequency? There are many reasons as follows:
We as women spend much of our lives dieting, often alternating between feasting and then fasting. This interferes with our metabolism and decreases your metabolic rate, a compounding factor for the thyroid, especially during menopause.
Women tend to internalise stress, which in turn affects their adrenal, brain, and thyroid function. The on flow of this on the adrenal glands (your stress coping glands) greatly interferes with how efficiently the thyroid works.
Women experience monthly hormonal fluctuations that affect their biochemistry and these hormones rely on proper thyroid function to help your monthly cycle run smoothly.
What you can do about hypothyroidism and weight gain?
If you are experiencing stubborn weight gain you should talk to our experienced and professional Naturopath Trish who can look further into why you are having these issues. As a health practitioner Trish is able to order the necessary blood tests to correctly measure all of the hormones involved in proper thyroid function.
Often in her clinic Trish, our Naturopath, treats women who test within the “normal” range of conventional medical standards but still have symptoms of thyroid insufficiency. After testing your thyroid hormones, monitoring your basal body temperature and checking your Iodine status, then a clear plan assessing what you need in regards to diet, supplements and exercise can be implemented and the road to weight loss and improved energy levels can begin.
Supplementation of key nutrients, along with regular meals that combine a proper ratio of protein to carbohydrates leads to an increase your metabolic functioning and you may begin to lose weight. Often removing gluten and sugar from your diet and gaining proper digestion a big influence on proper thyroid function and weight loss. In some cases, a low-dose thyroid replacement hormone may also be needed.
At Burnett House Natural Therapies we look at each of our patients individually and consider their needs when deciding the best path to take toward your weight loss goals and thyroid health.
Weight gain may not always be sufficient evidence to conclude that someone has a thyroid issue, but it is one part of the picture we try to bring into focus. Efforts to lose weight without addressing related thyroid issues are often slow going. We find the most positive results are found through a holistic, natural approach that considers thyroid function as an integral part of your overall hormonal balance.