Are You Giving Yourself Hypothyroidism?
Weight gain is easy, but losing it is a challenge like no other. There are a lot of people out there who have a weight problem. In short, the weight increases even when they are pursuing weight loss goals. This is sometimes a result of thyroid hormone levels diminishing to the extent that you become a patient of “Hypothyroidism.” When you deal with these underactive hormones, you become sluggish and feel tired all the time. If your weight loss endeavours are also suffering from a setback, it is a good time to schedule a visit with a doctor.
There are people who have no idea what is the reason behind their weight gain, even when they have an active lifestyle. They blame their fate, their bodies, and become demotivated about the whole weight loss concept. But, the need is to look at the other side of the coin as well. Your weight gain could be a result of hypothyroidism. What is it? Let’s get the facts clear from the very scratch.
The Role of the Thyroid Gland
The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped gland that is located on the front of your throat. The major hormones secreted by the gland account for T3 (triiodothyronine) and T4 (thyroxine). These two hormones together help in maintaining the body’s metabolism, proper growth, and also maintains optimal body temperature. The hormones are also known to affect one’s breathing patterns, weight, muscle strength, and cholesterol intensity.
It is the hypothalamus and pituitary glands that help the thyroid gland communicate with the brain. The pituitary gland is known to stimulate the thyroid gland by secreting TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone). When one is suffering from underactive thyroid hormone or aptly hypothyroidism, the TSH level increases, and vice-versa.
What Is Hypothyroidism?
The word “hypo” stands for “under.” This is a type of thyroid disease that leads to you having an underactive thyroid. For normal functioning of the body, thyroid formation is essential, and when the body refuses to produce the optimal level of the thyroid, you suffer from hypothyroidism. The condition, in turn, leads to fatigue and energy loss, further leading to weight gain no matter how much active you try to be. The biggest drawback of hypothyroidism is that your metabolism reduces to a great extent.
Types of Hypothyroidism
- Primary Hypothyroidism: This is a condition in which the thyroid gland malfunction takes place. It is a condition where the gland’s antibodies attack it due to the lack of iodine, or any other issues that impede its proper functioning.
- Secondary Hypothyroidism: This is a type of hypothyroidism that is associated with the problem with the pituitary gland. In this case, the thyroid gland is not stimulated by the hormones present in the pituitary gland.
- Stress-Induced Hypothyroidism: It may sound strange, but stress can also lead to hypothyroidism. The fluctuations in the thyroid hormone levels are witnessed in people who deal with stress or are running low on calories. T4 is considered as the inactive thyroid hormone, and when it does not convert to an active form of thyroid hormone, i.e., T3; hypothyroidism is the result.
Common Symptoms That You Have “Hypothyroidism”
- Feeling Drained Out: When even climbing a set of ten stairs seems like climbing a mountain, be sure that something is wrong with your metabolism. Feeling exhausted is one of the most common symptoms of hypothyroidism and may make you ditch your fitness regime for all you can feel is lifeless and weak.
- As lazy as a Sloth: Lying all day on the bed and doing completely nothing is another sign that everything is not ok. If there was a time when you were actively making the most of your day, and now you can’t even get a glass of water for yourself; you may be suffering from hypothyroidism.
- Useless Weight Loss Efforts: Do you ever feel that you are giving everything to weight loss, but aren’t making a difference? Instead of wondering and cursing your luck, it is a good idea to visit a doctor for a thyroid test. There is a possibility that you may be suffering from hypothyroidism, where your body processes start slowing down.
Uncovering the Link between the Thyroid Hormone and Weight
You would be all surprised to know that the thyroid hormone is an essential factor in controlling one’s metabolism. If we talk about metabolism, it is the measure of how much oxygen you breathe in a day’s time and how much energy is consumed in going through the process. If the use of energy is at a peak, the metabolism is high too. This, in turn, implies that energy consumption is directly proportional to the metabolism of the body. And, when more is the metabolism, more are the calories burnt.
You may be wondering now how the thyroid hormone influences your weight. In that case, you need to understand that it is the caloric balance, i.e., a balance between how much calories you consume and how many calories you burn that decides whether you will gain weight or lose it.
Then there is another factor called the BMR or aptly the basal metabolic rate that decides how thyroid levels will influence the weight. Basically, BMR accounts for the calories you burn while at rest. If you happen to have low BMR, then you have underactive thyroid functioning, i.e., hypothyroidism. The condition of underactive thyroid, in turn, leads to weight gain. It was that simple, wasn’t it?
Dealing with Hypothyroidism
Hypothyroidism is directly related to low thyroid levels. So, treating your system with a dose of thyroid hormone called “levothyroxine,” is all that you need. Isn’t it? But, it is not just enough! Why is that so? Read on, to find out.
If you are into a misconception that the thyroid hormone is the only factor that affects metabolism, then you are wrong. There are other essential factors too in the body that increase or decrease the metabolism. And, when you feed the body with thyroid hormone, it is likely to ruin your weight loss dreams further. Chances are that leveling up the thyroid hormone may have a negative impact on your weight, and may leave you overweight with no relief.
When the Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) level increases in the body, it is evident that you would be diagnosed with hypothyroidism. If you may think that inducing thyroid hormone will help restrain TSH levels, and increase the BMR levels, you are wrong. Most doctors rely on using levothyroxine to level up the BMR levels. But, they fail to realize that this may not always work.
By looking at the factors above, it should be crystal clear that the thyroid hormone is crucial to maintain an appropriate metabolism rate, but it should not be treated as a magical potion for weight loss.
Health Issues Related To Added Thyroid Hormone
It may seem enticing to dose your body with additional thyroid hormone, but it has its own repercussions. Here are some of them.
- Cardiac Arrhythmias, a condition where your heart beats either too slowly, too fast, or it has an irregular beating pattern.
- A profound loss to bone density
- Minimization of the skeletal muscle mass
- You may become a victim to anxiety
Unprecedented Lifestyle Tips for Combating Hypothyroidism
- Eat Healthy To Stay Healthy
Rely on eating more fruits, green veggies, salads, vegetable soups, and also introduce lean protein to your diet. The best practice would be to consume small meals throughout the day, as the idea is to not starve. Talk to a health or a fitness expert as they are the right people who could suggest you a perfect diet that suits your health.
- A Refreshing Walk by the Park
Keeping your body on a move is the best way to deal with overweight issues and in turn hypothyroidism. Be it a morning walk or an evening walk; make sure you never sit too long to give way to laziness. Yes, hypothyroidism makes you feel lazy, but always remember that your will is the ultimate deciding factor of how you want things.
- A Rejuvenating Session Of Yoga
Yoga not only makes you feel fresh, but it also rejuvenates the soul. It is the best way to stretch your muscles in the right way. Try yoga poses that seem comfortable to you; the best thing would be to contact a fitness trainer who can help you learn the art of stretching and winning the game!
- Let It All Go With Meditation
Nothing can be more refreshing than a session of meditation! When you sit back and relax a bit, you clear all the obstacles that stop you from listening to your inner voice. The key is to meditate and let all your worries slip into oblivion. Also, meditation will help you sway stress and all the strain away.
- Sleep Well To Keep Exhaustion at Bay
Hypothyroidism is associated with you feeling tired and exhausted throughout a day’s time. What could help deal with this tiredness is a good night’s sleep. It is essential for you to go to bed on time and rise on time as well. That is why; it is advised to schedule a sleeping pattern and try and stick to it. Such a practice would not only add discipline but would help fight hypothyroidism too.
- Drink As Much Water As You Can
Water is a cure-all universal remedy to all the problems. For a matter of fact, water can help you stabilize the metabolism. Staying hydrated will also assist you with digestion, i.e., the basic need of the body to function efficiently. The best recommendation is to drink about 8-ounces water in a day, and even more if you need to lose weight.
- Add Selenium and Iodine to Your Diet
Selenium and zinc are directly associated with the proper functioning of the thyroid gland. When the production of the thyroid hormone reduces, the dose of selenium and iodine is introduced in the diet plan to maintain the required hormonal levels. Just as the hormonal levels stabilize, the metabolism of the body boosts, thus helping one achieve their weight loss goals with ease. However, make sure to keep away from iodine and selenium artificial supplements as they can reverse your weight loss efforts.
Remember, “You need to fight some bad days to earn some good days in your life”.