Have you been counting calories meticulously, hitting the gym, getting plenty of sleep, watching what you eat and still not seeing the scale budge? It may not be your fault; your inability to shed those stubborn pounds may be due to an underactive thyroid.
People who have hypothyroidism might suffer from a slower metabolism This is important to know because our metabolism controls our ability to burn calories.
The Thyroid Federation International estimates there are up to 300 million people worldwide suffering from thyroid dysfunction, yet over half of those people suffering are unaware of their condition. Could this be you?
Having a slow metabolism comes with several health risks. It may leave you tired, increase your blood cholesterol levels, cause you to gain weight and make it harder for you to lose weight. You may also notice hair loss and brittle nails.
Additional symptoms may include:
- Poor skin
- Fluid retention
- Weight gain
- Anxiety/Panic attacks
- Decreased memory and concentration
- Muscle and joint pain
- Low sex drive
Hypothyroidism is also most common in middle-aged women going through menopause. When your estrogen levels decrease during menopause, this drop may also affect thyroid function.
So, what can you do?
Having a comprehensive thyroid assessment done can help determine if you have hypothyroidism.
A full thyroid panel for hypothyroidism should include at least these six key thyroid lab tests:
- Free T4
- Free T3
- Reverse T3
- Thyroid Peroxidase Antibodies
- Thyroglobulin Antibodies
Doctors will not always run these six, important tests. If you find your doctor does not run these tests, don’t hesitate to find a doctor that does.
If you have been diagnosed with hypothyroidism, moderate- or
high-intensity cardio may help you maintain your weight. This includes exercises like fast-paced walking, running, hiking, and rowing.
Other suggestions include cutting out simple carbs and sugar; eating more anti-inflammatory foods; eat small, frequent meals; keeping a food diary; and taking a natural thyroid medication recommended by your doctor.
If you are experiencing any of the issues mentioned and would like to schedule an appointment with functional medicine practitioner Dr. Nair, MD, click here.