Did you know that thyroid health can play a role in weight gain or loss? It’s true! Many people struggle with weight and don’t know that thyroid conditions may be to blame. This blog post will discuss the relationship between thyroid health and weight and how to manage your weight if you have a thyroid condition.

The first step to understanding this topic is to understand the purpose of the thyroid gland and how it affects weight in the first place. Your thyroid is a small, butterfly-shaped gland located in the front of your neck. This tiny gland produces thyroid hormones, which play a significant role in metabolism. And we all know that metabolism affects our weight.

Unexplained Weight Gain

If you’re experiencing weight gain and don’t know why it can be frustrating. You may feel like you’re doing everything right, but the scale just keeps going up. If this sounds familiar, it may be time to check in with your thyroid health. One thyroid condition that can cause weight gain is hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism happens when your thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough thyroid hormone. This slows down your metabolism, which may lead to weight gain.

Hypothyroidism also affects your energy levels and your appetite. You may feel more tired than usual and not want to exercise or do much of anything. An increase in hunger and cravings for high-calorie, sugary foods can also accompany hypothyroidism. These factors can all contribute to weight gain.

If you think you might have hypothyroidism, talking to your doctor is essential. They will likely order a blood test to measure your thyroid hormone levels. If the test shows low thyroid hormone levels, you will be diagnosed with hypothyroidism and may need medication to help regulate your thyroid hormone levels.

Treat Hypothyroid Disease

Managing weight gain caused by thyroid disease may seem daunting at first. The good news is that there are things you can do.

 

  • Managing your thyroid. First, make sure your thyroid disease is under control. Without this step, it will be challenging to manage your weight because you’ll still be dealing with the effects of hormone imbalance.
  • Healthy diet. Once you have found the tools to manage your hypothyroidism, you can shift your focus to diet and exercise. A healthy diet is vital for everyone, but it’s especially important if you’re trying to lose weight. Eating nutritious foods and staying away from processed foods, sugary drinks, and unhealthy fats will help your body function at its best. Focus on a balanced diet with a variety of foods from all categories to get a wide range of nutrients.

You can also check out “The Thyroid Reset Diet” by Dr. Christianson. He talks about the effects of iodine on your body and how you can heal your thyroid by shifting to a nutrient-rich, low-iodine diet. He also gives helpful food lists and recipe ideas to make your journey as simple as possible.

  • Daily exercise. Exercise is the other important factor when you’re trying to lose weight. It helps to boost your metabolism and keep your body healthy. It may be difficult to find the motivation to exercise when feeling tired and sluggish. Still, it’s essential to get moving as much as you can. Even just 30 minutes per day of intentional movement can positively affect your health. Check out Dr. Christianson’s suggestions in his article:  “What is the Best Exercise for Thyroid Disease?”

If you’re not used to exercising, start slow and gradually work your way up. High-intensity exercise can cause more problems for individuals with thyroid issues, so talk to your doctor before starting any new exercise routine. Integrative Health Doctors will help you find a personalized training routine that is safe and accessible for your health.

Unexplained Weight Loss

Though we don’t always think of it this way, especially when struggling to lose weight, unexplained weight loss can also be frustrating. You may be eating and exercising the same as always, but the pounds keep falling off. Being underweight can cause just as many problems as being overweight and, in some cases, be even more dangerous for your health. It’s essential to get to the bottom of what’s causing the weight loss.

One condition that can cause unexplained weight loss is hyperthyroidism. Hyperthyroidism is the opposite of hypothyroidism. It happens when your thyroid gland produces too much thyroid hormone. This can speed up your metabolism, which can lead to weight loss. Hyperthyroidism also affects your energy levels and appetite. You may feel more energetic than usual and not want to eat, both contributing to weight loss.

Hyperthyroidism is considered an urgent medical condition. It can have severe effects on your body, so see a doctor as soon as possible if you think you may be experiencing symptoms. A blood test can measure your thyroid hormone levels and confirm a diagnosis of hyperthyroidism.

If you are struggling with unexplained weight loss, there are things you can do to manage your symptoms and regain a healthy weight.

  • Take control of your thyroid disease. Just as with hypothyroidism, the first step is to get your thyroid disease under control. Once your thyroid hormone levels are back to normal, you can begin working on other ways to get back to a healthy weight.
  • Gradually increase calorie intake. Eating more often and increasing your calorie intake is an excellent place to start. You may need to eat smaller meals throughout the day rather than three large meals. Focus on eating nutrient-rich foods that will help your body function at its best: plenty of protein, healthy fats, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. The Thyroid Reset Diet works for hyperthyroidism as well. Use it in conjunction with care from your doctor or a nutritionist to ensure you are eating in a way that gets you the nutrients you need.
  • Get moving. Exercise is always a crucial piece of a healthy lifestyle, whether you need to gain, lose, or maintain weight, especially if you have thyroid issues. To help with weight gain, you may need to adjust your routine, so talk to your doctor or an exercise physiologist to find an appropriate exercise program. They can help you set up a plan that accounts for your thyroid disease, weight goals, and any other health concerns you may have.

Thyroid function is important for regulating your metabolism and maintaining a healthy weight. If you think your thyroid may be the cause of your weight gain or loss, make an appointment with an Integrative Health Doctor today. They will work with you to create a personalized plan to get your thyroid back on track and help you reach a healthy weight.

P.S. Whenever you are ready, here is how I can help you now:

1. Schedule a complimentary consultation with one of my team of naturopathic doctors. This is a great starting point for assessing your unique health needs and treatment options.
2. Need A Thyroid Supplement Recommendation? Take My Thyroid Specific Formulations Quiz Now
3. Need a Personalized Supplement? Check out My Thyroid Specific Formulations
4. Download and use my Favorite Recipes Cookbook Here
5. Check out my podcast Medical Myths, Legends, and Fairytales Here

Dr. Alan Glen Christianson (Dr. C) is a Naturopathic Endocrinologist and the author of The NY Times bestselling Adrenal Reset Diet, The Metabolism Reset Diet and The Thyroid Reset Diet.

Dr. C’s gift for figuring out what really works has helped hundreds of thousands of people reverse thyroid disease, lose weight, diabetes, and regain energy. Learn more about the surprising story that started his quest.

 

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