Danna Bowman, Founder
Who wants to lose weight? Hypothyroid sufferers do. Who wonders how metabolism plays a role in the thyroid function? Hypothyroid sufferers, that’s who!
Why is it that some people can lose weight so easily? Despite eating whatever they want and doing little very little in the form of exercise? Especially for those with Thyroid disease, or hypothyroidism, that are often on the opposite side of this phenomenon. We are the ones killing ourselves at Zumba, PiYo and Crossfit classes? We are the ones watching what we eat and we are the ones that cannot lose weight. It seems so unfair.
Today, one of the biggest issues most people have with their self-image and health, is that they want to lose weight. And, you’ve probably heard people blame their weight on a slow metabolism, but what does that mean? It means, NOT being able to lose that weight, despite trying every fad diet, exercise program and weight loss supplement on the market. The key to losing weight; however, could very well be that they have a slow metabolism and therefore, a thyroid gland that isn’t functioning properly.
The Thyroid Gland
That pretty, little, butterfly-shaped gland, located just under the Adam’s Apple, is the largest endocrine gland in the neck. It secretes hormones into the blood stream to control the rate that every cell and organ turns nutrients into energy (the metabolic processes which include energy expenditure, the heat needed to burn calories). Thyroid hormones control many things in your body including, temperature, heart health, appetite and of course, metabolism. It keeps metabolism in check through the action of thyroid hormone, by extracting iodine from the blood and incorporating it into thyroid hormones. Highly unique and specialized, these cells absorb and use iodine. It is an amazing gland because every other cell depends on the thyroid, to manage its metabolism.
What is Metabolism
Metabolism is the set of life-sustaining chemical transformations within the cells of living organisms. These enzyme-catalyzed reactions allow organisms to grow and reproduce, maintain their structures, and respond to their environments. It is determined by measuring the amount of oxygen used by the body over a specific amount of time.
In essence, it is the process by which your body uses the food and drink you consume or the processes that your body needs, to function.
Your metabolism is at work using energy from those calories even when you are dreaming, watching old re-runs of Seinfeld on the couch, sitting and daydreaming at your desk or just reading this article. Meaning, even when you are at rest, your body expends a certain amount of energy called your Basal Metabolic Rate or BMR. These hidden functions for which this fuel is used helps grow and repair cells, monitor and adjusts hormones, circulates your blood and keeps you breathing! Whew!
Thyroid And Weight Gain
Everyday life can be exhausting, especially for women. Women tend to be the ones running errands, planning birthday parties, making dinner (and finding all those ingredients to make it gluten, soy and dairy free) worrying about their children and stressing out over everything. Women are nurturers at heart, so it makes sense. Women stress about many things, including simple things like the friend that was mean to their child or if certain shoes match their outfit. And, they often internalize that stress, which isn’t good for mental or physical health. Stress can affect many things:
- Adrenal Glands
- Thyroid Function
And, as a result, sometimes, that can increase cravings. Unfortunately, that includes our dire need for something sweet like chocolate or carbohyrdates, anything that will provide us with ‘feel good’ hormones and instant energy. They are ‘jonesing’ for their instant, ‘quicker-picker-upper’ and sometimes stop at nothing until a candy bar or ice cream, are found. Sugar can help give a quick fix, but it can also wreak havoc on our bodies. Does quitting sugar altogether help heal autoimmune disease? We all know that we need to have normal blood sugar levels to have a balanced thyroid. Because, if not, the thyroid feels threatened if it recognizes low blood sugar, as it is genetically programmed to do. As Chris Kresser states,
When you’re hypothyroid, your cells aren’t very sensitive to glucose, a simple sugar that is an important energy source in living organisms and is a component of many carbohydrates. So although you may have normal levels of glucose in your blood, you’ll have the symptoms of hypoglycemia (fatigue, headache, hunger, irritability, etc.). And since your cells aren’t getting the glucose they need, your adrenals will release cortisol to increase the amount of glucose available to them. This causes a chronic stress response, that suppresses thyroid function.
According to MinistryHealth.org,
There is a strong correlation between thyroid disease and weight. Weight gain is more severe in people with hypothyroidism due to an excess accumulation of salt and water and several other factors.
When you burn fewer calories than you eat, or eat more calories than you burn, you gain weight. Or, so the story goes. Some women, can have low thyroid even when they restrict calories (which isn’t a recommended diet plan). This is often referred to as ‘Metabolic Burn’.
Weight gain can oftentimes then, mean that your thyroid function is low and possibly undertreated.
In Hypothyroidism (less hormones = less heat), the metabolism slows because the thyroid gland does not release enough thyroid hormones.
Therefore, efforts to lose weight without addressing the thyroid, are destined to fail. Great success can be found through a natural, holistic and even a conventional medical approach, that considers thyroid function as an integral part of overall hormonal balance. Your metabolism and your scale will thank you. (Don’t forget to check those Sex Hormones and Adrenals)
For more great information on Metabolism and Weight Loss, Click HERE
About the Author
Danna Bowman is the founder of Thyroid Nation. She developed Hashimoto’s after years of unknowinly suffering with hypothyroidism, hormonal imbalances and adrenal fatigue. Hypothyroidism runs in her family but it was never discussed, unfortunately. Her husband, 2 kids and her, picked up and moved, sight unseen, from Texas to Costa Rica in 2008. She was accurately diagnosed, however, they only offer Levothyroxine or Thyroidectomy as a solution for the disease. After a year of suffering, she turned to the internet. She found a doctor in Arizona that would consult with her and send Natural Dessicated Thyroid to her. After learning and realizing the misinformation and lack of information in Costa Rica and worldwide, she founded the website to help educate others. In 2015, she launched Thyroid Nation RADIO, a weekly thyroid and health, LIVE radio show with her co-host, Tiffany Mladinich. Please follow Thyroid Nation on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Youtube, Instagram and Periscope.
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Questions or anything to add about your Mr. Hashimoto? We’d love your thoughts in the comments section!