Why Do Some People With Hypothyroidism And Hashimotos Experience Weight Loss
Weight gain is common in those with hypothyroid conditions. And while most people with hypothyroidism and Hashimotos Thyroiditis have a difficult time losing weight, a small percentage of people with hypothyroid conditions find it challenging to gain weight. In this article I will discuss the common factors which cause some people with hypothyroidism and Hashimotos to experience weight loss and/or find it difficult to gain weight.
Before I talk about some of these causes, keep in mind that the focus of this article will be on those factors which can result in extreme weight loss. But what is considered to be extreme weight loss? Well, some sources consider a weight loss of greater than two pounds per week to be extreme. This is especially true if the weight loss occurs without dieting, but even if you are dieting it can be unhealthy to lose too much weight too fast. Other sources claim that losing over ten percent of your body weight in a period of 6 months is a cause for concern.
Are There Risks Of Losing Too Much Weight?
- Excessive loss of lean body mass
- Water and electrolyte problems
- Increased risk of forming gallstones
- Mild liver dysfunction
- Elevated uric acid levels
Weight Loss Cause #6: Inflammatory bowel disease. Both Crohns disease and ulcerative colitis can result in weight loss. The main reason for this is due to malabsorption.
How Do You Find Out The Cause of This Problem?
What Can You Do To Gain Weight?
Why Are So Many Women Experiencing Thyroid Problems
Many factors can interfere with thyroid function, which requires healthy thyroid tissue, the ability to produce adequate amounts of thyroid hormone, conversion of the inactive form of thyroid hormone to its active form , and the effective binding of thyroid hormone to your cellular receptors a key and lock type of effect that activates all of the thyroids activities in your body.
Here are some of the top factors that can interfere with these processes:
Environmental Toxin Exposure and Detoxification Overload: We are living in a veritable sea of environmental toxins about 80,000, in fact, from hormones to heavy metals that can interfere with thyroid function. This toxic burden, which affects us from a very young age, even before we are born, can cause both direct damage and also overloads our ability to detoxify fast enough to keep up. The daily and cumulative impact of these are often overlooked, but they are taking a toll on our thyroid health. Pesticides on non-organic foods, lawn chemicals, personal care products with perfumes, household cleaners, plastics, makeup, water and air pollution all add up in a big way.
Immune System Confusion: Environmental toxins, chronic stress, nutritional insufficiencies, leaky gut, food intolerances, being overweight, and having chronic inflammation are all factors that can lead the immune system to become confused and eventually start to attack our own tissue which is exactly what is happening in Hashimotos.
Is Your Liver Congested
The livers function is to remove toxins from our bodies. These toxins can come from various external sources, such as molds, or from internal sources like an imbalance of gut bacteria or pathogens. Some of us may be exhausted because we cannot process the toxins that are present in our bodies. The toxins saturate our liver enzymes, making us feel fatigued.
Some of the most common toxins in the environment include:
- Solvents/cleaning materials
Its a good idea to reduce your exposure to toxins in your environment. A few ideas include the use of an air purifier, drinking filtered water, stopping the use of cosmetics that contain petrochemicals, avoiding preservatives and additives, stopping the use of harsh cleaning agents and aerosols, and eliminating molds in your home.
I have also found N-Acetyl-Cysteine, a supplement that supports liver detox capabilities, to be worth considering.
You can also read about how supporting the liver is key to recovering from thyroid disease. Youll find signs and causes of toxic overload, how liver impairment is related to Hashimotos, who is most at risk, and so much more.
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Hormones Are Safe For Relief Of Fatigue Symptoms
Replacement and restoration of low hormones relieve fatigue symptoms. Hormones improve energy and vitality but concerns about safety sometimes get in the way.
There are safe ways to take hormones that do not increase risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease. In fact, we now understand the protective effects of estrogen on heart disease and conditions like Alzheimers.
Bioidentical Hormones do not cause cancer or heart disease. In fact, they protect your heart and can prevent Alzheimers.
To answer safety questions, you need some background to understand the history of pharmaceutical development in the United States. Natural products such as estrogen, progesterone, pregnenolone, DHEA are not patentable. This means that a drug company cannot patent it and thereby get a corner on the market. These natural products are available to everyone to use.
For this reason, the pharmaceutical companies were not interested in the development and clinical use of natural hormones. They worked industriously to produce synthetic alternatives that were patentable. These synthetic versions have resulted in widespread risk to patients and untold suffering due to misunderstanding about hormone safety.
Drug company produced synthetic hormones have resulted in widespread risk to patients and untold suffering.
Do You Have Adrenal Fatigue
The body relies on the adrenal glands located on top of each kidney to manage stressful situations. If our bodies are working picture perfect, our adrenal glands release, in perfect balance and harmony, the stress hormones cortisol, adrenaline, and DHEA, in order to help us cope with the day-to-day stresses and demands of life. They also have plenty of sleep time to recover, rejuvenate, and replenish themselves in order to come to our aid when called upon. Given our busy stressful lives its not surprising that many of us suffer from issues of adrenal dysfunction.
Our adrenal glands can become so overwhelmed and exhausted that they are unable to meet the bodys demand for adrenaline, cortisol, and DHEA. Instead of being in adaption phase where we are able to adapt to everything, we are in a low phase where we cannot adapt at all.
How would you know if you have adrenal fatigue?
Do you have chronic fatigue?
Does your energy plummet half way through the day?
Do you struggle with insomnia?
Do bright lights bother you more than they should?
Do you startle easily due to noise?
When standing up from sitting or lying down, do you feel lightheaded or dizzy?
Do you struggle with chronic pain or fibromyalgia?
Do you have chronic headaches or migraines?
Do you have depression, anxiety, or mood swings?
Do you struggle with weight gain?
Do you have low sex drive?
Do you feel wired and tired?
If you answer yes to many of these, speak to your doctor about an adrenal function saliva test.
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How Is Hypothyroidism Treated
In most cases, hypothyroidism is treated by replacing the amount of hormone that your thyroid is no longer making. This is typically done with a medication. One medication that is commonly used is called levothyroxine. Taken orally, this medication increases the amount of thyroid hormone your body produces, evening out your levels.
Hypothyroidism is a manageable disease. However, you will need to continuously take medication to normalize the amount of hormones in your body for the rest of your life. With careful management, and follow-up appointments with your healthcare provider to make sure your treatment is working properly, you can lead a normal and healthy life.
Rheumatoid Arthritis And Fatigue
Symptoms: Fatigue, morning stiffness, joint pain, inflamed joints
Rheumatoid arthritis , a type of inflammatory arthritis, is another cause of excessive fatigue. Because joint damage can result in disability, early and aggressive treatment is the best approach for rheumatoid arthritis.
Medications that may be used early in mild RA include:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
- Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs
Other drugs used in more serious forms of RA include the anti-cytokine therapies , as well as shots and other forms of treatment.
Other autoimmune disorders, such as lupus and Sjogren’s disease, may also cause fatigue.
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Fatigue Symptoms Due To Low Thyroid
When thyroid hormone levels are low, you experience fatigue symptoms. Thyroid hormone levels decrease through adulthood. Production of the two most important thyroid hormones, the active hormone T3 and the precursor hormone T4 decline with age.
In addition, aging causes lower T3 due to less conversion of the precursor T4 hormone into the active T3 thyroid hormone. This occurs even though blood tests may show normal levels of T4 and TSH , the tests most commonly done to evaluate thyroid.
How does this cause fatigue symptoms?
Every cell in your body depends upon thyroid hormones to regulate energy production. When thyroid hormone levels are low you produce less energy, and you feel tired.
Every cell in your body depends upon thyroid hormones to regulate energy production. When thyroid hormone levels are less than ideal, your body produces less than energy. Thus, you have fatigue symptoms.
Low thyroid especially affects your brain. A scientific review article about declining thyroid levels and aging states: Low thyroid function at any age causes brain function to deteriorate because hypothyroidism prevents the brain from adequately sustaining the energy -consuming processes needed for neurotransmission, memory, and other higher brain functions.
This means that with low thyroid function there is less fuel for your brain. Your brain is tired and, as a result, your body is tired.
When To See A Doctor
In some cases, home treatment cant be enough to solve the problem of painful joints and muscles. If pain lasts for a week, it is important to see a healthcare provider. You might also want to make an appointment with your doctor in case of fever, vomiting, stiffness in your neck, difficulty swallowing, and inability to move that affects your daily life.
It is also possible to prevent sore muscles by staying hydrated, exercising regularly, and doing warmups before the workout.
In case you notice some symptoms of conditions described above, avoid self-medicating since it might only worsen your condition.
Hosted by the International Pain Foundation www.internationalpain.org
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Keep Your Blood Sugar Balanced
Healthy thyroid function depends on keeping your blood sugar in a normal range and keeping your blood sugar in a normal range depends on healthy thyroid function. If you eat too many high glycemic carbohydrates, the pancreas secretes insulin to move excess glucose from the blood into the cells where glucose is used to produce energy. But over time, the cells lose the ability to respond to insulin. Its as if insulin is knocking on the door, but the cells cant hear it. The pancreas responds by pumping out even more insulin in an effort to get glucose into the cells, and this eventually causes insulin resistance from too many high glycemic carbs.
Studies have shown that the repeated insulin surges common in insulin resistance increase the inflammation of the thyroid gland, and as the thyroid gland becomes hypo, thyroid hormone production falls. Low blood sugar is just as dangerous as high, so it is important to keep your blood sugar in balance.
Together, hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia are referred to as dysglycemia. Dysglycemia weakens and inflames the gut, lungs, and brain. It imbalances hormone levels, exhausts the adrenal glands, disrupts detoxification pathways, and impairs overall metabolism. Each of these effects significantly WEAKEN the thyroid function. As long as you have any blood sugar imbalance, whatever you do to fix your thyroid isnt going to work and you are still going to have fatigue.
Can Hypothyroidism Go Away On Its Own
In some mild cases, you may not have symptoms of hypothyroidism or the symptoms may fade over time. In other cases, the symptoms of hypothyroidism will go away shortly after you start treatment. For those with particularly low levels of thyroid hormones, hypothyroidism is a life-long condition that will need to be controlled with medication on a regular schedule. It can be controlled very well and you can live a normal life with hypothyroidism.
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What Are Common Causes Of Palpitations And Fatigue
Heart palpitations and fatigue can be caused by a number of health conditions. Palpitations are characterized by the feeling of irregular or missed heartbeats, while fatigue results in a sensation of being worn down and out of energy. While these symptoms can indicate an underlying heart condition, they can also be caused by hyperthyroidism and other thyroid and adrenal gland conditions. Anemia and vitamin deficiencies might also include symptoms such as palpitations and fatigue.
The heart muscle normally maintains a regular, rhythmic beating in the chest. Occasionally, the heart can deviate from its rhythm, beating abnormally fast, slow, or out of sync. These irregular heartbeats result in a fluttering or a racing feeling, a sensation that can be disturbing or uncomfortable for the individual. Fatigue is a symptom that often accompanies heart palpitations. Although fatigue is similar to symptoms such as weakness or sleepiness, it is truly defined by a lack of energy or motivation, and a feeling of exhaustion.
What About Thyroid Cancer
Thyroid cancer is uncommon and is among the least deadly. The main symptom is a lump or swelling in the neck, and only about 5% of thyroid nodules turn out to be cancerous. When thyroid cancer is diagnosed, it is most often treated with surgery followed by radioactive iodine therapy or, in some cases, external radiation therapy.
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Adrenal Fatigue And Cortisol
The adrenal gland is your “stress” gland. It produces the hormone cortisol.
Cortisol functions in the body by regulating blood sugar and metabolism, it activates the central nervous system, maintains blood pressure, and has anti-inflammatory actions.
Cortisol levels will go up during times of physical or emotional stress. It speeds up metabolism so we are able to fight through that stressful time.
At first, people with elevated cortisol feel shaky, their heart may race, and they may have insomnia problems.
Eventually the adrenal gland will not be able to produce enough cortisol to keep up with demand and the levels will drop and stay low. This is called adrenal fatigue.
The thyroid and adrenal functions in the body are closely linked.
In fact, the TSH and cortisol levels tend to track together.
Even small changes in your cortisol level can cause significant symptoms, especially fatigue and brain fog.
Your symptoms will vary depending on how long you have been under stress.
To determine if you have an adrenal issue, I recommend either salivary cortisol testing or better yet, ordering a DUTCH test.
You can also also ask for a serum am cortisol level from your doctor. This does not tell you as much information as a urinary cortisol level tested 4 times in a day, but it can still be helpful.
If your serum cortisol level is < 8, you most likely have an adrenal fatigue problem.
If it is > 18, that also needs further investigation and treatment.
Fact: Caffeine Provides A Mild Boost
Whether in the form of coffee, soft drinks, or gum, caffeine can briefly increase alertness. Keep in mind that the effect takes about 30 minutes to kick in, so you may want to pull over and rest until you perk up. This temporary fix has its limits caffeine canât overcome severe fatigue and may have little impact on regular coffee drinkers.
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Can Hypothyroidism Cause Erectile Dysfunction
In some cases, there can be a connection between untreated hypothyroidism and erectile dysfunction. When your hypothyroidism is caused by an issue with the pituitary gland, you can also have low testosterone levels. Treating hypothyroidism can often help with erectile dysfunction if it was directly caused by the hormone imbalance.
Relief Is Here At Last
As expected, Ginas Free T3 was one of the lowest levels I had ever seen. Her diagnosis was untreated thyroid disease. When I showed her the results on her lab test, she began to crytears of anger that no one over the course of five years had figured out her problemand tears of relief that finally she could feel better.
We started Gina on a low dose of Armour Thyroid while further evaluating probable causes of low thyroid function. Within the first month her energy improved, and she no longer needed to wear a wool coat to keep warm. Eventually, her brain worked better, and she was even able to go back to school for retraining. Gina knew that she would enjoy her retirement.
If you are experiencing unusual fatigue, coldness or have unexpected weight changes no matter how hard you try to eat properly, you may need a proper thyroid evaluation by a Thyroid Specialist at the Sklar Center. Give us a call today at 562-596-5196 to request a consultation.
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Balance Your Blood Sugar
Blood sugar imbalances can wreak havoc on our energy levels as well as cause anxiety. People with blood sugar imbalances will often have times of the day where they feel especially tired, weak and/or anxious, such as morning fatigue or the afternoon slump. Those who have adrenal fatigue may also suffer from blood sugar imbalances.
Thats why balancing blood sugar levels should be one of the top priorities for anyone who is hoping to overcome fatigue. Balancing my blood sugar made a big difference for me, helping me feel more energetically balanced and less anxious throughout the day. As a side bonus, most people with Hashimotos will find that their thyroid antibody levels will drop thanks to balancing their blood sugar!
Before I balanced my blood sugar, I would get hangry multiple times per day. I found that the high carbohydrate foods I was eating were causing huge blood sugar swings, and I didnt realize these swings were causing a spike in my thyroid antibodies and weakening my adrenals.
Practitioners, like myself, who focus on reversing Hashimotos, often describe blood sugar imbalances as adding fuel to the fire in autoimmune thyroid disease. I wasnt aware that I had blood sugar issues when I was first diagnosed .