Want to know how to lose weight with low thyroid problems? We'll show you how! Losing weight can seem virtually impossible when you have a low thyroid condition, but there is help out there for you. Keep reading for some great insight into this problem, and as always check out all of our great diet articles, like 10 Diet Tips, Eating a Healthy Diet: The Basics, and Dangers of Diet Pills.
What Is Low Thyroid?
The thyroid gland wields lots of power for such a small body part. The gland is located in the neck and actually controls the growth and metabolism of the cells and other glands in our bodies. It also regulates body temperature. Low thyroid is also referred to as hypothyroid, and this condition affects women more often than men. Hormonal changes often go hand-in-hand with low thyroid, and the specific times that feature the biggest hormonal changes, such as adolescence, pregnancy, and perimenopause may lead to low thyroid problems. Low thyroid also means the production of energy within your cells is malfunctioning.
Symptoms of Low Thyroid
According to Dr. Elmer M. Cranton and William Fryer in their book Resetting the Clock: Five Anti-Aging Hormones That Improve and Extend Life, approximately 27 million Americans have thyroid disease, and about 13 million of them haven't been diagnosed. In fact, over 20 percent of people over 60 have thyroid problems. The symptoms may not immediately trigger an alarm because they can be subtle, at least at first. Low thyroid can be diagnosed, however, with simple blood tests that check the thyroid hormone and the thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) levels. Symptoms include the following:
- Low energy
- Low body temperature
- Fluid retention
- High cholesterol levels
- Weight gain
How to Lose Weight With Low Thyroid
Once diagnosed, many people want to know how to lose weight with low thyroid. Low thyroid problems slow down your metabolism, making it more difficult for you to lose weight. A slower metabolism means your bodies energy levels drop, making it more difficult for you to exercise regularly and at increased levels of activity. It's a vicious cycle that can be hard to reverse if you don't take action.
- First, get a blood test from your doctor if you suspect low thyroid. Even if you don't, you can ask for the simple blood test at your yearly checkup.
- Next, you and your doctor should decide on a plan of treatment for your overall health and in regards to how to lose weight with low thyroid.
Cutting calories may not be enough to stimulate weight loss if you have a hypothyroid condition. Burning calories through exercise is essential to successfully losing weight. You've got to increase your metabolism in order to control your weight gain. For people with low thyroid problems, this means exercising every day, preferably combining aerobics and strength training to build lean muscle. You may need to exercise more than the recommended 20 minutes as well. Be sure to check with your doctor before beginning an exercise regimen, however.
As with many popular diets, such as Weight Watchers, water plays an important role in weight loss for those suffering from hypothyroid. Many diets recommend drinking 64 ounces of water every day. However, if you are experiencing low thyroid problems, it's recommended that you drink even more than that, even adding eight ounces for every 25 pounds you need to shed.
Many people do not include enough fiber in their diets. Dietary fiber found in whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and nuts can help to control certain health conditions, including hypothyroid problems. The National Cancer Institute recommends a daily intake of 20 to 35 grams of fiber. Unfortunately, most Americans only eat between 10 to 15 grams of fiber each day.
For many people with low thyroid conditions, diet and exercise simply aren't enough. The most commonly prescribed medication is Synthroid, a synthetic thyroid. Natural supplements may be prescribed as well, such as l-tyrosine, iodine, bladderwrack (seaweed), and natural progesterone. Again, your doctor will help you develop a plan to get control of your health.