Role of Hypothyroidism and Weight Loss
Are you overweight and even after following a restricted diet and numerous workout sessions there is no effect on your weight? Maybe thyroid is behind your persistent weight gain. The connection between thyroid function and weight gain is not simple. The functionality of the thyroid is closely connected with the metabolism because thyroid hormone is responsible for the regulation of calorie consumption in the body. Healthy thyroid depends on the proper functioning of other biological processes which includes neurotransmitters, reproductive hormones, and adrenal glands hormone.
Hypothyroidism and weight gain
Low or high production of thyroid hormone adversely affects the functioning of the body. The condition of an underactive thyroid is known as hypothyroidism and sudden weight gain is its most noticeable symptom. It also makes weight loss difficult in such patients even through dieting. The metabolic burn reduces gradually during dieting as calories have been reduced. So in order to maintain good health and lose weight we have to understand the overall health picture and not just thyroid.
Factors affecting the weight
There are three factors which make the weight loss process difficult which are
· Changed metabolic set point
· Changes in brain chemistry due to illness and stress
Changed metabolic “set point”
Every person has a weight set point like we have a temperature setpoint of 98.6. Let’s understand this, when we have a small weight gain or large intake of calories then our metabolism speeds up to process the extra calories and thus you lost appetite for a particular duration and eventually you lose the newly gained weight. This process is also known as metabolic resistance.
If you consistently take a large number of calories then this metabolic resistance will reduce and your body will establish a higher weight set point. In the case of underactive thyroid, the metabolic resistance loses strength and thus you are unable to lose weight as you have a new weight set point. The best way to increase metabolism is through exercise.
Brain chemistry changes
The sense of hungriness is related with a brain as the hypothalamus senses the requirement of energy in the body and if it found any such energy need then it gives a signal to the body to eat carbohydrates through neurotransmitter Neuropeptide Y (NPY). The surge of NPY causes hunger and when hypothalamus senses that you have eaten enough carbohydrates then it gives the signal to the body to stop eating carbohydrate through serotonin hormone. Hypothyroidism alters this mechanism dramatically and causes sudden weight gain. The low amount of thyroid hormone slows down the metabolism and since your body is under stress, therefore, it also interferes with the neurotransmitter function causing a drop in serotonin level which makes you eat more.
When we eat carbohydrates, it increases the blood sugar level and then our pancreas responds to such condition by increasing the production of insulin which causes a drop in blood sugar level. Consistent eating of carbohydrates leads to insulin resistance means the cells will be less responsive to insulin effect. Therefore the body needs to increase more insulin to overcome the insulin resistance of the cells. Hypothyroidism slows down the body’s ability to process carbohydrate and the body’s ability to absorb blood sugar. The insulin resistance of cells increases in such condition. There are low fat diets and high glycemic carbohydrates containing products such as white flour baked goods, pasta, pizza, rice, potatoes, cereals, corn, desserts, and sugary fat-free products which increases insulin resistance of cells and therefore it is necessary to avoid these food items to recover the body from high insulin resistance.
Hypothyroidism and weight loss tips
The most important thing for weight loss in the condition of hypothyroidism is to get proper treatment. Here are some strategies which can help you to reduce your weight along with your hypothyroidism.
Go gluten free – Gluten is rich in goitrogens, element which interferes with the uptake of iodine in the body and thus suppresses the thyroid function. Taking up of gluten free diet can help you in losing weight but reduced gluten also causes steadily decrease in antibodies in the body.
Avoid simple carbs and sugar – you should use complex carbs (starchy vegetables and legumes) instead of simple carbs (sugar) because complex carbs can help in a decrease of production of cytokines which causes inflammation in the body. But you should take up enough calories as low calorie can cause stress response which leads to reduced T3 production.
Add anti-inflammatory food – hypothyroidism can cause joint aches, pain, and depression which can be eased by anti-inflammatory foods. It also controls the overdrive of the immune system by reducing inflammation in the body which frequently occurs during hypothyroidism. Leafy green vegetables, tomatoes, fatty fish, nuts, fruit, and olive oil are rich sources of anti-inflammatory compounds.
Maintaining a food journal – it is very necessary to note down your daily calorie intake and also to track down their macronutrient intake. To improve the functioning of the thyroid, you should take a diet rich in healthy fats, moderate proteins, and moderate- to low-carbohydrates.
Exercising – exercise is a complement of a healthy diet as it increases its effect and vice versa. Hypothyroidism can be suppressed further if you are terribly fatigued and it can be possible through working out. Exercise is recommended to the patients who have managed their underactive thyroid condition and have the energy for the workout.
Take proper medication – the thyroid hormone should be the first thing which you should take in the morning on an empty stomach with plenty of water. Don’t take it with any other medication and you should take a gap of 30 – 60 minutes before eating breakfast and after eating the medicine.
Treatment of hypothyroidism and weight loss is possible with each other and you just need to take medications, eat healthily and exercise regularly. But hypothyroidism and weight loss pills without consulting your doctor can be a dangerous combination which you should avoid a completely. Thyroid hormone replacements increase your metabolism and reduce the metabolic resistance if you are taking the correct dosage. This process has a trial and error approach which requires frequent blood tests until the correct dosage is determined by the doctor. So be regular with your appointments during hypothyroidism.