Imaging Tests In Thyroid Disease
A physician may use one or a combination of imaging tests, such as an ultrasound of the thyroid, a computerized tomography scan, or nuclear medicine tests, to diagnose and find the cause of thyroid disorders. Thyroid imaging is reviewed in the National Institutes of Health report on thyroid disease.
How Is Hypothyroidism Treated
Typically hypothyroidism is treated with a thyroid hormone supplement, levothyroxine. While being treated for hypothyroidism using T4, you may experience slight to moderate weight loss. Hypothyroidism can cause low T3 and T4 levels, and high TSH levels and weight gain, which can be prevented, stopped or otherwise reversed using T4.
However, once the condition has been treated and T3/T4 levels have resumed to the normal range, your capacity to lose or gain weight is pretty much the same as someone without thyroid issues. Also, you must watch out for the side effects of thyroid hormone therapy, such as appetite increase, bone mass loss, muscle wasting, or heart problems.
Will Bioidentical Hormones Make You Gain Weight
For many women considering hormone replacement therapy, unwanted weight gain is one of their main complaints. So, the risk of gaining even more weight as a side effect of hormone replacement therapy is particularly concerning and often deters patients from getting the treatment they need. Board-certified physician and wellness expert Dr. Christy Watson of Body Bar MD understands the complex nature of hormone imbalance and is proud to offer advanced bioidentical hormone replacement therapy in Carmel and Terre Haute, IN to help patients regain control of their lives and finally feel better than ever. Learn more about hormone replacement therapy here, including what side effects you may expect.
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Can You Lose Weight If You Have Hypothyroidism
Its completely possible to lose weight if you have hypothyroidism, especially if you stick to your treatment regimen as directed and consult with your doctor regularly about any side effects or continued symptoms of hypothyroidism. If hypothyroidism is the sole root cause of your weight gain, you will start to lose excess weight as soon as your thyroid levels become properly balanced.
How To Lose Weight With Hypothyroidism
Unexplained weight gain is a common sign of hypothyroidism, especially if you start gaining weight without making any major changes to your diet or activity level.
Weight gain increases the risk for a wide range of serious health problems, including high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease. If you are diagnosed with hypothyroidism, managing your condition and losing excess weight is essential to reducing your risk for related complications and health problems.
Continue reading to learn more about why hypothyroidism can cause weight gain and how to lose weight with hypothyroidism.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Hyperthyroidism
The increase in metabolism caused by an overactive thyroid speeds up every operation and process of your body. As a result, people with hyperthyroidism often notice they seem to have more energy, accompanied by difficulty sleeping, increased sweating, hand tremors, and muscle weakness, especially in the upper arms and thighs. You may also notice changes in your hair texture or experience hair loss.
An overactive thyroid can speed up every function of the body and cause various symptoms, including:
A noticeable enlargement of the thyroid gland
Rapid or irregular heartbeat
Menstrual and fertility issues
Can Thyroid Hormone Be Used To Help Me Lose Weight
Thyroid hormones have been used as a weight loss tool in the past. Starting or increasing thyroid hormone to cause thyroid hormone levels to be elevated is unlikely to dramatically change weight. Studies have shown that excess thyroid hormone treatment can help produce more weight loss than can be achieved by dieting alone, but includes the risk of major negative consequences from the use of thyroid hormone to help with weight loss, such as the loss of muscle protein, loss of bone, and/or heart problems. Furthermore, once the excess thyroid hormone is stopped, any weight loss is usually regained.
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Is Your Thyroid Working Properly
A simple blood test through your primary care physician can check your thyroid function, and many thyroid conditions can be managed with medication. If you think you may have thyroid trouble, request an appointment with a Keck Medicine of USC physician through the online form, or by calling USC-CARE.
Perspective & Action Plan For Patients
The concept of excess weight leading to an underactive thyroid may sound backwards, says Arthur Schneider, MD, PhD, professor emeritus at the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Chicago, who is familiar with the new research. However, he says that physicians should consider the possibility that “some subtle changes in thyroid may be the result of obesity, not the cause of it.”
In Kitahara’s view: If you are obese with an elevated TSH, weight loss may be a better course of action if testing does not turn up any underlying thyroid disorders. She points to other research finding that when obese patients with normal thyroid function lose weight, their TSH and T3 levels declineamong other health benefits.¹
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T4 Tests In Low And High Thyroid Conditions
T4 is the principal thyroid hormone. The normal range for total T4 is 4.5 to 12.6 , although again, the range may vary slightly from one laboratory to another. Elevated total T4 suggests hyperthyroidism, and low total T4 points to hypothyroidism. Some conditions such as pregnancy or the use of oral contraceptives alters the levels of T4 and T3. In those cases one needs to use the TSH test only. Steroids and chronic disease may actually lower the T4 again use the TSH.
The More Medication Myth
You may have heard that thyroid hormones can be used to lose weight, even in people without thyroid disease. While synthetic thyroid hormones have been used this way in the past, research has shown that most people gain all the weight back once they stop using them. Worse, being on thyroid hormones unnecessarily can result in serious side effects.
For people who are already using levothyroxine, increasing the dose above whats needed can lead to more weight loss, but its usually not significant and those pounds are often gained back once the dose is decreased again.
This is also an unhealthy way to lose weight, as an increased dose is also associated with adverse reactions, including heart issues, insomnia, headaches, menstrual irregularities, and skin rash.
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Why Does Hypothyroidism Cause Weight Gain
Thyroid hormones regulate your metabolism and the way your body burns calories. If you have hypothyroidism, your body will produce lower levels of thyroid hormones, which will slow your metabolism and cause you to burn calories at a slower rate. A combination of these factors causes weight gain in hypothyroidism, and it is often more noticeable in those with severe symptoms.
Signs Your Hormones Are Causing Weight Gain
Several different factors can cause belly fat, including gender, age, dietary habits and amounts of physical exercise and hormonal misfiring. So how can you tell if hormones are the cause of your abdominal weight gain? While you can look out for some signs, its important to discuss any of your questions with a doctor to identify the root cause. Sometimes its not always so obvious and can vary from person to person.
Here are a few warning signs and symptoms you can look out for to help identify the cause of your belly fat:
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Can Hypothyroidism Weight Gain Be Reversed
Treatment. Thyroid disease, excess body fat, excess leptin, and leptin resistance all seem to exacerbate each other. While these interactions make treatment and weight loss challenging, modifying your diet and getting adequate thyroid treatment can help reverse some of the effects and normalize hormone levels.
Want To Learn More About Your Weight And Hormones
To make an appointment with Drs. McDonald or Wilson at OB/GYN Specialists, call 940-202-0566 today. You can also send us a message here on our website.
Our Denton, Texas, office is open Monday through Friday from 8:30am to 5pm to offer our patients the chance to ask questions, get informed, and start living the lives they most desire.
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How To Fix Your Hormones And Lose Weight
Ive hit a stubborn weight-loss plateau, writes this weeks house call, even though I seem to be doing everything right, like eating the right foods and exercising. How can I overcome that obstacle?
Ive discussed different reasons for weight-loss resistance in past blogs. Many obstacles have nothing to do with what you eat or how much you exercise. Instead, they involve things like nutritional imbalances, chronic inflammation, metabolic challenges, leaky gut, changes in your microbiome, environmental toxins and your genes.
One huge but often-overlooked reason for weight-loss resistance involves hormonal imbalances.
No contest: The monster hormone that causes weight gain, inflammation and chronic disease is excess insulin. Think of this hormone as your fat cell fertilizer! My new book, Eat Fat, Get Thin, discusses how to naturally regulate insulin so you can shift your body from fat storage mode to fat-burning mode.
At the same time, insulin isnt the only player other hormones also affect your weight and health. Three big disruptors are: thyroid, cortisol and sex hormones. I discuss these hormones in-depth in The Blood Sugar Solution, however, lets briefly look at each of them here.
Research shows hypothyroidism, or low-thyroid function, affects one in five women and one in ten men. Unfortunately, in over half of these cases, this condition isnt diagnosed.
A common cause of hypothyroidism is gluten intolerance.
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How Is Weight Gain Related To The Thyroid
Thyroid hormones have MANY functions in your body and can influence every cell in your body . These include:
- Affect your basal metabolism, which is the basic calories your body burns to live outside of physical activity
- Regulate your heart rate
- Regulate bone health and muscle movement
There are three different thyroid hormones you need to know about.
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Hrt And Weight Gain: Is It The Hormones Or Is It Menopause
If youve stepped on a scale recently and been unpleasantly surprised by the numbers, you may be searching for a reason behind your unintentional weight gain. If youve recently started taking hormone replacement therapy for menopause, you might suspect your new hormone regimen is the culprit. Or is it menopause itself?
Both menopause and HRT can cause weight gain as well as redistribution of your bodys fat deposits. But you may be surprised to learn that neither menopause nor HRT guarantees that you will gain weightand many women even lose weight during this time. Given these facts, how can you figure out whats causing you to gain weight and come up with a plan for how to stop it?
While it may not always be possible to isolate the cause of weight gain from confounding factors like aging or lifestyle factors, weight gain doesnt have to be mysterious or inevitable when you are in menopause or undergoing HRT. Understanding the link between HRT and weight gain as well as the effects of menopause on weight will go a long way toward giving you peace of mind as well as an action plan to take control of your weight. Despite how intimidating unexpected pounds can be, the good news is that you are far from powerless to counteract it even during menopause and HRT.
Weight Changes Prior To Thyroid Removal
Going into cancer treatment, you may have had some weight changes.
Maybe you had Hashimotos or Graves disease. Maybe you had symptoms of your thyroid not functioning properly and that is how you were diagnosed.
Weight gain or loss is possible prior to thyroid cancer diagnosis and treatment. However, it is possible you had no issues.
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What Are The Most Common Thyroid Diseases
Hashimotos disease is the most common form of underactive thyroid disease. Its an autoimmune disease in which the body develops an antibody that essentially scars the thyroid, making it underactive.
Graves disease is an autoimmune form of hyperthyroidism that former First Lady Barbara Bush had. With this disease, people develop an antibody that revs up the thyroid and makes it overactive.
And sometimes, women who have recently given birth develop a brief period of overactive thyroid called postpartum thyroiditis. It usually happens one to five months after delivery.
How Much Weight Gain Does Hypothyroidism Cause
Thyroid hormones regulate our metabolism. Not enough thyroid hormones available slows our metabolism and results in weight gain, says Montgomery.
People diagnosed with hypothyroidism can gain between five and 10 pounds or more, based on the severity of their symptoms. According to the American Thyroid Association, most of the extra weight gained due to hypothyroidism is due to excess salt and water accumulation. However, patients usually start to lose this excess weight after they begin treatment.
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Do You Have An Overactive Thyroid
Millions of people have an overactive thyroid gland. Many don’t know it. This condition, known as hyperthyroidism, occurs more often in women than in men. Since the thyroid gland controls the body’s metabolism, an overactive thyroid puts the body into overdrive.
The symptoms of an overactive thyroid can be subtle and suggest any number of other health problems, ranging from a bowel problem to heart disease or a mental health issue. Some of the signs and symptoms of an overactive thyroid include:
- Heat intolerance. A sped-up metabolism leads to an increase in body temperature.
- Exhaustion. A body perpetually in overdrive tires out more quickly.
- Emotional changes. Fatigue coupled with an overstimulated central nervous system can lead to a variety of emotional changes. Anxiety intermixed with depression, as well insomnia or irritability, are not uncommon.
- Perspiration and thirst. As your body temperature rises, your sweat glands tend to overwork, and you feel the need to continually replenish fluids.
- Constant hunger. As your body uses up energy, it tends to cry out for more. Some people have an insatiable appetite.
- Unexplained weight loss. Even though you may eat constantly, you could lose weight, usually between 5 and 10 poundseven more in extreme cases.
- Racing heart. You may notice your heart racing out of the blue. This can occur when you are exerting yourself or when you are relaxing. You may find your pulse is much faster than normal.
Can Hypothyroidism Make You Lose Weight
Hypothyroidism is unlikely to be linked to weight loss, because it slows metabolism, which can then lead to weight gain.
By contrast, results in an increase in your basal metabolic rate . This can lead to an increase in the number of calories needed to maintain a stable body weight.
If you have hyperthyroidism and you dont consume enough calories, you might see a decrease in your weight. However, many complex factors can contribute to weight loss, and it may be unrelated to the thyroid hormone.
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T3 Is Not A Good Test For Thyroid Weight Gain
Only about 20 percent of the T3 circulating in the blood comes from the thyroid gland, while all of the circulating T4 comes from the thyroid. The remaining 80 percent of circulating T3 comes from various cells all over the body where T4 is converted to T3. T3 is far more active than T4 . The normal FT3 range is about 0.2 to 0.5 ng/dL. The T3 test is not useful in diagnosing hypothyroidism because levels are not reduced until the hypothyroidism is severe.
How To Lose Weight When You Have Hypothyroidism
You can take several steps to lose weight when you have hypothyroidism.
Montgomery advises, The key part is for patients with hypothyroidism to keep their thyroid disease stable to set themselves up for the best
success for weight loss. This means following up with their doctor regularly, getting blood work done, and taking medications as prescribed. After that, they should evaluate their lifestyle and make sure they are eating a well-rounded healthy diet and getting regular exercise. If hypothyroidism is uncontrolled, it can cause patients to end up almost working against themselves for weight loss, making it more difficult to lose weight despite proper diet and exercise.
Additionally, take your medication as prescribed. If you are taking levothyroxine, take your tablet or capsule as directed by your provider.
Evaluate your diet carefully and make healthy changes that can help you lose excess weight. Reduce your intake of alcohol, sweets, and foods high in sodium, as these can contribute to weight gain.
Regular exercise helps boost your metabolism and energy levels. If youre already exercising, increase the intensity of your workouts or ask a fitness professional about different exercises and activities you can do to lose excess weight.
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