“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over, and expecting different results” – the quote by Einstein applies to all of us at some point in life. Nonetheless, it’s most applicable when we are trying to lose excess weight due to hypothyroidism using the same failed methods!
Is it possible to lose weight with hypothyroidism?
If you are someone who is struggling to lose weight- we hear you. And we would like to assure you that losing weight with hypothyroidism is challenging but not impossible. Hypothyroidism is a medical condition where our body secretes too little thyroid hormones. The low T3 and T4 secretion affect the body's metabolism, which leads to thyroid weight gain.
You should remember that you are not alone. According to a recent study conducted by Jeevam health, 90% of hypothyroidism patients suffer from thyroid and weight gain issues. So let’s explore the reason behind the struggle, the barriers you need to overcome, and the functional approach to hypothyroidism weight loss. Let’s dive right in!
Why does hypothyroidism cause weight gain?
To understand why people with hypothyroidism gain so much weight and struggle to shed it, you need to understand how your body works. It might come as a wonder to you that the butterfly-shaped organ and almost all functions inside your body are interconnected.
The thyroid glands secrete hormones - triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4). These hormones regulate your body’s growth, temperature, and, most importantly, METABOLISM.
So when your body produces a low amount of thyroid hormones, your metabolism slows down. Slow metabolism leads to undesired weight gain, which is common among hypothyroidism patients.
Research also states that there is a link between energy expenditure and thyroid hormones. So we must address the root cause of your hypothyroidism to understand and treat your weight gain.
Why is losing weight with hypothyroidism a major challenge?
With numerous weight loss tips and tricks out there, losing weight with hypothyroidism might seem all rosy and fun. But let’s be honest- it gets frustrating to lose weight. So acknowledge the fact that it gets challenging to shed weight. And several barriers can hinder your weight loss results.
Let’s explore some of the barriers so that you don’t lose hope in your thyroid weight loss journey.
Barriers that can hinder losing weight with hypothyroidism are:-
Suboptimal Thyroid Treatment
Conventional thyroid treatment focuses on offering thyroid replacements as thyroid medications to restore your thyroid hormone levels.
The doctor may consider your thyroid function to be clinically normal if your thyroid levels fall within the reference range. Nonetheless, the hypothyroidism symptoms will persist.
According to Jeevam health, 78% of hypothyroid patients suffer from symptoms even with thyroid (levothyroxine) medications. Research has found that TSH levels in the higher reference levels are associated with thyroid weight gain.
Our findings also state that a slight increase in TSH levels can lead to significant weight gain. So it's not your fault if you continue gaining weight or fail to lose weight under medications.
Your Metabolism Can Screw Things Up!
Do you have a friend who does not gain weight even after eating a lot? And do you feel that you gain weight with a glass of juice? Well, it all comes down to your metabolism set point.
But what is metabolism? Your metabolism converts the food that you eat into energy. It acts as a thermostat that balances your body fat percentage. It slows or increases your set point to ensure that your body gets enough energy.
As a result, hypothyroidism slows your metabolism down. It reduces the metabolism set point very low and you find it hard to lose weight.
People with hypothyroidism are more likely to be insulin-resistant. Insulin, secreted by the pancreas, is elevated when we consume carbs or sugar. But when the levels remain elevated for a longer duration, the cells become less responsive.
As a result, more insulin is required to maintain blood sugar levels. Elevated insulin levels cause weight gain and increase the risk of Type II diabetes and high blood pressure.
Functional medicine to the rescue!
Losing weight with hypothyroidism can be tricky if the root cause of the disease is unknown. Sadly, the traditional approach focuses only on replacing the thyroid hormones that make it harder to lose weight.
But the best way to lose weight with hypothyroidism is through a functional medicine approach.
According to a study conducted by the Jeevam doctors, 90% of hypothyroidism patient shows symptoms because the root cause of the disease remains unaddressed.
There are several reasons for hypothyroidism, such as inflammation, leaky gut, and autoimmunity. Thus, if the root cause is not addressed, the symptoms always persist.
And that is where the role of functional medicine comes into play- It focuses on your overall health and addresses the hypothyroidism problems that make you feel better and live a healthy life.
How Does Functional Medicine make it Possible to Lose Weight with Hypothyroidism?
When hypothyroidism causes weight gain, functional medicine approaches aim to find out the reason behind the undesired weight gain (insulin resistance, nutritional deficiencies, wrong supplements, wrong medicines, or hormones) and reverse it. It not only focuses on losing weight but also strives towards making your life healthier and better.
Not only this, functional medicine doctors consider your medical history, food habits, and lifestyle to curate a holistic weight loss plan for you. Let’s say you have an inflammation in the gut, which is the cause of your weight gain, as inflammations can lead to altered metabolism resulting in weight gain. Your thyroid expert will work to reduce your inflammation and make a personalized thyroid weight loss plan (diet, exercise, and medications) that will help you cut down some weight.
A proper thyroid diet for weight loss and functional medicine and exercise can help you lose weight with hypothyroidism and burn excess calories.
If you find it difficult to lose weight and want to get into a better shape, functional medicine can help you get there. We, at Jeevam health, work to help you find your root cause and treat it to help you get better. Reach out to us and lead a happy life.
Functional medicine recognizes that hypothyroidism and weight gain have deep-rooted causes that only cutting calories cannot address. It is a holistic approach that understands your body better (your food sensitivities, allergies, and medical history) and moves forward to address them and reverse the damage done.
While traditional medicine focuses on the symptoms, functional medicine treats your underlying causes and helps you shed the undesired weight. Said that functional medicine is not a magic potion that will show immediate results- you won't see results the next day. But it emphasizes treating you better and getting you in shape.
We're here to help. Get in touch, and we will help address all your concerns and assist you in your journey towards better health.