Thyroid and Weight Loss
Subclinical hypothyroidism is another term for a borderline underactive test result. That means your blood test came back within the normal range, but your TSH – thyroid stimulating hormone – levels are slightly elevated.
Several probable conclusions can be drawn from this, including a transition from subclinical hypothyroidism to clinical hypothyroidism.
How Soon to Treat; The Great Medical Debate
Recent studies show that subclinical hypothyroidism is becoming more prevalent, and that prevalence only increases with age.
Currently, this borderline condition affects 3 to 8 percent of all thyroid patients. The question many specialists are trying to answer is: how soon should the condition be treated? Advocates for early intervention are quick to point out that the earlier this condition is treated, the more likely it is to be reversed and prevented from returning in the future; something that could help with thyroid weight loss, among other things.
Specialists counter this argument because more research is needed about this patient groups risk factors and response to treatment before a definitive precedent is set.
Early studies are showing that untreated subclinical hypothyroidism also put patients at risk for heart and weight problems. More specifically, atherosclerosis; the buildup of plaque within the artery walls. Once again, specialists in endocrinology caution potential patients and colleagues that it is too early to tell if there is an obvious link between these conditions.
While a consensus has yet to be reached in the medical community; a little preventative knowledge should rarely be viewed as a bad thing. The non-invasive Thyroflex Test has shown promise in giving an early and accurate diagnosis of thyroid conditions.
A Little Hope goes a Long Way
This simple diagnostic test can detect hypothyroidism at the subclinical level. All it takes is a quiz and a test of your reflexes.
Thyroid weight loss problems is one of the first indicators of a sluggish metabolism stems from coordination problems and slower reaction times. Using a reflex test, endocrinologists can accurately hypothesize how well your thyroid gland is functioning despite what your blood tests indicate.
While it is not always possible; thyroid problems that are diagnosed at the subclinical stage can be controlled with diet and lifestyle changes. Many perspective patients find his approach preferable to lifelong hormone replacement therapy.
Dietary control often does a better job of preserving the hormone conversion process within the gland; something that still needs work from a drug-based standpoint.
Hypothyroidism comes with several life-altering side effects. One of the side effects is sudden weight gain. Due to a hormone deficiency your thyroid gland becomes underactive. Coincidently, your metabolic rate slows down, which causes unexplained weight gain.
If left untreated, this metabolic fluctuation makes it almost impossible for you to lose any excess pounds once they’re gained. A lax metabolic rate in combination with the increased amounts of stress hormone released by your adrenal glands, means that you’ll have an increasingly difficult time losing weight without treatment.
A Tough Pill to Swallow
Generally, by the time symptoms like weight gain are showing up, an accurate diagnosis of hypothyroidism isn’t far off. If this is the prime suspect behind your weight gain, the conversation usually goes something like this:
Due to the way hypothyroidism works, you may have gained a significant amount of weight. Once your medications are in the right balance, the weight should come off without an issue. Sounds sensible and straightforward, doesn’t it? Unfortunately, many patients discover that the road to thyroid weight loss isn’t nearly as simple as doctors try to make it seem.
It’s not uncommon for your weight to still be an issue several months into your treatment. At this point, your doctor will likely make the argument that your weight problem is no longer affected by your thyroid function and it’s time to consider other factors that may be behind it. Patients in-the-know will tell you this argument is a little premature.
Adjusting to a “New Normal”
These blanket statements from your doctor may very well have you scratching your head; especially if you are already medication compliant, eating a low calorie diet, and exercising every day.
Regrettably, depending on how long it took for you to get diagnosed with hypothyroidism, you may be looking at a long road back to your thyroid weight loss goal, but that doesn’t mean the goal is unattainable. You’re just going to have to approach things differently.
Specifically, breaking three bad habits associated with prolonged hypothyroidism:
1. A changed metabolic set-point
2. Changes in brain chemistry related to illness or stress
3. Insulin resistance
Under-producing thyroid hormones has set off a domino effect in your body. Losing weight will automatically push the biological reset button.
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