Trying to lose weight but things aren’t going as planned? Exercising hard and dieting diligently, but instead of feeling energized, you are always tired? This might be a more serious (and surprisingly, more widespread) issue than you think. Working with clients as a dietitian, I am trained to recognize hypothyroidism symptoms. What I did not expect to find out is how widespread the issue is…
A little while ago I wrote a blog about the ‘adrenal fatigue’ myth that’s been terrifying fitness enthusiasts for over a century. Turns out, adrenal fatigue is a non-issue at all and it is a term that was invented as a marketing scheme to sell more supplements that would help you get rid of this fictional condition.
But as Toronto’s weight loss coach and a registered dietitian, I have been noticing a different issue working with clients, and this one totally sucks!
As a fitness professional working at the heart of our hectic city, I interact with many clients throughout the day. And SO MANY of them report that they have the exact same symptoms: always tired, difficulty losing weight, constipation, the “blues”, cold hands and feet, and feeling puffy all the time. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, contact me – I always happy to help!
Could this be a coincidence? The fitness geek in me demands shedding light on this…
The bitter truth is that these are very common hypothyroidism symptoms, or in other words, signs of a low functioning thyroid gland.
I have helped more women lose weight that I can count (check out these body transformations!), but weight loss with hypothyroidism can be a difficult task.
This is because thyroid is literally a gland that decides whether you are going to burn fat or not. It’s main function is to control your metabolism. If your metabolism is too slow – you simply can’t burn fat.
But, the thyroid does so much more than determining how much weight you are going to lose…
Low levels of thyroid hormone also leads to poor digestive function, including low digestive enzymes and constipation. There are strong connections between the thyroid and other hormones. Meaning a woman with hormonal symptoms every month, may actually have a thyroid issue driving it.
SURPRISE!!! That awful PMS that many women experience could actually be beyond the female hormones!
Low thyroid hormone also impacts brain chemistry. For example, low thyroid hormone can cause low dopamine levels, leading to loss of motivation and will-power.
In other words, thyroid is a very important gland. It is also a very sensitive gland. There are millions of people with a thyroid problem that do not know it because of flaws in understanding of basic thyroid function and in the way the thyroid is tested today.
Here are just a few hypothyroidism symptoms:
• feeling always tired
• weight gain
• difficulty losing weight
• coarse, dry hair,
• dry skin
• hair loss
• cold intolerance (you can’t tolerate cold temperatures like those around you)
• muscle cramps and frequent muscle aches
• memory loss
• abnormal menstrual cycles
• decreased libido.
If you have several (or all of these symptoms), you should probably talk to your doctor. Hypothyroidism symptoms can be triggered for many different reasons. Unfortunately most of the causes often get missed in the conventional medical system.
How to Treat Hypothyroidism Symptoms
Without proper testing and a complete assessment, it’s hard to pin down the one or two things you’ll need to do to resolve a thyroid issue. However, when travelling down your fitness journey, you must start with the first few steps. Here they are:
- Take a good look at the hypothyroid symptoms listed earlier in the article. If you have many of those symptoms, you may want to work with a doctor to examine your own physiology with testing.
- Next, get a good blood work thyroid panel done. A good panel includes TSH, total T4, free T4, total T3, free T3, T3 uptake and thyroid antibodies (TPO and anti-thyroglobulin).
- Get it interpreted by someone who uses a functional/optimal reference range and actually understands thyroid physiology.
In the end, the thyroid is a very different gland when it comes to health, as well as our ability to lose weight. When functioning well, you’re laughing. However, when your thyroid system isn’t functioning well, there are a lot of links in the chain that need to be examined.
If you are trying to lose weight, exercising vigorously and eating healthy, it is very frustrating when your weight doesn’t budge. If that’s the case with you – contact me to schedule a free consultation and let’s start working on developing a diet plan that fits you and your circumstances!