HYPOTHYROIDISM is a condition in which body does not produce sufficient thyroid hormone.
Hypothyroidism in women is more common than men .Thyroid issues, menopause and weight gain are often appear together.
Thyroid gland is located at the front of the neck. Its function is to take iodine from various foods and convert into thyroid hormones namely T3 and T4. These thyroid hormones are secreted into blood and are transported throughout the body to run the body’s metabolism i.e conversion of oxygen and calories into energy. Thyroid gland is under control of pituitary gland at the base of brain. When T3 and T4 levels drop the pituitary gland produces TSH i.e. thyroid stimulating hormone which stimulates thyroid gland to produce more T3 and T4.
Vital body functions like breathing, heart rate, CNS, body weight, muscle strength, menstruation, body temperature, cholesterol levels etc.
Based on blood levels–
Measure the level of TSH and the level of the thyroid hormone thyroxine. A low level of thyroxine and high level of TSH indicate an underactive thyroid.
Standard treatment for hypothyroidism involves daily use of the synthetic thyroid hormone; levothyroxine (Levothroid, Synthroid, others). This oral medication restores adequate hormone levels, reversing the signs and symptoms of hypothyroidism.
One to two weeks after starting treatment, you’ll notice that you’re feeling less fatigued. The medication also gradually lowers cholesterol levels elevated by the disease and may reverse any weight gain. Treatment with levothyroxine is usually lifelong, but because the dosage you need may change, your doctor is likely to check your TSH level every year.
Weight gain is due to low metabolism. It is often not associated to excess fat accumulation it can be due to water and salt retention. Usually 10% of body weight is expected, but since weight gain it over a long period of time, it is difficult to experience significant weight loss.
For a faster weight loss the TSH levels should lie below 3.5 mu/l. Excess thyroid replacement leads to loss of muscle protein in addition to fat. So pushing thyroid hormone dose to cause thyroid hormone elevation may result in other metabolic problems.
In order to avoid this, healthy lifestyle changes should be made for healthy weight loss:
Restrict Junk food, aerated drinks, fried foods, sweet, bakery and salty foods
Eat salads, sprouts, steamed, baked and grilled items instead.
There are many techniques available in the market for weight loss. Be assured of the one you chose for yourself. Only a doctor understands your problems the best. Some clinic offers weight loss experts who are not doctors. Always check with a doctor before deciding on weight loss treatments.
Dr. Gauri Kanade
B.A.M.S., P.G.D.M.S., P.G.P.P.
Obesity & Cosmetology Expert