Many people fight a long struggle against being overweight from pregnancy, or early adulthood, or even starting from their childhood. People don’t expect to see a pattern of weight gain begin to level off, or even reverse, such that weight reduction or weight loss may happen without any apparent effort on their own part.
If unexplained weight loss occurs with a great appetite, it may be due to an overactive thyroid, also referred to as hyperthyroidism or thyrotoxicosis. With hyperthyroidism, the body burns up additional food without any additional effort of weightloss. People who may have been gaining weight prior to the beginning of hyperthyroidism eventually start to experience symptoms or problems that are less welcome than the reduction of weight.
If your doctor diagnoses you, the first step is to learn whether it’s mild, and whether it might be an issue. The next step is to talk to your healthcare professional. It is ideal to wait it out to check whether the thyroid will go back to normal on its own. Following been overactive, the thyroid might even become underactive.
Untreated hyperthyroidism will fail to fix on its own. If it is untreated and severe for quite a long time, thinning of the bones might happen. Heart failure, irregular heart rhythm, or even death can result from an untreated thyroid disease. Occasionally, many individuals are treated for types of hyperthyroidism which are severe but possibly effective at self-correction that was prospective, especially with the use of drugs or medications.
At other times, the treatment includes consuming a pill of radioactive iodine. Radioactive iodine for overactive thyroid is one of the most common causes of underactive thyroid. Another option may be surgery but it’s generally a last resort.
For people who formerly had thyroid gland (hyperthyroidism) and who also have been obese, among the very annoying consequences is that the weight gain which may occur once the thyroid gland has been medicated. Weight gain following treatment of hyperthyroidism is associated, in part, to if there was already a tendency toward getting overweight. It is also related to how much weight reduction had occurred before therapy. Some people will recover the amount of weight after they are treated for hyperthyroidism, while others may gain more weight.
When an individual is recovering from hyperthyroidism, among the special skills of the healthcare specialist is to know when to start the patient in treatment for underactive thyroid or hypothyroidism. Testing is interpreted differently than when thyroid status is steady when the thyroid condition is changing rapidly. Of treating hypothyroidism , the risk is that thyroid hormone replacement therapy could result in an excessive amount of thyroid hormone. But after it is understood that hypothyroidism has occurred, then the patient usually requires lifelong treatment with thyroid hormone. The quantity of weight gain can approach or exceed 20 or 10 pounds.
What about other causes of hypothyroidism? The usual cause of spontaneous permanent hypothyroidism is the gradual destruction of thyroid function by Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (from cells of the immune system which develop from the body that destroy the thyroid gland’s ability to operate). Weight gain from spontaneous hypothyroidism might be rather small when compared with the weight gain seen after treatment of hyperthyroidism. Weight reduction in advanced, severe hypothyroidism may contribute to obstructive sleep apnea (an inability to breathe resulting in frequent awakening during sleep and daytime sleepiness). Some of the weight reduction in acute cases of hypothyroidism is because of myxedema (excess fluid under the skin), which extends away during treatment.
A blood test called TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) helps find the best thyroid dose. TSH reacts like a thermostat to blood levels of thyroid hormone. If thyroid levels are reduced, this evaluation will reveal greater than normal levels of TSH. This test provides the perfect solution is working as it should. The amount of weight loss an individual can achieve using their underactive thyroid treated is modest at best.
If hypothyroidism wasn’t found in the first place, then therapy with thyroid pills creates no benefit over enabling your thyroid to produce the appropriate amount of thyroid gland. Where does this leave the overweight person who’s considering thyroid treatment but has been proven to have normal thyroid function, or the person who is being treated for thyroid and still is having trouble achieving or maintaining body weight? If a person does not have a thyroid problem, thyroid hormone should not be provided for weight loss. Lifestyle changes may be necessary to address weight gain or inability to get rid of weight. In other words, fewer calories and more physical activity can help.
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By Dr. Alex Jimenez
Overall health and wellness are essential towards maintaining the proper mental and physical balance in the body. From eating a balanced nutrition as well as exercising and participating in physical activities, to sleeping a healthy amount of time on a regular basis, following the best health and wellness tips can ultimately help maintain overall well-being. Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables can go a long way towards helping people become healthy.
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Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CIFM*, IFMCP*, ATN*, CCST
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