How to Eliminate Thyroid Disruptors (1:57)
We know that driving a car without gas in the tank is futile. Sure, you may last on fumes for a few miles, but in the end it will be very difficult to get to your destination. Your thyroid is no different when it comes to weight loss. According to the Canadian Thyroid Association, an estimated that 200 million people in the world have some form of thyroid disease and more than 20 million Americans have a thyroid disorder, with less than half being properly diagnosed.
Thyroid hormones regulate our metabolism and organ function. They directly affect heart rate, cholesterol levels, body weight, energy, muscle contraction and relaxation, skin and hair texture, bowel function, fertility, menstrual regularity, memory, mood and other bodily functions. Without enough thyroid hormone, every system in the body slows down. Those who suffer from hypothyroidism feel tired and tend to sleep a lot. Their digestion is slow and weight gain typically occurs. They can also experience extremely dry skin, hair loss, and slowed thinking. In fact, without enough thyroid hormone, attaining your perfect weight is almost impossible.
How is hypothyroidism diagnosed?
Four tests – TSH, Free T3, Free T4 and thyroid antibodies – are required to accurately assess the function of the thyroid gland, our master gland of metabolism. An optimal TSH should be less than 4.0, not the currently accepted 4.7 reported by most labs. T3 and T4 should be in the middle of your lab's reference range and your thyroid antibodies should be negative. It's very challenging to lower your body fat if you have an undiagnosed case of hypothyroidism.
What are the symptoms to watch out for?
The symptoms of underactive thyroid disease can vary, and not all individuals will show the same signs. However, if you experience two or more of the following symptoms, you should consult your doctor to see if a blood test may be needed:
- Frequently feeling cold or having an intolerance of cold temperatures
- Dry skin, brittle hair and splitting nails
- Hair loss
- Irregular menses or heavy menstrual bleeding
- Poor memory
- Decreased libido
- Unexplained fatigue or lethargy
- Unexplained weight gain or an inability to lose weight
- Many individuals with hypothyroidism have associated iron-deficient anemia and/or high cholesterol.