Beyond just your regular eating and exercise habits, deficiencies and imbalances within your body can play a major role in weight gain. We’ve previously gone in-depth about the effects that hormone deficiencies can have not just on your physical health, but your mental health as well. However, today we want to go in-depth about specific deficiencies involving one gland: the thyroid.
You might have a passing familiarity with your thyroid gland. It’s been referenced in popular culture as a primary reason that someone is overweight or obese. In reality, there definitely is some truth to that. Though a TV or movie character might play it up for humor, the fact is that roughly 5% to 10% of people across the United States have what’s known as hypothyroidism.
Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid doesn’t create and release enough thyroid hormone into your bloodstream, which ultimately slows your metabolism and can lead to a wide range of health issues. In this blog, we’ll talk a bit more about your thyroid and this specific condition, as well as options for thyroid testing and hypothyroidism treatment in Shelby, MI at Forum Health Medical Weight Loss.
What Is a Thyroid and What Does it Do?
Located at the front of your neck (near your Adam’s apple), your thyroid is a small gland that naturally produces the hormone thyroxine 4 (T4 for short). In this case, the number 4 indicates 4 iodine molecules. If your thyroid is working properly, one of these iodine molecules will get removed by an enzyme within your body to convert the T4 into triiodothyronine (known as T3).
T3 is the active form of thyroid hormone, and it affects several crucial body functions such as body temperature, heart rate, energy, and metabolism. When it comes to your weight, your thyroid hormones help to increase fat breakdown while lowering cholesterol, making them critical to weight loss. When your thyroid doesn’t produce enough of these necessary hormones, that person likely has hypothyroidism.
There is, however, an opposite end of the spectrum when it comes to your thyroid. Sometimes, a person’s thyroid may produce too much of these T4 and T3 hormones, a complication known as hyperthyroidism. In turn, hyperthyroidism results in many of the opposite complications as hypothyroidism. Someone with an overactive thyroid might experience unintentional weight loss despite an increased appetite, sweating and increased heat sensitivity, and problems with skin and hair.
To be clear, both of these complications are medical issues that you should seek treatment for. However, hypothyroidism is much more of an impediment to losing weight if you’re already overweight or obese.
How Does Hypothyroidism Develop?
Unfortunately, thyroid issues aren’t something that people can really control in terms of developing them. Perhaps the most common cause of hypothyroidism specifically is an autoimmune condition known as Hashimoto’s disease, which is hereditary. With Hashimoto’s disease, your body’s immune system attacks the thyroid and prevents it from releasing the appropriate amount of thyroid hormones.
Of course, there are always secondary factors that can play a role in developing an underactive thyroid. There have been instances where thyroiditis, known as inflammation of the thyroid, can happen following childbirth.
Another factor that can affect your thyroid is pituitary gland failure, which can result in a condition known as hypopituitarism. Your pituitary gland, located at the base of the brain, is what sends signals to other glands in your body (such as the thyroid) to produce hormones.
Like Hashimoto’s disease, there aren’t a lot of things you can do to completely prevent pituitary gland failure. Tumors, radiation, strokes, and viral infections can all play a role in developing hypopituitarism. Significant head injuries and certain medications may also cause the condition, so it can help to talk to your medical provider about possible prevention methods if you have concerns.
How Hypothyroidism Affects People
Between reduced energy levels, a low metabolism, and difficulty breaking down fat, it’s easy to see how hypothyroidism could prevent someone from reaching their body goals. It’s harder to eat healthy and be active when you barely have energy to get through the day.
Unfortunately, however, a lower metabolism also means that a person has a thinner margin for error when it comes to their food choices. They have to eat healthier and exercise more to stay in a deficit, but they don’t have the energy to do so. It’s a double edged sword that many people with hypothyroidism face, and it’s one of the reasons why patients from Rochester Hills, Novi, Clarkston, and all of Michigan visit our clinic for hypothyroidism treatment in Shelby.
And hypothyroidism doesn’t just affect adults, either. Though it’s statistically more likely to affect older and middle aged women, Infants, children, and teens can all develop a thyroid deficiency even at their young age. In these cases, however, hypothyroidism can stunt their growth and development, leading to both delayed puberty and a shorter stature. The condition can also affect a child’s mental development.
The good news is that while hypothyroidism can affect children, it rarely does. Only one out of every 4,000 to 5,000 children develop the condition while in their youth, making it far more likely for adults to have hypothyroidism. Some of the symptoms to look for in adulthood include:
- Lack of energy or fatigue
- Weight gain
- Increased facial puffiness
- Increased sensitivity to cold
- Dry skin
- Muscle weakness, aching or stiffness
- Higher cholesterol levels
- Irregular menstrual periods
- Heavier menstrual periods
- Reduced heart rate
- And more
While there currently isn’t a cure for hypothyroidism, there are ways to effectively manage it for the rest of your life. Read on to learn more about Forum Health Medical Weight Loss’ testing and options for hypothyroidism treatment in Shelby, MI
From our clinics in Shelby, Rochester Hills, Clarkston, and Novi, we can perform different lab tests to measure your thyroid levels. The most common thyroid measurement currently is the TSH, which stands for Thyroid Stimulating Hormone. This measurement helps to stimulate the thyroid gland into producing a thyroid hormone, and we measure it opposite to your actual thyroid production.
As a result, this means that your TSH level will actually come out low if your body is currently producing enough thyroid hormones. And that means that the higher your thyroid deficiency is, the higher your TSH level will be. This can result in significant confusion, and it often doesn’t provide a complete picture of your thyroid’s function.
What sets Forum Health Medical Weight Loss apart, is our approach of measuring the Free T3 that’s currently in your body. With this test, as well as our tests for other hormone imbalances, we can determine the optimal level of thyroid hormones in your body and make a determination of whether you’re producing too much or too little.
Hypothyroidism Treatment in Shelby, MI
Based on your test results, we can provide you with a comprehensive plan for hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism treatment in Shelby, MI. Additionally, we can perform these tests and other treatments at our locations in Rochester Hills, Novi, Clarkston, and West Bloomfield
We specify each treatment plan based on the unique needs of our patients. For those with hypothyroidism specifically, our providers prescribe you the medication needed to help manage your condition. It’s important to know that, if you are diagnosed with an underactive thyroid requiring medication, you’ll need to use these medications as prescribed for the rest of your life. Not doing so can lead to your symptoms returning.
However, with proper medication management, you’ll notice improvements to both your physical and emotional health. With that said, some of the weight that you may have put on before treatment will still be there despite improvements to your metabolism and energy levels.
In such cases, we find that using physician-developed, medically supervised weight loss plans can help patients lose weight while managing their medication. Forum Health Medical Weight Loss has helped over 10,000 patients, including those with hypothyroidism, lose weight and experience a greater quality of life.
Just like your medication plan, we tailor each weight loss program to the individual and their specific needs. We aren’t focused on a specific number on the scale, but instead focused on helping you feel your best. We’re compassionate, understanding, and dedicated to helping you reach the goals that you want to reach.
Learn More About Hypothyroidism Treatment in Shelby, MI — Visit Forum Health Medical Weight Loss Today!
More than just a weight loss clinic in Michigan, Forum Health Medical Weight Loss is at the forefront of the latest specialty labs and technology. We offer a dedicated staff of medical professionals who care about your health and wellness, and will work tirelessly to assist you in finding long-term solutions. We are highly trained, highly experienced, and we want to help you!
If you think you might suffer from a thyroid condition, or if you’re struggling with your overall health and wellness, we encourage you to reach out to us today. Our team will happily go over all of your options and answer any questions you may have about your health and potential treatments.
Contact us to schedule an appointment or let us know more about your concerns using our virtual consultation tool!