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Thanks for your comment. Get on the south beach diet is what I was told. Focus on relaxing and managing your stress: Leptin , Reverse T3 , Weight Loss. Stay Hydrated A surprisingly high number of people are dehydrated these days, without even knowing it.
When I Tried To Lose Weight
I'm going to teach you how to lose weight with Hashimoto's and give you the exclusive tips that I give to my patients who see me in the office which have helped HUNDREDS of Hashimoto patients lose weight. You can also find out more information about my weight loss program for hypothyroid patients here.
Say that to all of my Hashimoto's patients, many of which can't lose weight despite a 1, calorie diet. Unfortunately Hashimoto's sets your body up for multiple hormonal problems that ALL lead to weight gain:. Insulin resistance will make your thyroid worse by inhibiting T4 to T3 conversion. Insulin resistance also makes your cells more resistant to thyroid hormone floating around in the blood. This is why many people may have "normal" levels of thyroid hormone in the blood but low levels of thyroid hormone in the cells this phenomenon is known as thyroid resistance.
Cortisol causes weight gain by making insulin resistance worse. And if you didn't already know, stress increases cortisol levels - so, yes, stress can make you fat. This one goes without saying, but Hashimoto's causes hypothyroidism which results in decreased thyroid hormone and ultimately weight gain by decreasing metabolism and whole body energy production. By the way - this is also why Hashimoto's causes extreme fatigue! It's no secret that low thyroid hormone leads to abnormal menstrual cycles and estrogen dominance.
What you might not have known is that increased estrogen leads to weight gain in the butt, thighs and hips in women! When we talk about dieting most people refer to reducing calories in hopes that they will lose weight. Calorie restricted diets are especially harmful to patients with Hashimoto's and Hypothyroidism.
They result in decreased metabolism, decreased T4 to T3 conversion and an increase in reverse T3 the thyroid blocking hormone. They know something is wrong with their body when they can't lose weight despite eating a 1, calorie diet made up of broccoli and chicken breasts. Unfortunately this a recipe for disaster as it only makes your thyroid function worse read above. The idea is that your body has a built in mechanism to maintain a certain weight to maintain normal physiologic health.
If you feel like you can lose weight but you always end back up at your "normal weight" this may be an issue for you. It usually happens as a result of recurrent yo-yo dieting with calorie restricted diets. Leptin is a hormone pumped out by fat cells that regulates metabolism and weight. In normal circumstances as you gain fat mass your body increases leptin to tell the body to burn more calories.
Unfortunately, just like insulin resistance your body can become resistant to leptin resulting in weight gain and a slower than normal metabolism. Imbalances in certain bacteria in the gut can lead to the extraction of more calories when you eat, and the secretion of chemicals that make you crave foods and eat more frequently! I'm going to go over how I treat and diagnose these conditions in my practice and some tips I give to my patients to help them with weight loss.
Unfortunately for Hashimoto's patients, the thyroid is one of the major hormones involved in setting and regulating your metabolism.
If there is a problem with your thyroid hormone levels then there will be a problem with your metabolism. Put a thermometer and piece of pen and paper by your bed while you're sleeping. Repeat this process for at least 7 days you will need to do it more if you are an ovulating woman. If your metabolism is contributing to your weight loss resistance then your numbers may look something like this This is a set of basal body temperatures from one of my patients who took her body temperature every day over the course of a month.
The graph easily depicts the chaotic nature of body temperatures that are common when your body doesn't have enough tissue levels of thyroid hormone. In her case you can clearly see the numbers not only increase but become less chaotic during ovulation and after her menstrual cycle after 1 month of treatment with Armour Thyroid.
Body temperatures can be off for a number of reasons, but it is a very cheap and cost effective way for estimating your basal metabolic rate. While proper medication may be the most important factor there are still a number of recommendations you can start implementing today to improve your metabolism This happens frequently because many Doctors will treat only your lab numbers instead of a combination of your your symptoms and lab values The truth is that your pituitary gland the organ that secretes TSH is exquisitely sensitive to thyroid hormone T4 and T3 because it has different deiodinases than every other cell in the body.
This results in Doctors thinking every cell in your body has enough thyroid hormone when instead really on the pituitary dose. T3 or Triiodothyronine - This is the active form of thyroid hormone and the majority in your body comes from T4 conversion to T3 via the various deiodinases.
Most doctors give out T4 only medication and make the assumption that the body will have no problem converting the T4 into the active thyroid hormone T3. Unfortunately, that rarely seems to be the case nowadays because this process of conversion is inhibited by a number of things: Stress, Insulin resistance, Leptin resistance, Prescription medications, Chemical toxins just to name a few.
For this reason many patients seem to do better on some form of T3 triiodothyronine included in their medication. Synthroid , Levothyroxine , Tirosint. Cytomel liothyronine or Sustained Release T3 from compounding pharmacy. Many people opt to take Natural Dessicated Thyroid NDT , but some people do require higher amounts of T3 only medication and benefit from taking Cytomel alone or a combination of Cytomel and Synthroid together.
Don't make the assumption that if a certain medication worked for someone you know that it will work for you. Thyroid resistance is a newer term that refers to your cells being resistant to thyroid hormone. When you have too much reverse T3 in your blood, it sits on top of the T3 receptor and blocks T3 from entering the cells. This results in "normal" blood levels of active hormones and elevated levels of reverse T3 in the blood.
You can diagnose this condition by checking reverse T3 and dividing free T3 by reverse T3 to get a ratio. Synthroid can cause you to gain weight and it happens because of thyroid resistance.
Some people do not convert T4 to T3 very well at all for a number of reasons and in these individuals they can actually convert the majority of T4 to reverse T3 and thus block their active thyroid hormone. If you think you fall into this category get your reverse T3 levels checked, and check your basal body temperature to get an idea of how your body is utilizing thyroid hormone.
Having said that I have a couple of recommendations:. Use these tips to find a doctor that will work with you and get you on the right dose and type of thyroid hormone replacement therapy. Sometimes it can be difficult or impossible to convince your physician to prescribe you different medication or to try new thyroid medication dosages.
The second best thing you can do aside from switching or changing medication is to put extra attention on your free T3 and total T3 levels.
You can naturally increase these numbers by taking certain supplements and by following this guide. I've talked extensively about finding the right diet if you have Hashimoto's here. Diet is absolutely critical to weight loss and reducing the inflammation and autoimmunity associated with Hashimoto's disease. You're not getting the whole "Eat less and exercise more" spiel from me, but we can't talk about weight loss without mentioning how to exercise. The problem with Hashimoto's patients is that they have to be VERY smart about how much to exercise and what types of exercises they do.
These are all too common in Hashimoto's patients and they are all signs of a deeper problem. You should be exercising, but if your Thyroid medication isn't optimized or you have Adrenal problems you may be doing more harm than good with excessive exercise. If you fall into one of the scenarios above I would recommend further evaluation of your adrenal function. You would also benefit from checking your basal body temperature.
If the above tests show any issues, then address those problems FIRST before you start exercising again! While you are fixing those problems make sure you stay active by simply walking for at least 30 minutes per day. If you feel like your energy level is good enough to incorporate exercise then you may be asking: This type of exercise has been shown to be VERY effective in burning fat, and sensitizing your body to insulin.
If you're a woman you know how your cycle can affect your mood, energy levels, sex drive and even desire to work out! What you may not have realized is that these feelings correlate very well with your hormones during the menstrual cycle.
The reason is simple: These little bugs can increase metabolism, change how you digest food, alter inflammation, release chemicals that speak to your brain and even drive behavior! It's now clear that certain species of bacteria that live in your gut will either help you lose weight, or help you pack on the pounds.
Where as higher amounts of firmicutes are seen in higher amounts in people who have larger waistlines. That means if you are suffering from: If either of these are slowed down or not working properly then you are a perfect set up for gut dysfunction.
In order to treat your gut correctly you must find out what the problem is and to do that you need the proper testing. And what works for your friend may not work for you. In order to get the best results you need to be using probiotics that contain multiple species and at high enough dosages.
Using probiotics in this manner will actually help with weight loss as they reduce your appetite, alter caloric absorption of food and directly modulate fat storing hormones. You can find my probiotic recommendation here and you can also read more about how to use probiotics for weight loss here.
Proteolytic enzymes can be a huge help to patients with Hashimoto's because of the low stomach acid associated with low thyroid hormone. There are several brands you can use but I will typically start with Super Enzymes because they are affordable and work very well. In most cases I recommend starting withe basics. By doing the following things you would be able to reduce the inflammation in your body significantly:. Cortisol works in tandem with insulin and they both tell your body to take whatever calories you've consumed and turn them straight into belly fat.
We as humans were never designed to battle the continuous and constant stress that we put on our bodies on a DAILY basis. Our Adrenal glands were meant to provide us excess energy when we need it most: Our little adrenal glands can only keep up for so long. When they decide to poop out you get what is known as Adrenal Fatigue. Thyroid hormone works in tandem with Adrenal Hormones epinephrine and norepinephrine to provide your body with energy in the form of ATP, and to maintain your basal metabolic rate.
When your thyroid hormone is low, your adrenals have to work overtime to make up for the difference. Leading to debilitating and crushing fatigue that many Hashimoto's patients suffer from.
The treatment of Adrenal Fatigue deserves its own blog post but I can give you some quick recommendations to get started with right away Leptin, more specifically leptin resistance , may be playing a major role.
Leptin is a hormone that is pumped out by your fat cells Yes they do more than just give you cellulite! The idea is that as you gain fat cells, the fat cells pump out this hormone that are then supposed to tell your brain that you aren't hungry anymore and to increase your metabolism to burn the extra fat stores.
We live in a time of "plenty" and most people have way too many fat cells and as a result they have too much leptin. This sequence reduces the influence that leptin has on your brain. Your brain thinks you're in a state of starvation and severely lowers your basal metabolic rate , whole body metabolism and increases your appetite. This process is known as leptin resistance and may be one of the most undiagnosed and under appreciated causes of obesity and weight loss resistance in our society.
Which may explain why some families tend to always struggle with obesity. Leptin resistance is treated much the same way that Insulin resistance is treated.
High intensity interval training , intermittent fasting , targeted supplements , T3 thyroid hormone replacement , a diet focused on macro nutrients and with certain medications such as Saxenda , Victoza and Naltrexone or Contrave. Just recently the Endocrine Society this is the society that sets the guidelines for how Endocrinologists practice came out with a paper " Executive Summary to EDC This means that if your doctor is only testing your TSH they are behind the times Receipts have Bisphenol-A a known thyroid blocker that is absorbed through the skin whenever you touch one.
From here on out ask the cashier to put the receipt in the bag. Avoid plastic containers, Water bottles and Canned foods. Get a reverse osmosis filter for your home if possible. But remember that ANY filter is better than no filter, so just get something. This means plastic toys, food stored in plastic, food wrapped in plastic, etc. And never reheat or microwave food stored in plastic this causes more chemicals to leach out. Soft rubber manufactured before is made with Phthalates another known thyroid blocker.
This would be things like rubber duckies, not hard legos made of plastic. Or better yet just ditch the dairy because it's probably causing inflammation in your body. But at least make sure to buy organic whenever you can. If you see the word "fragrance" or "parfum" on the label, run the other way. This is code word for Phthalates. Use the resource Skin Deep by the Environmental Working Group to grade your cosmetics based on how many hidden chemicals they have.
I know we just went over a ton of information, and to help put this all together I want to show you an exact step-by-step example of what this looks like in a real Hashimoto's patient. It's one thing to read about, and it's another thing to actually put this information into practice so remember this when you look for providers! You can learn more about my approach to weight loss in my metabolism reset guide here.
It may take some time and energy but if you can go through these topics you WILL be able to lose weight. What have you found to be the most helpful "trick" to weight loss with Hashimoto's and Hypothyroidism?
Westin Childs is a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine. He provides well-researched actionable information about hormone-related disorders and formulates supplements to treat these disorders. His focus is on managing thyroid disorders, weight loss resistance, and other sex hormone imbalances. You can read more about his own personal journey here. Do you have Hashimoto's and feel like it's impossible to lose weight? Quick Navigation Increased insulin levels A. The more T4 the doctor gives the patient to improve hypothyroid symptoms, the worse the patient will feel, because too much of that T4 is being converted into more RT3.
Treating a patient with RT3 issues requires a deep understanding of the subtle nuances and complexities of thyroid disorders, as well as a willingness to treat based on a combination of factors, including patient symptoms, rather than simply relying on standard thyroid tests like TSH and T4.
A goal of proper thyroid replacement is to have an optimal metabolism, so this should be checked before and during treatment. Reflex response tests should also be done, because studies show that the speed of the relaxation phase of a reflex is a better test for hypothyroidism than the TSH. Thorough testing and examination to determine what is causing the conversion issues are key, and steps should be taken to correct any related problems.
Patients with RT3 issues often see improvement with preparations containing combinations of T4 and T3 , and especially with straight time-released T3.
By providing the body with some or all of the T3 that it needs, the thyroid will produce less T4. Conversely, continuing to give T4 preparations or refusing to treat RT3 issues means the patient will become increasingly hypothyroid.
Does it seem that your scale always seems to land on the same number, no matter how hard you diet, how much you cut calories, or how hard you exercise? Just as the body works to maintain a fairly standard temperature of The set point is maintained by the hypothalamus, and is often genetically influenced. One of the more common causes of set point malfunction is aggressive or yo-yo dieting.
Calorie restrictive diets can actually slow thyroid function, resulting in a slower metabolism. Illnesses such as chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia can also cause the set point to malfunction.
Some medications can cause the set point to increase, including common antidepressants such as Paxil, Celexa, Zoloft and Lexapro, anti-convulsant medications, blood pressure medications, anti-seizure or pain medications such as Neurontin or Lyrica, birth control pills, synthetic hormone replacement, and diabetic medications that stimulate insulin secretion, such as glyburide and Amaryll.
The set point can also increase as a natural effect of aging. However, this cause is typically related to hormone decline, which can be successfully treated. These include thyroid hormone optimization, consistency in diet and exercise levels, and aggressive management of conditions such as chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, chronic infections, and chronic inflammation.
If added support is needed, there are now medications that can be used to lower the set point and increase weight loss success. The success of naltrexone for weight loss is greatly enhanced when combined with the common antidepressant, Wellbutrin. Patients lose an average of a half pound per week, and experience reduced appetite and cravings.
In one clinical study, the LDN plus Wellbutrin combination protocol was shown to result in significant weight loss at more than twice the rate of placebo, with an average weight loss of more than 17 pounds. Leptin is an important hormone, which stimulates metabolism, reduces appetite, and signals the body to burn fat. It usually correlates to fat mass — the more fat you have, the more leptin you produce.
Women tend to have higher leptin levels than men thanks to their higher body fat percentage. Studies suggest leptin increases during the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle due to the effects of estradiol and progesterone. The body secretes leptin as weight is gained to signal the brain specifically the hypothalamus that there is adequate energy fat storage. New research has found that this leptin signaling is dysfunctional in the majority of people who have difficultly losing weight.
Studies show that the majority of overweight individuals who are having difficulty losing weight have a leptin resistance, where the brain receptors become desensitized or resistant to leptin when a surge of leptin is prolonged and are no longer able to respond to the signal.
Despite the excess of leptin the person with leptin resistance actually suffers from symptoms of low levels of the hormone. The overweight person may be feeling hungry more often and store fat too readily.
There are many factors that can negatively impact leptin levels including: Medications like Byetta and Symlin can contribute to a decrease in leptin resistance. These can have good results if given in conjunction with other metabolic treatments and following a healthy diet and lifestyle. When suffering from hypothyroidism, everything in your system slows down right down to your cells.
Hormones are not produced optimally, brain function does not work properly and every system of your body suffers, including the ability to sleep, lose weight, immune and stress response, etc. Because the body wants to normalize blood sugar levels as soon as possible, it converts the excess glucose into triglycerides to be stored as fat.
This process demands so much energy that you become sleepy. Either way, the result is elevated excess insulin. Any illness — including thyroid problems — also creates physical stress. And stress raises cortisol levels. Increased cortisol increases insulin levels. More insulin means increased chance of insulin resistance. Cortisol can also mobilize triglycerides from storage and relocate them to visceral fat cells around the belly.
All these factors mean that insulin resistance is probably even more of a factor for overweight people with hypothyroidism than for the general population. Avoiding these types of carbohydrates is essential to a long term recovery. People with insulin resistance feel tired most of the day and especially after meals, they are hungry all the time, have sweet cravings, which usually are not relieved after eating sweets, and might feel continuously thirsty.
Resolving insulin resistance needs a customized program. This involves the right diet, the right type of exercise and specific nutrients like berberine, chromium, magnesium and others. Hunger is intricately tied to your brain chemistry. Natural alternatives to boosting serotonin include aerobic exercise and the herbal treatment called St.
In this situation, hypothalamic obesity disorder can develop. With this condition, your nervous system continues to react as if you are starving, and you continue to gain weight.
Even with severe caloric restriction and high exercise, if you have hypothalamic obesity disorder, your metabolism is so impaired that it focuses on storing calories, rather than burning them, causing continued weight gain.
In hypothalamic obesity disorder, there can also be an overproduction of insulin, which can further contribute to obesity. A surprisingly high number of people are dehydrated these days, without even knowing it.
Consumption of coffee and alcohol dehydrate the body even more, as do processed foods which usually contain high amounts of salt. Insufficient electrolytes in the diet also affect hydration. When your body becomes dehydrated cellular functions begin to slow down and proper hydration is necessary to keeping your metabolism going. In addition to helping the metabolism, proper water intake helps the body get rid of toxins.
Drink half your body weight in ounces per day to ensure proper hydration, and a glass more if you drink coffee or alcohol. With chronic dieting, the thyroid levels and metabolism often do not return to normal levels; the body stays in starvation mode for years with significantly reduced metabolism despite the resumption of normal food intake, making it very difficult to lose or maintain lost weight.
Cleaning up your diet in an intelligent way is crucial. That means to avoid inflammatory foods from processed foods and ensure you are getting the right nutrients in to support your thyroid. White bread, pastries, pasta, packaged meals, artificial sweeteners, processed dairy and desserts all need to be avoided. Choose high quality, organic protein, fat and vegetables and limit your fruit intake to keep a healthy blood sugar level.
Going for long stretches without eating when you have dysglycemia, an abnormality in blood glucose levels, exacerbates your blood sugar issues, affecting other multiple metabolic processes in your body.
Nuts, seeds, a boiled egg, cheese or meat are some examples of protein snacks. Weight loss is very important to eliminate insulin resistance. The less you weigh, the less insulin resistant you will be. Even a daily brisk walk of 45 minutes to an hour can substantially reduce insulin levels.
You can schedule this activity around the hours when you feel most rested. Exercising will help boost your metabolism, raise your resting metabolism, and burn calories. But as it is with food, there is no one size fits all type of exercise for everyone. It is crucial to have your stress level assessed before you start doing more vigorous exercise.
When we are exposed to any combination of stressors that elevate our stress hormone beyond the optimal, our repair hormones are suppressed. It has been shown that women or men who perform more than moderate exercise, especially when associated with dieting, have reduced T4 to T3 conversion and increase reverse T3, counteracting many of the positive effects of exercise in women including weight loss.
Lack of sleep, and especially chronic sleep deficit can have many negative reactions by affecting your hormones. It affects your ability to manufacture thyroid hormone properly and may impair T4 to T3 conversion, a crucial process for thyroid function. It lowers your production of growth hormone, which can help with weight loss and metabolism and interferes with the production and cycle of adrenal hormones.
This can also lead to increased belly fat. Sleep deprivation affects hormones that control appetite and in particular, cravings for simple carbohydrates and junk food. It also reduces levels of the hormone glucagon, which helps release fat from your cells. Less sleep means less fat is released. So these are plenty of good reasons to aim for the much-needed 8 hours of sleep, and an early enough bedtime.
He is also founder and director of the non-profit National Academy of Hypothyroidism NAH , which is dedicated to dissemination of new information to doctors and patients on the diagnosis and treatment of hypothyroidism.
Holtorf has personally trained numerous physicians across the country in the use of bioidentical hormones, hypothyroidism, complex endocrine dysfunction, and innovative treatments of chronic fatigue syndrome, weight loss, fibromyalgia, and chronic infectious diseases, including Lyme disease. I founded Hypothyroid Mom October in memory of the unborn baby I lost to hypothyroidism. Hypothyroid Mom is for informational purposes only and should not be considered a substitute for consulting your physician regarding medical advice pertaining to your health.
I have tears running down my face. I have been to three endocrinologists and no help. I had surgery to remove a nodule and go to a follow up to find that I that half my thyroid and the isthmus in the middle was taken. Yet I am told my levels are normal.
I can barely make it through a day with the fatigue, aches and memory haze. I went from to in 6 months. I been told there is no reason why I should feel this way.
Get on the south beach diet is what I was told. I want to feel like me again. I cried reading your post. You are me a year ago. This was huge for me! Check your RT3 level! The T4 to T3 conversion can be negatively impacted by gut problems. Also, I took 30mcg Liothyronine cytomel T3 for 6 months and my energy increased just enough so I could research and begin to correct the gut issues.
Read up on adrenal fatigue. I was stage 2 adrenal exhausted which can impact the thyroid. It can be corrected. Yoga helped me a lot. I got rid of the stupid main stream doctors.
Beware of supplement and vitamin snake oil salesmen and some Natural-paths. I cut out all sugar and caffeine. Let your adrenals heal. Food became life saving medicine instead of entertainment. Know that you are not alone.