Low Thyroid And Metabolism

“Maybe it’s a glandular problem” has become a catch-phrase in the weight loss community, with people almost hoping for this vague “gland” to be troubled so that they can find a quick, easy weight loss solution. The “gland” in question is generally the thyroid.

Your thyroid is the seat of your metabolism. More thyroid hormone means more energy, warmer body temperature, more calories burned and a higher lean body mass. Low thyroid hormones means cooler body temperature, lower metabolism, fatigue and weight gain.

Low Thyroid and MetabolismIt is important to know some of the signs and symptoms of low thyroid function:

  • Difficulty losing weight
  • Chilled easily
  • Swollen ankles
  • Dry skin
  • Dry hair
  • Brittle nails
  • Depression
  • Poor sleep quality
  • Constant tiredness
  • Lack of motivation

The easiest test to measure thyroid levels is a blood test measuring your thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH). TSH tells your body to make more thyroid hormone when it senses that your thyroid levels are low so therefore, the higher the level, the lower levels of thyroid you have.

According to conventional lab ranges based on a sick population, the normal range for the TSH is 2-10 mU/ml. However, since this is based on the average TSH levels of people going to the doctor for medical treatment, it is better to use an optimal range of 0.4-2.5 mU/ml based on the averages levels of healthy people. Any levels above 2.5 are considered suboptimal.

Low thyroid hormone levels imbalance can be a significant factor in weight gain, and in the inability to lose weight. However, if you are prescribed thyroid hormone or thyroid supportive herbs for hypothyroidism don’t expect to suddenly drop your excess weight.

One study showed an average weight loss of just eight percent after taking thyroid medicine. This would mean a person who has gained 100 pounds due to low thyroid hormone would lose just 8 of those 100 pounds after the thyroid is under control! Medication by itself is not the key to regaining normal metabolism.

Low Thyroid and MetabolismIf you are diagnosed with sub-optimal thyroid levels, you will need to address your entire lifestyle to see what may be contributing to low thyroid. Your doctor may also look at other hormone deficiencies as it is common for more than one hormone to be deficient as they are all connected.

There are many things you can do to help boost your thyroid function even if your lab tests are within normal ranges but you have symptoms of low thyroid (called sub-clinical hypothyroidism). One of the simplest things to do is to stop eating unfermented soy, because soy can decrease your thyroid function. Fermented soy (miso, natto and tempeh) does not harm your thyroid.

Also working on your sleep quality, and taking a good multivitamin with minerals such as Optimal Health Ultra will be helpful. In the meantime, take a closer look at everything else in your life that you can control: diet, exercise, and stress. – preferably with the help of the ENLITA Healthy Lifestyle, Optimal Weight Program can help you work on:

  1. Detecting hormonal factors that are preventing you from losing weight.
  2. Making the lifestyle changes that can help restore hormonal balance so that you can be on the path to a healthy and slim new you.
  3. Help you discover what to do when you are taking thyroid hormone and still not losing weight.
  4. Learn how to support your entire endocrine system and the best ways to support your thyroid.


About the Author:
Dr. Kendra Pearsall, N.M.D. is a Naturopathic Medical Doctor specializing in natural weight loss and food addiction. She created Enlita.com to help millions of people achieve optimal health, natural weight loss and life success with her free weekly e-newsletter (sign up at the top of this page.)