Have you ever heard women in their thirties and forties talking about their metabolism slowing down because of their age? This is a common conversation when women have unexplained weight gain.
One of the possibilities for this unexplained weight gain can be an underactive thyroid or hypothyroidism.
If weight gain is accompanied by any of the follow symptoms it might be worth getting some lab work done to see if you are experiencing hypothyroidism:
- Feeling tired, fatigued or weak
- Not being able to tolerate cold
- Memory or concentration problems
- Heavy bleeding or long menstrual periods
- Pale or dry skin
- Thinning hair
Why do I bring up hypothyroidism as a potential explanation for weight gain? It has been an underdiagnosed condition in women. With proper diagnosis and treatment women can feel remarkably better in a few months.
Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland is not producing enough of thyroid hormones, T3 (triiodothyronine) and T4 (thyroxine).
It can also occur if the thyroid gland is producing enough of the thyroid hormone however the body is not able to convert enough of the thyroid hormone from the inactive form to the active form T3 (triiodothyronine).
In both cases there is not enough of the active thyroid hormone in the body for the tissues to use to conduct normal thyroid functions in the body.
The most frequent thyroid hormone deficiency is a disease known as Hashimoto’s disease. This is a type of hypothyroidism that is caused when the body's immune system attacks the thyroid gland tissue. This can prevent the body from being able to produce the thyroid hormones T4 and T3.
[box] Dr. Dae maintains a private practice and sees patients as a naturopathic physician. If you are interested in becoming a patient, know that Dr Dae also offers services via Skype and through phone consultations. Her office phone is 202-681-0705 or email her with questions drdae@ healthydaes.com.[/box]