Have you ever heard women in their thirties and forties talking about their metabolism slowing down? This is a common conversation when women have unexplained weight gain or are unable to lose weight no matter what they try.
One possible explanation could be underactive thyroid or hypothyroidism. The thyroid gland regulates many body functions including metabolism, growth and maturation of the human body. Metabolism is essential for weight loss.
If your weight gain or inability to lose weight is accompanied by any of the following symptoms it might be worth getting some lab work done to see if you are experiencing hypothyroidism.
Do you feel consistently tired, fatigued or weak? Are you unable to tolerate cold weather or do you feel excessively cold when you're inside? Do you have memory or concentration problems, constipation, heavy bleeding or long menstrual periods? Do you have pale or dry skin? Is your hair thinning?
Hypothyroidism is an under-diagnosed condition in women. But 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 the thyroid hormones, T3 (triiodothyronine) and T4 (thyroxine). It can also occur if the thyroid gland is producing enough thyroid hormone, but the body is unable to convert enough from the inactive form T4 to the active form T3.
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.
When I am considering the possibility of hypothyroidism I always recommend lab work for confirmation. Once the underlying condition is confirmed and treated, many people not only feel better and eliminate the symptoms listed above, but they are also able to lose weight.
If weight loss is one of your goals for the year, consider getting lab work before you start a weight loss plan. It could make the difference between being successful and being disappointed in achieving your goals.