Lose weight with hypothyroidism
With an underactive thyroid, the so-called Hypothyroidism, the thyroid produces too little or no thyroid hormones. The thyroid gland is a hormone-producing gland in the front of the neck below the larynx.
The thyroxine hormones produced by the thyroid gland (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3) affect all metabolic pathways in humans and, depending on the extent of hypothyroidism, the symptoms can vary in severity. An underactive thyroid often leads to weight gain along with many other symptoms.
Why is it so difficult to lose weight with an underactive thyroid?
The thyroid hormones T3 and T4 come from a very small gland in the neck area, but they have an enormous influence on metabolism, circulation, growth and psyche. The thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) from the brain regulates the production of the thyroid hormones T3 and T4. If the hormonal balance is imbalanced, as is the case with an overactive or underactive thyroid, this has an impact on almost all metabolic processes in the body.
In the case of hypofunction, the metabolic processes slow down and the daily energy requirement drops significantly. The consequences are that those affected feel weak and gain weight, although they do not necessarily eat more. Often there is also fluid retention. The body's basal metabolic rate decreases and it is easier to gain weight even if you stop eating. With an underactive thyroid, it is easy to gain weight because the body needs fewer calories and the metabolism is generally slower. It just means that it is harder to lose weight, not impossible. There are tips to help you lose weight over the long term despite an underactive thyroid.
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- Symptoms of an underactive thyroid
The most important tips
First of all, you should work with a doctor to find the cause of the hypothyroidism and, if necessary, take appropriate medication to compensate for the lack of thyroid hormones. The hormone levels in the blood are essential for this.
Read more about this under Thyronajod®
An important tip to lose weight despite an underactive thyroid is the right diet. That means little fat, a lot of fruit, vegetables, whole grain products and a diet rich in fish is particularly useful. The menu should be reduced in calories and varied in order to stimulate the metabolism. In addition to a change in diet, exercise should be done to stimulate the metabolism and burn fat.
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In general, be patient. If the underactive thyroid has not been known for a long time or if the medication is not adjusted well enough, it can take a few months for the metabolism to change. This means that losing weight can take place slowly but surely.
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In order to lose weight in a targeted manner with an underactive thyroid, it is important to stick to a suitable diet. In general, the diet should be reduced in calories, since the body has a lower basal metabolic rate in hypothyroidism. The meals should consist of a varied mixed diet, mostly fruit, vegetables and valuable whole grain products, meat should only be eaten occasionally and if so, then low-fat meat.
It is very useful to eat fish regularly because it contains a lot of iodine. The trace element iodine is essential for the body to produce thyroid hormones. In addition, fish contains a lot of protein and therefore keeps you full for a long time. A protein-rich diet is generally well suited for losing weight with an underactive thyroid in order to use it as an energy source for the body. Creating a nutrition plan with a weight log to help control yourself can help. You can get help from a nutritionist who is generously subsidized by some health insurance companies.
Read more about this under Food pyramid and Nutritional advice.
Exercise is basically a good support to lose weight permanently and this also applies to the presence of an underactive thyroid. Which sport and how often and how intensely is different from person to person. The current fitness level, existing comorbidities, obesity and possible joint problems caused by being overweight must be included in the training program. It can be useful to ask an experienced doctor or sports therapist.
In order to lose weight despite having an underactive thyroid, you should exercise regularly and consistently. Endurance sports such as swimming, Nordic walking or cycling are ideal. Dancing also burns a lot of fat and is fun. If you enjoy the sport, it is easier to stick to it. Sport in a group or team can increase motivation even more.
Read more about this under Lose weight with exercise
Especially at Hashimoto
An underactive thyroid is the most common thyroid disease in Germany, affecting around 1% of Germans.
Hashimoto's thyroiditis is a special form of hypofunction. This is a chronic inflammation of the thyroid gland, in which the body mistakenly attacks the thyroid gland. In this autoimmune disease, antibodies are produced against thyroid enzymes and proteins that destroy the thyroid tissue. Hypofunction is the subform of Hashimoto's thyroiditis autoimmune thyroid disease type 2A. However, at the beginning of the disease, those affected often have an overactive function, which changes to permanent underactive after a short time. If there is Hashimoto's thyroiditis with an underactive thyroid, this must be treated and observed by a doctor.
The same applies here that a change in diet is necessary for weight loss. A low-calorie mixed diet and physical activity lead to weight loss in the long term and effectively boost the metabolism.
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Lose weight through the use of tablets
An underactive thyroid must generally be clarified by a doctor, as complications can occur on the heart and to prevent permanent damage. Since there are too few thyroid hormones (T3 and T4) in the blood in the case of an underactive thyroid, these can be administered in the form of tablets. Mostly those affected are given thyroxine (T4) in the form of Levothyroxine given. Setting the correct dose of the drug can take several months to a year. With the correct dosage there are usually no side effects, with an overdose symptoms of an overactive thyroid would occur.
Many people who suffer from an underactive thyroid and want to lose weight have to take tablets to compensate for the lack of thyroid hormones. The good thing is that this way you can quickly boost your metabolism, the body uses more calories and the basal metabolic rate increases.
In homeopathy there are remedies for treating the thyroid in addition to conventional medical care. Graphites and Pulsatilla are used for the subfunction. These homeopathic remedies are said to help speed up the metabolism and promote digestion. Thuja, Kalium carbonicum and Silicea, the tree of life, are said to help with tiredness and water retention.
What are the risks / dangers?
Particularly severe weight loss generally harbors the risk of a yo-yo effect if the diet is neglected after the diet.
However, if the diet is changed positively and exercised regularly, the risk of this is low.
The greatest danger lies in the hypofunction itself, as this, if left untreated, leads to a slowed heartbeat. In the long term, complications and permanent damage can arise if hypothyroidism is not treated. Therefore, a doctor should always be consulted to clarify the hypothyroidism and, if necessary, to adjust it with medication.
How can I avoid the yo-yo effect with this diet?
If the aim is to lose weight with thyroid function as recommended, i.e. with a balanced diet and endurance sports, the yo-yo effect can be successfully avoided. It is essential that the diet is changed over the long term and that the number of calories remains reduced as long as the hypofunction is present, since the basal metabolic rate and metabolism are reduced during this state.
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