I shared with you recently that I found out that I am having thyroid problems. But what does that even mean?
I guess we first should talk about what the heck your thyroid is anyway. As you probably have heard it's the master of your metabolism. When we think 'metabolism' weight management is immediately what comes to mind right? That is part of it, but there is much more to it than that.
Our thyroid controls energy. So if you are cold, it will get your body to create more heat. If you have the flu the thyroid will rev up your immune system. If you are experiencing the opposite and your body is totally revved up from too many stressful days and work fueled by coffee it is in charge of slowing the body down. The thyroid is one of the organs that is in charge of keeping our bodies balanced.
The hormones that the thyroid outputs controls the way every single tissue and every single cell in our body uses energy. Low thyroid=low energy.
A properly working thyroid is essential if you want to be happy, energetic, vibrant... and warm.
It's important. To say the very least.
There are several different expressions of hypothyroidism. My body specifically is not able to convert the hormones into a form my body can actually use. There are two main thyroid hormones, T4 and T3. T3 is the more active form. Even if your body is making a sufficient amount of T4, if it never gets converted to T3 it’s not doing much good. T3 is very powerful though, and so we make mostly T4 and then the body is supposed to convert what it needs.
This is a type of Hypothyroid that is grossly under diagnosed. Doctors usually only run blood tests on your TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) and T4 levels. Unfortunately this is only a small piece to a very large thyroid puzzle.
Now, I know everyone wants to go and blame their thyroid for their inability to lose weight. Let’s not get too hasty. But if you have already cleaned up your diet, and focus on eating healthful real foods, taken gluten out, stay active, and don’t over indulge in toxic substances (a glass of wine here and there is not gonna kill ya) and STILL are gaining or are unable to lose weight plus have other symptoms you may want to ask your doctor to check your Free T3, Free T4 and Thyroid antibodies.
The other symptoms can include:
- Feeling tired/sluggish
- Constantly cold; especially hands and feet
- Require an excessive amount of sleep
- Depression or lack of motivation
- Morning headaches that wear off throughout the day
- Dry skin
- Thinning of hair
Health is a complicated thing, and obviously these signs can indicate some other imbalance in the body. But if you continue to experience several of these after addressing diet, digestion and activity levels it would be something to look into. Make sure to get the right tests, and don’t just settle on the normal TSH/T4 blood tests. There is so much more to it than that.
There is a large community of people who are struggling with the same thing your are. So reach out, connect with others, get support and seek out the right information.
Be an active participant in your health! Don't just accept living sub optimally because you deserve to live the a fulfilling, vibrant, energetic and happy life!