Losing weight is not an easy task, but with patience and effort we can see results over time. However it is even harder to lose weight when we suffer from hypotoroidism, a condition that hinders our attempts to get rid of extra pounds.
What is hypothyroidism (why does it occur, what are its causes, etc.)
He hypothyroidism It is defined as the hypoactivity of the thyroid gland, that is, it manifests when the same does not produce enough hormones as it should for the proper functioning of the organism.
Given the the hormones released by the thyroid are essential for the correct metabolism of the body, the lack of them can reduce the caloric expenditure of rest or baseline as well as prevent many other important reactions for the organism.
The causes of hypothyroidism
Hypothyroidism can be congenital due to a defective thyroid gland or because of an autoimmune disease.
It may also be due to treatments to reverse hyperthyroidism, to medication that is ingested for a long time (for example, for psychiatric disorders), to thyroid surgery due to neck cancer as well as disorders in the pituitary gland It does not stimulate the thyroid correctly.
Other causes are pregnancy, the iodine deficiency or radiotherapy used for different purposes as experts from the Mayo Clinic point out.
Women and those over 60 are more likely to develop the disease as well as those with a family history of hypothyroidism.
Symptoms of hypothyroidism
To detect hypothyroidism, laboratory analysis of thyroid hormone levels is required. However, those with the disease may experience, according to the American Thyroid Association, any of the following symptom:
- Weight gain
- Swelling of the face
- Cold intolerance
- Joint and muscle pain
- Dry skin and hair
- Abundant or irregular menstrual periods and fertility problems
- Decreased heart rate or alterations
The symptoms they can vary from person to person and are very confusing, being able to even manifest any of them without presenting a disease. Therefore, the diagnosis of hypothyroidism is usually made spontaneously before a routine laboratory or other hormones.
The possible consequences of hypothyroidism
Once hypothyroidism is diagnosed, treatment includes daily intake of the hormone deficient chronically. With this treatment it is intended to normalize thyroid hormones in the body and prevent abnormalities in the metabolism that, over time, can give rise to many complications.
For example, goitre may occur, which is the inflammation of the thyroid gland in the face of overexertion due to normal hormone levels. It can also be caused dyslipidemia and heart problems because the heart works with reduced pulsations.
In pregnant women with hypothyroidism the consequences affect the baby and can cause growth failures and congenital defects, as well as spontaneous abortions.
The infertilityMental problems and muscle weakness can also be consequences of an untreated or time-controlled hypothyroidism. Therefore, although it seems to us a pathology without greater severity and with symptoms that do not affect us on a daily basis, its therapeutic approach is essential.
Why it is so difficult to lose weight if we suffer from hypothyroidism
As we have said, thyroid hormones greatly influence the functioning of metabolism and, as a study published in the Biochemical Journal concludes, hypothyroidism alters digestion, absorption and other reactions produced with carbohydrates and lipids. In this way, hypothyroidism is responsible for lower metabolic expenditure and of reduced or slowed chemical reactions.
Thus, those who suffer from hypothyroidism have a slow metabolism, they burn fewer calories than other people with the same characteristics without that condition and this undoubtedly makes weight loss difficult even when the energy of the diet is reduced.
The altered or reduced levels of thyroid hormones such as TSH are linked to increased body weight and obesity, as scientists in San Diego, California point out, while normalizing that hormone can produce a weight reduction on its own.
For all that has been said, thyroid hormones are one of many that influence our metabolism and play an important role at the time of weight loss.
How our diet should be if we suffer from hypothyroidism
An adequate diet together with the drug treatment of hypothyroidism can be helpful to see results in the face of our effort to slim down.
Thus, we must know that the first will be get away from miracle diets or very strict fashion, because they can slow down our metabolism even more as German scientists conclude and thus, curb weight loss or aggravate the hormonal situation.
Although science does not recommend a particular diet, the consumption of iodine in adequate amounts it favors the proper functioning of the thyroid. Therefore, it is always advisable not to miss foods rich in this mineral such as seafood, seaweed, fish and legumes.
On the other hand, a study published in the journal Nutrients links the vegan diet rich in various fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds and legumes at a lower risk of suffering from hypothyroidism, hence we should prioritize the consumption of these foods that, in a secondary way, can help prevent dyslipidemia, fatigue and other possible consequences of thyroid malfunction.
On the other hand, to take care of our health while losing weight while having hypothyroidism, we recommend avoid added salt and of course, base the diet on fresh foods as such, not in processed or ultraprocessed ones that may contain sodium, in addition to other nutrients of poor quality in excess that can also accentuate the complications of hypothyroidism.Although there is no diet with special characteristics, it is recommended to eat quality foods, satiating and light as well as avoiding very restrictive diets to lose weight with hypothyroidism
By last, make regular intakes and avoid fasting which is often used to lose weight is key in those who suffer from hypothyroidism, because the lack of energy accentuates the "saving mode" of the organism and causes a negative stimulus on the thyroid gland, which further reduces the activity of the thyroid and accentuates the hypothyroidism as noted in a study published in 2008.
So, although there is no diet with special characteristics, the important thing is to include quality foods, satiating and light that allow the normal functioning of the metabolism and do not stress it as if very low calorie diets do it for example.