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Hypothyroidism and Weight Loss

Kathryn Lively

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Are you the type of person who does everything he or she is supposed to do in terms of weight loss, but can't seem to shed the pounds? Do you eat right, exercise regularly, and do your best to take care of yourself, yet others lose weight doing the same things while you do not? While one should not stop the healthy habits, regardless of result, it is necessary to consult with a doctor to see if you have a condition that hinders weight loss. Hypothyroidism is one such condition.

Hyothyroidism is the condition of having an under active thyroid. The thyroid is a gland located just beneath the voice box, or larynx, and is responsible for regulating metabolism, growth, and the body's calcium levels. Patients diagnosed with hypothyroidism have thyroids that do not secrete enough of the thyroid hormone needed to balance these levels. In turn this may lead to a low metabolism and eventual weight gain. People with hypothyroidism may find it difficult to lose weight as well?

How can I tell if I have an underactive thyroid?

Ultimately a doctor will diagnose for certain, and you should consult with a doctor if you have any or all of the following symptoms:

  • Constant fatigue
  • Constipation
  • A hoarse voice and a greater tendency to catch cold
  • Swelling in the face and neck
When you can, have your thyroid levels checked on a regular basis, especially as you get older. Hypothyroidism is most common in middle-aged women.

What can I do to treat hypothyroidism?

Only a doctor can prescribe medication if necessary to treat an under active thyroid. However, there are preventative measures you can take that will also benefit your entire body:

  • Regular exercise - 30 minutes a day
  • Eating foods high in selenium: tuna, tomatoes, broccoli, and whole wheat bread are good examples
  • Reduce caffeine intake
  • Avoid smoking and reduce alcohol intake
  • Avoid foods rich in iodine, as high iodine levels can contribute to hypothyroidism

Once you know you have this condition, you can work to circumvent any problems that may be obstacles in your weight loss goals.

Kathryn Lively is a freelance travel and health writer who writes for Compuslim, custom fit weight loss for busy lifestyles.


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