It is very common for overweight individuals to have a majority of the symptoms associated with a hypothyroid-like condition. This is especially true for those who have a history of yo-yo dieting or have difficulty losing weight by cutting back on calories and trying to exercise more.
A great deal of confusion exists among patients and the medical community itself regarding the precise role that thyroid hormone plays in obesity. This is partly because thyroid lab tests often don’t correlate with the patient’s hypothyroid symptoms (patient is complaining, yet the lab tests are normal or not too far off). And it is partly because many people who are normal weight or underweight also have hypothyroid-like symptoms or hypothyroidism by lab test. I’ll explain these paradoxical situations in this article.
Numerous discoveries in the past 15 years have proven that problems with the fat hormone leptin are often the primary cause of many of the hypothyroid symptoms in overweight individuals. Discoveries in the past year have elucidated how problems with nerves in the subconscious brain induce thyroid malfunction.
These discoveries open a whole new world of possibilities for those struggling with long-standing hypothyroid-like problems and difficult body-weight issues. To understand how simple and basic problems—left unresolved—can lead to more complex problems that are much more difficult to solve (though solvable), let’s begin by understanding simple-case thyroid and leptin problems.
Simple-Case Thyroid Problems
A shortage of active thyroid hormone, known as T3 (triiodothyronine), is a primary and simple reason why so many individuals struggle with the symptoms of hypothyroid. Another common problem is that your thyroid lacks nutrients to make basic thyroid hormone, known as T4 (thyroxin). Your thyroid can be inflamed or “stressed,” which gets in the way of making T4 at an optimal rate. Your liver can be inflamed or stressed, which gets in the way of converting T4 to T3 at an optimal rate. Cells around your body require basic nutrition to carry out the metabolic instructions that T3 gives them; otherwise it is no different than not having enough T3.
Any or all of these simple-case thyroid problems happen long before true hypothyroidism, even though they cause a person to have some or many of the symptoms of hypothyroidism (this is one reason lab tests often don’t show a frank thyroid hormone problem – there really isn’t one). Even when a person has true hypothyroidism by lab test, there may be a co-existing simple-case thyroid problem, often of long duration.
Thus, people with thyroid symptoms, even those on thyroid medication, can seek to improve their healthy metabolic function by providing basic nutrients that enhance the formation of thyroid hormone in the thyroid gland, enhance the activation of T4 to the biologically active T3, and enhance the nutritional ability of cells to utilize thyroid hormone.
Supplements for Thyroid Health
I designed different dietary supplements to fill these specific needs. Thyroid Helper® provides the selenium your liver needs to convert T4 to T3. Along with selenium, manganese provides a boost of specific antioxidant enzymes inside …read more