Weight Woes: Why it’s Hard to Slim Down When You Have Hashimoto’s Disease

People suffering from Hashimoto’s disease often struggle with weight issues. In fact, unexplained gains and difficulty slimming down are the symptoms driving people, especially women, to go to the doctor. It’s not really difficult to see why patients experience troubles losing weight. This autoimmune disease affects the thyroid, the hormone responsible for metabolism.

When the thyroid acts up, your weight loss efforts get out of whack. Then again, there are still patients who take thyroid hormone medications who still struggle to shed the extra pounds. Why is that? The fact of the matter is, Hashimoto’s disease is a complex health problem involving different systems in the body, and addressing thyroid problems alone isn’t enough. In fact, there are other reasons it’s hard to lose weight when you have Hashimoto’s disease:

You have a high level of inflammation in the body

Inflammation is a big factor in this health problem. It affects metabolism, as well as increase adipose tissues, thereby storing more fat in the body. These adipose tissues also produce more cytokines, which all the more promote inflammation.

When you have Hashimoto’s, you’re dealing with a cycle of inflammation that results in more weight and more difficulty losing weight. That’s why it’s not enough to relieve thyroid symptoms. Las Vegas-based practitioners say that holistic treatment, breaking that cycle of inflammation is crucial. The first step to cutting off that cycle is healthy eating. Try to adopt an anti-inflammatory diet. Include leafy, green vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts, and food rich in omega-3 fatty acids in your meals.

You’re in too much stress

Stress does a lot of nasty things in the body, including keeping thyroid glands from functioning well. When you’re under stress, the body increases cortisol as part of the fight-or-flight response. While this gives you the energy to deal with what’s stressing you out, it also means the body is deprioritizing body functions that aren’t necessary for overcoming stress, like thyroid hormone production.

Thyroid functions tend to slow down until the stressors pass. But then, in this fast-paced, work-obsessed modern life, stressors really never disappear; you’re just dealing with a different form one after another. This results in too much cortisol in the body, affecting thyroid functions dramatically. As mentioned, problems in the thyroid can result in metabolism issues, and therefore weight gains. This is the reason functional medicine doctors recommend not just a having a healthy diet, but learning healthy stress management techniques, too.

Your estrogen levels are abnormally high

Woman weighing scale

Hormonal imbalance is closely linked to Hashimoto’s disease. If you have too much estrogen in the body, that can result in weight loss issues. Estrogen, similar to inflammation, increases adipose tissue in the body. This doesn’t just lead to further inflammation, but more estrogen as well. This again forms a cycle that’s hard to break.

Nonetheless, a healthy lifestyle helps in bringing back the balance of hormones in the body. Eat fiber-rich food to facilitate regular bowel movements and elimination of excess estrogen. Engage in physical activities as well. Experts say that aerobic exercises can prevent overproduction of estrogen.

People with Hashimoto’s disease would really find it difficult to shed the extra weight, despite the strict diets and exercises. The key, however, is to work smarter, not harder, about healthy living.

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