Weight Loss and Hypothyroidism
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Sometimes diet and exercise alone isn't enough. Many people suffer from thyroid disorders which make it especially hard to remove excess weight and keep it off. You can take Mary Shomon's Hypothyroidism Self Assessment below and see if you have any signs of hypothyroidism.

____ I am gaining weight inappropriately
____ I'm unable to lose weight with diet/exercise
____ I am constipated, sometimes severely
____ I feel cold when others feel hot, I need extra sweaters, etc.
____ I feel fatigued, exhausted
____ Feeling run down, sluggish, lethargic
____ My hair is coarse and dry, breaking, brittle, falling out
____ My skin is coarse, dry, scaly, and thick
____ I have a hoarse or gravely voice
____ I have puffiness and swelling around the eyes and face
____ I have pains, aches in joints, hands and feet
____ I have developed carpal-tunnel syndrome, or it's getting worse
____ I am having longer, or heavier, or more frequent menstrual cycles 
____ I am having trouble conceiving a baby
____ I feel depressed
____ I feel restless
____ My moods change easily
____ I have feelings of worthlessness
____ I have difficulty concentrating
____ I have more feelings of sadness
____ I seem to be losing interest in normal daily activities
____ I'm more forgetful lately

The following additional symptoms, have also been reported more frequently in people with hypothyroidism:

____ My hair is falling out
____ I can't seem to remember things
____ I have no sex drive
____ I am getting more frequent infections, that last longer
____ I'm snoring more lately
____ I have/may have sleep apnea
____ I feel shortness of breath and tightness in the chest
____ I feel the need to yawn to get oxygen
____ My eyes feel gritty and dry
____ My eyes feel sensitive to light
____ My eyes twitch which makes me dizzy or have headaches
____ I have strange feelings in neck or throat
____ I have tinnitus (ringing in ears)
____ I get recurrent sinus infections
____ I have vertigo
____ I feel some lightheadedness
____ I have severe menstrual cramps

If you do suspect you may have a thyroid disease such as hypothyroidism, then your next step is to see your family doctor and have a blood test done to check your Thyroid Stimulating Hormone level. If your thyroid is underactive the TSH level will be elevated above normal in an attempt to stimulate your thyroid to make more thyroid hormone. If you have an underactive thyroid your doctor will prescribe you a thyroid hormone supplement to help. Here is a list of some of the various thyroid medications available by prescription:

Those who have been diagnosed with hypothyroidism can tell you what a challenge weight loss is. Not only does your metabolism bottom out to nothing at the drop of a hat but every pound you gain can take months of exercise to take off. Many people suffering from hypothyroidism swear by the efficency of some diets. While nothing is substantiated by science as of yet, some people feel that certain kinds of diets are more beneficial to those with sluggish thyroids. Below are some resources and articles I have located that deal with this important issue.


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The material posted here on Low Carb for Life should NOT be considered medical advice and is NOT intended to replace consultation with a qualified medical professional. Please consult a medical doctor before making any changes to your diet or medications.

LowCarb4Life 2006
Except where noted