Are you getting fat for no reason? It could be your thyroid. Hypothyroidism and weight loss go hand in hand. Your thyroid gland regulates metabolism. Metabolism is breaking down the food you eat to produce energy and the breakdown products are used to build new cells and tissues. Every cell is affected the thyroid hormone level in your body. When thyroid hormones are low you will suffer from hypothyroidism and weight loss will become difficult if not impossible.

Hypothyroidism and Weight Loss: How thyroid affects carbohydrate metabolism

Thyroid hormone stimulates carbohydrate metabolism. Carbohydrates such as starch, sugar, and refined or processed foods are broken down or metabolized to glucose. If glucose is not burned to produce energy, it is stored as fat in the form of triglycerides in your organs and tissues, especially the belly. Thyroid hormone

Stimulates the entry of glucose (sugar) into cells to be burned.

Releases energy when needed by telling the liver to generate free glucose.

If you have hypothyroidism and weight loss is your goal, you are missing the signal to burn carbohydrates and they will be stored as fat making it hard if not impossible to lose weight.

Hypothyroidism and Weight Loss: How thyroid affects fat metabolism

Fat is meant to store fuel to be used in case of famine. With the plethora of food and junk food in our society, this doesn’t happen for more than a few hours. Therefore, excess calories will be stored as fat in your belly, liver, pancreas and throughout your body. This will affect the functioning of your liver and pancreas leading to fatty liver, insulin resistance, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, high cholesterol and weight gain.

Thyroid hormone:

Stimulates fat mobilization from the stores in your belly and internal organs.

Increases basal metabolic rate to burn fat and calories

If hypothyroid and weight loss is a goal, you may be fighting a losing battle because you can’t burn fat without the signal from your thyroid

Hypothyroidism and Weight Loss: How heat burns calories

Every cell in your body is affected by thyroid hormone. Optimal levels of thyroid hormone will regulate your basal metabolic rate. Your basal metabolic rate is the rate the body uses energy while at rest to keep vital functions going, such as breathing and keeping warm. Thyroid hormone:

Raises the basal metabolic rate and keeps you warm.

If thyroid hormone is low, the spark to burn energy and raise your metabolic rate is missing

If you are hypothyroid and weight loss is your goal, you most likely fail to lose weight. You will store fat in your sub cutaneous tissue to keep warm.

Hypothyroidism and Weight Loss: What is an optimal thyroid level?

There is much debate regarding what a normal thyroid level is. Normal is determined by looking at a large population and determining the range where people experience overt symptoms of hyper (high) or hypothyroidism (low). If you have hypothyroidism and weight loss is your goal, be sure you have optimum levels.

Free T3 and Free T4 levels the only accurate measure of the actual active thyroid hormone levels in the blood, Normal and optimum are not the same. Thyroid hormone levels are optimum when:

TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) is between 0.2 to 2

Free T 4 is 0.7 to 2.0.

Free T 3 is between 3.5 and 4.5

Thyroid hormone plays a major role in weight loss as well as many other metabolic functions. Be sure to check your thyroid levels because if you have hypothyroidism and weight loss is your goal, you may be fighting a losing battle. A functional medicine doctor can treat the complexity of thyroid disorder and have you functioning optimally so you can lose weight and feel great. Read more about getting thyroid hormone right to lose weight and feel great and schedule a consult to get your levels checked.

Author's Bio: 

Lorraine Maita, MD is a recognized and award winning physician and author transforming people's lives through preventive and anti aging medicine. She is a Diplomate of the American Academy of Anti Aging and Regenerative Medicine and Board Certified in Internal Medicine and has over 18 years experience in Preventive Health and Wellness, Internal, Occupational and Travel Medicine and Executive Health.

Dr. Maita served as Vice President and Chief Medical Officer at Prudential Financial, Medical Director on The Pfizer Health Leadership Team and Medical Director of North America for Johnson & Johnson Global Health Service and was an attending physician at St.Luke's/Roosevelt Hospital, Emergency Department and Executive Health Examine rs in New York City. She is a consultant for companies wanting to develop or enhance their employee and occupational health and wellness programs and has a private practice in Short Hills, NJ.

She is author of "Vibrance for Life: How to Live Younger and Healthier".