Weight Loss and Thyroid

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By Dr. Richard Chern, MD

Dr Richard ChernLast month we discussed our quick weight loss program. This month I will discuss how even mild thyroid dysfunction can cause weight gain over months and years. And this weight gain is nearly impossible to lose and keep off without getting the thyroid optimized.

The thyroid regulates every metabolic process in our body. This includes growing hair and fingernails, moisturizing your skin for less dryness and a better appearance. It also means keeping our toes warm, and our brains focused and working.

The thyroid determines how many calories we burn for each process. With age, thyroid function often decreases causing weight gain. So how does this cause weight gain?

Imagine you are in your 30’s. Your thyroid is functioning perfectly and your weight has been the same for years. Your calorie intake matches your calorie output. If you are eating 1500 calories a day then you must be burning 1500 calories a day. Now fast forward 10 years. You haven’t changed a thing, but your body has decided that adding color to your hair is no longer a priority, and also, that your hair and fingernails do not need to be made as fast or as well. Your hair gets some gray, and becomes more coarse, dry or brittle. You don’t need to trim your nails nearly as often and they seem brittle and thin too. You are getting tired and unfocused in the afternoon and either nap, drink caffeine or just push yourself though the day. And you notice your weight is creeping up!

Now the diet and exercise is a start, but it’s always a struggle and seems less and less successful. What is going on? It’s you thyroid! Even though you haven’t changed anything in your life, your body has decided to burn less calories. You’re still eating 1500 calories a day and have exactly the same activity level, but your body is slacking on the job. Maybe your body is just burning 50 calories less a day. That’s five pounds of weight gain every year! And as you decrease your calorie intake or increase your exercise, your body continues to burn fewer and fewer calories each year. So, your diet and exercise just gets more difficult.

What’s the solution? Get your thyroid functioning! When you turn the thermostat up, you burn more fuel. Hair, nails, skin, energy, focus improves and weight loss can happen without effort.

But my doctor says my thyroid labs are normal. We hear this a lot and, unfortunately, traditional medicine only orders a TSH and stops. Dr. Richard Chern, MD, orders numerous thyroid labs and understands that normal and optimal do not always agree. Of course, optimizing thyroid without also optimizing hormones is like going shopping without your credit card.

Dr. Richard Chern specializes in bio-identical hormone and thyroid optimization. He is the only Platinum Provider for BioTE in the region and mentors other physicians on the practice of bio-identical hormone therapy. Call Dr Richard Chern, MD at 850-837-1271 for an appointment and turn your body back on!