Is An Underactive Thyroid The Reason You Can’t Lose Weight?

Is An Underactive Thyroid The Reason You Can’t Lose Weight?

An underactive thyroid, or hypothyroidism, can negatively impact your weight, making it easier to gain and harder to lose. It is a common reason as to why clients come to us having struggled to lose weight in the past. Hypothyroidism affects up to one in eight women. According to Thyroid UK, 60% of sufferers are unaware their thyroid isn’t functioning optimally. So could an underactive thyroid the reason you’re struggling with your weight?

 

WHAT IS YOUR THYROID?

The thyroid is a butterfly shaped gland that sits at the base of the neck. It produces two hormones that are secreted into the blood: thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). Amongst their functions, these hormones help regulate the body’s metabolism.

 

HOW DOES YOUR THYROID FUNCTION AFFECT YOUR WEIGHT?

When the thyroid is under functioning, not enough thyroid hormones are produced and this has a knock on effect on your metabolism.

 

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF AN UNDERACTIVE THYROID?

Symptoms of an underactive thyroid can include:
Weight gain
Tiredness
Feeling the cold
Brain fog
Low mood / depression
Hair loss
Dry skin

However, you don’t need to have all of these symptoms to be suffering from hypothyroidism. For some of my clients, the only symptom they’ve experienced is gaining weight very easily and struggling to lose it.

 

HOW CAN YOU FIND OUT IF YOUR THYROID IS UNDERACTIVE?

A comprehensive blood test will confirm whether or not your thyroid function is compromised. The first thing to do if you believe you have an underactive thyroid is to see your GP, however it’s important to note the limitations of standard NHS thyroid testing carried out by most GPs. Typically the NHS will only test your TSH level. Unfortunately, this really doesn’t provide a complete picture of what’s going on. I’ve worked with many clients who have been told their thyroid is normal, with TSH levels within the ‘normal’ range, only for things to be far from optimal when more comprehensive tests are run. We offer an Advanced Thyroid Screen available as a simple, at home finger prick test via our online shop.

 

WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT MARKERS ON A THYROID BLOOD TEST?

Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH)
Triiodothyronine (T3)
Total Thyroxine (Total T4)
Free Thyroxine (Free T4)
Thyroid peroxidase antibody
Antithyroglobulin antibody

 

WHY ISN’T STANDARD TSH TESTING ENOUGH?

Most experts in the field of thyroid health now agree that TSH alone doesn’t give a clear picture of what’s going on for two reasons:
1. Reference ranges. Most standard laboratory reference ranges for TSH range from 0.27 – 4.2 mU/L. However, many leading experts now agree that healthy TSH levels should ideally be under 1.5.

2. Your TSH can be in the ‘normal’ range while other thyroid markers are not. Take thyroid antibodies for example. If these are elevated it indicates that your body’s immune system is attacking your thyroid. Sometimes we can detect these fairly early on, before your thyroid has got to the stage where it’s seriously struggling and your TSH is abnormally high.

 

WHAT TO DO IF YOU HAVE AN UNDERACTIVE THYROID

If your test results indicate that your thyroid is functioning sub optimally, the first thing to do is see your doctor. It is important that you are fully assessed by a medical practitioner. You can either visit your NHS GP, or we can refer you to a private doctor who specialises in hypothyroidism.

If your thyroid is functioning sub optimally, it’s important to understand where things are going wrong. Sometimes an underactive thyroid can be the result of an autoimmune condition called hashimotots, where the body’s immune system is attacking the thyroid gland. Other times, there can be inadequate levels of active thyroid hormones produced for other reasons.

 

CAN I LOSE WEIGHT IF I HAVE AN UNDERACTIVE THYROID?

Yes. The good news is, you can. We work with many women who have suboptimal thyroid functions of varying degree to help successfully lose weight and maintain it. Dependent on the state of your thyroid health we can adapt your nutrition plan accordingly and we work closely with a functional medicine doctor who can support with medical treatment where necessary.

 

If you are looking to lose weight and feel like you could benefit from expert help, please do get in touch. We offer a complimentary 25 minute weight loss strategy call with one of our weight loss nutritionists who will take the time to listen to your challenges and help you identify the right weight loss solution for you.

 



AILSA HICHENS

 

Ailsa is one of our most experienced practitioners. She specialises in helping clients to lose weight, develop a healthy relationship with food and finally feel comfortable in their skin. Ailsa’s mission is for everyone she works with to enjoy the journey and that working with a nutritionist should not be a punishment, but your access to a new possibility.

 

Ailsa is not only an experienced weight loss nutritionist, she is also a skilled coach. She helps our clients overcome emotional eating, destructive habits and self-sabotaging behaviours that have prevented successful weight loss in the past. Ailsa has spent years in clinic working with clients who have experienced yo-yo dieting and have discovered that long term weight loss is not just about eating less until you can stand it no longer.

 

Working with Ailsa you will be comprehensively supported, not only in improving your nutrition and lifestyle, but also your eating habits and your relationship with food. When you work on all these elements together, the results can be truly astonishing.

 

To enquire about working with Ailsa, please contact us.

Test Nikki is our Practice Manager, managing our team of practitioners and heading up the day-to-day running of the business. Nikki is involved in the strategic development of our practice, coming from a strong business background in town planning. A Florida girl, Nikki relocated to the UK in 2014 with her husband and two children.

NIKKI ANDRIANI

 

Nikki is our Practice Manager, managing our team of practitioners and heading up the day-to-day running of th clinic.

 

Nikki is involved in the strategic development of our practice, coming from a strong business background in town planning.

 

A Florida girl, Nikki relocated to the UK in 2014 with her husband and two children.

STÉPHANIE ACHAR

Stéphanie is a skilled nutritional therapist and functional medicine practitioner with additional training in eating disorders, disordered eating and obesity. She believes that working towards both physiological and mental health is key in achieving optimum wellbeing.

 

Stéphanie’s personal experience of emotional eating and the ongoing struggle to find the right support led her to combine the science of nutrition with behavioural coaching to motivate and empower her clients. She specialises in helping people who struggle with their weight and their relationship with food. She helps them develop a healthier and more peaceful relationship with food and their bodies.

 

To enquire about working with Stéphanie, please contact us.

INNA WEARN

Inna is passionate about supporting women on their journey to improved health and wellbeing. She believes that the solution to effective weight loss does not lie in ever more restrictive diets, but a more sophisticated approach that optimises health and vitality, as well as promoting effective weight loss.

 

Working with Inna you will benefit from her in-depth knowledge of female health and hormones. She will support you in developing a healthy diet, lifestyle and mindset that ensures you reach your ideal weight and maintain it in the years to come.

 

Inna is passionate about food with a wide repertoire of delicious healthy recipes and meal ideas to ensure your weight loss journey is as enjoyable as possible!

 

To enquire about working with Inna, please contact us.

ANIA MASON

 

Ania is a firm believer that improving your health and losing weight should be a positive, empowering journey, not one centred around deprivation.

 

After being diagnosed with two autoimmune conditions in her twenties, Ania spent several years educating herself on the power of food and nutrition. She put it all into practise and changed her diet and lifestyle, reversing her endometriosis and thyroid disease. After experiencing such a significant improvement in her health, Ania had a big desire to help others. She embarked on a four year journey to study nutrition, graduating from the Institute for Optimum Nutrition with distinction.

 

Ania specialises in autoimmunity and works with clients who have underlying health issues preventing successful weight loss. Her expertise enables her to successfully support our clients with conditions such as hypothyroidsm (underactive thyroid), PCOS and diabetes. 

 

To enquire about working with Ania, please contact us.