Losing Weight Doesn’t Have to Be a Losing Proposition

June 30, 2011

By Mary J. Shomon
 
Weight loss is the number one health priority for many Americans. Results from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) recently reported that just in the past 22 years, the number of obese adults in America has more than doubled. Currently, one in three adults is obese, and half of us are overweight.
 
We already know about the health dangers of being overweight. Obesity increases the risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, arthritis, problem pregnancies, and many cancers, among other conditions. Obesity is also associated with emotional effects, including depression.
 
We know that the typical American doesn’t get enough exercise, eats more than ever, and spends too much time in front of the television and computer. Those factors certainly account for some of the epidemic of weight gain in America.
 
But what’s going on when you find yourself suddenly gaining weight, with no change in your diet or exercise? And why do so many people find it difficult – or, let’s face it, pretty much impossible — to lose weight, despite even the most rigorous diet and exercise program? Is there another factor contributing to the increase in weight problems?
 
Many experts believe there is.
 
It’s the epidemic of undiagnosed hypothyroidism. When you’re hypothyroid, your thyroid gland is slow and underfunctioning. Since the thyroid is your master gland of metabolism, it has a profound impact on your energy level. The thyroid controls the way your body uses and stores the food you eat.
 
It may be no coincidence, then, that just as we’ve seen a dramatic increase in the number of overweight and obese Americans, we’ve also seen new estimates that the number of people with undiagnosed hypothyroidism is reaching unprecedented levels.
 
One 2005 study actually found that according to thyroid test ranges recommended by the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, approximately 20% of the U.S. population – almost 60 million people — are currently hypothyroid!
 
As a thyroid patient advocate, I hear from people every day who complain that they are “doing everything right” when it comes to diet and exercise. They are following a diet plan — South Beach, Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, or Ediets, for example — to the letter. They are working out, going to the gym several times a week. Some of the people who write to me are even personal trainers, bodybuilders, or fitness models – the very people who usually know best how to get in shape and stay in shape! Yet, no matter what they do, not only can they not lose a pound, but sometimes, they are even gaining weight.
 
I still remember the woman who emailed me in despair, saying that she was eating 800 calories a day, running 15 to 25 miles a week, and yet she was still gaining as much as 2 pounds a week. Sometimes, the stories defy science and sound unbelievable; I wouldn’t believe them myself if I hadn’t gone through similar periods of working out, eating little, and yet gaining weight rapidly.
 
When you start quickly gaining weight despite no change to your diet and exercise plan – or you can’t lose weight no matter what you do – one fact is clear: something is truly wrong.
 
Many people who reach this sort of crisis point with their weight head to the doctor for evaluation. Unfortunately, what they often hear is “you should get off the couch,” or “stop eating so much” or “What do you expect, you’re getting older, after all!”
 
Instead, what they should hear is “Let’s evaluate you for hypothyroidism.”
 
Because undiagnosed or undertreated hypothyroidism can make weight loss – despite diet and exercise – all but impossible, and may be the real reason why you’re suddenly gaining weight for no apparent reason.
 
Before you give up on a healthy diet and exercise program and resign yourself to being overweight, before you fill that prescription for diet pills, before you sign on for potentially dangerous gastric bypass surgery – be sure that you see a doctor who understands hypothyroidism and its impact on metabolism for a thorough evaluation.
 
A thorough evaluation should include a full clinical examination. In addition to your weight, the doctor should be looking for other common clinical signs of hypothyroidism, including:
 
•Hair loss, loss of hair in the outer edge of eyebrows
•Puffiness in the face, eyes, eyelids, hands, and/or feet
•Slowed Achilles reflex
•Enlarged neck, goiter, or palpable lumps or thyroid nodules
 
The doctor should also evaluate your medical history – that should include particular attention to a family and/or personal history of any past thyroid problems, endocrine conditions (like diabetes), and autoimmune diseases.
 
Your possible hypothyroidism symptoms should also be evaluated. Some of the more common ones include:
 
•Fatigue, exhaustion
•Depression
•Brain fog, memory problems, difficulty thinking
•Coarse, rough, and/or dry hair or skin
•Constipation
•Feeling cold, cold extremities
•Menstrual problems, fertility problems, recurrent miscarriage
·         Low sex drive
•High cholesterol
·         Husky or hoarse voice, neck pressure, difficulty swallowing
 
Your doctor will very likely also run blood tests to evaluate thyroid hormone levels and antibodies against your own gland. These tests can help detect an underactive or slowing thyroid.
 
Keep in mind that hypothyroidism diagnosis and treatment is not a magic cure-all for every weight problem. Even when you do have an undiagnosed thyroid condition contributing to your weight gain, getting diagnosed and properly treated doesn’t necessarily cause the weight to fall off.
 
Some people do have an initial drop in weight after starting treatment, but that frequently levels off. Then, continuing to lose depends on the old standbys: diet and exercise.
 
But dealing with underlying hypothyroidism does make the weight loss battle more fair of a fight. What had been a losing proposition – the ability to losing even a single pound – may now become truly possible with a healthy diet and exercise.
 
(April 2006)
 
Mary Shomon is an internationally-known thyroid patient advocate, and is author of a number of best-selling health books, including Living Well With Hypothyroidism and The Thyroid Diet. Since 1997, she has run the Internet’s most popular thyroid patient sites: About.com Thyroid Site  and Thyroid-Info.com.
 
SOURCES:
 
Fatourechi V, Klee GG, Grebe SK, et al. Effects of reducing the upper limit of normal TSH values. Journal of the American Medical Association. 2003;290:3195-3196.
 
Ogden, Cynthia et. al. “Prevalence of Overweight and Obesity in the United States, 1999-2004,” Journal of the American Medical Association. 2006;295:1549-1555. 

Written By: Steven F. Hotze, M.D.

Steven F. Hotze, M.D., is the founder and CEO of the Hotze Health & Wellness Center, Hotze Vitamins and Physicians Preference Pharmacy International, LLC.

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Contact Us

"*" indicates required fields

Agreement*
By filling out the above, you agree to receive educational, informative emails on alternative medicine and hormone balancing. You will have the option to unsubscribe at any time.
Hidden
Hidden

Categories

AboutHotze Health & Wellness Center

Since 1989, Hotze Health & Wellness Center has helped over 33,000 patients get their lives back using bioidentical hormones that restore hormones to optimal levels, strengthen immune systems, and increase energy levels. Our treatment regimen addresses the root cause of hypothyroidism, adrenal fatigue, menopause, perimenopause, low testosterone, allergies, and candida.

Led by best-selling author, radio host and leading natural health expert, Steven F. Hotze, M.D., our medical team has over 100 years’ combined medical experience backed by a staff of nearly 100 caring professionals who provide an environment of hope and extraordinary hospitality for each of our patients, who we call our guests. It is our deepest desire to help you obtain and maintain health and wellness naturally so that you may enjoy a better quality of life, pure and simple.

 

What I BelieveBY DR. STEVEN HOTZE

Do you want to live a healthy, happy, purpose-driven life? Do you want to restore your health so that your loss of energy, weight gain, joint pain, depression and lack of drive or motivation won’t hold you back from achieving your personal and professional goals?

Dr. Steven Hotze wants that for you, too. In fact, in his powerful and passionate video entitled, “What I Believe”, Dr. Hotze shares how his Christian worldview and pivotal experiences have ignited a deep desire to offer the message of hope and optimal health to all who need to hear it.


Follow Us
#hotzehealth

As seen on:

  • ABC
  • Fow News Channel
  • NBC
  • CNN
  • The Biography Channel
  • Bloomberg Businessweek
  • The Early Show
  • Good Morning Texas
  • Great Day Houston

Our Doctors

At Hotze Health & Wellness Center, our doctors are changing the way women and men are treated through the use of bioidentical hormones. Our natural treatments have helped over 33,000 individuals with hypothyroidism, adrenal fatigue, menopause, perimenopause, low testosterone, allergies, candida, detoxification and nutritional deficiencies.

Meet our doctors

Guest Testimonials

Kathyrn R.

"After a traumatic accident, I was told that I was in early menopause in my 20s and could never have children, however after restoring my hormones, I am now expecting baby #7!”

Read More guest testimonials
Pam White
Pam White
2023-03-10
At Hotze Health and Wellness YOU can truly find restoration of your health and vibrant life! You will find the most caring and effective healthcare available! Don't hesitate call them today!!!
Ron Guidry
Ron Guidry
2023-03-08
Doctors are not the final authority in our journey of achieving/maintaining health and wellness but having a good team of doctors in your support and guidance community is not only helpful it is wise and also essential. The team and staff at Hotze Health and Wellness are health professionals that you can trust to help you navigate all the misinformation that may be keeping you separated from your optimal level of health.
Caral Reeves
Caral Reeves
2023-01-17
Hotze Beauty is a first class facility! Extreme level of professionalism , knowledge & genuine care❤️‍🩹
Julie Hryszko
Julie Hryszko
2023-01-12
I’ve been a guest at this facility for 15 years. They are the most efficient, thorough and caring group of individuals I’ve ever experienced. Dr Hotze looks to change the way a typical doctor treats patients and looks for root causes to eliminate medical issues instead of treating “symptoms”. My life has improved 100% since my initial visit. The cost of the treatments are worth it.
Shavon Sisson
Shavon Sisson
2023-01-11
Always a great experience dealing with everyone at Hotze Heath and Wellness! Everyone is kind and helpful.
Kori Misson
Kori Misson
2022-12-21
I cannot accurately describe in words how I feel about this practice and the entire staff. I have had quite a few health issues throughout the years, rheumatoid arthritis, sjogrens, weight gain, hair loss, irritability, and that is just the beginning. I had pretty much given up on feeling good, just decided to "live with it" and hope for the best. Two very close friends love the Hotze Wellness Clinic and they have experienced life changing health. Made my appointment and from the beginning I felt heard. Not a in and out fast food style practice. They are looked and are looking at my entire body for overall health and wellness. Connections from mind and body to clinical blood work, even dental questions....they care and I feel as if I can trust them. I am on a path to complete wellness and my goal is to have my RA back in remission as it once was....make yourself a priority. Having hope is an incredible feeling!