An under-active thyroid can make weight loss really difficult, and can even cause weight gain.  But how do you know if your thyroid is under-active?

 

Also known as hypothyroidism, an under-active thyroid can impact your health in a number of ways.  Your thyroid gland is situated in your throat area, and the hormones produced by your thyroid are responsible for regulating your metabolism.

 

There are a number of reasons why you might have hypothyroidism or an under-active thyroid (read more here).*link: “blog: 3 Reasons Your Thyroid Isn’t Working Properly”  If you’ve noticed any of the following symptoms recently, you might want to get some blood tests done to check for hypothyroidism.

 

1. Difficulty losing weight

 

A lack of thyroid hormones means that your body isn’t as effective at converting fats, proteins and carbohydrates into energy.  And if you’re not converting them into energy, they’re more likely to be stored as body fat. Thyroid problems can also impact your reproductive hormones, which can exacerbate any difficulty in losing weight.

 

2. Dry skin

 

Dry, rough skin is common in people with hypothyroidism, and the skin may even take on a scale-like appearance.  Your hair might feel coarse, dry and brittle, and hair loss is not uncommon in women with an under-active thyroid.

 

3. Depression/low mood

 

The brain tends to be quite sensitive to low levels of thyroid hormone, which occurs in hypothyroidism.  For this reason, depression, weakness and fatigue can often be the first symptoms of hypothyroidism. Later-stage hypothyroidism can cause difficulty concentrating and poor memory/forgetfulness.

 

4. Constipation

 

Constipation is a very common symptom of hypothyroidism.  Without enough thyroid hormones, a lot of your body’s normal function slow down, and your digestion is no different.  Hypothyroidism slows down the movement of the digestive tract, and when the muscles lining the intestines aren’t moving properly, it causes constipation.

 

5. Sensitivity to cold temperatures

 

An important role of the thyroid is thermoregulation, which basically means maintaining a normal, stable body temperature.  So when thyroid hormones are too low, you might experience an increased sensitivity to cold temperatures, or difficulty staying warm.

 

As always, many of the symptoms above can be linked to a number of issues and disorders, so be wary when self-diagnosing.  However, if you are experiencing 3 or more of the symptoms above, I would highly recommend going to your GP or health care professional and getting a blood test to check your thyroid hormone levels.  If you need some help understanding your thyroid blood tests, read my post here.

 

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