Despite your best dieting and exercise efforts, you’re not losing weight and finding it even harder to keep weight off. Worse, you’re exhausted and can’t seem to pull yourself out of the dumps. There’s a good chance you’ve got hypothyroidism and your weight loss efforts are the root cause. We talked with Dr. Elizabeth Lyster from the Holtorf Medical Group in Foster City, California, about the impact of dieting on the thyroid.
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Weight loss tips for women with hypothyroidism
Dr. Lyster is optimistic for women with hypothyroidism who want to lose weight. Instead of accepting the condition as a lifelong sentence of being overweight, follow these diet tips for successful weight loss.
Get tested for hypothyroidism
The first step in treating hypothyroidism is getting properly diagnosed. "Women need to have the right thyroid tests done and then need to take the correct thyroid hormone replacement," states Dr. Lyster. "Further, the American diet usually has enough iodine in it (such as from iodized salt and seafood), but your iodine level can also be checked in order to know whether a supplement would be helpful."
Follow a sensible diet that doesn't starve your body. "Remember that the conversion of T4 to reverse T3 with severe or prolonged diets is a major cause of failing to lose weight and quickly regaining weight after a restrictive diet is stopped," the medical expert warns.
Even though disease and crash dieting can stress your body, you're also faced with daily stresses related to work, family and life. Dr. Lyster says good stress management is crucial in preventing and treating hypothyroidism. She also suggests getting enough sleep in order to lose weight effectively.
Just as restrictive dieting can affect your thyroid, chowing down on processed foods can also cause stress to your body. Dr. Lyster says, "It is wisest to have a healthy, balanced diet with lean proteins and plenty of vegetables, with limited amounts of processed foods and refined sugar."
Living with hypothyroidism
Recently diagnosed with hypothyroidism, one woman discusses her struggle with tiredness and weight gain.
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