Hormones are the messengers around your body, regulating most of your bodily functions. This includes temperature, hunger, blood pressure, blood sugar, growth, sex drive and function, sleep, mood and so much more.
The thyroid, and the hormones it produces, have a direct impact on your ability to lose weight. Discover the thyroid’s role in weight management, and how hormone therapy may help you lose the weight that’s proved difficult to shed.
The Thyroid’s Role in Bodily Regulation
The thyroid’s primary function is regulating your body’s metabolism. Metabolism is simply the process your body uses to convert what you consume into the energy your body can use.
An overactive thyroid, called hyperthyroidism, causes your metabolism to function at too high of a rate. While an overactive metabolism may sound good if you’re trying to lose weight, it also puts strain on other areas, like your heart.
An underactive thyroid is usually the concern when you have difficulty losing weight. Called hypothyroidism, this slows your metabolism so that your body doesn’t burn as many calories as it normally would.
Hormone therapy adds a missing or improperly balanced hormone to your system to help your body function at the right level. In the case of an underactive thyroid, it adds thyroid hormone so that your body metabolizes your food properly, giving you these five benefits as you attempt to lose weight.
1. Increased BMR
The first thing that hormone therapy will do is increase your BMR or basal metabolic rate. This is how much energy your body burns while at rest. By increasing your BMR to a healthy level, you keep your body burning more calories even when you’re not actively exercising.
Of particular concern is your body’s fat metabolism. To drop weight, you need to burn the excess fat that’s accumulated throughout your body. Thyroid hormones specifically impact how your body metabolizes fat, increasing that function when your thyroid levels return to a healthy level.
2. Better Carbohydrate Metabolism
In addition to fat metabolism, you want to consider how your body metabolizes carbohydrates. This does not mean you can consume a high-carb diet and expect to lose weight. However, without processing carbs properly, your body will pack on fat.
Properly regulating your thyroid’s hormones ensures your body is converting carbohydrates into glucose. It goes a step further and works to help regulate glucose levels within your body so that your cells have the glucose needed to function, especially in your brain.
3. Improved Energy Levels
Going a step further with the idea of glucose, thyroid levels help regulate your energy levels. A common symptom of insufficient thyroid hormones in your body is a general feeling of fatigue, even to the point of falling asleep at dangerous times like while driving. The less energy you feel like you have, the less movement you’ll have and the fewer calories you’ll burn.
Your body’s cells need glucose as their fuel to perform their primary function. Studies have shown a connection between low thyroid hormones and reduced glucose availability in your brain. When your brain doesn’t have enough fuel, you experience that generalized fatigue and an inability to stay awake.
4. Reduced Appetite
Hormones control your appetite, with certain hormones signaling the feeling of being hungry or full. The connection between low thyroid hormones and increased appetite is not fully understood.
However, when you lack energy, your body seeks sources for more energy, which is commonly food. As your energy levels improve with better brain glucose concentrations, you may experience a reduction in appetite. Consuming fewer calories means your body will switch from burning calories from consumed food to burning calories from fat.