Weight Gain – Is Your Thyroid the Culprit?

(CARLSBAD, CA) – You’ve dieted, you’ve exercised, you’ve practically set-up residence at the gym. And yet those stubborn pounds just won’t come off. If you’re doing everything right, yet your numbers on the scale keep increasing, there may be a surprising reason. Your thyroid may be the culprit!

Your thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland located at the base of your neck. It regulates hormones for almost every part of your body. Controlling the rate at which your body converts calories to energy is just one of the many duties of your thyroid. Imbalanced thyroid levels can cause fatigue, weight gain, joint pain, mood swings, and more.

Nearly 30 million Americans have some type of thyroid disorder. And guess what? Most of them are women! About 8 of10 patients with a thyroid disease are female. Women are five times more likely than men to suffer from an under-active thyroid, a disorder known as hypothyroidism. What’s worse is that the vast majority of these cases go undetected.

It’s not easy for doctors to diagnose a thyroid condition based upon physical signs alone. A specialized blood test, called the TSH (Thyroid-Stimulating Hormone) test, is conducted to measure the health of your thyroid gland.

How do you know if you’re a good candidate for a TSH test? Anyone age 35 or older should get the test. Moreover, if you have any of these risk factors, ask your doctor about performing the test:

  • Significant mood or energy level change that has lasted for more than two months.

  • Dry skin, brittle nails, coarse and thinning hair.

  • Muscle aches and cramps along with an inability to tolerate cold.

  • Difficulty getting pregnant.

  • Persistent weight gain with no plausible reason.

  • Family history of autoimmune disorders, such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus.

Once you get the TSH test, talk openly with your doctor about the results. While hypothyroidism is technically defined as a level of 10 or higher, many patients are deemed to have “subclinical hypothyroidism,” with a level between 3 and 10. Your doctor may opt not to treat your condition with medication, if you fall in this subclinical range. But, it’s vital that your doctor monitor your thyroid closely. In the meantime, you can take an important step yourself to help improve the health of your thyroid: reduce stress.

Yep, that’s right! If you don’t have enough reasons already, your thyroid health is yet another reason to take a breather. Stress influences your body’s steroid production, which in turn affects secretion of thyroid-stimulating hormones. Jazzercise Founder and CEO Judi Sheppard Missett recommends taking a brisk walk or sitting and breathing deeply for a few minutes each day to minimize the toll that stress takes on your body.

Jazzercise, created by Judi Sheppard Missett, is the world's leading dance-fitness program with more than 7,500 instructors teaching 32,000 classes weekly in the U.S. and around the globe. Since 1969, millions of people of all ages and fitness levels have reaped the benefits of this comprehensive program, designed to enhance cardiovascular endurance, strength, and flexibility. For more information on Jazzercise go to jazzercise.com or call (800)FIT-IS-IT or (760)476-1750.

Posted: 9/29/2008 10:22:11 AM by Jazzercise | with 0 comments

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