How optimized thyroid function is essential to great energy and successful weight loss. The obesity epidemic continues to progress at an intense rate here in the US as well as other developed countries. And yes, though the food we consume plays a HUGE role, not to be forgotten is the dramatic impact of hormones. The thyroid gland in particular has thermogenic (heat-producing) properties that have a direct effect on brown and white adipose tissue (aka fat cells). It can be a key factor in robust, focused weight loss. It can also be the main issue underlying terribly dogged weight gain.
Your thyroid gland tells your body how fast to burn fuel. It is primarily regulated by the pituitary gland and hypothalamus, which are master glands, located in the brain. These interact in a way similar to your home’s central thermostat and individual heaters, in that the hypothalamus is the thermostat that senses changes in “internal temperature”, then sends signals via the pituitary to the thyroid gland (the “heater”) to generate more or less thyroid hormone (“heat”). The end goal is a thyroid gland that is very sensitive to the messages given by the hypothalamus and pituitary and able to maintain a comfortable “temperature” within the body.
For a comprehensive analysis of thyroid function, I recommend the following labs:
- TSH– a pituitary hormone that regulates the production of T3 and T4 (the main thyroid hormones). It is the standard “thyroid” test (though it’s actually a pituitary test).
- Unbound (free) T3 and T4– these reflect the bioactive portion of thyroid hormone.
- Reverse T3– this can increase when the conversion from T4 to active T3 is challenged. This may be due to other hormonal issues, such as low adrenal function, enzyme or nutrient deficiencies, heavy metal interference, amongst other issues.
- Thyroid antibody levels– these demonstrate autoimmune activity and can be associated with inflammation, GI dysbiosis, chemical and/or heavy metal exposure, amongst other factors. Thyroid antibodies include an anti-thyroglobulin antibody, thyroid peroxidase antibody, and thyroid stimulating immunoglobulin.
Basal Metabolic Temperature testing, which was initially developed by Broda Barnes, MD, is another sensitive way to measure thyroid activity. Because thyroid hormones are integral to cellular metabolism, suboptimal thyroid function can manifest as a deviation in body temperature away from the “normal” level of 98.6oF / 37oC. Body temperature can be taken by placing a thermometer under the arm (in the armpit) or in the mouth. If placed under the arm, a factor of 0.8oF or 0.5oC should be added to the readings. The optimal oral temperature should read around 98oF / 36.7oC in the morning before arising. If the average temperature over a 3-day period is less than 97.8oF / 36.6oC then, according to Barnes, one may have hypothyroidism. Conversely, where the temperature is consistently above 98.6oF / 37oC this may an indication of hyperthyroidism. Please note that this test will give a good indication of thyroid problems, but is not definitive. Long story short: to optimize weight loss, consider your thyroid health as a possible missing piece on the path to success.
The Reboot Thyroid Balancing Program includes all the testing and treatment essentials: a thorough testing regimen that considers not only the quintessential TSH test, optimized nutritional support, focused detoxification (if necessary), metabolic activation strategies, key mindfulness exercises, and of course, thoughtful hormone replacement therapy (we’re talking mostly thyroid hormones here). The beautiful end result is one the far outreaches just that lil’ gland at the base of your neck. And please don’t be surprised if you finish the program with a fitter mind and a more energized spirit as well!
A balanced thyroid means a MUCH easier path towards a balanced, toned body. Hop on board to feeling awesome!