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How thyroids can impact weight management

How thyroids can impact weight management
January is Thyroid Awareness Month and it’s also a common time of year when people try to improve their health. Understanding more about your thyroid gland may be an important piece of maintaining a healthy weight. With information from the American Thyroid Association® (ATA) - a medical society dedicated to transforming thyroid care - it’s important to learn more about the organ and how to get support if needed.  
So, what exactly is a thyroid? It’s a gland (a type of organ), and it’s located in the lower front part of the neck. Thyroids are small and butterfly-shaped and their job is to make important hormones, which the body sends to tissues throughout the body. These hormones help the body use energy and stay warm, and they keep the heart, brain, other organs and muscles working properly.
But when the thyroid isn’t working properly it can lead to challenges that may need support from a medical professional. While fluctuations in your weight are a typical indicator of a thyroid issue, other symptoms include hair loss, fatigue, brain fog and trouble regulating body temperature.
“Having a thyroid condition can be overwhelming, but the experts at Carle can help people get properly diagnosed to find the right solution for their individual needs,” Liza Yambay, MD, Carle BroMenn Medical Center endocrinologist said. “A good place to start if you suspect you have an issue is to keep a log of all your symptoms for at last 4 weeks. In that time, schedule an appointment with your Primary Care provider who can provide a general assessment and make a referral to an endocrinologist if needed.”
Two common thyroid conditions are hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism.
People with hyperthyroidism have an overactive thyroid when the thyroid gland makes too much of one of the hormones. This can speed up the metabolism, which can cause unwanted weight loss and a rapid or irregular heartbeat. People with an extremely overactive thyroid may need to increase how many calories taken in and what they drink in order to maintain a healthy weight.
Those with hypothyroidism, on the other hand, have underactive thyroids. The thyroid gland doesn’t make enough hormones for what the body needs. As a result, metabolisms slow down – and those experiencing it might feel tired easily, have trouble tolerating cold temperatures and see gain weight. However, massive weight gain is rare – generally, hypothyroidism can cause a gain of 5 to 10 pounds.
People with concerns they may be experiencing a thyroid condition should consult their provider or a medical professional for further assessment. There are treatments including thyroid hormone treatment that replaces the gland, medication and thyroid surgery that patients may qualify for. 
Excerpts of this article were taken from the Hally® blog. Hally health offers tools, resources and information to live your healthiest life. Those who are members of Health Alliance, Simplete, FirstCarolinaCare and FirstMedicare Direct have access to Hally to optimize your health and well-being.

Categories: Staying Healthy

Tags: Endocrinology, Healthy, Management, Staying, Thyroid, Weight