Many people wonder why weight is such an issue with thyroid disorders. People often come to me and ask “Doc, I barely eat anything and I continue to gain weight….Why is that?” Well, even though we’d like to give you a simple explanation as to why that occurs, it’s a little more complicated than most people think. This is another reason why most people with thyroid issues go to the doctor and are immediately placed on diabetes medication – even though they are NOT diabetic. When they wonder why the doctor put them on diabetes medication, the answer is just…”BECAUSE”.
So in this article, I wanted to give you a little background as to why you may be having issues with your weight, and why getting on diabetes/sugar medication is not the best option. So first, let’s understand what is going on.
If you’ve been to one of our workshops, you’d know that the thyroid supports metabolism throughout the body and can affect how our cells work. In a nutshell, this process allows the cells of the body to do their job and the body is able to function properly. If there is a breakdown in this process, the body functions start to work improperly, and many different symptoms start to appear. One of these processes is how our body’s cell reacts to insulin. I know, this article has a little more science than normal, but I promise to get to the point quickly. Insulin is what carries sugar into the cells of the body. Without insulin, the cells are unable to get food, and can ultimately “die”. This is diabetes in a nutshell. So, how does the thyroid affect this system?
Like we stated earlier – the thyroid produces a hormone that helps the cells do their job, and the cells of the body will use the thyroid hormone to jump start activities. This process requires the cells to allow “things” through the cell membranes. When the cells “lock” the cell membrane – then nothing gets through and the hormone can’t do it’s job. The main reason the cell’s “lock” the membrane is insulin resistance. So this process causes the thyroid to produce more T3 which increases testosterone (especially in females) and a host of other symptoms begin to occur. The biggest one that most people see is WEIGHT GAIN! So to “fix” this issue, doctors put people on diabetes medication to “unlock” the cell and allow the “stuff” to get back in the cell. The problem with this is that the medication does not work like a precision locksmith that comes and gently unlocks the door, it comes to the cell like a wrecking ball and smashes the door open so now EVERYTHING can get in the cell. This is not a solution.
It turns out that even though we tried to make this concept easy to understand, it is a very complicated process, and it only partially explanations the importance of why the systems of the body have to work together correctly or all kinds of things are affected. Going over this one more time – very simply – insulin is “locked out” of the cells and everything else is “locked” out as well, causing the cells to store more fat and causing an increase in thyroid hormone production. When the cells “lock” everything out – nothing works right and we gain weight.
So no matter what you eat, or no matter how little you eat, if you don’t address the reason behind the insulin resistance, then you can always have a weight issue. Most of the time, people are just told to “eat better” and exercise and everything will get better, but sadly – this is not the case. This is a primary reason why we have created a system of evaluating the root cause of peoples health issues. If you don’t address the cause, you’ll only be chasing the symptoms. In fact, most modern treatments today involve “symptom chasing”tm as the primary treatment method, and when that doesn’t fix the problem, you only make things worse. So stop wondering why you have the issues, and come find the answers. Give our offices a call today to learn how you can get the answers you’re looking for.