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Spring Time Hormone Changes

As you slowly come out of your home cave from winter hibernation, you’ll notice something in the spring time air – and it’s not just that Tri-State pollen! After a few months cooped up inside, we all have a little spring fever and are ready to get out of the house. That energy surge, in whatever form it takes, is a function of longer days and lots more sunlight, says Michael Smolensky, PhD, professor at the University of Texas-Houston School of Public Health. He is co-author of the book The Body Clock Guide to Better Health. In fact, many facets of everyday life are governed by seasonal patterns as well as circadian rhythms — our internal biological clock, Smolensky says. “These are the rhythms of life, and we take them for granted,” he says. “People accept the fact that our bodies are organized in space — that our toes are at the end of our feet, and the hairs on our head stand up. But we give little thought to the fact that our bodies are structured in time.”

Spring Brings Changes in Hormones
When seasons change, the retina — the inner layer of the eye that connects to the brain through the optic nerve — naturally reacts to the first subtle signs in the amount of daylight, says Sanford Auerbach, MD, director of the Sleep Disorders Center at Boston University. This reaction triggers hormonal changes, including an adjustment in melatonin, a hormone that affects sleep cycles and mood changes. During the longer and darker days of winter, our bodies produce more melatonin. This hormone is what causes seasonal affective disorder. The extra production can trigger a winter depression, but in the spring, when production goes down due to an increase in sunlight exposure, SAD goes away. “There’s more daylight, so people have more energy, sleep a little less,” Auerbach says.

At Victory Weight Loss and Wellness, we help you take control of your hormones. If you believe you may be experience a decrease in hormone production, contact our office today. We’ll help you understand your current levels and provide a healthy solution with our hormone replacement services.

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Hormone Changes in Winter

The winter season is upon us and along with colder temperatures come less sunlight during the day. For many, this time of year can become depressing, especially after the holidays. The lack of time outside in the sunshine not only leads to less activity, but can also result in several hormone changes, particularly in women. It’s important to understand some changes are natural in order to not misdiagnose a real imbalance.

Thyroid Changes

A 2013 study in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism suggested a link between the winter months and a person’s TSH, or Thyroid-Stimulating Hormone, levels. Researchers measured TSH levels every month in over 1,700 people who had been diagnosed with subclinical hypothyroidism and over 28,000 people with normal thyroid function. The results showed that, in both cases, TSH levels increased in the cold winter through spring months and decreased in the summer and fall seasons.

This is particularly important if you or your doctor feel you may have a thyroid problem. Because your body naturally increases TSH production during the colder months, there is a good chance any issues you may be experiencing, are related to the season. Make sure you’re tested at various points in the year to confirm, or you may be improperly diagnosed with hyperthyroidism.

Melatonin and DHEA

As most people know, melatonin is a hormone that rises in the body during darkness and lowers during daylight. DHEA, or dehydroepiandrosterone, is a hormone from the adrenal gland that has shown to affect aggression levels in mammals and birds, and possibly humans which is why professional sports competitions have banned the use of DHEA in athletes.

A new study reveals that melatonin acts directly on the adrenal glands in females to trigger the release of DHEA, without the need for the pituitary hormone ACTH.
DHEA can be converted to androgens and estrogens, which affect aggression in both males and females. In females, DHEA appears to compensate for low levels of estradiol — a form of estrogen — that occurs during the winter.

In the recent study, Indiana University researchers discovered a hormonal mechanism in hamsters that connects short winter days with increased aggression in females, and that it differs from the mechanism that controls this same response in males. The work, which advances basic knowledge on the connection between certain sex hormones and aggression, could go on to advance research on the treatment of inappropriate aggression in humans. Click here to read more about the new study.

Get Yourself Checked

At Victory Weight Loss and Wellness, we can help you better understand your current hormone levels and identify problem areas with a simple blood test. Our Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy programs are customized for your individual goals and needs. If you or someone you know is suffering from hormonal imbalance, contact our office today for more information.

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Keeping Off Holiday Pounds

The holidays are upon us and with them come the tempting treats offered up at office parties and neighborhood gatherings. Despite our best efforts to have “just one,” those little extras can add up.

So what’s the harm in a little holiday weight gain, especially if it’s just a pound? According to researchers at the National Institutes of Health, most Americans never lose the weight they gain during the winter holidays. And when those pounds start to add up year after year, holiday weight gain can become an important factor in adult obesity.

The good news? You don’t have to fall into this trap! It is possible to enjoy holiday goodies without putting on a single pound. The answer? Portion control! But we know, that’s easier said than done, so we’ve put together a few tips to help you combat to temptation to over indulge.

1. Never Arrive Hungry
Planning ahead can help you maintain composure when you come face to face with those chocolate goodies. Try to have a nutritious snack before or drinking some water before adding to your plate.

2. Divert Your Attention
As hard as it may be to believe, there is more to a holiday party than the food! Divert your attention away from the food table and towards your friends and family. This may be the chance you’ve always wanted to get to know your great aunt just a little bit better.

3. Pace Yourself
Keep control of how much you each by taking your time. Don’t try to only eat for 30 minutes – you’ll end up just cramming in more food. Chew slowly and take your time in order to stay in control.

4. Limit Your Alcohol
Avoid drinking too much alcohol at holiday parties. Besides the obvious reasons and potential embarrassments, drinking too much can help you lose control over what you eat.

5. Be Choosy About Sweets
When it comes to dessert, be very selective. Know your limits – everyone has a different level of self-control. If you’re not able to try “just one” then don’t try any at all!

6. Bring Your Own Treats
Whether you’re going to a friend’s party or office potluck, consider bringing a low-calorie treat that you know you’ll enjoy. Bringing your own dessert will make the more fattening alternatives less tempting.

7. Walk It Off
Make a new holiday tradition: the family walk. Besides burning some extra calories, this will get everyone away from the food for a while.

At Victory Weight Loss and Wellness, we help you take control of your weight loss success. Our physician-supervised weight loss programs are customized for your individual goals and needs. If you’re ready to start the journey to a new, healthy you, contact our office today to schedule a free consultation.

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Are Your Hormones Making You Fat?

We tend to compartmentalize our hormones and our diet into separate areas of health. But did you know they actually work together? And in some cases, can actually work against each other! If you feel you’re doing everything right with your diet and exercise routine, but still aren’t shedding the pounds, your hormones could be the cause.

Hormones are important to all body functions and play a significant role in your ability to lose and maintain a healthy weight. There are many hormonal imbalances that can occur in the body such as: elevated insulin, elevated cortisol, elevated or decreased estrogen, low testosterone, low DHEA, and hypothyroidism.
It is important to recognize possible imbalances that may be occurring in the body and correct them in order to reach your weight loss goals.

Elevated Insulin
Insulin, or the fat storage hormone, has a very important job. It processes sugar in the bloodstream and carries it to your cells where it’s either used for energy or stored. Elevated levels of insulin can be caused by excess consumption of carbohydrates.

A diet high in carbohydrates, such as processed foods and sugary beverages, in combination with a low protein and low fiber intake, can lead to fat storage, weight gain, and high insulin levels.

Poor diet along with lack of exercise, alcohol consumption, stress, and high blood pressure can lead to chronically high levels of insulin and the development of Type 2 diabetes.

Chronic Cortisol
High levels of cortisol can be harmful to your health. Studies indicate that a high stress level can contribute to the accumulation of belly fat. Cortisol levels are higher in people who suffer from conditions such as anxiety, depression, PTSD, and excessive fatigue.

Not only does elevated cortisol lead to belly fat, it also increases appetite and cravings. This is why people turn to “comfort foods” when feeling significant amounts of stress!

What is the best way to combat high cortisol? Get some sleep! At least 7 hours a night. It is also important to eat a high protein breakfast and find an outlet for all that stress. Activities such as yoga, meditation or even taking a long walk can help decrease stress.

Estrogen
Both men and women naturally produce estrogen. In men, an excess of belly fat can cause testosterone to be converted to estrogen.

As a man’s estrogen level rises so does the fat accumulation. In women, both excess estrogen and low estrogen can contribute to weight gain and difficulty maintaining a healthy weight. Estrogen levels fluctuate as a woman goes through phases of her reproductive life.

What can be done if you suspect an estrogen imbalance? Get your hormones tested. Testing can identify if an estrogen imbalance exists and what methods of treatment would be best. Also it is important to eat a healthy diet including green tea, flax seed, and chia seeds. All of these products can assist the body in processing extra estrogen.

Low Testosterone
Aging, increased stress and abdominal fat can all contribute to low testosterone levels. This decrease can lead to conditions such as depression, obesity, decreased sex drive, heart disease and loss of muscle tone.
Simple hormone testing can identify a low level of testosterone. When levels are corrected, it has been shown to decrease body fat and improve stamina, muscle mass, and libido. A healthy diet high in lean protein, plus weight-bearing exercise can help naturally increase testosterone levels.

Missing DHEA
There is much talk these days about DHEA, but what exactly is it? DHEA is a precursor hormone secreted by the adrenal glands that can be converted into testosterone or estrogen in the body. DHEA levels typically hit their peak in our 20’s and then naturally decline as we age.

DHEA is responsible for many important functions including the body’s ability to burn fat and keep it off. Low DHEA levels can be detected in hormone testing. Correcting an imbalance can improve libido, energy, and weight loss.

Thyroid Gland
The thyroid gland is responsible for producing hormones that regulate the body’s metabolic rate, heart and digestive function, muscle control, brain development, and bone maintenance. The thyroid gland can become overactive (hyperthyroidism) or underactive (hypothyroidism).

These conditions can be quite dangerous and cause many unpleasant symptoms. For patients suffering from hypothyroidism, weight gain is a common side effect. Thyroid conditions can be safely treated with medication.

Get Yourself Checked
At Victory Weight Loss and Wellness, we can help you better understand your current hormone levels and identify problem areas with a simple blood test. Our Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy programs are customized for your individual goals and needs. If you or someone you know is suffering from hormonal imbalance, contact our office today for more information.

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Hormone Changes In Men

If all the men in your life suddenly seem unhappy or sluggish, it may be because football season is still a few months away! Another possibility for that negative mood swing is his hormones.  While most everyone is well aware of the Menopausal changes women experience later in life, we rarely hear much about the changes in men.  In fact, men, like women, go through a very similar hormonal change called Andropause.

Every man experiences a gradual decline in hormone production as he gets older. Beginning at age 30, his body starts to manufacture less and less testosterone, losing roughly 1 to 3 percent per year.

Sometime between age 40 and 55, testosterone levels drop dramatically and signal the onset of Andropause, the medical term for the male equivalent of menopause. Throughout this process, men find themselves putting on weight, losing muscle mass, feeling sluggish and depressed, and becoming increasingly irritable.

They remember a time when they had energy for work and family, but those days are now few and far between. They find it harder to concentrate at work, and their workouts are cut short by pain or fatigue that didn’t previously exist.

The realization is even more troubling for those men who begin to experience lack of sexual drive and impotence. If the root problem — hormonal imbalance — is not treated properly, men can experience a number of physical and mental challenges, including health issues associated with weight gain and abdominal fat.

At Victory Weight Loss and Wellness, we can help you and the men in your life take control of their hormones!  Our Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy programs are customized for your individual goals and needs.  If you or someone you know is suffering from hormonal imbalance, contact our office today for more information.

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Starting a Fall Weight Loss Program

With the unofficial end of summer closely approaching, it’s time to put away the “It’s just too hot” or “I’m only eating this because it’s summertime” excuses.  Many people find the end of summer a perfect time to start or restart a weight loss program to get a head start on the holidays!

Our friends at Women’s Health Magazine have 7 reasons autumn is the perfect time to get back in the groove – or start a groove of your own!

Cooler Weather is Great for Running
Seriously, could there be a more perfect time to go for a run outside? You don’t have to bundle up in your Polar Vortex gear just yet, and you also don’t have to carry a life preserver in case you drown in a pool of sweat (kidding…kind of). In other words, fall weather is the Goldilocks of outdoor exercise temperatures.

There’s Tons Of Delicious Fall Produce
Take a minute to really think about all of the roasted veggie recipes you can whip up. There are so many, and they’re all so good. Fall fruits and vegetables are at their peak flavor right now, so it’s a great time to rekindle your love for them!

…And It’s Also Slow Cooker Season
Allow us to praise one of the most underrated cooking appliances around: These things are amazing.  Take advantage of the influx of slow cooker recipes on social media sites like Pinterest. Making one or two slow cooker dishes a week will guarantee that you have some healthy dinners and lunch leftovers. It’ll also guarantee that your place smells phenomenal when you get home.

It’s Easier to Get Back Into A Routine
Summer isn’t exactly a structured time. What with beach vacations, long weekends, loads of backyard cookouts, and weddings galore, you’re probably bopping all over the place—so it’s hard to stick to a specific workout or exercise plan. But fall is a whole different story. Now that summer vacation is over, your weekly routine has more structure, and routines are key when it comes to forming long-lasting healthy habits, like making time for meal planning and physical activity.

Race Season Is Officially Here
Look out the window, and what do you see? Oh, you know, only tons of runners training for all sorts of races—marathons, half marathons, 10-Ks, turkey trots, you name it. Signing up for a fall race with a couple of friends can be a great motivator to get moving more regularly.

Your Gym’s Not As Packed
Not an outdoor runner? No worries—the gym is your friend here, too. That’s because so many people are exercising outside that the gym is way less crowded. That means you can get in and out in no time and not have to fight for space in group exercise classes.

You Can Prepare for Those Extra Holiday Pounds
Call it a pre-emptive strike: Unless you are inhuman, you will likely end up eating your fair share of sugary seasonal treats (oh hey, gingerbread men). And knowing this, you can get extra-fit in the fall so that by the time winter rolls around, you’ll be in such good shape that you will be better able to handle the temptation of all those pies and cookies. Having a couple months of eating well and exercising under your belt will make it easier to stick with these healthier habits through the holidays, plus, that way, you won’t start the New Year with new pounds. Score!

 

At Victory Weight Loss and Wellness, we help you take control of your weight loss success and “fall” into a healthy routine.  Our physician-supervised weight loss programs are customized for your individual goals and needs.  If you’re ready to start the journey to a new, healthy you, contact our office today to schedule a free consultation.

 

Source: WomensHealthMag.com

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September is Healthy Aging Month

September is upon us and it’s officially “Healthy Aging Month” across the country.  Along with late night campfires, Friday night football and changing leaves, we’re celebrating healthy aging!

To help you get on a healthy aging track, our friends at Health Aging Magazine are sharing their top ten tips for reinventing yourself this month!

  1. Do not act your age or at least what you think your current age should act like. What was your best year so far? 28? 40? Now? Pic­ture your­self at that age and be it. Some peo­ple may say this is denial, but we say it’s pos­i­tive think­ing and goes a long way toward feel­ing bet­ter about your­self. (Tip:  Don’t keep looking in the mir­ror, just FEEL IT!)
  1. Be positive in your con­ver­sa­tions and your actions every day. When you catch your­self com­plain­ing, check your­self right there and change the con­ver­sa­tion to some­thing pos­i­tive. (Tip: Stop watch­ing the police reports on the local news).
  1. Have neg­a­tive friends who com­plain all of the time and con­stantly talk about how awful every­thing is? Drop them. As cruel as that may sound, dis­tance your­self from peo­ple who do not have a pos­i­tive out­look on life. They will only depress you and stop you from mov­ing for­ward. Sur­round your­self with ener­getic, happy, pos­i­tive peo­ple of all ages and you will be hap­pier too. (Tip: Smile often. It’s con­ta­gious and wards off naysayers.)
  1. Walk like a vibrant, healthy per­son. Come on. You can prob­a­bly do it. Ana­lyze your gait. Do you walk slowly because you have just become lazy or, per­haps, have a fear of falling? (Tip: Make a con­scious effort to take big strides, walk with your heel first, and wear comfortable shoes.)
  1. Stand up straight! You can knock off the appear­ance of a few extra years with this trick your mother kept try­ing to tell you. Look at your­self in the mir­ror. Are you hold­ing your stom­ach in, have your shoul­ders back, chin up? Check out how much bet­ter your neck looks! Fix your stance and prac­tice it every day, all day until it is nat­ural. You will look great and feel bet­ter. (Tip: Your waist­line will look trim­mer if you fol­low this advice.)
  1. How’s your smile? Research shows peo­ple who smile more often are hap­pier. Your teeth are just as impor­tant to your good health as the rest of your body. Not only is it the first thing peo­ple notice, but good oral health is a gate­way to your over­all well-being. (Tip: Go to the den­tist reg­u­larly and look into teeth whiten­ing. Noth­ing says old more than yellowing teeth!)
  1. Lonely? Stop brood­ing and com­plain­ing about hav­ing no friends or fam­ily. Do some­thing about it now. Right this minute. Pick up the phone, land­line, or cell and make a call to do one or more of the fol­low­ing: Vol­un­teer your time, Take a class,  Invite some­one to meet for lunch, brunch, din­ner, or cof­fee. (Tip: Vol­un­teer at the local pub­lic school to stay in touch with younger peo­ple and to keep cur­rent on trends, take a com­puter class or a tuto­r­ial ses­sion at your cell phone store to keep up with tech­nol­ogy, choose a new per­son every week for your dining out.)
  1. Start walk­ing not only for your health but to see the neigh­bors. Have a dog? You’ll be amazed how the dog can be a con­ver­sa­tion starter. (Tip: If you don’t have time for a dog, go to your local ani­mal shel­ter and vol­un­teer. You will be thrilled by the puppy love!)
  1. Make this month the time to set up your annual phys­i­cal and other health screen­ings. Go to the appoint­ments and then, hope­fully, you can stop wor­ry­ing about ail­ments for a while.
  1. Find your inner artist. Who says tak­ing music lessons is for young school chil­dren? You may have an artist lurk­ing inside you just wait­ing to be tapped.  Have you always wanted to play the piano, vio­lin, or tuba? Have you ever won­dered if you could paint a por­trait or scenic in oil? What about work­ing in wood? (Tip: Sign up now for fall art or music classes and dis­cover your inner artist!)

 

At Victory Weight Loss and Wellness, we help you take control of the healthy aging process!  Our physician-supervised weight loss programs and hormone treatments are customized for your individual goals and needs.  If you’re ready to start the journey to a new, healthy you, contact our office today to schedule a free consultation.

 

Source: HealthyAging.net

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Introducing CoolSculpting at Victory Weight Loss and Wellness

We are very excited to introduce CoolSculpting as a new service to our clients! CoolSculpting is a non-surgical procedure that helps you lose stubborn fat! The CoolSculpting procedure is the only FDA-cleared, non-surgical fat reduction treatment that uses controlled cooling to eliminate stubborn fat that resists all efforts through diet and exercise. The results are proven, noticeable, and lasting, so you’ll look great from every angle.

Please join us for two CoolSculpting Cool Events on September 1st.  Our first event will run from 11:30AM to 12:30PM and our second will run from 5:30PM to 6:30PM. Attendees will receive a live demonstration, free consultation and special discounts! You can also register to win a FREE CoolSculpting treatment!  Contact Victory Weight Loss and Wellness today to RSVP!  513-936-3065

 

Coolsculpting Event

For more information about CoolSculpting, check out the CoolSculpting section of our website.

 

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Weight Loss Checklist

We’re now halfway through the the new year, can you believe it? How are you doing with that resolution to lose weight and get healthy? We’re here to help you get back on the path to a healthier you! Check out these tips to help you start and stick with a weight loss program for the rest 2016!

It’s important to understand a proper weight loss programs requires a lifestyle change.  Your weight loss success will depend largely on you and whether or not you’re truly ready to dive in.  The Mayo Clinic offers these 6 questions to ask yourself before starting a weight loss program.

1. Are you motivated to make long-term lifestyle changes?

Successful weight loss depends on permanent lifestyle changes, such as eating healthy foods and including physical activity in your daily routine. That could represent a significant departure from your current lifestyle. Be honest. Knowing that you need to make changes in your life and actually doing it are two different things. You might need to overhaul your diet so that you’re eating more whole grains, fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products, for example. You’ll also need to find time for physical activity, ideally at least 30 to 45 minutes — or more — nearly every day of the week. Whether your motivation for undertaking these changes is better health, improved appearance or simply feeling better about yourself, find your motivation and focus on it.

2. Have you addressed the big distractions in your life?

If you’re dealing with major life events, such as marital problems, job stress, illness or financial worries, you might not want to add the challenge of overhauling your eating and exercise habits. Instead, consider giving your life a chance to calm down before you launch your weight-loss program.

3. Do you have a realistic picture of how much weight you’ll lose and how quickly?

Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight is a lifelong process. Start by making sure your weight-loss goal is safe and realistic — such as losing 10 percent of your current weight. Then aim to lose 1 to 2 pounds a week until you reach your goal. This means burning 500 to 1,000 calories more than you consume each day — through diet, exercise or both.  You might lose weight more quickly if you change your habits significantly. Be careful, though. Radical changes that aren’t sustainable aren’t likely to be effective over the long term.

4. Have you resolved any emotional issues connected to your weight?

Emotions and food are often intertwined. Anger, stress, grief and boredom can trigger emotional eating. If you have a history of an eating disorder, weight loss can be even trickier. To prepare for the challenges, identify any emotional issues related to food. Talk to your doctor or a mental health provider, if needed.

5. Do you have support and accountability?

Any weight-loss program can be difficult. You might face moments of temptation or become disheartened. Having someone in your corner to offer encouragement can help. If you don’t have friends or loved ones you can rely on for positive help, consider joining a weight-loss support group. If you want to keep your weight-loss efforts private, be prepared to be accountable to yourself with regular weigh-ins and a log of your diet and activity. You might also want to consider joining an online program or using a certified health coach.

6. Have you embraced the weight loss challenge?

If you don’t have a positive attitude about losing weight, you might not be ready — and if you dread what lies ahead, you might be more likely to find excuses to veer off course. Instead, try to embrace the vision of your new lifestyle and remain positive. Focus on how good you’ll feel when you’re more active or when you weigh less. Picture yourself celebrating every success along the way, whether it’s enjoying a new food, finishing another exercise session or losing your first few pounds.

 

Ready to start your weight loss journey?

At Victory Weight Loss and Wellness, our physician-supervised weight loss programs are customized for your individual goals and situation.  Our programs are safe and effective, and our experienced team will be with you every step of the way.  If you’re ready to start the journey to a new you, contact our office today to schedule a free consultation.

 

Source: MayoClinic.org

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Is Your Thyroid Dysfunctional?

A small, butterfly-shaped gland situated in the front of the neck, the thyroid is a little organ with a very big job: It primarily produces hormones that regulate body metabolism — energy produced through the food you eat. These hormones act as messengers that tell your tissues when to burn energy and how to develop.

Two hormones that emanate from the brain — thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH), made in the hypothalamus, and thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), produced by the pituitary gland — control the thyroid gland’s release of its two main hormones: thyroxine (T4) and triiodothryonine (T3).

T4, the most abundant and long-lasting thyroid hormone, is used as a precursor to make T3, which is the more potent thyroid hormone. It has a shorter half-life and the majority is produced from T4 within peripheral tissues. Reverse triiodothyronine (rT3) is an inactive isomer (a compound sharing a similar molecular formula but differing in structure) of T3, which blocks the effect of T3 at the receptor site.

As you age, you are more likely to experience thyroid dysfunction. It is estimated that 3% to 8% of the general population suffers from sub-clinical hypothyroidism or mild thyroid failure1— a condition where the thyroid does not produce adequate amounts of the hormones thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3) to suit individual needs. The majority of those afflicted with sub-clinical hypothyroidism tend to have high-normal serum TSH values and low-normal free T4 and free T3 levels.

Since thyroid levels may not appear obviously out of range, this type of thyroid dysfunction can be quite difficult to diagnose. For practitioners who rely solely on a TSH measurement, often considered the gold-standard for assessing thyroid status, making an accurate diagnosis can be even more challenging. Unfortunately, a patient who has been experiencing symptoms of sub-clinical hypothyroidism and has undergone repeated blood testing may never receive proper treatment because many physicians will view the patient’s blood levels as “normal.”

Normal is NOT Optimal

Laboratory reference ranges are a set of values that have been assigned to specific biochemical measurements within a given medium (blood, saliva, tissue) in the body. These intervals were established from population studies conducted by laboratories many decades ago and have not been upgraded since.2 In fact, it is very likely that the selection criteria did not exclude those with sub-clinical disease.

The problem with relying solely on the TSH test for diagnosis of sub-clinical hypothyroidism is that by the time it becomes relevant, the disease already could be ravaging the tissues, leading to substantial destruction and dysfunction. A combination of blood testing and symptom recognition could have identified the condition early on, thus preventing significant damage. Diagnosing thyroid dysfunction should not be limited to examining just TSH levels, but should also include free T4, free T3, and thyroid antibodies — TPO and antithyroglobulin (TgAb).

Approximately 80% of those suffering from sub-clinical hypothyroidism will test positive for thyroid antibodies3 — proteins that stimulate an inflammatory immune response and cell destruction. Recent studies have shown a greater presence of thyroid antibodies in those with a TSH level between 3.0 and 5.0, and a trending shift toward developing overt clinical hypothyroid disease.4 People with the lowest incidence of thyroid disease/autoimmune thyroiditis had an average, optimal TSH of 1.18µIU/mL.5 There is a major discrepancy between an “optimal” TSH level of 1.0 and a “normal” TSH that falls somewhere between 0.45 and 4.0 µIU/mL. You’re not crazy: You feel sick because your thyroid levels are not optimal for what your body needs!

What can I do?

If you suspect you are suffering from sub-clinical hypothyroidism, monitoring your health is essential. First, keep track of your symptoms: Be especially aware of how you have been feeling and take your basal body temperature each morning. An initial indicator of an under-active thyroid is a lower body temperature.6 Document this information in a journal if you tend to forget. Schedule an appointment with Victory Weight Loss & Wellness to share this information with your practitioner.

Common symptoms of sub-clinical hypothyroidism include:

  • Fatigue
  • Feeling Cold
  • Headache
  • Weight Gain
  • Dry Skin/Coarse Hair
  • Depression
  • Constipation
  • Muscle and Joint Discomfort

Second, take a blood test to measure your levels of thyroid hormones and antibodies — a full-spectrum panel that includes TSH, free T4, free T3, reverse T3, and thyroid antibodies. As mentioned previously, the goal is not to be “normal” but to be “optimal.” A TSH level between 1.0 and 2.0 µIU/L is IDEAL and has a lower association with disease risk. Corresponding optimal free T4 and free T3 levels should be situated within the upper-third of the reference interval. Ideal reverse T3 values should be <20 ng/dL or <200 pg/mL. A negative to low-level presence of antibodies is also ideal.

Managing Sub-clinical Hypothyroidism

After a thorough evaluation of your chief complaints and objective data, including labs, Victory Weight Loss & Wellness may suggest various treatment options. In cases where medication or prescription-strength resolutions are warranted, we may opt for a bioidentical glandular T3/T4 combination called Nature-Throid or Armour Thyroid. Using one of these compounded formulas is the most effective way to optimize both T4 and T3. Keep in mind, however, there are unique situations where you may respond better to the traditional thyroid medications: Levothyroxine (Synthroid/T4) or Liothyronine (Cytomel/T3). With either option, be sure to keep track of any changes in symptoms and continue monitoring your thyroid levels so dosing can be adjusted if needed.

At Victory Weight Loss & Wellness we focus on the whole you, and helping you achieve and live a healthy lifestyle.  If you believe you may be experiencing an issue with your thyroid contact our office today.  We have several options available including modern thyroid function testing and natural thyroid replacement to help you get back to living the life you want.

 

References

  1. Endocrinol Metab (Seoul). Mar 2014;29(1):20–29.
  2. Am J Clin Pathol. 2010;133(2):179.
  3. Mayo Clin Proc. 2009 Jan; 84(1):65–71.
  4. Subclinical Hypothyroidism. http://www.patient.co.uk/doctor/subclinical-hypothyroidism. Published 2015. Accessed May 19, 2015.
  5. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2005 Sep;90(9):5483-8.
  6. P R Health Sci J. 2006 Mar;25(1):23-9.