Struggling to lose weight? Check your thyroid.

Your plan may be right, but your body may be fighting back

Have you tried losing weight by eating right and exercising, but are not seeing much of any results?

"Occasionally we see somebody who has been trying to lose weight and they just can't lose weight," says David Ensz, doctor of family medicine in South Sioux City.

While your diet and exercise plan may be good, your thyroid may be the cause of all the trouble.

"The thyroid is a gland midline in the neck in front of the trachea," says Ensz. "The thyroid gland is responsible for a lot of bodily functions. It's kind of the metabolism hormone."

Some of those bodily functions include body temperature regulation, energy levels, and weight control.

Therefore, the thyroid causes some to struggle with weight loss, especially if you suffer from hypothyroidism.

"Hypothyroid, which means low thyroid, means that the body does not produce enough active thyroid hormone for, it could be, several reasons," says Ensz.

Unfortunately, the symptoms of hypothyroidism are wide, which can make it difficult to diagnose.

"Some of the symptoms with hypothyroidism might be weight gain. You can have cold intolerance, where you could be in a room and you feel cold, but no one else feels cold. Changes in skin, hair loss, constipation, fatigue, trouble sleeping, depressed mood... it could really run the whole gambit," says Ensz.

A simple blood test will determine if one suffers from an underproducing thyroid.

The most effective way to fix the problem is to talk with your doctor to determine if taking supplements will fix everything.

"Thyroid replacement will get you back to normal, but you still have to do the watching calories, the working out, all the basic things that you'd do anyway to lose weight," says Ensz.

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