Your “Fat Burning” Thyroid Gland – The TRUTH Your Doctor Won’t Tell You
By Zeb Baker
If your thyroid isn’t working properly, then it could be sabotaging your fat-burning, muscle building efforts. How? Seven issues can develop which can spell disaster for your weight loss plans. You could ask your doctor what these are, but unfortunately, most personal health care providers aren’t aware of the extent of these problems in the population today.
Before we talk about the issues, let’s learn a little about how the thyroid itself functions. And yes, I’ve already described this butterfly-shaped gland, which rests in your neck as a fat-burning machine. And, indeed, it is. But it’s also a lot more than this.
Consider the fact that your thyroid affects every cell in your body. How? Each cell contains receptors for the hormones your thyroid secretes.
If your thyroid is low, odds are this condition will eventually lead to elevated levels of cholesterol and triglycerides. And you’re more likely than the average person to develop gall stones.
A lack of thyroid hormone in your system can lead to digestion problems including constipation.
Not only can a sluggish thyroid cause all this, but it can also affect the production of other important hormones as well. The thyroid hormone for example actually makes progesterone receptors more sensitive. This means that a woman’s thyroid gland may actually be the root cause of her monthly hormonal problems.
And if all this weren’t enough, low thyroid hormone can also adversely affect neurotransmitters by causing low levels of dopamine, which eventually lead to motivation and will power. (And how far can you get in pursuing any goal if you aren’t motivated and you don’t have will power!)
Now, let’s take a quick look at how your thyroid gland is supposed to work. I promise this will be quick and easy to understand. But what’s even better is that once you understand this, you’ll understand why and how your thyroid is working against your well-intended weight loss plans.
To truly understand this small gland, we have to first talk about another gland. One called the hypothalamus. This particular gland releases thyrotropin releasing hormone, better known by its initials TRH. This hormone instructs the pituitary gland to produce thyroid stimulating hormones also known as TSH. These hormones, in turn nudge the thyroid gland into producing the proper amount of its hormones.
And for a small gland, the thyroid is in charge of several hormones, the major one called thyroxine. You’ll see this more often than not referred to as T4. In fact, more than 90 percent of the hormone production of your thyroid gland consists of T4. Technically speaking, T4 is known as a “prohormone” since it has little impact on your metabolism. T3, also called Triiodothyronine is actually the active thyroid hormone. But, believe it or not, only about seven percent of the hormonal secretion of your thyroid consists of this. That means that the rest has to be converted from your T4 output.
In addition to this, you also need to know that in order to travel anywhere, the majority of the thyroids produced by your hormones are then bound to a protein — called the thyroid-binding globulin. As T4 travels throughout your body it eventually gets converted to T3, especially in areas like the liver and the kidney.
Any free T3 then works its ways into the cells to exert a metabolic effect.
Now that you know that the thyroid hormones are rather complicated. You’ll better appreciate the four major issues which can go wrong with this whole process — and which can keep you from losing your desired weight.
What exactly are these?
Thyroid Issue #1: The Pituitary Gland
Since this is where it all starts, so to speak, you can understand how a malfunctioning pituitary gland may not set the whole process in motion properly. If it doesn’t produce enough TSH to stimulate the thyroid, your fat-burning potential may be compromised. More often than not the underlying problem here is the presence of an excess of cortisol, which suppresses the production of the pituitary gland.
Thyroid Issue #2: The Thyroid Gland Itself
It’s true. Medically speaking, it’s called hypothyroidism. This is about the only dysfunction that your doctor will probably expressly look for. But even with this, his search may yield nothing he considers out of the ordinary. Why? Because the medical reference range for TSH production is wide — and many with a true problem will be shunted aside.
Thyroid Issue #3: Thyroid Binding Globulin (TBG)
Even if your thyroid is functioning perfectly, if there is an excess of thyroid binding globulin — TBG — present, the hormone would be, well, bound. Practically speaking, this means it can’t get into the cells to do the work it needs to. More often than not, this problem is caused by higher than normal levels of estrogen. (Yes, in both women and men, by the way!).
Thyroid Issue #5: Conversion
What do I mean by that? You’ll recall that T4 must be converted into T3, otherwise there just won’t be enough active thyroid hormone for your cells. There are any number of reasons why the conversion may fail to take place. One of the major reasons is mineral deficiency. For example, this conversion fails if you don’t have enough selenium. Too much cortisol or too much oxidative stress can trigger this problem as well.
Thyroid Issue #6: Bacterial Imbalance
No doubt you’ve read about the potential for a bacterial imbalance in your system in regards to other health issues. But don’t discount its impact here too. It can very easily trigger a thyroid issue. This is because nearly 20 percent of your thyroid hormone is converted to active T3. You may, indeed, experience low thyroid symptoms, if you have a lack of healthy gut bacteria.
Thyroid Issue #7: Thyroid Receptor
All along we’ve referred to it. But we’ve never addressed it directly. And that’s the fact that the hormone must actually get into every cell of your body. Even though you’re creating enough hormone, if it’s not being transported to you’re going to experience symptoms of a sluggish hormone. What would cause this problem? Sometimes it’s elevated levels of cortisol. In other instance it may be a deficiency in vitamin A.
While the “excuse” my thyroid is sluggish can be just that — an excuse — it can also be an undetected, insidious problem that causes a stalling in your weight loss program. But perhaps the worse part of all of this, is that many times doctors don’t detect the problems.
Zeb Baker (AKA Cliff) is the owner of The Fat Burner, a site with tons of free articles and great information about fat loss, which is ‘smart weight loss’. Lose weight without wrecking your metabolism, without fad diets, without drugs and without expensive supplements. He has a free ‘mini-course’ and newsletter packed with great information about healthy weight loss. Drop by at http://www.TheFatBurner.net or check out the new blog at [http://www.thefatburnerblog.com]
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