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Struggling with Your Weight?

Post Published: 10 October 2011
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Category: Guest Bloggers, Thyroid Weight Loss
This post currently has 3 responses. Leave a comment

Last week I asked my community what they wanted to hear about, what topics they wanted addressed in my blog, and the highest vote went to WEIGHT. Here’s how one woman put it:

My husband would say more on sex drive, I say help me lose 10 pounds.

And then this lovely member of my tribe took it a bit further with her follow-up question when I asked permission to use her comment:

If I lose 10 pounds, will the sex follow?

This particular woman is 40. Her comment illustrates an important point relevant to most people who struggle with their thyroid. And it also relates to a super fun call I had two weeks ago with thyroid expert Mary Shomon and Baywatch actress Gena Lee Nolin. Together they are writing a book called Thyroid Sexy.

  • Low sex drive seems less urgent to women than to their higher-drive partners.It goes further: high-libido partners are attracted to low-libido partners. It’s a recipe for disconnect, frustration, guilt and, well, sugar cravings.
    • The unspoken symptom of thyroid issues? Low sex drive. I asked Mary and Gena about their experience in the thyroid world with low libido as a symptom. (“Dr. Sara, what is sex?” Gena asked). Gina shared her story, and I shared my own. Link here if you want to hear the whole conversation. [http://dl.dropbox.com/u/33652628/DrSara_GenaNolin_MaryShomon.mp3]
    • Does 10 extra pounds decrease sex drive? How relevant is body image to your libido? Do you want to have higher sexual energy or is it mostly your husband who wants you to want sex more?

Oh, how I understand those 10 extra pounds at 40. Or 35. Or 45. Or 50+.

There’s a point that many of us can identify rather wistfully when our good metabolism takes a turn for the worst. Our hormones started to work against us.

For me, it seems like that point was age 35. That’s when I think my thyroid tanked. I had one kid and COULD NOT LOSE THE WEIGHT. No one checked my thyroid.  After feeling like a failure, I got Jenny Craig’ed. Then I had another kid and was right back at that bracing exhaustion, bloated, fat, postpartum place again. I found my way to Weight Watchers. I counted points dutifully but didn’t eat such nourishing food. I lost the weight but it was friggin’ hard. My degree from Harvard Medical School was no help at all.

Then I looked around and noticed how my patients similarly struggled with baby weight, exhaustion, low sex drive. I started educating myself about functional medicine and more nuanced ways of looking at how the thyroid works in women, how it relates to the sex hormones (estrogen, progesterone and testosterone), and how insulin- and leptin-resistant we get in pregnancy. I saw how many women had thyroid symptoms for the first time after a baby.

I tested myself and found a borderline TSH at 2.9. Low T3. High insulin. High cortisol and high leptin. I changed my food plan. I got my leptin and insulin into the normal range, one avocado at a time. I became a yoga teacher and got my cortisol down (well, mostly down). It wasn’t overnight, but I learned how to get my hormones to support me rather than to screw me (and my weight).

I can’t go in depth on that topic now, but I’m doing a whole teleseminar event about hormones, vitality, weight and sex drive on October 12 at 1130am Pacific/ 230pm Eastern and here’s where you can register: http://www.saragottfriedmd.com/myths/ If you can’t join us, still register and we’ll send you the recording.

Written by, Dr. Gottfried

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3 Responses to “Struggling with Your Weight?”

  1. Jacqueline says:

    Thank you, Dr. Gottfried! I am a lot more than 10 pounds overweight, but am learning more and more about how my hormones–and not just thyroid hormones–all do this intricate dance that has everything to do with my ability to lose weight, feel sexy, and feel like my old self again. Here’s another helpful article on the topic of “weight resistance” and how hormonal imbalances stand in the way of weight loss: http://www.womentowomen.com/healthyweight/whatisweightlossresistance.aspx.My new mantra: hormonal balance!!!

  2. Lolly says:

    Dr.G

    I love reading what you have to say I may not always answer but I always read.
    I’ve lost a stone (14lbs) does that mean I can have an orgy? 🙂
    Since having my thyroid removed in 2007 and being just on Levothyroxine and never really being stable, I watched my weight creep up to heavier than I would ever want to be, so a few months ago I decided to go to weight watchers with friends 8 weeks on and I have gradually lost each week except last week I put on 1lb for some reason checking thyroid next week.. I wasn’t expecting to lose easily but it is working for me right now and hope it continues to do so ,I want to feel better about myself Sexy without the thyoobs they may keep the wrinkles off my face but don’t do anything for my back or knees.

    Lollyx

  3. Amy says:

    I’m about 40 pounds overweight. It crept on after a partial thyroidectomy. My issue is that I’m an extremely active person. I do yoga, pilates, jog, walk, dance, bike, hike, hoop, etc. For awhile I was working out 3 hours a day. I’d do an hour before breakfast, an hour in the afternoon and another in the evening. I also tracked calories. I started at 1550/day and then decreased to 1335 when I wasn’t gettng results. I still didn’t get results. In everything that I’ve done, I’ve not so much as lost a single ounce. Not even an OUNCE. I cut out trans fat way back in 2003. I limit processed foods. I now avoid gluten. I try to limit dairy and soy and I’m currently working at cutting back on sugar. Still…nothing. I’ve seen two doctors regarding this issue. The first one called me a liar and told me thyroid and weight having nothing to do with one another. He said it was a myth. If I’m fat then it is my own fault for not living a better lifestyle. The second just laughed. Every woman wants to be smaller than she is. Then he said, if you want to weight 130 pounds then eat only 1300 cals/day. Um..yeah. I’ve been doing that. Then he gave me that look as if to say “sure you have”. My current doctor just acts like it isn’t any big deal. I have massive joint pain. I want to train for half-marathons and I can’t because now whenever I run my hips hurt for days. He said it is the excess weight. I said thta is probably true. What do we do? His response? Exercise more and eat less!!!! Grrrrrr!

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