There has been a great deal of misunderstanding about the connection between thyroid hormone and weight loss. Produced in the thyroid gland, thyroid hormone is the master metabolic control mechanism. A lack of thyroid hormone (a condition called hypothyroidism) is connected to weight gain, as well as dry hair and skin, fatigue, and sluggishness. Overweight people may want to check their thyroid levels to make sure they aren't lacking thyroid hormone. If they are, a physician may prescribe thyroid hormones to correct the condition. In the 1960s and 1970s, the connection between hypothyroidism and weight gain caused some people to assume they could speed up their metabolism and lose weight by using supplemental thyroid hormones. This led to an abuse of thyroid hormone as people created an artificial state of excess thyroid hormone (a condition medically known as hyperthyroidism). Hyperthyroidism can cause weight loss as well as irregular heartbeats, sweating, and tremors. Although people taking supplemental thyroid hormones may have lost weight, they were losing lean muscle mass in addition to undesirable body fat (Braunwald et al 2001).
Today our understanding of the relationship between thyroid hormone and weight loss is more complete. It works like this: when calorie intake is drastically reduced, the activity of an enzyme called 5'-monodeiodinase is reduced; 5'-monodeiodinase is necessary to convert the thyroid hormone T4 into T3. As a result, the levels of T3 drop (Merimee et al 1976; Carlson et al 1977; Beer et al 1989; Wadden et al 1990). T3 is the stronger form of thyroid hormone.
The LE weight loss plan begins with comprehensive blood testing to help determine which hormones are low and whether thyroid function needs to be supported. In the past, many people have found it difficult to obtain proper hormone blood tests and a cooperative physician to work with. A new program makes this both simple and cost-effective. You can order the suggested hormone profile blood tests over the telephone, (800) 208-3444, or on a special website (www.lef.org/blood). You will also have an opportunity to speak directly with a knowledgeable health advisor over the phone. You will be sent filled-in paperwork that will enable you to go to a convenient blood-drawing station in your area. After your blood is tested, the results will be mailed to you.
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