When we’re younger, we worry about packing on the freshman 15 — but now we need to focus on avoiding the 40-something (and plus!) 15. Once you start nearing the big 4-0, your body may stop producing key hormones at the optimal levels, resulting in a sluggish metabolism that doesn’t burn calories the way it used to.
And one of the most common hormones to slip away as we age is among the most important — the thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), which is produced by the pituitary gland. Optimal thyroid function is necessary to regulate fat burning and help keep off the pounds, but a significant percentage of women find that their thyroid function slumps as they head into their 40s. Here’s how to tackle this head-on.
- Watch for symptoms of hypothyroidism. A low thyroid level will result in sluggishness, fatigue, weight gain, dry skin, and stiff joints. If you develop these symptoms, it’s time to talk with a doctor.
- Get your levels tested. Have your doctor check your thyroid levels to see if you’re producing enough hormones on your own to help maintain your weight. Get tested for T3 and T4 for the most accurate reading. You may also want to get your levels of other hormones, including cortisol and insulin, checked at the same time, as low or high numbers of these can be the culprits behind the drop in your thyroid levels.
- Take your medicine. Your doctor may prescribe thyroid medication to help boost your levels. Ask for natural thyroid supplementation like Armour natural thyroid complex or Cytomel.
- Get it just right. Regular blood tests ensure that your thyroid function remains optimal. While low thyroid levels point to fatigue, symptoms of elevated levels (or hyperthyroidism) include heart palpitations and inability to sleep. For this reason, it’s important you have open communication with your physician about your symptoms. It may take more than one visit to arrive at the right dosage; regular blood tests will reveal if the dose needs to be tweaked. Again, getting your hormones just right is the goal.
I often hear, "Hey, you remind me of Suzanne Somers!" So, what do you think? LOL!!