The Daily Dose: Metabolic Syndrome:
After my thyroidectomy, almost immediately, I began to gain weight. I wasn't eating more, and my eating habits hadn't changed, but somehow my body did.
For years I struggled with food, thinking about what foods I could eat that would not make me gain weight became one of my central focuses. It was a great cause of stress. Food was no longer fun. I was gaining about 10 pounds per year until I eventually packed on an extra 80 pounds. All the doctors would say was, “lose weight you'll feel better”, or “stop eating sugar” or eat fewer carbs. Even better still, let me prescribe this new diet pill, it will curb your hunger. “I’M NOT HUNGRY!!” They never dug deeper, they just made assessments and assumptions and were sure to notate my chart as "obese from overeating". They didn't even ask me what I ate in a day!
Years later I met a nutritionist from California, one of the intake questions she asked was what I ate in a day, when she found out she said: “oh my gosh, you’re starving”. Pretty funny considering I was fat. She said I wasn't getting enough calories or nutrients. And, to make matters worse I was already nutrient deficient because I had low stomach acid. Low stomach acid, coupled with metabolic syndrome is a disaster for anyone's health. Metabolic syndrome is when you have too much insulin, it causes high blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist, and high cholesterol levels. But wait, there’s more.
If you have low stomach acid your body doesn't digest protein very well, it doesn't digest carbs which means extra sugar floating around your blood. Excess sugar in your blood, causes your blood to thicken, it can cause high blood pressure, and it too turns to fat. Not only that, but when you have too much insulin, that also turns into fat. You have all these conditions that are causing your body to turn everything to fat! It’s no wonder most thyroid and thyroidectomy patients rapidly gain weight.
Not one of my doctors did blood work to see what the heck was going on inside my body! A simple blood test would have revealed that after thyroidectomy I developed metabolic syndrome in addition to low stomach acid. I could have been on a low-carb regimen or the Mediterranean diet from the start and avoided all the weight gain, but no one told me.
Luckily, my new dietitian asked me to get a range of bloodwork to see exactly what we were dealing with. Here's what she needed:
HS-CRP (inflammation marker)
Thyroid Hormone Assessments
- Epstein Barr
My doctor agreed to order the tests when I told him I was working with a Registered Dietician, but, even after the test results came in, he hasn’t said a word about any of the results. It was because of my Dietician that we discovered my insulin level was too high, I had metabolic syndrome, and a lot of inflammation. But she knew exactly what to do. Now, the metabolic syndrome does not mean diabetes, it is however a component of the metabolic syndrome and is characterized by elevated blood sugar levels that fall below the threshold to diagnose diabetes. Meaning sugar levels are not high enough to diagnose diabetes.
Unfortunately, many doctors will go the extra mile to determine why you're gaining weight, but they sure will prescribe all different kinds of medication to get your blood pressure down instead of identifying the root cause and treating that. They just give medications to treat the symptoms.
Even though I have started my new nutrition program I still have low stomach acid and nutrient deficiency. For that, I take a daily supplement with higher bioavailability that has ingredients that bypass the stomach and absorbs through the intestines, this way I get more nutrients than regular over-the-counter vitamins. I also take collagen gummies research show they help lower blood sugar and for my stomach acid, Apple Cider Vinegar Gummies (ACV) an hour before each meal along with probiotics that support weight loss. Sound like a lot, but my bloating is gone and I'm finally losing the weight.
If you're gaining weight despite eating healthy like I was, keep digging for answers and find a Doctor who will run those blood tests for you. Then, once you have your answers find a dietitian that can work with you and create a food plan that will help you get healthier, lose weight and reverse the metabolic syndrome.