When your thyroid hormone levels are low, it can put a damper on your weight loss efforts. Nurse practitioners, like Diana Patton, FNP-C, and her team at Empower Weight Loss Associates in McKinney, Texas, can diagnose conditions like hypothyroidism. Living with hypothyroidism doesn’t have to keep you from reaching a healthy weight. The expert nurse practitioners at Empower Weight Loss Associates will be with you through every step of your weight loss journey.
Hypothyroidism occurs when your body isn’t getting enough thyroid hormone. Your thyroid is an endocrine gland at the base of your neck. This gland produces hormones that are essential for just about every process that goes on in your body. Among other functions, thyroid hormones help your body use energy, which is why you might not be burning calories efficiently if your thyroid levels are running low.
A nurse practitioner at Empower Weight Loss Associates will give you a full exam. She’ll ask you questions about your symptoms and feel your neck to see if your thyroid is swollen. If she suspects something is off, you’ll probably have to go in for blood work.
Detecting low thyroid levels is easy to do through a simple blood draw. Usually, you can get a diagnosis by having either the T4 blood test or the thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) blood test, or sometimes both.
While there is no cure, hypothyroidism can be managed with medications. Once your dedicated nurse practitioner at Empower Weight Loss Associates confirms that your thyroid levels are low, she’ll determine which medications may be right for you. While it might take some time to adjust to the medication and find the correct dosage for your needs, you’ll usually start losing excess weight.
Your nurse practitioner will probably order blood tests for you about every 6-10 weeks. This will help her determine whether she needs to make any adjustments to your medication dosages. Once she sees a pattern of stable thyroid hormone levels, it usually means you’re taking the right dosage.
At this point, you usually need to have your blood drawn about once a year to check for hypothyroidism issues. Of course, you should certainly let your nurse practitioner know if you start gaining weight again. You might need your medication dosage adjusted if this occurs.