Thyroid-the butterfly effect

Usually, come 1st (OK, maybe 2nd) of January, gyms around the country are awash with bright-eyed hopefuls, throwing themselves into an exciting new routine that usually loses it’s sparkle and is swapped back for Netflix by week 8.

One of the most common reasons that people quit the gym is not seeing results quick enough. There can be many reasons for this: bad technique, incompatible diet, sporadic attendance. But the one that’s not often mentioned is an underactive thyroid.

The thyroid is a small butterfly-shaped gland in the neck, just in front of the windpipe. One of its main functions is to produce hormones that help regulate the body’s metabolism. These hormones are called triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4). An underactive thyroid often occurs when the immune system, which usually fights infection, attacks the thyroid gland. This damages the thyroid, which means it is not able to make enough thyroxine, leading to the symptoms of an underactive thyroid, such as tiredness, depression, sensitivity to cold, muscle aches, loss of libido, dry hair and skin and of course, weight gain!

Low levels can change the way the body processes fat so, left untreated, this can sabotage any healthy diet and exercise regimes you start, leaving you unmotivated and unlikely to continue. It can also cause high cholesterol and clogging of the arteries, which can potentially lead to serious heart-related problems, such as angina and heart attack.

The first step in diagnosing hypothyroidism is to take a blood test, of which we offer three levels:

Basic: Measures the level of thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) as well as free T4 (FT4) and free T3 (FT3), which are biologically active. This is a more accurate way of testing, as most thyroid hormones are bound to proteins in the blood which transport them around your body, meaning they are not readily available to your cells.

Advanced: Many thyroid disorders are caused by an autoimmune disease and your risk for this is raised if you or a family member has a history of it. As well as TSH, FT4 and FT3, this test looks for specific thyroid antibodies which can indicate that your thyroid is under attack from your immune system.

Ultra: This gives you a clear picture of your thyroid health. On top of the TSH, FT4, FT3 and antibodies, this includes important vitamins and minerals which not only support your thyroid function but can also mimic the symptoms of underactive thyroid if they are found to be low. We include tests for vitamins D, B12, folate (B9) and ferritin (marker for iron storage). We also include an inflammation marker to help interpret your iron (ferritin) result as well as give a picture of whether an autoimmune condition is causing inflammation in your body.

If your results do indicate hypothyroidism, it is easily treated with supplementation of levothyroxine on prescription and monitored by regular blood tests. So enquire today at Elegant and keep on track this New Year!

Meet Shikha Rishi
I am a highly experienced Aesthetics Pharmacist and have a number of years training under the world-renowned Dr. Katie Goldie in Harley Street, London and Dr Tim Pearce at SkinViva, Manchester.  My own clinic is based in my home town of Bournemouth.  I am a conscientious practitioner. I want to understand your aims and expectations and together we will come to a joint treatment plan. This is proven to give a much more natural and longer-lasting result than a “one size fits all” approach to Botox and fillers. I only use the most advanced techniques and products in my consultations including the well-established Botox and Juvederm ranges. I look forward to welcoming you into the clinic and to begin our journey together, revealing a more elegant you.

T. 07817 594092

Dune Hair and Beauty, Canford Cliffs, Poole
Beauties Bournemouth, Christchurch Road, Bournemouth
AR Pharmacy, Totton, Southampton

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