Weight gain is often associated with thyroid problems in women. And it's true that women are more likely to experience thyroid issues, but men can be affected too. More than 12 percent of the population will be affected by thyroid issues in their lifetime. That might seem like a low percentage, but when you're talking about the entire population—that's a lot of people, and a lot of men suffering from thyroid problems. Women are five to eight times more likely to develop thyroid issues, and that leads to many cases of thyroid disorder in men going undiagnosed or misdiagnosed. Men are also less likely to present to the doctor if they feel run-down, depressed, or are gaining weight. So if you feel like you just need to exercise more but it's difficult because you're so tired all the time, it might be your thyroid.
Even more commonly, however, being tired and run-down are symptoms of an issue with the adrenal glands. Cortisol is a stress hormone that's secreted by the adrenal glands in response to any kind of stress whether it's physical (e.g., exercise), emotional (e.g., relationship), or mental (e.g., work). You need cortisol to function under the most stressful of conditions, but when chronic stress of any kind is persistent, so is the cortisol production. High levels of cortisol raise your glucose and insulin levels, which tell your body to hold on to fat. They tell your body that, under all this stress, you may need that energy someday. So to lose the fat, you have to lose the cortisol, which means you have to lose the stress.
At Parsley Health, specialized testing helps to identify cortisol and insulin issues. The physicians work with all of our patients to identify, address, and reduce the stress in their lives. It's part of a comprehensive, whole approach to health. We work with our health coaches to help implement special anti-inflammatory diets, less stressful fitness plans, and relaxation techniques that fit your style.