What should I do? My doctor says my weight gain isn’t from my thyroid!

dr talking to a woman

By: Dawn Cutillo

In my center, I am seeing a trend where women feel they have a thyroid issue even though they have normal thyroid test results. This can leave women thinking, why do I have symptoms like weight gain, hair loss, low energy, and sex drive?  If it isn’t my thyroid, what is it?

Let’s take a step back and break down what your thyroid is and what it does. The thyroid is a gland located at the back of your neck that controls metabolism—how the body uses energy. When the hypothalamus tells the pituitary gland to produce Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH), that in turn stimulates the thyroid to produce more T3 and T4 hormones.  If there is enough T3 and T4 in the blood, and the feedback system is working correctly, a woman would have normal TSH levels on her thyroid test. The question is, how can a woman suffer from all the symptoms of seemingly low thyroid (hypothyroidism) when her test results are normal?

The answer, is stress and hormone imbalances.

Stress and Hormones

Stress is impossible to avoid in our modern society. Many women are under chronic stress caused by multi-tasking, jobs, motherhood, lack of sleep, chronic pain, or poor diet. Stress causes a rise in the adrenal stress hormone, cortisol. Cortisol is necessary to give us energy to fight or flight. If your body is unable to keep up with your need for cortisol production, it will steal it from other sources. Your body’s easiest choice is to convert progesterone into cortisol.  But this causes progesterone levels to decrease while keeping estrogen at normal levels. This imbalance can cause a magnitude of symptoms that mirror hypothyroidism.

Why is this important?

The delicate balancing act of estrogen and progesterone are very important to your health. Progesterone is the “good” hormone that affects how you look and feel, sleep, lose weight, and can even aid in decreasing the risk of female-related cancers. Progesterone is designed to balance out estrogen and is a fat burner, diuretic, and tends to soothe cravings, calms the mood, and aids in sleep.

An increase in estrogen tends to cause us to retain more fat and fluid, increase cravings and moodiness, as well as cause insomnia. Elevated levels of estrogen are often the cause of PMS and menopausal symptoms. When your estrogen levels are higher than your progesterone, it means you are estrogen dominant. If you stay estrogen dominant for a long period of time, the imbalance affects the thyroid because the excess estrogen blocks T3 and T4 from working correctly. Therefore, TSH, which thyroid tests measure, is in normal range, but T3 and T4 are not performing correctly due to being blocked by estrogen.

You’re estrogen dominant. Now what?

If you do not take action to balance your estrogen and progesterone, you may have additional hypothyroid symptoms. Your thyroid glands will keep trying to push out more T3 and T4 hormones to make up for the blockage, and the thyroid becomes low and a “hypo” state will occur.  This is the stage of early weight gain. After the hormones have been imbalanced for a long time, the thyroid begins to produce less of T3 and T4, with TSH trying to push your body to produce more thyroid hormone. Your test results will now show a decrease in T3 and T4 and an elevated TSH. Unfortunately, your thyroid has been getting weaker the whole time.

Keys to balancing your thyroid

The best solution to a thyroid issue is to get to the root cause. In the example above, it could be resolved by balancing the estrogen and progesterone hormones. You can do this by applying a natural form of progesterone in a transdermal cream. These creams go directly into the blood stream, similar to how a Nicoderm patch works. Unlike synthetic hormones, transdermal creams cannot get built up in your body. This is key because you do not want too much progesterone building up in the fatty tissue of the body, as too much will give you the same symptoms as not enough, and your estrogen dominance symptoms will come back.

To learn if you have a hormone imbalance, take our free hormone assessment survey.

Our philosophy goes a step further to support the adrenal gland and the stress response by using a stress support cream. This gives your body the raw ingredients to make cortisol an as-needed so the body does not steal progesterone. This step is vital and unique to what we offer. Herbs like Maca or ginseng have a balancing effect on the adrenal gland, which can balance and aid the thyroid. Our stress support cream contains Maca for this reason. Plus, high levels of stress hormones are associated with increasing the speed of the aging process. When your sex hormones are balanced, they are anti-aging in nature because your body thinks it is young and can still reproduce. These are just a few extra advantages to balancing our stress and sex hormones.

At BeBalanced, our healthy weight loss program has helped over 5,000 women reach their goals by balancing hormones and helping affect wellness in all areas of life! You could be next. Don’t lose hope, find BeBalanced!

For more information on any of the topics mentioned here, you can contact your local BeBalanced Center , or email us at info@bebalancedcenters.com. You can also take our free hormone assessment to start your journey to getting back to your best self! Be Slimmer, Be Happier, Be Energized, BeBalanced!


Dawn Cutillo is the author of “The Hormone Shift: Using Natural Hormone Balancing for Your…Mood, Weight, Sleep & Female Health” and has been in the health field for over 25 years. She is also the founder and hormone health consultant of BeBalanced Hormone Weight Loss Centers and is degreed and certified in health and nutrition. In addition to overseeing the operation of the BeBalanced flagship center in Lancaster, PA, Dawn owns Infinity Health LLC, a national consulting company that advises healthcare practitioners on how to aid patients in balancing their hormones for weight, mood, sleep, and health issues.