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Marla Ahlgrimm | Cold Weather Affects Thyroid Hormone

August 28, 2018

Marla AhlgrimmCool weather is on its way and Marla Ahlgrimm, a retired women’s health entrepreneur and hormone expert, says cold temps can change the way our bodies produce certain hormones. Specifically, thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH).

The thyroid gland is part of the endocrine system. Thyroid hormone regulates the body’s ability to metabolize calories and thus how well it utilizes the energy derived from food. People with clinical thyroid disorders may experience significant weight gain, excessive fatigue, and other health concerns. The thyroid plays a part in many of the body’s systems and for this reason proper diagnosis is paramount to preserving a person’s overall health.

According to Marla Ahlgrimm, seasonal changes within the body may lead to an overabundance of hypothyroidism diagnoses. She explains that TSH, which is produced by the pituitary glands and serve the primary function of regulating the thyroid, is produced in higher levels during the late fall and winter season. High levels of TSH may cause symptoms similar to hypothyroidism, such as weight gain and fatigue.

Marla Ahlgrimm notes that a recent study found that people with normal thyroid function, as well as those previously diagnosed with hypothyroidism, experienced an increase TSH level between winter and spring. Levels dropped in summer for both groups as well. Physicians who do not understand the correlation between season and thyroid function tend to diagnose hypothyroidism in otherwise healthy adults.

It’s an interesting study, says Marla Ahlgrimm, and there have been others that support a fluctuation in seasonal thyroid function. It is not fully understood why but it’s theorized that the body is attempting to compensate for cooler temperatures by generating more heat. Marla Ahlgrimm clarifies that the cold weather does not directly affect the thyroid but the hormones that affect it.

Hyper- and hypothyroidism are treated with hormones, says Marla Ahlgrimm.

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