Thyroid Function and Weight Loss

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If thyroid conditions are left untreated, this may make weight loss or weight gain extremely difficult despite following strict diets and exercise regimens.

The thyroid gland is an endocrine gland that is butterfly-shaped and positioned in the lower front of the neck. The thyroid’s role is to produce thyroid hormones, which are produced in the bloodstream and delivered to all tissues throughout the body. Thyroid hormones assist the body in using energy, staying warm, and keeping the brain, heart, muscles, and other organs functioning properly.

For a long time, it has been recognized that there is a complex interaction between thyroid disorders, body weight, and metabolism. The thyroid hormone affects metabolism in both animals and humans. Metabolism is determined by measuring the amount of oxygen consumed by the body over a given period. The basal metabolic rate is calculated when the subject is resting (BMR). Indeed, measuring BMR was one of the first procedures used to determine a patient’s thyroid condition. Patients with underactive thyroid glands had low BMRs, while those with overactive thyroid glands had high BMRs.

Because the BMR in hyperthyroid patients is raised, many patients with an overactive thyroid lose weight. Furthermore, the degree of the hyperactive thyroid is associated with weight loss. For example, if the thyroid is hyperactive, the individual’s BMR rises, resulting in more calories required to maintain body weight. Therefore, there will be weight loss if the person does not raise the number of calories ingested to match the additional calories burnt. As previously said, the mechanisms that govern our hunger, metabolism, and activity are highly complicated, and the thyroid hormone is only one component of this complex system.

Nonetheless, the greater the severity of hyperthyroidism, the greater the weight loss. Weight loss can also be seen in other diseases with excessive thyroid hormones, such as the toxic phase of thyroiditis or when a patient’s thyroid hormone pill dose is too high. In addition, because hyperthyroidism stimulates hunger, some individuals may not lose weight, while others may gain weight, depending on how much they increase their caloric intake.

Because hypothyroidism reduces BMR, an underactive thyroid is often accompanied by considerable weight gain. Individuals with more severe hypothyroidism frequently gain more weight. However, the drop in BMR caused by hypothyroidism is usually considerably less dramatic than the substantial increase caused by hyperthyroidism, resulting in more modest weight changes caused by the underactive thyroid. The cause of weight gain in hypothyroid people is likewise complex, and it may not be due to increased fat accumulation. Most of the additional weight gained by hypothyroid people is due to an excess of salt and water. Hypothyroidism is rarely associated with significant weight gain. Depending on the severity of the hypothyroidism, the thyroid may account for 5-10 pounds of body weight. Finally, if weight gain is the only sign of hypothyroidism, the weight increase is less likely to be caused by the thyroid.

Thyroid function is essential in regulating metabolism, and an imbalance can lead to weight changes. So if you are struggling to lose weight or keep it off, it may be worth getting your thyroid checked by a doctor.

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