World Thyroid Day 2020: Can thyroid disease cause weight gain? | Instant News


Despite eating healthy and exercising every day, some people can suddenly start to gain weight significantly. If this is something that you are experiencing, one of the things you should check is your thyroid level. Low thyroid levels can be the reason behind sudden weight gain, especially in women. There is a high prevalence of thyroid disease among people throughout the world and that is why, every year, May 25 is observed as World Thyroid Day. According to doctors, one out of every 10 women suffers from hypothyroidism.

Representational pictures. Image source: Getty Images.

The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped gland in the throat under the Adam’s apple. It produces two hormones, T3 (thyroxine) and T4 (triiodothyronine), and is managed by thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH).

The thyroid gland helps in regulating various bodily functions. So, any abnormalities in this organ can cause dysfunction of the body system. Thyroid disease appears as hypothyroidism, where thyroid hormone production is reduced, or hyperthyroidism, where thyroid hormone production is increased. It has been reported that people with hypothyroidism can come with sudden weight gain.

The relationship between thyroid and body weight

Thyroid hormone is responsible for maintaining the body’s metabolism. Your body’s metabolism is measured in terms of your metabolic rate which is the rate at which your body spends energy or burns calories. Our bodies burn calories even at rest, because energy is needed to maintain bodily functions at rest – this is known as basal metabolic rate (BMR). Research has shown that whenever thyroid hormone levels in the body are low, low BMR is recorded and high thyroid hormone levels indicate high BMR. Every time our body works at a higher BMR, it consumes calories stored by the body faster than we consume, which makes people leaner.

Hypothyroidism causes weight gain

In the case of hypothyroidism, the body does not have the normal amount of thyroid hormone needed by the body for various functions. It also causes a decrease in BMR, which causes slower calorie depletion, making people gain weight. It has been reported that additional weight gain in patients with hypothyroidism is caused by excess salt and water in the body. A person with hypothyroidism can also present with other symptoms such as feeling too cold, joint pain and lethargy. Weight loss can be sudden but is usually not excessive.

Treating hypothyroidism can help you lose weight

It has been seen that once someone diagnosed with hypothyroidism starts taking their thyroid medication and follows the recommended diet and exercise, they can return to their previous weight in a short period of time. Even after taking the medicine, if weight continues to increase, then the reason for weight gain may not be a mere thyroid disease.

For more information, read our article at Thyroid problem.

The health article on Firstpost was written by myUpchar.com, India’s first and largest resource for verified medical information. At myUpchar, researchers and journalists work with doctors to provide you with information about all matters of health.

Updated Date: May 24, 2020 16:17:00 IST

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