Many thyroid patients suffer from problems with weight gain and the inability to lose excess pounds. There is a significant link between the body’s metabolism, body weight, and thyroid disease. Hormones in the thyroid regulate a number of bodily functions, including metabolism, which is also affected by the amount of oxygen in the body.
The thyroid gland is part of the endocrine system and is an organ shaped like a butterfly present in the throat. It is situated below the thyroid cartilage. The thyroid affects how the body burns energy, protein production, as well as hormone production and regulation. The thyroid is under the control of the hypothalamus and pituitary gland.
Hypothyroidism and Weight Gain
When thyroid decreases in the blood, fat and protein stores go unused. Cells decrease in activity, which requires less energy. The additional energy is stored in the body as additional weight. When levels of thyroid hormone in the blood decrease, the pituitary gland sends a message to the thyroid, which causes the release of more thyroid hormones.
Thyroid Function Tests
Thyroid function tests can be easily implemented to diagnose an underactive thyroid. Blood tests measure the level of hormones in the body. It is important for blood tests to check the levels of TSH and thyroxine. These tests help with early diagnosis of thyroid problems and these levels can help an endocrinologist determine the dosages necessary to maintain healthy hormone levels.
Hypothyroidism, Diet, and Weight Gain
Brassica vegetables can supress thyroid activity and block iodine uptake, further stifling the metabolism. Brassica vegetables include brussel sprouts, kale, turnip and other foods with thioglycosides. If a person has an underactive thyroid with weight gain, it is important to avoid refined foods, sugar and dairy, wheat, caffeine and alcohol. Calcium and metabolism both help to improve the metabolic process and thereby reduce a person’s weight gain or help lose weight.
Treatment for Hypothyroidism and Weight Gain
Treatments for hypothyroidism include the use of synthetic hormones, such as Levothroid, Levoxyl, Synthroid or Unithroid. These medications are meant to restore normal hormone levels and put the thyroid back to normal and reduce symptoms, such as weight gain. Normally, the medication can lower higher cholesterol levels, which are elevated because of hypothyroidism. This lowering of cholesterol should help to reverse weight gain.