The Connection Between Your Thyroid and Your Weight from The Connection Between Your Thyroid and Your Weight

The Connection Between Your Thyroid and Your Weight

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The Connection Between Your Thyroid and Your Weight

One of the most important parts of our bodies is also one of the smallest ones. The thyroid, butterfly-shaped gland on the front of the neck below the Adam’s apple, releases hormones that have a huge impact on metabolism and weight control, among other processes. Problem with weight – usually gaining extra pounds and having trouble losing them – is among the most common signs of a thyroid not working right. The connection between the two is very complex and it involves other hormones and organs.

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Appetite changes

Loss of appetite, as well as greater appetite because of an overactive thyroid, is a common symptom, according to the American Thyroid Association. It is normal to be hungry after exercising or another intense physical activity. But feeling like you need more – and that happens every day for several weeks – may be a sign of diabetes or thyroid abnormalities.

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Slower metabolism

The relationship between the thyroid hormone and body weight affects metabolism. Weight gain is a common problem, especially among women. This may be caused by an underactive thyroid which has significantly slowed down your metabolism. Thyroid hormones T3 and T4 control cellular metabolism throughout the body. A deficiency causes the metabolic function to slow. Having trouble losing a few pounds can also be a sign of hypothyroidism. 

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Faster metabolism

Hyperthyroidism can speed up a person’s metabolism significantly, causing sudden weight loss. This is due to an overactive thyroid gland. People who experience sudden drastic weight loss without changing their lifestyle are often diagnosed with hyperthyroidism, caused by too much thyroid hormone. People with the condition tend to be hyperactive and eat excessively, according to Endocrine Web.

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Sleep

An overactive gland can make you stay awake when you shouldn’t be by making you anxious and increasing your pulse. The condition overstimulates the nervous system, making it hard to fall asleep. Lack of sleep can lead to weight gain. Sleep deprivation affects the brain in a way that makes you want to eat more and not process food efficiently. Science says getting less sleep than needed makes the body produce higher peaks of endocannabinoid, a lipid in the bloodstream that’s responsible for making eating feel more enjoyable; hence, you always want to eat. Also, if you’re on little sleep, fat cells’ ability to react properly to insulin (the hormone that regulates energy storage) decreases by 30 percent. 

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Body Mass Index

The connection with body mass index (BMI) and obesity is still not well understood. Several new studies have examined this and experts are beginning to gain more knowledge, according to the Obesity Action Coalition. One study compared BMI and TSH levels in 6,164 adults from 1995 to 2001. Higher BMI was associated with higher TSH (TSH is higher in hypothyroidism), and increases in BMI throughout the six-year period was positively correlated with increases in TSH.

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Energy balance

The first symptom of hypothyroidism (not enough thyroid hormone) doctors mention is feeling very tired all the time. If you have no energy in the morning even though you slept well, your thyroid may be underactive. As a result you, most likely, sit most of the day and rarely, if ever, exercise. The price of leading an inactive lifestyle is high and it comes in the form of physical pain and obesity. Every extra hour of sitting increases the risk of diabetes by 22 percent, according to research.

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Fatigue

Hyperthyroidism increases your metabolism, and many individuals initially have a lot of energy, according to the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists. However, as the hyperthyroidism continues, the body tends to break down, so being tired is very common. It’s hard to resist snacks when you’re tired. Your body has no energy and thinks it’s hungry. Research has also shown that tired people tend to reach for foods that are high on bad carbs.

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Cortisol

Excess of cortisol, known as the stress hormone, leads to a decreased level of TSH (thyroid-stimulating hormone), lowering thyroid hormone production. Stress reduces conversion of T4 to T3. T4 must be converted into T3 before it can be used by the cells. Also, stress causes the body to release inflammatory cytokines, which subdue thyroid receptor site sensitivity.

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Blood sugar control

Another significant indirect effect the adrenals, which are endocrine glands on above each kidney, have on thyroid function is via their influence on insulin release for blood sugar maintenance. Blood sugar imbalances cause hypothyroid symptoms in a variety of ways. High cortisol or insulin levels could be to blame if you are reaching for sugary snacks. Blood sugar is used for energy. Whatever the body doesn’t burn will store as fat, but you’ll be hungry much sooner. Also, sugar, no matter where it's coming from, tends to increase fat levels in the blood. 

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Salt and water retention

Most of the extra weight gained in hypothyroid individuals is due to excess accumulation of salt and water, according to the American Thyroid Association. One of the most common causes of fluid retention is low body temperature, which is very common when you have a dysfunctional thyroid. When your thyroid hormone levels are too low, your body’s cells don’t get enough thyroid hormone. This causes your body's processes to slow down.  For example, the body makes less heat and less energy, causing you to feel colder.

The Connection Between Your Thyroid and Your Weight