Hypothyroidism and Weight Gain
Gaining weight and not being able to lose it is one of the first signs of hypothyroidism. Most men
and women know how to keep their weight in a comfortable range... if the jeans are getting too snug,
it just means salads for lunch for a week. The idea of a thyroid problem begins to emerge when the
weight doesn't only not come off, the weight gain increases.
Weight Gain Commonly Occurs With Thyroid Disorders
Weight gain from hypothyroidism is caused by a slowed metabolism and several more factors. Often, the patient is told that the weight will come off once thyroid replacement medication is started. Unfortunately, this doesn't usually occur and the weight gains continue despite "normal" TSH levels. It may seem to the patient that it doesn't matter how little they eat or how much they exercise, the weight gain won't go away.
One common reason for weight gain due to hypothyroidism is its link with food allergies. Food allergies can cause an increase of fat deposits in the abdominal area which do not respond to increased exercise or decreased caloric intake.
Someone with hypothyroidism may also have hypoglycemia which can produce cravings for sweets and salty snacks and hunger. Hypoglycemia is associated with all six patterns of hypothyroidism.
Another reason that hypothyroidism can cause weight gain is its effect on the adrenal glands. A sluggish thyroid can cause sluggish adrenal glands. Low functioning adrenal glands can have wide ranging effects on the body. These include:
•Distribution of stored fat (especially around the mid-body and sides of the face) •Blood sugar regulation (hypoglycemia) •Cardiovascular function •Conversion of fats and proteins into energy •Utilization of carbohydrates and fats •Gastrointestinal function