Why Can Thyroid Problems Make People Gain Weight?

Written by:

Obi Obadike

Obi Obadike

Celebrity Fitness & Nutrition Expert, CFT, SFN, M.S. Founder & CEO – Ethical Inc.
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Why can thyroid problems make people gain weight? Hyperthyroidism is a disease that affects 1% of the people in the United States and it affects mostly women. And this happens when your thyroid is producing more than what is needed. A thyroid is a butter shape gland that is in your neck.

Here are some of the symptoms if your body produces too much thyroid.

  • Nervousness
  • Increased sweating
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Weight Gain
  • Thinning of hair
  • Extreme Fatigue
  • Frequent Bowel movements
  • Muscle Weakness
  • Irritability
  • Brittle Nails

Your thyroid hormone is one of the most important components of controlling your metabolism.  It affects your basal metabolic rate, and the basal metabolic rate is how much energy your body uses to keep functioning while at rest.

Why Can Thyroid Problems Make People Gain Weight? Photo Credit: iStock- Rasi Bhadramani

How hyperthyroidism works causes weight gain is when your body isn’t burning enough energy. And this is what can cause a calorie surplus. Although your thyroid hormone is one of the most important components that control your metabolism, there are also factors such as how much you eat, your physical activity level, etc.

Another way you can gain weight through hyperthyroidism is it will increase your appetite. If you consume more calories and your metabolism isn’t burning calories efficiently because it is affected by your thyroid issues, then you will gain weight. And you will have a tough time keeping or managing a healthy weight.

Another form of thyroid problems is thyroiditis, and this is the inflammation of thyroid. One of the most common types of thyroiditis is Hashimoto disease. Hashimoto disease causes weight gain and some of the common symptoms associated with it are:

  • Dry Skin
  • Depression
  • Weight Gain
  • Fatigue
  • Constipation

According to the American thyroid Association there is no cure for hyperthyroidism. But there is medications and treatments for this disease.

One of the more common treatments for Hashimoto disease is thyroid hormone replacement pills. If you develop the following symptoms like weight gain, problems sleeping, excessive sweating then you need to contact your doctor and find the proper treatment.

The thyroid medical treatment is meant to do the following such as improve your body’s thyroid function, restore your hormone levels, and help you live a normal life.

Some of the common medication treatments for thyroid issues are:

  • Betablockers that can minimize symptoms.
  • Surgery which can be performed by removing your thyroid gland.
  • Antithyroid gland medication like tapazole which can prevent your thyroid from producing hormones and symptoms.
  • Radioiodine therapy iodine damages your thyroid gland. You can take it by pill or liquid by mouth. It is important to know that this option isn’t safe for breastfeeding or pregnant people.

Hyperthyroidism affects 3 different ways:

  • Inflammation of the thyroid
  • Producing too much T4 hormone
  • Graves Disease- Graves disease causes your thyroid to create too much thyroid.

Graves Disease is one of the most common causes of hypothyroidism as it affects about 70% of people who have an overactive thyroid. 

Other causes of hyperthyroidism are:

  • Too much iodine intake
  • Taking too much thyroid medication
  • Thyroid gland inflammation
  • Overactive thyroid glands
  • Noncancerous pituitary gland tumor

The Bottom Line is thyroid problems will make you gain weight but there are different medications that you can take that will help improve any thyroid health issues. Hyperthyroidism can affect your metabolism in a negative way. And the only way to combat this is by consulting your doctor to help give you some preventive medication methods.

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