Tags: cause | obesity | thyroid

Thyroid May Be Causing Your Obesity

By    |   Monday, 15 Dec 2014 09:10 PM

Thyroid disease affects millions of people worldwide and an underproductive thyroid can cause obesity. This is because the thyroid produces hormones that help regulate metabolism, which in turn affects body weight.

Under normal conditions, appropriate amounts of thyroid hormones are released into the blood stream. These hormones are then used throughout the body to regulate energy use, body temperature, heart rate, blood pressure, and to support vital organs such as the brain. These hormones also play a role during childhood and adolescence to regulate growth and development.

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Hypothyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid gland does not produce enough hormones to keep the body functioning at an optimal level. According to the Mayo Clinic, common symptoms include fatigue, increased sensitivity to cold, constipation, unexplained weight gain, elevated blood cholesterol, and depression.

The American Thyroid Association published an article on the relationship between thyroid disease and weight gain in which they defined metabolism as the "amount of oxygen used by the body over a specific amount of time." Basal metabolic rate (BMR) was defined as the measurement of metabolism at rest. People with hypothyroidism were found to have low BMRs, which is associated with weight gain. It is interesting to note however that the ATA reports that only 5 to 10 extra pounds can be attributed to the thyroid malfunction while "Most of the extra weight gained in hypothyroid individuals is due to excess accumulation of salt and water."

Hypothyroidism mainly affects women and treatment includes prescription hormone replacement therapy. However, even with medication that can help ameliorate symptoms of low thyroid, obesity may still be an issue. Dr. Elizabeth Pearce, from Boston University School of Medicine says, "We found that modest weight loss following initiation of levothyroxine treatment for hypothyroidism occurs in only about half of patients."

In addition to medically managing hypothyroidism, there are diet and exercise recommendations that may assist with thyroid related obesity. According to Livestrong.com, soy products, such as tofu, soybeans, and soymilk, can reduce the effectiveness of hypothyroidism medications and should be avoided. Certain vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower may reduce thyroid function while green beans and spinach, which are high in metabolism boosting vitamins, are beneficial.

Livestrong.com recommends at least a half an hour of exercise per day for people with hypothyroidism, which can boost metabolism and increase blood flow. Also, supplementing with omega-3 fatty acids and the amino acid L-tyrosine can help reduce inflammation, promote a healthy immune system and offer thyroid support. However, Livestrong.com cautions in a separate report on L-tyrosine, "Avoid L-tyrosine if you have manic symptoms or high blood pressure. Also, do not take L-tyrosine along with prescribed thyroid hormone drugs, unless your doctor advises it."

This article is for information only and is not intended as medical advice. Talk with your doctor about your specific health and medical needs.

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Thyroid disease affects millions of people worldwide and an underproductive thyroid can cause obesity. This is because the thyroid produces hormones that help regulate metabolism, which in turn affects body weight.
cause, obesity, thyroid
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2014-10-15
Monday, 15 Dec 2014 09:10 PM
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