What To Do When There’s Weight Gain Due to Hypothyroidism


Weight gain due to hypothyroidism is the more common outcome of thyroid disorder. To manage this you need to use the right set of medications, make lifestyle and diet changes.

Hypothyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid gland becomes slow. The thyroid gland releases hormones that help in various bodily functions. Thyroid hormones affect the functioning of various systems in your body.

Table of contents

Here’s how the thyroid does it:

Function Effect
Metabolism Enhanced nutrient uptake, insulin breakdown, increased fatty acid oxidation, lowered cholesterol.
Growth Important for muscle growth by phosphocreatine synthesis, long bone growth, maturation of the brain.
Nervous System Development of neurons, Fetal brain development.
Reproduction Maintenance of normal sexual growth and functions,
Circulation Increased blood circulation, maintenance of body temperature, regularized and strengthened cardiac activity, normalizing blood pressure.

Why there’s weight gain due to hypothyroidism

weight gain due to hypothyroidism
Weight Gain Due To Hypothyroidism

A tardy thyroid gland implies a slow metabolism process. A slow down of the body metabolism process means that our body has lesser ability to break down complex food substances.

Starch, carbohydrates, fats comprise the complex food substances. When these do not get metabolized properly they are stored in the body as adipose leading to weight gain.

Slow thyroid onsets the process of several illnesses and especially weight gain leading to obesity which in itself is a major illness and a precursor to life-threatening conditions. Rapid weight gain syndrome can point towards slow thyroid functioning and it is imperative to consult the doctor if such a symptom is realized.

How to avoid weight gain due to hypothyroidism

Medical treatment for hypothyroidism involves replenishment of thyroid hormones through medicines and advises to inculcate certain lifestyle changes.

Weight control is essential in thyroid patients so as not to cause a further slowdown of metabolism. Some time-tested weight gain solutions for hypothyroidism patients include:

Filling the plate with nutrition:

It is not only important to fill the stomach but it is important to get as much nutrition as possible in each meal. Thus meals should have sufficient portions of fibrous low gluten cereals, fruits, vegetables, and

Distribute the meals:

Do not eat heavy meals. If you earlier used to have two large meals a day then break them up into four medium meals a day. By breaking the meals into smaller portions you can reduce the load on your stomach. The stomach will find it easy to digest a smaller meal portion than a large one and the body will get sufficient time to metabolize.

Be active:

Walk the required ten thousand steps morning and evening. Do not opt for fast exercises like running or jogging. Other activities like gardening and yoga are also beneficial for keeping the weight under control as well as for a healthy mind and brain. Besides physical exercises fun mental exercises like crosswords, puzzles and Sudoku help in keeping the brain and pituitary active.

Practice meditation:

Meditation is the art of mind control. Meditation smoothens the brain pulses and strengthens the mind and brain. A strengthened brain exercises better control over body organs and body glands including the thyroid gland.

Get ample amount of good sleep:

The body attends to major building up and breakdown processes in sleep. Establish a disciplined sleep pattern and make sure to get into bed in time.

Also, make it a habit to wake up at a disciplined hour in the morning. Do not oversleep as that can disturb your sleep pattern and cause sleeplessness. Avoid taking sleep-inducing medication for getting sleep unless advised by the doctor.

Eat these to weight gain with hypothyroidism

Natural remedies are best remedies as they do not have any side effects. Foods that are especially beneficial for hypothyroidism patients include:

  • Fresh fish: fish and marine foods are rich in omega 3 fatty acids and essential vitamins and minerals which are essential for the formation of enzymes and hormones.
  • Seaweeds: are a rich source of iodine and essential vitamins and minerals. Seaweeds like algae are called super foods because they contain almost all the essential minerals and vitamins in adequate amounts and are also a rich source of protein.
  • Yogurt: yogurt is a probiotic. Yogurt and curds supply good bacteria to the body. Good bacteria reside in the gut and produce essential enzymes for the body.
  • Besides the above, fresh fruits and vegetables, high fiber gluten-free cereals and ample amount of clean water are highly therapeutic for thyroid patients. Thyroid patients should minimize intake of sugar, gluten-rich foods, goitrogen foods like cabbage and cauliflower, refined foods and conventional dairy products.

In addition to food, intake of certain herbs and supplements are also beneficial for thyroid patients and these include ashwagandha, iodine and selenium supplements.

What is thyroid gland and what does it do?

The thyroid gland is a gland that occurs in the throat region of the body. Thyroid gland releases two very important hormones called thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). T3 and T4 hormones increase the Oxygen uptake of the body and stimulate body cells to make new proteins.

The thyroid gland controls the metabolic rate of the body by controlling the levels of the T3 and T4 hormones.

The thyroid gland functioning is controlled by a hormone called TSH that is released by the pituitary gland located in the brain. When the level of T3 and T4 is high inside the body, TSH release is stopped by the pituitary thereby controlling the further release of thyroid gland hormones.

What are the causes and symptoms of thyroid disease?

The major causes of thyroid disease can be iodine deficiency, certain medications, and surgery, pregnancy complications, birth defects, pituitary gland malfunction, pituitary gland tumor.

Symptoms of thyroid disease include weight gain, poor growth in children, confusion, depression, fatigue, constipation, heavy minces, slow heart rate among other symptoms.

What are the major types of thyroid disease?

Thyroid disease can be hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism. In the former case, the thyroid gland is slow whereas in the latter case thyroid gland is overactive.

How is thyroid functioning tested medically?

Thyroid functioning is tested by performing a blood test and checking the level of T3, T4 and TSH hormone levels in the blood sample.

 Is thyroid disease curable?

This would depend upon the cause. If the cause is deficiency or some curable illness, lifestyle factors, medicines or pregnancy then thyroid resumes normal functioning after the underlying cause is stopped or cured.

If the cause is serious like a tumor in the brain or certain surgeries then thyroid condition may not be reversible and the patient would have to depend on thyroid hormone medicines for entire life.

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