Why does hypothyroidism lead to weight gain?

Why does hypothyroidism lead to weight gain?

The role of the thyroid in the body

The role of this gland is multiple and of crucial importance. It increases metabolism and regulates body temperature; manages food processing; manages the body’s use of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins; and manages the cells’ energy production.

We can conclude that the thyroid has an essential role concerning food as well as the synthesis of macronutrients: lipids, carbohydrates, proteins. Therefore, as soon as the gland is no longer able to do its job, it can lead to weight problems.

What is hypothyroidism?

Hypothyroidism is a lack of thyroid hormones. The gland no longer makes enough. As a result, your body works in slow motion. Indeed, it no longer has this means of regulating energy, digestion, and the synthesis of micronutrients.

It is important to remember that this lack of thyroid hormones affects the entire regulatory system of the body and, therefore, the metabolism, which will suffer.

Causes of hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism is a common condition. It mainly affects women (1 in 100 women versus 1 in 1,000 men), and its frequency increases with age (6 in 100 women over the age of 65).

The causes are various, classified in order of frequency:

  • Atrophic thyroiditis, the exact mechanism of which is unknown;
  • Hashimoto’s thyroiditis: autoimmune disease (presence of antibodies directed against the thyroid), with progressive destruction of the gland by chronic inflammation;
  • The post-therapeutic causes: radioactive iodine, proposed in hyperthyroidism (toxic nodule or Basedow’s disease) and the complement of surgical removal of the thyroid for cancer, synthetic antithyroid drugs, thyroid surgery, radiotherapy of the neck;
  • The drug causes causing iodine overload: mainly amiodarone (Cordarone), lithium… ;
  • Subacute thyroiditis and post-pregnancy thyroiditis, which can result in transient hypothyroidism;
  • Congenital abnormalities of the thyroid gland, congenital disorders of hormone production, iodine deficiency (“cretinism”).

Why does hypothyroidism make you fat?

The main cause of this weight gain is the slowdown of the metabolism. It controls the energy expenditure, just like the thyroid hormones, and if it is no longer working, or working badly, the expenditure will be less.
If you don’t change your diet accordingly or eat more than the recommended daily allowance, the excess will be stored in fat cells – the adipocytes – as an energy reserve, since the body doesn’t use it. This will, in the long term, lead to weight gain.

Hypothyroidism will prevent a good expenditure of energy. Hypothyroidism will prevent good energy expenditure. It will also create problems in the storage of nutrients, and even more so of micronutrients. Carbohydrates – which have a role in the composition of cells – and lipids – which are their energy fuel – will no longer be eliminated normally by the body, which will store them. This is the case even if your diet has not changed.

What solutions to avoid weight gain?

Although there are hormonal treatments that can regulate this gland, endocrinologists, such as Dr. Isabelle Raingeard, believe that this is not an emergency.
A diet based on vitamins and minerals can be very effective, as Dr. Philippe Veroli, a specialist in alternative medicine, states. He points out that even when undergoing hormone treatment, it is still important to eat a healthy diet.

Weight gain is normally regulated by watching your diet, listening to your hunger, and satiety.
Eating slowly will also help you because you will feel satiated at the right time. Take the time to chew well and enjoy each bite before taking another. Weight loss must be done with the notion of pleasure and satiety if it is to be effective.

Finally, a sports practice is very important within any health program. Here again, make sure that it is a pleasure by opting for the activity that gives you the most satisfaction. That way, you’ll lose weight healthily, naturally, and without frustration. This is essential.

Also read: Does cortisone really make you fat?