Five years ago my weight gain was due to my Thyroid Gland..What is the thyroid gland and how does it function? Can this gland in men and women really make you gain/loss weight? Then why can't we take additional medication to lose more? All these questions I will explain in detail, it really is important to know how and why your thyroid gland operates.
The butterfly-shaped thyroid gland, located in the lower front of the neck, makes thyroid hormone, which in turn goes into the bloodstream and the rest of the body, helping it to use energy, stay warm, and function properly. A simple blood test measures your TSH levels. A high TSH level reflects an underactive gland; a low TSH usually reflects hyperactivity. Commonly referred to as Hyper and Hypo,
Because patients with an underactive thyroid tend to have a very low basal metabolic rate, one of the most noticeable symptoms of hypothyroidism is weight gain and difficulty losing extra weight. (Sometimes an overactive thyroid can mimic an underactive thyroid by causing weight gain, although this is less common.) A minority of women with hypothyroidism don’t gain weight. The difference arises from their individual biochemistry, the quality of the calories they consume, and how they use those calories.
Often the “metabolic burn” continues to fall as calories are reduced when dieting. That’s why some women with low thyroid can have weight gain even when they severely restrict calories. In order to fix your metabolism, you have to understand your entire health picture, not just your thyroid.
Goiter is usually associated with hypothyroidism, which is decreased thyroid function that leads to slower metabolism, fatigue, weight gain, sluggishness, dry hair, thick skin, poor mental functioning, decreased resistance to infection, a feeling of coldness, and a decrease in sexual energy. More advanced hypothyroidism may worsen these symptoms as well as create a hyperactive, manic state and hypertension, which is paradoxical because this may occur with an overactive thyroid as well.
Since much of the weight gain in hypothyroidism is accumulation in salt and water, when the hypothyroidism is treated one can expect a small (usually less than 10% of body weight) weight loss. As in the treatment with hyperthyroidism, treatment of the abnormal state of hypothyroidism with thyroid hormone should result in a return of body weight to what it was before the hypothyroidism developed. However, since hypothyroidism usually develops over a long period of time, it fairly common to find that there is no significant weight loss after successful treatment of hypothyroidism. Again, if all of the other symptoms of hypothyroidism, with the exception of weight gain, are resolved with treatment with thyroid hormone, it is less likely that the weight gain is solely due to the thyroid. Once hypothyroidism has been treated and thyroid hormone levels have returned to the normal range on thyroid hormone, the ability to gain or lose weight is the same as in individuals who do not have thyroid problems.
Thyroid hormones have been used as a weight loss tool in the past. Many studies have shown that excess thyroid hormone treatment can help produce more weight loss than can be achieved by dieting alone. However, once the excess thyroid hormone is stopped, the excess weight loss is usually regained. Furthermore, there may be significant negative consequences from the use of thyroid hormone to help with weight loss, such as the loss of muscle protein in addition to any loss of body fat. Pushing the thyroid hormone dose to cause thyroid hormone levels to be elevated is unlikely to significantly change weight and may result in other metabolic problems.