The link between thyroid and weight issues

There are various reasons why people fail or find it difficult to lose weight and these reasons vary between men and women

Rajshree VoraUpdated: Saturday, April 02, 2022, 05:09 AM IST
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Hypothyroid and PCOD are common reasons for weight gain in women. | Pic: Unsplash

Weight loss is the most discussed topic. Because, every passing day, it is becoming difficult to control weight. Around ten years ago, we conducted a survey under the banner of Rajshree Yoga to find out the reason for weight gain. The report showed that most women first gained weight during pregnancy.

But the scene has changed in the last seven years. Some have started facing childhood obesity problems while some have started gaining weight with the onset of puberty. In both cases, hormones play a key role in weight gain.

Hypothyroid and PCOD, in girls, is the main reason which causes an invariable increase in weight gain. Apart from this, other hormones like FSH, LH, Prolactin, and DHEA cause high levels of testosterone. Due to this imbalance of hormones and irregular periods, it becomes difficult to lose weight.

Read below to understand one of the most common problems: hypothyroid

Understanding Hypothyroidism -

Water retention is the most common cause of extra weight gained in hypothyroid individuals. Weight gain due to hypothyroidism depends on the TSH levels.

What is the thyroid?

The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland which is located on the lower side of the neck. It has two lobes that are connected by a bridge. This bridge is called an isthmus.

When the thyroid gland fails to function normally, it causes over-functioning or under-functioning. Thyroid function tests are easy to conduct, they can be done through blood tests.

When TSH reading in blood tests is higher than the normal range, that means hypothyroid and when TSH reading is lower than the normal range, that condition means hyperthyroid. Hypothyroid causes weight gain and hyperthyroid causes weight loss with other accompanying symptoms.

If the thyroid gland is under-functioning or underactive, then it does not produce enough hormone. Initially, this problem does not affect the body but people soon start facing problems like obesity, hair loss, water retention, joint pain, infertility, and many times, even heart diseases. In some cases, the thyroid gland goes through irregular growth or overgrowth which causes a goiter.

Hypothyroid treatments –

In medical treatment, patients are advised to take medicine regularly. Endocrinologist doctors set the right dose as per the TSH levels. Apart from taking medicine regularly, you can help yourself with self-treatments. Some yoga therapy practices and Sujok therapy treatment also help in improving thyroid gland functioning.

Sujok therapy treatment -

You can press or massage these corresponding points of the thyroid gland in your thumb or you can also apply seeds to this area of the thumb. If you want to use colour therapy, you can apply red colour in that area. That will help to balance the functioning of the thyroid gland. You can use this treatment along with the medicinal treatments to help remove the swelling.

In many cases, the thyroid level becomes normal after medication which stops weight gain. But in other cases, weight loss does not occur. So, you need to continue with your regular weight loss program. In fact, people with hypothyroidism need extra effort to lose weight than normal people. So, it is advisable to identify the problem of hypothyroidism at an early stage and treat it.

The author is an obesity consultant, dietitian and nutritionist, Sujok therapist, counsellor, and a yoga therapist

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