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The thyroid, a gland shaped like a butterfly in your neck, makes hormones that travel in your blood, helping organs work and keeping you warm. If your weight changes without reason, it might be a thyroid problem. Weight gain can suggest low thyroid hormones, known as hypothyroidism, which is more common than weight loss from producing too many hormones (hyperthyroidism). Hypothyroidism often goes hand in hand with obesity.

In India, data points that a third of obese individuals have hypothyroidism, and one-tenth have a milder form. Both thyroid and obesity influence each other in various ways. Classic thyroid dysfunction in obesity involves a bit high TSH, high T3, and low T4.

Let’s look into how weight gain and thyroid issues are linked, especially in women.

Epidemiology: Thyroid disorders and weight gain often go together, impacting many. A significant number of obese individuals experience thyroid issues, indicating a close link.

Pathogenesis: Understanding how thyroid and obesity interconnect involves looking at the processes causing these conditions. There are multiple mechanisms explaining how thyroid hormones and obesity influence each other.

Clinical Implications: Weight gain due to thyroid problems isn’t just about appearance; it affects your overall health. Your GP will explore the real-life consequences of these issues and how they can be managed.

Focus on Women: Women often face unique challenges with thyroid disorders and weight gain. Hormonal changes, especially during pregnancy and menopause, can complicate these issues further.

The thyroid’s impact on weight gain is a complex interplay. Understanding these dynamics can empower individuals to manage their health more effectively. The journey of managing the thyroid problem begins with a visit to your GP.


American Thyroid Association.

Weight gain and Thyroid in women: The coexisting confounders.

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