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Thyroid And Obesity

Thyroid and weight loss or weight gain. Woman shows thyroid gland position on her.

Thyroid and Obesity Relationship

What is Thyroid?

The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland located in the front of our neck. The thyroid’s job is to secrete thyroid hormones called T3 and T4. These hormones mix with the blood and allow the body to use energy, to stay warm, and to ensure the healthy functioning of vital organs.

Thyroid diseases are usually caused by the thyroid gland secreting too little or too much hormone. Insufficient secretion of the hormone is called hypothyroidism, and excessive secretion is called hyperthyroidism. In case of hypothyroidism, symptoms such as fatigue, weakness, sleepiness, forgetfulness, depression, hair loss and weight gain or loss can be seen. In case of hyperthyroidism, symptoms such as irritability, insomnia, redness of the eyes, trembling in the hands, excessive appetite and inability to gain weight despite eating can be seen.

Thyroid hormones determine the body’s metabolic rate. Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) depends on the amount of oxygen the body uses and the amount of calories it burns. The decrease in thyroid hormones causes the metabolic rate of the body to decrease and accordingly the amount of calories expended decreases. In the case of hypothyroidism, patients begin to gain weight.

Thyroid and Obesity

Obesity has become one of the diseases of our age. Obesity; It can cause many diseases in the body such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, sleep apnea, cancer. However, obesity can also cause thyroid-related diseases. Therefore, obesity and thyroid can be both a cause and a consequence of each other.

In other words, while hypothyroidism can cause obesity, obesity can cause underactivity of the thyroid gland and further increase in weight gain.

Hormone balance and functions of the body have a complex working principle that is related to each other. It would not be correct to consider only thyroid hormones and make an assessment in this direction. For example, THS hormone (thyroid stimulating hormone) is secreted from the pituitary. It stimulates the thyroid gland to release thyroid hormones. As a result of low THS, it causes an increase in thyroid functions and excessive secretion of thyroid hormones. The excess of THS hormone causes the thyroid gland to secrete less hormone and causes hypothyroidism.

At the same time, the hormone Leptin is a hormone that should be evaluated in the relationship between obesity and thyroid. Leptin is a hormone secreted by fat cells and gives the feeling of satiety. In the case of overweight or obesity, leptin secretion also increases due to the increased fat content. However, increased leptin level increases the level of THS hormone secreted from the pituitary gland and decreases the level of thyroid hormone. In this case, the body’s metabolic rate decreases and the person continues to gain weight.

In the case of hypothyroidism, which is encountered when the hormone secreted by the thyroid is low, the basal metabolic rate of the body decreases and the need for calories decreases. Therefore, weight gain begins. If the disease is treated, weight gain can be improved and the patient can return to his normal weight.

In summary, the thyroid gland not working properly can cause obesity or vice versa, excessive weight loss. In cases such as inability to lose weight or gain weight, it may be necessary to consult a specialist physician to check whether the thyroid gland is working properly.

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