Hypothyroidism & Weight Management

Himanshu Priyam
Himanshu Priyam

 | 1 minute to read
Nutrition
One of the major challenges that patients with hypothyroidism face is weight gain. This impacts their quality of life to a great extent. Most people accept this as an effect of this disease and try to live with this condition. But is it really a life sentence?

Read the article if you have hypothyroidism and want to lose weight. What is Hypothyroidism? Hypothyroidism is a common condition which causes inflammation of the thyroid gland and reduces its ability to produce adequate amounts of thyroid hormones. The effects of hypothyroidism could be mild with no symptoms or even life threatening. The most common symptoms are fatigue, lethargy, cold intolerance, weight gain, constipation, change in voice, and dry skin, but these can differ with age and sex, among other factors. Hypothyroidism occurs more frequently in women and in older people (>65 years). How does hypothyroidism impact weight? Let’s understand the role of the thyroid hormone in our body. They regulate all kinds of metabolic activities such as: ✔️Heart rate ✔️Digestion ✔️Central nervous system function ✔️Carbohydrate, fats and protein metabolism ✔️Blood pressure ✔️Heart strength In simple terms, thyroid hormones regulate our BMR (energy required by the body when it is at rest), and TDEE (energy that we burn to carry out different tasks in a day). A hypothyroid patient secretes less thyroid hormones which causes a decrease in the BMR and TDEE of a person. Now, if you apply the fundamentals of energy balance (calories in vs calories out), it becomes evident how hypothyroidism promotes weight gain. Worried? Continue reading further. How does good lifestyle and fat-loss improve thyroid function? A good lifestyle helps improve body composition which reduces the state of inflammation and prevents further damage to thyroid function. The fat tissues in our body secrete certain types of cytokines that hinder the iodine uptake in thyroid gland which is why when your body composition improves, it reduces inflammation and improves the thyroid function. Good nutrition also supports the treatment as dietary micronutrients play a role in thyroid hormone synthesis too. Diet planning for Hypothyroidism When it comes to diet planning, there is no specific dietary protocol for the hypothyroid patients in comparison to the general population. It is recommended to consume a good amount of protein (1.5-1.8gms/kg) and not create a big deficit as it may impact metabolism even more. Dietary recommendations: Include food items that are rich in the following: ✔️Zinc, Selenium: These minerals help in production of thyroid in the body, the good sources are meat, poultry, seafoods, eggs and dairy products. ✔️Iodine: Seafood, iodized salt, dairy products. ✔️Omega3: Walnuts, chia seeds, flax seeds, fish, and other seafoods. ✔️Fibers: Fresh whole fruits and vegetables, leafy greens, nuts and seeds, and whole grains are good sources of soluble fiber, which can help regulate blood sugar levels. Cruciferous vegetables (canola, cabbage, turnip, watercress, arugula, radish, etc.), as well as foods that contain soybean and are well-cooked, can be consumed. It is recommended to limit the consumption of sweets, sugar, and processed foods. Alcohol consumption should also be limited. Workout for Hypothyroidism ✔️Resistance training at least 3-4 times a week will prevent muscle loss and help improve metabolism. ✔️Aerobic exercises of moderate intensity such as jogging, brisk walk, swimming, etc. have a good impact on thyroid functions. ✔️Yoga also helps alleviate the symptoms of hypothyroidism. For best results, follow a workout regiment which includes resistance training, and some form of aerobic exercises. In addition, try to stay active throughout the day. All the recommendations mentioned here can help you in weight management, to treat Hypothyroidism always consult a medical professional. A good lifestyle along with a healthy diet has been shown to prevent hypothyroidism to a great extent. Start working on your fitness today! Cheers to your health! References: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4911848/#ref4 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5028075/ https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4911848/#ref5 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27702392/ https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27702392/ https://eje.bioscientifica.com/view/journals/eje/124/3/acta_124_3_011.xml https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6678003/ https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6926951/
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Papori Mahanta

Inspite of loosing oodles of weight and working out regularly along with quantified nutrition , my thyroid level suddenly shot up to extremely high levels. I could understand as my weight loss had plateaued and my face was swollen. The biggest mistake I did was decreasing my dosage without testing my levels and consulting a doctor. I thought with weight loss I could decrease my dosage.. What a misconception.. Would advise people never self medicate, always consult an endocrinologist... Thyroid medicines have to be taken life long but can be very much in control if you take the right dosage and get yourself evaluated periodically. Nice article 👍

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