Weight Gain? Blame It On Your Thyroid

Photo Credit: Erifyli Tsavdari CC-BY-2.0
The thyroid gland is located in your throat and produces hormones that regulate a number of body functions, including how your body uses energy, protein production and oxygen use. Hypothyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid is under-active and does not produce enough thyroid hormone. Hypothyroidism can result in weight gain because the metabolism slows down when the thyroid does not produce enough hormones to stimulate metabolism. A slower metabolism can lead to weight gain due to fat storage and water retention. Symptoms of hypothyroidism include dry skin and hair, muscle cramps, constipation and a general sluggish feeling or a lack of energy. Menopausal women are more susceptible to hypothyroidism than men of the same age. Untreated thyroid problems can lead to other, some very serious, health problems. Osteoporosis, heart disease and stroke are possible. Only your doctor can diagnose a thyroid condition. See your doctor for a complete physical, including tests to determine your thyroid health.
Regular exercise is important generally, and especially if you have hypothyroidism. Exercise, combined with a healthy diet, helps to stimulate the metabolism which can lead to weight loss. Try to get at least 30 minutes every day, if possible. You don’t have to get the full 30 minutes at one time. Spread your exercise throughout the day in 10 minute intervals. Selenium may also help women who suffer from thyroid problems. Foods that contain selenium include tuna, onions, tomatoes, broccoli, whole wheat and bran. Brazil nuts are also rich in selenium. Spinach, apricots, asparagus, olive oil, avocado, sunflower seeds, whole grain cereals, bananas, oily fish and carrots also contain sufficient selenium.  Include these foods in your diet and follow your doctor’s advice.

For more information about selenium and hypothyroidism, see:

One Response to Weight Gain? Blame It On Your Thyroid

  1. Hi Robin,I ma not sure that my comment published or not, something kind of odd happened when I hit the publish button, so if it shows up twice, I apologize.I wanted to say that I did not know about the relationship between the thyroid and weight gain. I had known that the thyroid was a really important gland, but I didn't know about how much it affected our weight. Thank you for sharing that information.

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