Is weight gain linked to hypothyroidism?

By Chetana Belagere

Jun 02, 2024

Health

A common misconception is that hypothyroidism leads to weight gain and people present that as the primary cause of their weight issues.

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Dr Swetha Adarsh, a nutritionist from Bengaluru, explained Hypothyroidism, or underactive thyroid, is when the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormones.

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According to Dr Sunita Sayammagaru, a prominent endocrinologist, “Hypothyroidism by itself doesn’t cause weight gain beyond 4-5 kgs.”

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Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) levels are a critical factor in diagnosing and managing hypothyroidism. Treatment typically involves thyroid hormone replacement therapy.

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Dr Sayammagaru emphasises that once TSH levels are normalised, the body’s metabolism should also return to normal.

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Dr Swetha Adarsh said there is either too much metabolism, causing the person to eat too much food and hence gain weight, or it could be due to eating habits.

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Also, metabolic health coach Shashikant Iyengar shared that those with hypothyroidism must avoid soya beans as they contain goitrogens. He said many of them have gluten sensitivity.

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“All sugary and ultra-processed foods must be avoided as insulin resistance may be associated with hypothyroidism. Also, excessive alcohol must be avoided,” he added.

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