Fluctuating weight and thyroid: Managing your weight is a long battle to be fought and one that is not easy. Many people experience a pattern of weight loss that occurs without any additional effort on the part of the person. Fluctuations in weight can be due to a dysfunctional thyroid gland. Thyroid is intimately connected to metabolic functions and calorie consumption. This gland helps in regulating health by closely working with hormones secreted by the adrenal glands and reproductive and pancreatic hormones.
Patients with hypothyroidism typically experience weight gain due to an underactive thyroid gland. This leads to a fall in the basal metabolic rate, which causes weight gain and is the primary symptom of the disease. Other symptoms like lethargy, tiredness, and fatigue accompany hypothyroidism. It becomes difficult to lose weight. Metabolic burning processes tend to slow down in hypothyroidism, which further causes an increase in weight even in a calorie-restricted diet plan. Women experimenting with several dieting plans, experience disturbances in their metabolic rate, which eventually affects thyroid function.
An overactive thyroid is imagined akin to a racing machine. Every function of the gland is in a hyperactive state due to overproduction of thyroid hormones. This leads to accelerated metabolism, and thus, increased weight loss. It may even lead to other symptoms like sweating, tremors, and irregular heartbeats.
Medications for thyroid have an impact on the functioning of the Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) secreted by the pituitary gland. Thyroid hormones are under direct control of the pituitary, which reacts substantially to any change in the thyroid dose, just like a thermostat. A high TSH indicates an underproduction of the thyroid hormone and vice versa. The TSH test is used to evaluate the functioning of the pituitary gland that indirectly indicates the functioning of the thyroid gland. Together these hormones affect the metabolic activities of the body.
The relationship between the functioning of the thyroid gland and the basal metabolic rate determines the final weight loss or weight gain.