Can Hypothyroidism Make You Gain Weight

Strong woman workout with medicine ball. Living with hypothyroidism means slowing down your body’s metabolic process that controls the respiratory, cardiovascular, nervous, and other systems. Hypothyroidism causes several health problems when left untreated, including infertility and mental health issues. But does hypothyroidism make you gain weight?

What Is Hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland fails to create or release a sufficient amount of thyroid hormone into the body. This condition slows down metabolism and affects the entire body. A slower metabolism can cause weight gain without any changes to your diet. 

In addition to weight gain, a slower metabolism caused by hypothyroidism can lead to persistent fatigue, making you feel tired even after waking from a whole night’s sleep. You may also begin to notice thinning of your hair and weak, brittle fingernails that break easily. 

Is Hypothyroidism Serious

When thyroid hormone levels fall too low, it can cause myxedema, which causes body swelling and difficulty breathing. Untreated myxedema lowers the body’s temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure and can cause the victim to lapse into a coma.

Lowered heart rate and blood pressure can cause decreased blood flow to the kidneys, negatively impacting kidney function and making it more challenging to maintain the body’s electrolyte balance.

What Causes Hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism has several causes, both acquired and congenital. Some individuals are born with damage to the thyroid or an autoimmune disorder that negatively impacts the thyroid. In some cases, radiation treatments, medications, or surgery to treat other illnesses can damage the thyroid leaving it unable to function correctly. 

Lack of iodine in the diet can cause a goiter, a swelling of the thyroid gland. The body uses the mineral iodine to make thyroid hormones. Natural sources of iodine include broccoli, cabbage, and soy. In many parts of the world, iodine is added to table salt to reduce iodine deficiency and hypothyroidism. 

Suspect You May Have Hypothyroidism

If you are experiencing signs of hypothyroidism, it’s crucial to contact your health care professional as soon as possible for an evaluation. Call Philip Rabito, MD today at 646-835-0402 to schedule an appointment. The condition is treatable, and the sooner treatment begins, the better the overall outcome. 

Philip Rabito, MD

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