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Your thyroid plays an important role in your ability to maintain a healthy weight. If the hormones produced by this gland get unbalanced, then it can lead to gaining or losing weight.
This weight loss or weight gain is usually rapid enough to be noticeable. It can be one of the most often recognized signs that something is wrong with the thyroid. If your thyroid levels are too low, this is known as hypothyroidism.
If your thyroid levels are too high, this is known as hyperthyroidism. And the reason that either of them can change your weight is because the thyroid gland is what’s in charge of keeping your metabolism working.
If there’s too little or too much hormone, then the metabolism changes. While some people might joke that having a thyroid problem that causes weight loss could be a good thing, the health risks associated with it can be serious.
If your thyroid falls under the hypo state and produces too few hormones, then you’ll experience fatigue that is crippling – even if you sleep well. This imbalance can also lead to depression.
You need your thyroid levels accurate in order to help keep the serotonin levels where they should be. Without that, you don’t get the much needed feel good effects from serotonin.
A thyroid imbalance that’s hyper where you’re producing too much of the hormone can cause you to feel anxious. You might feel like you have the jitters and can’t sit still. This is because the overabundance of hormones hits your system all at once and this influx can impact your health and ability to function.
One reason that a thyroid hormone imbalance can cause weight gain is because when the levels aren’t right, it can make you feel hungry, even if you’ve just eaten. This leads people to eating more calories than they should.
When these hormones are out of balance, it can also cause constipation or diarrhea, depending on which type of imbalance you have. Some effects of a thyroid hormone imbalance have a crossover when it comes to symptoms.
You can have insomnia, cognitive problems or menstrual cycle changes with either type. If you’ve noticed changes in your weight and suspect that you’re experiencing thyroid problems, then you need to get your levels checked.
You’ll want to ask your doctor for a TSH test, which is the thyroid-stimulating hormone test. If your thyroid feels enlarged or you notice a goiter or thinning hair or eyebrows, then you also need to have a TPO test done.
This stands for thyroid peroxidase antibody and this test checks for autoimmune conditions such as Hashimoto’s Disease, which specifically targets the thyroid function and can cause changes in weight.