Why Hashimoto's cause weight gain

Hashimoto's disease, also known as Hashimoto's thyroiditis, is an autoimmune disorder in which the immune system attacks the thyroid gland, leading to inflammation and damage. The thyroid gland is a crucial part of the endocrine system responsible for producing hormones that regulate metabolism, among other functions.

Weight gain is a common symptom of Hashimoto's disease for several reasons:

  1. Hypothyroidism: As Hashimoto's disease progresses, the thyroid gland becomes damaged and its ability to produce thyroid hormones decreases. This often leads to hypothyroidism, a condition in which the thyroid hormones (thyroxine or T4 and triiodothyronine or T3) are not produced in sufficient quantities. Thyroid hormones play a significant role in regulating the body's metabolism. Reduced levels of these hormones slow down the metabolic rate, causing the body to burn fewer calories for energy, which can contribute to weight gain.

  2. Water Retention: Inflammation caused by the autoimmune attack on the thyroid can lead to an accumulation of substances in the body that cause water retention. This can contribute to weight gain as well.

  3. Changes in Appetite and Fat Storage: Thyroid hormones influence the appetite-regulating centers in the brain. When their levels are low due to Hashimoto's, it can result in increased appetite and potentially lead to overeating and weight gain. Additionally, low thyroid hormone levels can affect how the body stores fat, leading to an increase in fat accumulation.

  4. Sluggishness and Reduced Physical Activity: Hypothyroidism can lead to feelings of fatigue and sluggishness, making individuals less likely to engage in physical activity and exercise. This reduced activity can contribute to weight gain over time.

It's important to note that not all individuals with Hashimoto's disease will experience weight gain. Some may have other symptoms such as weight loss or remain relatively stable in their weight. Each person's experience with Hashimoto's can be different due to factors like the extent of thyroid gland damage, individual metabolic rates, and lifestyle factors.

If you suspect you have Hashimoto's disease or are experiencing unexplained weight changes, it's essential to consult a healthcare professional. A proper diagnosis and management plan, which may include hormone replacement therapy and lifestyle adjustments, can help manage the condition and associated symptoms like weight gain.

Leave a comment