How a Low Functioning Thyroid Can Lead to Weight Gain After 50

by | Sep 15, 2017 | Senior Health | 0 comments

Weight Gain After 50

In a previous article I discussed the effects of estrogen on your body and subsequent weight gain. Then I followed with a discussion on cortisol, also known as the stress hormone.

This week I am going to assess how having a low functioning thyroid could be adding to your weight gain woes, even if all your blood levels come back normal.

Thyroid and Weight Gain

Thyroid problems and weight gain can be directly linked. Thyroid issues develop over time. You may have been displaying signs of low thyroid function in your 30s or 40s but were able to push through it.

You were able to exercise a little more to lose any extra weight, or sleep in over the weekends to make up for any tiredness. You probably did not give these changes a second thought.

As you enter your late 40s, these symptoms tend to become more apparent because of any hormonal fluctuations that are also experienced during that time. You need to listen to your thyroid and the signs your body is receiving, and nurture your thyroid if you want to lose weight and gain energy.

Weight gain is typically linked to an under active thyroid because it slows down your metabolism. This results in weight gain and difficulty losing extra weight.

An under active thyroid gland, a condition referred to as hypothyroidism, is where your thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough hormones. Common signs of an under active thyroid are tiredness, weight gain and feeling depressed.

Weight Gain and Hormone Shifts

Women’s weight tends to fluctuate, especially when hormone levels are shifting, which happens as you approach menopause. Many women try to diet to counter this with unhealthy eating plans or a plan that does not address their thyroid, only to make things worse.

Eating the wrong foods can decrease your gut mobility, which slows down your metabolism and causes you to gain more weight. Then, when you find that you do not get the weight loss you were expecting, you revert back to your old eating habits.

Low thyroid function is associated with weight gain due to the fact that the thyroid gland controls fuel-efficiency and your metabolism. With too little thyroid, the fuel (your food) is burned at a lower rate. If meal sizes are the same, weight gain occurs.

Tiredness associated with low thyroid function also can find you too tired to exercise as much as you would like to, further adding to weight gain.

A note of caution: Although weight gain often occurs with hypothyroidism, it is a nonspecific change because increasing weight also occurs with decreased exercise, stress and as a side effect of many drugs.

So do not be quick to assume that you have an under active thyroid if you have gained weight or are unable to lose weight.

Causes of Low Thyroid Function

Estrogen dominance can decrease your thyroid activity by inhibiting the release of thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH). TSH is…

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