Are you gaining weight despite eating smaller meals?- Thyroid awareness month

The battle of diet vs disease is one that has been prevalent for ages now! With over 5% of India’s population combating with morbid obesity, it is evident that growing fat or weight-gain related issues are highly common in our country. But what if you are eating healthy, smaller meals and are still gaining weight? There must be something more to your food habits that may be underlying which is causing this imbalance to occur. One of the most common reasons for such an incident to happen is associated with the thyroid.

If your food habits are relatively healthy and you are leading a less sedentary lifestyle but are still gaining weight or struggling with weight gain problems, then it is recommended that you get your thyroid tested at the earliest. Thyroidism is a very common disease that a lot of people are detected with and it has two main types:

Hyperthyroidism

Hypothyroidism

If you notice erratic weight gain or consistent weight gain despite your efforts of losing weight, there is a high likelihood that you are suffering from hypothyroidism.

Hypothyroidism is the disease caused by an abnormality in your thyroid gland. This gland is responsible for producing thyroid hormones which in turn are responsible for maintaining your metabolism. This affects the way your body utilizes the food you eat and produces energy. Although your body goes through dips in your hormone levels every once in a while, it is quite worrisome if there is a thyroid imbalance as it results in slowing down of the body’s metabolism. Slower metabolic rates cause the food you intake to break down on a much slower rate, leading to a visible increase in the waistline.

There are several situations in which hypothyroidism may be mild and don’t require treatment.

However, these are the symptoms to look out for:

  • Heavy menstrual bleeding
  • Thinning hair
  • Fatigue
  • Weight gain
  • Dry skin
  • Depression

With hyperthyroidism, the body tends to burn up extra food that you intake and burning it up to produce nothing but heat. People who might be observing a steady or erratic weight gain pattern before the onset of hyperthyroidism tend to witness symptoms or issues that are worse than weight loss.

The best way to stay on the safer side of things is that you run some tests and screenings such as an imaging scan, a physical exam, a blood test, etc. If these tests show an elevated thyroid-stimulating hormone (THS) and low levels of thyroid hormones such as total T3, free T4, free T3, then it’s an indication that you have hypothyroidism.

The only message that this article intends to convey is that you have to make sure to observe your body closely at all times and watch out for subtle signs that your body might be trying to convey to you. Detecting early symptoms is necessary to avoid future complications.

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