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Can Losing Weight Help My Thyroid?

author image Julie Boehlke
Julie is an avid outdoor enthusiast who loves to camp with friends and family. Julie spends her free time writing, working on her novel and brewing up new recipes of wine—her newest hobby. She enjoys scouring junk shops and antique boutiques in search of rare finds and one of-a-kind treasures. She collects vintage dishes and antiquarian books. Julie spends her days being followed around aimlessly by her most adoring fan—Mushu the pug. She ventures out on weekends to the remote trails and deep north woods of Michigan. Julie also enjoys exploring out of the way nooks and crannies along the great lakes shoreline.
Can Losing Weight Help My Thyroid?
Maintaining a healthy weight is beneficial to your overall health.

Your thyroid is an organ that is located in your neck, just below your voice box. It is important because it regulates several things in your body -- including your metabolism. If your thyroid is malfunctioning or not producing enough thyroid hormone, it can become under-active. If you are overweight, you are putting more stress on your thyroid as well as other organs in your body.

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Thyroid Function

Your thyroid functions properly as it gives off two main hormones – T3 or triiodothyronine and thyroxine or the T4 hormone. Both of these are very important in overall thyroid health. Both calcium and metabolism play important roles in how your body reacts to certain stimuli including food consumed, illness, stress and exertion. Your thyroid regulates both metabolism and calcium. If your thyroid is not working properly -- such as giving off too much or too little hormone -- your weight can be affected. Keeping your weight at a healthy level and avoiding fluctuations in weight and diet will keep your thyroid functioning healthily.

Weight Loss Benefits

If you are over your recommended weight, consider losing weight to benefit your thyroid health and your overall health. When you are at a healthy weight, your thyroid doesn’t have to work as hard at keeping your metabolism up. When you are consistent with your weight and avoid overeating and under eating, you are also contributing to the health of your thyroid. Losing weight also reduces your risk for certain diseases such as obesity, Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure and high blood cholesterol levels. Losing weight also puts less pressure on your neck and your thyroid. In some cases, losing weight may reduce your risk of developing a goiter if you are obese, pregnant or have thyroiditis.


Hypothyroidism is referred to as having an under-active thyroid. MedlinePlus explains that when you have an under-active thyroid, your body is not producing enough thyroid hormone. Common symptoms of hypothyroidism is cold sensitivity, fatigue, depression, weakness, pale skin and unintentional weight gain. You may also notice brittle nails and swelling of your extremities. Your thyroid may make weight loss difficult or challenging but it is important to exercise daily and follow a low-fat diet plan to help you lose as much weight as possible. You may see a boost with your weight loss once you seek treatment. Treatment will likely include taking a synthetic thyroid hormone such as synthroid, to help replace what is not being produced.


Your metabolism controls your energy from the food you eat. This expands beyond weight control and also controls various chemical reactions in the body including how energy is distributed, body growth and the thinking process. When you feed your body full of nutritious foods from all of the food groups including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, low-fat dairy and lean protein, you are giving your body the proper fuel it needs. When you eat healthy, you are also helping to boost your metabolism.

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