Hashimoto's thyroiditis, also known as Hashimoto's disease, is an autoimmune disorder that affects the thyroid gland. This is when your body's immune system causes inflammation and damage to your thyroid gland. As a result, your thyroid gland may not function properly, leading to an underactive thyroid, or hypothyroidism. It is the number one cause of hypothyroidism in the United States.
One of the most common symptoms of hypothyroidism is weight gain. This can be frustrating, as it may seem like no matter how much you exercise or watch what you eat, the scale just won't budge. So, why does Hashimoto's thyroiditis cause weight gain?
The thyroid gland plays a key role in regulating the body's metabolism, or the rate at which it burns calories. When the thyroid gland is underactive, as in hypothyroidism, the body's metabolism slows down. This means that fewer calories are burned at rest, making it easier for you to gain weight.
In addition to a slower metabolism, people with Hashimoto's thyroiditis may also experience other symptoms that can contribute to weight gain. These can include fatigue, depression, and a lack of motivation to exercise or eat well. It's also worth noting that certain medications used to treat hypothyroidism, such as levothyroxine, can sometimes cause weight gain as a side effect.
So, what can you do if you have Hashimoto's thyroiditis and are struggling with weight gain?
The good news is that with proper treatment it is possible to manage the symptoms of hypothyroidism and potentially lose weight.
The first step in managing Hashimoto's hypothyroidism and weight gain is to make sure you are not in a hypothyroid state. If this is not corrected first, it will be very difficult to lose weight because of the reason mentioned above. So you may need to take medication to correct this and get your labs tested to make sure you are in a balanced thyroid state.
If you want to know how long you will need to be on thyroid medication, check out this video.
However, it's important to approach weight loss with patience and a healthy mindset. Rapid weight loss is not recommended, as it can be hard on the body and often leads to regain. Instead, focus on making sustainable lifestyle changes, such as increasing your activity level, eating a balanced diet, and practicing stress-reducing techniques like exercise or listening to relaxing music.
Hashimoto's thyroiditis and weight gain often go hand in hand, but there are ways to manage the symptoms and achieve a healthy weight. Remember to be kind to yourself, stay consistent with your treatment plan, and focus on making long-term, sustainable changes. If you want to do all these things with a group of like-minded women, then check out my program. It is only offered a few times a year, but you can get more information and on the program waitlist HERE.