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Video:How the Thyroid Can Cause Weight Gain

with Dr. Mary Ann Block

How does the thyroid cause weight gain? This video from About.com explains what the thyroid does, and how it can cause weight gain.See Transcript

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Transcript:How the Thyroid Can Cause Weight Gain

Hi, I'm Dr. Mary Ann Block, Physician, Author and Medical Director of The Block Center in Dallas/Fort Worth, here for About.com. In this video I'll explain how the thyroid can cause weight gain.

What's the Thyroid?

The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland located just below your Adam's apple. It produces hormones that affect your metabolism and energy level. If your thryoid doesn't produce the right amount of hormones, it can change the rate at which you use nutrients. in other words, your metabolic rate can slow down. This usually happens with an underactive thyroid, also called hypothyroidism.

Problems With the Thyroid

When the thyroid gland is underactive, it doesn't produce enough thyroid hormones. It's usually caused by a problem within the thyroid itself. Sometimes, it occurs when the pituitary gland isn't producing enough hormones for the thyroid to function well, but that's less common.

Underactive Thyroid

When your thyroid is underactive, your body's metabolism slows down. And since the processes in your body work slower, you gain weight. So, if you're experiencing unexpected weight gain or if you're having difficulty losing weight, it could be the result of a thyroid problem, and you might want to talk to your doctor. Also, keep in mind that an underactive thyroid causes many more symptoms besides weight gain.

Signs of an Underactive Thyroid

You may feel more tired, and you may have problems with memory and concentration and feel depressed, for example. Some types of hypothyroidism even cause a swelling in the neck: goitre. Hypothyroidism is more common in women than men, and people over 50 years old are more likely to be affected than younger people.

For more on thyroid conditions, visit Health.About.com. Thanks for watching!

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