How to Lose Weight with Diabetes and Hypothyroidism?

Diabetes and hypothyroidism are problems associated with your endocrine system, a network of glands that plays a role in many important body functions. And it’s important to keep at your healthy weight-scale if you are a diabetic or/and have under-active thyroid. Fortunately, there are plenty of options to lose weight and keep it off.

How does hypothyroidism cause weight gain?

It has been known for a very long time that thyroid problem can affect the body weight and metabolism, and this relationship is very complex. Thyroid glands produce metabolism hormone. If there something goes awry with them, your metabolism is affected – and the same goes for your weight scale.

By measuring the amount of oxygen used over a specific amount of time in the body, you can get your metabolism calculation. If this is made at rest, it‘s what we call as BMR or the basal metabolic rate.

The abnormal basal metabolic rate may signal thyroid disorders. Hyperactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism) is typically associated with high BMRs. On the other hand, underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) is typically characterized by low BMRs.

It’s important to have normal BMR since it plays a role to your body weight. It is linked to changes in energy balance, a variable that reflects the amount of calories you eat and the amount of calories your body uses. If the amount of calories you eat is greater than what you burn, you will have weight gain.

Higher BMR means you’re more difficult to gain weight. And Lower BMR means you’re easier to gain more pounds of weight.

Weight gain is common in people with underactive thyroid since people with this disease are likely to have decreased BMR. The more severe hypothyroidism you have, the greater pounds of weight you can gain.

Nevertheless, this issue is not fully known yet. Again, the link between low thyroid hormones and increased weight scale is complex. It’s not only about fat accumulation. Even in some cases, most of excess pounds can be extra accumulation of water and salt.

thyroid3But underactive thyroid usually doesn’t cause massive weight gain. Depending on the severity of the disease, you can gain about 5-10 pounds of weight. And this is usually followed with some of the following hypothyroidism symptoms:

  1. Weakness or tiredness (fatigue). You may think it’s a part of getting older. But as your BMR decreases, other obvious symptoms occur.
  2. Becoming more sensitive to cold.
  3. Frequent hoarseness.
  4. Bowel movement changes, especially constipation.
  5. Hair loss, thinning hair (see also other causes of abnormal thinning hair).
  6. Dry skin.
  7. Muscle weakness, aches, tenderness, or stiffness. You may also have joint problem such as stiffness, swelling, or pain.
  8. Change in face, such as puffy face.
  9. Increased blood cholesterol levels.
  10. In women, they may experience changes in their menstrual periods (becoming irregular or/and heavier).
  11. Impaired, decreased memory.
  12. Change in heart rate, getting slowed.
  13. Psychological problem, especially such as depression.

However, weight gain is attributed by a number of different causes. If it comes without some of hypothyroidism symptoms, it is less likely to be solely due to underactive thyroid. If you in doubt to any symptom, it’s recommended to see a doctor promptly!

How does diabetes cause weight gain?

Insulin is essential hormone produced and released from pancreas, an organ behind and below stomach. It plays a key role to allow glucose (sugar) in the bloodstream to be absorbed by cells of the body (where glucose is eventually converted to become energy).

In diabetes, there something goes awry with insulin. Without insulin, it’s difficult for glucose in the blood to enter to the body’s cells. This can lead to high amount of glucose in the blood.

Managing high blood sugar in diabetics can use insulin treatment, especially for those with type-1 diabetes. As well we know that type-1 is insulin dependent since it causes a significant decrease in insulin production – even in some cases, the pancreas cannot produce insulin at all.

Type-1 is thought as a consequence of autoimmune condition. Without known reason, the body immune system attacks and destroys its own healthy cells, tissues, or organ. In this case, it mistakenly attacks cells of pancreas.

Type-2 diabetes is more common, even it’s the most common form of diabetes. It occurs when the amount of insulin produced by pancreas is not enough for the body needs or if the body cannot use insulin effectively (insulin resistance). It’s not insulin dependent since the pancreas is usually still able to produce insulin. But sometimes it requires insulin treatment, too.

And when it comes to weight gain and diabetes, the use of insulin treatment is often to blame. Insulin and the risk of gaining excess pounds of weight often go hand in hand.

How does insulin treatment cause weight gain?

In diabetics, high amount of glucose (sugar) in the bloodstream means the body’s cells cannot absorb glucose for energy. As a result, they often have lack of energy and feel hungry even though they have eaten. This can be starting point of when they’re likely to eat more. High blood sugar can also cause frequent urination to help remove excess glucose in the blood.

Once the blood glucose is better controlled (when they take insulin treatment), their body will be reabsorbing all that glucose and may also retain more fluid to cope with dehydration that was present before the treatment. This is the desired therapeutic goal, but not so good for weight control. Excess glucose that the body’s cells don’t use is turned into fat. Fluid retention can also affect the weight, though it doesn’t last long!

Insulin treatment is not the only one. Like anyone else, there are a number of factors for weight gain. Lack of physical activity, poor diet, poor sleep, and stress can also have an effect.

Furthermore, some diabetic medications carry the risk of weight gain. For instance, the use of pioglitazone may contribute to make you gain weight. Hypothyroidism is another reason (this thyroid disorder is quite common in diabetics).

How to lose weight with diabetes and hypothyroidism?

Underactive thyroid is the most common form of thyroid disorder. It can affect anyone. But it’s more common in women. Age also has an effect, the risk increases with age. The bad news, diabetics are at high risk of this thyroid disorder, especially for those with type 1 diabetes.

Underactive thyroid causes thyroid hormone deficiency, upsetting the balance of chemical reactions in the body. This can decrease BMRs, as noted before. As a result, it often causes weight gain.

It’s important to keep your weight off, even though if you have underactive thyroid! And this is much more important if you also have diabetes. Obesity can make your blood sugar control more difficult. And poorly-high blood sugar control is the key for diabetic complications to occur.

It’s not always easy to lose weight with diabetes and hypothyroidism. But there are plenty of options to make it easier to achieve your goal – see the following helpful checklists!