Obesity and the thyroid. A contribution between nutrition and exercise

In women, for example, polycystic ovaries are mostly responsible. However, it is still important to have regular thyroid evaluations, especially at older ages, as well as close and comprehensive follow-up, along with an adequate diet and physical exercise plan.

People usually associate obesity with hypothyroidism, however this association may not exist, however it is important to carry out hormone analysis to measure thyroid function (TSH and free T4), although the non-specific signs and symptoms of hypothyroidism may not exist, which leads to it being underdiagnosed.

However, there may be an indirect connection between the two conditions. A person with hypothyroidism, feels tired, and a person who is tired, moves less and does less exercise, or not at all. In this way, hypothyroidism is an indirect factor in weight gain because, exercising less, burns fewer calories. In addition, hypothyroidism causes a decrease in metabolism and therefore the body uses less energy. In addition, hypothyroidism can cause depression and this also contributes to obesity. A depressed person is less mobile, less active and sometimes, especially if the person is overweight, has more appetite.

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In this way, physical exercise is currently considered a therapeutic weapon for patients with these two pre-existing diseases, because physical exercise is more relevant in controlling obesity, and drug therapy is a great ally of hypothyroidism. However, physical exercise continues to be a therapeutic measure that is not prescribed by doctors. This is mainly due to the lack of knowledge about its importance in general health as well as in certain specific pathological conditions, but above all due to the lack of knowledge about its parameters, such as type of exercise, intensity/load, repetitions, number of exercises. session, etc.

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On the other hand, it is important for the doctor to observe muscle pain and arthralgia, frequent symptoms of hypothyroidism and which can affect the patient’s reluctance for any type of physical activity. The doctor should break the cycle; pain-inactivity – deconditioning-pain.

The conclusion reached is that in the face of obesity, regardless of its origin or cause, nutrition and exercise must always intervene, even if the exercise is light. As far as diet goes, regardless of which diet is chosen (and there are always many) reducing calories is fundamental.

Obese patients who have lost weight and also have hypothyroidism, follow-up is necessary. It should be remembered that exercise and reducing calories must be maintained so that the patient does not gain weight again (about 80% of patients who interrupt nutritional monitoring, return to their previous weight within one year). There is also a need to monitor thyroid function and to measure values ​​that may need to be adjusted because the thyroid is a very sensitive organ. It is actually the “dictator” of our metabolism.

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Finally, it should be remembered that an obese person is always a complex patient with various comorbidities such as diabetes, hypertension, dyslipidemia, gastroesophageal reflux, osteoarticular problems, increased risk of various types of cancer and various cardiovascular complications, which is why follow-up actions. must also be systematically structured by a multidisciplinary team.

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