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You don't gain weight cause of thyroid. Get your facts right!

By Dr Usha Menon
Last updated on: May 28, 2018 09:09 IST
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There coud be other reasons for gaining weight, losing hair, explains Dr Usha Menon.

Sofia Vergara survived thyroid cancer

Television star Sofia Vergara who fought thyroid cancer is an inspiration to many. Photograph: Mario Anzuoni/Reuters

Thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland placed in the front of the neck region.

It produces thyroxin or T4 and looks after certain metabolism functions in the body. 

Thyroid disorder causes fluctuations in the body which varies from person to person.

On World Thyroid Day, May 25 Dr Usha Menon, clinical associate professor, Centre for Endocrinology and Diabetes, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences, Kochi debunks the popular myths surrounding thyroid patients.

I am gaining weight due to thyroid problem

Untreated hypothyroidism or underactive thyroid can make you gain upto 3 to 5 kg.

But all these excess weight will disappear when you take thyroxine hormone replacement treatment.

If you are on treatment and gaining weight please look for some other cause

I cannot eat cabbage and cauliflower as I have congenital hypothyroidism.

Those with congenital hypothyroidism are born without thyroid gland or its function.

They need to be on thyroxine tablet for life.

What they eat or drink is not going to affect their gland. So there is no diet restriction for them.

All thyroid gland nodules should be removed with operation

Thyroid gland swelling is seen in about 10 to 15 per cent of adults.

Most of them are benign nodules of which only 5 per cent could harbour cancer.

These can be identified by ultrasound scan and needle test. Such people need surgery. 

If the gland is very big or unsightly and it pressurises the wind pipe, such disorders can only be removed by surgery.

The rest can be followed up by yearly scans. 

Hair loss is due to thyroid problem only.

Hair loss could be due to various causes. And hypothyroidism is just one of the reasons.

After starting on treatment thyroid should not cause hair loss.

You should think of vitamins, protein or zinc deficiency in your diet.

I am sleepy because of my thyroid problem

Hypothyroidism can make you sleepy and lazy, but with rightful treatment, you shouldn't be worried about sleepiness.

If you are well replaced on thyroxine and still fall asleep it could be sleep apnea (OSA).

Sleep apnea may also cause obesity and induce you to gain weight without your knowledge.


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Dr Usha Menon