Dr Heikal Mahmoud Clinic

The thyroid gland and its relation with obesity

Obese patients suffer from difficulty in movement and feeling tired and exhausted upon making any effort, even if it is simple, due to the excessive increase in body weight and the accumulation of fat around vital organs in the body, which hinders them from performing their functional tasks such as the lungs, as the accumulation of fat around it causes pressure on the lungs and difficulty in breathing. 

The increase in cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood is a serious reason for several fatal diseases such as atherosclerosis. Also, obesity and its relationship to the thyroid gland and the level of energy in the body is an important issue that we will discuss in this article.

The thyroid gland:
The thyroid gland is an endocrine gland that secretes its hormones directly into the blood. It is a butterfly-shaped gland that produces two types of hormones, T3 and T4, which are responsible for the basic metabolic activity and the construction and demolition processes in the body. Thus these hormones are related to the burning rate, as they raise glucose levels in the blood and also these hormones affect fats by increasing the secretion of fat-breaking hormones. 

Therefore, any imbalance in the levels of these hormones may cause a severe decrease or increase in body weight, despite the control over the amounts of food eaten. 

In cases of hypothyroidism, thyroid hormones decrease in the blood, and thus the processes of burning fat to produce energy decrease. Therefore the person increases significantly in weight and becomes obese, along with several other symptoms such as:
1- Fatigue, tiredness, and lethargy.
2- Dry skin and hair loss.
3- Face bloating and weight gain despite lack of eating.
4- Muscle weakness and joint swelling.
5- Memory impairment.
6- Depression.
7- Cold intolerance.

If treatment is not received, the condition worsens and obesity becomes one of the factors that increase the risk of new complications.

Does bariatric surgery help reduce hypothyroidism or not?
Numerous studies and trials have shown that bariatric surgeries significantly improve thyroid functions and that there is a good relationship between weight loss through bariatric surgeries and the improvement in thyroid functions.

One of the most important and most famous bariatric operations that have proven very successful in recent times is the Gastric Sleeve, in which 80% of the stomach volume is removed longitudinally and taken out of the body, then the wound is stapled with modern smart staplers, which guarantees complete wound healing, As a result, the size of the stomach becomes very small, and thus the individual's ability to eat large quantities of food is reduced, which leads to burning the accumulated fat and thus rapid weight loss. Also, Gastric sleeve surgery helps to recover from many obesity complications such as hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and others.

Also, Bariatric surgeries improve the functions of the thyroid gland, as it coordinates the proportions of thyroid hormones in the blood, which burn fat and build muscles.

Therefore, the results of bariatric surgeries are:
1- Rapid decrease in body weight.
2- Improving the functions of the thyroid gland.
3- Reducing cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood.
4- Increasing the body's energy level.
 5- Getting rid of the complications of obesity.
6- Getting rid of the symptoms of thyroid hormone deficiency.