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How Does a Thyroid Problem Affect Your BMR and Weight?

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The thyroid is responsible for regulating the metabolism, and to a certain degree, weight gain and weight loss. The metabolism is measured by noting how much oxygen is used by the body over a certain period of time. If the measurement is taken while the body is at rest, it is called BMR or basal metabolic rate. These days, doctors use different methods to establish how effectively the thyroid gland is working, and a person’s weight may indicate the presence of a thyroid problem. Low cost health care in Las Vegas can perform the necessary tests to establish if your thyroid is working optimally.

BMR was one of the original methods used to evaluate the condition of a person’s thyroid, as it was found that people who had underactive thyroids had low BMRs and people whose thyroids were overactive were found to have high BMRs. Later on studies found that low BMRs were likely to be accompanied by low levels of thyroid hormone while high BMRs had high concentrations of thyroid hormone. These days, doctors know that BMRs are influenced by factors other than the thyroid.

Because a person with hypothyroidism has a low BMR, the person is more likely to gain weight. The amount of weight gained is proportional to the severity of the hypothyroidism present, but is not as dramatic as the amount that can be lost through hyperthyroidism. Weight gain because of hypothyroidism is not always because of extra fat gain, and the process can be very complex. A lot of the extra weight is caused by water and sodium retention, but significant weight gain is usually not because of an underactive thyroid and may take a while to accumulate. Treating a thyroid problem can result in an approximate weight loss of about 10 per cent as the person loses the excess salt and water.

Many people who have hyperthyroidism are likely to experience some weight loss. If the thyroid is extremely overactive and the person does not consume extra calories to compensate, the weight loss can be significant. If the person experiences an increase in appetite and increases their caloric intake accordingly they could even gain weight instead. In most cases, treating an overactive thyroid will result in gaining the weight that has been lost.

If you think that your weight problem could be due to a thyroid problem, clinics in Las Vegas offer a full suite of tests to find and treat the cause if your problem.