Healthcare provider examining woman and explaining the connection between thyroid health and weight loss

Thyroid health and weight loss

Medically reviewed on May 11, 2023 by Morgan Spicer, Medical Communications Manager. To give you technically accurate, evidence-based information, content published on the Everlywell blog is reviewed by credentialed professionals with expertise in medical and bioscience fields.

Table of contents

What is thyroid health?

Thyroid health is a term used to describe how well your thyroid gland is working. Your thyroid gland is a small, butterfly-shaped gland located in the front of your neck. [1] It produces two hormones called T3 (triiodothyronine) and T4 (thyroxine). These hormones play an important role in all body functions and help regulate your [1]:

  • Metabolism
  • Energy levels
  • Heart rate
  • Body temperature
  • Digestion
  • Muscle control
  • Brain development
  • Skin, hair, and nail growth

Self Reflection: Did you know that if there is a problem with your thyroid gland, you may feel the effects throughout your entire body?


If your thyroid gland is underactive and does not produce enough hormones, you may have a condition called hypothyroidism. [2]

Symptoms of hypothyroidism may include fatigue and weakness, weight gain, impaired memory, depression, and weak balance and slowed coordination. [2] These symptoms are not specific to hypothyroidism, so the only way to confirm a diagnosis is to take a thyroid test. A thyroid test will measure the amount of thyroid hormones in your blood.

You are more likely to develop hypothyroidism if you are a woman over the age of 60. Additional risk factors include a personal or family history of thyroid disease, radiation treatment to the neck, pregnancy in the last 6 months, or other health problems such as celiac disease, diabetes, or rheumatoid arthritis. [2] If you haven’t checked your thyroid hormones recently, talk to your healthcare provider about your personal symptoms and risk factors to see if a thyroid test is right for you.

Self Reflection: Do you have a personal or family history of thyroid conditions? Do you have any risk factors?

Everlywell Weight Loss Support

Thyroid Health and Weight Loss

Thyroid hormones affect your metabolism and how your body uses energy. [1] If you are making healthy choices but not seeing the weight loss you expected, your healthcare provider may recommend taking a thyroid test. This test will determine if an underactive thyroid gland could be contributing to weight gain and making it difficult for you to lose weight.

Hypothyroidism is treated by taking a daily dose of thyroid hormones to replace the amount that your body does not make. Your healthcare provider will evaluate your hormone levels and adjust your dosage to keep you feeling your best. After your thyroid levels return to a normal range, you can expect a small amount of weight loss (usually less than 10% of body weight). [3]

Whether your goal is to continue losing weight or to maintain prior weight loss, it’s important to continue eating healthy and staying physically active. Once hypothyroidism is treated, your ability to gain or lose weight is the same as those without a thyroid condition.

Self Reflection: What lifestyle changes have been the most effective for you so far in your weight loss journey?

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  1. Armstrong M, Asuka E, Fingeret A. Physiology, Thyroid Function. In: StatPearls. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; March 13, 2023.
  2. Hypothyroidism. National Institutes of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Accessed May 11, 2023.
  3. Thyroid and Weight. American Thyroid Association. Accessed May 11, 2023.
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