Why hypothyroid is related to Weight Gain

By Patricia | May 14, 2009
Hypothyroidism And Weight Gain

Let us examine some of the causes of weight gain and why hypothyroid is related to it. First of all, medical science and scientists the world over have still not been able to identify all the causes of weight gain. In North America alone, every day, most people eat more calories than required for normal cell metabolism. Fortunately most of them are able to expend these extra calories by, probably, burning them off through exercise of some form or the other of physical activities like swimming or cycling.

A decrease in thyroid functioning causes a drop in energy consumption and, subsequently, there is more energy in the body. The role of the thyroid gland is very much like that of cruise control in an automobile; it keeps the vehicle running at a regular, steady speed. If you don’t want to worry about having to keep your foot on the pedal all the time, you will have to turn on cruise control. This way, your car will, effortlessly, maintain a normal speed. Likewise, the thyroid hormone keeps the whole body functioning at the precise speed. When levels of the thyroid hormone fall, cells throughout the body show reduced activity. Accordingly, the cells require less energy and so there is more energy available. This energy is stored up in the body and your weight increases, although your appetite decreases. Hence, weight gain is characteristic of an underactive thyroid.

Yoga for hypothyroidism

Yoga has proven to be of great help in regulating an under-active thyroid. There are certain Yoga poses that specifically help massage the endocrine glands and normalize their functions. However, they will have to be practiced regularly, and under the guidance of an experienced and qualified Yoga instructor. Very often, the Yoga practices that have been prescribed to two different people work for one and not for another. Or they may work for both in varying degrees. Very often, the way the practices are done makes a big difference in producing desired results and hence the word of caution.

Sarvangasana (the Shoulder Stand) is considered best pose for improving thyroid functioning. This is, probably, one the reasons why it is referred to as the Queen of all asanas (poses), where Sirshasana (Head Stand) is called king. However, there are several other wonderful asanas (Yoga poses) that help stimulate the thyroid gland; but Sirshasana (Head Stand) is not one of them. They are:

  1. Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand)
  2. Ushtrasana (Camel pose)
  3. Simhasana (Lion pose)
  4. Sashankasana (Rabbit pose)
  5. Matsyasana (Fish pose)
  6. Dhanurasana (Bow pose)

You will also have to practice certain Pranayamas (breathing exercises), together with the poses, to speed up the recovery process. These include:

  1. Kapalabhatti (Skull Cleansing)
  2. Anuloma-Viloma or Nadi Shodana (Alternate Nostril Breathing)
  3. Ujjayi (Ocean Breath)
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