The Importance Of The Thyroid For Body Composition

The Importance Of The Thyroid For Body Composition

Over 12% of the American population will face a thyroid disorder in their lifetime. Whereas 20 million people in the U.S. already have some type of thyroid illness. But, 60% of those affected have no clue they have it.

Those who have normal thyroid function have better digestive, muscle, heart, and metabolic rates. Their bones and brain can also remain in solid shape. But, the question is, what makes the thyroid vital for body composition? How does it affect the body fat, energy, and muscles?

We decided to dig a little deeper and show you exactly what you need to know. This is a detailed guideline on the link between thyroid and body composition. Including some practical ways on how to boost thyroid function.

Thyroid Hormone Levels and Body Composition

The thyroid gland plays a key role in the control of energy thermogenesis and homeostasis. That’s why it influences body composition. According to experts, any drastic changes in thyroid function can lead to metabolic complications, weight changes, and muscle problems.

You have:

  • Hyperthyroidism – this could occur the moment the thyroid gland creates excess thyroxine, which is a hormone known for triggering an overactive thyroid. It can speed up the metabolism and result in quick or irregular heartbeat and unwanted weight loss.
  • Hypothyroidism – this condition can emerge as a result of the lack of thyroid hormone. Those who experience the complication have a slow metabolism and unintentional weight gain.
  • Hashimoto's thyroiditis – this is a typical trigger of hypothyroidism and often runs in the family. It is, in fact, an autoimmune disorder that chronically inflames the thyroid gland.
  • Thyroiditis – this is inflammation or swelling of the thyroid gland and can cause an under-or over-production of the thyroid. The condition makes the gland inflamed and forces the system to release an excess of hormones.

The thing is, if you indulge in a huge amount of sugars, sweets, and various comfort foods, you can pile up a few extra pounds. But, if you experience hypothyroidism, then the weight can accumulate, regardless of how healthy you are eating or exercising. This can be a pesky problem to deal with.

With severe cases of hypothyroidism, you can develop a range of different problems. But, to understand how the thyroid function impacts the human body, you should learn about its influence on body fat, muscle, and energy.

Thyroid Gland and the Skeletal Muscle

Our skeletal muscle is crucial for maintaining posture and allowing movement. It does that by converting the chemical energy into mechanical energy. The thyroid takes part in many important processes. Among them is the action of muscle regulatory factors, research shows.

The thyroid hormones take part in:

  • Metabolic processes (breaking and making blood glucose)
  • Contractile function (muscle contraction)
  • Myogenesis (forming skeletal muscle tissue)
  • Muscle regeneration (natural healing process of muscle fibers)

Since the thyroid signals can stimulate the expression of genes, their effects can immediately be noticed in the muscles that have a low amount of fibers. The problem is, when the thyroid hormone levels fluctuate, they can decrease the quality and mass of the skeletal muscle. So, people with hypothyroid tend to experience muscle weakness, pains, and cramping more often.

Thyroid Gland and Body Fat

The thyroid is a very unique part of the body. It is a pivotal piece of your metabolism. What most people don’t know is that a huge chunk of the cells in the body have thyroid hormone receptors. That means that the thyroid can influence their metabolism and body fat in more ways than one. The impact will vary based on the condition you have.

Hypothyroidism is often linked with obesity, while hyperthyroidism is associated with being underweight. Based on reports, hypothyroidism is a more common problem, with a 9.1% prevalence rate. Whereas hyperthyroidism has a 0.8% prevalence rate.

Now, the first thing that comes to mind when you think of body fat is fat metabolism. The thyroid hormones help the system burn fat. That’s how it supplies the body with energy. When the thyroid makes too much or too little of its hormone, the metabolism immediately feels the impact. It will either cause excessive weight gain or weight loss.

Thyroid Gland and Energy Levels

For the body to produce energy, it requires the right amount of thyroid hormones in its system. When the levels drop too low, like is the case with hypothyroidism, the body starts lacking energy. So, it makes you feel exhausted, weak, and dreary.

When these hormones are normal, they assist the body with using its energy. They can also help it stay warm and maintain ideal muscle, heart, brain, and organ state. If you ignore the thyroid malfunction, it can increase cholesterol levels and make you susceptible to a stroke or heart attack. This is not something you want to let go of for a long time.

According to medical professionals, when a woman is pregnant and she doesn't treat her hypothyroidism, the baby can develop some level of damage. That's why it is critical to get the help you need and manage your energy levels, especially if they are caused by an under active thyroid.

3 Best Ways to Boost Thyroid Function You Can Start Doing Right Now

Many people want to improve their thyroid malfunction naturally. Even though there isn't a specific diet or a guaranteed method, there are a couple of options that can help ease the problem. All you have to do is pay close attention to your health and consult with a doctor when necessary. Here are a few options that can prove useful for your thyroid complication.

1. Supplements

Options like Thyroid RX by ATP Science is a great option for providing normal thyroid gland function. It provides a sufficient dose of nutrients and vitamins capable of maintaining and supporting energy, metabolic rate, muscle strength, glucose levels, and more. It’s packed with selenium, which is super important for managing thyroid function.

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Reports indicate that selenium supplements provide a necessary mineral capable of supporting hormone production. It can shield the thyroid from oxidative stress and damage. The product also features 2.5mg zinc. That also makes it an optimal choice in stabilising hormone levels.

Other nutrients found in supplements that could benefit the thyroid gland include iodine, iron, vitamins A, B, and E.

2. Diet

You've probably heard it time and time again, but eating a healthy diet is, without a doubt, one of the most impactful ways of managing your thyroid disorder. Many foods and nutritious meals can help with thyroid function. Here are a few foods you can eat based on your general thyroid malfunction.


Salted nuts

Options like macadamia nuts, brazil nuts, and hazelnuts are rich in selenium. Even a small bag of nut assortments can come in handy for proper thyroid function.

Baked fish

Fish is not only packed with Omega-3 fatty acids, but it also has a huge amount of selenium. This is exactly what you need to manage the inflammation.

Roasted seaweed

Anything from wakame, nori to kelp can be a solid source of iodine. This is another mineral that could benefit the thyroid gland.


Eggs are known for their protein content. But, they also have iodine and selenium. Making them the most important components for a fully functioning thyroid gland.

Frozen yogurt

With a proper source of iodine, like the one you can get from frozen yogurt, you could prevent enlargement (goiter) and control the hormone levels.


Canned or dry beans (no added salt)

Beans are a versatile food and a sufficient source of energy. They are also rich in antioxidants, protein, minerals, and vitamins.


Due to the adequate source of lean protein, chicken meat makes for a great choice with an overactive thyroid. It also has some zinc, which makes it a good option.


Oats are a great way to rev up the metabolism and give it a healthy boost. They taste good and make for a solid meal.

Popcorn with non-iodized salt

This snack has fiber and polyphenols. Because of the antioxidants, it can promote digestion and blood circulation.

Canned or fresh fruit

Fruits have all kinds of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. No matter what you get, you can always supply the system with the nourishment it needs. As long as you don’t add too much sugar with them.

3. Lifestyle

If you don’t feel too well, despite eating a healthy diet, then you should focus on adding some lifestyle changes as well. Options like stress management and regular physical activity can go a long way. Stress is a serious problem when living with a thyroid disorder.

Stress is known for suppressing the release of thyroid hormones and altering its normal function. In fact, the longer you feel stressed, the bigger the impact it will have on your well-being, health, and thyroid state.

When you are extremely stressed, the metabolism slows down. The thyroid function also diminishes, leaving the system exposed to possible health problems. Remember, there is a delicate balance between cortisol and stress.

Cortisol is the main stress hormone that elevates glucose levels and promotes the presence of substances that aid with tissue repair. Normal amounts of cortisol can stabilise the detrimental “fight-or-flight” response.

But, when you are stressed, the body creates too much cortisol. In the end, it can wreak havoc on thyroid function. That’s why the thyroid gland will double its efforts to create more thyroid hormones. Physical exercise is equally important.

Studies show that doing regular exercises can keep the thyroid levels in check, particularly in hypothyroid patients. It can also boost metabolic activity and help them burn more calories. This is exactly what you need if you are struggling to shed the excess pounds.

The best workouts you can try for thyroid health are:

  • Walking – Easy yet effective, walking can be a practical way of getting the blood pumping and calories burning. It is good for the body and heart health.
  • Yoga – This is a great stress reduction tactic. Yoga can also strengthen the muscles and give the body a good stretch. Once you perfect the yoga poses, you can work on your breathing and improve lung function.
  • Strength training – Although it’s more draining than other types of exercises, weight lifting can build muscle strength and help with the excess fat. But, you have to be extra careful not to add too much pressure to your joints. So, it’s best to take your time with every exercise.
  • Water aerobics – If you have regular access to a pool, water aerobics makes for an excellent activity. The water creates comfortable pressure and provides a better impact on the joints. This can be a great long-term strategy.

Overall, your lifestyle matters. When you want your thyroid to function normally, it is essential that you take all of these factors into account and work on your health. With a little bit of effort, you can achieve the desired result.

Don’t forget to consult with your doctor before adding any changes to your diet or routine. If you need to take medications or use other managing strategies, your healthcare provider will help you get the treatment you need.

Final Thoughts

The thyroid plays a detrimental role in many processes in the human body. Your body composition is also related to the concentration of thyroid hormones and malfunction. If there is something wrong with your system, like an underactive or overactive thyroid, you will notice some changes in your body. That includes your body weight, fat, and muscle strength.

If you want to keep these problems under control, you should talk to your doctor. You would need to focus on your eating, physical activity, and stress management tactics. All of these factors will become a valuable asset in your thyroid management strategy. Now that you know how to make the most of them, you can have an easier time keeping your thyroid in check.

Have you tried any of the options listed here? How did the thyroid affect your health? Share your thoughts and experience in the comment section below! We would love to know what you think.


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