Overweight Kids - Is It Food Or Thyroid?
Posted By HealthcareOnTime Team
Posted on 2022-02-17
We all remember the childhood days of returning from our grandparent's with almost
double the weight we carried earlier! Our country has a traditional thinking wherein
being healthy, chubby and a little overweight is considered as a sign of a content life.
Is it Thyroid influencing
weight gain in kids?
Better know it before
its too late!
But eating disproportionate amount of food at bizarre time intervals only leads to gaining unhealthy pounds of weight. Children then encounter
trouble adjusting with the lifestyle of academics and extracurricular activities. But
what if the child weighs more despite of controlled eating habits? This question
alone widens the possibility of various other factors responsible for weight gain
other than eating habits. Among which, a malfunctioned thyroid gland can be a
crucial parameter to be considered responsible for abnormal metabolism and weight gain.
Thyroid is a butterfly shaped gland located in front of the neck, responsible for production
of most important hormones triiodothyronine (T3), thyroxine (T4) and thyroid stimulating
hormone (TSH) secreted from the pituitary gland, to manage the former two. Together,
these three hormones regulate metabolic activities in each and every cell, tissue and
organ. Along with these, free thyroxine (FT4), free triiodithyronine (FT3)
and leptin also play important roles in regulation of metabolism.
Thyroid in Children - a serious conundrum!
When thyroid produces excess of Thyroid hormones (TSH), the
condition is termed as hyperthyroidism, while the condition wherein production of THs is
inadequate, is termed as Hypothyroidism. overweight kids show high chances of having
hypothyroidism, which is much neglected by parents due to no or lack of knowledge about
- Thyroid hormones.
- Weight gain with loss of appetite
- Decreased energy
- Swollen or puffy appearance
- Decreased growth rate
- Muscle soreness
Effect of thyroid hormones on body weight
Free Triiodothyronine (FT3)
Triiodothyronine is present in the body in 2 forms viz.
Bound form (99.95%) where it is reversibly bound to transport proteins
(more prominently to thyroxine binding globulin[TBG]) and to some degrees bound to albumin
Free form (0.05%)
It was also seen that higher levels of FT3 were observed in children with genetically high
BMI/fat mass, showing a relation between BMI and thyroid hormones.
Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH)
Levels of TSH increases significantly when BMI increases. But the relation between TSH and
obesity is not very clear scientifically, except for one study wherein leptin (fat hormone)
causes initiation and production of thyroglobulin production.
Thyroglobulin is a glycoprotein produced by thyroid gland which
Fluctuations in the levels of TG alters the thyroxine production which represents an underactive
thyroidi.e. Hypothyroidism, causing gain in body weight
Also known as the 'Fat Hormone', this is produced by adipose cells which regulates appetite,
food consumption and also body weight. Children who have high leptin are at an increased risk
for gaining fat mass due to leptin resistance that generates body fat mass. Leptin also promotes
synthesis of appetite suppressant hormone which indirectly effects the consumption patterns of
children causing weight gain.
Free Thyroxine (FT4)
Free thyroxine is the unbound form of thyroxine hormone in the bloodstream which is free to
enter the tissues. Lower FT4 levels indicate hypothyroidism that results into weight gain due
to high metabolic activity.
Thyroid testing at Thyrocare
- Free Triiodothyronine (FT3)
- Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH)
- Thyroglobulin (TG)
- Free Thyroxine (FT4)
All the tests are done using automated Chemiluminescent Immunoassay (CLIA) technique for
obtaining reliable, quick results at affordable rates.
Its high time to consider the factors other than genetic and excess food consumption responsible
for overweight/obese children. It may also add to the fat gain of the body but faulty utilisation of
the food for energy production by inadequate metabolism causes major obesity issues in kids.
Thyroid gland which weighs merely 15-25 grams is a crucial master-controller of metabolism
that needs to be assessed in order to prevent the adversity of surplus weight burden on children,
slowing their pace of life.
"An Over-weighing kid is not a statement of luxury, but a reason to worry."