DETROIT (WWJ) – The thyroid gland helps keep your metabolism under control — so could a malfunctioning thyroid be the reason you’re packing on the pounds?

An under-active thyroid or hypothyroid means your metabolism is slowing down, and that could lead to some weight gain, according to Dr. Arti Bhan, an endocrinologist with Henry Ford Hospital.

But, even for those who do have the condition, how much of that weight gain is really on you? Bhan told WWJ’s Dr. Deanna Lites that, typically, it’s the bulk of it.

“Sometimes women will tell me, ‘I’m not losing weight and it must be my thyroid,'” Bhan said. “What I tell them is that even when people have frank hypothyroidism, the amount of weight gain is never over five to eight pounds, which is attributed to some degree of fluid retention.”

“So the weight gain is really attributed to our lifestyle, not the thyroid,” Bhan said. (By lifestyle, doctors are referring to how much you’re eating, what you’re eating, and how much you move).

A simple blood test can determine if you have a thyroid problem. If you do, synthetic hormone supplements prescribed by your doctor can help.

[Get more information about hypothyroidism here.]

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