What Is the Connection Between Thyroxine and Weight Loss?

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  • Written By: Andy Hill
  • Edited By: PJP Schroeder
  • Last Modified Date: 27 March 2014
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There are several, well-documented links between the body’s production of thyroxine and weight loss. The thyroid gland, situated in the neck just below the trachea, produces the hormone thyroxine, which normalizes the metabolism in the body. It is in this metabolism regulation that a reduction in thyroxine in the body can result in unwanted weight gain.

If the thyroid gland does not produce sufficient thyroxine to regulate body functions, several symptoms can become apparent. In addition to weight gain due to reduced metabolism, these symptoms or indicators can include tiredness, feeling cold consistently, dry skin, and depression. The lack of thyroxine in the body can lead to a condition known as hypothyroidism, sometimes referred to as an underactive thyroid.

Hypothyroidism can be treated through the ingestion of Levothyroxine, sometimes called L-thyroxine, tablets. Levothyroxine is a synthetic body chemical that can replicate the hormone produced by the thyroid gland. Balancing the level of thyroxine in the body will regulate the metabolism, resulting in improved muscle conditioning, stimulated natural production of thyroxine, and weight loss.

During exercise, thyroxine levels are naturally increased to allow the body to burn more calories and build muscle tissue. This is another area where there is a connection between thyroxine and weight loss. Athletes involved in intensive training programs often take a synthetic thyroxine hormone to artificially increase the levels within the body; this allows them to burn calories and build effective muscle tissue more efficiently.


It should not be considered that there exists a consistent link between the body’s level of thyroxine and weight loss. That is to say that continually increasing the levels of thyroxine in the body will not lead to continually accelerating weight reduction. The key to a healthy metabolism is balancing the body’s thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) and thyroxine levels; it is for this reason that synthetic thyroxine dosages are calculated by medical practitioners following analysis of blood test results. When taking Levothyroxine, it is important that a regular program of blood test checks is followed so that dosages can be adjusted accordingly.

Excessive production of thyroxine in the body, or overdosage of the synthetic hormone, can result in a condition known as hyperthyroidism, or overactive thyroid. This condition results in the processes of the body being accelerated, including rapid heartbeat, muscle weakness, shortness of breath, and nervousness. The body's level of thyroxine and weight loss are linked here again as hyperthyroidism can result in weight reduction accompanied by an increased appetite. A course of anti-thyroid medication should be taken in order to return an overactive thyroid to the euthyroid, or normal, state.


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