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Indian J Endocrinol Metab. 2016 Jul-Aug;20(4):554-7. doi: 10.4103/2230-8210.183454.

Hypothyroidism and obesity: An intriguing link.

Author information

1
Department of Endocrinology, KPC Medical College, Kolkata, West Bengal, India.
2
Department of Pediatric Endocrinology, Institute of Child Health, Kolkata, West Bengal, India.

Abstract

According to common perception, hypothyroidism is held responsible for obesity. However, linking them causally is controversial. Overt hypothyroidism is associated with modest weight gain, but there is a lack of clarity regarding subclinical hypothyroidism. Novel view indicates that changes in thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) could well be secondary to obesity. The increasing prevalence of obesity further confounds definition of normal TSH range in population studies. Thyroid autoantibody status may help in establishing the diagnosis of subclinical hypothyroidism in obesity. High leptin levels may play a role in the hyperthyrotropinemia of obesity and also increase susceptibility to thyroid autoimmunity and subsequent hypothyroidism. There is at most a modest effect of L-T4 treatment in overt hypothyroidism in inducing weight loss; benefit in subclinical hypothyroidism is not established with no data supporting thyroid hormone use in euthyroid obese patients.

KEYWORDS:

Hyperthyrotropinemia; hypothyroidism; leptin; obesity; thyroid autoimmunity

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