Many people think that thyroid dysfunctions such as hypothyroidism are associated with a desire to eat more. True or false? Professor Andrea Lania, Professor of Endocrinology at Humanitas University and head of the Operating Unit of Endocrinology at the Humanitas Hospital, answers.
“True. Hunger, or the need to eat more, can be one of the consequences of a thyroid dysfunction called hyperthyroidism – explains the professor – The thyroid is a gland that produces hormones and both the deficiency (hypothyroidism) and excess (hyperthyroidism) of thyroid hormone production can have repercussions on the diet. If the thyroid produces an excess of hormones (hyperthyroidism) this excess can also translate into an increased sense of hunger that leads the patient to increase food intake. On the other hand, when the thyroid gland does not produce enough hormones, and therefore we talk about hypothyroidism, the hormonal imbalance leads us to feel sadder, depressed, and apathetic. Such a change in mood may affect the diet. Thyroid imbalances, even if there is no form of prevention, can be solved thanks to a therapy adapted to the pathology and personal condition of the patient. Hypothyroidism is generally treated by taking hormones to compensate for the imbalance. In the case of hyperthyroidism, however, depending on the cause, the imbalance is treated with antithyroid drugs, radiometabolic therapy or surgery.