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Thyroid Disease and Muscle Wasting

Muscle wasting is a common condition in which your body loses muscle mass due to shrinking. While plenty of conditions can cause muscle wasting, nutrient deficiency leading to the catabolic state in which the body takes nutrients from bones is the major reason. 

It is particularly common in thyroid patients who experience low stomach acid. Some more causes of muscle wasting include medical conditions like amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. The symptoms of this condition typically depend on how severe is your muscle mass loss. However, a few common symptoms include;

  • Reduced/decreased muscle strength

  • Decreased muscle size

  • Impaired ability to do physical activities  

Doctors or medical professionals need to review and examine the patient’s medical history to diagnose the condition. The causes of muscle wasting are evident in some cases. However, oftentimes doctors need to run some diagnostic tests to determine the underlying causes of muscle wasting. 


Let’s delve into the details to find how malnutrition or nutrient deficiency may lead to muscle wasting. We’ll also explore the connection between muscle wasting and the thyroid. 

Muscle Wasting and Thyroid Connection

Muscle wasting or shrinking is a condition that is relatively more common in women as opposed to men and they are likely to gain weight in their mid-thirties. Many men, however, with thyroid disease also experience muscle-related issues. 

A Chinese study examined the effects of thyroid hormones (produced by the thyroid gland to regulate various body functions) on muscle mass, physical function, and muscle strength in people with normal thyroid function.


Scientists measured muscle functions and hormone levels through physical functions and grip tests. They found that people with higher free triiodothyronine (main hormone released by the thyroid gland) levels in the normal range, had better muscle function and muscle mass. 

However, multiple studies after this research showed that thee neuromuscular complaints (carpal tunnel, neuropathy, and weakness) are more common in hypothyroid patients. The research found that more than 79 percent of people with hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) had muscle weakness or complaints.

In fact, over 90 percent of patients with hypothyroidism experience some kind of proximal weakness. 


Impact of Malnutrition on Muscle Wasting 

Nutrient deficiency and low muscle mass are the highly prevalent conditions in elderly people. Malnutrition is a common risk factor for increasing low muscle mass. It is a serious complication in various medical conditions such as heart failure, cancer, diabetes, and uremia. 


Many studies have shown that vitamin D deficiency often leads to developing muscle atrophy in humans. In most cases, the condition is the result of an altered balance in amino acid degradation and its synthesis rate.

Medical science describes three main pathways including the lysosomal system, the ATP-ubiquitin-dependent system, and the cytosolic calcium-activated system in the skeletal muscles. Intercellular activities in these pathways of muscles can activate the condition of muscle wasting. 

Put simply, if you have an insufficient nutritional intake and experience the symptoms of thyroid disease or thyroidectomy, it may cause muscle loss. The role of nutrient deficiency in protein degradation is still unclear. However, studies have shown other causes that may lead to muscle shrinking in people. 

There are many possible causes of malnutrition including persistent nausea, cancer, anorexia nervosa. 


Other Causes of Muscle Wasting 

Muscular Dystrophy

The genetic condition called muscular dystrophy may lead to developing progressive muscle wasting and weakness. You can develop different muscular dystrophy types that can vary in terms of symptoms. 

Spinal Muscular Atrophy 

Spinal muscular atrophy is a similar condition to muscular dystrophy. It is also a genetic disease and occurs due to reduced motor neurons (cells that control the muscles). It causes your muscles to weaken gradually. 

Although it affects the overall muscles of the body, the effects are more prominent in the muscles

closer to the body’s central parts.

Multiple Sclerosis 

Multiple sclerosis or MS refers to an autoimmune disease that can affect “myelin”, a compound surrounding the nerve fiber. The condition is damaging to the nerves and affects your muscles. The nerves lose the ability to stimulate or trigger movement in muscles which leads to atrophy.



Aging is the natural factor that leads to muscle loss or wasting. As you age, your body goes through some significant changes, and weakened muscle mass is one of them. After the age of 60, your body loses 1 to 2 percent of muscle a year. It increases to 35 to 40 percent in the people between 70 and 80 years of age.


Treatments You Can Take to Reduce Muscle Wasting

Nutritional Therapy

Proper nutrition, of course, is the key to preventing muscle wasting in the body. Your body needs nutrients to build muscles and retain them. You need to switch to healthy diets that can provide you with sufficient proteins, calories, and other nutrients to support muscle development. A healthy and nutrient-rich diet can promote muscle wasting. 

Improve Your Protein Intake

Increase your protein intake as your body uses muscle protein to get energy and fuel inflammatory stress responses in the catabolic state. Adjust your diet regime to be more protein-based. Reduce processed foods, sugar, and crabs to build muscles.

Use Nutritional Supplement for Thyroid

You can take ThyVita as a solution to get the nutrients your body needs. The supplement is innovative support to your thyroid treatment and can help you improve symptoms that mimic thyroid disease and patients have reported improved gut function. Apple Cider Vinegar, among other things, is also helpful in increasing stomach acid for better digestion.

Regulate Thyroid Hormones

Early diagnosis of a medical condition like Hashimoto’s can help to reduce muscle wasting.  Consult your doctor to perform some antibody testing with a thyroid panel to address any issues related to the thyroid gland. 


Workout with a healthy diet makes an excellent combination to prevent the symptoms of muscle wasting. If you have a family history of thyroid or muscle wasting, you must consult your doctor to find out what physical activities you can do to avert muscle wasting. 

Focused Ultrasound

Focused ultrasound is a comparatively new treatment for muscle shrinking. It comprises high-frequency sound waves and beams at the specific body area to stimulate muscle contraction. The therapy can reduce muscle wasting.

Summing Up

Muscle wasting may be the result of nutrient deficiency and can affect your ability to do everyday tasks.  If you’re a thyroid patient, the symptoms can severely impact your quality of life. Thus, you must speak to your doctor , get tested and improve your nutrient intake to prevent the condition.




Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the US Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. The information contained herein is for informational purposes. Please be sure to consult your physician before taking this or any other product. Consult your physician for any health problems or before starting a new program.

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