Thyroid UK

Mucin or fat?

Hello lovely people,

When I previously posted about weight gain with Hypothyroidism Mucin was mentioned along with this link:

So, from what I understand an accumulation of Mucin in the skin and other tissues is known as Myxedema (confusingly, sometimes Hypothyroidism itself is known as Myxedema). I had a look at the image of Myxedema on Wikipedia, and a couple more I found but they didn't look much like me. I don't have puffy eyes or noticeably swollen bits anywhere.

However, I came across something that said that if you couldn't pinch the skin it was due to mucin accumulation. Now, I can't pinch any skin on the outer upper part of my arm, or anywhere on my legs, but I just thought this was due to there being a lot of fat in these areas ( I am about 5 stone overweight).

Is there any truth to the skin pinching thing? Or can I just not pinch the skin due to having a lot of excess fat on my body?

I know either way I have a lot of weight to lose that has nothing to do with mucin, but I'm just curious about it.

Thanks for reading :)

7 Replies



Hmmm, hadn't considered that. It doesn't feel inflamed and isn't red or anything, but it is quite sore when I try to pinch it. Is inflammation in your limbs the sort of thing that could cause skin to be un-pinchable?


kittenmittens it could be an inflammatory response that's happening inside your body. I have this going on along with a massive weight gain despite eating little due to reflux and a hernia. Also believe it's due to being undiagnosed, and therefore unmedicated, for a very long time.

I sympathise with your frustration!


Absolutely true. The point about mucin is that it collects under the skin, attached to the skin, and holds water. Fat is not attached to the skin, so you can pinch it up. The only place on my body where I can pinch up the skin is on the backs of my hands. And I'm not even that much over-weight anymore.


Have you tried a gluten/casein free diet? You may have Hashimotos.

Worked wonders for me re weight.

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I reckon I'm carrying around at least half a stone of it, sometimes more :( Don't get it much on my arms, it's mainly just my abdomen, bottom, thighs, breasts, knees and calves that are affected 😂..yup, I'm a jellywoman!! I very often can't pinch the skin on my abdomen or bottom. I can grab/squeeze it, and can often feel a 'popping' sensation when I do so - does anyone else get that??!?

In 2010, a GP at my local surgery* looked at me like I was mad when I went to see him about the mysterious non/barely-pitting water retention that had plagued me for roughly 2 decades..It was obvious he thought it was just fat. I told him politely but firmy, "I know my own body, and I know what's fat and what isn't!" He continued to smirk, stare and patronise.

In 2015, after wondering what was wrong with me for over 25 yrs! finally, by chance I discovered I had autoimmune hypothyroidism. And that's when I first heard the terms "myxedema"..and "myxedemal madness" 😨

I wonder how many modern GPs are (at best!) anything more than vaguely aware of the history of the term, that it is older term for hypothyroidism!! Before the often disastrously missleading modern blood tests they had to OBSERVE SYMPTOMS and LISTEN TO PATIENTS!!

*My own GP is worse :((

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Oh and I stopped eating gluten last year, it doesn't to have helped this issue though..I think it's helped my digestive issues a bit, but no dramatic improvement..


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