Does Levothyroxine Cause Weight Gain
Both weight gain and weight loss are possible side effects. Many people do not take the right dosage of levothyroxine, and both undertreatment and overtreatment can have an effect on weight.
Levothyroxine weight gain may be tied to undertreatment, according to the ATA. To avoid this, people with a higher body weight should be prescribed a higher starting dose doses should then be adjusted whenever there is a significant change in body weight. Regular blood testing will be used to monitor your for medication adjustments.
In an Iraqi study of 346 mostly obese adults with underactive thyroid, researchers found that the majority did not lose weight after starting treatment but instead maintained or gained weight over one or two years. The study, which was published in 2021 in the journal Cureus, did not reach a conclusion on the cause, noting the complex interplay between weight and thyroid hormones.
While undertreatment with levothyroxine can lead to weight gain, overtreatment can result in weight loss as well as adverse effects including bone and muscle loss and heart problems. Once the excess hormone is stopped , the weight is typically regained. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration warns that thyroid hormones should not be used for weight loss or for treating .
Can I Lose Weight If I Have An Underactive Thyroid
Yes. The good news is, you can. We work with many women who have suboptimal thyroid functions of varying degree to help successfully lose weight and maintain it. Dependent on the state of your thyroid health we can adapt your nutrition plan accordingly and we work closely with a functional medicine doctor who can support with medical treatment where necessary.
If you are looking to lose weight and feel like you could benefit from expert help, please do get in touch. We offer a complimentary 25 minute weight loss strategy call with one of our weight loss nutritionists who will take the time to listen to your challenges and help you identify the right weight loss solution for you.
Get The Right Nutrients And Supplements
Here are the best natural dietary supplements to lessen the severity of your hypothyroidism, promote healthy metabolism, and promote hypothyroidism-related weight loss.
At PrimeHealth, your dietary and supplement plan is always personalized to your needs and personal labs from blood tests.
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Thyroid Dysfunction And Body Weight
Body composition and thyroid hormones appear to be closely related. Thyroid hormones regulate basal metabolism, thermogenesis and play an important role in lipid and glucose metabolism, food intake and fat oxidation. Thyroid dysfunction is associated with changes in body weight and composition, body temperature and total and resting energy expenditure independent of physical activity.
Hypothyroidism is associated with decreased thermogenesis, decreased metabolic rate, and has also been shown to correlate with a higher body mass index and a higher prevalence of obesity. There is clinical evidence suggesting that even mild thyroid dysfunction in the form of subclinical hypothyroidism is linked to significant changes in body weight and represents a risk factor for overweight and obesity however, this remains a gray area. It has been further noted that small variations in serum TSH caused by minimal changes in L-T4 dosage during replacement therapy are associated with significantly altered REE in hypothyroid patients. However, there is a paucity of data regarding the actual extent of weight gain and weight loss with L-T4 treatment in hypothyroidism.
How 3 Women With Hypothyroidism Maintain Their Weight
How we see the world shapes who we choose to be and sharing compelling experiences can frame the way we treat each other, for the better. This is a powerful perspective.
If you have hypothyroidism, you might deal with daily symptoms like nausea, fatigue, weight gain, constipation, feeling cold, and depression.
While the symptoms that accompany hypothyroidism , can disrupt several parts of your life, weight gain seems to be one area that causes significant distress and frustration.
When your thyroid is underactive, your metabolism slows down, which can lead to weight gain.
Hypothyroidism is typically diagnosed in adulthood, but many people will tell you they remember struggling with their weight and other symptoms for years.
Hypothyroidism becomes more pronounced with age and is far more common in women than men. In fact, 20 percent of women in the United States will develop the condition by age 60.
Healthline talked to three women with hypothyroidism about weight gain, how theyve accepted their bodies, and the lifestyle changes theyve made to manage their weight.
Maintaining a healthy weight with hypothyroidism has been a challenge for Ginny Mahar, co-founder of Thyroid Refresh. Diagnosed in 2011, Mahar says her doctors advice regarding her weight gain was eat less and exercise more. Sound familiar?
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Other Ways To Lose Weight When You Have Thyroid Issues
Taking thyroid medication does not guarantee weight loss. If you have hypothyroidism and are struggling to keep your weight down even with the help of medication, there are a range of other strategies that may assist with weight loss.
When your metabolism slows down, as it does with hypothyroidism, you cant burn calories at the rate you would if your thyroid was functioning normally. Whether you’re resting or exercising, you will burn fewer calories than someone with a faster metabolism doing the same activity. Implementing simple tips for a healthier diet and reviewing your total caloric intake can help.
Since you burn fewer calories when you have hypothyroidism, you may want to track and slightly reduce your calories in order to lose weight. You might be surprised by the caloric load of certain food and drink. Reducing, replacing, or removing these from your diet could make a big difference to your weight over time.
High-calorie food to watch for include:
You could also see a dietitian for guidance on nutrition and the types of diets that are right for you and your goals.
Cardiovascular exercise is a great way to burn calories and help keep off the extra weight that can build up thanks to a slow metabolism when you have hypothyroidism. Just an hour a day of physical activity not only helps you to lose weight, but also improves your overall health, energy levels, and mental state.
Examples of cardio exercise include:
Charlene On Focusing On Day
Charlene Bazarian was 19 years old when she noticed her weight start to climb. In an effort to drop what she thought was the Freshman 15, Bazarian cleaned up her eating and exercised more. Yet her weight continued to climb. I went to several doctors, who each said I was fine, says Bazarian.
It wasnt until her mother, who also has hypothyroidism, suggested that she see her endocrinologist, that things made sense.
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Your Underactive Thyroid Treatment Action Plan
1. Get diagnosed
It sounds obvious but getting your doctor to carry out a simple blood test to measure your TSH levels can be a game changer when it comes to know whats really causing your struggles around weight loss. After all, know the trigger makes it far far easier to find the solution.
2. Eat an underactive Thyroid diet
Change your eating habits, where possible, to eliminate the causes of thyroid dysfunction such as inflammation and nutrient deficiencies, and to promote healthy thyroid function, says Kaler.
Kalers favourite foods for supporting weight loss with an underactive thyroid:
Oily fish: Omega 3-rich foods such as wild-caught salmon, mackerel or sardines, as well as flax seeds, help reduce inflammation.
Kimchi: Foods high in probiotics such as sauerkraut or kimchi, promote a healthy gut, which, in turn, supports the thyroid.
Seaweed: This is a source of iodine, which is known to be a key player in thyroid function. .
Brazil nuts: Selenium, present in Brazil nuts, is used by the body to regulate thyroid function.
Fruits and vegetables: Eating a wide variety of these will help reduce inflammation due to the high vitamin, mineral and antioxidant content.
Chicken, beef and eggs, preferably free range or organic: It can be hard to build and maintain muscle with an underactive thyroid so ensure you base your meals around protein, to support your training.
The foods to be mindful if suffering with an underactive thyroid:
3. Prioritise strength training
About This Nutritionist/md Thyroid Team
Sophie Anson is the Founder of Eatstrong, a multifaceted wellness company in New York City that has helped hundreds of people achieve their personal goals in terms of weight, fitness, health and overall wellbeing. Originally from Switzerland, Sophie came to the US in 1992. Struggling with her own hypothyroid weight, she later obtained her American Council of Exercise certification as a nutritionist. On a quest to help her clients lose stubborn weight, Sophie created Losers Chews, a probiotic specially formulated with the fat-busting strain lactobacillus rhamnosus. For a limited time, Sophie is offering Hypothyroid Mom fans a 20% discount with coupon code DANACHEWS.
Dr. Hugh D. Melnick, MD, is a reproductive endocrinologist who has been treating patients with hormonal and fertility problems in NYC since 1976. He began to notice the number of infertile women visiting his offie who were symptomatically hypothyroid. They would go on to finally conceive after treatment with thyroid medication. Dr. Melnicks vast clinical experience together with his own personal experience having hypothyroidism himself has enabled him to develop a unique approach to the diagnosis and treatment of hypothyroidism. In addition to his fertility services, he works with women and men with hypothyroidism at mythyroidmd.com.
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Graves’ Disease And Diet
Hypothyroidism is not caused or cured by your diet and affects overweight, underweight and average weight people. To lose weight with Graves’ disease, you need to follow a healthy weight loss eating plan that includes a variety of foods and engage in regular exercise. To keep your metabolism as high as possible, you need to eat at least 1,200 calories daily. If you don’t consume enough calories, your metabolism slows down to conserve energy. It’s a biological survival mechanism that helps you survive long periods of fasting or famine.
One Of The Main Reasons You Can’t Lose Weight
The hormone that has the greatest connection to weight gain and disease is insulin specifically too much of it. Every week I speak to new clients who tell me that theyve started to put on weight since hitting their 40s/50s ! Insulin resistance is often to blame! One of the more obvious consequences of a diet too high in sugars and starches is that thick roll of tummy fat. That fat itself produces pro-inflammatory compounds and inflammation, which can also cause inflammation in the brain.Foods that cause high blood sugar and insulin resistance when consumed regularly and over consumed include sweet fizzy drinks, sweet coffee drinks, sweets, pastries, pasta, bread, processed grains, fruit juices and other high-glycemic foods. But sometimes just a diet high in any carbohydrates. Many women find that they gain weight sometimes a significant amount during peri menopause and menopause. And, to make matters worse, their old tried and true ways of getting the weight off simply dont work.Its a complex issue that includes a combination of poor diet sedentary lifestyle, stress, and many other factors. But, the truth is, whatever the underlying cause, insulin resistance is a major cause of peri and menopausal weight gain and those with a genetic variant on their genes involved in insulin balance will be at greater risk. The key to reversing it and achieving lasting weight loss is to keep insulin levels low.See my recent Blog post on Insulin Resistance.
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Signs Your Weight Loss Problem Is Really A Thyroid Problem
You did your homework and tried every weight loss program you could find.
And nothing worked for your weight loss, or didnt work for long.
You lost weight only to regain it. Or you sacrificed for months without shedding a pound.
They told you that you didnt have will power, and you started to believe them.
You questioned yourself. Is this weight loss problem in my head or is it in my hormones?
Would you be surprised to learn that an estimated 30 million Americans are unsuccessful at weight loss because it is caused by a thyroid problem, and not to a lack of will power or discipline?
If You Are Being Treated For Graves’ Disease Can You Still Lose Weight By Dieting
Graves’ disease is the most common type of overactive thyroid disorder. It’s caused by an immune system response that makes your thyroid produce too many hormones. Thyroid hormones control metabolism. As you are being treated for Graves’ disease, you may start to gain weight as your body produces fewer hormones and your metabolism slows down. But it is possible to lose weight during treatment. Your weight loss may be slow while your body adjusts to your new lower metabolism. If you follow a healthy diet, however, it will help you feel your best and reach a healthy body weight.
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The More Medication Myth
You may have heard that thyroid hormones can be used to lose weight, even in people without thyroid disease. While synthetic thyroid hormones have been used this way in the past, research has shown that most people gain all the weight back once they stop using them. Worse, being on thyroid hormones unnecessarily can result in serious side effects.
For people who are already using levothyroxine, increasing the dose above whats needed can lead to more weight loss, but its usually not significant and those pounds are often gained back once the dose is decreased again.
This is also an unhealthy way to lose weight, as an increased dose is also associated with adverse reactions, including heart issues, insomnia, headaches, menstrual irregularities, and skin rash.
Exercise Almost Every Day
We recommend regular exercise for thyroid patients to lose weight. Exercise is a fantastic natural treatment for hypothyroidism, helping to:
- Relieve depression
- Lose unwanted weight
- Maintain that healthy weight
Physical therapists and endocrinologists alike would probably suggest low-impact cardio exercise, especially to start out. Consult with a doctor before engaging in higher intensity strength training.
Aim to exercise for 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week.
How much weight should you lose with hypothyroidism? Determine your healthy weight by starting with a normal BMI range for your height. Every person is different, so talk to your doctor about exactly how much weight you should try to lose.
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Trial The Autoimmune Protocol Diet
This step is only for those with Hashimotos or another autoimmune disease, and only recommended if you already consistently follow steps 1 to 5 but are still very overweight.
The Autoimmune Protocol is an elimination diet that temporarily cuts out numerous food groups including dairy, grains, nuts and seeds, legumes, nightshade vegetables and more. It is said to have emerged from the Paleo movement , but to describe it as Paleo seems too basic.
The AIP goes by the premise that certain food chemicals and compounds cause low-grade inflammation in the gut of individuals with an autoimmune disease . Low-grade inflammation appears to be a driving factor behind many modern health conditions, including autoimmune diseases, metabolic disorder and obesity too .
By removing the everyday trigger foods in your diet, inflammation subsides giving your body the opportunity to recover and reset known medically as remission. This is what occurs in celiac disease patients when they remove gluten from the diet, or most IBS patients following a low FODMAP diet.
Whats The Difference Between Good And Bad Carbs
Youll want to choose foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids including anchovies, salmon, halibut, and mussels rather than omega-6 fatty acids, which are found in corn oil, vegetable oil, mayonnaise, salad dressings, and many processed foods.
Scanniello says eating this way is a good idea for everyone because many of the foods with the potential to lead to inflammation arent healthy anyway. I believe everyone can benefit from limiting or eliminating sugar and highly processed foods and choosing unsaturated fats, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and lean proteins, Scanniello says.
She says the anti-inflammatory diet could be especially helpful for someone whos dealing with chronic inflammation as a result of a health condition. Athletes and people who exercise at a high intensity and are looking to lessen their baseline inflammation could also find it beneficial, she says.
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