How Long After Starting Thyroid Medication Will I Lose Weight
Hypothyroidism and weight gain often go hand in hand. Indeed, weight gain is one of the more common symptoms associated with an underactive thyroid. Understandably, many people assume that taking thyroid medication will help them lose weight. Some doctors even prescribe it to help with weight loss Ahead, determine how much weight you can expect to lose once you start taking thyroid medication and if it is a sustainable solution.
What Are Thyroid Medications
Luckily, in the majority of cases, the symptoms of hypothyroidism, including weight gain, can be easily controlled with the regular use of thyroid medications. A weight loss is expected to happen with the bodyweight returning to the number, which it was before the case of hypothyroidism has first started developing.
The goal of using thyroid medications is to supplement the low thyroid hormone levels in individuals with hypothyroidism. All thyroid medications require a proper prescription to be used. There are multiple health risks to be expected in case of thyroid medication misuse and overdose. You and your doctor will decide on which thyroid medication is the best one for you, and you are to closely follow the provided instructions.
Although the thyroid gland produces two thyroid hormones, with those being T3 and T4, it is T4 that is most commonly used to treat hypothyroidism. These are generally safe to be used. However, they are meant to be used according to the provided instructions. The daily recommended dosage is not to be exceeded as a way to avoid side-effects from happening.
There are two basic thyroid hormone preparations available on the market today.
- Natural preparations
- Synthetic preparations.
Variables That Influence Weight Loss From Armour Thyroid
The amount of weight you lose while taking Armour Thyroid may be contingent upon numerous influential variables. These variables include: Armour Thyroid dosage, duration of treatment, severity of hypothyroidism, co-administered drugs , and individual factors . Whenever contemplating how much weight youre likely to lose from treatment, it may be helpful to review these variables.
Can Levothyroxine Be Used As A Weight
Thyroid medication has garnered a reputation as a weight-loss tool due to its potential to help patients with thyroid issues lose weight. Because of this, certain thyroid medications like levothyroxine can be seen purely as a weight-loss tool.
The reason why thyroid medication would be prescribed exclusively for weight loss is due to its ability to increase metabolism and help individuals to burn more energy.
However, its important to note that taking thyroid medication for weight loss alone can be incredibly risky for your health, and it may not even be effective for weight loss.
Thyroid medication is specifically formulated to treat thyroid disorders. Taking thyroid hormones when you dont have hypothyroidism can result in symptoms similar to hyperthyroidism, which is a condition where your thyroid produces too much of the thyroid hormone.
Symptoms of hyperthyroidism include:
Increased heart rate, palpitations, and dangerously irregular heart rhythms
Loss of bone density
Mildly elevated thyroid levels or mild hyperthyroidism can result in increased appetite and may therefore even cause weight gain. Not only could taking thyroid medication when you dont have hypothyroidism leave you with a range of negative side effects, but it also might have the opposite effect of the weight loss you were hoping for.
Armour Thyroid & Weight Loss: How It May Occur
Armour Thyroid is a porcine-derived thyroid hormone replacement commonly administered as a treatment for hypothyroidism. In addition, it is regularly prescribed as an intervention for goiters , nodular thyroid disease, and thyroid cancer due to the fact that it is capable of reducing TSH concentrations. Unlike synthetically engineered thyroid hormones such as synthroid , Armour Thyroid is considered completely natural.
It is comprised of both T4 and T3 and is extracted directly from porcine thyroid glands as a result, it emits a noticeably pungent odor. Although Armour Thyroid has never been approved by the FDA, some patients prefer it over synthetic hormone replacement options for its favorable tolerability and side effect profile. That said, one noticeable side effect that can occur among those taking Armour Thyroid is weight loss.
In most cases, the weight loss experienced among Armour Thyroid users results from a reversal of untreated hypothyroidism. Correcting deficiencies of T4 and T3 , while simultaneously reducing TSH tends to increase basal metabolic rate . For this reason, many Armour Thyroid users may notice that they lose weight throughout their treatment.
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Reasons You Arent Losing Weight On Your Thyroid Medication
You should also be aware that it is possible to lose weight with whatever thyroid medication you are taking.
In my experience in treating thyroid patients for 5+ years, here are a few of the most common reasons that thyroid patients arent losing weight
#1. You Need T3
There are just some people out there who will need T3 thyroid hormone in some form no matter what.
Most doctors like to believe that everyone is fine taking a T4-only thyroid medication like levothyroxine but that just isnt the case.
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Hey There! I’m Dr. Westin Childs. Welcome to my website! This resource is dedicated to helping people with thyroid problems, hormone imbalances, and weight loss problems get the help that they need.
I am a former Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine that now focuses on producing the information you see here while also formulating some of the best supplements on the market 🙂
Want to know why I’m so passionate about these topics? Check out my own personal health story.
Does Treatment Of Hypothyroidism Lead To Weight Loss
Home » Does Treatment of Hypothyroidism Lead to Weight Loss
In Weight Change after Treatment of Hypothyroidism, SY Lee, LE Braverman, and EN Pearce describe the retrospective review of patients with newly diagnosed primary hypothyroidism over an 8-year period, not caused by thyroid cancer or other forms of disease or associated with pregnancy or use of prescription weight loss medication.
About half of the patients lost weight up to 24 months after initiation of treatment with LT4. Overall, weight loss was modest, with a mean weight loss of 8.4 + 9.7 lbs.
Because obesity and hypothyroidism are very common, there are many patients who have both conditions, says Ronald J. Koenig, M.D., Ph.D, Program Committee Co-Chair, and Professor, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Michigan Medical Center, Ann Arbor. These patients often assume the hypothyroidism is causing the obesity even though this may not be the case. This study is important because it shows, unfortunately, that only about half of hypothyroid patients lose weight after the successful treatment of their hypothyroidism. It will be interesting and important to have follow up data to know whether the patients that lose weight are the ones most in need of weight loss, and to know how significantly their weight loss contributed toward achieving a normal body weight.
About the ATA
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What Is Hypothyroidism And How Is It Treated
Armour Thyroid and Synthroid are medications used to treat hypothyroidism.
In this condition, the thyroid gland is underactive, meaning insufficient amounts of thyroid hormones are produced.
Three main hormones are measured to determine if the thyroid is functioning properly: thyroid stimulating hormone , Thyroxine and, in certain circumstances, triiodothyronine .
Its important to remember that the thyroid gland produces mainly T4, even though the active hormone is T3. An enzyme in the body converts T4 into T3 when needed.
Currently, there is no cure for hypothyroidism and, in most cases, medication will need to be taken for life.
Np Thyroid Facts You Should Know
NP thyroid, while not necessarily a new medication, is still somewhat less known compared to other more popular brands of NDT.
Below you will find what I think are the MOST important things you should know about NP thyroid .
These facts range from information about the ingredients found inside of NP thyroid, how it compares to other thyroid medication formulations, why its good for weight loss, and how it compares in terms of cost.
Lets jump in
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Why Did Doctors Switch From Armour Thyroid To Synthroid
Desiccated thyroid extract was the original medication used to treat hypothyroidism.
During this time, thyroid hormones were not completely understood and there was a lack of reliable diagnostic tools to measure circulating levels in the blood.
This lead to the following problems:
- Difficulties determining the correct dose for the individual.
- Difficulties measuring the exact amount of T4 and T3 present in desiccated thyroid extract.
As a result, the dosage was often too high and serious side effects were often reported. Also, due to inconsistencies in the strength of medication, some people were not seeing any improvements.
Conversely, Synthroid was thought to offer a safe and consistent dosage. Two things lead to this switch:
Summary: Desiccated thyroid extract was the first type of medication used to treat hypothyroidism. Eventually, a synthetic T4 medication was created and found to be a safer and more effective option.
Is Armour Thyroid Better Because It Contains T3
One of the main arguments for the use of Armour Thyroid is that it contains T3 as well as T4.
Its possible that a minority of people will do better on a combination of T3 and T4 replacement therapy. However, there is only a small amount of evidence available to support this theory .
A trial of combination T4 and T3 therapy is recommended for patients who do not experience symptom relief on Synthroid. This is experimental and should be stopped if no positive results are seen after three months .
While it may be beneficial, there are some issues associated with using Armour Thyroid to replace T3, including:
- Inconsistent dosage in Armour Thyroid: There may still be inconsistencies and stability problems in the preparation of Armour Thyroid. This can result in fluctuating blood levels of thyroid hormones.
- Difficulties maintaining T3 levels: The ratio of T4 to T3 in Armour Thyroid is much higher than that typically excreted from a healthy human thyroid. Additionally, T3 does not last as long in the body and is much more difficult to maintain a consistent level.
T3 levels may spike or become elevated and symptoms such as heart palpitations and others seen in hyperthyroidism can occur. Slow release or multiple daily doses of synthetic T3 are likely to produce much more consistent blood levels and less side effects .
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How Does Thyroid Medication Affect Your Weight
Hypothyroidism is a hormone-related condition where your thyroid glands dont create enough of the thyroid hormone. Similar effects are also seen in cancer patients who have their thyroid glands surgically removed. The thyroid hormone plays an important role in controlling your metabolism and body temperature. Because of this, if you produce enough o the thyroid hormone, you may experience common symptoms, such as:
Sensitivity to cold
Muscle and joint soreness and/or stiffness
A lack of or low levels of the thyroid hormone often slows down your metabolism, making it harder for your body to burn energy and keep off weight.
Losing weight when you have hypothyroidism isnt as simple as just taking thyroid medication. While weight gain is a common symptom reported in patients with hypothyroidism, thyroid disorder is not necessarily the sole reason for this weight gain.
There are many reasons why someone might gain weight. Overeating or menopause, for example, could be contributing factors. Because of the variability behind why weight gain occurs, taking thyroid hormone medication is unlikely to be a cure-all for weight gain by itself.
Sweetners & Net Carbs
Sweeteners are tricky. Your choice will depend on your unique physiology. Many thyroid patients also have blood sugar dysregulation. I am one of those people. If you are insulin resistant, prediabetic, diabetic, or want to lose weight, be careful with net carbs and sugars even if they are natural sugars coming from dates, et cetera.
A good rule of thumb for people with blood sugar issues is to stay under 10 net grams carbs per bar.
NO: Artificial sweeteners such as sucralose, aspartame, et cetera.
YES. Low glycemic sweeteners: Stevia, steviol glycosides, monk fruit, organic erythritol.
I know that sugar alcohols like erythritol are controversial, but I like them. Erythritol is listed in the carb count of foods, but most of it passes through the body without being metabolized. That is why most of the carbs in products that contain sugar alcohols can be factored out. They dont cause blood sugar and insulin elevation. That is why they are so effective for weight loss.
Sugar alcohols sometimes cause gastrointestinal distress, but erythritol seems to be the least problematic. I tell people to start with a small amount and increase over time. It still may not agree with you, but most people are fine with it. Do not consume erythritol that is not organic. It is genetically modified.
A good rule of thumb for this group would be no more than 20 net carbs per bar.
Look below at Other Healthy Bars for a few suggestions.
NO: Corn syrup or high fructose corn syrup.
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Taking Too Much Isnt The Answer
Another trap I see thyroid patients fall into is what I will call the more, more, more trap.
If the answer to my weight problem isnt solved by my current thyroid medication or dose then the answer MUST be simply taking more of the same thing but at a higher dose.
The theory here is that if you can push yourself into a hyperthyroid state then you will lose weight, right?
You would think so, and maybe hope so, but it isnt really true in practice.
Not only is taking too much thyroid medication dangerous, but its also not likely to help you lose any weight.
This is also why you do NOT want to use thyroid medication to aid with weight loss if you dont have a thyroid problem!
Why is this?
Most thyroid medications that people take contain only the T4 thyroid hormone.
These medications, while they can be effective for some, often fail to help many people feel better.
It has been shown that these medications can readily be converted into the inactive thyroid hormone metabolite known as reverse T3.
And if your body takes levothyroxine and turns it into rT3 instead of T3 then your symptoms and weight gain can often get worse.
This process can occur due to something called thyroid conversion and its something that you should be familiar with as a thyroid patient.
Thyroid conversion is the process by which your body takes and either activates or inactivates the thyroid hormone that you are taking by mouth.
Anxiety Or Feeling Irritable
If youre one of the millions of Americans who takes NP Thyroid, you may experience occasional side effects. One of the more common ones is anxiety or feeling irritable. While its not clear why this happens, it may be due to the bodys reaction to the hormone replacement. If youre experiencing anxiety or irritability, talk to your doctor. They may be able to adjust your dosage or switch you to a different medication. In the meantime, there are a few things you can do to help ease your symptoms: Get regular exercise. This can help reduce stress and promote relaxation. Avoid caffeine and alcohol. Both can make anxiety worse. Practice relaxation techniques. Deep breathing, meditation, and yoga can all help to calm the mind and body. Talk to someone. If youre feeling overwhelmed, talking to a friend or therapist can help you work through your feelings. If youre experiencing anxiety or irritability as a side effect of NP Thyroid, talk to your doctor. They can help you find ways to manage your symptoms.
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Can Thyroid Hormone Be Used To Help Me Lose Weight
Thyroid hormones have been used as a weight loss tool in the past. Starting or increasing thyroid hormone to cause thyroid hormone levels to be elevated is unlikely to dramatically change weight. Studies have shown that excess thyroid hormone treatment can help produce more weight loss than can be achieved by dieting alone, but includes the risk of major negative consequences from the use of thyroid hormone to help with weight loss, such as the loss of muscle protein, loss of bone, and/or heart problems. Furthermore, once the excess thyroid hormone is stopped, any weight loss is usually regained.
What Is The Thyroid Gland
The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped endocrine gland that is normally located in the lower front of the neck. The thyroids job is to make thyroid hormones, which are secreted into the blood and then carried to every tissue in the body. Thyroid hormones help the body use energy, stay warm and keep the brain, heart, muscles, and other organs working as they should.
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Understanding Thyroid Medication And Weight Loss
Hypothyroidism can leave you feeling tired, cold, and experiencing muscle and joint pain, but the most commonly discussed symptom is weight gain. For those with this hormone disorder, losing weight and keeping it off can be a real challenge. Hypothyroidism can be controlled with thyroid medication, so many people naturally think that taking that medication will help them to shed pounds.
There are many myths and assumptions around the impact of thyroid medication on weight loss. Its important to be realistic about exactly what thyroid medication can and cant do for your weight.
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