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Can Thyroid Tablets Cause Weight Gain

Reduce Exposure To Hormone Disruptors

Does Levothyroxine Cause Weight Gain? What to do if it is slowing down your metabolism

Toxins are one of the most common reasons why hormonal weight gain occurs.

You see, toxins cause inflammation, which basically throws your body into a state of confusion.

The most common source of toxins is the food we eat.

Food toxins that contribute to hormonal weight include:

  • Processed and genetically modified fats
  • Processed sugar
  • Dyes
  • Processed meats

So, if you want to lose weight fast and reverse hormone-related weight gain, reduce your consumption of these foods and ingredients.

This single step will make a tremendous difference in your bodys ability to shed excess pounds.

Tricky To Diagnose Treat

Diagnosing and treating an underactive thyroid can be challenging, he says, especially when a patients thyroid hormone levels test in the borderline-normal range. In most cases, a hormone level between 4 and 10 is the accepted range for treatment. When patients experience symptoms with a hormone level of 3, doctors are faced with the question of whether or not to treat. And its a tricky question, because treatment is not just a matter of taking a little pill that immediately cures all your symptoms. Finding just the right amount of hormone replacement medication to keep levels stable can be a difficult balancing act.

In Krugers case, it took her nearly 20 years to finally feel like I got my life back. During that time, despite being on medication, her thyroid levels were still problematic. She continued to feel tired and to gain weight, her cholesterol levels shot up and she began developing heart disease, a consequence of insufficient thyroid.

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How Are Thyroid Problems Diagnosed

Typically, its done with a blood test for the hormones T4 and TSH, as well as another made by the thyroid called T3.

Sometimes, an unrelated head or neck imaging scan will reveal nodules or cysts on the thyroid, prompting a referral to an endocrinologist.

And occasionally, a patient finds a suspect lump in the lower neck either by touch or sight. If you do discover one, see a doctor. In 2013, a nurse and fan of HGTVs “Flip or Flop” alerted property flipper Tarek El Moussa when she spotted a suspicious lump on his lower neck while watching the show. A biopsy revealed stage 2 cancer. His thyroid was later removed.

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Key Steps To Stop Thyroid Weight Gain

When youre proactive about helping your body restore thyroid balance, you will see changes in your weight, energy and mood. The sooner you take action, the faster youll feel better about your body and thyroid health.

1. Ensure you provide your thyroid with essential minerals.

The most important minerals for thyroid health are iodine and selenium.Iodine is a key building block for making thyroid hormones T3 and T4. Supplying Iodine in very specific amounts can make a measurable difference in rebalancing thyroid function. Selenium helps convert T4 into T3, the most useful hormone form. Selenium also regulates thyroid hormone synthesis and metabolism.

How to get them: Find iodine in sea vegetables, seafood and iodized sea salt. Get selenium from Brazil nuts, mushrooms, beef and sunflower seeds. You can also get both minerals in a good supplement.

2. Add targeted herb extracts to boost thyroid function.

Science shows that several herbs can positively affect your thyroid function and stop thyroid-related weight gain:

You can get all these herbs with precise amounts of iodine and selenium in our combination formula, T-Balance Plus. This formula supports healthy signaling between your thyroid and the rest of your body. If youre taking thyroid medication, talk to your practitioner about this supplement.

3. Eliminate gluten-containing foods.

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Their Ingredients And Effects Are Surprisingand Sometimes Harmful

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Weight gain, fatigue, brain fog. These are all hallmark symptoms of hypothyroidism, a condition in which the thyroid, a small gland at the front of your neck, slows down or stops making the hormone thyroxine that helps keep your metabolism up to speed. If you are diagnosed with hypothyroidism , a doctor may give you a prescription for levothyroxine . This medication contains synthetic thyroid hormone that can correct the hormone deficiency and improve your symptoms.

Unfortunately, these unwelcome symptoms are not specific for hypothyroidism, but are also part and parcel of the natural aging process, and can affect people with normally functioning thyroid glands, says endocrinologist and Consumer Reports’ chief medical adviser Marvin M. Lipman, M.D. Less than 2 percent of people have hypothyroidism, Lipman says. Nevertheless, people who are desperate to lose weight and feel more energetic turn to supplements that are marketed to boost metabolism and energy naturally. But experts warn that taking these thyroid supplements is a bad idea. Here’s why:

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Hyperthyroidism Weight Gain Statistics

For their study, Dr. Boelaert and colleagues used the Thyroid Clinic Database at the University Hospitals Birmingham National Health Service Foundation Trust. They examined data on all adults with hyperthyroidism who were treated with either antithyroid drugs radioiodine , also called radioactive iodine or both between 2000 and 2014.

The individuals were followed up for three years after treatment. None of them had a thyroidectomysurgical removal of the thyroidwhich is another treatment option.

In all, the study looked at 1,373 patients with hyperthyroidism, ages 18 to 90. During treatment, the men gained about 17.6 pounds on average, while the women gained an average of a little over 12 pounds. The researchers compared the patients weight gain with that of a matched comparison population of nearly 11,000 people who did not have an overactive thyroid.

At the start of drug treatment, those who were diagnosed as having an overactive thyroid weighed less on average than the comparison population, Dr. Boelaert says, which was expected. However, after treatment, the individuals with hyperthyroidism were more likely than the comparison group to have a body weight that qualified as obesespecifically, men were 1.7 times more likely and women, 1.3 times more likely.

In other words, the participants went from weighing less on average than the comparison group before treatment to, in many cases, gaining enough weight to put them in the obese range.

I Have A Lump On My Thyroid Now What

Thyroid cancer diagnoses have increased from 17,000 in 2002 to 57,000 in 2012. Even so, it’s still relatively uncommon and has a high survival rate 97 percent after five years, says Jose C. Dutra, M.D., director of the thyroid surgical clinic at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine.

Dutra and other experts believe that the spike in diagnoses is due to the wider use of MRI and CT scans, which can detect tiny lumps that can’t be touched. “Ninety percent of all enlargements are not cancerous,” he says.

Finally, about six months ago, one of her doctors heard about a new type of thyroid drug and sent Kruger to Mark Lupo, M.D., a thyroid specialist in Sarasota. He prescribed Tirosint, a liquid gel cap form of levothyroxine sodium, the thyroid hormone replacement pill commonly used to treat hypothyroidism.

Although drugs can work differently in each individual, Tirosint’s liquid form seemed to do the trick for Kruger: She dropped 20 pounds in six months. “And when I get up in the morning, I don’t feel like someone has beat me with a stick,” she says. More importantly, her heart problems have improved.

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How To Manage Your Weight During Vitamin Intake

People should monitor weight gain during increased vitamin intake. During some instances, a sudden step-up may impact the bodys system to maintain a healthy weight over a longer period. Similar to a crash diet approach to lose weight, one should be careful when gaining weight too fast. The problem starts when attempting extreme measures to gain weight with supplements. It may not present a sustainable weight management approach.

If your body experiences deficiencies related to vitamin shortages, the system needs to rectify the imbalance. Vitamins and weight gain stay debatable opinions. Researchers aim to develop an understanding of the reaction between the system and additional daily vitamin use. If a person takes too many vitamins, it acts similarly during the overconsumption of medicines. Too much of a good thing creates negative effects. Using vitamin B, for example, requires a balanced approach, especially during the use of vitamin B injections. These injections can become problematic if used extensively.

A person who attempts to lose weight may feel that added nutrients prevents a person from managing their diet. Important to remember that, during some instances, an individual may feel bloated during additional use of vitamins. In addition, if a persons body attempts to tone muscles, it can also increase weight.

What Should I Know About Storage And Disposal Of This Medication

Levothyroxine and Weight gain (Why some people gain weight on levo and Synthroid)

Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture .

It is important to keep all medication out of sight and reach of children as many containers are not child-resistant and young children can open them easily. To protect young children from poisoning, always lock safety caps and immediately place the medication in a safe location â one that is up and away and out of their sight and reach.

Unneeded medications should be disposed of in special ways to ensure that pets, children, and other people cannot consume them. However, you should not flush this medication down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medication is through a medicine take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage/recycling department to learn about take-back programs in your community. See the FDA’s Safe Disposal of Medicines website for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.

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Hormones That Affect Weight Gain

The main hormones that control weight gain and weight loss are:

  • Cortisol
  • Estrogen
  • Thyroid hormones

Were going to look at each of these hormones more closely in just a moment.

But before we dive in, its important to remember that these hormones are not BAD.

They are our allies and they play very important roles in the body.

However, when theyre out of balance, theres a ripple effect that can cause rapid weight issues.

So, with that out of the way, lets look at how each of these hormones impact our weight.

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.

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At Home Thyroid Blood Test

If you are on too much thyroid medication, your thyroid-stimulating hormone test will likely be on the lower end of the reference range. Your doctor may also check your T4 and T3 levels. If these are on the upper end of the reference range, that may also indicate overmedication.

It is also helpful to track your symptoms to have a log of what you are experiencing and what time of day. This information helps your doctor assess factors that cause dosage or absorption issues that may not show up in your blood work.

Schedule a virtual consultation with a thyroid doctor:

Thyroid And Your Weight


Your thyroid gland sends hormones into the bloodstream that help keep your metabolism in check. When you donât make enough of these hormones, that process slows down.

That puts the brakes on body functions. You might feel cold, tired, or sluggish. Your body may also hang on to salt and water. That causes bloating.

You might put on a few pounds — a few. Only about 10% of your total weight gain is likely due to the water and salt that your body keeps because of hypothyroidism.

If extra weight is the only symptom left after thyroid medication brings your hormone levels back to normal, hypothyroidism probably isn’t directly to blame for it.

“People with hypothyroidism often have gained quite a bit of weight before their diagnosis,” says nutrition coach Cheryl Harris, RD. “They may experience fatigue, and that makes it harder to have the energy to eat well and exercise regularly.”

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Weight Gain After Thyroidectomy And Radioactive Iodine Ablation & Taking Medications

Let’s take a minute to talk about the various therapies and treatments for hyperthyroid patients so we know what they are doing and how we might be able to intervene.

In most cases, patients with hyperthyroidism eventually undergo either a thyroidectomy or radioactive iodine ablation therapy.

What’s unfortunate is that studies have shown that regardless of what treatment you use for hyperthyroidism you will gain weight after.

Researchers have found that patients who undergo radioactive iodine ablation, thyroidectomy or take hyperthyroid medication will gain on average anywhere from 10-25 pounds within the first 3 months of therapy.

This occurs regardless of whether or not the patient gets thyroid hormone replacement after these therapies .

Much of this is due to a lack of understanding of thyroid hormone function in the body, and I have written many articles that you can learn from.

Let’s talk about these various therapies and how they work.


Methimazole works by preventing your body from producing thyroid hormone and it also promotes the conversion of T4 into the inactive thyroid metabolite reverse T3.

Now, this is obviously necessary if you have high circulating levels of thyroid hormone, to begin with, but this medication is difficult to fine tune.

That means it’s easy to either over treat or undertreat .

Because of these issues, methimazole generally isn’t used long term which leads to thyroidectomy or RAI .


Radioactive iodine ablation:

How Do You Become Overmedicated

If you are taking thyroid hormone replacement medication prescribed by your doctor, how can you become overmedicated? There are several ways that this can happen.

Your doctor prescribed a dose that is too high. Especially when you are first diagnosed, or when your dosage is being increased, your healthcare provider may overestimate the dose you need, and accidentally overmedicate you.

Your doctor made a mistake. There are times when doctors write down incorrect dosage or prescribing instructions on a prescription pad, or enter the wrong information in an automated system. Even a small difference in pill size, or a mistake that has you taking two pills a day instead of one, can be enough to quickly make you overmedicated.

The pharmacy made a mistake. Pharmacies frequently make errors, including:

  • Filling your prescription with the wrong medication

  • Filling your prescription with pills at the wrong dosage, or providing incorrect dosage instructions

  • Substituting a brand name drug with a generic, without approval

You should always check your medication carefully when receiving it from your pharmacy. Verify that you have the correct medication at the correct dosage.

You are taking generic levothyroxine.Generic levothyroxine can vary in potency, depending on its manufacturer. As a result, when you get a refill of generic levothyroxine, you may get more potent pills, even at the same dosage, which can result in overmedication.

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Combine Cruciferous Veggies With A Dim Supplement For Estrogen Dominance

Since estrogen dominance can be a major contributor to weight gain, eating more cruciferous veggies can really help control excess estrogen.

Cruciferous veggies contain a compound called I3C.

When you eat those veggies, your body converts the I3C into DIM .

And DIM is an antioxidant that helps the body restore balance to estrogen and progesterone levels .

When combined with a healthy diet, DIM supplements support in eliminating weight gain caused by hormones.

So, its a good idea to not only consume cruciferous veggies regularly, but to use a DIM supplement to boost the estrogen-regulating effects.

Genius Estrogen Balance from Amazon is an excellent DIM supplement to go with.

Lab Tests To Assess Thyroid Function

(TBS #6) The Thyroid Weight Gain Paradox & Why You Can’t Lose Weight

Our LifeCare lab profile is an excellent way to evaluate thyroid health and other factors that may affect the function of the thyroid gland.

TSH TSH is the hormone that tells your thyroid to produce more or fewer thyroid hormones based on levels detected in the blood. High TSH may indicate that not enough thyroid hormone is circulating, and low TSH may indicate that there is too much thyroid hormone circulating.

Free T3Free T3 is the active and more usable form of thyroid hormone. Most T3 is produced from the conversion of T4 to T3.

Free T4Free T4 is the storage form of thyroid hormone and is converted to T3 as the body needs it. Normal T4 levels do not necessarily indicate healthy thyroid function as the body must be able to convert T4 effectively to function optimally.

Reverse T3T4 can also be converted into Reverse T3. RT3 is another inactive form of thyroid hormone, and it can compete with T3 for the binding sites on cells. Your provider will look at the ratio of T3/RT3 when assessing overall thyroid function.

Also included in the LifeCare Profile are measurements of the other steroid hormones: DHEA-S, Estrogen, Progesterone, and Testosterone. Your provider will look for clinical correlations between the levels of thyroid hormones and these steroid hormones to get a full picture of thyroid function.

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Cut Out Simple Carbs And Sugars

Kelly Austin, ND, a naturopathic doctor specializing in hormone disorders and the director of the Prime Wellness Clinic in San Diego, recommends a moderate- to low-carbohydrate diet that focuses on complex carbohydrates and avoids simple sugars . According to the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University, foods with a high a glycemic load may increase inflammation in the body. But Dr. Austin stresses the importance of eating enough calories because low calories can cause a stress response and result in decreased T3 production, she says.


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