Wednesday, June 15, 2022
HomeExclusiveCan You Take Thyroid Medicine To Lose Weight

Can You Take Thyroid Medicine To Lose Weight

Will Taking Hypothyroidism Medication Help With Weight Loss

How can thyroid medication help you loose weight?

Decreased thyroid function, or hypothyroidism, is commonly associated with weight gain. But contrary to popular belief, effective treatment with Hypothyroidism medications that are trying to restore normal thyroid hormone levels is not associated with clinically significant weight loss in most people.

Your Muscles Are Acting Up

Muscle twitching, cramping, and pain can be signs of hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism. They can also indicate your electrolytesmainly calcium and sodiumare out of balance.

If you feel sudden and intense muscle pain when you havent done any strenuous physical activity, it might be because your thyroid function has changed.

You Took It With Your Vitamin Supplements

Iron and calcium supplements interfere with how your body absorbs your thyroid medications, so these should be spaced at least an hour apart.

Another supplement to watch out for is biotin, commonly taken for hair, skin, and nail benefits. Biotin doesnt interfere with your thyroid medication, but it does interfere with your thyroid blood test and can mess up your numbers. Stop taking biotin at least 2 days before having a TSH blood test done.

Read Also: Thyroid Mayo

Additional Tips For Curbing Weight Gain With Hypothyroidism

Treat your underactive thyroid

While treating hypothyroidism is likely not the only solution for helping you slim down to your ideal weight, it will help you get back on track. Normalizing your thyroid hormones usually improves your energy levels, reduces fatigue, decreases muscle and joint pains, relieves constipation, and improves low mood.

Skip the center aisles at the grocery store

Shopping around the perimeter of the grocery store is an excellent strategy for eating well because that is where you find fruits, vegetables, and meat. Center aisles usually contain the processed foods, which are often high in saturated fats and refined sugars, which can inhibit your weight loss efforts.

Find an exercise routine you can stick to

Daily exercise is necessary for everyone, especially in our sedentary, overly busy world. But, if you force yourself to run and you cannot stand running , you likely will not stick with it. Do something that you find fun and enjoyableâmaybe gardening, a pilates class with friends, or water aerobics.

Consider the autoimmune protocol

One of the leading causes of hypothyroidism is autoimmune thyroiditis or Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. People with autoimmune diseases may benefit from trying the autoimmune protocol, a temporary elimination diet. The AIP diet helps you identify which foods may be causing inflammatory markers to wreak havoc on your system.

Build a comprehensive care team

Weight Loss Tips For Hypothyroidism

Is Night or Day the Time to Take Thyroid Medication?

Maintaining a healthy weight can be a struggle when youre living with hypothyroidism. These tips can help you shed unwanted pounds and keep them off.


Healthy foods, controlled portion sizes, and regular exercise these are key components to losing weight. But if you have hypothyroidism, your underactive thyroid gland may also play a role.

If hypothyroidism is inadequately treated it can be harder to lose weight, since the thyroid is a large regulator of metabolic function. The most important thing you can do for weight loss and for your overall health is to get proper treatment for your hypothyroidism. However, making a few dietary changes may help boost weight loss success. Losing weight is never easy, but people who have well-controlled hypothyroidism shouldnt struggle to lose weight more than anyone else, says Leonor Corsino, MD, an endocrinologist at the Duke Center for Metabolic and Weight Loss Surgery in Durham, North Carolina.

Use these six strategies to jump-start weight loss with hypothyroidism.

You May Like: Stopping Armour Thyroid

Finding The Right Dose

It’s important that you take the right amount of Synthroid or another thyroid hormone replacement drug. Some healthcare providers may prescribe only enough medication to get your thyroid-stimulating hormone level into the upper end of the reference range, close to the cutoff for hypothyroidism.

This may not be enough to resolve your symptoms or optimize your metabolism. Many thyroid patients and healthcare providers find that a TSH level below 2.0 is optimal for resolution of symptoms. This is also the optimal level for women of reproductive age. If your TSH is at the higher end of the reference range, talk to your healthcare provider about increasing your dosage of thyroid medication.

If you’re hypothyroid and need to lose weight, talk to your healthcare provider to make sure you’re on the right dose of the right drug and are taking it at the right time. With some fine-tuning of your treatment, your weight-loss efforts should begin to pay off.

Withdrawal And Overdose From Levothyroxine

Withdrawing from levothyroxine is not dangerous. In fact, if the drug is abused, quitting is safer than continuing, but it may include a resurgence of symptoms associated with the underlying thyroid problem. Symptoms include rapid weight gain, depression, low energy, and dry skin. People who abuse levothyroxine may develop insulin resistance during withdrawal, which can trigger diabetes.

When taken as prescribed, levothyroxine is a safe medication to treat thyroid-related disorders. However, when this drug is abused, or mixed with substances that increase the drugs potency, there is a risk of overdose. Call 911 immediately if someone displays the following signs of a levothyroxine overdose:

  • Intense headache
  • Physical tremors that are not controllable
  • Extreme nervousness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Very high fever, leading to hyperthermia

Other signs that too much levothyroxine has been taken include warm or feverish skin due to blood flow changes and increased metabolism gastrointestinal discomfort anxiety or restlessness trouble concentrating and memory loss.

Also Check: Can I Take Collagen Supplements With Thyroid Medication

Additional Tips To Lose Weight With An Underactive Thyroid

Here are some extra pointers to help you lose weight with an underactive thyroid:

  • Prioritise sleep: Alongside poor diet and exercise, short sleep duration is one of the strongest risk factors for obesity. Good quality sleep is fundamental for weight loss.
  • Thyroid support supplements: Anecdotal reports suggest supplements can give you more energy, at least for the first few months of use. But theyre likely unnecessary if you regularly eat nutritious foods.
  • Use smaller plates and small spoons: Studies show the bigger the plate and the bigger the cutlery, the more calories we consume . This proven phenomenon is called the Delbouef illusion.
  • Plate your meals first: Instead of putting all the prepared food at the table , plate your meal first and then sit down. You are much less likely to go for a second round.
  • Drink lots of water: Keep a water bottle on hand wherever you go. Research suggests the more water we drink before meals, the fewer calories we eat overall .
  • Be mindful: Mindful eating is about becoming more aware of your experiences, physical cues and feelings about food. It is based on a form of meditation called mindfulness.

About Joe Leech, Dietitian

Joe Leech is a university-qualified dietitian from Australia.

He graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in exercise science, followed by a Master’s degree in Nutrition and Dietetics in 2011.

Learn more about him on the About page.

Joe Leech, Dietitian

You Switched Between Synthroid And Levothyroxine

Weight loss Guide for Thyroid Patients – Why you REALLY Can’t Lose Weight

Because there may be subtle differences in how your body absorbs and processes the different thyroid medications, it is preferable to stay with one formulation when possible. The American Academy of Clinical Endocrinologists and American Thyroid Association recommend that you stick to brand-name Synthroid if thats what your provider first prescribed to you. And if you started with generic levothyroxine, youll not only want to keep taking the generic, but the generic made by the same manufacturer your pharmacist can help you with that.

Don’t Miss: Switching From Synthroid To Armour Side Effects

Thyroid May Cause Side Effects Tell Your Doctor If Any Of These Symptoms Are Severe Or Do Not Go Away:

  • weight loss
  • shaking of a part of your body that you cannot control
  • headache
  • irritability or rapid changes in mood
  • difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
  • flushing
  • sensitivity or intolerance to heat
  • nervousness
  • seizure

Thyroid may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.

If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration’s MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online or by phone .

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.

Recommended Reading: Can I Take Collagen With Hypothyroid

T4 To T3 Conversion Matters A Lot

Before we talk about how Levothyroxine and Synthroid can cause weight gain we need to talk about some basic thyroid physiology.

Your thyroid, under the influence of TSH , pumps out primarily the thyroid hormone T4.

What you need to understand is that T4 is an inactive hormone. By itself it doesn’t do anything for your body except act as a reservoir for T3 and T3 is the active thyroid hormone in your body.

T3 is what enters into your cells and turns on the genes that increase your metabolism, help with hair growth and give you energy.

In order for T4 thyroid hormone to be active in your body, it MUST be converted to the active hormone T3.

The problem is that T4 doesn’t always convert to T3:

You see:

Your body has two options:

1. Turn T4 into T3 which enters into your cells and activates genetic transcription


2. Turn into Reverse T3 which blocks thyroid action, lowers metabolism and makes patients feel like they are hypothyroid

The more reverse T3 in your bloodstream the less you can rely on normal thyroid blood tests to give you any actionable information.

So if you understand this concept the next question you should be asking yourself is this:

What causes your body to turn T4 into the inactive reverse T3?

Thyroid Medications And Weight Loss

How to Lose Weight &  Have More Energy with Hypothyroid ...

It can be challenging to lose weight when you have hypothyroidism, and your thyroid medications may have something to do with it.

Getting the dose just right is critical, as is the timing of when you take it. In some cases, you may need to supplement with another medication.

For the sake of your overall health, as well as your weight-loss efforts, it’s important to work with your healthcare provider to get the most out of thyroid hormone therapy.

Read Also: Drugs That Increase Tsh Levels

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.”

Vegetables Provide Most Vitamins Minerals And Other Micronutrients

The nutrient-density of meals is even more important for those with hypothyroidism and other autoimmune diseases, where nutrient absorption and deficiency are more common.

Emphasis goes to green leafy vegetables, mushrooms and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage.

Veggies are also our greatest , a nutrient that feeds the healthy bacteria in our gut. Studies show that long-term low fibre intake will completely throw out the balance of your gut bacteria the effects on the gut health of mice was irreversible .

Fiber supplements are also an option if you want to be extra sure you are meeting your requirements.

As a general guide, the protein portion of your meal should be the size of your palm, and salad/vegetables the size of your hand. This would leave about 1/4 or less of your plate for carbs .

Summary: Protein foods and vegetables should make up the majority of your plate. They are generally the most filling and/or nutrient-dense foods per calorie.

Recommended Reading: Do You Need To Fast For A Thyroid Test

What Is The Relationship Between Hypothyroidism And Weight Gain

Since the BMR in the patient with hypothyroidism is decreased, an underactive thyroid is generally associated with some weight gain. The weight gain is often greater in those individuals with more severe hypothyroidism. However, the decrease in BMR due to hypothyroidism is usually much less dramatic than the marked increase seen in hyperthyroidism, leading to more modest alterations in weight due to the underactive thyroid. The cause of the weight gain in hypothyroid individuals is also complex, and may not be related to excess fat accumulation. Most of the extra weight gained in hypothyroid individuals is due to excess accumulation of salt and water. Massive weight gain is rarely associated with hypothyroidism. In general, 5-10 pounds of body weight may be attributable to the thyroid, depending on the severity of the hypothyroidism. Finally, if weight gain is the only symptom of hypothyroidism that is present, it is less likely that the weight gain is solely due to the thyroid.

How Long After Starting Thyroid Medication Will I Lose Weight

The Best Thyroid Medication for Weight Loss is…

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.

Also Check: 88 Mg Levothyroxine

But I Havent Lost Any Weight Its Time To Talk Thyroid Medication And Weight Loss

When your thyroid is underperforming almost every part of your body becomes sluggish. Hypothyroidism triggered go-slow can see the bathroom scales creeping up even if you have not changed what you eat, how much you eat or your exercise routine. The much-lauded weight loss math of calories in – calories out = weight may be wrong in hypothyroidism.

So when you are told your thyroid levels are correct because you have enough thyroid medication in your body, based on your most recent lab test, it is devastating to continue to gain weight.

For most with hypothyroidism and Hashimotos the hoped-for, prayed-for begged-for thyroid medication miracle equation reads like:

Hypothyroid = weight gain

No longer hypothyroid as taking medication and have been told by my doctor I am taking enough medication = weight gain stops + possibly even weight loss starts.

If the thyroid medication miracle equation math fails and your weight is not normalised the first place to start is to make sure your medication matches your needs. Check out this article here for more information on what this means.

Scientists have been researching if the type of hypothyroidism medication can change the weight loss result and the answer seems to be YES.

Is It Possible To Lose Weight With An Underactive Thyroid

Home»Blogs»Is it Possible to Lose Weight with an Underactive Thyroid?

If you are being treated for an underactive thyroid, medically known as hypothyroidism, and are struggling to lose body fat, you are not alone. Of the estimated 4.6 percent in the U.S. who have hypothyroidism, many find themselves with undesirable weight gain.

Even after diagnosis and treatment, it may be extremely difficult to lose weight. You may even find yourself gaining weight, so attaining your personal body composition goals seems impossible.

This article provides information about thyroid function and its role in obesity, discusses the possible barriers to improving body composition even with treatment, and gives you specific steps you can take to lose weight.

Don’t Miss: Acv Thyroid

The Small But Mighty Thyroid Gland

The thyroid gland is a small butterfly-shaped gland located low on the front of your neck. It secretes several hormones, primarily T3 and T4 , that act on every cell throughout the body to regulate metabolism, growth and development, and body temperature. These hormones also affect breathing, heart and nervous system functions, muscle strength, menstrual cycles, weight and cholesterol levels.

The thyroid functions by receiving information from the hypothalamus and pituitary gland located in the brain. The pituitary gland, which is like a thermostat for your body, stimulates the thyroid by secreting Thyroid Stimulating Hormone . When the pituitary senses a low concentration of thyroid hormone in your blood, it produces more TSH to signal to increase production of T4 or T3. If thyroid hormone levels are high, the pituitary produces only tiny amounts of TSH.


Popular Articles