How Thyroid Effects Weight

Updated: Apr 27

For many people with an underactive thyroid, losing weight can be a difficult task. Thyroid function influences metabolism and can make weight reduction difficult, whether you have hypothyroidism or no thyroid after surgery or radioactive iodine (RAI) treatment.


Here are some weight-loss ideas, as well as nutrition and weight-loss secrets, to help you win the battle against excess pounds.


1 - Obtain a Diagnosis as Soon as Possible


If your thyroid is underactive, insufficient therapy can make weight reduction difficult, even if you eat well and exercise often, and the longer you wait to get identified, the more weight you're likely to acquire.


Even before your TSH is raised enough to necessitate therapy, if you have moderate hypothyroidism, your metabolism might slow down substantially, leading you to burn less calories each day. Hypothyroidism can make you fatigued, achy, and less willing to exercise, which can contribute to more weight gain. You may also desire and eat more sweet meals and carbs for energy when you're sleepy.


2 - Investigate Optimal Treatment


For many thyroid patients, a doctor's diagnosis of hypothyroidism and a prescription aren't enough to achieve weight reduction, symptom alleviation, and general excellent health. You may require optimum therapy in addition to regular treatment to guarantee that your cells receive the oxygen and energy they require for your metabolism to function properly.


· Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) levels are usually within the testing lab's normal range.

· Your free T3 level is in the upper part of the normal range.

· Your free T4 is in the top half of the reference range (unless you're on a T4/T3 medication, in which case it can sometimes be lower)


Your thyroid function isn't optimized just because your levels are within the usual reference range.


If you're still having problems, talk to your doctor about a more thorough hypothyroidism treatment plan.


3 - Your Hormone Levels Should Be Tested


Hormone resistance issues, such as leptin resistance and insulin resistance, have been linked to the inability of many thyroid patients to lose weight, according to research. Because both hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism have been linked to insulin resistance in many studies, you should have your fasting glucose and insulin levels checked, analyzed, and treated.

Your doctor may prescribe a type 2 diabetes medication like Glucophage if your blood sugar levels are consistently high (metformin). For borderline levels, cutting sugar and carbs from your diet and sticking to a healthy carbohydrate-controlled diet will help you lose weight and decrease your blood sugar.


4 - Consider Hyperthyroid Treatment Options Carefully, As Well


You'll have to decide between radioactive iodine (RAI) and other hyperthyroidism and Graves' disease therapies. It's typical to gain weight following RAI. Patients who had a thyroidectomy as their first line of therapy were less likely to develop overweight or obesity than those who received RAI first, according to one study of thyroidectomy patients. Discuss your Graves'/hyperthyroidism therapy choices with your physician.


Keep in mind that most individuals who have had their thyroid surgically removed or treated with radioactive iodine (RAI) develop hypothyroidism. There may be a time delay between your treatment and the commencement of thyroid hormone replacement therapy, causing you to remain hypothyroid for an extended length of time.


Make a plan with your doctor for frequent thyroid tests following surgery or RAI so that you may begin therapy as soon as you have signs of hypothyroidism.


5 - Alter Your Eating Habits


There is no one-size-fits-all thyroid diet, but a major shift in eating habits is typically required to reduce weight successfully when you have a thyroid issue. However, your physiology, dietary sensitivities, capacity to absorb nutrients, and how successful your body is at metabolizing, storing, and burning carbs, among other things, will determine the sort of diet you should follow.


Consider the following strategies:


· Reduce your overall calorie intake: Use a calorie calculator software on your phone or computer to calculate out how much to eat and how much you drink.

· Increasing your fiber consumption: If you're a thyroid patient who wants to reduce weight, getting enough fiber is one of the most fundamental strategies you can do. It can be obtained via high-fiber meals, supplements, or a combination of the two.

· Limiting simple carbs and sugar: A low-glycemic diet is a good option.

· A diet that is anti-inflammatory: The autoimmune protocol/anti-inflammatory/AIP diet might be a viable alternative.

· The Paleo diet is a way of eating which consists of unprocessed, low-sugar, whole foods, can help to decrease inflammation. Simply ensure that you are receiving enough iodine.

· The ketogenic diet and the Atkins diet are two examples of low-carbohydrate or very low-carbohydrate diets.

· Changing the order in which you eat your meals: The intermittent fasting diet is worth a go. Another technique of eating that might be beneficial is the "mini-meal"/grazing-all-day method. Limiting your eating to two or three meals per day, with no snacks and no food after 8 p.m., may aid in fat burning and hunger hormone regulation.

· Obtaining a food allergy test: Dairy, wheat, soy, and some fruits and nuts are common allergies. If you discover you have sensitivities to any of these, try to cut them out of your diet.

· A gluten-free diet: There's a relationship between gluten sensitivity and celiac disease, as well as the development of autoimmune diseases like Hashimoto's thyroiditis, and a gluten-free diet. When patients switched to a gluten-free diet, they reported substantial weight reduction.


6 - Hydrate


Water improves the efficiency of your metabolism. It can also help you lose weight, lower your hunger, get rid of bloating and water retention, and enhance your elimination and digestion.


Drinking eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day is typically advised.


7 - Exercises to Boost Metabolism


Calorie restriction or even a complete diet change aren't enough for many thyroid sufferers to lose weight. Hypothyroidism slows your metabolism, which means you need fewer calories to lose weight. This makes it more difficult to reduce enough calories to lose weight.


Exercise is one of the most essential things you can do to boost your metabolism. Working out increases the efficiency of your metabolism by burning calories and fat, lowering blood sugar levels, and regulating weight-loss hormones like leptin.


If you have hypothyroidism and wish to lose weight, you may need to exercise for more than an hour each day.


T-Tapp, a muscle activation and muscle-building DVD training regimen, is highly recommended by certain thyroid sufferers. Walking, Pilates, lifting weights, and other types of exercise have proven to be beneficial to other patients.


If you must choose between several types of exercise, focus on strength training and muscle-building exercises for the best metabolic results.


​8 - Make sure you know what medications you're taking.


Some of the medications prescribed by doctors for thyroid-related symptoms or other diseases might lead to weight gain. The following medicines, for example, have been linked to weight gain:

· Antithyroid medications used to treat Graves' illness and hyperthyroidism, such as Tapazole (methimazole) and PTU (propylthiouracil).

· Beta-blockers, such as Sectral (acebutolol), Tenormin (atenolol), and Corgard (nadolol), are common treatments for hyperthyroidism.

· Prednisone and other steroid anti-inflammatories, as well as estrogen and progesterone, are used in hormonal birth control and hormone replacement treatment, either alone or in combination.

· Antidepressants such as Prozac (fluoxetine), Paxil (paroxetine), and Zoloft (sertraline) (sertraline)

· Lithium, Depakote (valproate), and Tegretol are examples of mood-stabilizing and anticonvulsant medications used to treat bipolar disorder (carbamazepine)

9 - Get Enough Rest


Finally, getting adequate sleep is one of the most essential things you can do to aid weight reduction. Sleep deprivation has been linked to a slower metabolism and obesity in several studies. You may be more susceptible to heart disease or diabetes if you don't get enough sleep.


So, if losing weight is a struggle, try to get seven or more hours of sleep every night (good advice, no matter your health goals).



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