Hyperthyroidism weight gain. Can hyperthyroidism cause weight gain?
Diet is usually a word used for, and by people who are overweight. This is not the typical case here though. People with Graves’ disease and hyperthyroidism, or overactive thyroid, usually don’t have these types of problems, I mean gaining weight. Quite the opposite, one of the symptoms of hyperthyroidism (induced to whatever reason) is the uncontrollable weight loss. People with hyperthyroidism are usually skinny, with high metabolism, increased appetite and overactive in general. Practically, they are almost always hungry. At least I was when I had hyperthyroidism. My colleagues at work were shocked how much food I can eat during my lunch break, but thought I am really lucky for not gaining weight at all. I did not have the same opinion, though, knowing how I feel.
Many hyperthyroidism patients recently report exactly the opposite- gaining weight. Hyperthyroidism weight gain is not so untypical today. It is logical to lose weight if you have hyperthyroidism, because the whole metabolism is accelerated and all the body processes speed up due to excessive release of thyroid hormone in the blood. Why then many people gain weight instead? Listen to this:
“Hi, just wanted to find out what do you think about weight gain. When I first found out that I had a hyperthyroid I weighed 120 lbs. Now, after about a year I can’t seem to loose any weight. I am up to 150 and I am sick of gaining more even though I work out like crazy. Doesn’t seem fair and I need some advice please!”
“I have steadily been gaining weight. I thought it was the beta-blockers I was on, so I greatly decreased how much I was taking. I still seem to be gaining weight and it is depressing. I’m tired all the time to begin with, but the weight gain is just too much to deal with on top of everything else. I’ve already suffered a miscarriage due to the hyperthyroidism and it’s taking forever to get any help.”
“Clearly, weight gain is a big problem for those who are hyper. I was diagnosed with Graves 3 years ago. My weight was stable until my methimazole (tapazole) was increased to 20 mg…then I gained 30 lbs in two months and have never been able to lose it (even started a three month low-cal, healthy diet and personal trainer-NOTHING came off!”
The traditional medicine keeps a silence on this question, as it cannot find any logical explanation. There are a few possible reasons for that phenomenon though:
- The clinical picture of the hyperthyroidism condition has changed. Clinical picture pertains to the most typical symptoms, according which the medical authorities determine their diagnosis. For example, the classical clinical picture of celiac disease, which includes persistent diarrhea, has changed recently. Graves’ disease symptoms also can alternate; initially the patient can be diagnosed with certain symptoms that may change over time, become more or less severe, or new symptoms to be added and others to disappear.
- It is well known that the appetite of hyperthyroid patients increase dramatically and they eat more than usual. The problem is with the content and the quality of the consumed foods. If a decade ago the foods were not so genetically modified and very close to “natural” or “organic” they can be easily discharged from the body, due to the increased metabolism. But in the past years it is well known that we consume foods that have no nutrients and are genetically modified; they also contain a lot of processed sugars and artificial coloring. The body, unrecognizing these materials as food, may stock them, as it does with the aspartame. They are stored in the body, regardless of the increased metabolism. This may dramatically cloud the clinical picture of hyperthyroidism and many people may remain undiagnosed.
- Medication: patients who are treated with medication (PTU or Methimazole), but still reported and considered hyperthyroid, may be affected with this symptom because pretty much any anti-thyroid medication slows down the metabolism and blocks the thyroid hormone production. To some crazy reason some doctors will keep their patients on anti-thyroid medication regardless of the fact that their thyroid tests are reading “normal” or even “hypo”. Probably, just in case?
- Hyperthyroidism can increase cortisol levels and make you gain weight, and this is another possible explanation, but if this is true, nobody can say for sure.
Regardless of the reason, these are my short and simple suggestions to control your weight:
1. Eat HEALTHY, so you can help the symptomatology of hyperthyroidism or Grave’s Disease. Try the so called “elimination diet”, or gluten free diet for that matter. Gluten seems to be an important contributing factor for autoimmune disorders.
2. Use probiotics, they are known to improve the “good bacteria” in intestines and help the elimination of substances that no longer need to stay there.
4. Try eating sprouts, they are the best source for vitamins and minerals.
5. Drink plenty of water and herbal teas.
6. Eat less meat, more green leafy vegetables (I am not saying you have to become vegetarian).
7. Stay positive! Regardless if you believe it or not, your psychological condition has a lot to do with how you feel. It’s not a secret that people who feel depressed eat more. And people with autoimmune disorders like Graves’ disease or Hashimoto’s often feel that way because they often feel helpless.
Do you have any experience about this problem? What makes you feel good and what makes you feel bad, or loose/gain weight?
Share your thoughts with us: it may help other people as well.
Or even better….This is the updated version of my book “Ultimate Diet Secrets for Graves’ Disease and Hyperthyroidism”, with the newest information on the diet field, why gluten free diet, or carbohydrate diet, or probiotics are good for your health; new herbs that I discovered or found to be helpful for hyperthyroidism and some new ideas for dealing with this disease: