How Hyperthyroidism Can Lead to Weight Gain & What to do about it

Hyperthyroid patients can and do gain weight!

You are NOT crazy if this is happening to you and it can be explained perfectly with science. 

Believe it or not, weight gain in hyperthyroid patients is actually quite common - with reports showing as many as 50% of patients who deal with this particular issue.

We need to understand WHY this happens in order to figure out how to fix the problem and help you lose weight.

Let's jump in: ​

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Can Hyperthyroidism cause Weight Gain?

​This is something I hear quite frequently from patients with hyperthyroidism and it's worth a discussion. 

How is it possible for someone diagnosed with HYPERthyroidism to gain weight?

Isn't hyperthyroidism supposed to cause weight LOSS?

You might think so, but if you look at studies they show that almost 50% of hyperthyroid patients become obese after treatment (1)!

That's a HUGE increase and the majority of this increase occurs within the first 2 years of diagnosis. 

So let's talk about it:

First, when we refer to hyperthyroidism we are referring to a condition in which your body is naturally producing too much thyroid hormone.

This is the exact opposite of the condition hypothyroidism which means your body isn't producing ENOUGH thyroid hormone.

Now things can obviously get more complex than this - for instance how your body is using the thyroid hormone floating around, but let's ignore that topic for a second.

​What you may not realize is that most cases of hyperthyroidism are caused by an autoimmune disease. 

It's also even more interesting when you consider that most cases of hypothyroidism (Hashimoto's thyroiditis) are also caused by autoimmune disease!

That means the two most common causes of thyroid related issues are related to immunity and your own body.

This is really important when it comes to treatment (which we will discuss later), but for now, we need to talk about the weight issue. 

As circulating levels of thyroid hormone increase your serum your body starts to become hyperthyroid.

This means you may experience symptoms such as:

  • A reduction in energy (usually presenting as fatigue)
  • Weight loss as your metabolism rapidly increases
  • Heart palpitations
  • Anxiety or other mood changes
  • Hot flashes or heat intolerance
  • Difficulty sleeping or issues with insomnia
  • Menstrual irregularities
  • Enlargement of your eyes or protrusion of your eyes from your head

​These symptoms indicate that there is TOO much thyroid hormone in your body. 

So, obviously, as you experience these symptoms what do you do?

You go the Doctor, get diagnosed and immediately get treatment (2).

And THIS is how and why most people with hyperthyroidism start to gain weight - the treatment.

The treatment for hyperthyroid patients is designed at doing 1 thing:

Reduce thyroid function.

In effect what your Doctor is doing is turning you HYPOthyroid instead of HYPERthyroid.

And weight gain is the primary symptom of hypothyroidism.

Make sense?

Once you start treatment you shift from the realm of hyperthyroidism to hypothyroidism even though you are technically diagnosed with hyperthyroidism.

What's interesting is that patients who WERE hyperthyroid but get treatment (3) (even with thyroid hormone replacement) STILL gain weight. 

​Does this mean you should stop taking your thyroid medication? 

No, not at all.

But this is where the treatment of hyperthyroidism comes into play.

If you can reduce the autoimmune disease causing your hyperthyroidism you should be able to reduce the medication that you are taking that is causing you to gain weight.

And that's our goal. 

Download my Free Resources:

Foods to Avoid if you have Thyroid Problems: 

I've found that these 10 foods cause the most problems for thyroid patients. Learn which foods you should absolutely be avoiding if you have thyroid disease of any type. 

The Complete List of Thyroid Lab Tests:

This list includes optimal ranges, normal ranges, and the complete list of tests you need to diagnose thyroid hypothyroidism correctly!

Download more free resources on this page

​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 (4) 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 (which is also concerning). ​

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:

Methimazole works by preventing your body from producing thyroid hormone and it also promotes the conversion of T4 (5) into the inactive thyroid metabolite reverse T3.

By taking this medication you are effectively reducing thyroid hormone function and making yourself hypothyroid.

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 (causing hypothyroidism and weight gain) or undertreat (leaving you with symptoms of hyperthyroidism).

Because of these issues, methimazole generally isn't used long term which leads to thyroidectomy (thyroid removal) or RAI (ablation of the thyroid gland).

Thyroidectomy:

Thyroidectomy refers to the removal of the thyroid gland.

Once your thyroid gland is removed you will be hypothyroid immediately and you will become reliant upon thyroid hormone replacement for the rest of your life.

The main issue with thyroidectomy is that we really don't do a great job of replacing thyroid hormone, to begin with.

So as a result, most thyroidectomy patients are undertreated and gain weight.

If you've had your thyroid removed you can read more about this problem and how to lose weight after thyroidectomy here. ​

If possible, it's always better to try and keep your thyroid. 

Radioactive iodine ablation:

Radioactive iodine ablation refers to the process of basically damaging your thyroid through ablation therapy. 

This process results in thyroidal gland damage and, depending on the degree of damage, usually leaves the patient hypothyroid and requiring thyroid hormone replacement.

I've written a case study on a patient who underwent RAI therapy and had about 30% of her thyroid remaining but never received thyroid hormone replacement.

She gained weight, but once she was placed on proper thyroid replacement she was able to lose weight and start feeling good again.

You can read that case study here. ​

The main point here is that most cases of RAI will result in a hypothyroid patient. ​

Beta-blocker medication: 

Another potential treatment for hyperthyroidism is the use of Beta blockers.

These medications really only act to reduce the effects of circulating thyroid hormones by reducing T4 to T3 conversion (6) and blocking the receptor effects of thyroid hormone.

Because of this mechanism of action, they are really only used temporarily or until you can get a thyroidectomy or RAI.

I have included this treatment here because often times people are taking beta blockers to help with blood pressure, and this can directly cause T4 to T3 conversion issues and lead to weight gain or other symptoms of hypothyroidism. ​

thyroid metabolism reset poster for side bar

​Treating Hyperthyroidism to help with Weight Loss

If you have your thyroid then you should focus on reducing thyroid antibodies that cause hyperthyroidism.

You can actually check for these antibodies with the TSI serum test. 

This test evaluates for thyroid stimulating immunoglobulins and it is these guys that basically sit on your thyroid hormone and cause it to pump out excessive amounts of thyroid hormone. 

But the good news is that you might be able to reduce these antibodies with some targeted therapies. 

This will go a long way to reducing the amount of thyroid hormone you are producing naturally and may help you to reduce your medication.

If you can reduce your antithyroid medication (like methimazole) down to half of what it was, or even go off of it completely, then you will dramatically improve your metabolism. 

How to reduce TSI antibodies:

  • Address your diet: The first thing you will want to do is clean up your diet. That may include adopting a strict diet such as the paleo diet, the autoimmune paleo diet or a gluten-free diet. Believe it or not, making these simple changes can dramatically improve your symptoms and may improve your antibody levels. The same diets that are helpful for people with Hashimoto's thyroiditis can be used to treat Hyperthyroidism caused by Graves disease. You can read more about these diets here
  • Consider using LDN: LDN stands for low dose naltrexone. This is a medication that has been shown to balance immune function and has been shown to be effective in treating certain autoimmune diseases (7). In addition, LDN can also directly help with weight loss by itself making it the perfect therapy for someone with hyperthyroidism and weight gain. You can read more about LDN for weight loss here
  • Replace nutrient deficiencies: Nutrient deficiencies such as Zinc, Vitamin D and an imbalance of omega 3 fatty acids can promote immune dysfunction. Treating and addressing these nutrients is absolutely critical in balancing your immune function. Low vitamin D (8) has been associated with an increased risk of developing autoimmune disease, and zinc has been shown to boost immune function (9) in some patients. You can read more about using fish oil to boost immune function and to promote weight loss here. You can also find more information about general nutrient deficiencies and how to replace them here
  • Treat GI related issues: Many cases of autoimmune disease start with increased intestinal permeability (leaky gut) which causes a condition known as molecular mimicry. You can reduce the risk of developing autoimmune disease by treating any GI issue such as IBS, acid reflux, SIBO/SIFO or gut dysbiosis. Altering the bacteria in your GI tract can improve immune function and reducing inflammation is necessary to restore epithelial cell tight junctions. 
  • Consider using Iodine: Iodine has been shown to act as a potent blocker of thyroid hormone in high doses. High doses of iodine act very similarly to methimazole in that it directly blocks the release of thyroid hormone from the thyroid gland. Using iodine in hyperthyroidism is a known treatment and may be preferable to other treatments in certain patients. If you decide to use iodine you will need to use high doses ranging from 25 to 50mg. You can read more about using iodine here
  • Consider Testosterone or other androgens: Another important consideration is the use of the hormones testosterone and DHEA. One of the reasons that women get autoimmune diseases 10x more than men is felt to be related to the fact that their testosterone levels are lower. If you couple this with the fact that testosterone and DHEA have been shown to play a role in immune function (10) you have a serious reason to consider using these supplements for Grave's disease or hyperthyroidism. 
Vitamin d to treat hyperthyroidism

You can find a list of supplements below that can improve thyroid function and improve immune function in those with hyperthyroidism: 

  • Zinc: Zinc can improve T4 to T3 conversion while balancing immune function. Take up to 60mg per day. 
  • Liquid Vitamin D3: Vitamin D3 can improve immune function. Your Vitamin D level should be at least 50 ng/mL if you have an autoimmune disease or thyroid issue. Take 1,000 to 5,000 IU per day until your serum vitamin D level reaches 50 ng/mL. 
  • Magnesium glycinate: Patients with thyroid problems frequently have magnesium deficiencies and magnesium has been shown to be a powerful immunomodulator (11).
  • Krill oil with astaxanthin: Fish oil promotes weight loss and helps balance immune function, it also is a powerful anti-inflammatory agent which can indirectly improve thyroid function.
  • Iodine: Iodine is required for thyroid hormone production and iodine can actually be therapeutic in cases of hyperthyroidism. 
Low vitamin D and vitamin B12 kathy

​Weight loss after Thyroidectomy & RAI ablation therapy: 

If you've already had your thyroid taken out (you are post thyroidectomy) or you've had radioactive iodine ablation, then you are going to be reliant upon thyroid medication. 

And let me be clear:

If you've had your thyroid taken out you are no longer hyperthyroid, you are now HYPOthyroid. 

Why?

Because your body can no longer produce thyroid hormone on its own - you now need to supplement with thyroid hormone replacement. 

Patients who have had their thyroid removed or who have undergone RAI almost ALWAYS gain weight (usually at least 20 pounds) but sometimes even more. 

Studies have shown this to be the case (12).

weight gain in hyperthyroid patients after thyroidectomy

If you've had a thyroidectomy or RAI as a result of hyperthyroidism use these tips to help with weight loss: 

  • Consider adding T3 thyroid medication to your regiment: Most patients after thyroidectomy or RAI will need some form of T3 thyroid hormone for weight loss. This includes medications such as Armour thyroid, Cytomel, WP thyroid, and Nature-throid. Getting these medications can be difficult but you can refer to the links above to understand how to use them effectively. 
  • Optimize your free T3 levels with supplements: In order for thyroid hormone to be active, your body must convert the inactive T4 to the active T3. Most thyroid medications come in the inactive form which means your body must activate them before it can use them. Unfortunately, this process can be slowed down by inflammation or nutrient deficiencies so you must optimize this conversion process if you want to feel better. You can learn more about optimizing your free T3 levels here
  • Treat other hormone imbalances in your body: Once you remove your thyroid you are susceptible to developing hormone imbalances that make weight loss almost impossible. I'm specifically talking about leptin resistance. This condition must be treated to maximize weight loss. 
  • Don't restrict your calories: Restricting your calories is tempting for people who want to lose weight, but it always results in metabolic damage and a slower than normal metabolism. In fact the more you damage your metabolism, the more you undergo calorie-restricted diets, the harder it will be for you to lose weight. The effect is well established and has been proven in studies like the biggest loser study (13).
  • Exercise, but not too much: Exercising is helpful, but only to a certain degree. You will not be able to exercise your weight off if your thyroid has been removed, but it can still help promote hormone balance. Make sure you are exercising enough to promote the benefits without causing negative side effects like over stimulation of cortisol

This is just a quick overview of the available therapies for patients who want to lose weight after RAI and thyroidectomy. 

If you want a step by step guide I recommend you check out my weight loss guide which outlines exactly how to lose weight with thyroid problems. 

Over to you

​You're not crazy if you are gaining weight with hyperthyroidism!

It's a very common condition and it results from the TREATMENT of hyperthyroidism.

The medications and therapies designed to treat this condition all revolve around reducing thyroid hormone which directly reduces your metabolism and leads to weight gain.

Because of this, it's worth exploring other therapies and options to help prevent this weight gain and to help with weight loss.

Now it's your turn:

Do you have hyperthyroidism?

Are you gaining weight?

Has anything helped you? Why or why not?

Leave your comments below! ​

References (Click to Expand)

Dr. Westin Childs

Dr. Westin Childs is a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine. He provides well-researched actionable information about hormone-related disorders and formulates supplements to treat these disorders.He is trained in Internal Medicine, Functional Medicine, and Integrative Medicine. His focus is on managing thyroid disorders, weight loss resistance, and other sex hormone imbalances.You can read more about his own personal journey here.

23 thoughts on “How Hyperthyroidism Can Lead to Weight Gain & What to do about it”

  1. Hello Dr Childs, I write as per your request in your post on hyperthyroidism – Graves. I was diagnosed with Graves 10 years ago after birth of my second child. I initially lost weight however after treatment – put on weight. 6 stone (uk scales) to be exact. I was originally a size 8 although have been extreme dieter before children since 18 – taking Tenuate dospan for around 5 years. After my 2nd son I was exercising every day. Then afterwards even without the anti thyroid treatments I continued to put on lots of weight. My adrenal gland was shot – glandulars worked initially. However, the weight just piled on despite extreme diet and exercise for years. It was only when I went to USA to see functional medicine doc, that he took one look at me and said I am hypothyroid not hyperthryoid even though I had graves antibodies. He put me on T3 only and I lost 4 stone over 4 months – the weight just fell off without any exercise diet or any other hormone. However, after my 4th child, I had a flare of the disease again and again very recently. It seems estrogen drop after pregnancy causes flares of the disease.

    I have put on weight again, so gone back on the T3 recently. However, the weight is not coming off as quickly but I am still early days 8 weeks tapering up to 40mg per day. I am still considered in overweight category despite not eating much. This is why I have started to look for more answers/help and I came across your amazing website. I am reading everything you produced. I have purchased all the supplements, the act of treating various hormones at some time I believe is absolutely the right thing to do.

    I have only just started supplements but feeling better already. A little weight is coming off. I am on T3, fish oil, LDN, Vit D, Zinc, Selinium, etc. I just had all your tests done and will send them to you shortly under your new programe. I am low test, very high leptin, very high reverse t3, very high T4 (from the spill from antibodies) and high insulin – high fasting sugar. I am taking T3 to block and replace my thyroid, I find it a little hard on my body over time – hair loss etc – skin really bad – early aging, tummy fat. I am also taking 20 mg of cortisol. The cortisol really helps. Even though I am taking 20 mg cortisol – my blood levels are 4 – apparently bottom range should be in the 1000 something – so clearly I have very very low cortisol and adrenal issues. I am wondering given how low my cortisol is whether graves can be caused by problems with adrenals.

    I am hoping one day to sort out the adrenals as in my case I believe the graves antibodies are being caused by disregulation of cortisol/adrenals. I am due to see rhumatologist soon as I am also experiencing shortness of breathe even without exersion – pains in chest fast heart rate, aches etc.

    However, having just read your post on graves, something reminded me. I have had infections in tummy button for last 5 to 6 years, gastro problems, cramps in my stomach and spontanious vomiting. My GP thinks my cortisol is so low I could now also have addisons or lupus. However, it could be what you mention on your post – celiac/gluten intolerence etc.

    I will keep you posted on effects of your recommendations for graves, I wonder if one day you could look into whether there is a link between adrenal low cortisol or addisons and graves/hashimotos – and lupus. Also for those with a thyroid – the block and replace method with T3 did help me get the weight off initially.

    Also, any posts you can do on effects of low estrogen would be good. When I was on T3 for a long time, over 2 years, I started to get menopausal – low estrogen and now I have tummy fat which I never had before. I also have low progesterone. This does seem to reverse a bit when I lower the dose of T3.

    For now I am desperate to loose weight so I also purchased your weight loss mastery guide. I am going to get Saxender, the B12 shots and the HCG and try everything at once as you recommend. I just wanted to give you some info on what has helped me in the past with graves.

    All the best

    Laurie

    • Hi Laurie,

      It sounds like you are on the right track and I am glad you are feeling better on the supplements. Keep us updated on your progress.

      • Thanks Dr Childs, thank you very much for all your hard work and research. I cannot tell you how long I have been reading articles in pub med about weight loss and weight loss resistance etc thinking I will never be able to loose weight or get better. You are the ONLY doctor in the world who is helping patients like me who have weight loss resistance and multiple hormone issues and who cares to educate us all as to how to fix it. Thank you for all your amazing work. After 10 years I now have hope that I can get better. Laurie

        • Dear Laurie, I so agree with you. I also have Graves, and searched for years for this information and assistance. It makes such a difference to be able to inform yourself about what is happening to you. As someone who has also suffered and gone through motherhood while suffering I share your struggles and wish you all the best. Sheriann

          • Hi Sheriann, thanks so much for responding on my post its really kind of you. I wish you all the best too, lets hope with Dr Child’s help we can continue to improve our health. I would love to keep in touch with you for any ideas or treatments you used that worked for you. My email is [email protected]. Wish you all the best of health. Laurie x

  2. I found your website to have the most thorough explanation of supplements and deficiencies regarding thyroid-related hair loss, and I want to thank you for that. Unfortunately, it seems that about 75% of your advice is aimed at hypothyroidism, and I’m confused about trying to figure out which supplements and their dosages are best for treating hair loss due to hyperthyroidism. Even your page dedicated to hyPER goes into more detail about hyPO.

    My particular issue is that I have all the classic symptoms of hyPO, but my test results say hyPER, and my hair loss has been accelerating, I suspect due to my endocrinologist putting me on propylthiouracil, which no one seems to discuss on these blogs and websites. And I mean, thick handfuls just from running my hand through my hair in the shower. I dread washing my hair because of how much comes out, and I’ve lost about 3/4 of the volume over the last 12 months – I’ve got receding hairline, wide parts, and thin spots with a lot of visible scalp. I figure I have about a month – or about four more hair washings – before I’ll truly be bald. I was told I wouldn’t reach this point…but, well – here I am. I’ve got an appointment with a wig shop that specializes in chemo patients.

    Another website suggested iron, omega-3 and biotin, but it was – again – primarily about hyPO. Do you have any suggestions specific to hyPER? I’m also menopausal and my lab tests are now showing signs of adrenal malfunction. Getting straight answers out of my endo is difficult – she’s not the best, but she’s the only one in the network, and I have no money for out-of-pocket – so I’m doing as much reading and research as I can on my own so I can at least ask her the right questions.

    Also, my Primary Care Provider – the local clinic – said I was diabetic and started me on glimepiride, which caused a sudden collapse from low blood sugar; I was only able to stave off unconsciousness by a quick intake of sugar. (I crawled into the kitchen and grabbed a jar of applesauce off the lowest shelf and just shoveled it in with my fingers until I felt better.) And the clinic doctor said stay on it! My endo then sent me for a battery of tests and she said I WASN’T diabetic, that it’s all the thyroid. So now I’m trying to get them on the same page because I want to go off the glimepiride.

    In the meantime, I’m really hoping some supplements can help.

    • Hi Diane,

      The reason you are confused is because the medication you are taking for hyperthyroidism is making you hypothyroid – and that’s exactly what it is supposed to do. Regardless of what your labs show the PTU you are taking reduces thyroid hormone production and blunts T4 to T3 conversion. At the cellular level you are hypothyroid which is why you are losing hair, so the treatment for hair loss is usually the same.

      Also, there are much better diabetic medications that don’t cause hypoglycemia that you can take which are also far more effective than Glimepiride.

  3. Hi
    I was diagnosed as HyperThyroid in May 2017 I am seeing a specialist in the hospital tomorrow I live in Ireland so the fact I was waiting 3 months for an appointment is nothing really. The GP thinks I may have had it for monthss which I was really surprised to hear because I have struggled with my weight my whole life so I presumed it was an under active thyroid not over active so I asked for the GP to do a second blood test. I am on Beta Blockers and tablets for the thyroid on a very low dosage this is what the GP put me on. I had lost nearly 3 stone since January by only eating 1500 kals a day and doing boxfit but now I have put back on 10lbs and 4lbs last week alone. Now I will admit that my appetite is gone mad I can eat all day and never be full I try drinking water to fill me up but nothing works. I am generally a healthy person and everyone does ask how are you carrying weight if you are so healthy all my family struggle with weight so its not surprise but now I am really worried about the medication that I will blow up like a balloon and get so fat.

  4. Thank you for this information. I had a thyroidectomy at age 20 (I’m now 50). Last year my levothyroxine stopped working and I was put on Cytomel which gives me heart palpitations/severe anxiety. I have numerous autoimmune issues that are getting too hard to deal with. I quit the Cytomel and was put back on Levothyroxine during a recent hospital stay. I need to get my labs checked to see if it’s working. Despite being hyperthyroid I have gained 30 lbs in several months. I have become extrememly depressed, anxious and isolated.

  5. Son has an autoimmune condition called Aplastic Anemia – He was treated with ATG (Horse Antibody) and is responding two years out. Oddly I had his TSH checked BEFORE he was sick and then after. Also have had his B12 and Vitamin D checked. Like many his Vitamin B12 was VERY LOW. Had his MMA Methlymelanic Acid test (told this was a true B12 test) and that was VERY LOW which would mean high B12 but his B12 came in VERY LOW. He recently after this had a B12 shot (first one). He also has low Vitamin D (pretty common for most people) at 25. My question is about his TSH. So his TSH is LOW right below normal but his T4 was normal BUT his T3 was HIGH. I cannot find anything about this online so I thought I would ask you. Will be scheduling him an appointment with an endocrinologist to take a closer look at this. Any insite that you may have on this? Thank you so much for your help. Just trying to make sure his body is running optimally to be able to help fight his autoimmune bone marrow failure (aplastic anemia).

  6. I have had a thyroidectomy 10 years ago, along with hysterectomy (left 1 ovary) 2 years ago. I always ranged from synthroid 150 to 175. Since July I have been determined to lose 40 pounds. I have cut out all carbs and sugar since July and now last month started keto diet. In October my doctor had to lower me from 200 to 175 in December from 175 to 150 now today from 150 to 137 for being hyperthyroid. I don’t understand why I keep having to be lowered and only have lost 8 pounds doing 800-1200 calorie diet with intermittent fasting 12-8 pm. I am sooo very frustrated and not understanding what is going on??? Would love any advice?!!!

  7. I was diagnosed with a “revolving thyroid” 15+ years ago. It has been a long 15 years, but it appears it has finally chosen a side, and my TSH wad .006 with tons of symptoms. I would love to pick your brain, as what is best if you’re already overweight, after years of having a flip flopping thyroid.

  8. I have been hyper and am now with methimazole and in the last 5 months I have put on 20+ lbs. I have always worked out and am a healthy eater. To try and combat the weight gain, I have literally doubled up in the workout but it is not helping. I cycle an average of 250 miles per week and have increased with the weight training. Are there specific foods that I should not eat? My main diet consists of fresh vegetables and whole grain, so I am at a loss of how to best manage the water weight gain. I am not an over eater and the buffiness is obvious (to me). What is the best way to manage the water weight?
    Any guidance is appreciated.

  9. I am a 53 year old woman who was diagnosed with Grave’s Disease last month. I was feeling like crap, hot flashes, dizzy all the time, headaches, depression, missed periods, I assumed it was premenopause. Well, I was half right. My doctor did a blood test and it did show that I have started menopause but it also showed hyperthyroidism so I was sent to an endocrinologist and diagnosed with Graves. I have gained 35 lb. since I started to feel sick and the weight just keeps piling on! Now that I’m on thyroid reducing medication, it is going to be even harder to keep it off! What can I do?

  10. Hi Dr. Childs!

    I am a 30 y.o. Female diagnosed with a variant of papillary carcinoma 4 years ago. I had a total thyroidectomy and subsequent RAI at that time and have just undergone a 2nd surgery to remove more cancer that has grown in the lymph nodes of my neck. I am scheduled to have another round of RAI the beginning of next month. My body has not been the same since having my thyroid removed and I have been left with a lot of frustration over the last few years. I have always valued a healthy lifestyle and exercise on a regular basis as well as trying to eat a Whole Foods diet. I have struggled with about a 20 lb weight gain following my surgery and cannot seem to shed the weight despite all my efforts. Not only that but I Fight exhaustion on a regular basis as well as just not feeling well in general. My hair and skin have changed, I am hot more often, and struggle with insomnia and anxiety. I really respect my endocrinologist but find that he Doesn’t offer up recommendations as far as how to battle some of these unwanted side effects from not having a thyroid. Because of cancer my doctor wants to keep my TSH on the low side of normal (last one of 0.6 he was happy with) so as not to stimulate the cancer cells. I have been reading about a ketogenic diet for a few years and decided to give it a try. I am 2 weeks in and have gone from 156lbs-150lbs in 2 weeks (5’ 6” normal weight about 135-140). Overall I don’t seem to crash as much as I used to but after reading your article am wondering if I’m doing more harm than good in the long run. I would appreciate any input or recommendations you have! Thanks for doing what you do!!

    Caitlin

    • Hi Caitlin,

      I’m not a huge fan of the ketogenic diet but it can work for some people. If you feel better while on it you may be one of the few that does well on it long term.

  11. [email protected]

    I have hypothyroidism for 20 years. Been on Synthroid. Levels have always been good. Over the past 6 months I have been gaining weight like crazy! Nothing works, tried several diets and prescription diet pills and still gained. I’ve never been this heavy before. I just had my levels checked and I’m in hyperthyroidism. How is it possible to be gaining weight and hyper? All I read is about those who lost weight then found out about hyper and whet not meds then gained weight. That’s not my case. Any answers?

  12. HI,

    I have been diagnosed with Hyperthyroidism a few months ago. I do not have racing heart beat, or tremors. I am 45 yrs old and I am not having regular menses, my iron is a bit low, and I have exercise intolerance, it gives me migraines as i am prone to. I have also gained 15 lbs in the past few months without any reason. I don’t have an increased appetite at all, actually I do not feel like eating at times. NOt sure what is happening..Confused.

  13. Hi, Dr. Child’s, I was diagnosed with Graves Diseases two years ago. I have been battling with weight loss. I’ve tried shakes like Ensure Plus, and prescription appetite pills. Nothing seem to help… Not sure what to do!!! Help!!!

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