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Avoiding Common Thyroid Pitfalls: Weight Gain

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by Mary Shomon

Most thyroid patients end up hypothyroid, with an underactive, radioactively ablated, or even surgically removed thyroid that is unable to produce all or part of the needed thyroid hormone. If you are taking thyroid hormone replacement drugs - levothyroxine, Synthroid, Levoxyl, Levothroid, Unithroid, Thyrolar, Armour Thyroid, or natural thyroid - then you are hypothyroid.

And when you're hypothyroid, your metabolism usually does not work at the same speed as someone else of your height, weight, and level of physical activity, meaning that it becomes easier for you gain weight, and harder to lose weight.

If you are hyperthyroid and about to undergo antithyroid treatment, or RAI, once your thyroid starts slowing down, you should be particularly careful to avoid eating as if you were still hyperthyroid. Avoiding weight gain in the first place, by making a deliberate diet change and adding more exercise to your program, are both essential.

Some people gain weight, and discover their hypothyroidism after weight has been gained. Others continue to gain weight after diagnosis and treatment for an underactive thyroid. In this case, it's critical that you...
  1. Optimize your thyroid treatment
  2. Follow a diet approach that is optimal for thyroid patients.
For comprehensive information, see:
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