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Weight Management Strategy When You Have Hyperthyroidism

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Losing excess weight in hyperthyroidism

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Weight management when you have hyperthyroidism is a struggle, but it does not have to be an impossible one. Build yourself a healthy routine, filled with a balanced diet and a healthy workout, but also give yourself time to relax and sleep. Keep yourself hydrated and do regular tests, all the while keeping an eye on the weighing scale, for both ups and downs. 


Our body weight is regulated by various factors, one of them being hormone production in the body. Thyroxine is a hormone produced by the thyroid gland, situated in the front of our neck. Often known as the butterfly gland, thyroid hormones control metabolism and therefore, weight and growth.

Hyperthyroidism is a thyroid disorder which refers to an overactive thyroid gland. This means that the gland is producing an excess amount of thyroxine. An excess amount of this hormone speeds up metabolism. When this happens, you lose a lot of weight.

How Does Hyperthyroidism Cause Weight Gain?

Most people would be surprised to hear that hyperthyroidism can cause weight gain, since metabolism speeds up significantly when you have an overactive thyroid, causing you to lose an unhealthy amount of weight.

Some of the possible causes of weight gain are:

  • An increased metabolism causes an increase in appetite. The body is using up all it’s stored energy and requires more, leading to an increased appetite.
  • Treatment of hyperthyroidism reverts your weight back to normal, or even a higher amount. When treated properly, the speed of metabolism comes back to normal, causing weight gain.
  • The immune response to Graves’ Disease (cause of overactive thyroid) can lead to inflammation, and cause Hashimoto’s Disease (cause of underactive thyroid), which in turn causes weight gain.

Control the Calories

Though weight gain due to increased appetite is generally not that significant, it is always helpful to eat a balanced diet, which not only controls weight but is also healthy for your thyroid. Patients with hyperthyroid are advised to eat more whole foods, cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower, antioxidant berries and Omega 3 rich fish, like salmon.

At the same time avoid eating foods that are high in the glycemic index like the white flour, avoid gluten and soy products, which may act as triggers for overactivity of the thyroid. Definitely avoid excess iodine and unhealthy fats found in hydrogenated vegetable oil.

Having trouble figuring it out? Talk to one of the many experts at TruWeight and plan out the perfect diet for yourself, with just one click!

E For Exercise

Regular exercise is your golden ticket to weight loss. Just eating healthy will not cut it. Some form of physical movement will burn the extra calories you may be consuming due to your increased appetite. However, it is important to choose workouts that will fit the profile of your thyroid disorder. It is generally recommended to try out exercises like water aerobics, weight-bearing, and resistance exercises. Yoga helps not only to keep your muscles working but also works for other symptoms of hyperthyroidism, like depression and fatigue.

Supplement Your Diet

Having thyroid disorders causes an imbalance in not only hormones but also the various vitamins and minerals your body needs to function well. Ask your doctor about taking supplements of Vitamin D, Vitamin E and Vitamin C, zinc and calcium. These supplements will boost immunity and help bring down inflammation of the thyroid gland.

The Sleep You Need

Insomnia is a very common symptom of hyperthyroidism. There are countless studies which the show the importance of a good night’s sleep on weight management.

Sleep deficiency causes hormones that promote an increased appetite to increase. With the already existing symptom of increased appetite from hyperthyroidism, a proper sleep cycle is important.

Try meditation to calm restlessness and stick to a fixed bedtime. Avoid scrolling through your phone to fall asleep. Rather, try to create a relaxed atmosphere for yourself. Try and get yourself at least seven hours of sleep every night.

Listen To Your Gut

Leaky gut is a condition in which toxins, viruses, and bacteria circulate through the blood due to a damaged intestinal lining. This raises toxicity in the body, making the thyroid more susceptible to damage.

Whether or not you have a thyroid, keep your intestines healthy, by eating a lot of antioxidant berries, probiotics like yoghurt and folate and collagen. 

QUICK BYTES

Can taking antithyroid medicines cause weight gain?

Yes. Taking medication for a thyroid problem can cause weight gain. Antithyroid medicines that treat hyperthyroidism, decreased thyroxine levels in the body. This causes the metabolism to slow down. As such, the body starts gaining weight again

Why are women more likely to be affected by thyroid disorders than men?

Thyroid disorders are caused by autoimmune diseases like Hashimoto’s disease and Graves’ disease. In general, it is found that auto immunes diseases occur in women more than men, possibly because of how the immune system works in each sex. In women, the immune system response is much more severe to any kind of infection or trauma. This factor makes women more susceptible to thyroid disorders.

Can stress cause weight gain when you have hyperthyroidism? 

In general, stress can cause you to gain weight, whether or not you have a thyroid problem. However, when you have hyperthyroidism, your body goes into overactivity, including your adrenal gland which secretes cortisol, a stress response hormone, known to cause weight gain. So having hyperthyroidism and chronic stress may be related factors when it comes to weight gain.

Does proper hydration actually help weight loss?

Yes! Hydration is an important factor, not only when it comes to weight loss, but also healthy skin and hair and to detoxify your body. Proper hydration is important to maintain a healthy hormone balance in the body.

What are some of the treatment plans for hyperthyroidism?

The most common treatment for hyperthyroidism is the medication methimazole (Tapazole). A maximum number of patients use radioactive iodine, which destroys the thyroid cells.  In more severe cases, surgically removing the thyroid gland or a part of it may be required.

 

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