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In menopause, gained weight. Taking eltroxin. Had chickenpox. Is it due to hormonal change?

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Practicing since : 2004
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Hi Doctor

Please could you explain why I have gained so much weight. I have been taking eltroxin for 20 years after suffering chickenpox as an adult. I have been on 1.5 mg and my doctor has cut it down to just 1. I am in menopause and have been for approx 8 years. I have gained approx. 15 kg in 10 years. However I must point out that I normally eat a low fat high fibre diet sin being diagnosed 20 years ago and I am a dance teacher and exercise regularly. I am 60 years old and still extremely active. Can there be a hormonal imbalance. I ask because I know my body and growing old is not an answer for me as I feel there is something amiss as before I became hypothyroid I had an extremely fast metabolism. Many thanks for your helpful serv ice as here in Natal, South Africa I have to wait months before I can get an appointment to see an endocrinologist . XXXXXXX
Posted Sun, 19 May 2013 in Thyroid Problem and Hormonal Problems
Answered by Dr. Om Lakhani 50 minutes later

Good to hear from you.

Gaining 15 kg in 10 years especially after menopause in not unusual. You see as you attain menopause there are hormonal changes that occur that causes you to gain weight. So I wouldn't be worried about any other hormonal problem than one that comes naturally with menopause.

However, since you have a history of hypothyroidism, I would advice you to have your thyroid levels checked again. Since there was a reduction in the thyroid dose , you thyroid problem might have played a role in your weight gain. I would advice you to get done Free T4 and TSH. Also, Have you ever been evaluated for Autoimmune thyroiditis (Hashimoto's) evaluation carries a test known as Anti-TPO antibody. If your Anti-TPO is positive many believe that going to a normal TSH alone is not enough we need to get your TSH in low normal range to get full benefit of treatment.

Apart from sometimes lack of Growth hormone can cause weight gain. However, that is something we will evaluate in the end. As of now, I would advice you to have your thyroid levels checked again and revert back.

Hope this has been helpful.
With Regards
Dr. Om Lakhani, MD
Member of American Academy of Clinical endocrinologists.

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