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What causes weight gain when suffering from hypothyroidism?

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Posted on Wed, 9 Jul 2014
Question: I changed 2 years ago from Synthroid to Armour Thyroid, which I believe is the right choice for me. Several doctors have told me I need to take Synthroid only, that it is the only acceptable medication for my Hashimotos disease. I recently tried Synthroid again with disastrous results. I have gained more than 20 pounds in the last 2 years, but gained another 8 with Synthroid. My eyes also swelled up which was my previous experience with Synthroid for 8 years. Now that I'm back on Armour Thyroid, my weight stabilized, and I even lost a few pounds. My problem is no one seems to be able to adjust my medication so that I can lose weight. I'm currently seeing a Cardiologist/Internist, to rule out other problems related to my inability to lose weight. I always eat a very low calorie balanced diet, and walk between 15 and 20 mikes a week, but I still can't lose weight. Can you give me any other clues as to what's going on with my body?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Binu Parameswaran Pillai (6 hours later)
Brief Answer:
Hi

Detailed Answer:
Good Day,

Hypothyroidism typically cause weight gain of 3-4 kilograms. How ever, in my clinical practice, I have seen many patient who have gained much more than that. Noted the point about your exercise and diet control. Please stay on Armour thyroid if you feel better on it and if TSH is with in normal limit.

If you think that your diet is good and if you do adequate exercise, then we might need to look for alternate causes for weight gain ( or inability to lose weight ). Few hormonal conditions can cause this. Cushing's syndrome is a rare hormonal condition where you can gain weight. This can cause weight gain around the abdomen and you may also develop pinkish stretch marks on abdomen. Do you have any of these?

It may be a good idea to keep a food diary and write down the quantity and type of food including fluids in a day. Do it for a week and after that analyse it. I did this myself once and realized that I eat too much of breakfast cereals and milk. When I cut it down, I lost some weight.

You may also download "CARBS AND CALS" in to your smart phone( available in google play). This will help to calculate the calorie value of each food item what we eat.

Regards
Binu
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Binu Parameswaran Pillai (6 hours later)
Can you please tell me, how is Cushing's Disease diagnosed in humans? the weight gain is all in my abdomen. I believe it is mainly water weight. One of my doctors gave me Microzide, but it helps very little with the water weight. My dog has Cushing's Disease and it was diagnosed through blood tests. I'm assuming it is the same in humans.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Binu Parameswaran Pillai (3 hours later)
Brief Answer:
Hello

Detailed Answer:
Hi,
Cushing's syndrome is diagnosed by SALIVA, URINE and BLOOD TESTS.
Your doctor need to examine you to look for clues of cushing's syndrome and if present, he may suggest any of these tests. It may be worthwhile in your case to do the test
Regards XXXXXXX
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
Dr.
Dr. Binu Parameswaran Pillai

Endocrinologist

Practicing since :2003

Answered : 1435 Questions

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What causes weight gain when suffering from hypothyroidism?

Brief Answer: Hi Detailed Answer: Good Day, Hypothyroidism typically cause weight gain of 3-4 kilograms. How ever, in my clinical practice, I have seen many patient who have gained much more than that. Noted the point about your exercise and diet control. Please stay on Armour thyroid if you feel better on it and if TSH is with in normal limit. If you think that your diet is good and if you do adequate exercise, then we might need to look for alternate causes for weight gain ( or inability to lose weight ). Few hormonal conditions can cause this. Cushing's syndrome is a rare hormonal condition where you can gain weight. This can cause weight gain around the abdomen and you may also develop pinkish stretch marks on abdomen. Do you have any of these? It may be a good idea to keep a food diary and write down the quantity and type of food including fluids in a day. Do it for a week and after that analyse it. I did this myself once and realized that I eat too much of breakfast cereals and milk. When I cut it down, I lost some weight. You may also download "CARBS AND CALS" in to your smart phone( available in google play). This will help to calculate the calorie value of each food item what we eat. Regards Binu