question-icon

What causes weight gain when suffering from hypothyroidism?

default
Posted on Sat, 12 Jul 2014
Question: Good day,
I have been on Eltroxin for 6 months now. Not sure of the units but I take one tablet daily (0.5).
My last blood work results were normal according to my GP so my dose is correct, but I keep on gaining weight. (TSH - 1.51 mIU/L, T4 - 13.9 pmol/L)
How can that be? Surely I should stabilise if my dose is correct? My diet is very restricted - I eat very healthy and exercise twice a week. I'm a 36 year old female.

doctor
Answered by Dr. Binu Parameswaran Pillai (40 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
Hi

Detailed Answer:
Hello XXXX
Good day.
Noted your history and blood reports. The Thyroid profile is looking normal now on 0.5 mg Eltroxin ( 50 mcg). This is a small dose of Eltroxin . How was your ANTI TPO test? If that is positive, it is likely that you may need higher dose of Eltroxin in the future.

The common tendency is to gain 3-4 kilos of weight during hypothyroidism ( contrary to the popular belief that one gain huge amount of weight with hypothyroidism). The excess weight gained will come down usually after starting Eltroxin.

I realize that you believe that you are eating healthy. Exercising twice a week is not enough. You need at least 5-6 days of moderate intensity exercise for at least 45 minutes each time in a week. IT MAY BE A GOOD IDEA TO MEET A DIETICIAN TO ANALYSE YOUR DIET.

If you believe that you are gaining weight despite doing diet and exercise and even after correction of hypothyroidism, you need further tests to look at rare hormonal problems ( like CUSHING'S SYNDROME) which can cause weight gain especially around the tummy.

Regards
Binu
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
default
Follow up: Dr. Binu Parameswaran Pillai (9 minutes later)
Thank you so much for the response.

I don't know what the ANTI TPO test is that you are referring to. Not sure if it was done? He only tested the TSH and T4. Is that something I should be requesting from my GP?

I have gained 8kg's since October last year. So it seems more than the average that you refer to. It just seems to not have stabilised since my treatment started around January and I would have expected it to at least stabilise, even if I don't loose any weight with my current lifestyle (diet and exercise).

But I did suffer a miscarriage a month ago so maybe the hormones from the pregnancy and the miscarriage and subsequent D & C has had an effect and although my levels are normal it has had an impact and I just need time?

I am scheduled to see a dietician on Thursday. I will increase my exercise as well. It's just so frustrating.

Thanks Dr.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Binu Parameswaran Pillai (7 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
hi

Detailed Answer:
Hi,
Yes, you may request your GP to do an Anti TPO test. This is an antibody test to look at cause of hypothyroidism. If it is positive, you have a type of Hypothyroidism called as Auto Immune Hypothyroidism ( also called as Hashimotos). This is a simple disease and easy to manage. The importance of doing the test is to predict if your hypothyroidism will progress or not in the future.

In your case, the weight gain appears to be multifactorial. Hypothyroidism + the pregnancy induced + the rest following D&C etc.

Since you had a miscarriage, it is extremely important to look at Anti TPO. You need to keep TSH below 2.5 before planning pregnancy and during first three months of pregnancy.

It is good to increase the dose of Eltroxin to 75 mcg as soon as the pregnancy is confirmed. It is a very safe drug and is very important for the infant's brain growth.

Good to hear that you have an appointment with dietician soon.

Regards
Binu
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
default
Follow up: Dr. Binu Parameswaran Pillai (2 minutes later)
Thank you kindly. Appreciate your responses.

Regards
XXXX
doctor
Answered by Dr. Binu Parameswaran Pillai (3 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
Good luck

Detailed Answer:
Thank you XXXX. If you have no further questions, may I request you to close the query .

Wish you all the very best.

Regards
Binu
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
Answered by
Dr.
Dr. Binu Parameswaran Pillai

Endocrinologist

Practicing since :2003

Answered : 1435 Questions

premium_optimized

The User accepted the expert's answer

Share on

Get personalised answers from verified doctor in minutes across 80+ specialties

196 Doctors Online

By proceeding, I accept the Terms and Conditions

HCM Blog Instant Access to Doctors
HCM Blog Questions Answered
HCM Blog Satisfaction
What causes weight gain when suffering from hypothyroidism?

Brief Answer: Hi Detailed Answer: Hello XXXX Good day. Noted your history and blood reports. The Thyroid profile is looking normal now on 0.5 mg Eltroxin ( 50 mcg). This is a small dose of Eltroxin . How was your ANTI TPO test? If that is positive, it is likely that you may need higher dose of Eltroxin in the future. The common tendency is to gain 3-4 kilos of weight during hypothyroidism ( contrary to the popular belief that one gain huge amount of weight with hypothyroidism). The excess weight gained will come down usually after starting Eltroxin. I realize that you believe that you are eating healthy. Exercising twice a week is not enough. You need at least 5-6 days of moderate intensity exercise for at least 45 minutes each time in a week. IT MAY BE A GOOD IDEA TO MEET A DIETICIAN TO ANALYSE YOUR DIET. If you believe that you are gaining weight despite doing diet and exercise and even after correction of hypothyroidism, you need further tests to look at rare hormonal problems ( like CUSHING'S SYNDROME) which can cause weight gain especially around the tummy. Regards Binu