EndocrineWeb Community Advice

Hyperthyroid and Weight Gain

From: RiahGrace - 3 years 19 weeks ago

I am 23 years old and have been battling with hyperthyroidism for almost a year. I was diagnosed with Graves Disease after a lot of tests. I also have a noticeable goiter in my neck. I have gained over 50 pounds in the past year to year in a half. I have been on methomozole (I think that is how you spell it) and they have changed my dosage three times. Most days, I feel as if I dont even know who I am anymore. I have been trying to loose weight, I walked EVERY DAY during the summer and still gained weight. People and doctors look at me as if I am some sort of pig because you are suppose to loose weight when you have a hyper active thyroid and I gained weight. I feel so lost and so alone. My life is generally wonderful. I have a wonderful son and boyfriend, I am doing ok in my college classes and should graduate soon, but my weight is constantly on my mind. Someone came into my place of work (a bank) and told me I get bigger everytime he sees me. In his defense he thought I was pregnant but either way I had to excuse myself so I could go cry in the bathroom. I do not know what to do? I am thinking about having my thyroid removed because this roller coaster of ups and downs, weight gain, and changing medications have just done a toll on my emotions and I dont know how much more I can take. If I just take it out I feel as if my problems will go away but I know it cannot be that "simple". Any suggestions?

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16 Responses

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Your post made me cry. I'm 42 and was diagnosised a month ago and while i feel better, the weight, my emotions, that feeling of being in a fog....its horrible. I hope you find the answer. I hope I do too :-(

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I was diagnosed with graves about a year ago, doctor does not tell you that you will gain weight, I had to go and read up on the subject. People do not understand the problem we have, as the meds I take for my Type 1 Diabetes also does not help me loose weight. Eat right and doing exercise do not work so what to do. I hope and pray we find a cure soon.

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You describe me to a tee...I have gained 30 pounds within one year...have never been an overweight person in my life. I have nodules and am taking a small dose of levothyroxin but it has not helped with the weight gain. I do feel a little less foggy somehow. My doctor says that we are in a small percentage that gain even though we are hyperthyroid. I've been on meds for this for 3 months...going back soon for more blood work and an appointment with my endocrinologist. Hopefully the nodules have decreased or at least remained the same size...biopsy was normal. Don't get discouraged, you really are not alone...there are at least some of us in the same boat...

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Hi I also have Graves disease, I was on methamizole as well but will be doing radioactive iodine treatment starting next week because methamizole isn't a permanent solution and I was getting nowhere on that ish. So I was wondering if you drink alcohol because I've notice with myself that if I drink more than 2 beverages in one night the next day I am always 5-7 lbs heavier without fail and it takes 2-3 weeks to get those lbs off with a semi-strict diet and 8 cups of water a day. I charted my weight, testing my theory for about 6 months, and now for the past 3 months I have abstained from alcohol completely and the weight has come off (20 lbs).

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There are natural herbs you can take to help your overactive thyroid. One herb is Astragalus, Turmeric; suppose to reduce the inflammation of the goiter or nodule. There is Lemon Balm and Motherwort. These herbs won't have the horrible side effects of the antithyroid medication you're taking.

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Good golly. I was just diagnosed with Hyperthyroidism 4 months ago and had no idea. I am so glad I saw all of these postings. Please keep them up. I need all the help I can get!

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It's nice to hear that I'm not the only one with these symptoms and concerns. My doctor doesn't seem to like to entertain my thoughts about what has been happening to my body. It's annoying. And I'm glad there's a place I can find learn from people with similar concerns.

I'm 27 and have never had any kids and are not planning on having any in the near future. I'm currently on a 5 year IUD to keep that all in check. There was never any family history of thyroid issues.

I was first diagnosed with HyperThyroidism just a few months ago. It's been a hellish battle. Earlier in the year I had a bad case of tonsillitis which caused my body to attack itself. The auto-immune disease, whatever it was, developed into a thyroid problem. After months of bloodwork and radiation tests they came to the final diagnosis of hyperthyroid. But none of my symptoms corresponded.

I've gained close to 30 pounds, my body is always cold and I have trouble sleeping.

I've been on beta blockers and methimazole for 3 months now. I'll be starting radiation to reduce the size of the goiter on my left thyroid where the hot nodules are located.

And all the time, my appetite hasn't increased, nor has my eating habits and my exercise regime has stayed constant. But the weight gain is out of control.

Right now I've been toying with the idea of surgery over radiation. Thinking that maybe if I just get the goiter/nodule removed, my body will get back to normal.

What I'm hoping to do through this blog and other sites, is find out what has happened after hyperthyroid treatments? Does radiation fix it? Would surgery be a better option? I know it's a completely vain subject but, which option gets me back to being me? The me before all the weight gain?

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My son found out at age 15 he had Graves and he no longer has a thyroid.. He is now 23 years old and doing Great. My advice is to see a doctor in Endocrine.

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you're not alone sweetie pie. I too suffer with the same "hyper" thyroid and have been cautious of my eating habits and still am gaining weight. I am new to this myself although I think I've had the 'condition' for many years. It is now to the point where it is causing me problems swollowing, coughing, breathing amongst other things of which the greatest is that I've gone through 3 kidney surgeries to remove masses. I have recently been diagnosed (first by sight), then by US with an enlarged multinodular goiter and it's just starting to drive me nuts. I too am very disturbed by all the weight I've put on in the past 2 months....I also yo yo up and down like you said you do. I've been doing that all my life. At least now I can say, 'it's not my fault' This is what I wanted to stress to you as you are so young. Don't sweat the small stuff. I've been where you were that day in the bank. A 'friend' thought I was pregnant when I was younger after several months of us not seeing one another. I didn't know how to react. I was so ashamed. I've learned throughout the years that the most important part of a person is their heart and soul. Although it's not healthy to be obese, some of us cannot help it. I see that your post is a bit old...how have you been doing? I am scared about the meds part, if I am put on those first but of my readings, it seems I may need to have surgery. I have 5 nodules ... 3 on one side and 2 on the other. I'll pray for you if you pray for me! Hang in there and always know that God's got your back. I've been through many surgeries....this is just another hurtle I have to over come and ppl will either like/love me for my insides or they won't. In any case, it can't hurt me. I love myself! Be strong my young friend. :-)

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Hi everyone,

I was diagnosed with Graves Disease back in 2000...had the RAI...went hypothyroid and then commenced with Synthroid. I found out I had Graves because I was GAINING weight, and the other common symptoms. I also was getting very agitated with my family, mainly my two year old. Yup, I knew something was wrong when that started happening. The weight gain is extremely annoying, so I feel all of your pain. People look at you starnge when you tell them your hyperthyroid and gaining weight. You can see it in their eyes that they really don't believe you. Then you start to question yourself..am I eating too much, etc? Dont beat yourself up! twelve years later and this is the second time that I have had too much synthroid...I have gained 25 pounds, exercise quite a bit and eat a low carb diet. I have to say the low carb diet is the best thing I have found in all these years. I was a Weight Watcher girl for years! However, low carbing it will cut your cravings and keep your weight from getting any higher...at least until your thyroid stabilizes. I know it feels helpless, I really do. But, your thyroid will stabilize with the correct dosage of synthetic thyroid hormone. If you have been diagnosed with Graves please go see an Endocrinologist! They are the experts...however they are not all created equal! I have had a few over the years, and some don't have a very good bedside manner...you want one that BELIEVES your symptoms. If they hand you a line of crap and tell you that those symptoms are probably something else....go see someone else! Good luck to all of you! Pray and see and Endo

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I am so glad that I decided to google "hyperthyroidism and weight gain" I found relief when I saw your post. When I first got diagnosed in 2010 I had just given birth and lost 50lbs in 2 months, sweating all the time, heart racing, dr's thought that I was manic-depressive then I had anxiety.Finally got diagnosed 8 months later. Since then I have been doing the methimazole thing which is not working every month the blood test are up and down. I have been asking myself the same questions "why am I getting fatter!". I feel the same way with this condition I should be a rail not nearing 230lbs!!! I am scheduled to have RAI treatment on 8/6 hopefully it helps! although I am late on my period and I am hoping that it's because the hormones are screwed up!

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I am so glad that i decided to look up hypertyhyoidism and weight gain myself. I am 42 yrs. old and will be 43 this Oct. and have never been over 165lbs. Just this year (2012) i was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism and was put on methimazole. it has been increased over time to 15 milligrams. During that time i have put on almost 30 lbs and have gone through some really tough times. I am bipolar and have been a bulemic for the last 28 yrs. i haven't practiced the bulemia in over 18 years. i have been on a lot of psych meds over the years and have never gained this much weight. It really bothers me to know that i can no longer fit any of the jeans that i have.I am hoping that talking to my thyroid specialist and psychiatrist wil help. hope that others with the throid problem and weight gain can find the help too.

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Hi there! I understand your pain. Ive been diagnosed for about four months now and unfortunately the methemazole was not working for me. I am on propylthiouracil. I take 400 milligrams daily which is a very high dose and a very dangerous medicine. I am experiencing extreme numbness of my lower extremities and i get so dang afraid im not gonna make it. I have experienced every and any symptom that this animal has to offer and quite frankly im tired. My condition has been linked back to a chemical exposure. I am gonna have surgery in a couple of weeks and although i have not gained much weight, but actuall loss 10lbs i was told that once my thyroid is removed the potential for me to gain up to 60lbs is possible. I am only 5ft 41/2 inches imagine that from 165 to 225. Ive only begun to be depressed. Hold your head up there has to be a better way. Or maybe you have been misdiagnosed. Maybe you have hypothyroidism.

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It looks like no one ever really found the answer to losing weight with a thyroid that is just "out of wack". When I hit 21, I started gaining weight going from a 9 to a 13/14 that year. Everyone said it was because I was a "party girl", but as much as I was on the dance floor and spending time in the gym, I couldn't see it. I was tested and my thyroid was "normal low".

When I hit 23 and about 35 pounds wearing 16/18, the clubbing for the most part was gone. I was in a relationship, rented a house, and was Ms. Martha Stewart with home decor. I had a secretarial job in a fertility clinic where the doctors and nurses picked up that I was crashing the same time every day and I would be running to the cafeteria every day for a tall coffee to make it through. Long story short, they took a blood test and I was no longer within normal limits. They prescribed synthroid. In the first month I lost 20 pounds, but my blood pressure was through the roof. So essentially my choices were to deal with the weight gain, or start popping pills to manage the side effects of the synthroid.

Friends in NYC took me to an herbalist in Chinatown who introduced me to Kelp. Sushi, seaweed salad, and soups made with Kelp became regular in my diet that brought my weight down and made it manageable although I was still a size 14.

When I moved outside the NYC area I took Kelp supplements, exercised an hour in the morning with cardio/weights, and swam laps at the local gym for an hour after work 4-5 times a week. This helped me maintain my weight, I never lost.

When the gym closed down and I started working longer hours behind a desk, I started gaining weight again. I gained about 35 pounds a year from 1998 until 2001 when I tipped the scale wearing a size 22 at 285 pounds. After 9/11, I went to weight watchers and stuck on program for 4 years, re-instituted my rigorous exercise program and started losing weight. By 2004, my hubby filed for divorce claiming I was "too thin". I was back down to a size 12, 170 pounds and looking amazing. (I am 5' 9" and target weight is no less than 150 or I look like I am sick).

I changed my life, I changed careers and moved into upper management. I started putting on weight again and decided to return to weight watchers at size 18 and 230 pounds. I wound up losing 35 pounds, implemented a new exercise program and all was good.

Some big things happened in 2010 that threw a monkey wrench into my weight loss efforts. First, I was laid up for about 6 months with plantar fascitis. Every time I walk extensively, get on a treadmill, or even the elliptical I own, I wind up with a pronounced limp and in some cases I am laid up for 3-4 days barely able to hobble to the bathroom or kitchen. It really sucks! I also started traveling for my job so exercise was not as regular or as long as I needed just to maintain. The biggest thing that screwed me all up was that Weight Watchers changed their program. I followed it to the letter and continued to gain weight. I started counting fruits/veggies as you did with the old system as well as managing and tracking calories. Even with that effort reducing caloric intake to 1500 a day without exercise and adding 50% of the calories burned for extra lean proteins on top of the 15000 calories a day I lost weight at the rate of 1/10 of a pound or maybe 2/10 if I was lucky. I was always hungry and I started getting fatigued.

I tried weight watchers again under the new program for 6 weeks, and all they said was "you must be weighing your food wrong or taking extra bites and not writing it down" when I gained consistently for a total of 10 pounds. That's when I gave up on the program. The only difference is that I can not exercise insanely like I used to.

SO I lose my job in a layoff October 2011 and I lose my insurance. In the meantime, I know my thyroid is getting funky again because my skin in really dry and I go through moisturizing cream like crazy. I drink the equivalent of 10 8 ounce glasses of water. I have not been tracking everything I eat like the food police and since Thanksgiving 2011, I gained 56 pounds. I am wearing a size 22 and not happy.

I am also getting the first signs of menopause so let's add that to the weight loss challenge.

I really get how the depression sets in. I never had issues with depression, but I find myself started to fall into a funk over this and beating myself up for not finding another job, not being able to lose weight, not being able to keep off the weight I lost yadda yadda.

I did go back to college at age 44 and will be graduating at the end of next summer at age 46. What I would really like is to be able to drop 25-30 pounds before I graduate but I feel like the hamster on the wheel running and getting nowhere with it.

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this is all the probs i have i just recived RAI the docs are trying to get me down to a levell to take tyroxed once a day it did not matter what way my throid went i gained the weight please help what now will happen to me has any one had this done with good results and lost weight gone back to normal or will i ever be normal again

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I just found this discussion group. I found out that I had a hyper thyroid about 2 yrs ago. My endocrinologist said my levels are not sever enough to take the medication, but I do have most of the symptoms. Like some of you, I thought my body was backwards because I was gaining weight. The sleeping all the time, mood swings, but the worse for me is the weight gain 40 lbs so far! What have you found to help lose weight?