Weight gain occurs when the thyroid gland slows down, a condition better known as hypothyroidism. Although other side effects are associated with hypothyroidism, weight gain is one of the most common obstacles to overcome after treatment starts. In order to boost the thyroid gland, your doctor will place you on medications. Some patients opt for weight-loss supplements in addition to their medication, which can cause drug interactions.
The thyroid gland produces two hormones called thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). The Mayo Clinic explains that a low-functioning thyroid primarily lacks T4 hormones. When your body does not receive enough hormones from the thyroid gland, the metabolism slows down, causing symptoms such as weight gain. The National Center for Biotechnology Information reports that other symptoms of hypothyroidism include fatigue, hair loss, cold sensitivity and dry skin.
Hypothyroidism is treated with hormone replacements such as Synthroid and Levothyroxine. These medications add the amount of thyroid hormones that your body is lacking. The National Center for Biotechnology Information points out that although thyroid hormone replacements can help regulate the metabolism, such medications should not be taken solely for the intention of thyroid-related weight gain.
There are different thyroid supplements that are taken in conjunction with hormone-replacement drugs. Diet Spotlight points out that such supplements should never replace prescription thyroid medication. Thyroid supplements are designed to help boost the metabolism even further with elements such as iodine. Iodine increases T4 production. In cases of obesity in hypothyroid patients, an endocrinologist may prescribe a weight-loss medication.
Potential Side Effects
Use caution when using an alternative hormone replacement in conjunction with traditional forms. The Mayo Clinic explains that you can end up receiving an unpredictable amount of thyroid hormones in your blood. Taking too many hormones over time can change your thyroid from hypoactive to hyperactive. Weight-loss supplements, such as Thyrosense, contain high levels of iodine. Too much iodine can lead to the overproduction of thyroid hormones, leading to hyperactivity. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, taking an increased dose of hormone replacements to lose weight can result in toxicity.
Thyroid hormone replacements will boost your metabolism, once you are on the correct dosage. The process itself is often a trial and error, and requires frequent blood tests until your doctor can determine the correct dosage. The National Center for Biotechnology Information explains that regulating the thyroid is a lengthy process. Weight-loss pills, particularly over-the-counter herbal formulas, can decrease the effectiveness of hormone replacements. Never take supplements with your medication unless your endocrinologist recommends it. Eating a low-fat diet and exercising daily can help you achieve your weight-loss goals, in conjunction with effective thyroid treatment.