The thyroid gland produces hormones that balance all body functions, including your metabolism. Your metabolism converts food into energy, and is partly responsible for your weight. If the thyroid gland is removed through a procedure called a thyroidectomy, your metabolism is disrupted from the lack of thyroid hormones. As a result, you could gain weight after the procedure. The key to weight loss is keeping up with medical treatment and taking steps on your own to keep your weight in control.
Take prescription thyroxine, or T4 hormone replacements such as Synthroid and Levothyroxine. You will have to replace these thyroid hormones through prescription drugs for the rest of your life. The Mayo Clinic explains that without hormone replacements, your body enters a state of hypothyroidism after a thyroidectomy. Hypothyroidism slows down the metabolism, causing weight gain.
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Consider triiodothyronine, or T3, hormone replacements. Triiodothyronine is one of the types of thyroid hormones, but it is not typically replaced with prescription hormones because it is not as prevalent. However, Thyroid-Info explains that a T3 supplement taken in conjunction with prescription hormone replacements can better balance your body and make up for the lack of thyroid, thereby increasing potential weight loss.
Reduce the amount of complex carbohydrates in your diet. Examples of complex carbohydrates include potatoes, white bread, pasta and rice. According to Thyroid-Info, hypothyroidism is linked to insulin resistance, making it more difficult for your body to metabolize such foods. Eating too many complex carbohydrates can make you gain weight easily after a thyroidectomy.
Eat a diet that consists of lean meats, green leafy vegetables, low-sugar fruits and low-fat dairy products. Foods with a high fat or sugar content will make it more difficult to lose weight, even if you are on hormone replacements.
Exercise regularly. If you are new to exercising, try walking as often as you can. Then you can build up to high-intensity cardio activities such as running and kick-boxing, as well as strength-training routines. Losing fat and building muscle will further enhance your metabolism to make up for your lack of thyroid gland.
Get regular blood tests done in order to determine whether you are getting the adequate dosage of hormone replacements. A discrepancy in dosage, such as not getting enough hormones, can make a difference in how your metabolism functions.
Do not expect to lose a great amount of weight on thyroid hormone replacements alone. According to the American Thyroid Association, a lack of thyroid hormone causes an average weight gain of five to 10 pounds. Furthermore, once you are placed on thyroid hormone replacements, the average weight lost is 10 percent of your total body weight.