Weight Loss and Synthroid

Millions of Americans suffer from thyroid diseases, according to Medline Plus. Levothyroxine, available in the brand medication Synthroid, is used to treat hypothyroidism, a health condition that affects metabolism in the human body. People who suffer from hypothyroidism do not produce enough thyroid hormone to regulate metabolism and may suffer from such symptoms as hair loss, dry hair, cold sensitivity, fatigue, depression and weight gain. Do not attempt to use any medication for weight loss purposes unless directed to do so by your health care provider.

Background

Synthroid, a prescription form of levothyroxine, is a synthetic form of human thyroid hormone. Synthroid can help bring low thyroid levels back to a normal range in people suffering from hypothyroidism. Because hypothyroidism can cause weight gain, use of Synthroid can help reverse weight gain associated with the condition. However, additional weight loss would still require a healthy eating plan and an exercise program.

Contraindications

Although Synthroid can help reverse symptoms of weight gain caused by hypothyroidism, it should not be used as a weight-loss medication. According to Medline Plus, Synthroid should not be used for the treatment of obesity in people with normal thyroid function; it is ineffective for weight-loss treatment in these people and can cause life-threatening toxicities. Synthroid should be taken only under the supervision of a qualified medical professional.

Weight Loss

If you have normal thyroid function and are overweight, calorie reduction can help you lose excess body weight. A calorie deficit of 500 to 1,000 calories per day can help you achieve a weight loss of 1 to 2 lb. per week -- the amount recommended by the American Dietetic Association for the first 6 months of your weight-loss program. Exercising regularly while reducing daily calories can help you achieve your calorie deficit and maintain your weight loss on a long-term basis.

Concerns

Hyperthyroidism is the production of too much thyroid hormone. Taking too much Synthroid can cause symptoms of hyperthyroidism, including unintentional weight loss, headaches, temporary hair loss, excessive sweating, heat sensitivity, insomnia, nausea, menstrual cycle changes and an increased appetite, according to Medline Plus. Contact your doctor if you experience symptoms of hyperthyroidism because, like hypothyroidism, it is a serious health concern and should be treated immediately.

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