What can I do about my weight gain after a thyroidectomy?


Quick Answer

Studies show that patients who find it difficult to lose weight following a thyroidectomy tend to lose weight when eating diets high in fiber and protein, avoiding sugar and working out regularly, according to Dr. Babak Larian of the Center for Advanced Head & Neck Surgery. This diet should be consumed along with a synthetic thyroid hormone, a multivitamin and a mineral supplement.

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Full Answer

Those attempting to lose weight gained following a thyroidectomy should also avoid sugar, notes Dr. Larian. The body finds it challenging to convert sugar to energy following the surgery. Instead, the body tends to store sugar as fat. Working out routinely also helps to speed up a person's metabolism, which is generally slower following the procedure.

Associate medical writer Julie M. Gentile reports on EndocrineWeb that while many post-thyroidectomy patients complain of difficulty in losing weight, Georgetown University Medical Center researchers contend, following a study, that this is generally the case only for patients who suffered from hypothyroidism prior to surgery. Hypothyroidism is a chronic condition that causes the body's base temperature to dip and the metabolism to slow significantly, often leading to weight gain over time. These study results appeared in an article in Thyroid in 2011.

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