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  • Turquoise
      Post count: 20

      There are so many pages of posts about weight gain that my question has probably been addressed, but it would take a very long time to go through them. I was diagnosed with Graves about six months ago and had RAI a little over two months ago. I had lost about 20 pounds over the course of several years before the diagnosis, and while I hadn’t been overweight before that, just carrying a few more pounds than I would have liked, I was fine with losing weight until it reached a point where I felt it was getting dangerous and beyond my control. Well, I’m beginning to gain some back, maybe just 5-7 pounds at this point. I’m not taking medication because my thyroid levels were normal the first time I had lab tests after treatment. I’m due for another round of tests soon. I’m neither a couch potato nor an athlete, but I have increased my exercise routine—long, vigorous walks—lately, going out even in the typical summer heat and humidity of the area where I live, when previously I would have shrugged it off. I’ve also been even more conscientious about menu planning, but I can feel the weight piling on, my clothes getting tighter, no matter what I do. Today it felt like I could barely fasten a belt I often wear after months of moving it notch after notch tighter. I’ve been doing research on exercise bikes and am about to decide on the one I want, hoping the more vigorous biking as a supplement to the walking will help. Is this futile (certainly the exercise is good for me in terms of overall health)? Is there nothing I can do to control this, just as I couldn’t control the loss? I’ve always been relatively slender, or at least “normal,” and the thought of turning into a “blimp” is extremely discouraging, especially when it isn’t due to bad habits.

        Post count: 305

        You have only had one set of labs and your levels will be changing as your thyroid stops producing hormone and you become hypo, requiring replacement. Of course, the slower metabolsm of hypothyroid would cause weight gain. Going from being hyper, where you probably could eat anything and not gain due to the faster metabolism, to normal probably will require an adjustment not only in eating and exercise but also your body’s set point. So be patient and see what your next labs say. I am five years post thyroidectomy and am at my normal prior to Graves weight .

          Post count: 148

          That’s a tricky question because each of us can only write from our own experience. Every case is different. I was pretty overweight when I first started exhibiting Graves’ symptoms, and I lost 75 lbs before I was diagnosed. I was down to my high school weight, but looked weak and sickly (largely due to loose skin and lost muscle mass). After I started treatment (methimazole), I gradually started regaining the weight I’d lost, but at my age (late 40’s at the time), more of the weight ended up around my middle. Also, since I’d lost so much muscle, my body composition shifted (higher percentage of fat vs muscle) and I think that caused me to gain a few extra pounds on top of those I’d lost.

          I’ve recently started to lose a bit of weight, though. I’m down to my pre-Graves’ weight again, and hopeful that I can keep going.

          As for whether or not weight gain is inevitable, I would say, not for everyone – at least not beyond weight lost due to Graves’. Weight gain is a common complaint, but I do know Graves’ patients who still look great. They just don’t often post on bulletin boards.

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