Sudden weight gain

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I was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism ten weeks ago with TSH <0.01 and T4 of 49

​My last results 2 weeks ago showed T4 was 17.9 so within normal range, and TSH still <0.01. However, I was sleeping dreadfully, even with sleeping pills and so my doctor increased my evening dose of carbimazole to 15 mg with 10mg in the mornings. My previous dose was 10mg twice daily. This seems to have done the trick and I feel loads better and my sleep has improved.

​However, I am gaining around a pound of weight a day around my middle. Not a big problem right now as I am a nice weight and was too skinny when first diagnosed. But I am starting to see rolls of fat and I need to break in my little mare this summer (I've just started sitting on her), so need to stay nice and light because she isn't that big. So I'm starting to panic about my weight now. My weight increased slightly (by only a couple of pounds) when I first started treatment but has been rock steady until 3 days ago shortly after increasing my carb. My question is, has anyone had this happen for a few days and then level off again or should I be thinking of dieting to head it off? I eat really healthily and don't have snacks; just 3 meals a day with maybe a couple of biscuits or a small chocolate bar as a treat. I also do plenty of exercise on the days I feel okay. My next blood test isn't for another 4 weeks. I'm wondering if I might be on too much carbimazole now and am thinking of cutting one of my morning 5mg pills. Just can't do my job with horses if I get too heavy. What do you think? Any advice welcome. Thanks

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12 Replies

  • Posted

    I'm on 40 mg a day of carbimazole, my t203 levels, after 7 months are still 'toxic'. I've gained nearly a stone in weight and I feel horrible.

    whats worse for you, a few pounds, and feel good, or the palpitations I get if I lower my dose, and weight gain! I envy you, if your symptoms are better that's great.

    keep a diary of how your levels go, and keep doing what you're doing, maybe swim too?

    - all the best x

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    • Posted

      Meant T3 levels are toxic , in previous message x
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    • Posted

      That sounds awful, Jan. What are your T4 levels like? It's so odd that you can be toxic with thyroxin and gain weight. I have heard that many people do though. I just don't understand why. I knoow my weight gain isn't the carbimazole, otherwise my weight would not have been stable for 8 weeks. I think it is because my thyroid levels are now low and therefore my metabolism has slowed and I need fewer calories and more exercise. I hope that your doctors manage to stabilise yoou soon. I personally would prefer to feel well and put on weight than feel ill and be skinny, but it is my livelihood working with horses that worries me. I can't get too heavy. It's not about what I look like but that I am still able to do my job training horses.
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  • Posted

    I've put on loads of weight since starting carbimazole. I've probably put on 2 stone since January, and I could do without being any heavier! But I'm beginning to feel better and that is more important in the short term as far as I'm concerned. I cant really exercise just now because of my heart and I've been told not to get my heart rate up by my cardiologist.

    My appetite is back to normal now stop hopefully my weight will stay steady!

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    • Posted

      That's a very fast weight gain. Were you skinny before carbimazole? Do you think you were eating too much which was the reasion for your weight gain? Hyperthyroidism can make you feel so hungry! I must admit though I couldn't eat when I was ill, and now that I am feeling better my appetite has gone up hugely, just when I need to start cutting down. Sods law.
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    • Posted

      I've always been on the big side but I lost 4 stone while I was hyper last year. Started carbimazole and put 2 back on. I was still very symptomatic at first so still ravenous. I tried to eat things that were filling and reasonably healthy but that didn't happen all the time!

      Now my appetite has gone down I feel much more in control of what I'm eating. Unfortunately the weight is still going on but slowly now.

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    • Posted

      I wish you well with it. Trying to cut down food intake is so hard to do and so depressing! I was on the antidepressant mirtazapine for four years and put on a heap of weight. I had never had a problem before. I was never overweight but I didn't eat a lot to be fair. But mirtazapine gave me a ravenous appetite and I just couldn't stop eating so the weight piled on. I couldn't get off the mirt at the time and so had to go on a diet. I was shocked at just how little we need each day to stay the same weight. Things I used to take for granted went out of the window, like baking cakes, (and having the odd slice). Things that 'normal' people were doing, I couldn't do for a whole year. I googled calorie calculator and found that for my age and height I needed 2000 calories a day to stay the same weight. But even eating just 1500 and exercising, I still didn't lose weight. I realised the mirt was actually lowering my metabolism so I needed fewer calories than even that. Somehow I did manage to cut down still further and lost 20 over a year. I'm off the mirt now and never want to have to diet that hard again, hence my worry about the carbimazole.
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  • Posted

    I was diagnosed with autoimmune hyperthyroidism more than a year ago. After reading about L-Carnitine on this site I started to take 500 mg (Acetyl L-Carnitine) a day to improve my muscle function. My muscles had started to waste away and my arms and legs were hurting. L-Carnitine also plays a role in the metabolism of fat and many hyper patients are deficient in this amino-acid.  

    Just be careful, taking Acetyl L-Carnitine may lower your thyroxine levels and your Carbimazole dose may have to be adjusted.  The recommended daily dose for normal L-Carnitine is higher (500mg to 2000mg) so it seems to be better tolerated. 

    Btw, initially I was constantly hungry and was eating a lot. Still my weight dropped due to being hyper (about 4kg) then it slowly went up again (about 3kg) in a time frame of about 6 month. My weight stayed at a normal level without dieting and I started to do moderate exercise after feeling better.  

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    • Posted

      Thanks, Dan. It's encouraging to know that weight gain beyond the initial replacement of weight lost is not inevitable. I have already started really watching what I eat. Once I feel well enough I am going to start back on my exercise regime. I used to go on the cross trainer most days for 45 minutes as well as having a physical job. Then I became ill and all that had to stop.
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  • Posted

    Hi there evergreen, I had a massive allergic reaction to Carbimazole when I was first diagnosed with Graves over around 25 years ago. I went onto PTU and my weight shot up by about 1and a half stones!. My dose of PTU was adjusted and the weight came off. After 3 relapses I had RAI 4 months ago, I've put my recent lost weight back on but feel great and on no meds at the moment. Once you get your dosage sorted things should settle down. Good Luck.
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  • Posted

    Hi Evergreen, I am on Carbimazole and have gained a massive flabby stomach!!! Ive always had a flat tummy so I am finding this quite annoying especially as Ive never had children, so cannot even blame that on the flab!!

    I am due a blood test soon so will see what happens.

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