Inexplicable Weight Gain

Frustrated? Yes! Aggravated? Yes! Confused? Yes!

I’ve been gaining weight in spite of eating small portions of healthy food, doing intermittent fasting and walking 3 miles 5-6 days a week. What gives because I even went below my first goal of 220 pounds to weigh-in at 219 on May 1 😀. I was pumped!

But something’s going on that doesn’t make sense. I’m gaining weight even though I haven’t changed anything in regards to eating and exercise.

July 5, it was 220 pounds. Then the weight creep started.

July 25, 225 pounds, a five pound gain 🤪.

July 27 was 226.

July 28, another pound to 227.

July 28, 228 pounds!

I racked my brain to try and figure out this inexplicable weight gain.

Something was going on in my body, but I didn’t know what it was.

Then I remembered that I had gone to my primary care physician, Dr. Rebecca Talley, for my annual Medicare check-up and blood work on May 1. The results showed I had hyperthyroidism (an overactive thyroid).

She referred me to my endocrinologist, Dr. James Millen. He ordered an ultrasound test of this butterfly shaped gland located low on the front of the neck. It lies below the Adam’s apple, along the front of the windpipe. My ultrasound test revealed that I had two nodules sitting in it which contributed to its malfunction.

Dr. Millen prescribed 10mg Methimazole, a medication designed to treat hyperthyroidism.

He didn’t mention side effects, but I’ve learned and know that every medication has adverse side effects. 😩. Methimazole is no exception.

So, I researched the drug and found my answer. Methimazole is the culprit!

Studies show that the average weight gain was around 12 pounds after starting Methimazole. 12 pounds!

It slows down the body’s metabolism and reduces the amount of energy that the body produces. Ha! That’s the last thing I need. I’m 68, and my metabolism was already slow. I guess it’s reduced to a slow crawl now.

Methimazole blocks thyroid hormone production and puts me at a disadvantage trying to lose weight. This means that walking 3 miles a day and eating healthy is usually not sufficient to effect significant weight loss for me.

It’s good to know that I’m NOT crazy because this is happening to me, and that it can be explained. In fact, almost 50% of hyperthyroid patients become obese after treatment with Methimazole. And, I’m already classified as obese. My ideal weight for my my age is between 180 to 200. At 225, I’m classified as obese. (Methimazole information from Dr. Westin Childs, March 6, 2019, at https://www.restartmed.com/methimazole-weight-gain/

Now that I understand that Methimazole caused my inexplicable weight gain, I’ve had to adopt a new weight goal. Instead of losing down to 200, my new goal is to try and maintain my weight of 226 pounds.

I don’t know how long Dr. Millen intends for me to stay on this drug. I have an appointment with him in a few weeks. I have a lot of questions.

There are other options. He can kill my thyroid with radioactive iodine, or it could be surgically removed. If it’s removed or killed with radioactive iodine, I will have to take Synthroid for the rest of my life. That’s good and bad news. Some lose weight taking Synthroid.

In 1980, Muhammed Ali, the champion boxer, took thyroid hormone while training for a title fight against Larry Holmes. According to the New York Times, he had been misdiagnosed with a thyroid condition, and on top of that, increased the dose. In the ring he seemed disoriented, and he lost the next-to-last fight of his career.

“Bad idea with thyroid pills,” Ali told the Times a year later. “Started training at 253, went down to 217 for the fight. Too much. People saying ‘Oooh, isn’t he pretty?’ But I was too weak, didn’t feel like dancing. I was dazed. I was in a dream.”

The thyroid is the master of metabolism. If you’re doing everything right by eating healthy, walking and exercising and can’t lose weight, it could be a malfunctioning thyroid gland. Maybe, a thyroid blood test could be your answer.

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Thanks for reading.

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