Rapid weight gain : Please could I have some... - Thyroid UK

Thyroid UK

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Rapid weight gain

sunshineisbetter profile image

Please could I have some suggestions for an effective weight loss programs? I have gained so much weight over the last year. Until then, I was slim and active. My eating habits have not changed yet I’ve put on 5 stone and it seems to just keep piling on. Today I noticed new purple stretch marks across my tummy which is slightly upsetting and my parents are frequently commenting about diet & exercise to me as they are obviously concerned.

Can somebody explain why this is happening and what I can do? I’m not worried so much about my appearance but I want to be healthy! Carrying this amount of weight around is also adding to the lack of energy/ exhaustion.

15 Replies

This seems to be one of the common problems caused by being hypothyroid.Probably only solved by eating less.

shaws profile image

On reading your 'profile' have you been diagnosed as being hypothyroid?

What, if any, are you prescribed?

Not yet diagnosed or medicated. I’ve been referred to endocrinologist regarding antibody level so potentially hypo/ Hashimoto’s. My previous posts might help explain a little

SlowDragon profile image

Looking at previous posts…extremely high thyroid antibodies

Have you had coeliac blood test done yet

Are you now on strictly gluten free diet

According to Izabella Wentz the Thyroid Pharmacist approx 5% with Hashimoto's are coeliac, but over 80% find gluten free diet helps, sometimes significantly. Either due to direct gluten intolerance (no test available) or due to leaky gut and gluten causing molecular mimicry (see Amy Myers link)

Changing to a strictly gluten free diet may help reduce symptoms, help gut heal and slowly lower TPO antibodies

While still eating high gluten diet ask GP for coeliac blood test first or buy test online for under £20, just to rule it out first


Assuming coeliac test is negative you can immediately go on strictly gluten free diet

(If test is positive you will need to remain on high gluten diet until endoscopy, maximum 6 weeks wait officially)

Trying gluten free diet for 3-6 months. If no noticeable improvement then reintroduce gluten and see if symptoms get worse






Non Coeliac Gluten sensitivity (NCGS) and autoimmune disease


The predominance of Hashimoto thyroiditis represents an interesting finding, since it has been indirectly confirmed by an Italian study, showing that autoimmune thyroid disease is a risk factor for the evolution towards NCGS in a group of patients with minimal duodenal inflammation. On these bases, an autoimmune stigma in NCGS is strongly supported


The obtained results suggest that the gluten-free diet may bring clinical benefits to women with autoimmune thyroid disease


In summary, whereas it is not yet clear whether a gluten free diet can prevent autoimmune diseases, it is worth mentioning that HT patients with or without CD benefit from a diet low in gluten as far as the progression and the potential disease complications are concerned


Despite the fact that 5-10% of patients have Celiac disease, in my experience and in the experience of many other physicians, at least 80% + of patients with Hashimoto's who go gluten-free notice a reduction in their symptoms almost immediately.


Eliminate Gluten. Even if you don’t have Hashimoto’s. Even if you have “no adverse reactions”. Eliminate gluten. There are no universal rules except this one.

I would try & optimise key vitamins & trial gluten free as SD suggests to see if your symptoms improve. I feel so much better having followed forum members advice to do the same.

My understanding is that there is a difference between weight gain due to diet and weight gain due to an underactive thyroid. So eating less is not the answer if you are hypothyroid which you may well be.

A friend of mine who has an underactive thyroid was accused of cheating when she couldn't lose weight on the diet given to her by the local weight loss weekly class (I don't remember which one and it doesn't matter).

From my experience, I put on about a stone in the last year following reformulation of my thyroid replacement which meant that I had to reduce my dose. I have now changed to a different thyroid med which I can tolerate. I'm gradually increasing that and now find that my weight has stopped going up and (fingers crossed) is gradually going down a bit - slowly, slowly. It may well mean that I've reached my optimum dose. Throughout all this my diet hasn't changed.

Carrying an extra stone has been bad enough - I can't imagine what it's been like for you with an extra 5 stones. Getting clothes in lockdown has been a problem - especially bras!

I hope you can get diagnosed soon.

Jazzw profile image
Jazzw in reply to Anthea55

A friend of mine who has an underactive thyroid was accused of cheating when she couldn't lose weight on the diet given to her by the local weight loss weekly class (I don't remember which one and it doesn't matter).

Yep. Been there! In my case it was Slimming World. Did absolutely zip. And they really don’t know what to say to you (other than “Are you sure you’re recording everything?” :-o ) when it happens.

I’d love to say that optimising my thyroid levels has fixed everything weight-wise. Alas, not so.

Too much cortisol/Cushings can cause purple stretch marks and weight gain. Perhaps you should order a saliva 4 point cortisol test.

Hi I was diagnosed with an under active thyroid just last September and then Hashimoto in October. I had gained a stone and nothing was shifting it. I joined a group called TeamRH on Facebook and it’s working. I’m losing weight, slowly but it’s coming off. Only thing that’s worked for me. Lots of members have the same health problems as myself. Looks like protein and fibre are key. Good luck. 😊

Low carbing is the only thing that works for me, and when I was diagnosed as hypothyroid (I have Hashimotos) it had stopped working and I put on 4 stone.

It's only started working for me again since I added T3 medication, I've now lost over 3 stone since last August.

Hi I find very low carb/high protein helps me. Sugar bloats and makes me feel unwell. Sugar is really inflammatory as well. So I have dairy alternatives to milk (hemp milk is low sugar and contains omega), I have no gluten, avoid potatoes. I eat a lot of vegetables, salad, eggs, meat, fish and some hard cheese. Berries, coconut yogurt, nuts, seeds… Lots of water! And take all the vitamins recommended by the knowledgeable people here. I’m not sure if I’m actually losing weight, but I don’t feel puffy and stretched like before and my face has slimmed down. And I’m not gaining which is good. I’d like to lose my belly and extra thigh weight in an ideal world but maybe I’ve got as good as it gets. I don’t restrict calories and I now eat 3 times a day (which is more than I used to eat before diagnosis) …might be worth trying? Water is really important for this way of eating x

For me cutting out carbs is a thing that helps me lose weight. I find when I eat bread or anything with green I pile on the weight. I tend not to eat potatoes and concentrate on green leafy vegetables. If you look at the diet doctor website there’s a lot of useful information. Basically if you eat vegetables grown above ground they have less carbohydrates than vegetables grown underground. I’d stick with berries as a previous poster suggested And try and cut out as much processed food as you can.

Sorry, I wrote this on my phone and part of it seems not to have posted properly. I also said that I went totally GF five or six years ago. It massively reduced my thyroid antibodies, that could have been a fluke but I wouldn’t go back to non GF. The thing is you’d needs to avoid too many carbs even if you do eat GF and remember that junk food is still junk food - GF or not. Good luck with it all, as you know already, it’s really hard.

Can you say what other symptoms you are experiencing? From your description of rapid weight gain & purple stretch marks raises a red flag for me that you need to be investigated for Cushing's syndrome. Symptoms of this are rapid weight gain around the tummy but still keeping skinny arms & legs, round flushed face, hair loss but excessive hair where it shouldn't be, insomnia, maybe raised BP & blood glucose, some muscle weakness in large muscles ie legs, acne. Rather than doing a 4 point saliva test I'd ask your GP to do an early morning blood cortisol & 24 hour urine. Cushing's can be caused by long term steroid use, or from a benign tumour in either the pituitary or adrenal glands. The oestrogen contraceptive pill, HRT & biotin can give elevated results. If you are on Facebook then their is a group called Cushing's UK.

Low carb is often very helpful. It would be good to measure you glucose levels after meals, and adjust what you eat so that glucose levels do not rise above normal range after meals (snacks, etc)

I am 77 years old and have had Hashimoto's most of my life. I have tried so many diets. The first thing is to get rid of gluten No pasta, bread, cereal, etc. But the only thing that has helped me more than anything is when I went on carnivore diet. It not only helps you lose weight, but it heals you of many problems in your body

You might check out Zeroing in on Health on Facebook. It also makes you age backwards in your face 🙂. I've recently had to cut back on my dairy because it was making me bloat, even though I've fought it because i love cream in my coffee. Hope you find your answer soon. Being overweight isn't good but being unhealthy is even worse

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