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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    How can I achieve weight loss following thyroid removal?

    Removal of thyroid due to cancer along with non-hodgkins lymphoma, now in remission, I have gained ten kilos on my previous stable weight. I am now doing WW on line and have reduced from 76.8 to 73.4 but it is a very slow process. Do you have any recommendations to achieve a loss of say 300-499 per week? I am only 1.54 in height and aged 61. Thank you.
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • 4


    Kirsty Woods

    Exercise Physiologist

    Hi I’m Kirsty Woods,I would like to use my experience, expertise and passion to help you reach your weight, energy and health goalsI have been … View Profile

    First of all well done on your progress so far, experience with clients in similar situations has taught me that any progress is good progress.

    It is a good idea to record all food and drink intake as well as exercise to assess where you could improve.

    Limiting foods such as sugar and breads may help and also try reducing alcohol and other non-water beverages.

    Changing up your exercise routine and including resistance based exercise 2-3 times per week may also help by improving body composition (reducing body fat and increasing muscle mass). 

    It is also improtant to assess the impact of medications (if any) in consultation with your GP. 

  • 1




    Dr John Mahony

    Cosmetic Physician

    Dr John Mahony studied Medicine at Sydney University 1980-1984 graduating early 1985. Internship and residency years followed in the Illawarra, covering general medical and surgical … View Profile

    Talk to your doctor about your weight gain. Make sure that you are taking the right amount of thyroxine (“Oroxine”) following your surgery and check the dose with your doctor - you will need a blood test from time to time to make sure the dose is correct.

    If the dose of Oroxine is too low then this lack of thyroid hormone might contribute to your weight gain.

  • 2


    Fumi Somehara

    Dietitian, Nutritionist

    Fumi is a dietitian (APD) specialising in Dancer's Health and Eating Disorders Treatment. Her work is grounded in Health At Every Size (R) and Non-Diet … View Profile

    It sounds like you've been working very hard, good on you!

    I agree with Dr John Mahony on his earlier recommendation for a medication review. Kirsty has also given you good exercise recommendations.

    Although weight can be used as an indicator of progress, at the end of the day it is just a numerical value on the scale and doesn't give you much detailed information of your body composition. Try and look at other markers of health and you could find a way to improve your health.

    For example, how's your energy level? Do you feel tired all day or filled with energy? Are you enjoying your meal, or putting too much focus on the points of foods? Are you sleeping well at night?

    Shifting your focus away from weight-only and looking at your whole body and mind can often give you an idea of where you can work on to achieve your goals.

  • 1


    Arlene is a registered practising dietitian, with a private practice in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney, and has built a strong business over the last … View Profile

    You are doing so well losing the weight you have. You must check with your doctor that your thyroxin / Oroxin levels are correct otherwise you will find it difficult to lose weight. Do not focus on weight loss rather concentrate in making permanent lifestyle changes by altering your selection of foods, portion sizes and increasing your activity level. The speed at which you lose the weight is not important – consistency and maintaining lifestyle changes is essential.  The thyroid gland produces hormones that balance all body functions, including your metabolism. Your metabolism converts food into energy, and is partly responsible for your weight. If the thyroid gland is removed through a procedure called a thyroidectomy, your metabolism is disrupted from the lack of thyroid hormones. As a result, you could gain weight after the procedure. The key to weight loss is keeping up with medical treatment and taking steps on your own to keep your weight in control.

    Eat a diet that consists of lean meats, fish, chicken, eggs, green leafy vegetables, fruits and low-fat dairy products. Foods with a high fat or sugar content will make it more difficult to lose weight. Try to reduce the processed foods in your diet. Exercise regularly. If you are new to exercising, try walking as often as you can. Then you can build up to high-intensity cardio activities such as running and kick-boxing, as well as strength-training routines. Losing fat and building muscle will further enhance your metabolism.

    Get regular blood tests done in order to determine whether you are getting the adequate dosage of hormone replacements. A discrepancy in dosage, such as not getting enough hormones, can make a difference in how your metabolism functions.

  • 1


    Dr Nicolas Oddone Baridon MBBS, MS, MD, FRACS is an accomplished and passionate General Surgeon whose main interest is thyroid surgery (endocrine surgeon). He has … View Profile

    As a thyroid specialist, surgeon I find that in order for thyroid function to affect weight gain or loss it has to be markedly derranged. This means the production of hormone or supplementation (for patients with no/dysfunctional thyroid gland) has to be well off the normal values in order to affect weight gain or loss. I have a multiplicity of patients asking if their thyroid could be the cause of their weight gain (usually gain) and I can confidently say to the vast majority of them, that it is not. You would need a severe dysfunction to have weight gain or loss and you would probably be more worried about other symptoms that would manifest sooner such as hair loss, dry skin, tiredness, digestive disorders, menstrual cycle alterations etc...Weight gain is due to multiple factors so one measure alone will not help. You will need to make lifestyle changes, diet changes and possibly medications.

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