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Obesity and Weight Management

Did suffer from an overactive thyroid.

06/29/2007

Question:

at age 17 I took the Iodine drink and killed off most of my thyroid. Since this I have struggled so very badly with my weight. I am on medication. I really want to learn more about what I can do. I live on salad! I feel I made a mistake in drinking the iodine. I wish I had been more mature and had asked more questions.

Answer:

It sounds as though you were initially diagnosed with an over-active thyroid (hyperthyroidism). The best treatment is the iodine ablation treatment that you mention. If this is the case, I certainly feel that the iodine ablation treatment was important for you to do, as an over-active thyroid over several years can result in eventual heart failure. However, the resultant under-active thyroid condition that you currently have is easily treated. Nonetheless, if the treatment is inadequate (too low of a medication dose) then this may contribute to weight gain.

Thus, I recommend that you have a blood level test to see if you need a higher dose. Good medication dosing should eliminate any contribution of the thyroid to weight gain. In conclusion, it is always important to ask you doctor questions with regards to any medical treatments, but it sounds like you made the right choice in having the original iodine ablation treatment, but that you need to have your current thyroid medication dosing adjusted.

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Response by:

Jennifer Shine Dyer, MD, MPH Jennifer Shine Dyer, MD, MPH
Former Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University