Diet Pills & Thyroid Disease
By Erin Whitney-Chavez
, last updated March 19, 2012
Hypothyroidism, or underactive thyroid, occurs when the thyroid gland does not produce enough of the thyroid hormones. Weight gain is one of the many symptoms of hypothyroidism and it can be difficult to lose weight if you have an underactive thyroid. Although synthetic hormones may help with weight gain, some people also opt for diet pills. Consult with your physician before taking any over-the-counter supplements.
The thyroid gland releases hormones that help to regulate metabolism. A common thyroid disease is hypothyroidism. The thyroid gland can become inflamed in certain conditions, leading to hypothyroidism. Other causes of hypothyroidism include birth defects, radiation or surgery. Although weight gain is a common symptom of an underactive thyroid, you may also experience fatigue, depression, sensitivity to cold, brittle hair and fingernails, and joint pain. Your doctor will order a blood test to determine if your thyroid gland is functioning properly.
Your doctor will prescribe a synthetic thyroid hormone for you if you have an underactive thyroid. According to PubMed Health, levothyroxine is the most commonly prescribed treatment. You will likely start on a very low dose of the medication and then your thyroid functioning will be retested. Because treatment is lifelong, your doctor will try to find the lowest dose of the medication that helps bring your thyroid hormone within a normal range. Once your thyroid hormone level is improved, you may notice weight loss.
Some diet pills promise weight loss, which may be appealing if you have a thyroid disease that has caused weight gain. Whether or not you can take diet pills depends on a number of factors. You should consult with your doctor to ensure that there is no interaction with your prescription medication. Some diet pills, such as Thyrosense, are designed for people with an underactive thyroid. These supplements contain iodine and the amino acid L tyrosine, along with other natural ingredients. Diet pills should not replace prescription medication for thyroid disease.
Consult your physician before taking any diet pills, especially if you have thyroid disease. Some diet pills may contain ingredients that can interact with prescription medication. Too much medication may trigger hyperthyroidism, or an overactive thyroid. Your doctor may prescribe some prescription medication to help you lose weight along with your thyroid medication if you are overweight. Because you likely gained weight slowly with your thyroid disease, it will also take some time to lose the weight. Continue to take prescription medications, eat healthy and exercise to notice weight loss.