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Grave's disease, weight gain, elevated insulin
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Questions in the Thyroid forum are answered by Mark Lupo, MD. Topics covered include Goiter, Graves Disease, Hyperthyroid, Parathyroid/Calcium Problems, Thyroid Cancer, Thyroid Nodules/Cysts, Thyroiditis, Thyroid & Pregnancy, Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH), Thyroid Tests, and Thyroid Surgery.

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Grave's disease, weight gain, elevated insulin

Dr. Lupo,

ChitChatNine suggested that I contact your expert forum.  If you don't know, you might know someone who does.  Either way I thank you for your time and consideration.  My question is a copy of a post I left in the thyroid community.

Does anyone know anything about this?

I am a biologist, not a physician.  But, I am one of the Grave's patients that has periodically experienced weight gain.  Both my primary physician and my endo told me no one knows the cause, it just happens to a few folk.  But, it kept niggling away at me.  I mean all the symptoms and physical problems caused by the disease, and by whichever medication you're taking, AND I GET TO BE FAT ON TOP OF IT ALL?  NOT FAIR.   I thought back to my year of anat and phys, looked in my old textbooks, and the only trigger I could find that tells the body to store carbs as fat was insulin.  So, I had my doctors add a measurement of insulin to my standard blood work.  Turned out that when I was in a phase of Grave's that characterized by fairly excessive and rapid weight gain, my insulin was always elevated.  I am sure that is what caused the excessive fatigue that I also experienced at these times; my body was pulling a lot of my molecular energy out of circulation and socking it away for a rainy day.  My insulin levels are fine at all other times.  I no longer have access to university data bases, so my resources are limited.  But, I haven't been able to find any research on this correlation online, and my endo didn't know anything about work in this area.  He was a little amazed that the correlation was there, and there every time, and that I thought of having him look for it in the first place.  But, I didn't know any better, and the simplest explanation is often right.  If any one in the community, physician or researcher or sufferer has any information on this subject, please post it.  Thanks a million,

Coley
97953_tn?1193367871
Hyperthyroidism causes insulin resistance -- which results in increased insulin levels.  You may have insulin resistance/pre-diabetes even in normal-thyroid states and this is aggravated by hyperthyroidism.  10-15% of people w/ hyperthyroidism do gain weight.  The thyroid is not the only cause of the weight gain in cases like yours.  You probably would do best on low-carb diet and shoudl have periodic screening for diabetes.
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