Hyperthyroidism is a condition that develops from an overactive thyroid gland and can play a part in weight gain. You can changing eating patterns, or try medication and exercises to help with weight loss.

Thyroid hormones play an important role in metabolism, and your metabolism affects your weight. Weight gain is usually associated with an underactive thyroid gland, or hypothyroidism.

This article will explore the metabolic effects you can expect with hyperthyroidism or Graves’ disease, as well as how these conditions can affect your weight.

Hyperthyroidism is a condition where your thyroid gland is overactive and produces too much thyroid hormone.

This excess of thyroid hormone speeds up your metabolism, usually resulting in weight loss in spite of an increased appetite. Metabolism refers to the chemical processes that occur within your body to convert food and drinks into energy.

Symptoms of hyperthyroidism include:

Weight gain, or difficulty losing weight, is usually associated with an underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism).

Learn more about thyroid-related disorders here.

Thyroid medications are not meant to address weight gain or loss directly. Medications that treat an overactive or underactive thyroid must regulate your body’s metabolism in order to avoid serious complications like irregular heart rhythms.

The usual treatments for hyperthyroidism include:

Untreated hyperthyroidism can lead to serious complications — especially heart problems. Treating hyperthyroidism, though, often leads to weight gain.

In a 2018 study, six participants who underwent hyperthyroidism treatment with the drug methimazole experienced weight gain during the first 2 months after treatment. This weight gain then reached a plateau until the sixth month of treatment.

According to the American Thyroid Association, people often gain back any weight they lost once you begin treatment.

Additional weight gain may be the result of habitual overeating from the hyperthyroid period once your metabolism stabilizes. Or it could be the result of a new hypothyroid state if you’ve had your thyroid gland eliminated or removed completely.

Regular exercise is an important part of wellness regardless of the state of your thyroid gland. The effects of exercise on cardiovascular health, muscle development, and weight management are well known. But research shows that physical activity can also help ease inflammation in the body.

The anti-inflammatory effect of exercise is particularly useful in thyroid disease since both hyperthyroid and hypothyroid conditions are often linked to autoimmune disease.

If you’re experiencing any heart irregularities or other severe complications as a result of your hyperthyroidism, talk with your healthcare team about the best exercises to meet your health goals.

Graves‘ disease is a form of hyperthyroidism caused by autoimmune disease. With Graves‘ disease, your immune system attacks your thyroid gland, causing an overproduction of thyroid hormone.

Like other forms of hyperthyroidism, weight loss is more common in Graves’ disease than weight gain. However, treatment of your hyperthyroidism may result in weight gain.

A well-balanced diet supports a moderate weight regardless of thyroid function. Nutrients that may help support your health with an overactive thyroid include:

Many fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean fats contain vitamins and minerals.

Learn more about the hyperthyroid diet.

Hyperthyroidism is a condition where your thyroid gland produces too much thyroid hormone. This overproduction of thyroid hormone speeds up your metabolism and usually results in weight gain despite increased food intake.

Treating hyperthyroidism is critical to help avoid serious complications like an irregular heart rhythm, but treatment usually leads to weight gain. Talk with your healthcare team about the best way to manage your thyroid condition to support a weight that’s healthy for you.