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I have gained weight, what do I do?

Q: As I have put on about 10 kgs weight within a year, I got tested for a possible thyroid problem. So far I have neither used any thyroid drugs nor any other medication during period of testing. Could you please suggest the necessary medication or if further tests are needed?

A:Weight gain can be due to several causes, but the most common is an imbalance between dietary intake and output (basal metabolism + exercise. Your T4 and T3 are normal, and TSH is only borderline raised, so your rapid weight gain is unlikely to be because of hypothyroidism. Without a history and physical examination, it is difficult for me to specifically advise you about tests or medication. However, I can give you some general information. Losing weight requires long term commitment on you part, but gives tremendous returns in the form of lower risk of diabetes, BP, high lipids, osteoarthritis, and many other health problems. Under the guidance of your doctor, you will benefit from: Exercising regularly: The best way is to start by walking 15-20 minutes and increasing it to about 40-50 minutes per day. This can be in one stretch, or divided into 2-5 parts of 10-20 min each, depending on general health, weight, condition of knees etc. Later, you should add some weight bearing upper body arm exercises also. Eating regularly: NO missed meals, especially breakfast: missing meals reduces basal metabolism and can increase weight gain Eating sensibly by: -taking enough fruits and salads, -reducing excess fat intake in your diet, in the form of oily vegetable cooking, parathas, ghee on chapatis, fried snacks eg pakoras, namkeens, mixture, murku, etc.& -making sure you are taking sufficient amounts of LOW FAT milk in the form of milk or milk products. In addition, you may be advised to get your: 1. Fasting and post-breakfast blood sugar tested. 2. BP checked. 3. Cholesterol and other lipid levels checked. Please stay in regular follow-up with a good physician/diabetologist for proper treatment.

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