Cholesterol, weight loss and other things!

Not really a proper question as such, but I was just reading through some of the questions on here and something stuck out at me.

Someone mentioned cholesterol and the inability to lose weight with thyroid problems and a link between being under medicated and having high cholesterol.

I think I am a proper contradiction sometimes. I'm hypo (Hashimotos) and feel totally under medicated yet Dr says if anything I'm on a bit too much. I cannot for the life of me lose weight but my cholesterol last test was 3.8!

Just when I think I'm understanding all this a bit more, I read something else and get even more confused than I was to start with!! ;-)

14 Replies

  • Cholesterol levels and hypo are most definitely related. When first suspicions of hypo were flagged up for me 10 years ago (at a BUPA MOT) the doctor said that raised cholsterol was one of the indicators of hypothroidism and she noticed my thyroid gland was slightly enlarged. To cut a long story short, was put on levo by my GP and all went well until about 4 years ago when I had a major downturn. My cholesterol shot up to 7.4. Now taking increased dose of Levo and most recent test shows cholesterol down to 6.2. Its going in the right direction and hopefully will fall more. Have never been on statins by the way.

    However, I don't think my cholesterol has ever been as low as 3.8 - thats sounds pretty good to me, my own GP said he would like to see it around 4.00 ish with a good ratio of good and bad.

    Weight has never been a real issue for me but it is also one of the indicators. Can you post your TSH results, difficult to comment further without them.

  • I've never suffered with high cholesterol but my weight is a major issue - 17 stone (5'6" tall) and just can't shift it at all :-( We have a very healthy diet (hubby has a heart condition so we're very careful with fats and things) and every dietician he's seen has said our diet is pretty much spot on. Yet can't lose more than 2 lbs and then put on another 3 lbs!

    All my recent results are on this post:

    Nobody's ever mentioned cholesterol before in terms of my thyroid. I was diagnosed in 1996 and have been on varying doses of thyroxine ever since. Currently take alternating 200mcg/225mcg plus vit D supplement (and about to start B12 too).

  • A low fat diet is NOT a healthy diet. You need fat, you need cholesterol - the heart needs cholesterol. Recent research has found that those that ate the most fat lost the most weight. Fat does not make you fat. (And dieticians know very little about nutrition, doctors know even less.)

    You are taking a decent dose of thyroxine, and yet it would seem to be not enough. Could be that you just aren't converting that T4 into T3. Have you had your FT4 and FT3 tested? You need a decent level of T3 to lose weight. Perhaps your doctor would consider adding some to your thyroxine.

    Hugs, Grey

  • My cholesterol was 5.4, LDL 3.4, HDL 1.4 which came as shock as I eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, don't eat fried foods, prefer my eggs poached, only occasionally eat the odd buttery snack and have a BMI of only 21. I don't believe that it had anything to do with my diet, my TSH was 3.92 and i'm currently being tested for a thyroid problem.

  • Most cholesterol is made in the liver and very, very little comes from what you eat. There are so many myths surrounding cholesterol and doctors know very little about it. You need fat to be healthy. You need cholesterol to make hormones. The reason we're all being told it's a bad thing is that Big Pharma are making a fortune out of statins!

    Hugs, Grey

  • See, now I've learned yet more stuff! I always thought ( and always been told) it was diet related. And yet here I am with 3 big risk factors (weight/blood pressure/thyroid) and a level of 3.8! I'm such a contradiction :-/

    Now off to read if there is a link between that and the high liver result from my last bloods. I'm actually enjoying all this learning :-)

  • Three big risk factors of what? The weight and the blood pressure are caused by your low thyroid. Get your homone levels optimised and the weight should come off, the cholestrol come down (not that cholesterol is really a problem, it's just a made-up problem), and the blood pressure come down.

    They are all symptoms not the main problem. You doubtless need an increase in your meds.

    Hugs, Grey

  • The page I read said that being overweight, having high blood pressure and having an underactive thyroid general went hand in hand with high cholesterol. I am all of the above but do not have high cholesterol.

    I won't get an increase as they say my results are ok; if anything they keep trying to lower it!

    I'm just marvelling in how much I am learning from this site, how many things are making more sense now and all the bits of the jigsaw that are falling into place :-)

    All the doctors I've seen over the years (both GPs and Endos) haven't told me any of all the stuff I'm now finding out about my thyroid condition and what it does actually affect.

  • Yes, they do go hand in hand, but it's not the cholesterol causing it all, it's the thyroid. And you have to have all the symptoms to qualify! lol The fact that you haven't high cholesterol is neither here not there.

    Doctors and endos wouldn't be able to explain it to you because they don't understand it themselves! Do you have the results of your last blood tests? If so, post them here and lets have a look.

    Hugs, Grey

  • Ah yeah, I posted them recently and asked for help to understand them. It all got a bit confusing. You did reply and it was very helpful, thanks :-)

  • OK, just had a peek, I remember. So it looks as if you are one of those that need the FT3 very high in order to lose weight. Me too. Mine is way above the top of the range. But I understand that as your TSH is so low (not that that matters but...) your doctors are not going to give you an increase. I really don't know what you can do about that unless you find a doctor that can think out of the box.

    Hugs, Grey

  • Agreed, I was told to follow a mediterranean diet, that would lower my cholesterol to decent levels, what rubbish! If I was overweight it might have partly explained it, but I have a BMI of only 21 and have experienced periods of weight loss in the past during stressful periods. I realise this doesn't sound like the typical hypothyroid cases, I also have low blood pressure, so my symptoms may partly explained as an adrenal problem. This would make sense, as understand that poor adrenal support can cause hypothyroidism.

  • Do you have Hashi's? That could explain periods of loss and periods of gain.

    Low blood pressure - and high blood pressure, come to that - is a symptom of low thyroid.

    Hugs, Grey

  • Hi, i'm still waiting for my results, should come any day now.

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