Thyroid UK
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Weight Gain

Ive been taking meds for my thyroid for 5 yrs .I went to the docs in the first place with depression and weight problems .I will say im a lot better but THE WEIGHT KEEPS GROWING Its getting beond a joke now .Just been shopping and am now depressed again as my usual size is too tight . Ive had a bad 2 yrs with a split from my hubby after 23 yrs and it set me back but im on the way up emotionally .BUT this weight is getting me down .I wonder should i go to the gp or stop eating .Trying to do more eg walking swimming being more active is fine but then im knackered .Its a vicious cycle and its getting me down ,my house is suffering and my garden and my dogs .I sometimes wonder why i bather

19 Replies

Hi, please do not go off 'your usual size' - There is no such thing anymore!!!!!!

Having taken my size 12 and B cup mum for an outfit for my brothers wedding, it took some persuading for her to buy the items that looked fab.

Blouse is a size 12

Skirt is a 14

Jacket is a 16!!! I kid you not!!!

She tried on a size 14 Jasper Conran dress in Debenhams, and could not get into it, it refused to zip up at the bust, by a good 4 inches!!! Seriously, I even checked the label in the bloomin thing!!!

Even in the same store, you cannot guarantee the sizes will be the same. At Christmas I tried on 4 size 22 blouses in Dorothy Perkins and only one fastened up!! One wouldnt even meet by 6/7 inches!! My mate was in hysterics at this!!!

The more clothing that comes from abroad, the more the sizes are going to vary, as every manufacturer seems to have different guides on how a size measures up.

((((hugs)))) Hope you regain your fighting spirit and that your luck and health turn around soon xx

Ann xxx


Thanks Ann some days are better than others .Ive done loads today but bet ill pay for it tommorrow .Most days i feel like the michelin x man ..Im sure others think i eat loads .Im trying to eat less carbs so ill see hoe it goes and im taking a vit b .Am gonna try b12 annd vitd x x


Please don't stop eating, that is only going to make things worse. And please don't do too much walking, swimming, etc because that is only going to make things worse, too.

The only thing to do is optimise your thyroid hormones. If you still can't lose weight - if, indeed, you are still putting weight on - then you are not taking enough hormone.

It was being low in thyroid hormone that made you put the weight on - very little to do with how much or what you eat or how much you move - so it is only by getting more thyroid hormone that you are going to lose the weight. And, actually, as we're seeing now, it probably isn't even real fat, but myxoedema, which is a build-up of sticky subtances under the skin that retain water. Low calorie diets and exercise aren't going to do anything about that.

And don't ask your doctor for weight-loss advice because they haven't got a clue about nutrition and will probably give you very bad advice (like cutting out all fats). What is more, they don't know anything about weight-gain due to hypo, so their advice would be even worse for that.

Doctors will just tell you to eat less calories, when in actual fact, you probably need to eat more calories. If you don't eat enough calories, you are not going to be able to convert your T4 to T3, and if you can't do that, then you are going to become more hypo and thus put on even more weight.

If you exercise too much, not only are you going to use up the precious calories that you need for convertion, but you are also going to use up the precious hormones that you didn't have enough of to start with. It's self-defeating.

So, what is your dose? And do you have any blood test results to share with us? If you could post them here then someone will be able to help you see more clearly.

Hugs, Grey


Grey, whislt your advice is excellent, what are those of us without any medication supposed to do?! I hurt like hell today because I had a couple of days exercising (Thursday, intensely). I spend most of the time tired beyond reason. I'm getting extra little symptoms weekly now and despite my lab results (showed hypo) I still have nothing. Clearly I'm seeing the wrong doctors!

caq21056, I agree with Ann, dress sizes are all over the place these days. It's beyond frustrating. I can be anything from a 12 to a 16 within the same store. And if what Grey is saying is correct about it not really being fat then the right medication should sort that out for you. Go to your gp and talk about it. Good luck.


Hi ladytelita, I understand your frustration. But these are facts of nature, not man-made rules that can be changed according to circumstances. It's not because your doctor isn't giving you enough thyroid hormone that intense exercise is suddenly going to make you lose weight. Quite the opposite.

What you have to do is either convince your doctor that you need an increase in your dose. Or find a better educated, more intelligent doctor.

I do know how difficult it is. I've had Hashi's all my life but wasn't diagnosed until I was 55. All my life I've had fat periods and not so fat periods, according to the Hashi's swings. All my life I've been told I'm fat and lazy and just need to go on a diet and get more exercise. And it never helped. I was 61 before I found a doctor that knew a little bit about his chosen subject who helped me sort things out. Even so, it has taken me about six years to get my dose up to a level where I start to lose weight. I've now lost about 30 kilos. I don't know exactly because I stopped weighing myself when I hit the all-time high of 125 kilos, it was just too depressing. Now I'm below 100 but still hesitate to weigh myself, just in case!

But there are no miracles, not quick fixes, and a lot of people end up doing themselves more harm than good in looking for one. I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad tidings, but there it is.

Hugs, Grey


Sorry, just realised that you said you are without medication, but labs show hypo (care to share them?). Well, then you definately are going to the wrong doctor. Yours is criminally stupid if he doesn't treat when it's obvious you need treatment. For the sake of your own health, go private or do whatever you have to to get treatment, otherwise permenant dammage could be done.

Hugs again, Grey


Hi Grey,

I have Hashi/hypo too. May be a dumb question but, does that mean those of us with Hashi was born with it, or can it just 'appear'?

Lots to learn.

Thank you



Oh, that is a thorny question! And I'm not sure anybody knows the answer. I think you have to have the Hashi's gene (but not sure even about that, opinions differ) but that doesn't mean that you will automatically develope Hashi's. I don't think all Hashi's sufferers start suffering in childhood by any means, but some do. What sets it off is anybody's guess. An excess of iodine is one thing, but there are all sorts of chemical endo-disruptors (is that the word?) that could do it.

A lot of people think it's all down to gut health, but I think that's a bit simplistic. It may very well be down to gut-health and coeliac or gluten intolerence in a lot of people but not by any means everybody.

As to whether or not it can just appear, I'm pretty sure it can. But how long it has been lurking before it makes itself 'visible', no-one can know.

Hugs, Grey


Thank you grey. X


If you're lab tests show hypo you need meds and if your GP is reluctant to start you on them you definitely need to sack your GP!

If you're hypo and not on meds, you will hurt after exercise because your muscles are being starved by your hypo condition. Your body cannot heal/rebuild muscle tissue without the hormones you need.

I find the following symptoms list from Thyroid UK very helpful and I colour code it to show which ones are getting worse; green - symptoms ok, yellow - symptoms I can manage but need improvement, orange/pink - symptoms are effecting my ability to work and have a negative impact on my life.

I use it as evidence should I have problems with my GP not wanting to dose by symptoms but wanting to only look at TSH tests.

Good luck!


Hi Grey im on 125 thyroxine but have never thought to ask for a print out as ive always been made to feel well i dont know how they make you feel ......but not confident enough to ask .I will next time though although im not due a blood test for another 9 mths so they say .Do you think i should go back and ask about weight or anything else .I need more ammunition i think before i visit .What should i ask to be sure to get something done .

Thanks again x x x x


Asking a doctor about weight is a bit like shooting yourself in the foot. They don't know anything about it. The usual response is eat less and exercise more, which is totally wrong for a hypo. But a lot of them won't even admit that the weight gain is due to hypo in the first place!

By all means go back to the doctor, tell him you don't feel right and you want a blood test NOW, not in 9 months - that's much too long, anyway. I'm sure you must have a lot of other little symptoms still hanging around - perhaps you don't even attribute them to thyroid - scalely skin? falling hair? flakey nails? Depression and weight gain aren't the only hypo symptoms that exist. Have a look at the symptom list LizaSahara mentions and do the same as her - that's very good advice! And, of course, if there are still lingering symptoms, whatever they are, there's absolutely no reason why you should have to put up with them.

Then, when you've had the test, ask for all your results. And don't take no for an answer. Post your results here and let us see what's going on. 125 mcg is only a small dose. I'm pretty sure you need more than that. And if you can get an increase then you've more of a chance of losing the weight.

It's a bit of a vicious circle, really: the more weight you put on, the higher dose you need just to live, but they won't give you an increase so you just put on more weight. Sigh.

Hugs, Grey


Hi Good advice,above. Make sure your TSH, T4 and Free T3 are being tested with ranges, ask for them from the receptionist. Often lowFT3 can be the problem with weight. Also you really need further tests.If T4 at top of range and FT3 low this is an indicator that you need T4 ( Levo) and T3.

I hope this helps. It will get better on the correct treatment. Takes a while


I am sure you know, to reply to a post, click on "Reply to this" under that specific post, sothat we know.


Jackie as ive just said toi Grey ive never asked for a print out of my tests and my concentration and memory suffer ith this condition .I must ask for one when i go .Im not due a blood test for 9 mths so they say .Should i go back?


Hi Do you know not sleeping, is often insufficient thyroid treatment?

Nine months much too long before next blood test.if you are obviously not right, ideal any way ,when stable is at least every 6 months If not every 6 -8 weeks and increases in T4 or and T3 doses.. You can always get tests on line and show them to GPO, last resort. First ask the receptionist for your last blood tests ( you can post them here if like), ask for them WITH ranges. as all different. it is your right as your blood. This is important for any test, not just thyroid. Keep them. At a guess I would say quite possible only having TSH tested, that is not a good guide on its own.When ever having a blood test, take thyroid eds and Beta blockers afterwards. Ask what exactly they are testing, your right otherwise can be legally assault!

You certainly need to say that you are not well and need blood tests.There are others too but start with that.

Best wishes,


We often have to fight for the right treatment , do not give in!


thanks jackie i will make an appointment but before ill get my last results .hope i dont have to fight the receptionist christine


I have my last results. Am having another one done in about a month as they decided they weren't far enough out of range. *sigh* These were done slightly under a month ago.

TSH was 4.9 with a range of 0.35-4.5 and the T4 is 10.4 with a range of 11-24. Whilst I understand they aren't far outside the ranges, surely the fact that they are at is a concern? I'm now waiting on the results of 11 more tests taken last monday.

Had to see the doc yesterday as my dry skin decided to get massively worse, turn red, swell slightly and hurt like hell. Now have a steroidal cream to look after it until it gets better.


You don;t say what meds you are on, I assume that you are on Levothyroxine, enough to bring your TSH to 'normal' range. That is what most people are told is the only available Thyroid medication.

There are a lot of people around who profess to have a magic solution for weight loss in hypothyroidism, but this article by Dr John Lowe gives the true reason for the weight gain:


I am new to this site but sooo glad i joined im learning sooo much .Im hoping this will help me and i now feel that im not making excuses for how i feel anymore .The few people i know who have underactive thyroid seem to cope much better than i do .I will keep looking and watching for comments and advice .Thanks all who have replied to my question.I feel more positive and maybe i might have the confidence and knowledge to tackle my GP .christine


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