Thyroid UK
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Gaining Muscle - With Hypothyroidism

Firstly i am male 19 years old

So i have just been diagnosed with hypothyroid - under-active and i worked hard to get to 210lbs 6"5 recently within 4 months my thyroid got worse as doctors failed to spot it with all my symptoms and i dropped to 180lbs not a good look for a tall guy.

So basic i know not many people with hypo are looking to gain weight and muscle but if anyone has any slightest advice it will help i don't know how this works, if i should workout with hypothyroid or do we need rest etc.

My Story

I have been to the doctors multiple times with symptoms of thyroid problems, one particular doctor always said i was fine and when i came to the doctors one she said what now in a angry tone after only 3-4 visits within that 1-1.5 year time span. Sometimes she would even laugh after i told her my symptoms, so i stopped going to the doctors and she made me feel like a hypochondriac even though i knew something must be wrong, i had heart pain, somehow had rapid heart rate that slowed down over past 1 year, hair loss, facial twitches, could hardly keep up with my dad he's 45 who eats junk, i eat only organic healthy etc, i had tear through lines under eyes and puffy face, changing emotions, brain fog, extreme trouble paying attention staying on track, nervous etc wold always not cope with winter shivering and wearing mutiple layers when other had less and were fine,s low movements, thought and speech, pins and needles, dry eyes, loss of libido . Anyway i finaly shown up on the day of results and she looked very guilty and i knew i had hypo, so it made me not feel like such an idiot, just to anyone reading who is unsure if they have its always best to check no matter what.

Anyway anyone have advice i have trouble gaining weight and just want to build a more muscular body any advice welcome as i am completely new to this.

Docs have put me on 25mg levothyroxine, took first one today, hopefully this do sent increase metabolism even more

7 Replies

Hi and welcome :)

Working out is fine with hypothyroidism as long as you listen to your body. I do karate and strength training when I have the time (Convict Conditioning as I can't get to a gym and don't have equipment). As long as I rest on days that I need it, that is fine.

It is best to get properly treated so that you are no longer experiencing symptoms. This might mean you need a slightly higher dose, but your doctor will be able to help with that. If your TSH isn't at the bottom of the range and you are still feeling slightly hypo, you can increase the dose without adverse effects most of the time.

If you are trying to build muscle you will need to eat plenty of protein. If you are finding it difficult to gain weight, a protein shake might be a good idea. I like the ones from and they are cheaper than other places. Good service too.

If you are still having trouble gaining weight, it might be that you are on slightly too high a dose of thyroxine, which can happen. However don't rush to reduce the dose if you are not having any symptoms of too much thyroid hormone. If you are going to be working out you will need a little more than you would if you had a sedentary lifestyle.

Regular training with rest days in between should result in some muscle gain but it will be slow, even if you are not hypo. Do listen to your body, make sure you get good nutrition and rest if you need to. Remember that muscle needs rest as well as work to grow so those rest days are important! Also don't be afraid to lift heavy if you can get to a gym. For the first couple of weeks, don't push the weights too high so your muscles get used to correct form. After that you can increase the weights so that you are able to really work those muscles. I'm sure they'll be able to advise you at the gym. I personally prefer free weights as I feel I'm working my core muscles more.

I'm no expert on muscle gain but this is what I have learned. I'm pretty strong for a 41 year old woman ;)

I hope this helps at least a little bit

Carolyn x

1 like

snap! I'm in a similar boat as you. Except, mine set sail a long time ago.

Try ask your GP or even the receptionist for a print out of your blood tests.

Under the Data Protection Act 1998, you have a legal right to apply for access to health information held about you. This includes your NHS or private health records held by a GP, optician or dentist, or by a hospital.

A health record contains information about your mental and physical health recorded by a healthcare professional as part of your care.

If you want to see your health records, you don't have to give a reason.

Once you have this, you can upload it here and also try interpret it online. This way you can keep a track of it and not rely on your doctor and those ranges.

Moving on, regarding your muscles lol, I've had the same problem ever since i could spell the word 'muscles.'

After going gym for a while, I found it is possible to make decent gains but your diet needs to be tip top perfect including that protien. You'll realsie that being hypo prevents uptake of nutrients efficiently (hence why people also develop other deficiencies.) But my problem was, the hypo (and other low nutrients) meant I would soon become soo weak and exuasted I couldn't walk to gym let alone do weights.

So yes, you can make good gains as long as you just keep the thyroid levels monitored correctly and have a great diet. HOPEFULLY, you will not face the problem I did though. :)

good luck! (keep me informed)

1 like

Thanks for all your help and will update soon on progress, for all others, going to do some deep research on this and hypo, one lady was in the UK daily mail newspaper website on 150mg of levothyroxide and she did research and she found the body needs certain foods to convert into thyroid hormone. Here is a quote from her of what she ate

"so I started to eat foods rich in these, including seaweed, mushrooms, beans, seeds, eggs, leeks, onions, avocados, bananas and garlic." So heres reason to eat right and "give the flower, the correct plant food"

Any way she then began to drop 25mg of levothyroxide and her blood test imediatly showed improvment and she was able to stop taking.

For anyone looking to improve this is one article to read

Just gathering up info e.g. foods (seaweed, eggs), B12 suppliments experimenting and will update on results.

Plus thank you It0022 didnt know i could get results printout, i probrably will be similar to ones on your post so curious to get now, they only told me was under active will do that tommorow and post soon :).


Oh dear, that again.... please be careful of kelp/seaweed supplements- unless your'e tested iodine deficient (besides it's in your Levo already). B12 usually needs B complex. Hubby, bodybuilder too agrees with protein (& fat) low carb etc etc - good luck J :D


Thanks for that, Jane. Was just about to reply re. the kelp :)


that article always worries me, like it's a miracle cure for us roidies, could be I suppose if diagnosis was mistaken for iodine deficiency (e.g. 'derbyshire neck') and it's tricky to find multivits without iodine, also depends whether it's the autoimmune sort like hashimotos (most common) - hoping Rod will chip in! J :D


Ok glad this forum is here for newbies like me so i can make less mistakes thanks for extra info spareribs


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