Will weight loss ever be possible??

I'm sure this is a question many newly diagnosed people wish to know the answer to! I am hypo and have gained 2 stone over the last couple of years. I've only been diagnosed since May and am on the road of discovery/recovery!! I'm lucky to have a doctor that is trying to help me, she doesn't dismiss me although I seem to know more about thyroid than she does.

I'm currently trying to get iron and vit D levels up as I was/am deficient and have a referral to an endo (when I can decide who to go to!) but rightly or wrongly, a huge concern for me is this damn weight gain. I know I need to be optimal in all areas (vit levels etc)first but if this ever happens, can I be confident that healthy eating will produce a weight loss, or is it impossible to predict?! It would be wonderful to hear some positive stories from those that have achieved weightloss and read how hey did it!! I tried weight watchers for a few weeks and managed to gain a few pounds :-( just how is that possible??? I put it down to the fact that my vitamin levels are low and once these are where they should be, I will start to lose some weight. Someone tell me this is possible because being fat is making me more miserable than any other symptom I have (and I have many!!!)

Debs x

19 Replies

  • Weight gain is a very common question. Some when they have reached an optimum in medication lose it.

    It is known that levothyroxine can cause weight gain. There have been quite a few scientific papers with reference to it.

    A couple of links:-



  • Hi shaws if levothyroxine can give weight gain what else can we take ...my 3 stone weight gain makes my life more miserable ...if that were possible that

  • According to Dr Lowe, if weight gain occurs we are not on enough thyroid hormone. Our metabolism is still so slow that weight increases.The range of TSH is usually kept 'within range'.

    This is some helpful info from STTM :-


  • Hi Make sure you have TSH, T4 and Free T3 tested every six weeks or so, followed by rises in meds until thyroid stable and feel OK.Often T3 also needed if T4 high and FT3 low, You will loose weight Ok but it does take a time, often after also being on T3 too.. Ths is the safest way of treating the thyroid. Make sure you have the other essential blood tests too.

    Best wishes,


  • I totally understand debsy ...I too suffer with weight gain and it upsets me most too ....I have tried everything but was only diagnosed in june so probably have some way to go ....I stay on low fat diet ..im vegetarian ...no bread low carb and nothing shifts .....I worry il never lose it and my tummy is huge...I was a size 14 before im 5ft 10in so slim enough ...this is not me and makes me so depressed

  • Hi Lola, I managed to gain almost 5 stone in just over a year so I know how you feel. I found a B vitamin complex really helped curb cravings and a low carb diet too. In fact old style Atkins worked wonders. The reason I'm commenting is that I found low fat did not help but that good fats accelerated my weightloss. So organic butter (no marg, light versions or spreadable), un-refined palm oil, organic cold pressed coconut oil and olive oil (not heated but for salads and dressings etc). If you keep to low unrefined carbs and no sugar you should lose weight.

  • Undiagnosed i had weight issues but for some strange and lucky reason i suppose,the weight fell from me pre diagnosis and 2 weeks later i was on Levo.Ever since my weight has stayed down and i have been told by my doctor just to carry on as normal,nothing needs to change but just get the usual exercise which i do but not to excess.

  • It took a good three months of medication and a change from morning to evening doses but I have lost good amounts for the last three weeks and am very excited!

    Try low carb. There's lots of stuff on the net about gluten free/thyroid and I was very resistant, but I gave it a go and the scales seem to like it a lot!

  • to the OP. weight loss is possible if you are willing to work hard and diet and exercise. get your vitamins up is a good way to go. start gradually and increase exercise as you go on and decrease food intake. it's obviously a bit more to it than I stated but if you really want it you will achieve. a simple answer of making sure you are fully medicated isnt the answer because even if you are, you still need to work at it. I was 275 when I went under the surgeons knife in January this year and I'm down to around 200 now. so it's possible. Hope this helps and best of luck.

  • Enough protein, stacks of green leafy veg, and no high GI carbs or sugars.

    That ought to work, although it may well take two or three times as long as for a normal human.

    If it doesnt work, try the full Paleo diet.

    Or Lipotrim / Cambridge / Lighterlife - they WILL work, but make sure your adrenals are fully supported before starting, and at all times during and after the diet. They are tough on the body (but surprisingly easy to follow)

  • But how will I know if my adrenals are fully supported?

  • hi, I can't really comment on how the levo might affect your weight as I've only just started a month ago. but before that i started the 5:2 fasting diet, a year ago, I'm 41, 5' 6" started at 11 08 and lost 12 pounds in about 12 weeks doing that, then the weight loss stopped although I continued 5:2 and that meant i could eat what i liked (I don't go overboard and have fairly small portions but i do like cheese, butter, carbs and chocolate and wine a couple of times a week) just before diagnosis a month ago I had started to gain a little weight agin, but I had stopped fasting becasue I was feeling so tired and had a fair amount of life stresses, I don't know whether the gain was over eating calories or the hypo, and whether if I hadn't been hypo i might have lost more weight doing 5:2. I would highly recommend it, i'm not great at constant restriction like more traditional diets and as a way of eating (WOE) I think fasting really works. there's am great support board over on mumsnet that I'm on which really helps too.

    I've just had my levo dose doubled from 50 to 100 and after 5 days on the new dose I'm feeling full of energy, so maybe when you get your medication right you will also have more energy and then start to lose weight?

    good luck

  • Oh, the 5:2 diet! My partner and I tried it prior to B12, diabetes and hypothyroidism diagnosis (we both have these illnesses) and took the advice to eat anything we wanted on the eating days. That actually meant that we ate things we previously never would have eaten - sweets, chocolate, cakes! Total insanity. We put on weight, of course. Finally we went totally caveman and diabetes is no problem with that and I lost 3kg on dessicated pork thyroid. But then I was told I needed to supplement with thyroxine. Turns out I am allergic to thyroxine, but trying to control my reactions meant I finished up stopping all meds and put on weight again. So, now I am back on optimal dessicated pork thyroid, still on caveman (paleo - no simple carbs at all - no bread, rice, potatoes, pasta etc) and back on the 2:5 because I could not lose the weight. So, no cakes etc in between but still eating quite a lot on eating days. That was about 2 months ago, but I don't feel that I am losing much at all. However I have to admit that I simply cannot face the scales. I guess I will just continue for about six months, and keep trying on tight trousers. However a complication is my age - 64. It seems to me that various stages of one's life are characterised by different weight distribution and by weight gain. It should, however, be possible to affect this to some degree.

  • Im just back from my first ww weigh in and have lost 3 and half pounds. I have under a stone to lose but feeling positive about it now!

    Ive also just had a med increase, im on them since may and my leader said it takes 6 months for them to get into yr system so you can lose weight normally.

    Just wanted to encourage you, ww can work xx

  • Try to have T3 or cytomel added to your T4. Raising your metabolism is probably the only way to lose weight and T3 is probably the most efficient way to raise metabolism.

  • Hello all

    Thank you for all your replies, it's really interesting to read everyone's views. I have been reading up on the Paleo diet and think this is something I could work with. I will be speaking with my chosen endo about T3 and who knows, this may be something I need which will help me. Ill report back in a few months on any progress which, even if negative, may help others in this boat!!

  • Good luck

  • I can only speak for myself but, although switching to NDT from T4 only made a huge difference when it came to my energy levels and mood, it never did much for my weight...since going hypothyroid, in the mid-1990s, I had been overweight (I weighed around 95 kilograms and measure 1.73 cm; in order to reach an ideal BMI, I should weigh between 60 and 75 kilograms).

    A couple of years ago, I was diagnosed with insulin resistance. Insulin is a fat-storing hormone. My hormone doctor (trained by Hertoghe) wanted me on Metformin (850 mg x 3) but, after reading about a rare but potentially fatal side effect (ketoacidosis), I decided against it. Instead, I decided to try natural supplements.

    For the past year, I have been taking two supplements: Diabecon and Hyponidd. Since starting them, I have lost 15 kilograms practically effortlessly, and am now only 5 kilograms away from a normal BMI. I have not really been dieting, although I notice that I eat less because the cravings are gone, and I no longer need to snack between meals.

    Let's be clear about something: I doubt I would have lost this much weight on T4 drugs only. But NDT alone (not even as much as 5 grains daily) was not enough to make me lose all that weight. I have read about people who start losing weight effortlessly (first, a couple of kilograms of fluid, and then fat loss) when going on drugs containing T3, either NDT or synthetic drugs; however, that did not happen for me.

    Just to give you an idea: before I went on supplements, my fasting insulin levels were 23.9 (with 24 being the upper normal limit), and my fasting blood glucose levels 101 (ref 70-105). So, even though I was technically still in range, I was moving fast toward diabetic levels.

    So, in my experience, unbalanced blood sugar and insulin levels can sabotage weight loss efforts.

  • until ferritin etc is optimum your body cannot correctly utilise the levothyroxine and convert it into t3 which every cell needs to function

    thus you need TSH to be 1.0 or below even suppressed your t4 and t3 need to both be in balance and very near top of their ranges

    then you should be able to exercise and loose the weight

You may also like...