Are you able to exercise? Do you feel worse after?

Almost any exercise is like a marathon at the moment (not yet taking medication for thyroid, so I'm really hoping it'll improve when I do). Walking is like mountain climbing - my legs feel like lead, my body feels heavy, I dread hills and I also feel quite dizzy sometimes too when walking. The only thing I don't struggle with, is swimming - perhaps because of the weightlessness? I can happily do 40 lengths each time, but I probably shouldn't be doing this many seeing as the past 2 days I've been really suffering from it! The day after swimming, I'm really exhausted, to the point where I slept twice yesterday and didn't do a lot else all day. Damned if you do.... damned if you don't huh!

I gave up my running in November after 4 years - the last one of those years was hell to be honest and I just couldn't do it anymore. It was like wading through treacle every time. When it was good, I loved it. And I miss it SO much, it's like a part of me has been taken away :(

18 Replies

  • It will get better, I am a keen walker and felt the same. So much of my social life is with my walking group and I felt like my right arm had been cut off! Within 3 weeks of starting treatment I was out walking again, 8-10 miles at a time.

  • That's encouraging Harry - it feels such a long way off right now, but I'm trying to be optimistic that I'll get back to my normal self again!

  • hi just noticed your reply. I have been on levothyroxine for 10 years and have never been able to exercise. what is your secret? r u on NDT or levothyroxine?

  • I am self medicating with NDT. I was very active before I became poorly before Christmas, and am now back to walking as I was before - 10-12 mile challenging walks at weekends, and at least 3 miles to and from work each day. I don't do the gym or anything, but am generally very active.

  • did u previously take levo? I never have much energy on levo so cant exercise

  • Wasn't on anything before NDT, I was refused treatment, despite being really ill

  • I am sorry you are unable to exercise at present. Dr Skinner did say that women (if you are female) shouldn't do long distance running as it could damage the thyroid gland.

    Maybe your medication isn't optimum yet as hypo causes our metabolism to slow so much that exercise becomes quite impossible as it takes much more energy of which we have little.

  • I was a competitive runner. I was hypo and no doc diagnosed me for 4 years, I kept running, I thought I was just getting out of shape, at some point I was undermedicated and almost dying so I could barely walk. I don't trust docs so I self medicate. I'm now optimized , I can run but once you're hypo you never reach your normal health, hypo makes that the cells cannot carry oxygen like they used to, so of course you're going to feel more tired than when you were not hypo.

    Did you have a blood test? what's your TSH, T4, T3, FreeT4, FT3? I have fibromyalgia, it's better to exercise, the pain afterwards it's intensified by 10.

    No my hypo was not caused by running, it was caused by a hormonal treatment (Lupron in USA, Trenantone-gyn in Germany, a very horrible thing).

  • I couldn't understand it for a while either - I was thinking, perhaps I wasn't running enough, so tried to increase (and felt worse!)

    I've had my TSH checked (2.6), (T3) 540 L (range 592 – 1850) and

    (T4) 646 (range 347 – 1994)

    I can't imagine getting back into running now - even though I really want to. I'm worried I'll feel worse for it, and won't even consider if until I've been on meds for a while anyway.

  • I don't notice being more tired now I am properly treated, I feel just like I did before I was ill.

  • but what cardio sport do you do? and what is your basal temperature when you wake up? thanks

  • Haven't checked my temp since it went back to normal, it was low before I started meds. I don't do gym type exercise, just lots of walking - tough walking/climbing so I don't know if that counts as cardio??

  • Harry maybe it does not matter. Only that I think that when you're a competitive athlete you have to be so aware about your limits and what your heart can do and not do that this is how you could realize if there's a slight limitation because of the hypothyroidism. I can feel how hypo has limited me in my running. If I used to run a mile in 6 minutes and now I would never be able to do that it is that the oxygen is lacking, of course this is before I got the symptoms of fibromyalgia, that makes everything harder. My temp is at rest 96.8 and I feel close to optimization if not optimized.

  • I'm nothing like a competitive athlete, so you're right, I probably wouldn't be as aware as you are.

  • My sister, hypo after RAI, recently started running and just did her first 5K. She struggles to breath at times but it is getting better and she's aiming for 10K but totally not interested in time, just wants to complete.

    Me, I'm aiming to progress my shuffle into a walk now I'm optimally medicated :-D

  • Hypothyroid has dramatic effects on the whole body and since no pill can ever replace what a normal thyroid does the chances of being able to return to that sort of level of exeercise is unlikely

    if you get the right treatment and that may mean natural dessicated thyroid as opposed to levothyroxine you should be able to live a fairly normal life

  • Yes, I beginning to think that I probably won't go back to running to be honest - although I need to do something so possibly cycling might cut it instead.

  • cycling should be fine husband does that but only since he has been on NDT

    he was in too much pain when on levo or t3

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