Thyroid UK
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Can I take any thing to help with losing weight whilst taking levothyroxine for an underactive thyroid??

Hi Im new to this so just going to spill it out and see what I get, any help will be gratefully received.

I was diagnosed with underactive thyroid when I was 20yo. most of the 8.5years I've had this I have been on 100mcg of Levothyroxine. In March this year after my routine blood test my doctor put me on 75mcg. I'm not to sure which one is which but one level was 4.7 and the other 15.1, I need to go for another in July. I keep asking my doc about my weight as it just does not appear to be moving Im currently 12st would ideally love to be back to 9st as I was before I was diagnosed but its never going to happen so would be happy to get to 10.-11st. I am a really fussy eater I eat veg and fruit all the time but do not eat meat, fish and not much dairy either. my doctor just says to me I am overweight but I don't need to worry about that yet also he tells me not to take any vitamins or supplements as it does more damage than good!. At times it gets me down as I feel there is no reason for me to be this size I exercise regularly and drink at least 1l of water a day and eat my fruit and veg.

Sorry for the essay I just need to know if there is anything I can take to help shift the weight that is not going to affect my thyroid medication.

19 Replies

Oh dear, he sounds a right Wally! Firstly, you need your blood test results, ask for a print from the receptionist. They cannot refuse to give you these, so don't be fobbed off. Once you have those you can get some better advice.


Thank you for your reply. I will be sure to get these printed in future probably wise with my memory


You can go and ask for your previous ones, it would help people to help you. Also, have you had any vitamin/mineral testing? Iron, b12, folate, anything else? All these things can help or hinder your body's use of thyroid hormone, which will in turn help with your weight.


as these have not been mentioned by the doc for a while I just assumed they was ok but if its possible for me to get my previous blood test results I guess these would help for now with getting advise. I will call doc's tomorrow and ask for these. Thanks


A doctor's version of OK is nowhere near optimal, so there will be a lot you can do to improve things. :-)


But has your doctor tested Free T3 or Ferritin, Folate, B12, Vit D3

Without all of them being optimum and your gut health being correct you may not absorb the levo thyroxine properly


I will call the doctors tomorrow and get my past few blood test results to check for these tests you have mentioned, least I know where to start . Thanks for your reply


I know, it just appears to be a hassle for him to help me! I will start with getting hold of my previous results though and go from there I guess. Thanks again


Hi am6nda77

Welcome to our forum. It is a big learning curve for all of us in order to try to recover our health. Many of us don't and sometimes it is due to the doctor not prescribing enough thyroid hormones to raise our metabolism or adjusting medication due to the TSH alone. The TSH comes from the Pituitary Gland not the thyroid gland.

As stated in the previous comments, from now on always get a print-out of your blood test results. They must have the ranges as labs differ throughout the country so it makes it easier to comment.

Weight gain is one of the most commonest questions and it is a world-wide question when not on enough thyroid gland hormones - or being kept within the normal range.

Do you still have other clinical symptoms? or is it weight gain which is the main problem?

A link and read the answer to the second question:-

If you supplement with vitamins you must leave 4 hours between taking levo and supplements. Don't take levo on the morning of your blood test, take it afterwards. Take levo on wakening and on an empty stomach with 1 glass of water and don't eat for about 1 hour.


Hi shaws

Thanks for the reply. I think my weight is my main issue as nothing I do helps to shift it, I know weight gain is common with an underactive thyroid but surely there has to be some sort of help to maintain that side of it.

My other symptoms vary they are being emotional for no reason, constantly tired or not sleeping when I should be, loss of appetite, weakness feeling drained. I can go weeks of being fine then it will hit me like a ton of bricks


If 4.7 is your present TSH you are not on enough medication. Dr Toft of the British Thyroid Association states the following and you will see clearly you are not on enough medication. Many doctors believe that it is o.k. to keep patients' TSH within range which shouldn't be the case for hypo patients. The TSH is only a guide and clinical symptoms are more important :-

6 What is the correct dose of thyroxine and is there any rationale for adding in tri-iodothyronine?

The appropriate dose of levothyroxine is that which restores euthyroidism and serum TSH to the lower part of the reference range – 0.2-0.5mU/l.

In this case, free thyroxine is likely to be in the upper part of its reference range or even slightly elevated – 18-22pmol/l. Most patients will feel well in that circumstance.

But some need a higher dose of levothyroxine to suppress serum TSH and then the serum-free T4 concentration will be elevated at around 24-28pmol/l.

This ‘exogenous subclinical hyperthyroidism’ is not dangerous as long as serum T3 is unequivocally normal – that is, serum total around T3 1.7nmol/l (reference range 1.0-2.2nmol/l).

Even while taking the slightly higher dose of levothyroxine a handful of patients continue to complain that a sense of wellbeing has not been restored. A trial of levothyroxine and tri-iodothyronine is not unreasonable. The dose of levothyroxine should be reduced by 50µg daily and tri iodothyronine in a dose of 10µg (half a tablet) daily added.


I feel your pain!!

I was unable to shift my 'thyroid' weight for about 18 years despite going to the gym regularly (up to 7 spinning sessions a week) and eating a vegetarian diet and being appropriately medicated (for most of that time)

However having recently 'achieved' (I choose to see it as an achievement) menopause I came off the pill and 'hey presto' my weight has suddenly started to shift!

If you are using the pill, this might be worth considering as a possible cause.

Best of luck - whatever, I'm sure you'll sort it.


The doctor did advise to take the levo on an empty stomach in the morning with water about 2 years ago now but to allow half hour before eating. I will try the hour see if that helps though, thanks


It wont help with weight loss but it may help with the absorption of levo. Many people wait only half hour. This is a link re weight gain/loss:-


I think the others have addressed your thyroid medication issues - which will make it an uphill struggle for you until those are resolved (is it any wonder so many self medicate?)

I also wonder if you could try eating more protein? I found that not eating gluten and keeping any refined carbs and sugars very low helped me, but I also take selenium, multi vitamins and omega 3 oils - but more for a sense of wellbeing than weight loss- If I feel better I'm more likely to exercise.


I was on 125levo for about 14 years. Only when I came to this site improved my vitamin levels, cured my anemia and most importantly being prescribed t3 by endo a month ago my weight started to shift. I always felt like a liar. How come I exercised and ate so little my weight was so high? But finally I see what was wrong. My other symptoms have also improved greatly in this last month. Feeling good for the first time in ages! Don't give up. Follow the advices and hopefully soo you will feel the difference.



Thanks to this forum I have learnt a lot of things about managing my thyroid -hypo.I am a south indian vegetarian and my diet is normally gluten free it is mainly rice and lentils and vegetables .Like many of you over weight is my main problem.I do not have too many choices here in india i am on 100mcg thyronorm.Just wanted to thank you all for the info i get from this site


Hi Everyone

Thank you all for your replies and tips. I did phone the doctors to see about getting my previous blood test results but apparently i need to fill in a form, so I have a doctors appointment tomorrow so should come away with a bit more knowledge on my results for you all.


Hi am6nda77.. r u sure ur not me??!! I eat and drink the same as you..weigh the same as you..and is as fed up of being this weight when i totally dont deserve it as you!!! Whatever the response is for listening! Good luck with everything mate! 😯


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