I just can't lose weight, and my thyroid results always come back normal!

Hi everyone, I thought I'd share my experiences on here and see what everyone else thinks.

Growing up, I was quite skinny. I could eat whatever I wanted, and nothing happened to me. From about 19 years old onwards, I've been gradually gaining weight (I'm now 41). I wasn't huge, but I was suddenly bigger compared to how I used to be. Since then I've been struggling to keep my weight down. The only time I ever manage to lose any substantial amount of weight is if I literally eat one sandwich a day, with a cereal bar for breakfast & another for dinner, which isn't right. When I go back to a normal eat 3 times a day, I gain it back immediately.

I gained even more weight in 2003, after working in offices, and in 2007, I sustained a back injury, which meant I literally couldn't do much exercise, so pilled on the pounds. 6 years later, I weigh about 147kilos (I should mention I'm 6'3 as well). My back will always be an issue, however, I have been working really hard to get back to normality, and can now exercise again, and lead a relatively normal life again.

My life is now quite busy, and I do as much exercise as I can, and take my dog out for walks between 3-5 times a day for 20-30 mins per walk. I have logged my food intake, and it's around the 2500 calorie mark. Usually below that. I have been to my GP countless times, as well as to dieticians, and I tell them I don't over eat, in fact I eat the least amount of food out of anyone I know, but they tell me I need to eat less. The problem is that if I eat less, I can't sustain myself throughout the day, as I do so much stuff, and I feel even more hungry, which leads to migraines and feeling weak.

To top things off, I suffer from IBS, and a lot of foods are out of bounds for me, like anything with onions in it, and most gluten products. The last thyroid test I did, the results came back as:

TSH: 2.31 (0.3 - 4.2)

Free T4: 12.2 (12.0 - 22.0)

The most interesting fact is that both my Dad & Sister were diagnosed with an under active thyroid 2 years ago. My sister is 3 years younger than me, and my dad is in his late 60s.

Again, via the NHS, no one really seems to want to go deep enough to query exactly what's going on here. I also calculated my BMR (Basic Metabolic Rate), and it's 2,471 calories per day - this means that I should be able to sustain a normal weight level with what I eat (I also eat quite healithly).

I have a friend who has suffered with hypothyroidism for all her life. In fact, when she was in her teens, she was hyper, and then it changed to hypo (Sounds familiar to me). She reckons that there is definitely something wrong with either my thyroid, or my metabolism, and as she worked as a medical secretary for years told me it could sometimes take years and years to diagnose.

Does anyone have any advise as to what I should do next, as everything I have tried so far, just does not work!!

Ta in advance!! ;o)

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  • Welcome back Panos and I am sorry you are still no further forward with trying to establish why you have gained weight. I know one doctor said you were borderline and then you weren't.

    Regarding the thyroid gland blood tests you quote above, how recent are they and it is helpful to have the ranges as labs differ and it makes it easier to comment on them.

    I note you have IBS but some of us who are hypo also have gut issues develop(ed). This can be due to having low stomach acid (I mean gut issues not IBS).

    If you've not had a recent blood test for your thyroid gland can you get one from your GP. If not, you can get a private blood test for a full thyroid function test and post the results.

    If you click on Thyroid Testing in this link and then on Private testing details will come up.

    Unexplained weight gain is a clinical symptom of hypothyroidism but nowadays GPs rely on the TSH alone to diagnose. If you believe you also had a hyper period you should also get antibodies tested.

    Get your blood tests as early as possible and also ask for Vitamin B12, Vitamin D, iron, ferritin and folate by your GP.

  • Hi Shaws, and thank you!! It's been such a long time, I actually forgot I've posted on here before. I'm guessing it's pretty much exactly what I posted last time. As you can imagine I'm super frustrated now, as no one believes me still.

    Thank you for all your advice! I can confirm that my IBS was caused purely from stress & anxiety related issues. I got it when I started working in offices when I moved to Brighton in 2000 - something I'd never done before in my life. It went away when I stopped working within an office environment, but it came back again when I injured my back in 2007.

    I will write down everything you suggested, and take it to my GP, or visit a different GP within my surgery, and see what they say. I think my GP should start believing me, as so far everything else I've gone to him for he dismissed, and I was proved correct eventually. If not, I will enquire about having them done privately, as you said! ;o)

  • Hi Helen, Thanks for your message. Would you mind posting everything on here for everyone to see? Ta!

  • I thought Helen was trying to sell us something.... She's gone now! ha! ;o)

  • no wonder you cant loose weight

    your TSH is still too high it should be under 1.0 and your free t4 and free t3 should be well up in the upper quadrant of their ranges

    You need more thyroid meds

  • Thanks for contributing Reallyfedup!! As it stands, I'm on NO thyroid meds, as no one believes me, and keeps telling me I haven't got any problems.... I am feeling like your username so much right about now! ;o)

  • check out Paleo Diet and with your allergies LowFod Map, it's fine, easy to do and you will feel better. I'd ditch any form of wheat, plus garlic, onions and legumes - at least for a while, knock out (or reduce greatly) booze and get help with thyroid levels as given with advice above. I started running or would be the size of a barrage balloon, still put on a stone after medication but slowly going now. Plus if you work in an office it is feast of junk sweets, cakes and so much cr*p you need to wear a muzzle to resist...... !

  • Thanks Tilly - I have indeed done the FODMAP diet, and that's how I found out what my triggers are (Onions & Glutten) so I have cut them out of my diet (although I can have a bit of glutten before a flare up occurs). Otherwise I eat quite healthily, but it doesn't seem to matter what I eat (or not), I still put on weight!!!

  • oh dear, food diary, body pump and spinning classes (these kill but work!) then if nothing happens book long appointment with GP... best of luck...

  • Thank you Tilly. I can't do spinning classes due to my back, but I will find something else which works for me, although I do walk my dog 4-5 times a day! ;o)

  • You quoted you last test results as TSH - 2.31 & T3/T4 - 12.2. Do you have the ranges that go with these figures? I guess the 12.2 figure is T4 and looks low to me although without the range I can't be sure. Have you ever had a T3 test? TSH of 2.31 is, as your doctor says, within the normal range, although most people who are already on medication would feel pretty grotty and would need more medication. A lot of people on this site self-medicate, starting with 25 or 50mcg a day of Levothyroxine. (Not that I am recommending it). You would have to watch out for hyperthyroid symptoms (fast pulse, sweating, diarrhoea) because that can cause heart problems. Before the days of the TSH test doctors used to give increasing doses of thyroid meds until people felt hyper, then decrease the dose slightly. Have you had your iron, ferritin and vitaming B12, D tested? Your body might struggle to convert T4 to the T3 that your cells need to function unless your levels of these nutrients are healthy (not low or borderline). Good luck.

  • Hi Eeng - I replied to you below for some reason!! ;o)

  • Hi Eeng, thanks for your input!! I managed to find the ranges of the tests. The results I posted on this posts were from 18/10/13

    TSH: 2.31 (0.3 - 4.2)

    Free T4: 12.2 (12.0 - 22.0)

    There was no test done for T3 as it turns out.

    I also found my blood test results from 03/05/11:

    They did a lot more tests that year, and I'll try to put them down but most of the results don't mean anything to me.

    TSH: 2.76 (0.3 - 4.2)

    Free T4: 13.0 (12.0 - 22.0)

    So both the TSH & T4 have lowered from 2011.

    Here are the other results (But I was told they were all ok - it includes some of the tests recommended by Shaws above.

    Plasma C-reactive: 8.8mg/L (0.0 - 5.0) (Above range)

    Erythtocyte Sedimentation: 11mm/h (0.0 - 15)

    Ferritin Level: 47.8ug/L (30.0 - 400.0)

    Fasting Plasma Glucose: 5.4 (3.2 - 6.0)

    There are quite a few more tests, but none of what Shaws recommended I have done. I will post those results too if necessary. ;o)

  • Hi Panos, this sounds rather familiar...I was always very skinny, extremely active and strong but with bouts of tiredness and diziness from about age 19. (Also very bad acne - boils.) I was not diagnosed with anything but given antibiotics for the acne. Fast forward thirty years and my weight was creeping up until I was well-rounded and sleeping for 18 hours a day. I was still not diagnosed but offered anti-depressents. (Such a common story.) Eventually I saw a private doctor who recommended the 24hr urine test and was diagnosed as hypo.. A lot of life wasted! He prescribed NDT and my life was back. Sadly I regressed and now take T3 only and am back on form, although not the invincible 19-year-old.

    You may want to try and find a good doctor - in my experience the nhs are useless at diagnosis as they use only the tsh test. You could do the Broda Barnes Temperature Test and treat yourself from there.

    According to my GP I am not hypothyroid at all!

    Best of luck.

  • Hi Penny, and thanks for your post. Yes, that does sound 100% like me!!! I display many of the hypo symptoms, like tiredness, and I feel the cold tremendously. My GP tells me there's nothing wrong with me, and I totally disagree with him, and I'm going to keep pursuing this until I find the correct answer. Shaws did mention that one of the GPs in my surgery told me I was borderline, but I believe she was disciplined by my GP, but after that she retired, so I couldn't see her again.

    The weight I am vs. the amount of food I eat plus the amount of exercise I do per pay, just doesn't add up. All of my friends eat more than I do, and they are all of a normal weight.

    I will look into all the tests that have been suggested and take it from there!! The problem is that I am not working due to my bad back, so haven't got a huge amount of money to spend on private treatment, otherwise, I would have dealt with this years ago!!!

    Thanks again! ;o)

  • Hi Everyone, Thought I'd let you know, that I went to my GP yesterday, and asked him once again re my thyroid. He's a lovely man personality wise, but he just does not believe anything is wrong with me as my TSH & T4 came back normal. I told him I had done some more research into this, and said that one cannot always determine thyroid function just by those two blood tests alone, but he wasn't having any of it. Instead, he gave me this website called "Tackle The Fat"... (I was rolling my eyes inside my head). He didn't offer to refer me to any more blood tests, and when I asked him how much they would cost to get done privately, he said "Oh £20-30".... I've been with this GP for about 10 years now, so it's time for a change me thinks! Conclusion: I'm none the wiser & still VERY frustrated!

  • Panos, ever have any luck? I'm fighting the same battles. My maintainance calories are 750 a day, and eating that little leaves no energy for anything else. Thyroid test tsh came back at a .68! Doc was quite confused. I'm hoping to figure out what we should check next. I may look into the 24 hr urine test.

  • hello my self Tasheen Khan, 27age, hight 5 inch, weight 63

    actually i have a problem that i can't loose my weight about one gram a day but i don't have any symptom for thyroid except weight issues and i am very depressed so i thought i am in ill and have thyroid problem so i just take thyroid test earlier but i have a normal report as below mention.

    my T3 is 0.96

    T4 is 7.4

    TSH is 3.0

    so doctors told me that u have a normal report but what will i do that i cant loose weight.

    my diet also on balance diet, i take less quantity meal in one time and take 5 to 6 meals a day with lots of water as well as with one hour 30 minutes exercise in the morning.

    please help me out about my weight issues

  • ello my self Tasheen Khan, 27age, hight 5 inch, weight 63

    actually i have a problem that i can't loose my weight about one gram a day but i don't have any symptom for thyroid except weight issues and i am very depressed so i thought i am in ill and have thyroid problem so i just take thyroid test earlier but i have a normal report as below mention.

    my T3 is 0.96

    T4 is 7.4

    TSH is 3.0

    so doctors told me that u have a normal report but what will i do that i cant loose weight.

    my diet also on balance diet, i take less quantity meal in one time and take 5 to 6 meals a day with lots of water as well as with one hour 30 minutes exercise in the morning.

    please help me out about my weight issues

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