Weight problem

Hi I am new to this I had my thyroid completely removed a year ago but really struggle to loose weight has anyone else had this problem. I have my bloods taken every month and since my op my medication has to be adjusted every time. I don't over eat I cycle my bike everyday to work my job is very active and I certainly don't over eat. Has anyone got any suggestions the help would be most appreciated. Thank you Nikki xxx

19 Replies

  • wow im hypothyroid and dont have the energy to do exercise as my thyroid levels are always low, my suggestion if your taking synthetic t4 crap from the doctor, best if you get pig thyroid with some t3 from your doctor if not self medicate and if you contact rlc labs they will give you pig thyroid medicine without a prescription. also supplement with nutri adrenals as your adrenal glands will get stressed out which results in symptoms such as chronic fatigue. up your vitamins to the max! thats the best advice i can give u and eventually the weight will come off

  • I still don't understand all the medical jargon a year down the line, I take thyroxine 200mg a day vitamin d and calcium.

  • ok no worries. what is your t3 and tsh and t4 levels? have you got them? there your thyroid hormone results

  • I have found B-Complex to work for me. It won't hurt to try them with your other vitamins.

  • 200mcg is a pretty high dose Nikki. You also need to make sure you are absorbing it all (see advice about taking thyroid hormones on Thyroid Uk forums and website), converting it to T3 (ask your GP to request T3 on next blood tests to investigate T4 to T3 conversion - he may need to state that specifically on the request form or lab won't do it) and make sure you don't take your T4 before your blood test (again see advice on various parts if Thyroid Uk website and forums). Some people have self-medicated with NDT and other mixed thyroid preparations. I would advise caution if you don't know what you are doing as the consequences of hyper and hypo thyroid ism for your body are significant. Particularly if you overdose the effect on your heart can lead to palpitations and heart failure. If you are not sure then best engage with and be guided by your GP (who is medically qualified and registered with the GMC) for now but do read, learn (Thyroid Uk and sites such as Thyroid Manager are good for that) and go armed with questions and evidence. You will almost certainly end up knowing more than him/her about thyroid problems! At the end of the day it is your body -

  • try weight training (moderate for a woman) and a plant based diet... go to google and look for dr mcdougall and his elimination diet...try it for a week...won't cost you anything and you will feel better

  • Not recent ones but due blood tests this week really kicking myself up the bum to loose weight xx

  • As you are hypothyroid, every thing in our body slows down especially our metabolism which, with the right amount of medication it should be raised to normal again.

    When you have your blood test, have it as early as possible, do not take your medication until afterwords (if you take it a.m. if you take it p.m. miss the p.m. dose and take after test). Also ask for Vit B12, Vit D, iron, ferritin and folate if they've not been done.

    Your medication shouldn't be adjusted upon each blood test, except upwards till you reach an optimum dose.

    Get a copy of your blood test results with the ranges (most important) and put them on a new post for comments.

  • Weight gain is horrible. I get mine for taking steroids for an adrenal illness so I can sympathise

  • Not tried it myself as I don't have a weight problem (yet) but others have recommended the Mary Shomon's - The thyroid diet revolution. Explains diet in relation to thyroid problems. Available on iBooks

  • Make sure you don't take calcium with thyroid hormones. Calcium blocks absorption of t4. And take magnesium and d3 if you take calcium. As others said, get vitamin levels checked. You didn't mention why your thyroid was removed and that could have some bearing on why your thyroid hormones aren't working. I can't lose no matter what I do. You aren't alone.

  • I don't know if this will be any help, but I've just recently started losing weight and I believe it's a combination of getting my NDT dose right (levothyroxine just wouldn't work for me, I put on 4 stones in 18 months on it) and going completely gluten free. I do very very little exercise because that part of my recovery just isn't there yet. Although I do a little walking a few times a week anyway.

  • Sounds like you have a T4 to T3 conversion problem Loopymoo? 80% of weight loss is through dietary manipulation (ie cutting down on calories eaten) and only 20% through exercise (think those figures are right from memory). You can eat a bit more if you exercise eg 30 min swim, good pace is approx 150calories, or bank it towards your weight loss. 1lb fat = 3200 calories not eaten or expended through exercise.

  • No, I have no trouble converting from T4 to T3, but I did have an RT3 problem hence the NDT. They were thinking that maybe the levo was contributing to the high RT3 ratio (it most definitely is NOT the same as natural thyroxine). And cross fingers the NDT seems to be putting everything back in place slowly, it's very exciting! Every week an improvement. I have a lifetime of unmedicated damage to put right thanks to the reliance on the useless TSH test. Luckily I have an endo and a GP who are very very understanding and keen to learn and help (on the NHS too!!!). But on the diet front, for Nikki, not sure if going gluten free would make a difference for her as she has no thyroid for the antibodies to attack, but I think everyone should try gluten free at least for a few months to see if it makes a difference. Completely gluten free though, not just cutting down (that did nothing for me), but a complete abstinence from gluten.

  • Hi Nicky,

    Had the same problem as you total thyroidectomy 2007. Bloods never the same Thyroxine (T4) doses changed all the time. Weight gain 10kg, joint pain, fatigue all the usual. Put up with it until 2012. Started to play with medication doses but couldn't get it quite right. Saw an endo and asked for Armour a natural thyroid replacement. She wouldn't give me this but offered Liothyronin (T3). I was taking 150mcgT4 but still symtomatic. Endo Suggested dose was 100mcg T4 with initial dose of 10mcg split into two doses to start. Felt immediate effect. Saw endo again she agreed to increase T3 to 20mcg in split dose and decrease T4 to 75mcg. I have not looked back. Although my bloods are not in the normal range in my endo's words "I am more euthyroid than I have been for many years". I now have annual bloods only and feel very well. I am walking at least 5 miles a day and enjoy a normal diet as before change in meds if I ate a crumb over 1000 I would put on weight. I now take 75mcg T4 and 10 mcg (half a T3 tablet) in the morning as soon as I wake up and let them dissolve under my tongue and the other half of the T3 tab I take before I go to bed under my tongue. Thank heavens for the T3. I really hope this helps and you feel better soon

    Best wishes Riki

  • Nikki thyroid hormones control our metabolic rate - the rate at which every cell in our bodies uses energy.. High levels of T4 and T3 increase metabolic rate and lower levels decrease it. If you eat more than our metabolic rate we put on weight and vice versa. When I was hyper (T4 46, range 10-20) i could eat 3000 nett calories a day and still risk losing weight. At T4 = 19 I could happily eat 2200 nett calories and maintain my weight. My last T4 was 11.8 so I have reduced my calories down to 1800 nett per day. The average woman need approx 1800 calories to maintain her weight. 1lb fat = 3200 calories - so if you have a 200-400 calorie deficit each day you should lose 1lb fat in 8-16 days. I also run, swim and walk so eat back these calories when I do - in other words I am currently eating a nett calorie intake of 1800 (ie 1800 plus whatever I add on from exercise) per day. My weight has maintained constant at about 8st 7lbs for the last 3-4 months since I was diagnosed with Graves. My point is that you need to measure your nett calorie intake and adjust it so that you lose weight. If you are hypo and not optimally treated that may mean a calorie intake as low as 900-1000 calories a day to lose weight. If you have an iPhone I suggest you use MyFitnessPal and something like Runkeeper (you can track cycling, walking, running and lots of other things on it). Record your calorie/food intake in MyFitnessPal and your exercise in Runkeeper - Runkeeper will put your exercise calories into MyFitnessPal so you can see your nett calories (and eat more because of this!) In short our bodies do not stop obeying the laws of physics when we have thyroid problems but we often do not know enough about what we are eating and what calorie level we need to lose, maintain or gain weight. Working with the numbers as I have described above allows us to be a bit more specific and effective in getting to where we want to be, weight-wise that is! Hope this helps ; )

  • Hi. I'm on Levothyroxine 75 mcg and HRT tablets. Had my operation in February. Since my operation l have lost two stones. I'm currently on 5:2 Diet i do exercise 5 times a week. 20 Minutes either Swimming or Treadmill. Also try your library to see if you can borrow two books. Allen Carr The easyweigh to lose weight ISBN 978-0-718-19472-7 & Your Thyroid and how to keep it Healthy by Dr Barry Durrant-Peatfield ISBN 978-1-905140-10-7 Give both a read and hopefully you will either using 5:2 diet or Allen Carr's book together with the thyroid book you will be able to manage your diet. ... Just remember ... Even if you lose one pound a week then thats four stone over a year. !!! Good Luck and best wishes

  • The first thing to understand is that weight gain - for many people - is a side effect of thyroid malfunction. Many, many of us (especially on here) have been where you are now. Shifting weight when hypothyroid is very difficult. Your doctor will guilt you into believing your weight gain is your fault. It isn't. It is, in fact, the doctor's fault for not getting your meds right. Getting thyroid meds right is not easy. Glad to hear that your doc is still working on the balance. Be aware that most doctors are only interested in getting your bloods within so-called 'normal' ranges for thyroid function. This is not guaranteed to make you feel well, and certainly will not necessarily help with the weight.

    Always ask for your blood test results - the figures not just 'normal', 'not normal'. You are entitled to them.

    200 mcg Levo p.d. is quite a lot. I think others who have replied have also wondered whether you are converting the Levo into useful T3 adequately. This is something worth raising with your doctor. Especially if s/he puts your dose up again.

    Apart from the weight gain, how do you feel?

  • Hi Nikki

    If weight loss is your only symptom your thyroid meds might be ok. I have had the same problem and have found the Zoe Harcombe diet works well for me. Its very similar to the old Atkins diet but she explains the science really well and its very healthy. She advocates removing all processed foods from your diet which eliminates the hidden sugars (carbs) I stuck to the 5day start up plan for a month before my holiday and lost just over a stone in weight. Nothing else works for me. I went to the gym for 3 years and never lost an ounce. I followed a calorie controlled diet and put weight on lol.

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