Thyroid UK

Weight Gain

I have been hypo for 22 years and it's been very up and down for many years I have tried every diet going and even orlistat which does work but you can only be on it for two years then it's back to the weight going back on, the last two years have been awful what with being diagnosed with PA and rheumatoid arthritis and now gallstones, my thyroid has been up and down can't seem to get it to stabilise will this affect weight loss or is that just a myth, I am so fed up with this weight gain am I just fighting a losing battle

4 Replies

This may be the reason many have a problem with weight gain.

If your GP keeps your TSH within the 'normal range' that could be one of the reasons.

If you have had a recent blood test for your thyroid hormones ask the surgery for a print-out, with the ranges, post them on a new question for comments.

If you've not had a recent one, ask for a new one (TSH, T4, T3, Free T4 and Free T3) he may not do this but ask anyway. Also get a Vitamin B12, Vit D, iron, ferritin and folate at the same time. Don't take levothyroxine on the morning of your blood test which you should have as early as possible, take afterwards.

If you've never felt normal over 22years of treatment, something is wrong. Either the medication doesn't suit you or you're not on optimum, or you need a trial of an alternative.

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HI In thyroid patients overweight is often low Free t3 be sure to have it tested. You may need some T3 with the T4 ( levo)



Don't forget that your thyroid affects your whole body. If it is 'up and down' then so will everything else be. IMHO much that docs like to diagnose and treat separately is, in reality, linked to the malfunctioning of one's thyroid. I think it is no coincidence that all kinds of other health problems are showing up, if your thyroid is out of whack. And weight gain is soooo down to your thyroid not being optimally medicated.

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What do you mean by 'stabilised'? That is such an over-used word and doesn't have much meaning. You could be 'stabilised' with a TSH of 20 or with a TSH of 0.02, but with the 20 you will be very ill.

Have your antibodies been checked? If you have Hashi's then that will make your thyroid hormones go up and down. Or, is your doctor just dosing by the TSH rather than looking at your actual thyroid hormones. The TSH rarely corresponds to the way patients feel.

Low T3 means that you will not be able to lose weight - no, it's not a myth, it is very real. You need to have your T3 at the top of the range to lose weight. Have you had your FT3 tested? What are you taking? Just levo? We really need much more information to be able to help you. If you're on T4 (levo) only, you may be having trouble converting to T3 because of nutritional deficiencies - this will more than likely be true if you have been on restrictive diets! So, time to get vit B12, vit D, folate, iron, ferritin, magnesium and zinc tested.

Also, low calorie diets will make things worse because you need those calories to convert. Hypos need more calories than the average, not less. In any case, diets are not going to help because it's not what you eat that is making you put on weight, it is your low metabolism, due to low thyroid. Were any of the diets low fat? Because that is a very bad idea, and will further mess up your delicate hormonal balance.

So, ditch the diets and get those tests done.

Hugs, Grey


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