Not sure what to do next!

So after my rather unsuccessful visit to see yet another Dr at my practice after I got my blood test results back. I am now thinking of going back to the Dr that was sympathetic, however she only works part time now and isn't back to work till next Tuesday :(

My biggest concerns health wise at the moment are my weight gain and feeling tired all the time. I just seem to be gaining weight non stop despite eating the most healthily I've ever eaten in my life. It's making me feel very down indeed.

I did manage to lose 1.5 stone last year which was very hard work. I followed a very low or no carb, high protein diet, 1200 cals a day, drinking lots of water and exercising, mainly just walking on the treadmill about 3/4 times a week. I would never lose more than a 1lb a week though! This was so disheartening when all around people would be saying I've lost 3 lbs or more this week!

I've basically been following the same principles of the plan from that time so reduced or no carbs, high protein, good fats. Admittedly haven't been drinking as much water as i did at the time although I have been doing so over the last few weeks and not exercising as much as I did then but I did have a lot more energy at that time!

I have since gained 2 stone with most of the weight gain happening this year, have gained 1.5 stone since the New Year.

The Dr seemed quite willing to give me a trial of 25mg of levothyroxine but will that make any difference to my weight and my energy levels?

From what I have read 25mg is far too low a dose for most people.

I am also taking vitamin and mineral supplements B complex vitamins including B12 and vitamin D which were showing low in my blood tests. I am also taking 3 herbal adaptogens to boost my adrenals as i believe I also have adrenal fatigue, Siberian Ginseng, Ashwagandha and Rhodiola Rosea.

This is my 3rd week of taking them and 2nd week of taking the vitamin supplements, I seem to be sleeping a bit better, I used to wake up at stupid o clock a lot of the time, or had difficulties falling asleep, being wired and tired so the saying goes. I can see a slight increase in energy levels and my salt/sugar cravings have abated although I can still get a sugar craving at times. I am going to add a magnesium supplement as well to see if that helps.

I have to say that my body does feel imbalanced. It's confirmed that I am peri menopausal so I know that's not going to helping me.

Really don't know which way to turn now!

9 Replies

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  • kk12, it's rather doubtful that 25 mcg is going to help you, it's just too low a dose. Did your doctor talk about retesting in 6 weeks? Followed by an increase - which you're bound to need. Your tests were in range but too low in the range to be well. But the good news is, that your TSH could be even higher next time, because the 25 mcg might possible stop what little production your gland is making and push the TSH up.

    Are you supplementing that low iron? Because that's very important. And taking lots of vit C with it. Adrenals need lots of vit C. And salt - that's why you craved salt. Did you eat something salty when you had the cravings? You really should.

    If you're taking vit D, it would be a good idea to take some magnesium - you're probably low. And take some zinc, with it, because they all work together.

    I'm not sure 'no carbs' is a good idea, especially when you're hypo. You do need some. But 1200 calories isn't going to make you lose weight because your weight-gain has nothing to do with calories. It is because your metabolism is low - probably because your T3 is low. You need decent levels of T3 to lose weight. And to get T3 you need to convert your T4, which you're not going to do very well on 1200 calories. You need more like 2000. Low calories diets can make hypos put on even more weight.

    So can exercising, because exercising uses up your T3, and you haven't got enough to begin with, so it's a vicious circle, I'm afraid.

    Also, 1200 says to me that you're not getting enough good fat. Remember you need it to make hormones. But it has the highest calories count of all the nutrients - which, in itself, should tell you that calorie-counting is a nonsense! You should rather be counting nutrients. :)

  • Hi greygoose

    Thanks for your reply!

    I was on 1200 cals when I was on my so called healthy eating plan last year. Now I would be on approx 1500 to 1700 cals per day.

    I'm not a 100% saint by any means but I eat better now than I've ever done!

    In fact, I was a lot slimmer in my 20's when I ate a lot of crap and drank much more (I hardly drink now because I seem to be pretty intolerant to a lot of alcohol) I've swapped out my ultra low fat yoghurts that were full of sugar to ones that are organic and full fat and less full of sugar and I am cutting down on processed sugary items, not that I ate loads anyway!

    I am eating more carbs now but tend to make sure that they are gluten free, just in case that's not helping matters but I don't miss them much to be honest. I have been adding pink rock salt to my veggies and yes when I had my salt cravings, typically I would want cheese or crackers, sometimes nuts.

    Eating more iron rich foods as well such as kale, prunes, eggs.

    I am taking a vit C supplement as well as eating more fruit, it's a good job strawberries are coming into season as I love them.

    I can accept that I could gain some weight but not as much as I have. My husband and I work together and eat the same food, I actually give him more in terms of portion size, he's gained about 3lbs!

    This says to me more than anything, that I am not right in myself as my metabolic rate when it was measured is about 1900 cals per day so any less than that calorie intake wise a day should lead to weight loss - but in my case, it's leading to weight gain!

  • Of course it is! I explained that. :) You need about 2000 for your conversion. And when you were 20 and eating crap, I doubt if you were hypo. That's what's making the different! It is your hypo making you put on weight, not what you eat.

    You cannot rely on your food alone to raise your iron, it's too low. And as you are hypo, you will probably have low stomach acid and absorbtion problems. Besides, some foods - such as spinach - contain substances that prevent the uptake of iron in your digestive system. So, it really would be best to supplment that.

  • Ooh I just realised I actually have an iron supplement in the house. How much iron is needed per day?

    I have always had difficulty losing weight, always, even in my 20's but it's got harder and harder but not felt as impossible as it does now. I used to be such a gym bunny too, always in the gym, 3 times a week but never used to lose that much weight even when doing an hour of cardio and half an hour of weights! I should have been minute with the amount of calories I was burning but I wasn't! I was investigated for PCOS in my 30's as something wasn't clearly right then.

    I started having proper issues last year when for about 3 weeks I just felt very flat indeed. I couldn't tell you what was wrong with me though. I just felt like I had zero energy. I picked up a bit but since then it's been a downhill struggle with the sheer lack of energy to go anywhere near my treadmill!

  • You stay away from that treadmill! It's not going to do you any good, and might even do you harm! :)

    It's perfectly possible that you've always had a sluggish thyroid, and it's only now caught up with you. Your symptoms sound very much like thyroid. It starts going down-hill long before the symptoms start, and even longer before it shows in blood tests.

    I'm not an expert in iron - but there are some on the forum - so perhaps it would be best to post another question to get a better answer on how much to take than I can give you.

  • Ha I never run on the treadmill anyway! I get shin splints from running! It was more like very short intensity training, like 30 secs of faster walking followed by slower walking and then repeat, that's what I was doing. I will ask how much iron I need on another thread!

    Thank you again!

  • You're welcome! :)

  • Hiya

    I'd suggest that you think about light exercise, eat healthily but don't panic about calories until you get to a point where you're on the right dose of hormones. I did this (I'd put on 1-3 lbs per month while eating 1500 cals per day on Atkins and exercising 3 times per week prior to diagnosis) and once I got onto the right dose of levo my weight stabilised even though I was eating a lot more calories (btw - I'm 5'9'' so my ability to intake more calories than most lasses without putting on weight was good until I hit hypo town).

    Once I'd got onto the right dose I started an exercise regime designed to build muscle mass (muscle burns calories and so I reasoned that more muscle would compensate for lower metabolism) and I lost the first stone relatively easily (at about 1lb per 2-3 weeks). I plateau'd about 2 months ago (note: I started on NDT in Sept and that helped enormously with the weight loss) but I'm changing shape (and getting into clothes that are smaller).

    I'm not sure that I will manage to lose all of the other 3 or so stone that I put on while trying to get diagnosed but I'd like to get to be a size smaller so I'm continuing with the muscle building as it seems to be making me smaller plus it means that I can do things I haven't been able to do for years without gasping like an 80 dayer.

    I also feel like I should enjoy things a bit given that I've lost 4 years of my life. So, my advice is be nice to yourself while you're recovering and look at weight loss when you're back to normal. But, (and this bit is difficult) I'd also advise that you may have to think about not getting back to the size that you were because it is damned difficult to lose the weight....

  • Thank you for your replies - not at the stage to be on meds as yet but hoping to be put on something and then to have my bloods done again to see if my supplements are helping me!

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