Thyroid UK
82,904 members97,944 posts

Fat and Fed Up

HI Guys and Girls,

I'm a newbie here, but was diagnosed with hypothyroidism some 3 years ago. I take 50mg of Levy... once a day and am told my levels are within range.

At first I thought, ok, Im not spring chicken any more and never weighing over 8 stone (except when pregnant) I suppose gaining a few pounds is only to be expected.

I never ever ever imagined that I would look in the mirror and feel disgusted with myself, I have put on over 2 stone, and being rather short makes it even worse. I hate the way I look, my son is getting married next year and I want to look slender and toned. I try on outfits and just see a fat middle aged women in front of me.

To make it all worse, for the first time in my life I have grown out of clothes which is something I have never experienced. Beside being a fat blob I am also constantly exhausted, I do work full time but by the time I get home I am shattered.

I have no appetite and could live on a bowl of soup, or a jacket spud, but still the weight goes on. Everyone keeps telling me I look better with a bit of weight on, but I hate it and hate myself.

Can someone please offer some help, I have never had to watch my weight and have not idea about calories, carbs blah blah or gluten, wheats etc.

If I had the money I would visit a personal trainer, to at least get toned, especially as I recently underwent major neck surgery and am limited in my mobility.

Yours hopefully


8 Replies

Welcome to our forum,

Your problem is most probably due to the extremely small dose your GP has given you. 50mcg is a starting dose and is usually increased about every 6 weeks till patient is well (unfortunately GPs think it is until the TSH result is in the 'normal' range). What you have to do now Geordi is to get a print-out of your latest blood test with the ranges and post them on a new question for comments. We feel best when our TSH is around 1 or lower, some might be a little bit higher.

If you've not had a blood test for a while, request one and have the earliest possible appointment, fast also (but you can drink water). Don't take levo on the morning of your test and try to leave about 24 hours between your last dose and the blood test. Take levo afterwards.

Also ask for a Vitamin B12, Vit D, iron, ferritin and folate as be can be deficient.

Weight gain is the most common question and some doctors aren't aware that weight gain is a clinical symptom of hypothyroidism. If not on sufficient medication you cannot lose weight even if you starve yourself. This is because of hypothyroidism which lowers our metabolism to such an extent and we aren't prescribed an adequate amount of levo to raise metabolism to a normal level.

We have to take our own health into our own hands and we have a good chance of feeling much better. Sometimes I think the doctors forget we are human beings and not machines. They only consider, usually, the TSH and medication is raised or lowered according to the time of day we have a blood test. That's very wrong. They should listen to the patient who sometimes return so many times to the surgery with different clinical symptoms of hypo but are prescribed any other medication other than a decent dose of hormones without which we cannot function.


What are the other causes of hypothyroidism apart from the autoimmune aspect of it?


Thyroid cancer & Iodine deficiency are two.

Autoimmune is the main one though.


You can also become hypo due to having your thyroid gland removed (thyroidectomy). You have Autoimmune Thyroid Disease (also known as hashimoto's) in which antibodies attack your thyroid gland and sometimes it sends out more which makes you feel hyper but eventually it will kill your thyroid gland and you will be permanently hypothyroid.

Some people have had a 'trauma' car crash for instance when you've had whiplash which can affect the thyroid gland.


Good advice from Shaws, Geordie. When you are hypo, weight-gain has nothing to do with calories - and from what you say, I would imagine you aren't eating enough! And when you're hypo, the less you eat the more weight you can put on, because you need those calories. Your poor body is working very hard, struggling to survive with low thyroid hormones. And it needs the units of energy which calories are.

Don't beat yourself up about it, it's not your fault. I put on so much weight, you can't imagine, because I wasn't properly treated for my hypo. Now I am, I've lost most of that weight. So, I'm sure you will, too. As Shaws says, get copies of your blood tests and let's have a look, see what's going on. It's very doubtful that your doctor knows anything about thyroid, I'm afraid. :(

Take care.


Thank you everyone for your comments and advise, I had a blood test recently as I "was" taking folic acid tablets for 3 months, to be honest I have not even rung up to get the results for that, if it was something bad they would call.

I will get my results and post them so you can have a look. I am so confused even when I was first diagnosed and starting taking the Levy... I was tired and putting on weight but the worst was the muscle pains, I thought I had MS or something, those have stopped but the more I read the more I think I am suffering more than I realised. I am back and forth to the doctors feel like a right hypochondriac.

To be perfectly honest I thought most of my symptoms were just "getting old" but I am not so sure now, and to make it harder to clarify as I mentioned before I had neck surgery which was not a particular success and I live on a raft of medication for pain and now I am wondering if some of this could be having an affect. I am considering stopping everything I take, just to see what happens. On top of all this I am awaiting treatment for kidney stones which entails more pain killers, which I am not taking.

Can some of you help me with my symptoms, I have a responsible job which I feel is getting too much for me:

Tired - beyond belief, have even feel asleep at my desk

No libido - beside being too tired

No appetite

Weight gain - obviously

Memory lapses - have to write everything down

Repeat myself - kids say I have dementia

No energy or enthusiasm - my get up and go, got up and left

Emotional - cry at the slightest thing (so not me)

Angry - get wound up really quickly

Pains in my joints - not told doc yet (another visit) I think it's rheumatism in my hands

I think that's about all, but then I have trouble remembering!

All in all, totally fed up. The worst of it is no one understands, its the same old cliché, you can't see it, so it's not recognised. Not a single person in my family or circle of friends has any idea, in fact I think most of them don't even know. If I sat my husband down and told him all the things going on he would "glaze over" as I'm always ill.

So beside being fat and fed up, I feel unsupported.



You poor thing :( I bet many people on this forum would tick (or have had) most of your symptoms.

I have very definitely been where you are, and it took me a long time to realise that my GP was not actually looking after me properly at all.

Do not assume that your surgery would ring you with the results for the tests you had - I know some probably do, others don't. I actually went back to the surgery for something unrelated and, when my GP looked at my 24hr heart monitor results from a couple of weeks previously, I was immediately despatched to A&E. The results had been sat in my file, waiting (for what??)

You definitely need to get a copy of your thyroid tests because that will help to start with. Vitamins and minerals are often low or deficient for us hypos too. I was found to be deficient in vitamin D, B12 and iron - sorting those out improved many of my debilitating aches and pains. I couldn't even think coherently until I was given B12 (I had to be accompanied to my appointments - I would forget where I was going, wasn't safe to drive, and couldn't remember what I was trying to say when I was there).


So sorry you are going through all this. I have had an underactive thyroid most of my life and always battled weight. I can only tell you what works for my bodytype weight-wise but it may not work for you, especially if your medication is not right yet.

I eat a lot of vegetables, protein at every meal and I don't eat gluten or many grains. I eat small amounts of carbohydrates - what I feel my body needs. I eat fruit, but not big amounts. I eat a v small amount of dark choc after my evening meal which seems to signal to my body that the meal is over. It took me a long while to find what worked for me. I hope your medication gets sorted. I tried armour thyroid for a while and really felt that my body was trying to put weight on so I know how awful it is when the meds feel like they are against you as well as everything else. But I still felt that eating this way helped me control things. When I was a high carb, low fat vegetarian I had a real fight on my hands re weight. Food definitely makes a big difference in my case. Good luck.


You may also like...