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Thyroid UK
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Exante diet and weight loss

After being diagnosed for 5 years and still not being able to lose weight, even though Im on T3 even I have decided to become extreme.

Ive read about Exante and am on my 4th week now. I have lost just over a stone and very happy with that. Believe me, nothing works for losing weight and im getting pretty desperate now.

However, I actually feel that my old thyroid symptoms are coming back....is that even possible? For me my thyroid symptoms were weird and never seemed to follow traditional thyroid symptoms.

My main problems were weird sensations, anxiety and some agoraphobia as well as fear of driving anywhere. Also Im so so tired. some of these things are beginning to creep back in.

Is it possible that this diet is blocking the absorbstion of my T3 or does anyone think I should actually add more? I can't have lost too much to reduce the dose at this stage as early days.

Has anyone else felt their symptoms are coming back on Exante?

35 Replies

Numberone1, extreme fasting causes T3 levels to drop as the body goes into starvation mode to conserve energy.


I am not a medical professional and this information is not intended to be a substitute for medical guidance from your own doctor. Please check with your personal physician before applying any of these suggestions.


Thank you. Thats interesting. I guess I might need to get tested and take more then.....I certainly dont want to start getting my old symptoms back. It wrecked my life for many years.

I was only saying today that before diagnosis, I couldn't tell from one day to the next whether I would feel normal or not. It was difficult to plan anything. I have spent this week feeling the same. Ive also started obsessing a bit about health and Ive had a weird thumpy feeling now and then in my heart.

This diet is so good and possibly the only one I have stuck to. Hope Im not going to have to stop it.


Numberone1, I think you'll probably have some replies recommending gradual sustained weightloss is healthier than extreme dieting to achieve rapid weight loss.


Of course I know that Clutter and would even say the same myself. However, we eat extremely healthily mostly because we have a daughter with type1 diabetes. Not a cake or biscuit is even in our house....don;t you love it when people assume you eat cake all the time! We mostly have white meat or fish, we don't have desserts etc etc. Sadly the weight refused to budge for me and everyone in the household are very slim, one daughter being a size 0 which equally is not healthy but thats her metabolism for you. I have nowhere else to turn. On WW I lost half a pound in 18 months! So it seems to me that my health is more important than whether Im doing it the right way. To be the weight I am in my late 50s is not healthy.


Numberone1, I don't assume overweight people have unhealthy diets or overeat. Hypothyroidism, other health conditions, menopause and medications can make controlling weight nigh on impossible. I can't agree that a starvation diet is more healthy than being overweight though.


I understand how you feel.


Numberone1, you didn't put on weight because of what you ate, you put it on because you were hypo. That is to say, you had low T3. And nothing 'works' when trying to lose the weight when your T3 is low. Because it's nothing to do with calories.

But if you then go on an extremely low calorie diet that lowers your T3 even further, you are just going to make yourself more hypo. Suggesting that you need to take more T3 so that you can continue on a low-calorie diet that continues to lower your T3, is a bit Alice in Wonderland, Don't you think? Why not just eat normally - and healthily - because extremely low-calorie diets are not healthy - and take more T3 to raise your T3 levels to lose weight.

What you're doing is a bit like trying to fill your petrol tank whilst continually reving the motor. The T3/petrol is disappearing as fast as you put it in.

Plus, it's like riding a tiger - you can never get off. If you stop the diet, with the low T3, the weight is just going to go straight back on again. Do you want to continue this diet for the rest of your life?

And, what about all the other body systems that need T3? Like your brain. How much T3 is your brain going to get?

And what about all those nutrients that you aren't getting by not eating enough? I bet you aren't eating enough fat, because fat has the most calories - it's usually the first thing to go. Do you know you need fat to be healthy?

You say it's not healthy to be the weight you are in your late 50s, but what's really not healthy is having low T3. Get your T3 optimised - and your nutritional deficiencies optimised (because it's not just about hormones) - and the weight will take care of itself.

Well, that's my opinion - and experience (bet you aren't as heavy as I was in my late 50s!) - but I'm not a doctor...


My T3 was actually above what it should have been on the last test so I felt it was ok for it to be lower. I understand everything you are all saying but I am desperate to get back to the real me.

I have 5 stone to lose. I have lost all respect for myself. I have lost the respect of people around me ( because of course to be obese means you are lazy). I eat extremely healthy because of my type 1 daughter. I had breathing issues last year, I have menopausal issues and I can't take hrt because of it. My blood pressure is high and it's all to do with my weight. I've been a successful business woman and yet I can't get past all the interviews because of my obese image. My parents and in laws are rude about my weight. Do you realise how much I want to scream! I am still considered to be attractive but I hate myself.

I love all your support and help but I'm not stupid. The diet I am on is low calorie but it has all the vitamins and minerals needed. To me it could be the answer and once I finish, I know the weight can go on easily but I want to be back to a decent weight and then start from there. Also re not losing weight because of low T3, when it was optimum I still lost nothing.


Numberone - I've replied below. :)


I'm 18 stone by the way. I was always 9 stone even after I had all 3 daughters.


i am up to 17 stone in 6 years from 9 stone, I don't recognise myself anymore, I know exactly how you feel. My dr put most my symptoms down to menopause, then he put them down to me being fat!! I am desperate to lose the weight, it is solid mucin under my skin :( you can not pinch my skin anywhere on body except backs of my hands x

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What is your latest TSH result.

I agree with Clutter - extreme weight loss especially 14 lbs before a month is up would be classed as a starvation diet. Also when people begin to eat properly again the weight piles on, as far as I understand.

You might be reducing the T3 which should go into your cells and maybe that's why symptoms are returning. You don't know whether the excess protein is blocking some of the T3.


My last test gave me a TSH result of 2.3 but because I only take T3, my T4 was abnormal -is not a true reflection and my T3 was way above what it should be. I couldn't understand my TSH reading with those figures. If anything shouldn't it have been showing hyperthyroidism?


Your TSH is highish and your T4 will be negligible because you are producing little and don't take levo. Your T3 will be higher because the blood tests were introduced along with levothyroxine so don't 'fit' with being on T3 only. The T3 range in the blood tests are for the amount of T3 being converted from T4.

Your body is only overstimulated if you take too much thyroid hormones and you'd then miss a day or two's dose then reduce your intake and the unpleasant sensations should diminish. This is an extract:

The same applies to T3 blood levels: Patients fall into a bell curve—some enjoying normal metabolism with a particular T3 level, others suffering from symptoms of slow metabolism with the same T3 level.

What’s most important to realize is this: The variation in how different patients respond to the same TSH or T3 level makes the reference ranges (formerly called the "ranges of normal") for the T3, TSH, or any other hormone totally without value in finding the dose of thyroid hormone that’s safe and effective for individual patients.[1,p.1217]


P.S. I do understand about you wanting to lose weight. :)

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I don't know about your diet. But just thought I would add that you might see your weight slow down because at first you will loose excess fluid


Leaving aside whether it's healthy or not healthy (I've done Exante, Slim & Save and Cambridge in my time - all I can say about that is that it's a lot easier to do on thyroid medication than off it!! I felt terrible the first time around but was so desperate to lose weight I didn't care (and yes, of course that's not healthy - thank you media and well-meaning relatives for making me feel so sh*t about myself!!)...

...my curiosity is piqued. Yes, very low calorie diets reduce T3 in those with properly functional thyroids. Of course they do - your body will want to slow right down cos it doesn't understand you want to lose weight; it thinks you're experiencing a famine. But if you're taking T3, i.e., putting T3 in, rather than relying on your body to convert T4, why would the effectiveness of it reduce? If anything, absorption is likely to be increased. Plus your body will be using less energy to digest food, so actually, if you're taking T3, I would have thought it was likely you might need slightly less for the duration of the low calorie period.

So my punt, for what it's worth, is that you may be slightly overdosed, rather than underdosed.

But - and this has just occured to me - it might also be that you're intolerant to milk. Or soy perhaps? In which case, the Exante products might just be causing your gut to be less functional than usual.

Hard to know which it could be - if either. But if your underdosed symptoms are similar to overdosed symptoms, that might be a clue.

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Thank you. I have considered also that I might be taking too much so for that reason I'm getting my blood tested again. I see that whether you agree or not with this diet, it is easier to do isn't it for the effect we need. I want to get at a point that I can work from and try to control it from there without everyone thinking I eat doughnuts all the time ( I really did get that comment).


It is ignorance, plain and simple. I think in the fullness of time, it will be understood that not all overweight people stuff themselves stupid - that there really are other mechanisms at work.

I'm always a little gobsmacked that health professionals would rather carry out bariatric surgery than try something like a VLCD first. After all, once you've had that surgery, the likelihood is that you'll effectively be on a liquid diet (or very small portions) - so why not try the liquid diet without the surgery first?

I am torn over what to do - as I'm sure you are - as at various times over the years I've been fiercely pro then just as fiercely anti VLCDs, depending on what I've most recently read, quite often and how desperate to lose weight I am at the time. I've sworn to myself several times that I'd never do it again - but I have. Probably completely b*ggered up what was left of my metabolism in the process, but when the weight just won't come off any other way, what do you do, when your joints are crumbling away and going upstairs leaves you gasping for breath??

There is research to show that actually, those who lose weight on a VLCD are statistically *less* likely to put it all back on. And I honestly haven't. I'll admit I got back to within a stone of my highest weight, but going gluten free stopped it getting worse - and what I have regained took several years to go back on. The cynic in me would guess not regaining it all has something to do with the loss of lean muscle mass, the optimist in me hopes it has something to do with truly recognising the value of food once you've had to do without for a period of time. Doing a VLCD does really highlight when you're eating for reasons other than hunger!

So I get it, I really do.


Jazz and numberone1,

At my highest, about 4 years ago, I was nearly 21 stone. I am now about 11 and a half. And I didn't diet, and I didn't exercise.

Numberone1, you say this diet has all the vitamins and minerals you need, but just getting your RDA does not deal with any nutritional deficiencies you may have had before starting it. And, on top of that, being hypo, you probably aren't absorbing all the nutrients you're eating, anyway.

To lose all that I've lost, I had to go way over the top of the range with my T3 for a while - I think I had an rT3 issue and hormone resisitance, anyway, and needed to flood the receptors. But, even so, I didn't really start losing it until I started addressing my nutritional deficiencies - especailly B vits and magnesium.

A long time before I was diagnosed, my doctor told me to try a liquid diet. 800 calories a day for 11 days. I put on 3 kilos. But not only that, it did terrible things to my teeth. No matter how many times a day I cleaned them, my whole mouth was constantly covered in slime. It was just so disgusting. We are designed to chew. But, I could have borne that if, at the end, I lost the wonderous amount of kilos my doctor promised me I would! But to put 3 kilos on added insult to injury. And, of course, my doctor wouldn't believe I hadn't cheated.

'Experts' are now coming round to the idea that calorie-counting is a bad idea for everyone - not just hypos. Obviously, certain things are bad for us, like sugar. But they are now saying that you should be counting nutrients, not calories. Calorie-counting is just a red Herring, because not all calories are created equal. And we've all been taken for one huge great ride! Just as we were with fat and cholesterol.

But one thing is certain. If this diet contains soy, then it is very bad - especially for hypos. Unfermented soy is not a health food. It has a lot of down-sides. One of them being that it contains a substance that stops us absorbing the protein it contains, so if you are counting on it for your protein, then you're going to be very short on protein.

It is, of course, a goitrogen - which means that it impedes the up-take of iodine by the thyroid gland. But even if you Don't depend on your gland for any of your hormone, it also impedes the up-take of hormone by the receptors at a cellular level. So, yes, you are making yourself more hypo by eating it on a regular basis.

So, here's a couple of things, I think you ought to read :



In the last link, scroll down until you reach the posts by 1133.

Numberone1, in no way was I suggesting that you are stupid. Sorry if I gave that impression.

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I am very impressed with your weight loss Greygoose. I am worried that Exante is all soy, you don;t need to tell me that. I know it isn't necessarily good for me. I am scared that some of my old symptoms are coming back. Im scared that I will start to become anxious again. My head feels weird and that is definitely how I used to feel which in turn meant I was scared to go out, drive etc. I spent time taking anti anxiety medication, anti depressants, doctors not understanding that I was not anxious, just had a weird head feeling.

However, all the time I am losing weight, that is almost enough for me at the moment.

I am going to start the vitamin route aswell. Also I have a bottle of magnesium so will try and start taking that too. I keep forgetting. Obviously my deficiencies might be different to yours. I know my doctor thinks Im cheating. He said as I went out of the door "its all about portion control" which is a huge joke so far as Im concerned. I shall read the articles you've tagged.

My Father says things like, there were no fat people in Belson!


I agree with GG about soy putting your health at risk. It contains analogues that inhibit the uptake of vitamin B12 and a deficiency causes serious symptoms, one of which is extreme anxiety and is also often interlinked with autoimmune thyroid disease.



Yes, I've had that remark made to me, as well. It is hugely offensive on several levels. Anyone that has said that to me has regretted it. Being hypo makes me very aggressive. Tell him a remark like that just shows how incredibly ignorant he really is.

I Don't doubt your deficiencies will be different to mine. So, the best way to start is to find out what they are. Get as many vits and mins tested as you possibly can. If you need any help with the results, you can post them on here. It's not always as straight forward as it may seem. The ranges are often nonsense. And you have to know how much of anything to take.

Just ignore your doctor, he know nothing whatsoever about nutrition. If doctors know what they're talking about in that department, how come there are so many fat doctors? lol It isn't all about portion control, of course it isn't. That would be so simple there wouldn't be any over-weight people anymore. But that's a handy catch-phrase for him to come out with, to make it look like he knows what he's talking about. He doesn't.

Soy is very bad for you. And if you know that, I Don't understand why you continue to eat it. It just isn't Worth it for the weight you are losing. It is blocking your T3, so you're on a vicious circle, there. And your symptoms are going to come back if you continue to eat it.

Taking the magnesium you have is a good start. But, what sort of magnesium is it? They aren't all good.

One shouldn't start taking more than one thing at a time, anyway. And blood tests for magnesium aren't conclusive. Most people are deficient in magnesium, So being hypo will make it worse.


Hallo Greygoose again,

I think most people here know exactly how Numberone1 feels. :)

Now I wanted to ask you, when you raised your T3 over the top of the range, did you feel alright? I have been trying to raise mine at least to the mid-normal range, but I get too many side effects: anxiety, lack of concentration (and not because I get sleepy, as when T4 and T3 are low, but because of racing thoughts), insomnia, etc. Didn't you get them?

They disappear when I lower T3, but then my metabolism gets too low again, and it gets impossible to lose weight (and I start putting on again). Maybe I should raise T3 and lower T4?

(I've posted my results here a couple of weeks ago, they looked really low, although I already had some hyper symptoms...)

My nutritional status was tested last year; everything was Ok, except Vitamin D, which was quite low. I was told to go outside more often...



No, I didn't have any ill effects for a couple of years - until I had to go to hospital for something else and they found I had an arrythmia. So I stopped taking it for a while and then started from scratch again. But I was on a rather high dose at that time (225 mcg), but, no, I didn't have any hyper symptoms. I'm now on 75 mcg.

But I honestly believe my arrythmia was more to do with my magnesium deficiency than anything else.

However, one has to take things in context. Before the high dose T3 only, I was on 6 grains of NDT - built up from 1/2 a grain over a long time - so my body was used to T3.

And before that, I was on Euthyral - which has rather a high dose of T3 in it.

I think that may make a difference.

An OK nutrtitional status is not, generally, good enough. It needs to be optimal. Was your B12 around 1000? Your ferritin at least mid-range? Are you now supplementing your D3? Because just 'going outside' is not enough - and the doctor should be shot for saying it! lol


I am taking a multivitamin which contains D, but I suppose I should take some more. I think I have to check the other factors again. It is clear for me (and for my current Doctor) I need T3, but I was just wondering how come I get hyper symptoms with a much lower dose than many people here take.

I will keep trying!

Thanks again!


It's perfectly possible to get hyper symptoms at the same time as hypo symptoms, because the T3 you have in your blood isn't distributed evenly.

Some receptors are getting too much T3, whilst other receptors aren't even switched on. Hence the theory of flooding the receptors with T3 to turn them all back on again, so that the T3 is distrubted more evenly.

Multi-vits are for healthy people. They Don't contain enough of anything to deal with a deficiency. It would be much better to get tested again and deal with deficiencies individually.


I felt nothing with a raised T3 level. The top end of the range was something like 6.2 and my figure was 12.6!!!! That scared me that I had been walking round like it and not realised. I reduced the T3 and need to test again but I feel not so great on it being lower to be honest.

Was so surprised that I had no side effects. The only possible effects were that I kept getting really hot and I was putting weight on! The hotness I put down to hot temperatures in New York and Tuscan where I was at the time.


I think side effects are very difficult to understand. I also get hot when I have also hyper symptoms, and that gets better with a lower dose - but the rest gets worse... And I know some people do put on weight with hyperthyroidism. Have a look at the American page thryroid.about, they mention this possibility.

Let's keep trying!


That is probably because your nutritional deficiencis and/or low cortisol is preventing the T3 from getting into the cells where it will be used.

Remember that the tests only measure what's in your blood, not what's in your cells. So, if it's not getting into your cells, it wouldn't cause symptoms, would it.


Yes, you are probably right. I'll try to get tested again.

Thank you!



Hi, I am having the same issue with the anxiety and being scared to drive, its quite weird as I am a person who just gets on with it, takes the bull by the horns, but no longer!!!!!!!!! :(

I remember when I would drink from a can my lips would turn numbered tingle, eating meat would make me vomit and heave!!!, my ears ring constantly and do this thing where I feel as though they bursting, eyes twitch consistanly likewise the rest of my body! Crazy!!!!! I don't even want to go out, I prefer to be in house!

loosing weight is a whole other ball game, I totally understand its like dragging another person around all the time :( i could not breath properly my chest was tight and digesting food was a thing of the past everything sat on my chest, take some similase and probiotic, it should help better with digesting food, as the body just slows down or stops in my case when the Thyroid is at play


Do you have a thryroid problem? What have you done to try and prevent these issues.?


I do have a thyroid, I have tried many stuff, currently waiting on NDT westhyroid pure, to see if that works, Levo doesn't do anything for me. I am currently taking vitamins only which isn't good as I feel myself slipping, however I have opted to wait for the delivery! however i can say that when I went to see this lady, forget what she was, Brain fog, she told me to take woman vit, b complex and similase and probiotics to help, I did however loose a stone over that 3 month period, I know its long but it did do that, help with my hypo no!!!


I saw a certain Dr P because levo didnty work for me either. Hed recommended T3 which I order privately. However, I still do not lose weight other than now.


yh i get it i tried t3 alone my hair which has changed in texture completely and does not grow, became even more course :( so i stopped started again and was taking Metabolic Advantage thyroid formula! it helped a bit, but then my T3 finished I can say that i was laid up for weeks and didn't put on weight, didn't loose much but did not put on which is equally as good or bad! especially when t=you know you can put on but not loose


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