Hypothyroidism and weight gain

Hello, I've had an underactive thyroid for over 12 years now, but in the past 18 months I have consistently put on weight. I also have fibromyalgia and struggle with regular exercise. I'm taking drastic steps and have started the herbalife programme, I just wondered if anyone else with similar conditions has tried this and had any success??

24 Replies

  • I tried something similar, many years ago, before I was diagnosed. I gained three kilos.

    Sounds to me like you are Under-treated and need an increase in dose. And if that is the case, this diet is not going to help you, and might even harm you. Hypos should not go on low calorie diets because it affects their conversion, making them even more hypo.

    You may also have nutritional deficiencies which will make it even more difficult for your body to use the hormone you are taking, and make you more inclined to put on weight - and a diet of this kind could accerbate the nutritional deficiencies.

    You shouldn't over-do the exercise, either, because it will not make you lose weight, but will use up your T3, leaving you even more hypo. You will only be able to lose weight when your T3 level is optimal.

    What would be interesting would be to see your thyroid labs - with ranges - and know how much thyroid hormone replacement you are taking, and what it is. When you are hypo, your weight-gain has little to do with what you eat, but more to do with the level of your T3.

    Fibromyalgia is very often a symptom of un/Under-replaced hypo.

  • Thanks for your comments, my thyroid was recently checked and the doctor said it was fine, I've never been given information on specific sub levels, can I just ask the doctor for these?

  • You can indeed! And you must. The first step to taking control of your own health - and Healing - is to ask for your blood tests every time. It is your legal right to have a copy. But it's very rare to find a doctor that will just hand them to you without being asked - they like to preserve the air of mystery!

    'Fine' is not a diagnosis, it's an opinion. And his opinion might be very different to yours - he doesn't have to live with the conséquences. You need to know exactly what was tested when, and what the results were.

    If he gets difficult, just quote the Data protection act at him.


  • Lol, Greygoose, this made made me smile. I remember many years ago when I went to my GP with stomach problems - before we all had computers and internet access. He wrote a prescription for me but didn't tell me what it was. He said it was 'his little secret'. It was Fybrogel - pure liquid fibre. I sat on the toilet for three days,and got very sore before I realised what an absolute plonker he was. I never saw that GP again.

  • Oh, dear! But aren't they all plonkers! Well, most of them, anyway. And they think they're so damn clever! Thank god for internet, I say! We are no longer at the mercy of their overwhelming egos!

  • The very simple answer to all your weight and fibro problems is you are either undertreated or incorrectly treated


    free t4

    free t3





    vit D3

    been tested because the whole lot are interelated and the last 4 must be halfway in their ranges otherwise giving levothyroxine is a waste of time because you cannot convert it into the t3 your body cells are screaming for

  • Thank you, I can honestly say that I don't know if these have been tested, I don't even really understand what some of them are. I was vitamin d deficient last year and put on vit d for 6 months but nothing since. I just trust my doctor to check all of these things, it sounds like they need to be giving me much more specific information.

  • When you get the results, just post them here and someone will help you understand them.

    I'm afraid you cannot just trust your doctor when it comes to thyroid. Most of them know less than most of us! Which is why forums like this exist.

  • This is a link which might be a bit helpful:



    As the others have suggested you are probably underdosed/undertreated.

    Ask for a new blood test - it should be the earliest possible and fast (you can drink water) (you can say you have symptoms and need a new blood test). Leave about 24 hours between your last dose of levo and the test and take levo afterwards. If GP hasn't tested B12, Vit D, iron, ferritin and folate for a while ask for these too as we are usually deficient.

    Get a print-out of the blood test results with the ranges and post on a new question for comments.

  • Thanks, you all seem to know a lot more than I do!!

  • Like you, we didn't get the expertise from the NHS and had to read and learn and take advice which helped us recover. You will soon knows as well.

  • Thank you, I need to do some serious reading!

  • Everything you need to find out to get well is on here.Its the most informative,as well as the most supportive source I have found.

    After 17 years on thyroxine I became hypo,though all GPs said my blood levels were fine.I put on weight(alot of it is water,not fat when hypo)& my weight went up & up.I started losing hair.I became depressed,anxious & then developed chronic fatigue alongside brain-fog.

    My body could no longer utilise thyroxine.

    Now I am seeing big improvements on Liothyronine.

    I owe my improved health to this forum.I have hope,too,now.

  • Thank you, I had no idea it was so complex, I'm glad that things are improving for you.

  • I wouldn't go down that lane. Herbalife! Check online there are cases of liver failure including one in my family. She's fine now but was in hospital for a while and I think us hypo have already sensitive livers. I'd follow greygoose suggestions and the others here.

  • Thank you, crikey that's frightening! I saw a doctor a few weeks ago with regard to my weight gain and hair loss and she just shrugged and said 'it's just symptoms of your thyroid there's nothing you can do! '

  • Well, in a way she's right - and please do excuse me popping up all the time, like this, but it's a subject close to my heart!

    But she's wrong in that there's nothing SHE can do! SHE can put you on the right dose of thyroid hormone replacment. But I doubt she's aware of that...

  • I think I'll visit her again and ask her to look at this more closely and don't worry about popping up, you've given me more useful information this afternoon than I've had in years, so thank you!!

  • You're welcome. :)

  • I am afraid trusting doctors is a waste of time

    Read every thread you can on this forum

    educate yourself and then educate your GP

  • Two of my friends lost a lot of weight on Herbalife, but unfortunately both gained even more weight than before the diet :(

  • Oh heck! Having done some research I'm steering clear, back to the docs for more info on my levels and back to good old healthy eating!! 😉

  • I went on the 5:2 diet; it suited me. When I was not optimally medicated I could not lose weight. The moral of the story...don't try and diet until your thyroid hormones are at the right level for you.

  • I'm still not sure if I am, I take 125mg levothyroxine every day and it's only a few weeks ago that my GP said it was fine, I suppose I have to trust her? Although from what I've read about the different levels I think I may need to go back and press her for a better explanation. I tried the 5:2 diet and liked it, I just didn't stick to it!

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