Thyroid UK
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Weight gain with increased Levothyroxine

I had a partial thyroidectomy in 2011 - one large benign tumour, one small cancerous. Have been on levo since beginning 2013. In 2014 I lost 6 stone with healthy eating, but also lost all by hair and had a lot of other symptoms - levo was increased to 100mg - but my weight loss immediately stalled. I have since been to see endo as TSH was 4.8 and GP and endo have said with previous history of cancer it should not be above 1.5 max. So have been on 125mg for 4 weeks, blood test in 2 weeks, endo again 6 weeks after that - but i have been gradually putting weight back on, mood is low, a lot of joint pain (i have arthritis issues as well) - and ALT has jumped from 41 to 108. Has anyone else had weight gain issues with levo increase?

3 Replies

Weight gain is the commonest query and it is sometimes the first symptom the patient has - unexplained weight gain (due to slow metabolism i.e. hypothyroidism).

It can also be due to levothyroxine which doesn't work for everyone and I think it would be kind of your GP and Endocrinologist to add T3 to your T4. T3 is the active hormone required in every receptor cell and raises our metabolism. T4 (levothyroxine) is inactive and it's job is to convert to T3.

Levothyroxine doesn't always convert to sufficient T3 for the patient's needs. You are obviously on a very low dose of T4 as, with thyroid cancer, your TSH should be suppressed and T3 should be added to T4.

I doubt it can be suppressed without T3 being added but again I am prejudiced for T3 to be given to everyone (added to T4 at the very least). Your doctor should test your Free T3.

Also when you have a blood test for your thyroid hormones it should be the eariest possible and don't eat before it but you can drink water. Also allow approx 24 hours between your last dose of levo and the test and take levo afterwards. This allows the TSH to be at its highest and that's the main result doctors take notice of.

(I am not medically qualified but hypothyroid and have recovered my health with T3 only).


Thank you for this. The endo I saw privately asked me what i would like him to achieve so at that point i just said "to feel better". I will definitely go back sooner as weight gain very demoralising - am on masses of other medication as well. He also suggested i change taking the levo from night time to morning - but not sure this is working well. Local NHS trust will only test TSH - had to get rheumatologist to over ride the system - but never got a result as they struggled to get a sample and it was haemolysed. Can I get T3 on the NHS or would i have to source this privately?

Many thanks for the info and support!


I think you may have to source T3 privately due to the horrendously high cost nowadays to the NHS and many are having T3 withdrawn. If someone has information for a source, they will send you a private message or you can put up a new post asking for info to be sent by Private Message.


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