Thyroid UK
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Water retention or fat on legs and upper arms? And any ideas on getting rid of it?!?

I have lost a lot of weight since being on thyroxine (200mcg per day) for about 6 years. However, no matter what I eat or don't eat, no matter how much I exercise or what exercise I do, my tummy and ribs gets more and more toned and slight, but the fluidy weight on my arms and legs doesn't change - I feel my muscles getting toned and can see some and feel all my muscles clearly strong and developed through the fluidy weight. I have really fluidy weight (very very soft) on my upper arms and all my legs down to my ankles, the weight on my elbows literally hangs over my elbows at the backs. I was undiagnosed hypo for years and wonder whether it just went so far that I will never get back to normal? Or is this something that I can improve? Is it fat or fluid? If it's fat, why o why is it soooo soft and fluidy? Any info or direction welcome. Thank you, Pamela

7 Replies

First thing you need to do is go to your doctors and get a copy of your latest test results and ranges. In the UK it is your right under the Data Protection Act 1998 to have a copy. Your GP's practice should have a protocol in place for giving you the copy which means it may take a few days from the request to get the results and cost you nothing (or a few pence) if the test was recent or up to £10 if the test was more than 40 days ago.

If the test is going to cost you £10 I suggest you change your request to ask for every single test you have had for the past 10 years as the practice can only charge you £10 per Data Subject Access Request for electronic records.

The reason to do this is many posters with issues are actually under medicated, and only by knowing their results can they be given specific advice.

When you have a the results start a new thread putting the results and the range in, listing your medication and the side effects you are having.


If in the UK, the surgery can charge you up to £10 for your most recent results now if you want a print out, ( my daughter's surgery were charging her £10 for a print of her most revent ines so I did a bit of investigating as I thought the same as you)


Hi there how soon do they start to work and making u feel better again


Hi pamelaegg,

Are your feet and ankles swollen, like if they if have been pumped up, do they ache or get sore? If fluid is in your legs too, it might be oedema, which you can get anywhere in your body but normally legs. You might need a mild diuretic, I would have a chat with your GP. I know you said you exercise, but if you sit a lot during the day due to work or other reasons, try and keep your legs elevated when in a sitting position and when asleep, this will help with getting rid of fluid. Unfortunately it is quite common.

I am on 250 mcg thyroxine, my original dose was 200 mcg from a child until 32 and then my dose was dramatically dropped (thanks to a wonderful GP (not), so much so it caused a lot of health problems for me personally. Since then, my dose has increased to its current dose and as a consequence of previous mismanagement by my previous GP, I have oedema now. However, I am not saying you have oedema to the degree I have, but just a mild form that might just need a little help to disappear.

Please note, if taking diuretics, sometimes the mildest diuretic, can make you need the loo quite frequently, so not advisable to take it before a long car journey ;) Drinking water does help, more than drinking anything with caffeine in.

Hope this helps and let us know how you get on.

Take care :)

1 like

If you can try lymphatic drainage massage. Should be given by a qualified osteopath not a beauty salon. It's worked wonders for my cankles and upper arms....

Good luck


I had fluid retention everywhere that has almost fully disappeared this year - leaving me in different bra and dress sizes with ankles that I can see. i used aromatherapy massage, resting with legs supported and/or elevated and milkTED socks from sockshop (under health and well being). Re the TED socks and compression items: to get the compression you need they have to be 18-22mmhg. Beware the cheaper sports compression garments as the mmhg range may be too slight for this purpose. This combined with sorting my gut out has helped tremendously. Something will work for you from everything suggested here - good luck.


This sounds like lipedema (lipoedema in UK), which is different from lymphedema. Lymphatic massage would help, but generally therapeutic tumescent liposuction is most effective.


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