Thyroid UK

Weight & fertility struggles with hypothyroidism

Weight & fertility struggles with hypothyroidism

Hi There!

i've been managing hypothyroidism for about 6 years now. my gland seemed to go wild between 2014 and 2015 and my weight gain seemed uncontrollable so i went in for a surgery as suggested by the surgeon. after the surgery in March, i lost a lot of weight and was feeling good but this lasted for only 2 months as i had a relapse.

i went from hospital to hospital until i met a doctor who said i have Hashimoto thyroiditis and was furious that i had a surgery (she said it wasn't necessary). now ive been placed on 150mcg of levothyroxine by a doctor who thinks pushing me towards hyperthyroidism will help me loose weight (i actually feel a lot better now that i'm on 150mcg palpitation and fatigue wise).

with all these said, i need advise on what to do to loose weight and i also need help knowing what to do because it seems to be ruining my chances of getting pregnant.


9 Replies

Welcome to the forum, GagaA.

Conception can be difficult when TSH is high so your TSH needs to be in the low-normal range 0.4-2.0 with FT4 in the upper range.

Being optimally medicated with low TSH and upper range FT4 should prevent you putting on hypothyroid weight but you will need to restrict calories and exercise to reduce weight you've gained.

Hashimoto's causes 90% of hypothyroidism. 100% gluten-free diet may improve symptoms and reduce antibodies. Some members find it helps them to lose weight too.


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 Clutter,

i actually started a gluten free diet (very expensive and difficult to maintain), so i'll see how it goes. i'll run some tests this week to see if my TSH has improved.


If i were you, the first thing I would do would be to get private tests done. I'd get :




vit d

vit B12



The FT3 is the most important number. It's low T3 that causes symptoms, like weight gain, etc. And you need it tested at the same time as the FT4 to see if you're converting that T4 you're taking, to T3.

You need the nutrients tested because, having been hypo for so long, you are probably deficient in a lot of things, and that will have a negative effect on the way your body handles thyroid hormones. Also, nutritional deficiencies will cause a lot of symptoms, and make it even more difficult for you to lose weight. Once everything is optimal, you should see your weight go down naturally.

But, whatever you do, do not start dieting and exercising before your T3 is optimal. Low calorie diets negatively affect conversion. And exercise uses up your T3, which you cannot easily replace. So, for the time being, just gentle walking/swimming/yoga.

Your present diet should contain plenty of protein and plenty of good fat - a lot of people are afraid of fat, but eating fat doesn't make you fat. You need good fat in your diet to make hormones! Plenty of fresh fruit and veg, some fibre and carbs (low carb negatively affects conversion, also), and don't skimp on the salt. Adrenals need salt. The big no-nos are unfermented soy, and anything processed! :)


Hi Greygoose!

You just have to be my new best friend... i probably have been hurting myself by dieting thinking i was doing good. i'll get all the suggested tests and see what happens.

After increasing my levothyroxine to 100mcg, my palpitations increased which i felt was normal since i just change the dosage, but the doctor immediately recommended radioactive thyroxine.

What do you know of this please?


If you started having palpitations after increasing to 100 mcg, it probably wasn't the fault of your dose. It could have been due to nutritional deficiencies - which meant that your body couldn't handle the increase - or adrenal fatigue. But the NHS doesn't believe in nutrition, nor in adrenal fatigue, so they wouldn't have tested for either.

That doctor sounds like a bit of a... ignoramous. There was no need to remove your gland. What was his justification for that? But, they just know nothing about it, so I suppose he panicked and that was the only thing he knew how to do. It's such a shame.

Radioactive iodine is usually used for cancer or people with Graves Disease who cannot be helped by medication. I have Hashi's, so I don't know a lot about it. But I do know that a) 100 mcg is just a starter dose, really; b) Hashi's people swing from hypo to hyper and back again, and the hyper state is transitory, it doesn't last long, and you end up with no gland and hypo, if measures aren't taken to stop the antibody activity. I don't know if that is any consolation. But, I also know that c) doctors know nothing about any of that!

What were your blood test results at that time, do you remember? Removing the gland is what doctors think is the easy solution - for them, not the patient! Trouble is, they have no idea how to correctly treat the patient after the gland has gone.

It is never good to 'diet'. Calorie-counting is artificial and counter-productive. People go on about the Paleo diet is the natural way to eat. But people in Paleolithic times didn't count calories! lol Of course, they didn't have the temptations we have today, but even no... cutting out the fat in order to eat a cream cake is not the way to go. (And, believe me, I've done that, and been there. I remember calculating that is I didn't put butter on my toast, I could have jam! lol But, that was a long time ago...) You will always put the weight back on if you do it that way. A balanced diet, and a sensible way of eating for life is the best way to do it.

But, don't beat yourself up about it. I doubt if there's any long-term damage done. But, from now on, count nutrients, not calories, and concentrate on getting your thyroid hormones right. The rest should take care of itself. :)


Thank you so much. i'll try this approach and see how it goes. hopefully, it will work.

thanks again.


You're welcome. :)



Welcome to our forum and sorry to hear you feel so unwell.

A thyroidectomy is usually performed on a patient with cancer or a goitre that stops easy breathing, etc ! ! ...

Hashimotos is an autoimmune disease and the resulting thyroid antibodies require managing as can inhibit good thyroid hormone synthesis. Adopting a gluten free diet has helped members to reduce thyroid antibodies, and supplementing selenium known to reduce TPOAb.

Don't try dieting to lose weight as it won't work until thyroid hormones are balanced. The main dietary advice is to avoid all forms of unfermented soy which are very bad for the thyroid and make sure there is fat and protein in your diet to provide essential nutrients.

Conception is more likely when TSH is low as this encourages good levels of thyroid hormone. T4 & T3 deficiency can cause disruption with ovulation (when the egg is released from the ovary and ready for fertilisation) and in response thyrotropin releasing hormone (TRH) and thyroid stimulating hormone (THS) is secreted but by doing this the body also creates prolactin, a hormone that can interfere with ovulation.

NICE guidelines state that a TSH of low-normal range (0.4–2.0 mU/L) and an FT4 concentration in the upper reference range is crucial for conception as the need for thyroid hormone increases in the early part of pregnancy due to the increased oestrogen levels of early pregnancy.

You will be your baby's only source of thyroid hormone (as your baby's thyroid gland isn't fully functional until after 12 weeks of pregnancy). If you don't have sufficient thyroid hormones, you will be at an increased risk of miscarriage, and your baby, of developmental problems.

Make sure your endocrinologist understands hypothyroidism and pregnancy and print off the NICE guidelines if necessary.

Ask your GP to test Vit B12, folate, ferritin, Vit D and post results complete with ranges (numbers in brackets) for members to comment, as optimal iron, nutrients will encourage your thyroid hormones to work better.


NICE conception


Gluten//Thyroid Connection


Selenium reduces TPOAb


Thank you so much Radd! Im so glad i found this forum. For the first time, im talking to people who seem to have experience and have vast knowledge.

Will surely get the test run asap and post d results.

Thanks once again

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