Thyroid UK
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under active throid

hi everyone - i was diagnosed with a borderline throid issue but am symptomatic - so they put me on 25mg of levothyroxine - which did nothing, yesterday i was put on 50mg as i was still gaining weight, still tired, my current tsh levels are about 5.8.. not much like i said borderline.

the good newsa is that my doctor agreed for my next blood test to include t3 and t4 levels.

my question is, can people successfully lose weight on it.. i feel like im doing everything right - i count calores, i exercise, i weigh and measure everything that goes into my mouth - textbook? it should be dropping of me. but this week after 1400 calories a day i gained 0.6lbs which is not much i know... but the previous weeks i gained 8lbs 1 week, 3lbs the next. yep 11lbs in 2weeks!!! this is on a 1400 calorie diet with exercise - no treat meals. i just feel that if the medication just put my thyroid where its meant to be at a normal level then i can do the rest, as everything else is spot on.. will this happen?

7 Replies

I'm so sorry to hear that! I've been there with the crazy fast weight gain and it is the most horrid feeling (I gained 30kg in 3 months- that's 66 pounds!)

However, you need to be optimally medicated first then deal with the weight problem. To be honest, whether you are on the diet (and caning yourself at the gym) at this point is not going to make a massive difference on your weight loss, so basically you're torturing yourself and not seeing the results. What I've learnt on this forum is that dieting while you are still poorly from the thyroid is the most soul destroying thing- all the work and very little results. It seems so anti-intuitive but totally true. It took me a few months to adjust to this reality!

I'm on the high fat low carbs regiment for the second time now- I have insulin resistance and this should be (and feel like) the best dietary lifestyle for my body. Last year, I lost very little (any diet I could only manage 1/4-1/2 pound a week- it was so upsetting) and I was exhausted (so undermedicated but my GP refused to listen to me) but still doing hot yoga twice a week, spin twice a week and rehabilitation for my back twice a week on top of my active job. Now I only spin once, rehab twice and 2 very gentle slow sessions of yoga a week (only 30mins of high intensity a week) and I'm finally losing at the rate that normal people lose weight. I eat more and exercise way less. I don't feel like passing out after the gym. The difference? I'm pretty optimal (by symptoms). Funnily enough it's much easier for me to follow the diet this time round as well as my body doesn't crave as much and I think that's all down to the thyroid being a bit happier too.

It might help to get a second opinion here regarding your results and also your doc needs to look at your b12, folate, ferritin and vit d level as you need to be optimal with your vitamins and minerals for the thyroxine to work properly. Also remember to eat fats. LOTS and LOTS of good fat. It's essential for our body to function and heal itself. No, it doesn't work with your 1,400 cal plan but the fat is definitely not the thing to throw out of your diet.

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thank you very much.. for all your replies - i know though if i dont have control i will gain stupid amounts, so ill just bide my time until the drs have the correct dosage then go for it once my levels are back to normal?


If you'd like the control of doing something perhaps set your counter to 1,800 base calories + steps calories + exercise calories. This will work out to be around 2000-2,200 a day after having a perfectly acceptable deficit- walking around 10,000 steps (5 miles) will give you back lots of calories. Your body won't starve and it'll thank you for it. Seriously, I eat between 1,800 to around 2,000 a day now and I seem to be doing better than when I was on 1,400.

Be careful of the word 'normal'- what the GP considers normal and where you actually feel healthy is 2 completely different things. I was talking to my friend who is also hypo last night and she was telling me she doesn't even remember what her 'normal' is anymore.


P.S regarding dieting and eating more fat, myfitnesspal is a fantastic tool since it is so customisable. I've got it set to 60% fat intake so it flashes when I eat too much carbs (usually by lunchtime :( instead of fat- this will make you feel much less guilty about all the butter you're now allowed to eat!). And if you find it hard to stomach it, a bullet coffee/ fat shake in the morning is the best place to start as they don't taste that fatty but will give you a good slow burning hit in the morning. Avoid all those low fat/ zero fat alternatives as they are just chock full of chemicals your body doesn't need- ever!


Forget about the weight and focus on getting well. You are at a v early stage, your thyroid is failing, 5.8 is way too high, you are nowhere near an optimal dose yet and it sounds as tho u don't know what your nutrient levels are.

It is going to take ages, cultivate patience.

Great that The GP agrees to do T3.


You're not eating enough! Low-calorie diets will negatively impact conversion and make you more hypo. You should be eating at least 2000 calories a day - but, better still, don't count calories at all! It is unnatural and counter-productive. Calories have nothing to do with your weight-gain, it's to do with your low T3. So, reducing calories is not going to make you lose the weight, and will probably make you put more on! (As you have discovered!)

And, stop the exercising. That will not make you lose weight, either, and will probably make you put more on. Because exercising uses up your precious T3 (not to mention your calories!), which you cannot easily replace, and don't have enough of, anyway. Just gentle walking, swimming or yoga.

You need to eat a nourishing diet - your body needs it more than ever, now - plenty of protein and plenty of good fat (you see why counting calories is counter-productive? It deprives you of an essential nutrient). Plenty of fresh fruit and veg, some carbs, not too much fibre, and don't skimp on the salt - adrenals need salt.

The most important thing to avoid like the plague, is unfermented soy : soy milk, soy flour, soy protein, soy oil, etc. So, be careful, they put it in just about everything processed. So, it's best to cut out processed foods and cook everything from scratch.

As you are hypo, and have been dieting, you probably have nutritional deficiencies - most of us have - and they, too, will make it difficult for you to lose weight. So, ask for your vit d, vit B12, folate and ferritin to be tested. They all need to be optimal, not just in range. When you get the results, post them here - with the ranges - and we will advise on supplements. :)


hi hun, my levels are:

feritin 122ugl

tsh - 5.61

v12 - 371ngl


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