What did hypothyroidism do to your weight?

Hi! I know weightgain is Just one of the many symptoms of hypo but I keep reading different stories about what people experincong no gain, loads, moderate.. and then I read that weight gain only falls between 10-15lbs.. also read that some people who are hypo also live an unhealthy lifestyle and people being blasted as using hypo as an excuse? Obviously it's dependent on the individual, but with a healthy diet and exercise can a healthy weight not be maintained?

11 Replies

  • Hi, I went from 8 to 12 and a half stone. I have been losing it very slowly since being diagnosed and treated 2 years ago. It is hard to live a 'healthy' lifestyle when you're hypo be cause what is healthy for a healthy person is not for someone who is hypo. Exercise has to be limited as it can make us more sick and if I do too much I feel run down and my immune system suffers, I break out in coldsores, hives etc. It is also out of the question to exercise when not on sufficient thyroid hormone as it just isn't possible and will end up using the little thyroid hormone we are trying to get through the day with, therefore exhausted and full of symptoms. Also what is meant by a 'healthy' diet is very different to different people. Hypos need nutrients and wouldn't benefit from low fat, dieting for example. Once fully replacing the hormone we can try to achieve a balance and healthy weight. Hope that helps a bit :)

  • I put on a lot of weight. I went from a size 12 to an 18-20. It's been devestating. I don't recognise myself; my husband wants me to go to counselling to come to terms with how different l look/move/see myself. My confidence has plummetted.

    I gained this weight because my GPs ignored me for 18 months. I think they thought I was stuffing myself with crap food and I was in denial.

    I went from being fit and active to a blob.

    I have always eaten healthily. Always. That's what is so galling. Another thing that is awful is people's prejudices and belief that if I ate less and moved more then I'll okay.

    If they think this is a lifestyle choice, they're completely wrong and unbelievably stupid.

    I eat around 1200 calories a day. This is the amount I need to function and not be unwell and I walk for 30 mins a day. That's all I can manage without it having a knock-on effect the following day.

    At the time of this massive weight gain, I was down to a couple of cups of broth a day and a banana. Whilst breastfeeding twins. I was so, so hungry and ill.

    I've tried VLC diets, I lost an average of 1.5 lbs a weeks on 600 calories a day - all the time thinking I'm the one at fault; society says so. If you're fat, it's down to you.

    Well it isn't. It's down to the GPs who ignored me and eventually put me on medication that didn't work.

    So you'll have to excuse if I smart a little at the assumption that with a healthy diet and a bit of exercise a healthy weight can be maintained because in truth, it sounds a little like blaming ill people for having a knackered metabolism and broken thyroid gland. I think that's a convenient way of thinking for those who lack empathy and understanding.

    I also would like people who hold these prejudices to have thyroid problems too. Terrible I know but being free from say, Hashimoto's disease or other autoimmune diseases isn't down to being a better person then someone's who is overweight but just down to sheer good luck.

  • I was always very tiny a size 8 then when i started on Levo i gained weight and went up to a size 14 which for some people is not that big but for me been short as well it was, i was like a little barrel and had a lot of weight around my middle.

    I wasnt eating rubbish i have always ate healthily until the beginning of this year when i thought sod it and just ate what i wanted mainly bad stuff, of course i felt worse, joined a slimming club and have lost most of the unwanted weight and am now weighing in at 8st 12, but i do watch what i eat again.

    But sadly i still dont feel like my old self before i was on Levo

    Dotti x

  • I became symptomatic only 3 months prior to starting thyroxine. I put on 2 kg in total in that time (I've eaten very healthily for the past decade, and I'm young and busy so these factors all helped). Once medicated, plus some supplements to cover any possible deficiencies, I've lost 1.5kg of that original 2kg in just over 5 weeks. I hope this is encouraging to others! Eating well is the key

  • I gained ca 15 kg over 2 years but I think partially it was also due to being bedridden after surgery. Once I was out and about, I lost 7kg but the rest just didn't drop. I was exercising vigorously, thinking that it's good for me. What I couldn't figure out is why the day after running I was feeling like coming down with flu. How can sports be good for you and make you feel like crap? It wasn't just beginners fatigue, it continued for months and months until I gave up because I got worse. My weight didn't budge. Now it's obvious I shouldn't have pushed myself so hard. There seems to be a pattern - fit and active period followed by a crash period.

    The only thing that helps me now is intermittent fasting. I shed the last kilos and astonishingly, it got rid of my stubborn belly fat. Also, I have to be very strict about what I eat. It seems some foods make me terribly bloated the next morning. I can't wear my wedding ring. Once it was so bad I could barely put on my ankle boots - my feet were huge.

    Now that I am on Levo I hope to have a bit more energy and clearer head.

  • I have been hypo since I was a small child - about 8, I think, looking at the photos, that's when I started putting on weight. And, in England in the early fifties, I certainly wasn't stuffing myself with sweets and chocolate, because they were all rationed, and food was scarce. And what there was was so disgusting, I didn't want to eat it. But, the weight piled on!

    But, I had Hashi's, so had Hashi's swings. And, at certain periods I would just start to lose weight for no reason, stay nice and slim for a couple of years, say, or a couple of months, and then it all piled back on again for no particular reason.

    I had my last swing at 50, and was finally diagnosed at 55 - no one had ever thought to do the test before that - and put on levo. My weight, which hadn't been too bad at that time, despite what my prejudiced doctor said - but it started to increase. After a couple of years, I managed to obtain T3, and my weight started to go down. A couple more years and a new doctor put me on NDT... And I put on over 30 kilos in a very short time and became virtually bed-bound.

    Long story short and I found myself on T3 only, and there, the weight finally started to fall off. I lost the 30 kilos, and another 20 or so, with no effort. But, you know what? If I don't eat enough - and that's sometimes a problem - I start putting it on again. And that is a problem for lots of hypos.

    Low calories diets, fasting, etc. have a negative effect on conversion. So, the person makes themselves more hypo and then puts on more weight. So, the answer to your question is a resounding NO! A healthy diet and exercise will not maintain a healthy weight. What you absolutely need is the right dose (not to high and not too low for you) of the right form of thyroid hormone replacement for you - T4, T4/T3, NDT, T3 only - optimal nutrients (and that's often difficult because hypos tend to have low stomach acid and therefore bad absorption) and a high enough intake of calories - exercise doesn't even enter the equation for weight when you're hypo. (As Pastille explained, exercising can be counter-productive.) Plus it depends on so many other things, such as how long you were hypo before diagnosis, etc.

    What you have to understand is that doctor know virtually nothing about hormones, and nothing whatsoever about nutrition. Plus, they are mostly sexist, and firmly believe that all patients are stupid, lying hypochondriacs - they learn that in med school. And they learn that they are superior beings and we, the patients, are decidedly inferior. And, therefore, when faced with an invisible (to them) hormonal illness, that affects mainly women, they really do not want to diagnose! They will come up with any possible excuse not to diagnose thyroid problems, and to blame the patient. Which results in thousands of people suffering, and taking unnecessary drugs to 'treat' the symptoms, (and make Big Pharma rich into the bargain)! And this rubs off on a gullible public that now believes that the only possible way to put on weight - I won't say 'get fat', because their weight gain probably isn't even fat - is to stuff yourself silly in what they see as a 'life-style choice'. Therefore, I think you will understand if your question, there, no matter how innocent it might be, raises a few hackles on this thyroid forum. But I'm sure you meant no disrespect, did you? :)

  • Aw no of course I meant no disrespect!! It's obviously a sensitive subject and topic for People to discuss that's why it is upsetting to hear people getting parred of by doctors (including myself right now) , it's a shame people are not more aware about thyroid conditions and their complications, and then to have uneducated doctors tell you everything is fine with bloods but you don't feel fine within yourself... I've cried so much about I feel in myself right now, I'm hating my body in every way and I don't get listened to,... there needs to be more awareness about thyroid issues. I knew nothing about the thyroid until i was told I have a low one since April and was told in September... Im obsessed wth hearing everyone's experiences with the thyroid, everyone is clearly affected differently x

  • Oh, absolutely! We're all so, so different.

    First thing I would say to you is : love yourself. You do not deserve to be hated - not by anyone, but especially not by yourself. None of this is your fault. Hold your head up proudly, you are still the same person you've always been, even if this ugly disease has changed your body.

    And, one of the first things we have to learn with this disease, is to stand up for ourselves. Don't let these ignorant, pompous doctors wear you down! Give as good as you get.

    I learnt that early on - probably in my childhood - but I remember when I was pregnant at 23, and put on 2 stone. My enormous, horrible doctor at the clinic was going on and on at me about my weight. So, I looked pointedly at his huge belly and said 'I'm pregnant, what's your excuse?' Well, I thought he was going to cry! lol He mumbled something about having an excuse, but didn't say what it was, but I had no pity. Practice what you preach, that's what I say! And, if he thought I could lose weight by eating less, when being pregnant, he should have tried it himself, no excuses. And, by the way, I lost every single ounce of that 2 stone, the day I gave birth!

    Once you know that they are faillible, and not as wonderful as they think they are, you can just look them in the eye as an equal, and learn to detect when they're talking rubbish, and just ignore it! Otherwise, it's so bad for your blood pressure, darling! lol

  • omg greygoose did you have a 2 stone baby. lol You always brighten my day. Thank you. :-)

  • No, I did not have a 2 stone baby! lol He was 8 lb 1 oz, I think. But I had a large placenta, and an awful lot of water. :)

  • Phew, that's a relief. :-D

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