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Thyroid UK
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Successful weight loss stories

Hi all

Anyone got any tips on weight loss for hypothyroidism? Hints and tips or success stories, please share here to motivate us!

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Optimise your nutrients and your T3. Once I'd done that, the weight just fell off. But, until you're optimised, don't even try to lose weight, or you'll probably make things worse! Exercising uses up your T3, and low-calorie diets negatively affect conversion.

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How do you optimise your T3

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Well, that should be what your doctor is working towards with your thyroid hormone replacement. What are you taking? And how much? What were your latest labs?

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Apparently selenium deficiency and physical and emotional stress can impact conversion:

gdx.net/uk/product/reverse-t3

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They certainly can. But so can a lot of other things. Also, in order to be able to convert T4 to T3, we have to have enough T4. And the OP hasn't given us any details about what she's taking or how much, or what her levels are. It is so important to give all the details when asking for help.

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This group is so helpful, thank you all. I am due to go for blood test tomorrow so what should I be asking to see when the results come back? I am currently on 125 mcg of thyroxin. I am only just finding out about T3 and T4.

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You should ask for a print-out of everything. It's your legal right to have one. That's probably the only way you will know exactly what was tested, and exactly what the results were. We hear so often of doctors 'neglecting' to mention certain under-range results - sometimes for years!

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Thanks, I'll ask for one.

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Yes, I've learned that the hard way. ..I was on T4 only and for a long time tried to lose weight. intensive exercising worked without a major sidekick but low calorie intake simply crashed me. (can't say for sure hat was the only factor but it had a major contribution)

I had to switch to combo T4/T3 and while I still don't feel I'm at best possible dosage (but otherwise more than reasonable, in comparison) weight comes off easily. It seems the metabolic function picked up immediately with the T3 help.

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I'm sure it would. But I'm also sure that the intensive exercising helped with the crash, because it uses up your T3 which you cannot easily replace when on T4 only - especially if you don't convert very well.

While I was training I was eating cautiously about the calories, on a deficit logic but not a serious one (more protein, especially after effort, less overall carbs and only in carboloading purpose) and was actually felling quite well (though brain fogging all day long)

When I have slowed down the exercising, added some weight for a month or so ( because I wasn't minding thè intake) and, as a consequence, tried long term fasting long...only then the s..t hit the fan and I've crashed.

I think it's safe to assume that intensive exercise pushed me to the brink and fasting rolled me over.

T3 is unbelievably present in sustaining a demanding effort, that I've noticed also.

On the other hand, in 2015, while on T4 only and in a very bad shape, started to train for running and in less than 4 months succeed the first semi ever (and lost in excess of 12% body mass in the process)

Crashing happened 7-8 months after this context.

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Hi Greygoose, can you explain what you mean by optimise nutrients and your T3 please.

Well, for a start, you need to get your vit D, vit B12, folate and ferritin tested.

Ferritin and folate should be at least mid-range.

B12 should be at least >500.

Vit D3 should be around 100.

If anything is lower than that, then you need to take supplements.

Most people need to have their FT3 up the top of the range to get rid of symptoms - and weight-gain is a symptom. So, you need to keep increasing your thyroid hormone replacement until it gets high enough for you to feel well.

Does that answer your question? Or have I missed something? :)

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Hi, I have my thyroid tested every 6 months and have never been told by the GP that i need supplements. I am on 125 mg thyroxine. Are you on a high dose too

125 is not a high dose. It's less than average. I'm taking 75 mcg of T3 only. That is quite a high dose.

Your doctor will not have told you to take supplements because your doctor has no idea that you might need to. The only thing doctors know less about than thyroid, is nutrition. They know absolutely nothing about that. They didn't do it in med school! It's one of the things we pick up on this forum and sort out ourselves. In general, anyway.

So, what you should do is ask your doctor to do the nutrient tests, and take if from there. Post your results on here, with the ranges, and there will be lots of people to help you sort it out. :)

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thank you i will

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Does that symbol mean that B12 levels should be greater than 500?

Yes, it does. In Japan, the range starts at 500. And anything lower than that can cause irreparable neurological damage.

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Hi , I've been reading your treads & your fantastic advice to everyone. I just wanted to ask your advice. I had total thyroidecomy 9 years ago am on 150/175 since then of thyroxine feel awful, tired, gained 3 stone over those years even though I train at the gym 5/6 times a week, I eat a Paleo diet 80/90% of the time. I was so fed up, so I went Private as my GP kept saying my results were "normal" which is rubbish.

My new doctor I found through Thyroid UK , he has placed me on Nutri T3 convert tables (2 a day ) & Thyroid & Adrenal tablets also , I'm on day 3 feel I have bit more energy already , so you believe I will achieve weight loss ? I am so desperate & cant do any more to my diet or exercise regimen 😳 Any advice I would be extremely grateful , thank you :))))

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Actually, there is something you can do about your exercise regimen : stop it! Sounds like you're over-exercising, which will just use up your T3 and make you more hypo.

Do you know your FT3 level? Do you know if you've been converting well? Those are the first things to find out when you are trying to lose weight.

I have no idea what Nutri T3 convert tables is. I've never heard of it. Is it hormone, like Cynomel, or just a supplement? If it's a supplement, I've no idea what it will do. You probably need some actual T3.

So, just gentle walking, swimming or yoga, until your T3 is optimised. And, don't forget that to be able to convert, you need a good in-take of calories. Low-calorie diets are going to have an adverse effect on conversion, and leave you even more hypo. :)

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Thank you for your reply, yes my T3 is a combo of Gum guggul, magnesium, zinc, copper, selenium, my tests results showed my T3 levels were opposite of what they should be, myAdrenals were so bad, & my Thyroid function was about 60% working so not where near what it should be of course, my doctors won't refer me to a Endo as my results say I'm normal hence my private doctor giving me these tablets & I'm hoping for some results as even though I have private insurance & would buy medication I can't get referred.

Do you think these natural forms will help ?

Yes I will slow down on the exercise I get very fatigued :(((

Well, as Clutter said in your new thread, you have got to get copies of your results before anyone can help you.

This very ill-advised supplement your doctor has put you on, may help a little, but it's very doubtful it's going to improve your conversion to a point that will make you feel well. Bunches of 'stuff', all crammed into little pills just aren't a good idea. Half the ingredients will counter-act the other half. You should not take minerals all at once. They should be spaced out through the day. Take magnesium and zinc, for example, they will compete to be absorbed, and you won't be able to absorb all of both of them - and I doubt they are in large enough quantities, anyway! You need about 400 mg to make any palpable difference, and you won't get that much in a tiny pill. Zinc 15 mg. Selenium 20 mcg. Guggul is an unknown quantity, but I've never heard of of it doing anyone any good, anyway.

As for copper, you really should get that tested before taking any. Hypos usually have high copper, compared to zinc, and they should be kept balanced - a ratio of 10:1, zinc/copper, I believe. Which is why they are always both put in any sort of multi, but that may not be right for you.

It's very doubtful, too, if this 'treatment' is going to have any effect on your actual gland. Once it's sick, there's not much anyone can do about it, as a rule. Any form of stimulation will just hasten it's demise - you cannot 'kick-start' your thyroid, as many doctors believe.

But no form of multi is a good idea, not vitamins, minerals or - god forbid - the two at the same time. They are just money making cons. Not worth what you pay for them. What you need to do is get individual nutrients tested, and just take what you need - nothing is good in excess. Start with your vit D, vit B12, folate and ferritin. These all need to be optimal to begin with, and you can work from there. No point in testing magnesium or vit C, just take them - but you have to take enough for them to have any effect. Excesses of those two are just excreted.

Doctors know nothing about hormones or nutrition. They might just be useful on the hormone side, writing prescriptions and doing tests. But, never, ever take nutritional advice from a doctor. He has no in-depth knowledge of what he's doing. (I really think this doctor is making it up as he goes along.) And, that is why, you absolutely need copies of your test results. You need to know exactly what has been tested, and what the results were. You cannot just trust to fate that the doctor will know what he's looking at, or what to do next. You have to take charge of your own health, keep your own records, and often buy your own supplements.

My apologies to Letters37 for squatting her thread. :)

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Agree with gg. I raised my T3 once and achieved wonderful and fast weight loss, problem was that my blood pressure(BP) went up. So that is my problem to juggle, should I risk high BP to lose weight? But then, of course, if you reduce your weight your BP should go down - its the starting point that's scary.

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Hi, I currently have high blood pressure and on 2 meds for it. Today was the first time my BP came in at 150/80. I am also under the heart institute for high BP and irregular heart beats. That is why i am doing the weight loss to help BP stay down to acceptable level.

I was 12 1/2 stone.

Gave up dairy

Gave up gluten

Started on 1 1/2 grains of Armour

Went to 9st 11 in three months

Am now 10 St 7, creeping up again.

I was 17st 12lbs and lost 4st 7lbs in 7 months following Slimming World

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I gained 3 stone after having a sub total thyroidectomy and remained a size 16/18 for 10 years (I'm only 5ft 1) and then in may 2010 I decided enough was enough. I stopped eating bread,rice,pasta and potatoes. i occasionally eat potatoes but predominantly stay clear of the others food groups. Its not a diet more a way of life. I started cycling which really helps and I've been and remain a size 10 since sept 2010. At my heaviest I was 12 stone and now I'm abt 8.7 stone.

Hope this helps-works for me.

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Gosh what are you eating then? i would love to lose 3 stone

I'm lucky because I like fruit and veg although try not to max on fruit because of the sugars.

I don't eat breakfast as I tend to not get hungry until 11ish so hang on till lunch. At work I have a salad with feta (I make at home) and top with a mix of pine nuts, sunflower and pumpkin seeds. Followed by an apple.

Then for dinner I have meat/fish and veg or salad. Tonight I cooked a pork loin (seared in a pan and then in the oven) served with roasted veg and spinach. Quick and easy as I work full time. I tend to eat spinach raw as i don't like the feel it leaves on my teeth when cooked 😀 So put it under the hottest food on my plate and it's wilts

If I'm cooking chilli or bolognaise I have spinach or curly kale with it. I'm considering buying a spiralizer and would serve with courgetti

I cook with lots of chilli, garlic and ginger too as really good for the digestive system.

Found a fab recipe (nigella lawson) for chicken shawarma which I did last week. Accompanied by lettuce, cucumbers and toms (as well as the pomegranate seeds and tahini dressing in the recipe) really tasty and filing. Served with rice for hubby (he's a coeliac) and the kids.

If you struggle without carbs you can also get savvy and use better carbs like spelt instead of rice and soba noodles are good and you can get wholewheat cous cous to now. Bergen bread is lower in carbs than normal bread l

It takes abt a month to stop craving carbs. But maybe you could try not eating them after a certain time in the day? Gives your body a head start at breaking them down before the fats and protein arrive.

Good luck 🍀

Wow, way to go HG74 I wish I could cook like that! We do have one thing in common though, I go cycling too. And yes, cycling keeps my blood pressure down and I feel good for the exersize.

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I went gluten free and found other foods I was getting inflammatory results from (potato, tomato, most dairy)

Lost over a stone in 3 weeks.

Started taking NDT and weight has stayed off.

what is NDT

Sorry it's Natural Dessicated Thyroid

Usually from pigs. Natural so you get all the T's rather than just T4

Far more sensible!

Would someone need to request this from GP. I am 58 and 5'1". How would you go about changing to ndt

Sadly they won't prescribe, too expensive although they are very happy to prescribe statins, anti depressants, anti dizziness...

Most of us buy from abroad. Mine came from Thailand. £38 for a years supply there. Mad.

Email admin for lists of prescribers if you're interested.

0r if you see an endocrinologist privately they will prescribe.

I feel so much better on it. Cholesterol dropped from 6.9 to 5.4 in a few months too.

A lot of us desperately need T3 if not converging.

So not suitable for vegans then.....?

I guess not!

Optimum dosing of NDT and eating the Keto way. I.e. Eating low carbs and high fat. Have lost over 2 stone , feel great and had to lower my NDT. Google 'Dr Myhill keto'. For me now this is a way of life and my other half also has lost 2 stone and he says he never felt better. We were both pre diabetic but no longer are now. It is worth remembering Carbs turn to sugars!

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Since having m.e nothing moved weight, not sugar, gluten free, not until I went fully paleo grain free, then I lost 3 stone in 4 months.

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Ps the good thing about going paleo is your not cutting calories as going low calorie is bad for hypothyroid it can increase rt3 and cause more trouble in the long run.

Well I doubt if you would like my diet, I was getting bigger almost 13 1/2 stone I felt enormous, I just ate muller rice 3 times a day because I had a flare up of diverticulitis and had to be careful what I ate and lost 1 1/2 stone but this was slow almost 4 months it took, I do wish you good luck with any diet that you try it's mind over matter if you really want to lose weight you will.

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I last half a stone with slimming world it worked well for me

Dotti x

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Strangely, a teaspoon of vinegar in the morning does help some people lose weight. I've been doing it for a while and it works for me and coincidentally, a television programme highlighted the success of this and did a sample test of people. It doesn't work for everyone though.

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Hi i put on just over 4 stone with undiagnosed hypothyroidisim and also being put on levothiroxine after a long struggle with doctors i started to self medicate on t3 and the weight just fell off and i lost all i had gained.Everything has to be optimal to lose weight i feel including vitamins..good luck

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Yes low carb helps you lose weight. At the moment I am using the Whole30 regime which is proving effective, have lost 4 lbs in two weeks.

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I think this is the underactive thyroid rather than the overactive if I am correct! I found myself at 15 stone in December 2015 (which I had never been), I suffer from this and pernicious anaemia so I first started on the Wii doing exercises, then I got into Zumba twice a week, I also took a Nutrition course with Shaw Academy teaching me about calories and intake and found an app MyFatSecret which is brilliant. I also started delivering leaflets with Dor2Dor and I've now lost over 3 and a half stone. I'm still watching my weight but am treating myself now and again. Couch to 5K is a good start as it gradually builds up your running ability. Good luck with losing the weight you'll find once you start you will find all sorts of ways that will help you, enlist the help of a friend also to spur you on!

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Great guys! But for me to ge t3 my doctor has to prescribe it. Question do you stop taking you thyroid medication and only take T3? Or you take both.

What is NDT?

Natural Dessicated Thyroid. Used to be the gold standard treatment for decades until they synthesised T4 and doctors were "told" to offer this monotherapy only. It's a long story!

I started Thyroid S earlier this year and gradually increased my dose to 3 1/2 grains. I lost a stone and have been walking every day for the last 2 months.

The benefit of Thyroid S is that I don't think about my Hashi and feeling poorly all the time but try to get on with my day.

It's not a miracle but the difference it has made to me is unbelievable compared to the misery I suffered on levo only.

I am sure I could make other changes to my diet i.e. cutting out refined sugars but I am happy, for the moment, on how I feel. Not perfect but better.

Sugar! What worked for me, 20 years ago now, was strictly cutting out as much processed sugar from my diet as possible. When I say processed I mean stuff deliberately added to food, not natural sugars in fruit, etc. - these are fine. This automatically cuts out most of the bad stuff, sweets, cake, biscuits, most processed food. Apart from that, I pretty much eat what I want. I try to go for walks and if I can't get out I do 15 mins of walking in place and stair stepping. A little every day works well.

When I first did this I lost about 2 stone in 6 months, without actively dieting, and I've kept it off ever since. I consider myself fit and healthy, I'm 68. I do take VitD, fish oil, multivitamin, etc., to "hedge the bets". And I allow myself the *occasional* piece of cake, packet of liqu.allsorts, so I don't feel too deprived. I have drunk red wine regularly throughout.

I'm on T4/T3 combo - and intend buying T3 myself if the GP stops it.

And my psoriasis improved dramatically.

Just what worked for me ....

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My GP won't test T3 so my results and medication are based on T4 alone. Does anyone have any recommendations or know any ways round this? Thanks

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Vcle1909,

You can order private thyroid tests thyroiduk.org.uk/tuk/testin...

BlueHorizon Thyroid Plus 6 or Thyroid Plus 11 are worth looking at.

If the tests show that I need T3 will my GP prescribe it or will,I have to go down the self medication route? If so how would that leave me with the NHS? Thanks - not sure what to do.

Vcle1909,

It depends on your CCG. Some have banned prescribing of T3 altogether, some permit as long as an NHS endocrinologist recommends prescribing of it. Some GPs get bent out of shape if you self medicate and may decline to treat you for thyroid, others will monitor you but not necessarily with FT3 tests.

No grains, sugar, dairy or alcohol. All play havoc with your thyroid

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Taking NDT WP Thyroid, plus taking supplements for B12,vitamin D, zinc,selenium,folate and ferritin.Following a Paleo diet with no wheat,gluten,sugar or alcohol.Having tests that showed I had leaky gut and an overgrowth of candida,and taking max ecodophilus, oregano etc supplements.Finally, doing weekly Pilates! I have lost 16 lbs over the past year.It's not easy, but worth it as you will feel so much better.Good luck!

over a period of several years my endo cut down my t3 from 120mg per day to 60 mg per day levo remained at 250 mg per day during this time my weigh shot up to 15 stone and I'm only 4ft 11, tired, depressed, thyro head the lot. Two years ago I joined a yoga class could hardly bend but managed to improve my flexability but more so my mindfulness I got my head in the right lace to go do something about my weight. The breakthrough was going to see my local pharmasist who adviced me how to optimise my meds to get the best results then I went to Slimming World. one year later 3 1/2 stone lighter more positive healthy and motivated. Endo not so impressed as TSH completely off the scale (as it will be taking T3) but she cant deny the results in the physical me. So although she keeps harping on about cutting down T3 she is still prescribing GP still threatening to stop prescribing and constantly corresponding with CCG but I am in a better place now to stand up for what I know is the right thing for me.

Conclusion: get your head in the right place (mindful exercise )

Optimise the meds make every tablet work for you ( fight for the right to have what works for you)

Slimming World worked for me ( and I've done some diet clubs over the years) but find the right one for you.

good luck, keep safe, be happy

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This is an excellent tip eghjm. Getting ones head in the right place after the initial depression of facing this disease is in my view the key to tackling weight gain. Small steps I started up with a 15 min yoga with adrienne from you tube. just the fact I'd made a small start motivated. I then looked at a VLCD called Lighter Life as I gained 5 stone. it works but is slow at first. I lost 16 pounds in 6 weeks. however my end got in wrong place after stressful events at work and I gained weight. I'm planning on starting small steps again so thanks everyone for the boost 😊Here's hoping for the best foot forward.

Hi have hypothyroidism too. I have now for the past 11 years. Currently on 125mg thyroxine. I need to lose 3 stone in weight and just started on the weight loss programme today. My aim is to be sensible and lose 2lbs per week and to be able to maintain it. The recipes are extremely good and I dont feel hungry with them.

I had put stone on and once I was told I had hypothyroidism I was put on Levothyroxine and stone fell of me within weeks,I don't know my readings but I was told to take vitamin D and prescribed iron tablet.but going to ask for results to get help on here as don't understand them.

Hi, I joined Slimming World in May and have lost approx. 1.5 stone. My losses seem to be slower than everyone else's but I'm still losing which is the main thing!

Hi i buy t3 in greece it can be bought over the counter for a few euros for 28 tablets, i think people also buy online, take advice before taking t3 as bloods etc need to be taken into consideration before starting on t3 ..good luck

Letters37,

You could do more to motivate us to help you by making a response - after all there are 58 responses here already.

In answer to your other question, have a look here:

healthunlocked.com/thyroidu...

Or simply read this thread. It is very clearly stated.

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I will when I get a chance to read and digest it all. I tend to review on weekend. Thanks

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