Levothyroxine Weight Gain After 5 Months On 50MCG


I have done a lot of reading the past 3 weeks about millions of people having the same issues that I am having with Levothyroxine. I will go from start to finish with this journey.

January 2016, I weighed 171 lbs.. I was at the heaviest I have ever been in my life. I decided to make a change in my life and set goals to accomplish that involved getting my weight back down and getting toned and fit. By about May 2016 I had finally reached my goal of 135 lbs for my brothers wedding. I got all the excess weight off and I felt so great. My confidence had never been higher, I finally felt beautiful for once in my life, and I was doing a lot of things I had been to scared to do when I was heavier. Fast forward 3 months and it was July I flew to California to see my boyfriend. Knowing I was taking this trip I yet again challenged myself to get to 125 lbs. I exceeded my goal and weighed 121 lbs the day I flew to California and came back weighing 120lbs even. I was so happy with myself. To get to this point I was working out 4 hours a night, 4 nights a week which included vigorous cardio and weight training. I then signed up for a bikini physique competition. My next goal was 117lbs. Being 5'2 1/2 ft tall I can weigh 110 lbs and look and be completely healthy. 115 lbs was going to be my goal weight the day of competition but 117 lbs was my goal for the day of photos which was 3 weeks before competition. I had a doctors appointment a week after my return from California and in my appointment my Dr told me that it's a new standard for Dr offices to start doing bloodworm to check thyroid, cholesterol, blood pressure, etc. so I agreed thinking what harm could it possibly do. My dr called about a week later and said she was going to start me on a regimen Of Levothyroxine 50MCG for being Hypothyroid but not by much. I thought to myself well this is great it will help me keep the weight off and I will do great for bikini competition. Before all this talk about medicine I could go out and eat pizza and pasta without worrying about severe weight gain, I'd maybe fluctuate 2 lbs and after one gym session I was back at my normal weight...... UNTIL I started taking Levothyroxine. I started Levothyroxine close to Halloween 2016 and had been taking it up until February 23rd, 2017. I made the choice to stop taking his medication because starting October when I began taking this medication within the first 2 weeks I gained 8.3 lbs, I freaked out and call my dr office crying and her fill in dr cause she was out of the country told me that this was caused by my bad eating habits and that no one in the world gains weight on this medication. She told me if I quit taking it I would do so much damage to myself. I wish I would have listened to my own instincts when I was going to quit the meds after 2 weeks but decided to stay on them because she promised that it would start working if I started eating 2000 cals a day, which I hadn't eaten since i weighed 171 lbs because for my body that was too much. Everyone is different and their bodies tolerate caloric intake differently. I had very small toned legs, arms and abs. My face was very thin and defined. I looked amazing. I even got 2 contracts for fitness ads. fast forward to March 2017 and my calves have doubled in size and are about the size I was when I was 150lbs, all my jeans that fit so great are now skin tight and I can't wear them. My arms feel so flabby ( when I walk I can feel the fat bounce ) my hips have doubled in size since starting this medication and I can no longer compete in the competition because I've exceeded the inches on waist allowed and I was guaranteed a win which would have been $4,000 for first place. I work out from 5pm to 830pm 5 days a week with the majority of that being intensive HiiT cardio for 90 mins straight and keeping the resistance high with a goal calorie burn of 1,300 each session. At that rate I should be dropping at least 2-4 lbs every workout. I eat a diet of mostly white meats, low starch veggies, no carbs, a moderate amount of fats, I east a lot of salad, and fruits with a low sugar count, I don't eat junk food, or fried food, and I eat one protein bar and 1 meal replacement shake with no sugar and low carbs per day. The same as when I weighed 121lbs. I'm literally doing everything the same, nothing in my lifestyle has changed and the weigh just kept adding on. So finally fed up I stopped taking my Levothyroxine 50 after about 5 months of taking it because going from 121 lbs to 130 lbs in 1 month is not okay and I don't see how any one can think this is normal. I really hope that the weight loss will stop and I really really hope that someone else out there has had success with losing all the weight after quitting Levothyroxine. I have never been more depressed and I'm done taking medications for weight. I was doing everything all natural before.

If anyone has had success with losing weight after quitting Levothyroxine can you please reach out to me and let me know how it went after quitting and where your at now.

I just want to be at my July size by the time my marine comes home from deployment becuase at this point I am ashamed and embarrassed for him to see me at the point I'm at right now.

Another note.. I don't need anyone telling me that I shouldn't have stopped taking Levo, or telling me that I should blame Levo. If that's you opinion I don't need it, I appreciate all the help but I'm done with people telling me Levo is great when it truly destroyed my life and all of the wonderful amazing things I had going for it. I also would like to be back to my July size for my wedding which I want to set for September 2017. But if not we will have to keep pushing it back.

Thank you all


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23 Replies

  • Arrowheadpride Well, I'm not going to tell you that you shouldn't have stopped your Levo or that you should blame it, because there's no information to base that sort of comment on. In fact there's no real information about why you were started on Levo in the first place.

    Have you got the results of the tests that your doctor based her decision on when she started you on Levo? Please post the results, with reference ranges, and let's see why she did it.

  • Yes sorry I meant to post a little bit more and just got so frustrated trying that I left some stuff out. She told me she was worried about how much weight I had lost in such a short amount of time but in my eyes 10 months is not a short time, she told me she wanted to start me on in because my blood work came back saying that my TSH was elevated and all she said was not by much but it is elevated which worries me so I'm going to put you on this medication to get you levels normal. Another thing I left out is that even even I was heavier my stomach was always flat and now I look like I'm 5 months pregnant, the bulge starts at my pubic line and angles out and then curves in just below my belly button. Family and friends have been asking me since the end of December if I am pregnant. This is highly embarrassing and I'm at a loss and hoping that with the help of some carb blockers for a month that I will be able to drop this excess weight

  • But what are the numbers, have you got the actual result of any tests, with reference ranges?

  • Weight gain can be a hypo symptom but if the levo doesn't suit you and/or if you're on the wrong dose that can also result it weight gain. I have no strong opinions about levo but if your thyroid is underactive and you need thyroid hormone you just need it, it isn't a matter of if but when.

    Among other things, being hypo slows your metabolism. If you're on an optimal dose of levo it should correct that, but you may not be on enough, or maybe levo doesn't suit you and you'd do better on ndt or t3.

    It is also possible that your punishing regimen is actually changing your hormone output and making it harder for you to maintain your weight. Excessive exercise is known to reduce t3, which could also explain your feelings of desperation, anxiety, depression and what reads (to me) like obsessive thinking. nel.edu/26-2005_6_pdf/NEL26... I say that with compassion, empathy and a wish for you to feel better.

    When you say you're 'done with taking medications for weight' is this something you did in the past? This can also affect metabolism, as can a history of disordered eating. I am not judging you but you may want to consider that as part of this puzzle.

    I would suggest that (as SS has suggested) you get copies of your test results and if you post them here you may get some suggestions about what's going wrong.

  • Good well informed straight talking

  • If I remember correctly she said that my tsh was elevated to a 4.5. Whole my T4 was too low

  • Let's forget about the past and look st the here and now. Forcyour own peace of mind you should be restested. I doctor should have followed up with the testing anyway and if you had a problem increase your medication if the doctor won't do it or you don't want her in loved then look at tests on Blue Horizon as many members use them or Medichecks are a recent company. Then we can. Egret advice where to go next. Often when we are first diagnosed we may not. E given medication straight away but have to wait for another test to confirm it in case something else could have caused those readings but from what you have said it may well be that the doctor wasn't sure how to interpret the results properly. Either way it wouldn't be sensible with any readings and the ranges, ranges are important as they differ from lab to lab. So instead of you trying to remember what happened in the past, far better to get some up to date results as they would be need anyway if it was shown you had a problem.

  • 50mcg of levo barely treats a fly and sadly if you are hypothyroid no matter which medication you are on its very very hard to stay slim

    its a fact that hypothyroid changes the whole body metabolism

    i suspect you actually have Hashimotos Autoimmune Hypothyroid and your body is swinging from hyperthyroid to hypothyroid hence why you were able to loose weight with all that weight training

    I know that no matter how carefully many hypothyroid patients eat loosing weight is immensley difficult

  • I too put on lots of weight when I became hypo but when I was given levo the weight piled on even more so I firmly believe levo makes you gain weight. I stopped the levo and on now on ndt and although I have not lost all of the weight I gained I am not gaining any more. it was just going up and up with levo. your doc said you were only slightly elevated - I think she was too quick to put you on levo -especially as you were feeling well. maybe she should have asked you to come for another blood test in a few mon ths and just monitored it that way - it would also have given you some time to research the thyroid and get it back in range naturally. my son in law's thyroid was over a couple of times but he was only asked to come back for further blood tests - in the meantime he supplemented with selenium, magnesium, zinc, b12 and d3, fish oils etc. his thyroid is now in an acceptable range and he feels fine

  • Have you been to a gyne about your tummy bloat? Maybe it has nothing to do with thyroid. I would go to one and have them feel around. Could be another reason for this.

  • My findings to Levothyroxine. Yes like you, I had been thin all my life. After a serious illness it was discovered my thyroid had also ceased to function. I was put on 100mg of levothyroxine. In the space of 3 months I had put on an alarming 2 stone. I tried every diet I could find, nothing worked, or I just stabilized at that gross weight. I joined a private slimming clinic and what I found there was truly priceless. The clinic tested my metabolic resting rate. The results were profound. My results were this; 746 calories a day !!! If I stayed within 746 calories my weight would stabilize. But if I ate around 600 calories in total a day, my weight would slowly lessen. It was hell and it took a year, but I am now down to 10 stone 6 ilbs and cannot lose another pound, I seem to have grounded. So taking levothyroxine slowed down my metabolic resting rate, forcing me to eat such a small amount of calories in order to stay thin !

    I think this may be the only way forward for many people on levothyroxine. It is something the drug companies have omitted to tell all of us.

    I hope the above may have been some use to you. Any questions please ask ?


  • Margriet,

    I am happy to hear that you were able to lose at least some of the weight. That gives me a little hope for the future. What kind of physician can test the metabolic rate? I need to see one of those and figure out where I stand just like you did! And have you been able to find anything to increase you metabolic rate at all? I hope that eventually you'll be able to eat more than the 600 calories your limited to soon! And I feel like a class action lawsuit is in order for this company lying about their product and destroying lives. Hope all is well, take care


  • Hi again, I hope you read my second message. I have not been back to Alevere because last time it cost me £1,500 to get to were I am now. Too much money yes, but worth it to feel normal again. Do you have sleep problems as I do ? The body needs a minimum of 4 hours uninterrupted sleep to digest food. If you dont get this amount, the bodily functions dont work properly. I summise that this is at very least, one of the causes of my slow metabolic resting rate. Constipation is common amongst thyroid sufferers. I never ever had a problem before, every day going to the loo was just normal, but now things are different. Everyone of us with thyroid problems are unique. Making us all different. Everyone's numbers are different. Trying to get your head around them all, is an almost impossible task. So do the obvious as I have done. It worked for me.


  • Margriet, yes I agree I have had constipation since taking Levothyroxine I also started having a lot more fatigue. I was not like that before. I could sleep for 3 hours wake up and feel like I could run a marathon and I never crashed. I felt amazing until this stupid medication ruined everything for me. So starting today I'm going to eat only 700 cals and then in 2 weeks I will try 600 cals and see where I am at with that

  • Hello again. 700 calories is hard, so you have to pick foods carefully. Use foods to boost your metabolism, such as a small helping of porridge for breakfast. Try and eat 2 proper small meals a day, chicken, fish and lots of veggies. Red cabbage cooked well and well strained has many vitamins, cauliflower too. Leave out potatoes or eat sparingly sweet potatoes. Remember little and often is the key, so you can cheat your constipation problems. Fatigue is a problem, if you go jogging take a babybell cheese and some water, that way you wont get weak half way through. Good luck with everything Margriet :)

  • Really good info 😁😁😁

  • Hello again, I just wanted to make sure I had got my point over correctly. That being, before I started taking levothyroxine my metabolic rate was normal. Like most other peoples rate. But on taking levothyroxine it slowed down my metabolic resting rate, hence the weight gain, whilst eating normally. I dont know what country you are from, I am from the UK. The slimming clinic I attended was Alevere. It cost £25 to have that test and the rest is up to you. You can either follow the slimming tratment and the other treatment which improves the elasticity in your skin enabling it to shrink back as you lose the weight, or either one.

    I would also like to say that I too tried to come off levothyroxine. For 2 and 1/2 months I gradually decreased my dose until I was on about 15mg. Then when I went for my blood tests they were through the floor.

    My Doctor rang me, he said, if you dont take your levothyroxine you will NOT, STAY ALIVE!!!

    Enough said, taking levothyroxine causes a poorly running thyroid gland to give up, permanently.

    Sorry to give bad news, but it had to be said, in plain English.


  • I think a lot of people can relate to this story. I've struggled with my weight all my life and yes especially so since starting Levothyroxine. Since my GP reduced my Levo from 100mcg to 75mcg I've actually gained 7kgs! There again it was impossible to lose weight in 100mcg. I'm trying to use T3 but it's causing insomnia so I'm not sure what else one can do.

    moonbeam001 thank you for sharing your experience and Arrowheadpride I hope you find a solution to your problems.

    I'm currently working with a very knowledgeable personal trainer and from what I've learnt severe calorie reduction negatively affects your metabolism so over time it does become harder to lose weight. It also impacts your adrenal glands and cortisol levels and sex hormones. Belly fat is associated with high cortisol levels. I used to have a slim tummy and big hips but in the last few years I've ended up with a bigger tummy and even bigger hips. An Adrenal Stress Profile test I did in December shows high cortisol. I also loved doing HIIT classes but intense exercise can cause inflammation and raise cortisol. I ended up injuring myself through extreme exercise and it probably caused a lot of the issues I've had since.

    I like this link by Dr Westin Childs:


  • Sorry I Haven't really been back to respond in the past few weeks. I quit taking my Levothyroxine about 3 1/2-4 weeks ago and I have noticed major improvements. My hair is steadily coming back or not as much is falling out, I am getting closer to the weight I was before I started this terrible drug and my energy, libido, and essence of life have returned. I workout just as much as before and still eat the same and everything is just improving. I think it is safe to say that the Levothyroxine was the number 1 issue and I'm ready to move forward with a class action lawsuit against its makers. I have no eyebrows or eyelashes left which has a part on my depression but I'm sure I will soon work through that. Thank you all

  • this is amazing to read, i have been on levo for 1 year - im borderline hypo so i didnt really need it but thought it was a miracle drug. skip a year and im now 24lbs heavier despite diet and exercising in the same way as when i was able to lose 5 stone before, nothing has changed aprt from these meds. ive now stopped my meds. im hoping this is the reason

  • Hiya, I really hear your distress and can relate to what you are saying. May I recommend a film called 'Embrace'. It really helped me with the psychological side of putting on weight. Best wishes, Elizabeth

  • Hello

    I am gone the complete opposite 17 months ago I was 12st 4

    I started on levothyroxine 2016 just on 25mcg and my tag was still showing in the 7 and 8 so my doctor put me on 50mcg since then I have lost weight i have gone from 12st 4 to just 10st 4 from a size 18 to size 12 without any watching what I eat or exercising and am a little flabby on my arms and belly

    Before hypothyroid hit me I was no more than 9st and a size 10 fitness coach . I was adrenalin junkie

    The weight is still dropping off but I have lost my appetite and taste buds

    My hair is falling outbad...my eyebrows..my pubic hair I'm exhausted all the time

    I have been on same dose for just 10 months ..i have degenerative disc disease and joint disease

    I have gone from so active to struggling to walk exercise yoga Zumba is hard everyday..i don't look poley but I am inside I miss the old me

    I really feel for you..maybe you need t3 medication and your metabolism has slowed right down ....

    I'm asking my doc for a trial of t3 see if it helps with this fatigue because it's took over my life ....

    Hope you get some answers

  • Hi Salsybar73.

    If your hair is falling out and eyebrows/pubic hair also I think you need to boost your vitamin intake. I also think your dose of thyroid medication is too high. You must check with your Dr to get your levels checked really soon. I really do stress that you do see your Doctor quickly. Once levothyroxine has found its normal dose, hair loss does slowly subside. Levothyroxine is far from perfect, we all know this. But until thousands of us sign a petition and take it to the drug company in a march with many others, nothing will change :(


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