Weight loss with Levothyroxine

HI just wondering if anyone out there has ever experienced weight loss while taking Levothyroxine. At 5 foot 1 and 8 stone 2 I was never overweight even though I had an underactive thyrold. Since taking 50 mcg over last few years my weight had dropped to just under 8 stone bearing in mind i eat like a horse. Few months ago my weight dropped down to 7 and half stone. Now I was really worried so in February I had bloods tests for everything all came ok. At that time thyroid was 2.68.

97 Replies

  • Bookworm1961,

    I lost an unwelcome 7kg weight when I was switched from Liothyronine to Levothyroxine. On two occasions I stopped taking Levothyroxine for 4 weeks I gained 2.5 - 3kg. There are a few members on the forum who have lost weight they could have done without losing. I was advised to eat frequent small meals and I found protein shakes inbetween meals helpful in gaining and maintaining weight.

  • I tbought it was just me Clutter. My friend is on 125 mcg is overweight and cannot lose it on levothyroxine. When I have told people I am underactive they say you look overactive but my TSH has varied over the years whilst medicated between 1 and 50. I will definitely try the protein shakes between meals. The leaflet with the tablets does have weightloss as side effect but most people with underactive thyroid I have spoken to have the opposite problem. Now I know I'm not alone. Doctor thinks I have anxiety problem and offers antidepressants which I won't take😅 I'm new to this website glad I found it

  • If doctor thinks anti-depressants are the answer I don't think he's checked your Free T3.

    Many who gain weight on levothyroxine may not be on an optimum dose to raise metabolism and thus lose weight.

    There is also research that shows levothyroxine can cause weight gain.

    If it weight gain occurs before we're diagnosed it is down to low metabolism due to hypo.

    Ask GP to test FT4 and FT3. Probably wont but you can have them privately from one of our recommended labs. These are rarely taken but are important. We need both to be near the top of the range.

    I know you have the opposite of weight gain.

  • I'm 5'7 and underactive and lost weight on levo and ndt ..sometimes I would weigh less that 8.5 stone and a size 6 (uk size)even though i eat like a horse!Everybody would say that "you can't be underactive...your not overweight"...but oh boy..I had every single other symptom! !.I was up and down by just a few lb but since menopause a couple of year ago I've stayed the same size 10 but still not optimally medicated!

  • Hi Lozzer

    It's awful when I have lost weight i eat like a horse but people I havnt seen for a while say you have lost weight they think I have an eating disorder then I get comments like dont moan you should feel lucky to be so slim. I say no I would rather have healthy thyroid. I am nearly 4 years post menopause now and that is the time when body is supposed to put weight on. I didn't realise there are other fellow sufferers out there who have lost weight like me. I'm size 8 sometimes size 6.

  • Yeah I know....me too ..thought I was totally unusual or somehow the diagnosis was wrong....sometimes the weight could go down a lb a day!.I think this was if my thyroid was having a hashi attack and so it was being stimulated that much I ended up with too much hormones on top of the ones I was taking!I'm ok weight wise now but would love like you more than anything to just have a healthy functioning thyroid ...or at least to feel some bit like with medication!

  • Same with me within 2 days on 75 mcg my Weight had dropped 2 lbs. Within 2 days of going back to 50 mcg I am just above 7 and half again. It's crazy. I have read online that some athletes use levothyroxine to keep their weight low how stupid when they have normal thyroids

  • Yes isn't that stupid !...I hope it calms down for you ..it's not pleasant gaining or losing weight ...

  • Fools

  • Yes, oh yes....I am finally figuring out that my extreme weight loss just has to be related to Lexo! I have thyroiditis (no thyroid..autoimmune problem) My TSH hit 10 and I was obviously 'wasting' and look like a drug addict. I can't gain no matter how much I eat. It's gone from 153 lbs to 115 lbs in 6 months.

  • I gain weight quickly when I started taking Synthroid.

    But I was also taking antidepressent .

  • Hi it doesn't seem fair that those that want to lose it can't and those who don't want to lose weight do. The tablets work differently on everyone. Yesterday I saw a thread on this forum saying T3 helps stop weightloss I must find time to read it today

  • Hi

    I know that my weightloss is related to levothyroxine as never had this before. I tried to get referral to see endo but never saw him he told my doctor to increase my dosage to 75mcg I told my doctor it makes me feel worse to prove my point I took it and hey presto really unwell. I will call surgery today

  • I am determinedto beat this hair and weight loss this g

    I have been given a few tips from the lovely people on this forum and when I get good results will post back😊

  • This may be helpful.


  • I can't believe NOT made u lose weight too I have often wanted to give it a try as it is natural but doesn't sound a better option and is hard to get hold of. I also get palpitations with levothyroxine and over past few years have had ECGS but they have all been normal. At the minute my hair is falling on 75mcg

  • I've been self medicating for last year with ndt ...I lost lots of hair on levo and I was on 75 but whenever I went up to 100 which I needed my body just couldn't hack it !I could never get my bloods right where they needed to be so decided to switch...I'm still not there yet and have been trying to adress vitamins and adrenals...still not there yet !..if I don't get there soon with another raise I'm going to try a different brand I think ..but don't want to go back to levothyroxine.

  • Lozzer did you get the NDT from your doctor. I know if we were living in America there would several brands to try. I'm currently waiting to getc another doctor app to discuss trying another brand of Meds but don't hold much hope as I will be told levothyroxine is the only option. Have u tried any other brands besides NDT

  • I tried a few gps and endocrineologists and they were totally horrified and it was a definate NO!...so I decided to do my own thing like so many do and bought some cheap from Thailand. ..there are others I can try from there too!

  • What is it UK docs and endos are just not getting it levothyroxine is not the wonder drug it is supposed to be

    I have doc app next week will see how it goes then will consider other options. Will come back and post again on this

  • The BTA and guidelines to doctors now state that levothyroxine is the hormone of choice. Never mind that many don't improve. NDT was freely prescribed a few years ago, mainly by Private Doctors.

    Dr Lowe was disgusted with the lies/subterfuge that went on in order to make levo the 'choice' and doctors now wont prescribe anything else. Maybe private ones will do so.



  • Hi Shaws I'm just waiting to call my surgery soon. I'm going to bring up being prescribed a different brand of 25 mcg mixing with my 50 mcg acrisis

    As I said there are a lot of us suffering out there it is nice to come together on this forum to swaps hints and stories. I urge all of us out there with weightloss issues to get a dexa scan bone density test I was shocked at how my bones had changed. I already ate plenty of calcium rich foods so knew it wasn't through diet.

  • Losing weight on levothyroxine, unless on a very large dose is unusual. Usually it it the opposite. Members complaining of weight gain. Ideally we don't want either.

    Have you had vits/minerals checked,i.e. Vit B12, Vit D, iron, ferritin and folate. If note request along with next blood test for thyroid hormones.

  • Hi Shaws

    Thank you for caring. I have had full blood countsugar 3 times this year plus cancer check all have back good. I have good balanced diet and was told a while ago I had too many vitamins roaming around my body😅 her words not mine. So I ditched the vits

  • I am on levothyroxine 100mcg and have been on it for some time now! My hair is falling out also. It is so thin you can see my scalp!

  • When we lose our hair it is so demoralising. I have episodes over the years of hair loss related to my hormones. It had just recently thickened up then they increased my dose to 75mcg and within a week it has started falling again. My friend is on 125 mcg and has lovely long thick hair as is my sister. Ou hair follicles react differently

  • Hairloss is awful. I had it with low ferritin and now its thinning due to the thyoid

  • Mrneduc

    As our hair loss is hormone related I was told vitamins and hair supplements won't work although it won't hurt to take them

  • Low ferritin which a lot of us seem to have can also cause hair loss. It affected me badly when I had a lot of surgical trauma and blood loss three years ago. It was down to 7 at one point. Now it's 70+ thank goodness. I had iron rich diet and herbal supplements which may have helped. I hope the low thyroid levels don't bring it down

  • Thanks for that. I am going to call surgery soon when opened and get my ranges I won't be fobbed off with their NO ACTION REQUIRED😊

  • One doctor, now deceased, complained to the authorities that nowadays we are given far too low a dose whereas we used to be prescribed between 200 to 400mcg of NDT.

  • Shaws I bet it all comes down to cost. U don't get many good doctors like that. Statins are dished out like sweeties. I won't touch them my cholesterol is 6.7 most if that is HDL which clears out the bad LDL

  • Thank you kindly Shaws I will have a look at that later. Will post back to you later what feedback I get back from my FBC results

  • I SHOULD ALSO SAY TO EVERYONE THAT DEXA BONE DENSITY SCANS ARE FREE YOU NEED TO GET APP THROUGH YOUR DOCTOR I HAD MINE DONE AT LOCAL HOSPITAL RESULTS COME BACK WITHIN 3 WEEKS glad I had 2 done. First scan showed nearly osteoporosis next 6 month scan showed still osteopaenia which is the precursor to osteoporosis but massive improvement I was amazed. Ensure uhave good balanced died with natural calcium and second plenty of bone strengthening exercise it works 😊

  • Lucky lucky lucky! Wish I could lose some weight on thyroid meds xx

  • Levelslass,

    Perhaps you missed the bit where I said it was unwelcome weight loss.

  • Hi levelslass

    A lot of people have said the same thing how lucky I am even my friend she is hypo and has opposite problem can't lose weight. At the minute I'm feeling sorry for myself not very well on alternating doses. I am trying for a second time to get referral for endo on nhs I was turned down last time they don't realise how I feel may have to revert to paying private for 1 of endos on this website recommended list. Tops of my legs look so thin. Never in my life been this underweight.

  • Hi Shaws

    Clutter has given me a really useful tip which I thank her for and that is to have protein shakes as well as regular small meals. I had been doing OK on 50 mcg for about 1 year my TSH was stable until past few months I felt unwell wierd sensation in mouth aching muscles and joints worse than usual a wierd buzzing feeling in my left foot and extreme fatigue. Blood tests revealed my TSH was 4 so was told to up my dosage to 75 mcg this makes me worse. Doc wldnt listen so I thought ok I will again prove it. I have got worse feel like padding out. On this dosage for 4 weeks went back for repeat bloods I demanded T3 and T4. RESULTS are T3 is 5 T4 18.2 TSH 0.35 . I can't see doctor till next week so have dropped levothyroxine to 50 mcg

  • Bookworm1961,

    Do you have the lab ref ranges for the results. TSH 0.35 is low-norm and T3 5.0 and T4 18.2 are usually within range so you didn't need to drop dose to 50mcg unless you *feel* over medicated.

  • Hi Clutter

    Yes I have the lab ranges

    I asked for them for my reference I live in Coventry here they are TSH between 0.27 and 4.2 T3 between 2.8 and 7.1 T4 between 9 and 26. I have dropped the dose as since upping the dose to 75 mcg I have had dizzy spells that are freaking me out like I'm going to faint so tired I have to go to bed and lay down and wierd anxiety in my head like a brain storm where I feel I'm going for to explode. Within a day of dropping the dose I feel slightly better. Although I went out with a walking group today and came over funny again but not as bad. Reading some of the posts I never realised so many people messed up by Levothyroxine

  • Bookworm1961,

    You weren't overmedicated. Is the 75mcg Levothyroxine the same brand as the 50mcg?

  • I have a box of 50 mcg and box of 25 mcg both called Levothyroxine and manufacturered by Actavis. This is the second time in a few years I have had the dose increased and been ill on it. Should my T3 and T4 ranges be higher but my TSH is borderline overactive I just dont feel well

  • Bookworm1961,

    Check again. I'm sure Actavis don't manufacture 25mcg. Try cutting a 50mcg in half so you're taking 75mcg Actavis and see whether that is more tolerable.

  • Hi Clutter

    Surprise I thought the 25 mcg levothyroxine was actavis as had levothyroxine on box it is mercury pharma I have been reading other posts where tablets are being mixed with side effects.

  • Bookworm1961,

    Try 1.5 x 50mcg Actavis and see whether you do better.

  • Hi Clutter

    OK will try 1.5 x 50. Just wondering if there is any brand of levothyroxine that stabilises my weight and stops the aching muscles and joints

  • Bookworm1961,

    It's trial and error which is why I've suggested to replace Mercury Pharma 25mcg with Actavis to see whether symptoms improve.

    Ask your GP to check ferritin, vitamin D, B12 and folate as low/deficient levels can cause fatigue and musculoskeletal pain.

  • Hi Clutter

    Have had all blood tests done was told all ok. If I ask what were the exact results I have been told before would I like an antidepressantas I seem anxious that is what I get from doctor 😑

  • Bookworm1961,

    Ok is an opinion and in GP speak often means a result is within range which could be high or low but not necessarily normal. The Data Protection Act entitles patients to their test results and ranges. Tell your GP you are anxious to see your results which s/he appears reluctant to provide. Don't let your GP undermine you or deflect you from having your results.

  • Have tried cutting a 50 mcg in half doesn't cut evenly. If I keep it up I will have none left😅I guess there is an art to it

  • It doesn't matter if it is uneven. You don't get instant effect so if today tablet is under half and tomorrow over half it will even out over the week.

  • Agreed.

    That rationale is why it is almost certainly a bad idea to split more than one tablet at a time.

  • Hi Helvella

    I have a tablet crusher that I bought from Holland and Barrett a while ago but it for large taBletsoe really when I press my little levothyroxine tab in and pressed down the cuttet it shattered😅

  • I got a £5.00 pill cutter from Amazon that does the job well. It cuts 25mcg in half evenly. Noticed a similar in Aldi today

  • Hi Mrneduc

    Thanks for that. Will put that on my shopping list for this week. Money worth spending. Am at docs this week will see if I can get prescribed a different tablet to try if not new cutter it is. Are you on levothyroxine yrself. Just signed the thyroid Meds petition 😊 I feel like I'm doing something worthwhile. NHS can't treat us like this. But they will hand out statins blood pressure tablets and antidepressants at the drop of a hat

  • I'm a newbie really. Had half my thyroid removed 6 weeks ago and thyroid levels crashed at 6 days post op. Since then I've been on 75mcg levo. I've also been taking 10mgm of T3 which I got from a friend. I'm not sure the T3 agrees with me but overall I feel much better than a couple of weeks ago. initially I was cutting the 25s into half and dividing the dose am and pm. Hence the pill cutter. Good luck with it. You have to place the pill carefully in the centre of a V slot but it's easy to do

  • Poor you you sound like you have really been suffering what symptoms are you getting. Why did they remove some of your thyroid

  • They told me it was 90% likely to be thyroid cancer as I had a 5x2 cm thyroid nodule that fulfilled cancer criteria. Surgeons wanted to take it all out but I said no just the affected side. It was benign ( lots of prayer went up for me) glad I've got half even tho it doesn't seem to be doing much. No one can tell me if the remaining half a thyroid can recover after the trauma of surgery. I still haven't got much of a voice as it takes 3-6 months to return to normal. If I try to shout it's like a low bark from an angry dog. Peace at home lol sorry to go on!

  • No you not going on you have been through a traumatic experience. I am finding that is what everyone on this forum is here for to share experiences and offer advice . We all understand. I have been on levothyroxine for 8 years and I have only joined the forum 2 days ago so technically I'm a newbie too😊you will feel better knowing people out there care

  • GP prescribing it seems is often inaccurate so it makes us have to take control of our dosage till we feel well. If we adjust it ourselves so be it. I'm not sure whether to tell the GP next week about T3 or just not take it for a few days and see if I feel ok without it before having bloods done.

  • I have taken control for now by dropping down from 75mcg to 50 mcg. Just going to have a few days break to get over bad symptoms then will try clutters suggestion of taking 50 mcg and cutting another in half as the 25 mcg pharmacy gave me were another manufacturer maybe that was making me really ill eg I cldnt go on line that being outside coming over wierd and feel like I'm really tipsy and going to pass out. Now on 50 mcg feel bit better

  • You do right. I keep telling myself - your life these people are not in your shoes. I sometimes feel like how you describe. Getting up from lying down especially

  • ❤❤❤

  • Ok will try that but I think I need a dose that is between 50 and 75 mcg. I read on 1 thread that a lady was advised to take a 50 and cut the 25 in half but I'm not keen on mixing g brands now

  • It is worth getting a pill-cutter. I have one from Amazon and it is great at cutting halves or quarters.

    These are two:-


    The following is an 'add-on' item if you order an additional product.


    I have included the above in the Amazon Affiliate which means TUK get a small sum to defray their expenses.


  • Hi bookworm i had thr same as what u described when laying down in bed feel like im freaking out or going mad, its anxiety and its generally when your not optimally medicated, in my case i was undermedicated but i was left so long undermedicated that i freaked out and stopped the levo (seriously bad idea) i got 10 times worse, and now 7 months later still trying to get thr correct dose, 100mcg shows not enough but still high ft4 so iv increased myself to 125mcg as i believe this is what dose i needed 7 months ago!!

  • Hi Thyroidobsessed

    I can't seem to get the right dose on Levothyroxine. I have never felt ok on it. I take 50 mcg for a while and I'm fine then TSH rises they put me on 75 mcg and I feel really unwell within short space of time I'm up down up down😅

  • Its horrible isnt it! 😣...

    I was stable on the actavis brand of 100mcg for 9 years!! Then without warning me my pharmacist gave me the new brand of teva levo last year and levels went dodgy and not been right since.. i changed back to the actavis brand in march and still trying to stabalise.. been through absolute mental torture thinking im goin mad thinking i have bipolar thinking i have psycosis 😣 its been hell .. hoping the increase works ...

  • Hi Thyroidobsessed

    The increase hasn't worked feel really ill I knew my 50 mcg was actavis and thought 25 mcg was as well just checked it is mercury pharmacy I assumed as both said levothyroxine they were both same manufacturer how naive I am

  • Yeah make sure u take the same brand of both as i know too well that brand change can make a massive difference..

    Oh and back to your original question of weight loss, i too am slim always have been, and have noticed the weight comes off whenever im undermedicated...

    Iv recently lost a stone in the 7 months of being undermedicated so i know for a fact that being optimally dosed is crucial for us to maintain a normal weight...

    We are just in the small percentage of people that loses weight instead of gains thats all...

  • Hi Thyroidobsessed

    So glad I found this site didn't realise so many like me with the weightloss worry what it is doing to rest of my body. Mum had severe osteoporosis and we think it cld have been due to that her thyroid problem was never picked up till old age she wasn't one for doctors ever. I had bone scan called dexa and it picked up i was pretty osteoporosis even though I have good diet. I started pirates yoga and walked more now bones have improved. Under and over medication doesn't help our bones

  • Currently Actavis do not make a 25 microgram tablet. (Rumour has it they are preparing to launch one. We'll see. :-) )

  • Oh i hope they do helvella, im sick of cutting the things up 😣

  • I can't see the problem why they havnt already done a 25 mcg. I wish someone could suggest a good thyroid replacement with no sie effects.

    I am now eating healthy snacks in between meals like seed crackers and hummus or sliced avocado plenty of health fats😊see if that helps

  • I get light headed alot i always blow off as my anxiety.

  • I have found the Bach rescue remedys work well for me when im feeling anxioues I don't know if u have heard of them you can buy them up from health shops chemists and some supermarkets just 4 drops on tongue as and when needed they are not a medicine and suitable for vegetarians and vegans the whole family. Really works for me. There is a new night time 1 I have used few times when can't sleep it really calms brilliant depending on size costs no more then tenner lasts for ages

  • Ive never heard of that but am definitely willing to give it a try. Thank you so much

  • You are welcome it is so nice evening to be able to help someone hen so many on this forum have offered me advice. Hoped to get into see doct or today but now have app for tomorrow pm. I'm going to ask for run down of all my recent bloods and then take from there. Fed up with aching muscles everywhere from neck down to calf muscles😊 rescue remedy can be used before interviews driving g tests

    I'd rather take that than antidepressants .I also find when my mood is low to go for a walk in the daytime and practice what they call mindfulnrss it really helps when I get bouts of depression it involves looking at nature eg plants trees and concentrating on the colour the shape how it smells. I know it sounds daft but it does help.

  • I have zero energy and when i do anything my muscle seem so tense.. i also get rapid heart rate which is how they found out i had interactive thyroid. I do think my anxiety keeps my heart racing though

    I would love to get my energy back

  • I so know how u feel I force myself to do just sort walk even if it's round the road and I get home and feel better. I too get palpitations how I managed them is stop what I'm doing and breathe in deep to the count of four then breathe out to the count of four concentrating on nothing except yr breathing g and hopefully after doing it for a few times it stops the palpitations. I've only had since getting being hypo and the levothyroxine don't help.think does work. had bad night last night I fell asleep now woke with bad panic attack and palpitations. Did the breathing thing whilst doing simple yoga stretches and eased it

  • Im going to try the breathing and see if it works for me. I had a very bad night last as well. I had so much stuff to get done and my anxiety wasnt letting me

  • Another support group for anxiety and panic is called NO PANIC I havnt used them for years as have mastered the deep breathing now but u can their no of there website. When u do the breathing g make sure u are brea thing using yr diaphragm which is in your tummy atea. So u know u r doing it right put yr hand on yr tum and then do deep breaths yr tummy shld rise and fall 😊ugood luck so send forself help books and cd so etc

  • You are awesome thank you so much for all your advise

  • Hi, I also felt very dizzy/loss of balance, exhausted, a buzzing sensation and joint pains. I was low in Vit D and iron so endo prescribed a high dose of Vit D (3000 IU/ml/day) and iron (ferrous fumate 210mg x2/day) and they resolved the loss of balance, tiredness and buzzing symptoms. Gluten and dairy free diet resolved the joints pains. Could your weight loss be caused by being on the high end of normal range for T3 and low TSH? If you find a solution to all other symptoms with vitamins/diet except weight loss, maybe you can reduce your meds to encourage weight gain? Hope you find the answer!

  • Hi thyroidpatient

    Was hoping to see doctor today but can't get in till tomorrow .will bear in mind what u said and let u know😊

  • Sorry shld have read passing out

  • You are SO LUCKY!!! Lol .. I have been trying to loose weight for months! Usually us under-active Thyroid lot find it near on impossible to loose weight no matter what we do!!! I have tried Slimming world, intermittent fasting etc along with 120 sit ups and 40mins intense bike riding a day on a high resistance trainer and in 6 months I lost 1 stone!! Had and operation on my wrist about 5 weeks ago and have put 6lb back on!! 😡😡😡 ....

  • Hi Quasarlis

    I admire you for losing all that weight yourself you should be proud. It is a shame that it goes back on again and so not fair. I have not been 7 half stone since teens. If I stop a tablet for couple of days I put couple of pounds back on. I have read as you get older it is better to have a bit of weight on as is good for ypu bone density bit what if you can't keep the weight on😑

  • Ive been on it since April. Ive been on 50 mg but ive not lost any weight in fact ive gained a few pounds. My thyroid are under working and the dr said i should see some weight loss but so far ive not

  • Hi swtjamie

    You are not alone my friend has been on it for years she can't lose weight and is on 125 mcg She needs to lose about 1 and half stone and even when she hardly eats at all the weight does not shift. She has a puffy face as well

  • Btw my very nice GP also ran my labs and was happy with them but when I saw the endo, she immediately raised all my meds as she said I was under treated - she started Vit D, iron so do get your labs and check yourself :)

  • Hi thyroid patient

    Had vit d and iron checked last week all fine but am goingg to ask for print out of bloods for my record. The bad dizzy spells only started when increased from 50 to 70 mcg and have improved since lowering my dose to 50

  • Is it possible that you have overactive thyroid? Hyperthyroid?? Tou would lose weight with this! Saying you eat like a horse, reminds me of my sister who had Hyperthyroid! She could and did eat everything. I had Hypo, and while I might

    order a root beer, she would order a frappe Float! We'd go to an all you can eat, and I would have a normal order, and she would have two and sometimes three helpings, and in between orders, she would be as hungry each time as she was at first! See if you can find a "Good"

    Endrocoologist! (spelling?)Good Luck!

  • HI Marin5

    That is exactly what I thought I show signs of hyperthyroidism even when Levothyroxine has my TSH normal range. I have to be constantly doing something and like to be on the go all the time episodes of palpitations ecgs show heart is ok. My mind is constantly on the go racing ahead from the time I wake. Doctor upped dosage from 50 to 75 mcg as my TSH was 4 within 3 weeks of the increase TSH IS 0.37 i have been suffering dizzy spells so I dropped back to 50 mcg and immediately within a day felt bit better

  • I know the feeling bookworm it is scary especially when you don't have the weight to lose I had advice off clutter which is helping immensely, Thankyou clutter

  • I know she told me to eat small meals regularly which I am doing. I am having pumpkin seed crackers with slices of avocado or hummus in between meals yummy and filled with healthy fats😊

You may also like...