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Thyroid UK
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My results

It's in the beginning, the story is that I haven't been able to loose the weight totally after my second delivery and I have done a lot of detoxes and gone on diets and my weight was still the same! Then I started to have fatigue and confusion that made me go and test my thyroid to my shock I discover I have Hashimoto. I am hesitant to take Levothyroxine coz I have read a lot of bad reviews about it and it's side effects, besides I just started the doze and I gained in only half a month another kilo though I am training every day and watching what I eat and I am gluten free. It's making me uncomfortable. I discussed the issue with my dr and she gave my armour or cytomel but they are not available in my country. My FT3 level is 4.39 and FT4 is 16.34. Vitamin B12 result was 452.3 and ferritin is 79. I am panicked to gain more weight and that is the concern of every woman I guess 😞

2 Replies

Weight gain is the commonest question on the forum. It is puzzling to the people as they've not changed their way of eating.

Many women become hypothyroid after delivery and I'm sorry you are hypothyroid.

First, hypothyroidism is a serious illness if untreated and levothyroxine is the only prescribed medication in the UK. So we have to take it faithfully every single day - on an empty stomach with one full glass of water and wait an hour before eating. Most usually find taking it when we get up the most convenient.

Weight gain is a clinical symptom of hypothyroidism and it is because our metabolism is so slow due to few thyroid hormones. Exercising also isn't a good idea as it depletes the most important hormone, T3. Levothyroxine is T4 and it has to convert to the Active Hormone T3 and it is T3 which is required in our receptor cells. Exercising before being on an optimum will deplete T3. We can walk or swim but not excessive.

It has probably taken years for us to become hypothyroid, slowly, slowly until we go to GP. So it takes a while for levothyroxine to be slowly increased until our TSH is 1 or lower with a Free T4 and Free T3 towards the upper part of the range. These two are rarely tested.

There should be no side effects to leovthyroxine - only the clinical symptoms of hypothyroidism which, when you reach an optimum of levo your symptoms should resolve.

Due to you having Hashimoto's - an Autoimmune Thyroid Disease - and it is the commonest form hypothyroid as it is the Antibodies which attack your thyroid gland until you are hypothyroid. The antibodies wax and wane and sometimes you will feel hyper and at other times hypo.

There is no quick fix. To help reduce antibodies gluten-free is very helpful.


We have to read, learn and ask questions if you want to get back to good health. The aim is to get your levothyroxine dose to optimum and it cannot be done quickly. A blood test every six weeks with an increase of 25mcg until you are symptom-free and feel well.

Whether you take or don't take levothyroxine, weight gain is a clinical symptom of hypothyroidism.

When you reach an optimum dose of levothyroxine your weight should reduce. The aim is a TSH of 1 or lower.

When you give results of blood tests you have to put the ranges as well. These are figures in brackets. Ranges are important for responses as labs differ and it makes it easier to comment.


Just a rider to Shaws reply.

Levothyroxine itself is not the problem but some of us do have a problem with the binders and fillers also in the tablets with the hormone. I cannot take TEVA or Wockhardt makes as they give me bad joint pain. I know some people have problems with the acacia in Mercury Pharma.

Always try to make sure you have the same make each time. Tablets come in 25, 50 and 100 microgram strengths and pharmacies may try and give you a mix of makes to make up the right dose. In the UK if we have a reaction like I did, we can ask our doctor to specify a make to be given or avoided and also register that information with the pharmacy so they can special order if they need to.

The vast majority of issues people have with levothyroxine are due to too low a dose being prescribed by doctors to relieve symptoms. Most people who are doing well on levothyroxine do not need to come here for advice so you do not see much praise for it.

Always include the ranges with the test results, (they are often in brackets eg FT3 5.7 (3.1-6.8) Different machines use different ranges and members need to see where your results fall in the range to comment and advise if you should be asking for a higher dose.

Hormone levels can only be raised slowly so you need to be patient. Losing weight will never be easy but with work you can get your hormone levels optimum and start to stabilise your weight.


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