I’ve been hypothyroid for 32 years and have reg... - Thyroid UK

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I’ve been hypothyroid for 32 years and have regular tests. My nutritionist asks that I should have a thyroid antibodies test to lose weight?

SarahReed11 profile image

Antibodies, Lose weight

37 Replies

Gosh! That would be a neat trick if it worked! Had my antibodies tested when I was first diagnosed, and I after I started on levo, I put weight on, I didn't lose it. So, I wonder what on earth she's talking about.

Were those her exact words?

Personally I'm steer clear of someone who gave advice like this!!

It might have made more sense if she had advised you to have a full thyroid test Undermedication is a common cause of weight gain

I gained a lot of weight when wrongly medicated ....particularly with low FT3 .

That slows down metabolism

....but to ask you to have an antibodies test!! Bizarre.

Unfortunately there are a lot of people out there making money from poor advice like this!

Antibodies are proteins that protect you when an unwanted substance enters your body. Produced by your immune system, antibodies bind to these unwanted substances in order to eliminate them from your system.

protect you when an unwanted substance enters your body.

Is she interpreting that "unwanted substance" as food!!

Sorry....I jest!

Poor thyroid treatment to me, is like a red rag to a bull...

Maybe best to stick with those thyroid tests for hypothyroidism

How is your hypothyroidism medicated?

I suspect you too were taken aback by this request!

Take care

greygoose profile image
greygoose in reply to DippyDame

I would steer clear of nutritionists! And dieticians. What do they know about thyroid? I've had some really weird 'advice' from them in the past.

DippyDame profile image
DippyDame in reply to greygoose

Recently one, Dr Perros, was quoted as referring to, self-appointed experts from the dark alleys of alternative medicine,

I know nothing about him but he got that absolutely correct!

greygoose profile image
greygoose in reply to DippyDame

Yes, I read that. But, can dieticians and nutritionists be called 'alternative'?

DippyDame profile image
DippyDame in reply to greygoose

Point taken!

The OP is referring to a nutritionist, that's where my reservations lie....not a dietitian .

Sorry, I expressed that badly.

I'd better check that one!

According to the BDA...

Dietitians are the only nutrition professionals to be regulated by law, and are governed by an ethical code to ensure that they always work to the highest standard.

Anyone can call themselves a Nutritionist, a Nutritional Therapist, a Clinical Nutritionist or a Diet Expert.

I was actually thinking of some of the questionable nutritional advice splattered across the internet by so-called experts.

The OP's nutritionalist sounds like a good example of that!

greygoose profile image
greygoose in reply to DippyDame

Yes, I know she's talking about a nutritionist, but I've seen both and wasn't impressed by either of them! The dietician didn't even know that ham was meat!

DippyDame profile image
DippyDame in reply to greygoose

Good grief!

I wasn't really defending dieticians...just not initially referring to them.I was once sent to one of that ilk....never again!

greygoose profile image
greygoose in reply to DippyDame

Maybe it's a French thing, but I've come across that before. Sometimes in restaurants if you say you're vegetarian, they bring you ham. And, one doctor said he though vegetarian just meant I didn't eat beef! 🤣🤣🤣 Even the name doesn't give them a clue! Very weird.

DippyDame profile image
DippyDame in reply to greygoose

Each to his own...

We have 2 daughters-in-law....one Aussie and very vegan

one Scot and veggie....but loves prawns

two sons - Scots - grew up eating whatever I prepared!

two grandsons influenced by their Aussie Mum...they love cake and Daddy's roast chicken.

Interesting.... at the sadly rare times all 8 of us manage to gather round the dining- room table.

It's like Woolworth's old Pick n Mix counter!!!

Oh....and I've seen vegetarian "ham " for sale

That's very weird!!

greygoose profile image
greygoose in reply to DippyDame

Vegetarian ham is probably made of soy. In France, we have chicken ham! 🤣🤣🤣

Some of the best meals are like Pick n Mix, something for everybody, because we all have our likes and dislikes.

greygoose,

I actually know some really knowledgeable and experienced nutritional therapists trained in functional medicine, through the IFM. Some have very respectable degrees and NT diplomas. Not all “nutritionists” are the same. However, the problem is that the word nutritionist is not a protected term and anybody can use the name. Nutritional therapists trained through the Institute of Optimum Nutrition (ION) are trained as complimentary therapists. They work along side the medical profession to support their work not against it.

They work along side the medical profession to support their work not against it.

I never suggested they work against the medical profession, never even suspected it. But, given how much doctors know about thyroid, that's not much of a recommendation, is it.

Well, medical doctors need to diagnose and treat disease, whereas a nutritional therapist supports function, which is incredibly important, especially with thyroid issues. So yes doctors do require more in-depth knowledge for precisely this reason. So it’s two different things. You go to your doctor for a diagnosis and receive your prescription. I don’t recall a medical doctor ever offering me any nutrition and lifestyle advice to support thyroid health.

This is one of the NTs I have worked with. She has in-depth knowledge of thyroid and hormonal health.

instagram.com/tanyaborowski...

All of your functional knowledge about vitamins, minerals, working with the person as an individual, supporting autoimmunity, supporting adrenal function, genetic and functional testing etc. None of this can be done by a medical doctor unless you can find one that is trained in FM. I do know of one but she’s really difficult to get hold of. We do receive some advice here relating to vitamins and minerals but many people need to go beyond that.

Well, I've obviously just been unlucky with the nutritionists I've seen then.

greygoose,

Sorry to hear that. That’s the issue. Anybody can do a 6 week online course and call themselves a nutritionist. Then there are people who have spent years training for this. They are called the same thing. However, choosing one via the BANT website should give you a better practitioner. Or those trained from a reputable organisation like ION and BCNH and also registered with BANT and the CNHC.

Not much good to me, I live in France. :)

greygoose,

Not ideal but most of the people I’ve consulted have been via Zoom or some other web conferencing tool. It’s not bad at all.

But, I have absolutely no interest in consulting a nutritionist myself.

Not much good to me, I live in France. :)

Lol, okay that’s absolutely fine. When you said the above it sounded like you were, hence why I responded the way I did. This conversation is getting confusing now.

Yes I was taken aback. I already had a thyroid test recently and she had looked at them and asked why hadn’t I had a antibodies test?!! I’ll post my results in a separate post to see how I can get help with losing weight. Thanks x

I already had full blood test - results below - and she could see that there was no test for antibodies. x

SarahReed11,

Yes, if you are optimally medicated and can not lose weight, then having thyroid antibodies tested would be a good idea, even after 32 years, unless of course you have previously tested positive.

It is good to know what you are working with as Hashimotos creates bodily inflammation that indirectly causes us to hang onto fat. This will allow your nutritionist to eliminate possible causes for your weight. It would also be useful to have cortisol tested.

Losing weight is one of the biggest bains of hypothyroidism and it isn’t just optimal meds & nutrients that will always allow it but reversing all the damage caused by years of remaining under par.

When GP’s aren’t cooperative members use private labs.

.

thyroiduk.org/help-and-supp...

SarahReed11 profile image
SarahReed11 in reply to radd

That’s interesting as I do have lots of food sensitivities and inflammation which causes a lot of muscle pain joint pain etc etc.

radd profile image
radd in reply to SarahReed11

SarahReed11,

You have received good advice regarding your med dose and thyroid hormone test results from SeaSideSusie below.

However, having bodily inflammation (aches, pains, sensitivities, etc) can negatively change the way thyroid meds works impeding weight loss, and directly contribute to further weight gain.

Inflammation is very energy depleting and it’s easy to get stuck in a self perpetuating cycle where every system of the body may be drawn in. Hence we start accumulating more & more ailments/aches & pains.

To try reducing inflammation optimise meds, remove triggers such as gluten and supplement any anti-inflammatories such as Vit C, Vit D, Fish oils, curcumin, etc. Also ensure blood sugars remain balanced through use of less sugars & adding protein.

My recent blood test results -Serum free T4 level - (SURA5) - Normal

16.1 pmol/L

Range 11.20 - 20.20pmol/L

Serum free T3 level - (SURA5) - Normal

4.4 pmol/L

Range 3.20 - 6.80pmol/L

Serum TSH level - (SURA5) - Normal

0.12 mIU/L

Range 0.27 - 4.20mIU/L

Your thoughts? Many thanks xx

SeasideSusie profile image
SeasideSusieAdministrator in reply to SarahReed11

SarahReed11

TSH: 0.12 (0.27-4.20)

FT4: 16.1 (11.20 - 20.20) = 54.44% through range

FT3: 4.4 (3.2-6.8) = 33.33% through range

Calculator here: thyroid.dopiaza.org/

The aim of a treated hypo patient on Levo only, generally, is for TSH to be 1 or below with FT4 and FT3 in the upper part of their reference ranges, if that is where you feel well.

You can see that your FT4 is just over half way through range and your FT3 is only a third of the way through it's range. These results suggest that you are undermedicated, and low T3 makes weight loss difficult.

You could do with an increase in your Levo, 25mcg now, retest in 6-8 weeks to check levels and see if you need another increase.

Testing antibodies wont make a difference to your treatment, it will tell you if the cause of your hypothyroidism is autoimmune where the immune system attacks and gradually destroys the thyroid (called Hashimoto's by patients). Hashi's isn't treated, it's the hypothyroidism that's treated.

Hashi's can cause gut/absorption problems and cause low nutrient levels and deficiencies, so it's a good idea to test key nutrient:

Vit D

B12,

Folate

Ferritin

If you post results/ranges and units of measurement for Vit D and B12 then we can interpret them for you.

This is most helpful! I’ll request for these checks and come back in here. Many thanks xx

I have had a phone consultation with the pharmacist about the results of the thyroid blood test. She agreed with me that I need 25mcg more to improve my FT3 and FT4 and she thought my TSH was bit low. But when she discussed it with the GP, the GP is reluctant to increase my dose of Levothyroxine as my TSH is low and my T4 is at the highest its been for a few years now. She would like me to remain on levothyroxine 150mcg for now and to retest my blood levels in 2 months time so they can monitor the trend.I am not happy about this.

SeasideSusie profile image
SeasideSusieAdministrator in reply to SarahReed11

SarahReed11

he GP is reluctant to increase my dose of Levothyroxine as my TSH is low and my T4 is at the highest its been for a few years now.

but it's still not high at a fraction over half way through range.

Have you got enough tablets to increase yourself by 12.5mcg? If so do that and when next tested see how you feel and if you feel an improvement and FT4 still well within range then tell them what you've done.

If you haven't got enough tablets then ring and ask if they'll compromise on an extra 12.5mcg daily as a trial and give you a prescription for a few extra tablets. To support your request for an increase use the following information which explains why low/suppressed TSH isn't a problem:

Dr Toft, past president of the British Thyroid Association and leading endocrinologist, states in Pulse Magazine (the professional publication for doctors):

"The appropriate dose of levothyroxine is that which restores euthyroidism and serum TSH to the lower part of the reference range - 0.2-0.5mU/l. In this case, free thyroxine is likely to be in the upper part of its reference range or even slightly elevated – 18-22pmol/l. Most patients will feel well in that circumstance. But some need a higher dose of levothyroxine to suppress serum TSH and then the serum-free T4 concentration will be elevated at around 24-28pmol/l. This 'exogenous subclinical hyperthyroidism' is not dangerous as long as serum T3 is unequivocally normal – that is, serum total around T3 1.7nmol/l (reference range 1.0-2.2nmol/l).*"

*He confirmed, during a talk he gave to The Thyroid Trust in November 2018 that this applies to Free T3 as well as Total T3 and this is when on Levo only. You can hear this at 1 hour 19 mins to 1 hour 21 minutes in this video of that talk youtu.be/HYhYAVyKzhw

You can obtain a copy of the article which contains this quote from ThyroidUK:

tukadmin@thyroiduk.org

print it and highlight Question 6 to show your GP.

Don't mix brands, if you do well on your current brand you should stick to it and average out the extra, I manage to average 107mcg daily and I only have 100mcg and 50mcg tablets.

Thanks so much! Can you please clarify which article I should ask Thyroid UK to send to me?

I only have 100mcg and 50 mcg so maybe I take 200mcg one day and 150mcg the next day and so on?

SeasideSusie profile image
SeasideSusieAdministrator in reply to SarahReed11

Can you please clarify which article I should ask Thyroid UK to send to me?

The Dr Toft article from Pulse magazine.

I only have 100mcg and 50 mcg so maybe I take 200mcg one day and 150mcg the next day and so on?

If you want to increase from 150mcg to 175mcg (but do make sure you have enough tablets to last until your next test) then cut a 50mcg in half and take 1 x 100mcg plus 1 and 1/2 x 50mcg daily, or alternate 200/150mcg.

If you want to increase by just 12.5mcg then take 1 x 100mcg plus 1 and 1/2 50mcg one day (175mcg) and 1 x 100mcg plus 1 x 50mcg the next day which will average 162.5mcg daily.

free T4 16.1 pmol/L (11.20 - 20.20)free T3 4.4 pmol/L (3.20 - 6.80) 54.44%TSH 0.12 mIU/L (0.27 - 4.20) 33.33%

Don't be fooled by the 'normal' comment. That just means it's in-range. And, whilst the FT4 level might be euthyroid (i.e. with not thyroid problems) hypos usually need it higher than that.

Your FT3 on the other hand, it not normal at all, it's much too low. So, it looks like you're not very good at converting - the gap between the two percentages shouldn't be that wide.

It's low T3 that causes symptoms, because it is the active hormone, and is needed by every single cell in your body to function correctly. Symptoms include weight-gain, and the inability to lose it.

Thanks so much! I feel well armed with all the info when I speak to the GP on Monday.

You're welcome. :) Good luck! Let us know how you get on.

Hello there. I have read Mary Shomon stated that not all Hashimoto patients present with raised antibodies. Don't know if that muddies the water again but don't exclude Hashis if your antibodies aren't raised. Good luck with your GP and come back here if you're concerned about any of the recommendations given x

greygoose profile image
greygoose in reply to Rapunzel

Thank you for that! I couldn't remember where I'd read it. :)

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