Thyroid UK
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answers for obesity and carnt loose weight

hi all thought a must to share my news with you in the hope it may help others suffering the cruel taunts from people and doctors when we dnt loose weight !!! ........dont worry as it may not be your fault at all......YOU MAY HAVE THE DISEASE " LIMPEODEMA " i had thyroid cancer 2005 , total thyroid and parathyroid removed and had radiation. i have suffered with weight problems since my periods started and im now 45yrs and finally have my diagnosis of a rare diease called LIMPEODEMA !!!!! please read up on it and if you think you may have same problems please get your doc to refer you to a lymphedma clinic as my endocronologist didnt even realise i had it !!!!! i start after xmas having drains and pressure bandages to help the pain etc as im afraid there is no cure for limpeodema as you will see when you read up on it. im just thankful im at the end of my horror film.......hopefuly you all out there will be clear of this disease but if you do have it then im always here to talk too and explain what im goin through. xxx

7 Replies

Not worried, I know its the fault of a sluggish metabolism and if I hear one more time that I need to 'eat less and exercise more' someone will get a punch on the nose!!!


I'd recommend reading Zoe Harcombe's take on the "eat less, exercise more" calories thing.


Eat less, exercise more only works if you are eating too much and not exercising enough. If this is not the case you can actually end up with a reverse T3 problem as your body tries to compensate for the extra calorie expenditure and the lack of calories coming in. This can actually make the problem worse. Getting the thyroid sorted out needs to happen first before weight loss can properly occur. When I was on T3 - no weight problems. Undermedicated on T4 - gained 5 stones. BTW, I am fit and exercise quite a bit (karate and strength training mainly) and eat healthily. Even my GP agrees that it's not my lifestyle. Unfortunately not many GPs are so enlightened :(


Exactly. I tried to explain this to my GP recently. He's under the assumption that I'm overwieght/obese, therefore it is because I am overeating, not because of a disease or condition. It is very narrow minded, hurtful, and lacking in compassion when GPs act like this towards their patients.

He hasn't even see a list of what I eat (more accurately what I don't eat) during a week or month to verify such a claim, and I know of a few GPs who are like this when it comes to wieght issues. They don't look beyond overeating. Especially when everything else checks out as healthy. My labs refute my GP's opinion. I've got a perfect cholestrol and normal blood pressure, and its not like being overwieght/obese is new to me. The only reason he makes this claim is because my TSH/T4 look tidy, and putting me on Orlistat (or trying to) isn't a helpful solution either as it interacts and interferes with levothyroxine and increases the chance for me to develop vitamin deficiencies.

Rather than diet pills and claiming overeating is the issue, I think the whole problem could be sortted if they looked at T3 and rT3 in the first place to make that determination.


I find it very difficult to get the balance right. I am very well informed both with nutrition and intake, fats, sugars etc and it is the very devil to get weight off. I exercise three times a week both aerobic and resistance. I only eat about 800 calories daily. "Oh" everyone shouts "that's not enough, your metabolism will slow right down". I eat more, I put on weight! I don't eat breakfast...."Oh my god" everyone shouts, must eat breakfast or you won't kick start your metabolism"...Started eating breakfast, put on approximately 1lb per day!!! The only way I can make any dent at all is to eat very very little carbs if any. "Oh my god", they all shout, can't exist on no carbs, you'll get this problem, that problem etc etc.. The best way for us Hypos to get weight off is to experiment with what suits us and when we find anything that works, stick to it. I'ts horrid not to be able to shift the weight quickly. (Only 1 stone in this last year). I know that my friends, relatives and my Dr simply do not believe what I eat (or don't eat more like). It's really really frustrating, I'd like to invite them all into my house where sweets, cakes, chocolate, pasta, bread, rice and potatoes are occasional TREATS.That's my life and it isn't pleasant. You have to work so hard but it can be done even if it's that slow it's unbelievable!


I'm sorry Phoebe. This may help you though. Sorry it's long. 8 years ago I went to the docs. She said losing weight and being a hypo is like 'pi$$ing in the wind'. Unquote. So I found out for myself and I am applying the following. I've lost nearly 3 stone in the last two years since I started (and that's with stop and starts and being ill for 13 years with no success). This is not a five minute fix but this list may help you too. I hope so. xxx

1: RT3 IS TOO LOW. - this is a brilliant link and explains this ratio issue very well. I've used T3 to correct mine.

2: CARB CONVERSION IS COMPROMISED/FOOD INTOLERANCE. Not all calories are equal and this is especially true for carbs. Hypos can seriously struggle with some carbs as you note but pasta is particularly bad. Most diets recommend pasta. SEE point 5. Also if you eat wheat and are intolerant then this can cause weight loss to slow/stop too. SEE point 5.

3: INSULIN RESISTANCE - this can be corrected by a short walk each day but it may take a while. Just 30 mins if you can as briskly as you can. Anything is good though. No drugs will work as well as just a short walk every day.

4: LIPID IMBALANCE - cholesterol. If you have belly fat that won't shift your lipids are out of balance - a common problem for hypos. Note cholesterol problems for hypos differ slightly over 'normal' people making it a bit more complex and changing the composition. Belly fat is metabolically active - which can affect your whole body badly. But it should be easier to lose than normal body fat - it's proven to shift faster - unless you have a lipid problem and then it will not go until you're lipids are corrected.

5: LOW BMR. This can be >40% lower than a normal person. An active woman needs 2000 healthy calories per day. But if your BMR is 40% lower then this is 1200 calories for a maintenance level of weight. How do you lose weight with this? You have to drop your calories. So you go to 1000 calories (now half a healthy person's BMR). But you lower your BMR when you diet. And it drops again to 800 calories to maintain weight with exercise. Just one portion of the wrong carbs can add weight and cancel any weight loss because we're talking grams and hypos don't do well with start/stop metabolic burn - you have to eat something regularly throughout the day, almost impossible on 800 calories. --- So what do you do? Increase your BMR (it can be measured). This is not done through maximizing cardio (a common mistake) but muscle creation with extensive weights and resistance. You need as much muscle to fat as possible (and that doesn't mean turn into Rambo! lols). If you're an endomorph the problem is worse. The Gym instructor may not understand your body as a hypo. Be warned they are not trained on this.

If just ONE of the above 5 things is out of whack you can stop losing weight. But a hypo can have all five. I would have given anything for this list 8 years ago. In my experience and from what I've read, just taking thyroid hormone will not reverse the damage which has resulted in the above biological errors. You have to do these manually. But you MUST also have your thyroid hormone making you feel well. And then go through this checklist to see if you have anything on it.

ADDITIONAL TIPS: Check your temperature - your thermic level is very useful during weight loss - body heat is a major way to burn calories. Good luck xx


I have just watched "The Weight Loss Hospital". Now I am really mad!!!!! Did you see what those people eat? That woman who fills her trolly up with chocolate and cream cakes on a Friday, enough to last the weekend and then she stays in and gollops it all throughout those two days. Talk about make you sick!!! That's what everyone thinks that we are doing. I just heard the nurse saying "they're in denial you know, they secretly eat". I didn't see anyone secretly eating, they were shoving wheelbarrow loads down their necks in full view, then whinging and whining about being too fat to get off their fat backsides! I would like to thank those people for making people like us look like liars!

Sorry for the rant. Hi deskplant, thanks for your advice, very useful. I am going through everything. I started with my Vit D and was found deficient, started taking large amounts and my FT3 went up and my FT4 went up and my TSH went right down and I feel better and have more energy and have started to lose the weight a tiny bit faster and then disaster......I started to get my Arrhythmia back, really bad. so proving all those bad Dr's right, in other words, it's bad for you to have a high normal FT3 and T4 and a 0.01 TSH. Now what? I'm wondering if this will get better. The Dr hasn't told me to cut back on my Thyroxine yet but I'm sure it's coming! It's a long job trying to titrate everything to get it right but hopefully I (we) will get there in the end.


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