Can you have an underactive thyroid and still always feel hungry?

Even though I have some of the symptoms of low thyroid function, such as fatigue, insomia, depression, etc. and my TSH was 3.92 with FT4 of 16.8 suggesting possibly an underactive thyroid, I've always been hungry, but don't seem to put on much weight for the amount I eat. I've had periods in the past when when i've experienced weight loss in stressful periods. I think my body isn't a good storer of nutrients and that's why i'm always hungry. However, one of the typical symptoms of an underactive thyroid is weight gain which I definately don't have.

Another thing, the recent blood test I had showed I had high total Cholesterol 5.4 and LDL Cholesterol 3.4. This was alarming because i'm young, health conscious, exercise regularly, etc. I've heard that high cholesterol levels and thyroid problems can be related. Any insight?

7 Replies

  • You don't have to have all the symptoms to qualify, Anthony. There are some - don't know how many, but some - hypos who lose weight rather than putting it on. As to hunger, you can be hypo and hungry too.

    However, the cholesterol is a dead give-away. Before they invented the dreaded TSH test, high cholesterol was taken as THE symptom of hypo and people were then treated. Depression is another major symptom, as is fatigue. I would say you qualify as hypo.

    The TSH test doesn't take symptoms into consideration and is a very bad guide of thyroid status. But even so, 3.92 is high in my book, when you take into consideration that a person with absolutely no thyroid problems has a TSH of 0.8. That makes 3.92 look very high, doesn't it.

    Hugs, Grey

  • I very rarely lose my appetite. And being hypothyroid certainly didn't make me want to eat less!

    Perhaps I *should* have eaten less! :-)

    But somewhere around 10% of hypos and hypers seem to have "opposite" weight changes to those usually thought to be typical. Mind, hypos losing weight might actually be losing important muscle mass.


  • Instead of hypo's we should be called hippo's !!! Ging

  • Hi It is possible for Hypo and Hyper to have the same symptoms ,although unusual. Looking at what you say, I strongly feel that your free T3 may well be too low. You need that tested pronto. If low , even in range, you need T4 ( levo) and T3. Good suggestions from Grey too Some GP`s are reluctant, to treat like this, probably cost! If you think this applies, get a referral to a good endo, your choice ,not the GP`s!

    Best wishes,


    Not sure if you know , to reply to aspecfic post, click on "Reply to this" under that person`s post.

  • Read the tjyroud soloution by a dr rhida arem who explains the link between leptin that burns fat and decreases our appetite and how this is affected when we r hypo. Definately when I was undermedicated I ate like a hirse. When t3 was introduced and I gained better levels of thyroid hormones I ate less. x

  • I was diagnosed hypo about two months ago but i found my weight over the last year was lower rather than higher. First time i went in Jan my tsh was 6.74 but they said i didn't need treated as t4 was 13. I was to go back in two months time but after four weeks i felt so poorly my family insisted i go back and when they tested that time tsh had gone up to 11. Something. T4 was 12.4 but dr reckoned this was "dud" so they started me on Levo. So if you continue to feel I'll do go back, as things can change quite fast. I think initially because i wasn't overweight they dismissed thyroid issues, but my auntie who is also hypo has always had opposite symptoms in terms of her weight so it isn't always straightforward. Hope this helps!

  • I constantly struggle with being hungry even after I have eaten a meal I get hunger pangs and try really hard not to over eat but its not easy, its like a lot of other symptoms you get I thought I was going nuts for a while but now I know better

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