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TOPIC: Under active thyroid and weight loss

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January 20, 2011 12:56 PM
Hi everyone,

I'm keen to hear from anyone who has an under active thyroid gland but is still doing well losing weight. I was diagnosed 10 years ago and over that time have put on about 5 stone in weight and have never truly understood how to diet properly. I need to hear some success stories to spur me on and how you have managed to lose the weight. Was it just calorie counting and exercise? or did you need to try something else too? Any suggestions would be very welcome.

Please feel free to add me if you would rather send a message than put it on here :)
January 20, 2011 1:07 PM
I have Hashimoto's disease, which is an underactive thyroid. I too have struggled with weight [among other things]. I've been able to lose weight in the past but the moment I become inactive again, I put it right back on.

I'm now making a total life change with both diet and exercise in an attempt to combat this wonderful condition I was so wonderfully blessed with! Ha!

I wish I had some advice but I too am struggling for advice. Perhaps we can motivate each other!

Good luck!
January 20, 2011 1:10 PM
I have thyroid issues also. My Dr told me it would be very difficult to lose weight because of it, so I didn't try for a long time.
I gained a lot of weight and always looked bloated.
Avoiding white bread, white sugar and adding extra Vitamin D helped a lot. Walking really jump started my resolve to keep at it. I went from size 16 to size 10 and am still getting tighter and firmer. It took 6 months. Don't fall for any get skinny quick schemes , they just wont work for us . Also, avoid soy products as they interfere with our thyroid meds, Check out Dr. OZ's web site , He has lots of info on thyroid issues.
You can lose weight, and many of us with under active Thyroid have too.It
might take you a bit longer but hang in there.
Good Luck.
January 20, 2011 1:12 PM
Hey there! I was diagnosed in 2006 with underactive thyroid. At the time my doctor told me weight loss wasn't impossible but I would "have to work harder". I had just gained 10 pounds and was trying to get it off. I went on synthroid, a very low dose and the blood work all came back fine. I got pregnant with my third, gave birth and lost most of the baby weight. Then last summer I gained 10 pounds practically overnight. I went back to my doctor, and insisted we try a higher dose. He increased it a little, but it helped me feel better and I stopped gaining weight. I have been on mfp since November and have lost 10 pounds. I eat 1200-1400 calories per day and exercise 45 minutes 6 days per week. The weight is slowly coming off. I have heard from others that it can take a long time to get your medicine dose correct. Even though my blood work kept coming back "in normal range" it obviously was not normal for me, and I needed a higher dose. Keep working with your doctor to find the right level of medication for you. Good luck!
January 20, 2011 1:13 PM
I was just recenly diagnosed with an underactive thyroid, but I suspected I had hypothyrodism for a few years. I lost 30lbs last year working otu 6 days a week and counting calories. Over the holiday's I gained 12lbs back not exercising or watching what I ate! 12LBS IN LESS THAN 1 MONTH!! UGH ... I am back to exercising and back to eating right and have lost 8lbs since.

Wanted to add, I don't eat Refined Carbs because I also have PCOS & Insulin Resitance. So I try to stay away from White Bread, Pasta and potatoes.. and stick with few carbs as possible... I LOVE sweet potatoes.. and don't mine an occasional sandwhich on wheat.
Edited by ♥_Ellybean_♥ On January 20, 2011 1:15 PM
January 20, 2011 1:18 PM
I"ve gotta get my dog to the vet, but I'll come back and answer when I return. I have hypothroidism and have lost close to 20 lbs. since August. It CAN be done but it takes work! In the words of Ahnold, "I'll be bahk".
January 20, 2011 1:25 PM

II'm now making a total life change with both diet and exercise in an attempt to combat this wonderful condition I was so wonderfully blessed with! Ha!

I'm with you! I will probably never not exercise again.

I was diagnosed in 2003 with underactive thyroid, and have been on meds since then. I've had 2 kids and have been pretty inactive as far as working out goes, but, of course, spend a great deal of time running around after two little monkeys. I have been on MFP since 1/3/2011 and have lost 9 lbs so far. I think that my weight gain was mainly from not eating well and even when I did, not paying the least bit off attention to portion size. Did the weight possibly pack on a little faster or easier because I have thyroid disease? Yeah, I think so. I'll blame my thyroid a little bit, but primarily, it's my poor choices that have led me to where I am now.

Having said that, I am totally encouraged by my progress even after 2 weeks. It truly is/will be a complete lifestyle change for me. It kinda sucks some days, but other days are pretty easy. (Today was kind of difficult. I really didn't feel like working out, but I knew I'd be so disappointed in myself if I didn't. It wasn't a lot, but I got up and got moving and immediately felt better.)

You can do it. We can be friends and encourage each other. wink
January 20, 2011 1:36 PM
I agree, i am not going to blame my whole weight gain on my thyroid, my choices had something to do with it for sure. I think it's just finding a balance between medication, food choices and exercise. It's nice to see you all have been having success!
January 20, 2011 2:09 PM
Great replies! I will definitely keep at it and it would be great to all motivate one another along this journey :)

I don't blame all my weight gain on my thyroid problem as I know I have been fairly inactive the last few years and haven't had a clue how to diet. I only stumbled upon this site by accident when I had an iphone for Christmas and was browsing apps. So far I've lost 8lbs and am very excited about it - I definitely want to lose weight in time for next Christmas and get to wear a nice pretty dress rather than swaddling myself in baggy outfits.
January 20, 2011 3:05 PM
i agree! great replies and great advice! thanks alot guys!

for more on this topic [and my weight-loss journey] check out my blog!
January 20, 2011 3:10 PM
I was diagnosed back in October-- but they won't treat me yet. I go back Monday. I'll return here after
Edited by tater8589 On January 20, 2011 3:12 PM
January 20, 2011 4:51 PM
O.K., I'm back from the vet now. Back in 1997 I had half my thryoid removed. The remaining part did a good enough job of producing thryoid hormone that I didn't need any medication. I have always been very active and enjoyed working out but also really enjoyed food. In the past, if I had a big event coming up, I would crash diet and lose the weight and immediatly go back ot my normal eating habits. Over the past 2 years the weight has slowly crept up but I convinced myself it was age related and that since I only had half a thryoid, I was doomed. In August, the straw finally broke the camel's back when I saw pictures of myself and couldn't believe I had let myself get that far out of line so I made an appointment to see my doctor convinced it was my thryoid. Well, I knew her first words were going to be "are you keeping a food diary?" so I decided to be pro-active and start keeping one. I found this site. Amazingly, once I started eating correct portions (I am not my teenage sons!) the weight started coming off! Well, I went for my checkup and it turns out my thryoid IS out of whack and she is starting me on meds tomorrow. (2 rounds of blood work, holidays, etc made it take this long since August) So, short answer very long, it is possible to lose weight with an underactive thyroid! It takes willpower, measuring, being honest with how much you are eating and exercising. I"m hopeful that being on this medication will help me over my plateau. I've been stuck since early December and have gained and lost the same 2 lbs. over and over. Good luck!!
January 21, 2011 2:26 AM

I was diagnosed with an underactive thyroid at 19 and a uk size 10,so I was slim back then and gaining weight didn't become a problem for me until my late 20's when I had crept up to a size 14/16. When I was pregnant with my Son aged 28 due to my thyroid I was referred to a consultant who checked my thyroid 4 weekly and adjusted my medication accordingly,by the time I gave birth to my son I was lighter than i was before he was conceived and back into a size 12 within a week of his birth!

However, the weight crept on again and by the time he was 2 I was up to a size 16/18 noway I wanted to lose weight for my Wedding in 2009 and with motivation and commitment lost 28lbs between January and April, I wanted to lose more but was told my dress couldn't be taken in any further! laugh but I'm back here again as I put it all back on sad once again determined to lose it all again!

I guess what I'm saying in a very long and convoluted way, is that is IS possible to lose the weight, but I do feel it goes on easier than it does most people. Good luck to everyone on their weightloss!

Jo x
Edited by Dudesmum On January 21, 2011 2:27 AM
January 21, 2011 8:16 PM
I also have an under active thyroid, well now I have no thyroid. I do blame it on my tiny 4 foot 9...I did this to myself though because my junior year of high school i stopped taking my thyroid pill & put on 20 pounds...this is my first time trying to actually drop 17 pounds.I'm now in my 2nd year at college & getting married. I wanna do this for me. I always wonder what affect my non existent thyroid will have on me. Just a few days ago i said i'm sick of it controlling my life, so this is for change
March 3, 2011 11:50 AM
I have just been told after insisting on a test that I have under active thyroid- about to have further tests next week - then I will be looking for advice and encouragement as well.
March 3, 2011 12:24 PM

I have thyroid issues also. My Dr told me it would be very difficult to lose weight because of it, so I didn't try for a long time.
I gained a lot of weight and always looked bloated.
Avoiding white bread, white sugar and adding extra Vitamin D helped a lot. Walking really jump started my resolve to keep at it. I went from size 16 to size 10 and am still getting tighter and firmer. It took 6 months. Don't fall for any get skinny quick schemes , they just wont work for us . Also, avoid soy products as they interfere with our thyroid meds, Check out Dr. OZ's web site , He has lots of info on thyroid issues.
You can lose weight, and many of us with under active Thyroid have too.It
might take you a bit longer but hang in there.
Good Luck.

Definitely agree with checking to make sure you're not taking something that could interfere with the meds. I have hypothyroid too, and take synthroid for it. But I also have had problems with stomach ulcers and anemia and need to sometimes take iron and prevacid. Doctor right away warned me that iron can affect the meds, and so he told me to take my iron 12 hours apart from the thyroid meds. But I didn't know at first antacids could affect it as well so now I wait 4 hours on that one.

So if you take any sort of mutli vitamin that has iron in it I would ask your doctor if you should space that out from your meds.
Edited by kcphilly On March 3, 2011 12:26 PM
March 18, 2011 6:32 PM
Wow. All your stories have really helped me. I was diagnosed with Hashimoto's in January after 2 years of testing for practically everything under the sun. I just had my second round of blood work and my levels still aren't right. I gained a total of 40 pounds since August 2009 and since I've been on the synthroid, I've lost 5.
I had a lot of trouble with digestion and I'm still not able to eat fruits and vegetables, so that kind of puts me in a difficult situation. Does anyone have any helpful suggestions?
March 18, 2011 8:18 PM
I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism in the early 1990's. I have been on all the meds and doses available over the years. I too cannot blame my total weight gain to the hypothyroidism but to a combination of lack of exercise, portion size, and my thyroid being out of whack (many times the doctors would not listen to me when I told them I did not feel goodindifferent ). I have recently started to watch my portion size, exercise on a regular bases (three times per week is all I can get into my schedule right now) and it seems to be working. Slow but it is at least working. I have tried it all and truly all of us that are hypothyroid are in the same gimmicks will work for us....just true hard work. Lets all stay together and support one another on this rather long journey. smile
Edited by Ejcj89 On March 18, 2011 8:19 PM
March 18, 2011 8:28 PM
I have untreated Hashimoto's as well. I agree that it is not impossible to lose weight but you will have to work very hard at it. It is a very slow process (for me) and I have to be very diligent about it. Now gaining weight...that I can do just by *looking* at food. I had lost 55 lbs over the course of 14 mos a few years ago and then hit a 3 month plateau while tracking and exercising and doing everything "right". I finally threw in the towel out of frustration. I stopped tracking but was probably eating half the quantity of food I was eating while on WW but just not counting calories or points. Within 6 months I gained 42 lbs. I can't ever do that again...i learned that lesson the hard way! If you put the effort into it and you are seriously watching your calories and getting exercise, you will lose. If you are on the right dosage of medication, it will become that much easier. Good luck to can do it!!!
March 24, 2011 8:58 PM
During a routine physical about March 5th, my primary care physician took blood samples as usual. After she got the results, she told me I have under active thyroid. It felt like a new chapter of my life where I HAD to take medicine everyday. I decided to take it in the middle of the night between 2:30 and 4:30am since I usually wake up once anyway. After taking the thyroid medicine I have to wait an hour before I can eat, so i thought in the middle of the night would allow me to eat breakfast before I leave in am without delaying a whole hour. My doctor felt it could impact me in a negative way if I did not take the medicine with all the hard work of trying to lose weight. I also had a DNA Diet test by Inherent Health and they said under active thyroid wouldn't change my DNA which still means I have to do high energy exercises with low-fat diet to lose weight for the rest of my life. The DNA does not change from taking the Levothyroxin. I wish it did. Anyway, wish me luck! If anyone has tips, I am all ears.
March 24, 2011 9:10 PM
I was diagnosed with Hashimotos also. Before that I had an under active thyroid. It was much easier to control weight before Hashimotos Disease. Now I just really have to work at it. I keep my metabolism up with vigorous exercise . This helps immensely. I have enjoyed all the tips about diet. Thanks for asking this Question.huh ohwell huh
March 24, 2011 9:41 PM
6 months after giving birth to my son - and after gaining lots of weight - the doc ordered a blood test and I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism. I've been working out and eating 6 small, balanced meals throughout the day and I can proudly say that in 1 month I have lost 9.4 lbs. It can be done! :)
March 25, 2011 1:28 AM
I was diagnosed with hypothyroid in '91 then in '94 had a false positive for thyroid cancer but after a thyroidectomy it was found to be Hashimoto's. A year after that surgery I slowly started putting weight on, my exercise fell to the wayside, my eating habits were awful. I've struggled to lose weight and it's still a daily battle. I know it has to do to some extent with the amount of medication I'm on. I just recently had my dose increased and it seemed to help with the weight loss. Sadly I still have a lot of work to do!
March 25, 2011 3:37 AM
Wow, there are some great stories on here and lots of good advice too :) What I found really exciting was looking at everyones tickers...everyone is doing well with the weightloss..even if it is harder for us..we're doing great!

I agree about refined carbs, I stopped eating white bread at Christmas and felt better for it, I've also swapped to brown rice and very little potato. I used to get a lot of stomach cramps but since changing my diet those have all but gone and I feel healthier. I've also started taking a thyroid support vitamin supplement, as it makes sense to feed your thyroid what it needs to stay as healthy as it can be :)

I still get very tired days when all I want to do is curl up and sleep but have found that forcing myself to exercise, even if it is just a walk really wakes me up and makes me feel energetic again. Though sometimes of course I give in and sleep :)
March 25, 2011 12:40 PM
I just got a book called The Thyroid Diet by Mary Shomon (I think) I am going to check it out and see what it says. All I remember from the back is it recommends a low glycemic diet which is right in line with what all these posts seem to suggest with cutting out white bread, rice, etc.

I've been struggling with this for a couple of years, too. I lost weight using Weight Watchers and as soon as I reached my goal I was diagnosed with hypothyroid and began treatment. From that point it has been a real struggle. I am frustrated and hoping this book helps give me some direction.


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