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TOPIC: From Hypo to Hyperthyroid

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August 25, 2012 9:34 AM
So normally, I am extremely Hypothyroid. I've been on 300 mcg of Synthroid for a few years now. The problem is, after getting checked this past week, it seems I've slid into Hyperthyroid. No big deal, right? Reduce the meds a little. Here's my concern: Hyperthyroidism speeds up your body. In theory, you lose weight super easy. Only, obviously it hasn't been super easy for me. I've been the same weight for years. Now we're reducing the meds, and I'm seriously concerned the weight loss is going to be even harder.

Has anyone else discovered they were Hyper and had it fixed? How did it affect your weight loss journey?
August 25, 2012 9:43 AM
I've cycled between hypo and hyper since 2004, when I was first diagnosed with thyroid cancer.

When I'm severely hyper (TSH 0.01 or lower), I constantly need to have calories coming in to keep up with the metabolic demand, so restricting calories in an effort to lose weight is nearly impossible. Last month my TSH was 0.004, and I started the 1,200 calorie regime two weeks ago. Needless to say, after many episodes of wooziness, I've now bumped up my daily net to 1,420 calories and feel MUCH better.

When I'm severely hypo (TSH anywhere to 10.0 to 146.0), it doesn't matter in the least how little I eat, or how much I push myself to be physically active. The weight just piles on. My worst hypo weight gain was 50 pounds in three months (TSH was hovering at 20.0), which is when I got fat for the first time in my life.

"Fixing" being hyper is easy for me; since I no longer have a thyroid, and rely exclusively on prescription medications to provide all of my necessary thyroid hormones, all I have to do is lower the dosage.
August 25, 2012 9:57 AM
A key point with hyperthyroid weight loss is that you are losing things you don't want to lose - muscle mass (including your heart!), bone density, etc. It's VERY damaging for your body; after being hyper on and off for 20 years my risk of early heart disease and osteoporosis has skyrocketed.

As well, when in an incredibly hyper state many people actually GAIN weight...for me, it was because my caloric needs were so high and immediate that I basically only ate sugar, sugar and more sugar.

I actually recently went hypo from my meds and am now euthyroid, and it wasn't until the hypo state that I was actually able to start losing the weight from being hyper! i.e. being hyper isn't what will help you shed's still all about lifestyle.

Finally, when it comes to confirming your thyroid levels please make sure your doctor doesn't just go with a TSH test. TSH tests the hormone from your pituitary gland, not your thyroid itself, and often lags substantially behind actual thyroid levels. Your doctor should always be performing a free T3 (not total) and free T4 test; these levels should ideally be in the top 1/3 of the range your lab uses.

The other issue with using TSH for a diagnosis is that many (most?) GPs use the old range for normal (.5-5.0). In 2002 the normal range was revised to .3-3.0....many people are mistakenly told they are euthyroid when they are potentially hypo.

I can't stress just how damaging to your body being hyper is - certainly a lot more damaging that a few extra lbs. Plus any weight loss is completely unsustainable. I was able to lose 8 lbs in 8 weeks while fairly hypo; you can do it!
August 25, 2012 11:42 AM
Thanks guys. :) I'm certainly not trying to stay Hyper, but I was concerned that losing the weight might be harder. It's nice to hear that it might very well not be the case if my levels actually become 'normal'. I will, however, have to check with my doctor about what tests he's performing to diagnose me. It's been ages since I actually asked which "levels" were off. Good information to have!
April 27, 2013 5:48 PM
Hi, I have HYPERthyroidism and I have gained weight without being on any medication. Has anyone had this issue and know why? I would really love the symptom of losing weight quickly lol. I am very hot all of the time and am very shaky. I was put on beta blockers today but I have gain about 30lbs within the last year with hyperthyroidism. Please let me know what you have figured out. Thank you!

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