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TOPIC: Synthroid for your Thyroid,can you still lose weight?

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August 31, 2012 10:12 AM
please. i am just looking for some encouragement and support. i know i've posted some of this stuff before, so please don't be rude about it. i'm just so nervous and scared. today i am getting the radioactive iodine treatment to kill off my thyroid, because i have graves disease. i'm doing it for my health. i know it has to be done. but i'm not happy about it. it scares me not knowing how my body is going to react after. maybe i sound vain. but i would get severely depressed if i gained tons of weight. i'm worried, that once my thyroid is no longer working, i will gain tons of weight, even if i watch my calories and exercise. my doctor told me in a few months i'll get started on the hormones replacement meds. and it should be fine. but some people say that even when they are on the proper meds to control their thyroid, they still can't lose the weight, when they try hard. is this true. or are these people maybe just blaming the thyroid for not being able to lose weight, when its something else maybe?

just wondering for people who have thyroid problems? How much weight did you gain after you had your thyroid killed off,

and if you are on the synthroid for your thyroid, can you lose weight if you try? i just want some reassurance that i will still be able to lose weight in the future after i start my meds.
August 31, 2012 10:17 AM
I am 50, had my thyroid removed in May due to a growth, and started back here a few weeks ago. I am losing, it is slow, but that is fine, as long as it keeps going down. Keep your chin up, you will be fine!
August 31, 2012 10:17 AM
I am on a thyroid med for under-active thyroid (not Synthroid - Lethothyroz??) and I have lost 35 lbs. Regulating my thyroid with medication was not the miracle cure to losing the weight but I don't think I would have lost any or near as much without regulating it. The real results though came from diet and exercise. MFP helps me control my calories and I work out everyday for at least 30 mins. Nothing too extreme - some walking videos, some Jillian Michaels videos, elliptical or stationary bike here and there, hour long walks near my home, etc. So, I totally understand your concern and fear, but from my experience I would think once you are on meds to do for your body what the thyroid did then you can lose weight. Good luck to you!
August 31, 2012 10:22 AM
I've been on Synthroid since I was about 10 years old. Once you get your medication balanced at the correct dose and make sure it stays there you should be able to lose the weight. I can't say if it's harder with a thyroid disorder or not since I've had it most of my life but with good food choices and exercise anything is possible!
August 31, 2012 10:24 AM
I have been taking Synthroid... now Levothryoxine for about, I say, 10 years now. I gained plenty of weight when I wasn't diagnosed with Hypothyroidism and ever since starting MFP and working out the way that I do - I am now 35 pounds lighter in under 90 days. It sucks having to take a pill in order to survive the day, but if you are already regulated by the medicine, the rest is your diet and exercise.

My dosage is now 150 and I am on the high end of "normal"... so I'm thinking that my dosage is going to be going up pretty soon.

That is horrible news about Graves Disease.... I hope that everything works out for you!!! flowerforyou If you are worried about the weight - keep logging your food and exercise, you will be fine!!
August 31, 2012 10:25 AM
I can't speak to the ability to lose weight, but my mom has been on Synthroid since I was about 3 (I am 41 now) and she has always has a great figure, and she isn't really a huge exerciser.

Go in with the mental attitude that you will not gain tons of weight on it. Easier said than done, I know.
Edited by sf_treat On August 31, 2012 10:31 AM
August 31, 2012 10:27 AM
I've been on synthroid for most of my adult life. I was able to lose weight in exactly the amount I should have based on using this site and tracking.

In other words, it was not difficult for me to lose 55 lbs. I just had to be honest and persistent. It took about seven months, which is not a long time for that weight.

1.964 lbs per week. Using only MFP and the numbers found here. No other fancy gimmicks or tricks.
August 31, 2012 10:29 AM
thanks every one. i'm trying to be positive. i'm just so scared and nervous. I am not afraid of working hard to lose the weight. such as exercising a lot and counting my calories. i'm just paranoid that no matter what i do i won't be able to, since i have these thyroid problems. i'm sure i'm just over worrying.
August 31, 2012 10:30 AM
I've been on synthroid for over a decade and once I found the right diet for me, I have been losing just fine. Watch what you eat and how your body reacts to it, stay active and follow your doctor's plan and you should be okay.
August 31, 2012 10:30 AM
I think everyone who has written has given you some wonderful advice! Don't worry so much about something that is beyond your control. Just do whatever your Drs advise you to do and think positive and I know everyone will be keeping you in their thoughts and prayers. Everything's going to be ok!
August 31, 2012 10:31 AM
My Dad has been on Synthroid for years and he managed to lose over 100 lbs last year (6' tall and almost 300 lbs down to 190 lbs). It can be done with determination and focus.
August 31, 2012 10:31 AM
Yes! I've been on synthroid since I was a teenager. If you take your meds like you should and your doctor is proactive in getting your levels right then absolutely! It's maybe not as easy but possible!
August 31, 2012 10:38 AM
My experience is that you can lose weight, but it's not a good idea to compare your results with someone with a healthy thyroid. You may have to work harder for less impressive results. Also in my experience, you must exercise. The calorie control only method simply doesn't work for me.

Most importantly- educate yourself asap about the many dietary conflicts with synthroid. My original doctor basically told me not to eat an hour after I take the medication, in reality its much more complicated than that (and 3 hours is more appropriate).
August 31, 2012 10:42 AM
Thank you for your post btw. It reminded me to call my doctor to ask him to order a blood test of my thyroid levels. Like I said, I am on medication, but I have noticed changes in my hair and nails lately and wondered if my levels could be off. After reading your post, I googled the symptoms for a review and discovered another symptom I didn't even realize could be associated with hypothyroidism. I called my doctor right away and am waiting to hear back from his nurse. So, again, thanks! =)
August 31, 2012 10:50 AM
My husband had that same treatment for an overactive thyroid. It took him forever to be diagnosed, and he was so ill by the time he was diagnosed that I was afraid he had cancer. He's been on synthroid for about 4 years now. Not long after his treatement, I found out that I had an underactive thyroid, so I'm on the medication too.

I'd hoped that my underactive thyroid was the reason I couldn't lose weight, that once I was on the medicine that the weight would just slide off. It didn't. I had to accept the it wasn't my thyroid that was the problem, it was my eating too much! :)

My husband did gain a lot of weight after his treatment, but I think it was just because the food he was eating was actually staying in him. This will probably be TMI, but his only symptom of the thyroid problem was uncontrolled diarreah. He was losing the food before it could be used.

When he was treated, he was down to about 130 pounds (scary skinny - he's about 5'8"). He gained about 45-50 pounds. But I must stress again that I think this was from too much and too much junk.

Since we've been seriously trying to get healthier, I've lost 25 pounds and he's lost nearly 20.
September 3, 2012 7:34 AM
I've finally gotten on thyroid meds. I've had the symptoms for years but was always on the line. I think I may be one of the lucky ones that responds well to the meds as I've lost 12 lbs in 3 weeks. The first week was 6 lbs of water retention and I've discontinued my fluid pill on the 2nd day of starting thyroid meds.

I highly recommend reading The Thyroid Diet Revolution. Thyroid diagnosis and treatment is not necessarily as easy as reading blood test results and adjusting meds. The book also talks about different diets and how they may work for people with thyroid issues. She also covers taking the meds and things that could impact getting the most use from those meds.

This book is updated from The Thyroid Diet and I think the new one is best.
September 3, 2012 8:11 AM
The key is finding the right dose for you. I am hypothyroid, and yes, there have been times that weight loss is a struggle. I didn't give up, and some of the weight actually came off.

Just eat healthy and exercise. It needs to be a habit. Focus on being healthy, and the weight will be a nice side effect of doing what you know is good for you anyway.

I find that strength training is really helpful in keeping my hormones stable, so if you're all over the place, try lifting heavy or get some resistance bands out.
September 3, 2012 8:14 AM
I still have my thyroid, but it definitely doesn't work as well as it should. Finally gotten to the dose of Synthroid that makes my numbers normal and I'm down almost 13 lbs. So you CAN do it! Even if it does make things a bit harder!
September 3, 2012 8:20 AM
My thyroid had to be removed about 3 years ago. Mine was underactive though. It took about three months for my body to actually start responding normally. From personal experience I'd like to say that there is a problem with the generics on thyroid medicines. They are similar in all ways but their strengths will vary slightly. I finally had to stick with Levoxyl. Good luck to you, and you're new beginning.happy flowerforyou
September 3, 2012 8:31 AM
I had to have radioiodine therapy back in 2005 when I had a virus attack my thyroid & through it all out of wack. I had the same fear & nervous fealings you seem to be having. Been taking levothyroxine ever since, which annoys me only cuz i'm one that doesn't get sick & never visits a dr (except for pap). Now gotta see dr once yr for annual thyroid hormone checks & take a pill everyday. I can say that in the past 7 1/2 years I have not had any problems due to thyroid issues. The weight I have gained is due to my own poor eating & excercise habits. Have been working to lose weight & become healthier (48y/o) for the past year & the hard work it takes me is due to my own laziness, wouldn't say thyroid. Good luck!!
September 3, 2012 11:13 PM
I had a complete thyroid removal four years ago and started taking synthroid. The weight lost has been a struggle because of finding the right diet to fit it the fact that I have to take a thyroid replacement. You can lose weight, but the key is finding the right diet. I am in the military, so I do a great deal of physical activity and still have problems losing weight. I contribute it to trying things that do not work for "me" not someone else. I tried the low calorie intake and it simply does not work so now I do a modified Atkins diet which in all honesty is similar to a diabetic diet that my grandmother used to do. It has given me the best results and debunks the fact that once you start taking a thyroid replacement specifically synthroid you will have problems losing weight. The weight was dropping off, so fast that I could not believe it. Again, the result was exercise, diet and taking my synthroid in the morning at least 2-3 hours before breakfast. You can do it! Stay encouraged!
September 3, 2012 11:17 PM
I also gained a lot of weight because of an underactive thyroid. I'm on Synthroid now and you can see from my ticker that I am losing weight. Before the Synthroid, I had so little energy, I could barely function with my day to day stuff like going to work, grocery shopping and cooking, so I because very sedentary and ate a lot of fast food, takeout and prepared foods. I feel so good now that I am on Synthroid. It restored me to feeling normal after about 5 days taking it.

Fortunately, my dosage was perfect from day one, but you want to make sure your doctor follows up with you regularly to check your blood levels.
September 3, 2012 11:48 PM
Absolutely you can. It helps a lot if you can exercise and eat the right things, and you're here, so you can watch your food intake and not let the weight pile on.

I started eating differently at the beginning of July, and got here at the end of August. I started at 298.

And I finally got back on my synthroid on the 15th of August.

So not only can you lose weight on Synthroid (I've lost 3 pounds since I've been here) but you can even lose weight with a crappy thyroid.

It's doable. And I believe in you.
September 3, 2012 11:52 PM
I also have over active thyroid and so does my grandma and great grandma and some of my aunts...but i am very stubborn about not taking my medicine. I dont know why i just forget..but does this have anything with me losing my head i know how to lose weight im just not applying it to my life...i work at night and sleep during the day so it is hard for me to get my time sorted out so that i can cook healthy meals and eat healthier...but i want to be there for my 22 and 313lbs. i dont want to be like this anymore i barely have energy and i need help. any advice?
September 7, 2012 8:44 PM
I have a hyperthyroid, but recently went hypo due to my anti-thyroid meds. During the period that I was hypo I lost about 10 lbs.

I totally understand your concerns, I think us hyperthyroid ladies in particular worry - but please do remember that any weight loss with hyperthyroid is really unhealthy, and can lead to osteoporosis, early heart disease, and many other problems. I know, I know, not what you were looking for - I just always have to throw that out there! :)

Once treated, I strongly encourage you to always ensure that you a) get the appropriate lab work; and b) always get a COPY of your lab work (and don't just let the doctor say you are "within normal range".

TSH: most/many doctors will look just at your TSH, and this is NOT correct. TSH comes from your pituitary gland, therefore it isn't a direct measure of what your thyroid is doing. As well, many doctors incorrectly use the old "normal" range for TSH (.5-5.0) instead of the new range (.3-3.0) introduced in 2002.
Free T3 and Free T3: these are an actual measure of your thyroid hormone - make sure it's "free" and not total T3/T4. Your results should be in the top 1/3 of the range your lab uses.

Finally: it can take a LONG time to normalize after RAI treatment. Did they test you for Graves antibodies before the surgery? If not that's ok, but I would push to have this tested regularly as well (especially if you plan/want to get pregnant one day; highly unlikely with Graves antibodies present). Some people find it takes years for their thyroid to die off - just keep getting lab work, get the actual results, and feel free to try different types of replacement thyroid hormone if one isn't working for you.

Check out some of Mary Shomon's info - she is great!!

And for any others reading and interested - please, PLEASE remember that radioactive iodine is NOT the only treatment option for Graves, and should NOT be the automatic first option selected. It can absolutely be a valuable option - but remember that you have the right to explore other options.

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