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TOPIC: can you lose weight if you have thyroid problems?

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October 11, 2012 10:45 AM
people out there who have an under active thyroid or have had it removed. once your on the medication to replace the thyroid hormones, are you able to lose weight just as well as any one else who has a normal functioning thyroid, with diet and exercise of course. its been a month now since i've gotten my thyroid killed off with radiation treatment. i got to wait another month before i can get started on the meds. so i don't feel so good lately, tired and gaining some weight. i just want to know that there is hope that i will be able to stay skinny in the future once i'm on the proper meds?

can you lose weight if you have thyroid problems. some people scare me and say that they just can't never lose weight, once their thyroid is gone? please some encouraging stories would be great. thanks. i'm just worried and scared.
October 11, 2012 10:49 AM
I have to take synthroid every day and I have PCOS... so far I have lost over 90 pounds. It can definitely be done.

I think the people who say it can't be done are making excuses for themselves. Do they tell you they are big boned to?
  30369176
October 11, 2012 10:54 AM
I have hypothyroid too. I am on compounded T3 daily since 2005. You can definitely lose weight, but it goes off slowly. It just takes a complete diet makeover and exercise. After three kids and gaining more weight than you can imagine, I am 10 pounds from where I was before being diagnosed with hypothyroid. Hang in there! :)
October 11, 2012 10:54 AM
Hi there! I would go to http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/ - you will find TONS of information. I am getting my results today so I'm pretty anxious. I could have Hashimoto's :/

Anyway, from what I've read Naturally Dessicated Thyroid is the one you want that will make you the most like a "normal' person. A lot of people say their medications have done nothing for weight loss. I've also heard it on here that you can still lose weight, but it takes a LOT more effort over a LOT more time to do it.

For me - I have added selenium, coconut oil, d3, fish oil to my routine and have cut out cruciferous veggies and soy - I've had moderate success on my weight loss doing it this way.

Anyway - the best weapon against the anxiety you're experiencing is being informed. The website above has helped my fears a LOT. I believe there is also a really good thyroid group on here. Best wishes!!
  29102322
October 11, 2012 10:55 AM
I have an under active Thyroid. From my personal experience, I feel weight loss is much slower compare to my younger days but if the doctor adjusts the medicine dosage right, the weight will come off. Someone had told me in the past that no matter how hard I try I am not going to loose more than 5 or 10 pounds which was very discouraging. I am happy to tell you that I proved them wrong...as I am more than 40 lbs lighter now. More than the weight, I am much healthier and energetic.
October 11, 2012 10:59 AM
Well, I have lost weight maintained and strength train 3 days a week. I just found out (yesterday actually!!!) that i have an underactive thyroid and i am JUST NOW getting medicine to fix it.

My advice, work on fixing your thyroid but also understand you eating/exercise habits WILL change your body if you stick with it.

Best of luck!

edit to say: I agree it may "take longer" than you might expect. But it definitely isn't impossible. I personally lost about 25 pounds over a 6 month period of a small deficit and strenght training. Would that be considered a "small loss" to other people? Maybe. But I am SOOOO happy as I went from 33% body fat to 18% from hard work and dedication (even though apparently i had my thyroid working against me that whole time).
Edited by rainbowbow On October 11, 2012 11:01 AM
  7740730
October 11, 2012 11:01 AM
Yep, you sure can! I take synthroid and have lost 19 lbs (new to MFP, so only the last 4 show on my tracker here!).

Thing is, thyroid is a *very* individual thing, and the "medically acceptable" range is huge. What this means for someone like you is that it may take some time to find the right level of replacement. To use PRETEND numbers: "normal" is 2-5. If you were originally a 2, and now your replacement pills have you at 4...you might feel lousy. It really is individual, and for some people, there's a dramatic difference in .5 shift, whereas others hardly notice. Likewise, some folks notice a big difference in taking a T3/T4 combo or Armour vs Synthroid. It's really personal and not imaginary.

So please please hang in there and make sure your docs find what's right for YOU.

Meanwhile, yeah, you can lose weight - MFP will help a lot with tracking your activity and balance your eating until you can trust "how you feel" as a guide again. Be patient, and know that it will happen :-)
  29345559
October 11, 2012 11:04 AM
I have to take meds for my thyroid everyday and I have lost 40lbs so far.
  27270416
October 11, 2012 11:04 AM
I agree with it being a VERY individual thing - it can and does happen - most likely at a slower pace than others

My scale hasnt moved in months -in either direction - BUT I measured this morning and have lost inches and I know its because I added lifting in and its helping change my body comp

Also - there is a group on here that has a ton of great info and great success stories:

http://www.myfitnesspal.com/groups/home/753-hypothyroidism-and-hyperthyroidism
October 11, 2012 11:08 AM
i also have an underactive thyroid and find it diiffercult to lose weight..i dont really have much of an appetite either so find it hard to eat enough calories.mind u i have managed to lose 21lbs but it has taken 3years to do that...i still have a long way to go..i will keep trying..
  30422812
October 11, 2012 12:58 PM
Sure.

Normally people with hypo -which I have- put random excuses. The truth is that, when you start taking meds and find the right dosage, you are *normal*, this means: you have the adequate amount of levothyroxine (which substitutes thyroxine) inside your body, thus, your thyroid works normally. Everyone with any problem with their thyroid, has it treated and, has it treated RIGHT; has a thyroid that functions correctly. That means, there's no reason to mantain that losing weight is more difficult, or -even less- impossible. If you are not taking the right amount of levothyroxine of course it may be very difficult, your metabolism really slows down, and most of us has gained quite a bit of weight because of that. It's important also to consider that, "directly", hypothyridism just put a few pounds on your body; when you gain a lot of weight is because hypo produces a HUGE metabolism slown down. You consume a lot less calories daily (up to 80% less) so even if you are not eating much, of course you are going to gain a lot of weight. But even in that state, if you ate below the calories your metabolism uses, you'd lose weight - just happens it probably would be too little calories.

In any case the basic line is that, yes, you can lose weight having thyroid problems, it may be harder - if your metabolism is a bit slower compared to others (a thing that happens even in people without thyroid problems, I personally think this is kind of an individual matter, but even it we accept that people with thyroid problems has a slower metabolism in any way that will imply a barrier or impossibility when losing weight. About this you could argue that in a person who has to take meds to regulate their thyroid exists a problem. Your body when healthy regulates the amount of thyroxine you need everyday. It changes everyday based on your needs. We, instead, take the same amount everyday. Will this cause our thyroid to not work optimally? In theory if you take an adequate amount your thyroid won't need "more" than you are already providing, the amount of levothyroxine will cover the range of hormone needed to correctly stabilize your thyroid): if that the case, you just have to eat less and/or increase your caloric daily need by activity. But taking the meds, regulating your thyroid and such, even when little calories may be needed, they will in most cases be a sustainable and admisible amount.

I mean in no way to offend anyone who has experienced hard time when losing weight because of this, it's just that if you understand that your thyroid works normally if you have treated it, you just stop putting excuses and search, learn, and move your ass to change things - it happened to me, I thought I'd never lose the weight until I started reading about metabolism, hypothyrodism, nutrition, weight loss, etc. and realized that I could - and can- do it, there's just simply no reason to not to. Without the meds you can be gaining weight, yes, but in the moment you take them your thyroid will function normally, so, everything related to it -as weight loss- will too. I spoke about hypo, but is the same with everything that can be treated: when you do so, you are regulating your thyroid (and, thus, your metabolism) so everything should work fine, and normal.

Btw, I couldn't lose weight for a lot of time until I read things about isoflavones of soy interacting with my medication. I stopped taking soy (I'm vegetarian, so I took quite a bit) and voilà, started losing 2pound/week. II won't recommend taking soy to anyone with thyroid problems.
October 13, 2012 9:27 PM
QUOTE:

Sure.

Normally people with hypo -which I have- put random excuses. The truth is that, when you start taking meds and find the right dosage, you are *normal*, this means: you have the adequate amount of levothyroxine (which substitutes thyroxine) inside your body, thus, your thyroid works normally. Everyone with any problem with their thyroid, has it treated and, has it treated RIGHT; has a thyroid that functions correctly. That means, there's no reason to mantain that losing weight is more difficult, or -even less- impossible. If you are not taking the right amount of levothyroxine of course it may be very difficult, your metabolism really slows down, and most of us has gained quite a bit of weight because of that. It's important also to consider that, "directly", hypothyridism just put a few pounds on your body; when you gain a lot of weight is because hypo produces a HUGE metabolism slown down. You consume a lot less calories daily (up to 80% less) so even if you are not eating much, of course you are going to gain a lot of weight. But even in that state, if you ate below the calories your metabolism uses, you'd lose weight - just happens it probably would be too little calories.

In any case the basic line is that, yes, you can lose weight having thyroid problems, it may be harder - if your metabolism is a bit slower compared to others (a thing that happens even in people without thyroid problems, I personally think this is kind of an individual matter, but even it we accept that people with thyroid problems has a slower metabolism in any way that will imply a barrier or impossibility when losing weight. About this you could argue that in a person who has to take meds to regulate their thyroid exists a problem. Your body when healthy regulates the amount of thyroxine you need everyday. It changes everyday based on your needs. We, instead, take the same amount everyday. Will this cause our thyroid to not work optimally? In theory if you take an adequate amount your thyroid won't need "more" than you are already providing, the amount of levothyroxine will cover the range of hormone needed to correctly stabilize your thyroid): if that the case, you just have to eat less and/or increase your caloric daily need by activity. But taking the meds, regulating your thyroid and such, even when little calories may be needed, they will in most cases be a sustainable and admisible amount.

I mean in no way to offend anyone who has experienced hard time when losing weight because of this, it's just that if you understand that your thyroid works normally if you have treated it, you just stop putting excuses and search, learn, and move your ass to change things - it happened to me, I thought I'd never lose the weight until I started reading about metabolism, hypothyrodism, nutrition, weight loss, etc. and realized that I could - and can- do it, there's just simply no reason to not to. Without the meds you can be gaining weight, yes, but in the moment you take them your thyroid will function normally, so, everything related to it -as weight loss- will too. I spoke about hypo, but is the same with everything that can be treated: when you do so, you are regulating your thyroid (and, thus, your metabolism) so everything should work fine, and normal.

Btw, I couldn't lose weight for a lot of time until I read things about isoflavones of soy interacting with my medication. I stopped taking soy (I'm vegetarian, so I took quite a bit) and voilà, started losing 2pound/week. II won't recommend taking soy to anyone with thyroid problems.


I have under active thyroid and am on Nature thyroid meds, and have been using a soy based diet protein drink for the last 2 years, and have lost about 30 lbs,,,,I still have a ways to go, but I haven't had any problems with soy
  28166526
October 14, 2012 5:45 AM
It does take tweaking to get your medication right. In my experience, (18 years hypo-thyroid), some dr's will see that the numbers are in the right range and then make you feel like you're crazy if you still don't feel good! Find a dr that will continue to work with you on your symptoms. Some people do fine with generic levothyroxine, others do better with Synthroid, others do better with Armour thyroid, etc, etc....And, yes, tweaking dosage even minutely can make a difference.
There are food variables too. Take your meds on an empty stomach. For me personally, citrus/vitamin C really interferes with absorption of my thyriod meds. (But I can have the OJ -or whatever- if I wait about 4 hours after taking my meds.) Others notice a difference with soy or dairy/calcium. I would say, if you're taking any vitamin supplements, start taking them about 4 hours apart from your thyroid meds. This will give you a better indication of how your meds are working.
My biggest obstacle since my diagnosis has been fatigue. Exercise has REALLY helped with that.
For me, weight loss does seem to take more effort but I am also older and my lifestyle is more sedentary than before my diagnosis. I lost 30 lbs before joining mfp and have about 10 to go. Since you're already at a good weight -and aware of what helps you stay there- you will be fine.
Best of luck to you :)
  23748755
October 14, 2012 5:59 AM
I'm newly diagnosed hypothyroid. I was a vegetarian for about16 yrs. and used soy meat alternatives and a soy protein shake to get my protein intake. I have a feeling that I've had a thyroid problem for a long time, but the soy overload is what I suspect really wreaked havoc on me. I know eat lean meat, and feel so satisfied afterwards. If you eat clean, watch your calories, drink lots of water, and exercise, (and are on the right dosage) there is no reason it won't come off. I've lost 4.5 pounds since changing from a vegetarian diet to a cleaner diet that includes lean meat, and I just started taking the levothyroxin. It can be done, be vigilant!
smile
  7850021
October 14, 2012 7:31 AM
I started here May 14th and today marks my 5 month anniv. and I'm at 50 pounds lost. I've been on meds for thyroid for better than 20 years. I watch my diet and I work out almost every day in one way or another. I've not had a problem with the thyroid issue. Everybody's different, but it can be done. Best of luck to you.
  22567497
November 8, 2012 1:03 PM
I like your positive reply. I recently had my thyroid removed and am struggling with water retention and and losing weight seems impossible as well as discouraging. I'm trying to do it naturally and not some gimmick I saw on an infomercial, but I'm getting desperate. I have a black tie event coming in February and I have to wear an evening gown, so I am not trying to look "super model" good, but a 5'10, 46 year old, and mother of 4 (oldest being 28) looking good.wink bigsmile So I need all the help and motivation I can get.
  31779252
November 8, 2012 1:06 PM
QUOTE:

I have to take synthroid every day and I have PCOS... so far I have lost over 90 pounds. It can definitely be done.

I think the people who say it can't be done are making excuses for themselves. Do they tell you they are big boned to?


I needed to hear this, as I am being checked for BOTH right now :)
  30386284
November 8, 2012 1:06 PM
Yes, you can still lose weight. HOWEVER, it is very common for doctors to prescribe just enough medication to get to to the very high end of "normal." For years, my doctors would tell me my tests were fine, and when I finally decided to ask for my actual TSH number, I found that is was consistently at 3.8 when 4 is the line where they start treating! I told my doctor I still felt like crap, and while 3.8 is "normal" so is 2, so what would be the harm in getting me down to 2? I'm at 2.4 now and feel much better.
  10021161
November 8, 2012 1:13 PM
I have hypothyroidism also and i take meds for it daily and my meds have increased too. I also don't feel like i am losing like i should. But I am hoping that with the right diet and exercise i can reach my goal. would love friends and feedback :) good luck all
  10102092
October 11, 2013 3:38 PM
Many women have become frustrated and defeated by trying to lose weight. Unfortunately I am learning that many doctors under medicate and women who are still experiencing symptoms will try and push through. It's a hard and vicious cycle for some people and easier for others.

Yes, you can lose weight but it might take some detective work. I have been hypo for 20 years now. I just recently have been diagnosed with Hashimoto's. I have probably had it for the past 9 years but we just moved and my new doctor is brilliant when it comes to Thyroid! He switched me to Armor because I have an issue with both T3 and T4. He has me eating 6 brazil nuts a day for the selenium and taking Iodine tablets. I've slowed down on my coffee consumption because it was stressing my adrenal glands but I haven't given up coffee entirely. If I gave up my coffee fix I might switch to something else to help me stay awake! (JK) Seriously though, if I go over 1400 calories a day then I gain weight. However if I eat broccoli and the like veggies without first steaming them or gluten of any sort, including a lot of grains, then I have serious inflammation issues which again keeps me from losing weight.

I recently learned from research from my new doctor that about half hypothyroid individuals will only continue to have hypo symptoms if they are still consuming grain.

Making a few dietary changes and I'm losing about a little over a pound a week. I'm not exercising like I should. I might see better results if I did.
  15017801
October 21, 2013 7:54 PM
I was just recently diagnosed with Hashimoto's and started on levothyroxine. I have gained nearly 60 pounds in the last 3 years that doesn't want to budge regardless of diet or exercise so I'm hopeful that the medication will help!
  47156281
October 21, 2013 8:14 PM
Pretty much what everyone else has said ... I take a synthetic T3/T4 combo ... Just t4 doesn't work for some people (didn't for me ... I had ALL hypo symptoms when on T4 only ... brittle nails and hair, edema, fatigue, poor digestion ...) ... I also stay awau from gluten and soy ... Soy inhibits thyroid hormone absorption and there is a correlation between gluten intolerance and hypothyroidism (Hasimoto's and other autoimmune issues especially) ... About.com's thyroid pages and stopthethyroidmadness.com are good resources .... They have lists of supplements and other helpful advice ...
October 29, 2013 11:52 AM
QUOTE:

I have to take synthroid every day and I have PCOS... so far I have lost over 90 pounds. It can definitely be done.

I think the people who say it can't be done are making excuses for themselves. Do they tell you they are big boned to?


Would you mind sharing what your diet normally consists of and your exercise plan? Seeing you are are battling your thyroid and PCOS and you've still lost weight is very encouraging.
October 29, 2013 12:01 PM
I will have to disagree with some "information" regarding proper levels, medication etc... I have battled this for 13 years. I was left undiagnosed for over 6 years and then left on .50mcg of Synthroid when someone did figure it out. I kept telling them I didn't feel good and all my exact symptoms, they kept ignoring. I started digging, researching and arming myself with knowledge.

Finally, 13 years later, I have Hashimotos subacute thyroiditis (rare) and my synthroid medicaiton is at .175mcg which is a high dosage for someone that still has a thyroid. According to they latest ultrasound, my thyroid is now too small and barely pumping. Why they leave it in I have no idea.

My levels can be fine for a month then completely go haywire again one way or the other. I have no control over it and hence why my medications fluctuate dramatically. So no, I don't think "If your levels are normal then you are normal" works nor do I think I am making an excuse for anything.

I know my loss will be slow but I know it can/will be done unless something blows up :) I got nothing but time (figuratively speaking).
  1512110
November 5, 2013 10:02 AM
Hi!!! Hey, what a coincidence I had RAI 3 weeks from now.

I got my test results and tomorrow I´ll see my endo...

Its so inspiring to see all you guys that have lost so much weight!!!

I REFUSE TO WEIGHT GAIN!!!!

:)

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