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How to lose weight when hypothyroid?

(25 Posts)
Teaformeplease Tue 11-Jul-17 20:20:45

Hi all, I wonder if anyone can help?
I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism last December and it took 6 months of changing thyroxine doses to get my bloods in the normal range. I'm feeling better but struggling with weight loss. I'm 2 stone over weight and think I would feel physically and psychologically better if I lost at least a stone. I have a young daughter and would like to be able to keep up with her when she's running around.
I have tried dieting but only lose a couple of pounds then get stuck at what seems to be my current set weight. Any tips for speeding up my metabolism and lowering this set point? I really need to lose some weight.
I don't get much time to exercise (apart from running around after dd) as I'm a single parent and work part time.

QueenieMum Tue 11-Jul-17 20:26:55

Hi Tea. I have no advice but am in the same boat so hoping someone will come along with great advice! Someone told me last year that if you take naturally derived thyroxine (rather than the synthetic stuff that most doctors give out) it makes weight management easier but I've no idea how true that is.

Teaformeplease Tue 11-Jul-17 20:41:48

Hi Queenie! It doesn't seem that natural dessicated thyroid is very easy to get so I hope that's not the only way to shift the pounds. When I look in the mirror I see all this extra weight I'm carrying it doesn't make me feel good about myself. I know there are worst things to worry about but still.

QueenieMum Tue 11-Jul-17 22:54:31

I know exactly how you feel. Whether I try and lose weight or I don't try the end result is the same. No idea how we'd go about getting the natural thyroxine, it's apparently v expensive so there'd have to be a VERY good reason for my GP to prescribe it and I don't fancy buying it off t'internet.

phlebasconsidered Wed 12-Jul-17 13:05:39

I eat about a third less than I used to and run between 30 and 40 km a week. No diet works for me. I just have to eat less and exercise more than "normal" people.

Itsallgone Wed 12-Jul-17 15:43:54

I'm in the same boat but found I managed to lose some weight once my levels were optimal rather than just in range. That's meant taking t3 meds as well as Levothryroxine. Low t3 equals slow metabolism for me and therefore weight gain! As soon as my FT3 results increased past 4.5 the weight started to shift and I wasn't tired any more, so double win!

accidentalgrownup Wed 12-Jul-17 15:49:20

I'd like to know that too although I'm pregnant at the moment I'd really like to shift some weight after the baby is born... at least 4 stone ideally.

Can I ask how many mgs you ladies take? I've just seen the consultant & been upped to 100mgs but that still seems quite low in comparison to some.

Itsallgone Wed 12-Jul-17 16:25:53

I only take 50mg of levothyroxine (t4) but also take 15 mg of t3. Everyone is different some need more and some need less. Some need t3 added and some are fine on the right dose of levo only. The main thing you need is a good endocrinologist that treats you by symptoms not just by keeping you in the very wide 'normal range' for blood tests. It's good that your meds have been upped in pregnancy.

phlebasconsidered Wed 12-Jul-17 16:52:28

I take 250mg of t4 and 20mg of t3. It took 4 years under the endo to get t3 but it helps me mentally, not physically. My tsh is kept at 0. Then I'm physically ok.

Fairylea Wed 12-Jul-17 16:55:27

I have found the only thing that works for me is to exercise - sorry I know that isn't the answer you want but since having thyroid and pituitary problems it's really only very brisk walks that stop me putting weight on. You could buy a secondhand treadmill or exercise bike maybe? (If you can't get out and about easily). I walk for 2 hours twice a week really fast and I find it keeps my weight under control.

accidentalgrownup Wed 12-Jul-17 18:19:07

Thank you, I hasn't even realised t3 tablets were available, something to ask next time I see the endo.

Annoyingly when I phoned my gp surgery last week the receptionist said my bloods were normal... no further action. As soon as the consultant saw the results today he said I needed to increase my dose.

Itsallgone Wed 12-Jul-17 22:30:49

Accidental you have a right to a print out of your results. Just ask at your surgery. Then you will be able to interpret changes yourself if you need too. GPs are notorious for signing off results in so-called normal range when it really needs to be considered for the individual patient and their symptoms.

Selmom Fri 28-Jul-17 22:59:18

Going on a protein based diet whilst doing whatever your doctor suggested will help a lot. It is difficult and often not understood, because normally we think meat is bad for you, but my doctor has shown me otherwise.

This link here shows the details on helping hormone imbalances: Stop hormone imbalances Naturally

You should ask your doctor just to see if it's safe for you - don't ask for advice however, as some may know and some may not know about this specific diet - doctors don't study this area in detail when studying.

The diet not only helps weight loss, but reset hormones from insulin, and thyroid problems - and yes, keep taking whatever medication you are taking along with it.

tackytriceratops Mon 31-Jul-17 10:31:20

Ok - this is what should happen:

You're still in a way recovering. It takes a loooong time.

Find out your tsh and if taken t4, t3. Tsh is most reliable measure at this stage.

See if there's any wiggle room on it. If your tsh is say 2 or 1.5 (or above) you could potentially take two extra 25s a week. If your tsh is 0.8 that's pretty bang on. Lowest is usually 0.3. Ask your gp to help you safely maximise this.

You don't actually put in a great deal of weight when hypothyroid, you can 'put on' some water through water retention. (Sorry but true). What does happen though is that hypothyroid people do get tired and loose muscle strength and so, if calories in exceeds calories out you'll put on weight.

Find out how your ferritin, vit d and b12 is and if not good, try to get those levels in their upper ranges to improve energy. Ferritin should be over 70.

I would follow the diet and exercise advice of anyone else once these things are good. You may need to pace more than the average person. I have found when I get physically strong (through yoga) and do cardio i am generally much much healthier, have more energy which will lead to weight loss. Counting calories, although annoying, does help. More protein helps you feel fuller for longer etc.

But start with the levels.

A very few people need extra t3 or just t3 but this is done after eliminating all other issues. T4 is the safest and when I keep in top of all these things I've been healthier and fitter than some friends without needing extra t3.

Teaformeplease Mon 31-Jul-17 10:42:06

Thanks for replying. My TSH was to low at my last test so I had to decrease T4 to 75ug from 100ug. I do feel very sluggish still and can't easily run around with DD without getting very out of breath. I feel this is a combination of being unfit, carrying too much weight and being hypothyroid. It's hard to get time to exercise as a tired single parent.
I took sertraline for a year which caused the weight gain almost immediately and made me hypothyroid too I believe (It's listed as a side effect). I've weaned myself of it 3 months ago but still can't shift the weight. I do worry about developing type 2 diabetes so really need to sort this out.

BoneStripped Mon 31-Jul-17 10:46:26

I'm on Levothyroxine too, and in my late 50s, but have been steadily - if slowly - losing weight since March. I'm low carbing, which I find pretty easy to do, and think of as a lifestyle change rather than a diet. I don't get much exercise (I know I should do more), but the weight's still coming off. I've lost around 2 stone since March, and have another couple to go - I'll be happy if I manage that over the next year. There is hope! I actually enjoy eating low carb, so it's not much of a struggle smile

tackytriceratops Mon 31-Jul-17 10:55:34

Tea what was last tsh? And when was test compared to finishing sertraline?

I once did an alternate day thing where I had 125 one day and 150 the next. You can now get 12.5 tablets made by TEVA. So you could be on 87.5. Or do the alternate day thing.

Yes sertaline caused issues here.

Teaformeplease Mon 31-Jul-17 11:28:46

My last test was 2 months ago, I think TSH was around 2.5 then compared to 0.05ish the month before. GP said to wait 3 months til next test as my TSH is now ok.
I stopped sertraline around Feb (awful experience) and had to switch to fluoxetine to reduce because of withdrawal symptoms. So been SSRI free since April. I can't find any literature about the thyroid recovering from sertraline damage. As I am TPO positive I don't suppose my thyroid will ever go back to normal now.
What are your experiences tacky?

tackytriceratops Mon 31-Jul-17 11:49:15

The sertaline messes with either the test or the way the body processes thyroxine, I think the latter - I found I had to be on more when on sert as did a friend. I think it sounds like you are hypo anyway as positive for tpo. It's possible it had started before you went on sertaline? I was put on an ssri first as they thought it was depression. Took a while to find out it was actually thyroid.

I know, I'm sorry, it is tough.

Imo 2.5 is a bit high but you probably do need to wait another 3 months as things could still be settling. That would be a bit too high if you wanted to conceive again. You could always go back to the gp, list symptoms and say you'd like to try an intermediate dose. flowers I know how shit it is.

In the mean time you could research healthy eating plus do some really short in the house stuff daily? The seven app is good - just get the free on and do 7 mins of circuits in the house? A tiny amount is better than nothing. Then you may feel like doing a double one in a few weeks.

My fitness pal was good when I wanted to loose a few pounds for my wedding. Just calorie counting.

tackytriceratops Mon 31-Jul-17 11:50:40

Ah, you can go in a month for the next test? I'd do that just in case things have changed.

Teaformeplease Mon 31-Jul-17 12:06:27

It is really shitty! My thyroid was normal before having ivf and had it tested when dd was about a year old (normal then too). Had it tested again last Dec (dd then 3) as I thought I could be hypo and I was! I'm convinced it was sertraline. It helped lift my mood (fluoxetine had stopped working for me) but I wish I hadn't taken it now.
Yes to the exercise at home. I have good intentions but find motivation hard. I think I should set a daily reminder on my phone to kick me up the bum!
Thanks for the help.

tackytriceratops Mon 31-Jul-17 12:27:02

I find it very hard indeed! Not really got it sorted here at the mo but I do know from past experience and pre ds life that fitting it into a routine helps. So when he was younger I'd go for a swim while dh would take ds to his swimming lesson (elsewhere) and get picked up on their way back. It became the thing I did, even if I was too tired to do much swimming, just going regularly meant I was on a routine. If there's any way you could sign up to a gentle regular class it may help.

I think setting realistic tiny and long term goals and steps is key. You may have still done tsh sorting out so don't put too much pressure on yourself. Have an honest at calories in and out - you need something like 500 less a day to loose an lb a week (I think?) - so its actually quite hard. And any other diet tips from this thread. I found myfitnesspal helpful as it broke down the amounts of protein in your daily.

I like seven as it's only seven mins! I found skipping made me fit quite quickly many years ago but you have to pace yourself as can get shinsplints easily, every other day for 5-10 mins was knackering!

Teaformeplease Mon 31-Jul-17 12:49:36

I'll have to do something at home as I'm a single parent with no one to have dd (4) for me to go to classes. I'm either in work or with dd. I've got a sweet tooth and I'm an evening nibbler when dd has gone to bed which tops up the calories far too much.
I need to get my act sorted though. I've now set a daily alarm on my phone telling me to exercise and plan to stick to it. I did start the 7 app and found it good til I hurt my shoulder planking. I've also got plantar fasciitis so can't do to much jumping on the spot because it hurts my feet. I'll just have to grit my teeth though because this won't get any better by itself.
Thanks again for your help. I hope you are on the mend too. flowers

tackytriceratops Mon 31-Jul-17 18:22:24

I know how hard it is.

Wow well done! Does your work have any kind of wellness insurance? You could see a physio about the PF.

Alternatively look on YouTube/ online. My father had it recently and was given exercises rolling on a small spiky ball. I had it many years ago it's bloody painful!

Please do keep badgering gp about getting levels right. Usually around 0.6-1 is best.

hungrypanda2008 Fri 04-Aug-17 22:51:36

I'm on 175mg levithyrixine. I've lost almost three stone with slimming world - couldn't with exercise alone. It took almost a year to get my levels right and that changed again with pregnancy. Levels under 5 are normal (and a doctors receptionist will tell you that as this would be the case with non under active thyroid people) but if you are on thyroxine the tablets should be doing all the work so it should be at almost 0.

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