Can synthroid cause rapid weight gain, bloating, constipation and gas and what I can do about these symptoms?
I had a total thryoidectomy in February 2008 and was initially put on 100 mcg Synthroid. At my f/u appt with the endocrinologist about 2 months later, I thyroid levels were "normal but within the lower range" and my dosage was upped to 112 mcg. Since then I have been RAPIDLY gaining weight and have gained a total of 16 lbs since my surgery, despite being very active and following a 75% vegetarian diet. My stomach is HUGELY bloated and I literally cannot fit into my clothes. For the last 20 years I have been the same size and my eating habits have not changed drastically. Also, I am severely constipated and have a lot of gas. I feel horrible!! Would a different medication change things?? When I mentioned the weight gain to my MD in April, he didn't really have much to say about it.
Sounds to me like you are having hypo symptoms. Do you know your thyoid levels? I don't think synthroid will cause those problems but being hypothyroid sure will. You need to get a copy of your labs and post your numbers on here and let these wise folks help you out.
ChitChat9 -- what led up to the TT is that my primary noticed (by palpation) that I had a large nodule on my leftside thyroid. She referred me to a surgeon who said that due to the size (5 cm), it had to be removed asap. (This was after ultrasound, nuclear studies, etc.) I had smaller nodules on the right side but initially that was left in. Post surgery, we found out that there were nodules on left side that were papillary carcinoma and so my surgeon recommended removingthe right thyroid as well as a precautionary measure.
Please check out Dr. Broda Barnes' basal body temperature test as an diagnostic for hypo t. I have found it relates to symptoms easier than than the blood test results. If interested, see my post on basal body temperature.
Synthroid has a lot of side effects. A lot of people take Armour and find it safer and more effective. It supplements T3 and T4 which seems to make many people feel better while Synthroid does not. It is available over the counter and many Naturopaths use it in combination with iodine/iodide supplements for thyroid issues.
I have the exact same problem as catinthehat933 ... exact same diagnose and I also am dealing with terrible constipation...lower back just aching...can't take Vit E cause this brings it on. I feel better when I lower my dose. but heres my problem I tried to change to just a T3 Cytomel and it didn't work it did for a week. I was off Syntyroid for a two months but I really think I need to lower my dosage and not have it at 137 I feel horrible.
This is my readings as of last weeks blood work
and two months ago I felt horrible my TSH then was 0.9 so it isn't the TSH then my FT3 was 1.37 since just doing FT3 I can't believe its lower. I tried Armour and I feel the same way I did on Armour horrible. I am almost at my wits end.
Sorry, but I'm having a bit of difficulty with your test results. Could you please post the test results from two months ago, along with the reference ranges for all your tests? Also, could you list amounts of meds you have been taking, and dates when you changed? Also, has the cause for your hypothyroidism ever been identified by your doctor?
You'll find lots of experience and support from our members here, but we need to clarify this info first.
I really hope so by the way thank you for the help and I hope to hear more. The thing is I gain weight at 137 at 150 I usually feel terrible and if I wait in the morning a couple of hours before taking meds is the time I feel the best and I have to goto the rest room and I am not constipated. If, I take the med I am constipated all day long and my lower back is hurting usually if I take any iodine, Vit C or Vit E I will experience lower buttock pain. I wish I could be set right and be done with this. Armour is the same way and I had my adrenals tested they are fine. My Basal tempature is fine I checked it first thing in the morning before I ever get out of bed.
Today is really a bad day yesterday I took Vit E and like clockwork I feel it I almost can't walk certainly not straight and erect.
I am actually crying because I have spent so much time looking for help trying so many things. My Adrenals work but I can't tolerate Armour for godsakes can people stop putting Armour as the cure all it doesn't work for me nor does Cytomel. I am dying because I can't find away to bring up my T3 from .99 and even before that it never went up past 1.40 my kidneys are starting to hurt and all I can do is cry. I am feeling like I am at the end of the road.
I have tried everything I can't tolerate Iodoral, nor Armour and not Armour if I try any of these my kidneys start to hurt when I was just on T4 all I complained about was weight gain tried to fix that by taking Armour and it didn't work for me. Had my Adrenals checked and they were fine tried to do T4 with Cytomel and Hormone creme made by compound it worked for about two weeks then the pain came back like when I took Armour. It's an uncomfortble feeling like your kidneys are lightly thrubing and my lower buttocks and hip felt like all the blood was draining down and I was afraid to move because the pain was intense. Went on just Cytomel the pain was even worse. Went back to just T4 and I still feel bad but not as bad but my FT3 is still in the low .99 without moving an at all. I can't take this cycle I need real answers to get my FT3's up real real answers. I have been to so may physician and here their arn't any really good doctors most won't give you Armour most all still believe in the TSH system. I thought my last resort is to see a pure blood doctor their are only two Endo's in town not to be negative they barley can speak english. I would like advise it certainly can't hurt.
I'm really just grasping at straws here, but instead of Armour, have you ever considered Thyrolar, which is a synthetic T4/T3 type med? I'm just thinking that if there is something in the desiccated type med, Armour, that is affecting you, then maybe the synthetic would not. Also, why are you taking vitamin E, if it affects you so much? What was your basal temperature in the morning and how did you take it?
I also think you need to go see one of those Endos, even if you have to take an interpreter with you.
I have never taken Thyrolar. I stopped taking Vitamen E. My hair has started falling out, dry and brittle so, yes I will go see one very soon as in I will call them tomorrow. I have a sinking feeling that my problem is a conversion problem not matter what I take as in RT3. This morning I had no problem going to the bathroom until after I took the Synthroid 137 mcgs. That is usuallly the case if I don't take it I feel better and I believe this is a result of compounding RT3 in my system. I need to get more blood work done because I wasn't tested for RT3 the last time I tested my tempature a month ago doing it right when I woke up was 97.4 and stayed around that number.
I also noticed that sometime when I take 150 mcg of Synthroid my nose is so dry it almost starts bleeding. I know I am trying to tell you everything I can to figure out whats going on. I have more test number as far as your normal blood test as in Platelet Count but I don't think that is of any concern.
Glad to hear that you're going to see an Endo. There may well be other problems, but your test results indicate that you definitely need to get the FT3 level increased. To do this may take a combination of both T4 and T3 meds, or a T4/T3 combo med, like Thyrolar. Regardless of which approach the Endo suggests, keep in mind that many patients report that they have to start their meds at a fairly low amount and increase slowly in order to let their bodies get used to the change. This is especially true with meds that have T3 in them. Good luck with the appointment, and let us know how things are progressing.
I started to take a half dose of Selenium 100 mcg and a half of DHEA 12.5 mg. My appointment isn't for a week but guess what with this dose I feel so so so so much better. Even my desire for food has gone down. I tried these before but continued to have pain.
I mean the heavyness and pulling is gone. I can walk around without fear that if you touch my lower back I will go crazy I feel normal I can't believe it. I will still see the Endo but Gimel I don't know how this is but so much relief. I am going to the bathroom normal not rocking back and forth this is amazing the only thing is I don't know what helped the Selenium or the DHEA. I tell you my doctors told me I had enough DHEA but this is wonderful. I feel like I can bend without pain. I haven't felt this way in 2 months I was in tears everyday with such pain I thought I was dying. I am still on synthroid but I think with help I am understanding some part of this.
I thank you so much for responding because when your in this pain you want someone to not only help you through it but feel it. Thank you, for just being there!
Something similar happened to me. Synthetic thyroid can cause severe bloating, weight gain, bowel irregularity.... Doctors didn't make the medicine, they just proscibe it. There are alternatives. There is Armour Thyroid, a more natural thyroid hormone replacement therapy, Some people get the same symptoms from that, though. Also - you and your doctor can work together trying the variuos components of thyroid hormones individually. Good Luck!
Had my thyroid removed and now on synthroid 137 X1 per day. I am constipation and miserable. I had my labs done and was told it takes time for my hyper thyroid to requlate. My labs say I am hypo thyroid now and dr wants to wait before increasing medication. I have had constipation since I had my thyroid removed three months ago. I am at my wits end with this and feel horrible. I am living on laxative's and fiber pills. Suggestions?
Your first priority should be to get tested for FT3, along with the FT4 test. FT3 is the active thyroid hormone that largely regulates metabolism and many other body functions. As with many other members taking significant doses of T4 meds, I expect that you will find that your hypo symptoms are due to FT3 being low in the range, because your body is not converting T4 to T3 adequately.
A good thyroid doctor will test and adjust FT3 and FT4 as necessary to relieve symptoms, without being constrained by TSH levels. Symptom relief should be all important, not the test results. Many members report that symptom relief for them required that FT3 was adjusted into the upper part of its range and FT4 adjusted to at least midpoint of its range.
You are going to have to get the doctor to treat you clinically in this manner, or else find a good thyroid doctor that will do so. If you are able to get the FT3 test done, please post results and reference ranges, so that members can help interpret and advise further.
I think you can find a lot of useful info in this form letter sent by a good thyroid doctor to the PCP's of patients who are consulting with the author of the letter, as a guide for treatment.
Thank you for your time and effort. I have requested my Endo MD send me another blood work slip for both T4 and T3 testing. He has been very open and I hope he will not give me a hard time about this. What could it hurt, and I need all the help I can get. God knows I have had every other test possible. I will post the results as soon as I have them. Thanks again!
My Endo Md agreed (With gimel) that my T3 and T4 levels need to be checked again. He will send me a lab slip within a week. Wants me to wait for 2 weeks total so he can test the new 200mcg dose in my bloodwork. Good news is the Synthyroid 200mcg seems to be working and my constipation has stopped for almost 3 days now! First day in 3 months since my TT surgery that I have had no constipation and starting to feel like my pre- surgery self. I even went running for my normal pre-surgery 3 mile run.The higher dose seems to be the magic number. Not having enough synthyroid made me constipated and made me have a 2 month period right after TT. The higher medication dose was the key to making them (me) feel normal again. Wow, who knew how much it controlled. It has been hell but I hope I am on the right track now. I will post results in 2 weeks of my T3 and T4 levels in bloodwork. My endo Md said "gimel knew his stuff" Thanks gimel!!!!!!
Good morning Gimel,
I went to the Endo MD this morning and just got out. I was in his office for 1 ½ hours. He acted a little defensive at first but then I told him to cut the BS and I hoped we both wanted the same things, he agreed and we went over my labs which were:
Free T4 1.84
TSH <0.1 out of range - expected range is 0.3-5.1
Free T3 3.5
He agreed that my hair is falling out because I need more Free T3, and that is why my body is not functioning normally! I almost fainted when he agreed with me. We discussed changing the synthroid but decided to lower my dose to 175 mcg and add cytomel 25mcg (1/2 pill 2X a day) He was clear that he has no problem using other thyroid medications such as Armour, Trosint, or Thyrolar if I do not feel better. He mentioned that he is not one of those endo's who go by lab results only, and is very concerned about my welfare. He gave me his cell phone number in case I had any other concerns or questions. He also added that I am a good patient and he wants me to know I do not have to depend on a “thyroid forum” for support, unless I want to. He stated that Gimel knew his stuff and should get a license because they have a lot of “tunnel vision” doctors in thyroid medicine and could use some that “get it” the way you do. He took the time to look at everything I brought (which was all your suggestions) and agreed with every one of them. He laughed and said he would be happy to read any other suggestions you may have regarding my care! LOL He gave me a hug and I was off to the pharmacy for my RX of cytomel. I will see him again in 4 weeks or before if I am not doing better. So I must say it all went even better then I hoped! Needless to say I did not ask him for a referral to another Endo, as I thought I was going to have to do! I am so relieved to know he is one of the good Endo MD’s. Now hopefully all I have to do is give it some time, and possibly tweak my doses here and there. Thanks again and please know how grateful I am to you for your help! Susan
it's really a simple question, can you gain weight on synthriod, i am aware that your thryroid must be in normal limits to be stable. but that not the question. the question is weight gain or bloatness a side effect of the medicaiton?
It's far more likely due to inadequate levels of the biologically active thyroid hormones, Free T3 and Free T4, than being a side effect of the Synthroid. If you will post your thyroid test results and their reference ranges shown on the lab report, members will be glad to comment on the adequacy of your testing and treatment.
I had TT in April and am now on 125 mg of synthroid. I am experiencing weight gain and bloating. If I sit for 15 minutes or more it is hard to stand as my leg feel like there asleep. In addition, I have tingling in my hands and arms when laying down.
Many hypo patients taking large doses of T4 meds find that their body does not adequately convert T4 to T3, resulting in Free T3 levels that are too low in the range, thus causing hypothyroidism. So you really need to request testing for Free T3, along with the Free T4 and TSH. I would also suggest testing for Vitamin D, B12, iron/ferritin, zinc, and selenium, if you haven't been tested previously.
Be aware that many Endo, and other doctors have the "Immaculate TSH Belief", by which they believe that TSH is basically all that they need to diagnose a thyroid patient. This is not true because TSH is a pituitary hormone that is affected by so many variables that it doesn't correlate adequately with even Free T3 and Free T4, much less with symptoms. AT best it is only an indicator to be considered along with more important indicators such as symptoms and also the levels of the biologically active thyroid hormones, FT3 and FT4.
Other doctors only want to use "Reference Range Endocrinology", by which they will tell you that any thyroid test result that falls within the reference range is adequate. This is also incorrect, because the ranges are too broad. The ranges for FT3 and FT4 have never been corrected like was done for TSH over 8 years ago. This is the reason many members, myself included, say that symptom relief for them required that FT3 was adjusted into the upper part of its range, and FT4 adjusted to around the midpoint of its range.
A good thyroid doctor will treat a patient clinically by testing and adjusting FT3 and FT4 as necessary to relieve symptoms, without being constrained by resultant TSH levels. I say this about TSH because hypo patients frequently need to take enough thyroid med to suppress the TSH level below the reference range in order to achieve symptom relief. Symptom relief should be all important, not just test results.
This is a link to a letter written by a good thyroid doctor for patients that he consults with from a distance. It is sent to the PCP of the patient to help guide treatment. I think you can get some good insight into clinical treatment from this link.
When you see the Endo, I suggest that you should find out if he is going to treat you clinically, for symptoms, or by blood test results. Also you need to find out if he is willing to prescribe T3 meds.
Most important that rather than being medicated based on TSH, that you get tested for the biologically active thyroid hormones, Free T3 and Free T4 (note that these are not the same as Total T3 and Total T4). TSH is a pituitary hormone that is affected by so many variables that it is totally inadequate as the sole diagnostic for thyroid status. TSH cannot even be shown to correlate adequately with Free T3 and Free T4, much less correlate with symptoms. Scientific studies have shown that the thyroid test that correlates best with hypo symptoms is Free T3, while Free T4 and TSH did not correlate.
I suggest that you request to be tested for Free T3 and Free T4 and if the doctor resists, don't accept any excuses, just insist on it and don't take no for an answer. When the lab report is available, please get a copy of it and post your test results and reference ranges and members will be glad to help interpret and advise further.
I don't like taking it cause I truly believe its causing my weight gain I had the surgery in feb 08 and I weighed in at 170 and now I'm 242 .. My doctor says syrhroid makes u lose weight but I'm not seeing it I strongly disagree ..
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