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Getting frustrated, ready to give up on weight loss
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This patient support community is for discussions relating to thyroid issues, goiter, Graves disease, Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, Human Growth Hormone (HGH), hyperthyroid, hypothyroid, metabolism, parathyroid, pituitary gland, thyroiditis, and thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH).

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Getting frustrated, ready to give up on weight loss

I have been feeling horrible for the last two years and no so good all my life.  I have been to doctor after doctor and nothing could be done.  I have all the symtoms (symptoms) of a low functioning thryroid, but my TSH always comes back with in normal range...low but normal.  My last blood test was .334.  Good news I have had two doctors test my thyriod antibodies.  The first doctor simply said your thyriod is irritated.  The second docotor says I most likely have a intolerance for gluten and that if I stop eating gluten my thyriod will heal itself.  I was not put on any thyriod medication, but I was given hydrocortisone for my adrenal gland, testosterone because mine was low, and progesteron for PMS (cream days 14-27).  I have been diligent about my diet and exercising 3-5 days a week for 2 months.  I have been gluten free for two weeks.  Most of my symptoms are doing better.  I am sleeping better, not feeling as tired, mind is clearer, skin is clearer, and cold intolerance is normal.  But I can't get the scale to move, not even a pound.  I am doing 45 minutes of cardio, moderate weight training 15min, yoga 15 min, and eating about 900-1500 calories a day.  Any suggestions?  Should I press my doctor to treat my thyriod?
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Avatar_f_tn
TSH alone is not adequate to diagnose and treat thyroid diseases/disorders.  You have to test the actual thyroid hormones, free T3 and free T4 to know if you need medication.  If these were tested, please post the results along with the reference ranges.

Your TSH, at 0.334, is at the low end of the reference range (0.3-3.0).  This is not usually indicative of hypo.  TSH is counterintuitive...the lower it is the closer you are to hypER, the higher it is, the more hypO you are.

Were your antibodies positive?  Have you been diagnosed with an autoimmune disease?

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1451395_tn?1290104704
I cannot find any thing in my lab work that says free T3 or free T4, should I ask for that at my next doctor appointment?

I was tested for Thyroid Peroxidase (TPO) ab which was 324 with a reference range of 0-34.  This in combination with a vitamin D of 38.3 (reference range 30-100).  The doctor told me I have Hashimoto desease (which is an automimmune disease, I believe).  To treat the automimmune disease he has put me on a gluten free diet.

Due to high total cholesterol, high HDL, low LDL, dense LDL (pattern B); he also put me on a low carb diet.

Due to a testosterone of 29, he gave me a shoot of testosterone.

For my physical symtoms (symptoms) he gave me Hydrocortisone (for Adrenal support) and progestrone (during days 14-27 of my cycle).

I have also been told to take 15000 IU of vitamin D a day.

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Things that don't make sense to me are:  no proof of gluten intolerance, so why the diet?  seemingly incomplete testing of thyriod, low TSH (with no treatment), and still not loosing weight.  The gluten free diet is really messing with me.  I have tummy aches every night, because I am so constipated and gassy, even though I have introduced a fiber supplement to my diet.  I am working out and managing my diet (45 min cardio, 15 weight training, and less than 1200 calories a day) yet I haven't loss a pound.

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Wondering if I should request that my thyriod hormones be tested, Free T3 and Free T4?  Wondering if I should get some allergy or biopsy to truelly identifie the gluten intolerance?
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One more thing I forgot, I mentioned I was feeling better; but that is only because my doctor says that caffiene is not bad...so I am using cafiene to get myself through the day.  Without caffiene I still feel groggy, out of focus, and general bad.
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Avatar_f_tn
FT3 and FT4 are an absolute must.  TSH is a pituitary hormone.  It can be impacted by any disturbance in the thyroid/hypothalamus/pituitary feedback cycle.  In effect, TSH is a pituitary test, not a thyroid test.  T3 and T4 are the actual thyroid hormones and tell what the levels are in your blood.  Be sure to request FREE T3 and FREE T4, otherwise, you will get total T3 and total T4, which are considered obsolete tests and of limited usefulness.  Be sure to get your results for your records and get reference ranges from the report as well.  Ranges vary from lab to lab and have to come from your own lab report.

You're right, Hashi's is an autoimmune disease.  The topic of gluten as it relates to Hashi's is a controversial one at the moment.  Some practitioners claim that gluten is the "cause" of Hashi's and that eliminating gluten from the diet will lower antibodies.  However, none of this has been substantiated in the scientific literature.  My personal opinion is that a g/f diet may help some people with some of their symptoms, and when this is the case, then, by all means, do what makes you feel better.  But, I think that claiming that a g/f diet will allow your "thyroid to heal itself", and in the meantime ignoring symptoms is beyond what even the vanguard of the g/f theory will claim and is potentially dangerous to your health if you are hypo.

I agree with you completely that with no proof of gluten intiolerence "why the diet".  You can be tested for celiac disease (autoimmune gluten intolerance).  It's an antibody blood test.  However, it is only conclusive if positive.  If negative, a small intestine biopsy is nevessary to rule it out. There is no test for non-celiac gluten intolerance, except eliminating gluten from your diet to see if it makes you feel better.  It can take several months of being scrupulously g/f to determine this.  I was g/f for most of 2009 (I didn't go on the g/f diet for thyroid reasons, but for some very minor g/i symptoms).  I noticed no difference in my Hashi's whatsoever, but it did cause big changes in my g/i symptoms...different and much worse symptoms.  I, foolishly, wasn't listening to what my body was telling me and got to a point where I was afraid to go back to eating gluten.  I ended up having to have some minor (but uncomfortable) surgery, which I partially blame on the g/f diet (can't prove this, just my gut feeling).  So, my advice to you is listen to your body.  If it makes you feel better, do it, if it doesn't or makes you feel worse, don't.

High cholesterol, constipation, brain fog, fatigue and/or drowsiness and general malais are all symptoms of hypo.  My guess is that your FT3 and FT4 will be low.  They may be "in reference range", but many of us don't feel well until FT3 and FT4 are in the upper half of the range.

If I were you, I'd have FT3 and FT4 and a repeat TSH done as soon as convenient.  If your thyroid levels need to be treated (and your symptoms sound quite hypo), ask your doctor to start you on thyroid meds.  You can continue to experiment with the g/f diet, even if on meds.  Since you have Hashi's and there is no cure, your symptoms will only get more numerous and worse without treatment as the antibodies continue to destroy more of your thyroid function all the time.  
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Avatar_f_tn
I will let everyone else offer suggestions on your thyroid but what struck me first was the simple fact is that you are not eating enough.  You stated that you are doing 45 minutes of cardio, moderate weight training 15min, yoga 15 min, and eating about 900-1500 calories a day.  Your body is probably is starvation mode.  It requires a certain number of calories per day just to breathe, move, eat etc.  You probably actually need between 1500-2000 calories a day and probably can lose weight eating that many calories.  Consider a meeting with a nutritionist to discuss dietary needs or joining weight watchers etc.  The people on this forum are excellent.  Good luck to you.  

Yes, you can lose weight and be hypothyroid. It is just harder and and slower.  
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1451395_tn?1290104704
so as I read:

1. eat more
2. get Free T3, free t4, and TSH checked.
3. get blood and possible biopsy to check for gluten intolerance

Thank you sooo much, nice to hear from people that understand what I am going through.
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Avatar_f_tn
Only one little correction...blood test and biopsy only diagnose CELIAC DISEASE.  There is no test for non-celiac gluten intolerance.  I may seem to be nitpicking, but this is a very important distinction. There is a big distinction between autoimmune celiac disease and non-autoimmune gluten intolerance.  Unfortunately, until the recent gluten-free craze, the terms were often used interchangeably, leading to much confusion.  Dated literature often adds to the confusion.
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1451395_tn?1290104704
thanks for the clarification.  Given that I don't have other Celiac symtoms (symptoms) (I am slightly over weight and have most of my nutriets levels fine) am probably should go to the extreme of having the biopsy, but maybe the blood test would still be a good idea.
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Avatar_f_tn
I agree...in the absence of symptoms, I'd be hard-pressed to put myself through an endoscopy and small intestine biopsy.  Although the blood test is only conclusive if positive, it is both cheap and painless (almost), so seems a reasonable option.
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1451395_tn?1290104704
Had my doctor appointment today.  He said due to my TSH being in the Hyper zone, he did not feel the need to test my free T3 or T4.  He felt my Adrenal gland was more in need of support thus the Hydrocortisone.  He gave me two really good labs for Celiac testing and I am contiplating those...got to talk to the insurence about coverage etc...  So I guess I am just left to be over weight.
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Avatar_f_tn
My philosophy is that any doctor who says there is no need to test FT3 and FT4, no matter WHAT your TSH is, should be run from.  I'm sorry, but TSH is a totally inadequate diagnostic.  If you don't test FT3 and FT4, then you have no idea what your thyroid function really is.  If I were you, I'd seriously consider another doctor.  I'm not impatient with you here, but with your doctor.  Find someone who will treat you properly.
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Avatar_f_tn
Wow I was also told that gluten might be the reason for my hypothyroid symptoms because i have gluten intolerance(not celiac disease).  I have been eating gluten free and believe it or not...i'm getting bloated more often and seem to be gaining weight.  I thought gluten free was suppose to be better for weight issues.  This is so frustrating.
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Avatar_f_tn
I'm just wondering on what basis you were told that you have non-celiac gluten intolerance.  The only test fo NCGI is elimination/challenge.  You eliminate gluten from your diet to see if your symptoms are relieved and you feel better.  This does not seem to be the case from what you describe.  If symptoms are relieved, a small amount of gluten is then reintroduced to the diet to see if the symptoms return.  

As with eliminating anything else from your diet, whether you gain weight or lose depends on what you replace what you've eliminated with.  Many of the "replacements" for gluten are actually higher in calories than the gluten.  This is also true of many "fat free" alternatives to fattier foods.

Eliminating anything (food group) from your diet is going to have huge repercussions throughout your body...repercussions that no one (not you, your doctor, your nutritionist) can anticipate.  Listen to your body...maybe it's trying to tell you something.
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1451395_tn?1290104704
I am on the elimination diet, just because according to my docotor there is a high relation between gluten intolerance and Hoshimoto's.  There is one ray of light, I did not gain any weight this month.  With the holidays and all, I am going to focus on gluten free and not weight loss; a Gluten free Thanksgiving and Christmas is going to be tough enough.
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Avatar_m_tn
I'm sorry but I regular eating with low calories will not put your body into starvation mode so you don't lose weight.  My daughter is experiencing the same problem.  She saw a nutritionist that does have her eating more calories and she gained 7 pounds in one month.  Get your T3 and T4 levels checked, keep eating healthy and keep exercising.
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649848_tn?1357751184
This is a very old thread and jtlmom1577 has not been around since she posted here......

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