I initially went to see my doctor because I was losing weight, but was diagnosed as being hypothyroid. I'm having regular blood tests, and am now on 88mg of levothyroxine, but still have to eat all the time to maintain my weight. I can't seem to find any advice on weight loss with this condition, so any information would be very helptful.
An atypical (not typically seen) symptom of hypothyroidism is losing weight. A few possible reasons may be lack of appetite, thyroiditis flare up, too high a dose of thyroid hormone replacement, or another concurrent condition that has yet to be diagnosed.
I live in Spain, and they don't seem to do the same range of tests as they do in the UK or USA.
My free T4 is 1.53
TSH basal is 6.08
My symptoms are as follows:
- Weight loss. I eat normal meals, and also have to snack every hour or so, to maintain my weight. The weight seems to go down as the TSH increases.
- thin skin
- hair thinning
- anxiety (all of the time, but worse in the evening.
- irregular pulse. Fairly slow but keeps missing a beat
- itching and pins and needles around my neck and shoulders
- blurred vision
- irritability (very unusual for me)
- high cholesterol
I'm 69 years old, so some of the above (such as thin skin) may just be down to normal ageing. I take plenty of exercise and try to eat a balanced diet.
Your symptoms other than weight loss, certainly seem to indicate a hypothyroid condition. Even though your Free T4 appears that it would be high in its range (range not provided), your TSH is also on the high side. This may well be due to your Free T3 being too low. This is a frequent occurrence when taking T4 meds, due to poor conversion of the T4 to T3. Free T3 largely regulates metabolism and many other body functions. Scientific studies ahve shown that Free T3 correlated best with hypo symptoms, while Free T4 and TSH did not correlate.
To really assess your status, you need to also be tested for Free T3 and Reverse T3. I would also suggest that you test for Vitamin D, B12 and ferritin. Usually when Free T3 is low, there is weight gain. In doing some reading about weight loss, I found this info. "Other endocrine cause of weight loss is cortisol deficiency. This can be tested by doing 8.00 AM serum cortisol level. You need to be investigated for other causes of weight loss such as some chronic infection, diabetes etc." So this points to the possibility of other tests that may be advisable.
If the Free T3 and Reverse T3 tests confirm that you are hypothyroid, then your will need a change in meds and dosage, adequate to relieve hypo symptoms. Many of our members report that symptom relief for them required that Free T3 was adjusted into the upper part of its range and Free T4 adjusted to around the middle of its range.
If you can somehow get all these tests done, then please post results and reference ranges and members will be glad to help interpret and advise further.
Just my 2 cents...I was severely hypo a couple of years ago and couldn't keep weight on, was 20 lbs underweight. Doctors looked at my low TSH and thought I was hyper.found out a very long time later, I was very deficient in B-12 and Folate among many others which had caused my weight loss. It took a long time to figure that out, as doctors don't seem to like to test those things. Just wanted to throw that out there for your future reference on the off chance. Good luck!
Gimel and many others told me the same thing some time ago. I didn't really have the money to test at the time, but in hindsight, I couldn't afford to NOT do them! Not sure where you are, but there are lab services online that you can order your own, and pretty cheaply too. You could start with the cheaper and more obvious things (B12-D-Folate-Magnesium) obviously there are more but those are very important. If for some reason they aren't low, you've at least ruled it out---
I was lost when I was hypo and 20lbs underweight- and a lot of the symptoms you mentioned. I wish I had taken control of that situation then, no matter the cost!!
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