Until yesterday I knew NOTHING about having Hypothyroid....
I am 24 years old and have struggled for about 5 years to lose weight. I have tried everything. I finally got discouraged enough to go to the doctor and have blood work done. The results= Hypothyroid.
He put me on 25mcg of Levothroxin. For the last four weeks I have been going to the gym 6 days a week (mixing cardio and weight training) and limit myself to 1200 calories a day, with no results. I started my medicine yesterday.
From the research I've done, I have a ton of questions. I'm going to list them here and if you have ANY advice or experience, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE respond. I am so overwhelmed and worried.
1) 25 mcg is a very low dose. Will it help at all?
2) How long will it be until I can see results losing weight?
3.) I have read on some support forums about people GAINING weight after being put on Levothroxine/Synthroid/Levoxyl. Is this usually the case?
4) Is one med better than another: Levothroxine/Synthroid/Levoxyl?
5) I took my first dose this morning about 9 am on an empty stomach. While I was at the gym about 7pm, I suddenly felt extremely hot, faint, and nausiated. Is this normal?
PLEASE HELP ME TO UNDERSTAND ANY OF THIS IF YOU CAN!
I doubt if you are very hypothyroid taking med. dose of only 25 mcg. Its the smallest amount available for those meds.
1. Help with levels possibly, but doubt with weight. The meds. would have to make you dangerously hyperthyroid for weight loss then its not a 100% because it would depend on your system.
2. Meds. do not make us lose weight or we'd all be skinny.
3. No! ATDs will make some people gain weight. Levothroxine/Synthroid/Levoxyl are exactly like our natural thyroid hormone and work in the same way, so if you didn't gain weight before, you won't gain weight from taking the meds.
4. No! They work the same way, with a few different ingredients.
5. No! and I doubt its the meds. Now, if your levels didn't really require the meds. you could feel some feed back. You haven't been taking the med. long enough to feel the effects if any. It takes 6 to 12 weeks for meds. full effects. You are probably dieting too strict with heavy, prolonged exercise.
I'm new to all this myself, but let me tell you my ENDO told me that 1200 cal a day is to low, she has me on 1500 and really to be honest I never get hungry. You can be exercising to much and building muscle, and muscle is heavy. I truly understand your struggles I have them myself but it seems like when i try real hard nothing happens but if I just go with the follow and let it takes it course then the weight slowly drops. Glad luck and keep us posted.
25mcg is an awfully low dose for a young person. Do you have any other problem like a heart condition?
What was your TSH?
I am a hair under 5' 3" tall and weighed 109 at my first endo appointment and was placed on 75mcg of Levoxyl.
Make sure your med , generic or not, has a brand name on it ( Levoxyl, synthroid etc.)
Plain generic levothyroxine with no brand name is not reliably formulated
There is a theory that if you aren't eating enough your body isn't going to let go of an ounce if it thinks it's starving and it may be true to some extent.
I guess I average between 1800-2000 calories a day and do about 30 minutes of aerobics/yoga/pilates at home 5 times a week. I bike on weekends.
If you don't mind my asking, what do you weigh and what do you want to weigh?
I am 5'5" and weigh 190 (yikes)! I've never been "little" and don't really want to be. But I would like to be around a healthier 150. I've been told that the doctor would start me on the low dose of 25mcg, and recheck my levels in 4-6 wks to see how much that dosage is helping. Apparently getting to large of a dose can be very hard on your heart so they start you at a low dose and then experiment with the dosage until you reach the dosage you need.
The medication I have says only "Levothyroxin". Should I request to get a brand name (Levoxyl, Synthroid, etc)?? I do not know what my TSH was, he called me on the phone and did not tell me a number, just that I was hypothyroid and called in the med. I will be picking up my results from their office today.
I understand the theory and agree in most case to start out low and slow. However, that would depend on your TSH level, age, and weight (possibly height too if really tall). The more we weigh the higher the dose for our body to respond. Usually to effect the heart the cautions are with low TSH hypers and too high TSH for for hypos, for long periods of time. Unless 25 mcg is overdosed to where TSH/system/levels, really doesn't need it. Some doctors prescribe (low dose) as a placebo.
You will have to treat your weight issue separate from your thyroid issue. Thyroid medication is no miracle drug for weight loss and can be dangerous if used so. Believe me, as a person who lost mega weight due to her thyroid illness, medication is not helping me now!
Find a diet that you can live with, one in which has a maintenance program because you'll probably be on this for life. Even if you lose slow, slower the better the longer weight is kept off, and it takes several years to reach your goal (5'5" 125 Lbs for health). If you really want to lost, you will stick with it no matter how long it takes.
That's the way it is for women - just a fact of life for most of us.
As someone who struggled GREATLY with my weight until about age 24, I can understand your disappointment and discouragement. I weigh less now than I did when I was 12 years old, so I truly do get it!
Forgive my lack of eloquence here, but there are several thoughts I want to share with you:
1.) Thyroid medication should not be looked at as an answer to weight loss. I know many people do complain about weight gain on these drugs, but I am truly starting to believe (I was a skeptic and very scared of gaining weight when I began taking Levoxyl) that the weight gain comes from an underlying problem... being under medicated or some other issue. The proper thyroid replacement should help hypos with their fatigue, and in turn more energy means more activity and possibly weight loss.
2.) Weight gain from these meds is often due to water retention, not actual body mass
3.) Eating 1200 calories is not doing yourself any favors. You probably noticed a small weight drop after beginning that regimen, but very quickly your body will go into famine mode and try to preserve fuel b/c you're not giving it enough. Your weight will not drop. And it takes longer for your body to realize is't not starving once you do increase your calories, so you may actually see a weight gain. The body is amazing and is programmed to make adaptations to preserve itself.
4.) I gained more than 50lbs with my second pregnancy. After the baby came, 30lbs naturally came off the first couple months... then a few more pounds over the next couple months and I stabilized about 15lbs over my "ideal" weight. I did the southbeach diet and I lost 15 pounds. I'm currently at 5'5" and 124. 130 is more comfortable for me, but with all this thyroid stuff, I lost a few pounds from stress. As with any diet, you should consult a physician before engaging.
5.) The slower you lose it, the longer it will stay off. A healthy weightloss is 1-2 pounds per week. So, at your current weight, to get to 150, give yourself 9-12 months.
6.) You asked if some drugs are better than others among the brand names of levothyroxine. GL is right... they're all the same active ingredient, but they do use different fillers and there are a few people who have adverse reactions to a filler in one brand and not another. These don't typically relate to what you're concerned about in your post.
My endocrinologist says that starting someone on a dose of 25mcg. is unnecessary unless the person is like, 80 years old ( my Internal Med doctor had started me on 25 mcg which prompted this comment from the endo).
The dosage, he told me, is calculated by body weight.
Eating 1200 calories a day is worrisome because you need nutrition and it's not a realistic approach to weight-loss. You will probably not go through your entire life eating only 1200 calories a day, it's miserable, so as soon as you go back to normal eating the weight will come back.
Calorie restriction is a relative thing, depending on what is a good amount of food for a person of your sex, age and height to consume.
The formula in my Fitness textbook is:
Estimated Energy Requirement (EER) = 354- (6.91 x Age) + (9.36x BW in kilograms) + (726 x HT )in meters.
This number would be what you would need to eat to maintain your current weight.
To determine the caloric intake to lose weight multiply your curent weight by 5 and subtract that amount from your daily energy requirement.
After reaching this goal then you would determine how much physical activity would be necessary to maintain it.
I have no idea if it works, I've never been on a diet, but it does sound sensible.
I hope you feel better soon.
1 lb over weight = 3500 calories, so if a person is 20 lbs over weight is eating 70,000 calories too much. A person 50 lbs over weight 175,000 calories too much.
20 x 3500 = 70,000 50 x 3500 = 175,000
so for every lb you want to lose you have to cut 3500 calories.
Divide 3500 by 7 days = 500 calories per day you have to cut to lose 1 lb per weeks.
Divide 3500 by 14 days (2 weeks) you'd have to cut 250 calories a day to lose 1 lb in two weeks.
That would be 2 lbs a month and 7,000 calories in which you would lose 20 lbs in 10 months.
2 lbs per month x 10 months = 20 lbs and 7000 calories per month x 10 months = 70,000 calories cut.
1. Figure how much weight you want to lose
2. Multiply the amount by 3500 = total amount of calories to cut
3. Figure how many calories you can cut per day.
4. Subtract how many calories you can cut per day from total amount of calories you need to cut ( in 2.)
5. Keep subtracting calories cut per day from total calories until you reach 0. Then add how many subtractions were done and that is how many days (converted months) it will take to lose the lbs you want to lose, per your daily calorie cut.
If all that does't make sense just remember 3500 calories = 1 lb of over weight, weight.
You'd need to cut from your diet: 3500 calories to lose 1 lb.
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