Thyroid Disorders Community
Still overweight after 12+ years on meds
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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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Still overweight after 12+ years on meds

When I started college in 1995 I weighed about 140, which was great for being 5'5".  My freshman year I gained 60 pounds, yes 60--I put the "freshman 15" to shame, and I was so tired and groggy all the time.  I didn't know what was wrong because I had done nothing different (no change in activities, eating habits, medicines, etc.).  I ended up getting such bad grades (from sleeping through my morning classes) that I lost my academic scholarship (I was a straight A+ student with a 4.29 gpa out of highschool).  After seeing a doctor, I discovered that I had hypothyroidism and was put on Synthroid (and later Levothroid).  I was started at 100 mcg (maybe it was less, I don't remember) and over the years have been prescribed higher and higher doses.  I am now taking 400 mcg and have been for about 2 1/2 years.  I have been right around 200 pounds for the past 12 years!!!!   Am I ever going to get back to 140 or even close?  Am I ever going to feel refreshed and not tired like I read about from all these other people who are taking thyroid medication.  I've been fat and tired since 1995.  I haven't felt "better" yet.  Is this normal?  Isn't 400 mcgs a really high dose?  I should also mention that I also have PCOS and I take Concerta for A.D.D. (the PCOS diagnosed in 2001, and adult ADD in 2002).  The Concerta helps a lot with the tiredness, but without it I'd sleep all day.  I just want to feel "normal" again, with or without medication.  I don't care.  Whatever it takes.  I hope you can help.  I'd be soooo grateful!
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Have you had a blood test lately?  That is the first step.  You need to know what your TSH level is and go from there.   Also, have your adrenals checked.  The symptoms are the same and you could have adrenal fatigue.   Your cortisol levels could be off which might explain some of the weight issue, energy level, etc.  Your dose of thyroid meds seems to be way high, but that could be because of your weight, too.  Go back to your doctor,    have him do a full panel of blood tests and ask about getting your adrenals checked.  You won't get anywhere until you do this.  You might need to see and endocrinologist, also.   Good luck.
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Avatar_n_tn
Thanks for the quick response.  I'm new here.  I thought about that after I posted this, that I didn't give my lab results.  They are posted below.  I have seen an endocrinologist, but he said my bloodwork is normal to there's nothing to worry about.  It bugs me so much that doctors only treat the numbers and the symptoms.  Just because my lab work is good, doesn't mean I don't feel terrible. My glucose was slightly high but the endo said it was so slight it was ok.  My doc gave me a letter about pre-diabetes and low carb/low gi dieting.  I already eat low carb/low gi.  If I didn't I'd blow up to 300 lbs easy.

TSH     My value: 0.2 uIU/mL       Normal Range (according to Kaiser): 0.2-5.5 uIU/mL        
A year ago (still on 400 mcg levothroid) my TSH was 3.9 (also in the normal range)

T4 FREE   My Value: 1.1 ng/dL        Normal Range:  0.8-1.7 ng/dL

GLUCOSE, FASTING    My Value: 102 mg/dL    Normal Range: 60-99 mg/dL

DHEA-S   My Value: 338 ug/dL    Normal Range: <430-  ug/dL

My Lipid Panel and AST (ASPARTATE AMINOTRANSFERASE) Serum was normal too.

Is there something else they should be testing for?
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Avatar_n_tn
Forgot the TESTOSTERONE, FREE AND TOTAL

TESTOSTERONE FREE   0.8pg/mL (normal is 0.1-6.4 pg/mL)

TESTOSTERONE FREE/TESTOSTERONE  0.35 (normal is 0.5-2.0 %)  <--this is low but the Endo said, like the glcuose, it was very slight not a big deal.

TESTOSTERONE, TOTAL   24 ng/dL (normal is 2-45 ng/dL)
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Avatar_f_tn
According to my lab, the normal range for TSH is 0.45-4.50 which would indicate to me that your TSH level is not in the normal range, but a bit on the hyper side which can make you feel weak, no energy, heart palpitations, etc.  Your DHEA doesn't seem to be right, either which has to do with the adrenals.  I really don't know how to read the DHEA, though, but I would ask  your doctor about it. I would also tell him the way you are feeling and if he is not listening, get another doctor. I'm sorry I can''t be much help.  Maybe if you send a message to GravesLady, she can help.  She's the best.  Good luck.
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97628_tn?1204465633
http://www.medhelp.org/forums/Thyroid/messages/2316.html

As ifuplease said, graveslady is a great source
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Avatar_f_tn
Weight is a fact of life for most of us. 66 percent of the world's population is  overweight.  Massive weight gain is rarely associated with hypothyroidism and  not necessarily a thyroid issue. One of the enduring myths about the underactive thyroid is that it is responsible for obesity.  It is not.  The major causes of obesity in humans is increased caloric intake (eating too much) and decreased caloric output (exercising too little). In patients with the most profound degrees of hypothyroidism weight will increase by only a few pounds which can be lost when thyroid hormone levels are normalized.
A lot of hypo women want there TSH at the low end of Lab thinking that it will help with weight loss, weight control, or prevent weight gain.  This is not correct, in which they sacrifice health and more added  symptoms thinking this way.  Actually it has been scientifically said that hypo feel better a little on the hypo side because their body is so use to function at a little higher level.  The same with hypers, will feel better on the low side because their body is so use to functioning at that level.  So now a happy medium has been set to 1 or 2 TSH.  I think if you get your TSH level between 1 and 2 you might feel better.  However this is not a 100% because we all are different individuals.
With levels in normal range (especially out of labs to the hyper side), weight issue would not be due to thyroid. As we get older some of us needs to change our eating habits and/or diet style.
The best we can do is find a diet that works best for us with a mantenance program and consider it for life.
Eat in smaller meals, more frequently in order to stimulate our metabolism
Decide to eat something you consider "forbidden" in moderation and stop obsessing about food. Indulge in chocolate desserts and keep other foods in the moderate glycemic range. Choose protein dishes whenever possible, as this will help with your stomach's ability to empty properly. Get lots of sleep. When you don't sleep enough, you affect melatonin levels, which in turn bumps up your insulin levels, which stimulates fat storage.
Eat a low fat, low carbohydrate, protein sufficient diet. This means that in addition to the usual restrictions of a low-fat diet, you also need to seriously limit intake of sugar and starches, cutting back on pasta, rice, potatoes, white flour breads, cereal, corn, peas, sweet potatoes, desserts, dairy products, meats, and fruit with a high sugar content.  Rethink your eating habits, shifting to a diet of chicken, turkey, fish, non-starchy vegetables, legumes, and certain grains. And for those who are insulin resistant, once you start eating this way, you'll find it easier, as your carbohydrate cravings will subside dramatically.
Exercise, even in 10 minutes segments, can help you burn fat.
There is no magic solution to weight, and, it takes work, lots of hard, dedicated work and for life.

Feeling  "normal" again might be achieved once TSH is between 1 and 2, as well as correcting the weight. If not, both might be due to your other health issues.

Good luck and best wishes for 2008.


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Avatar_n_tn
My tsh was 0.138 the last time it was checked so they changed me from 200 syn. to 175 about 3wks ago I really felt alright where I was but they(dr.) said it was suppressed. My ? is the lab they used said normal range was 0.400 to 4.200 if I was 0.138 how much does it take to reach awhole 1? I don't understand the math would it be 0.10000 to get to a whole number? Thanks in advance
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Avatar_f_tn
Thyroid doses to get to certain desired level is different for each person and depends some what on age, weight, gender, etc. Its not an exact science and becomes a hit and miss situations or trial and error. The important point would be go low and slow with adjustments doses and levels.  TSH is a lager and may not do what its going to do right away and might take 6 weeks or longer. I had my TSH take over a year before it finally bottomed out to its desired level, however not mine.

So go from low dose to the next low dose to the next, until you reach your desired level or pretty close to it. Once close, don't tweak for better for you might screw thing up and make them worse.
That's the best we can do.

Good Luck and Best Wishes for 2008!.
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Avatar_f_tn
I suggest you ask your doctor to check your fasting insulin level.  I always had "normal" fasting blood sugar (glucose) readings.  Mine were 95 to 102.  However, my insulin level was through the roof.  Basically, I was pre-diabetic.  My body was pumping out insulin to regulate my blood sugar, but my cells were becoming resistant to it, so my body pumped out more insulin.  I had extreme amounts of insuling floating around in my body and this was causing so many symptoms. Anyway, insulin is a "fat storing" hormone and excessive amounts of it in your body makes it difficult to lose weight and easy to gain weight.  I began eating low-carb (50 grams at day or less) and taking Metformin.  I started exercising too and I watched my overall daily calories.  I lost 14 pounds in six weeks and my insulin level returned to normal.  This may not even apply to you, but it is something that you should probably have checked just to see if you're in the normal range.  
Hope that helped!
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