Thyroid Disorders Community
smoking and not smoking
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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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smoking and not smoking

i have been a smoker for 20 years, lets start off with that. i feel fine and have all the energy in the world. i am a mom of four children and run a daycare out of my home.i have never had to be on any medications for any disorders or anything in my hole life.now heres where my messed up situation happens. last year i quit smoking for 6 months. i realize i wouldnt feel the best for the first few months and excepted that.but what happen was really upsetting and confusing. not only did i have no and i mean no energy i was gaining weight fast. i went to my regular yearly physical about 4 months after quitting.she then noticed that my thyroid was enlarged and did some tests. when the doc. called back she told me i had a underactive thyroid and needed to see a specialist. now, myself being me said ya right. i dont have anything wrong with me and i am not going to that dr..  i would say about 6 months of not smoking and i couldnt take it, i still felt lousy. so i started again and about two or three days later felt amazingly wonderful !! my 20 pounds i had gained in the past 6 months was off in a matter of a month. i had all my energy back and life was fine. so i went to my physical this year and told my dr. who was upset i didnt go last year to the specialist that i would go. she gave me the papers for the tests and i had the bloodwork done. went to the specialist and she tells me the numbers are great.that my thyroid is just a little enlarged, and she would have to moniter it every year. so i go back next yearto have the numbers checked again. what i know is when i smoke i feel good and dont have a thyroid problem. when i dont smoke my thyroid does not work right and i will need meds to correct my problem. now of course i am aware that smoking is bad for your health but i feel physically good when doing so. its a choice i am going to have to make. that choice is smoke and feel fine or feel like **** and gain weight even though my diet doesnt change and on top of that have to start taking medicine. what to do ???  why is this happening ?? have you ever heard that smoking helps thyroid disorders ??  i want to quit again but dont want the conciqiences.
Tags: Smoking
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11 Comments Post a Comment
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213044_tn?1236531060
Smoking actually increases your risk of developing thyroid disease. Every link you find that lists risk factors for developing a thyroid disease lists smoking as a risk factor.

I say that as a smoker of 35 years now.

I can't explain any of what you have experienced other than to say I feel it is coincidental. It's possible that stopping smoking stressed your system to the point it threw off your hormones. If that's true, another stressor will come along eventually and do the same thing.

Stress is suspected of contributing to the onset of thyroid problems, although I don't think there is medical proof to back up that theory. Just enough bits of data here and there to make it seem likely.

I plan on quiting eventually, but it doesn't motivate me when my wife says she still has cravings after a year of not smoking, and she expects the craving will never go away.

I do my best not to smoke around her or where she will smell it. My GP says I should quit, maybe after I get off the anxiety meds. LOL!
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Avatar_n_tn
Nicotine is a stimulant.  Hence, it would increase your metabolism and cause you to lose weight, plus give you energy.  You probably feel like *&*^ when you are not smoking because you've been smoking for 20 years.  It's an addiction and your body is adjusting to not having the drug.  I'm also assuming you enjoy smoking so you feel better when you're doing something you enjoy, right?

Why don't you get assistance with quitting next time.....Doctor....support group....etc. so you can get help getting through the rough patches.  When you're feeling lousy, go out for a walk and get the endorphines moving and you'll feel better plus naturally increase your metabolism.

Good luck....it is the best decision.
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Avatar_m_tn
Stopping smoking is probably the no.1 best thing you could do for your long term health, period.  If you could see the gunk it builds up on your lungs, it's horrible.  There is no worse way to do away with yourself than with emphysema.  I have two friends who are going through that now.  It is awful for the person as well as the family to have to watch.  Stopping is not easy, but it is always possible.  Use whatever help needed to get it done.  I was a 2 1/2 pack a day smoker until I got married and decided it was time to quit.  Yes, I had withdrawal for some time, but it does diminish with time until you don't even think about it, unless someone lights up.  And then you hate the smell and fumes and you wonder how why you ever did that to yourself.   I should also point out what a bad example it ijs to other members of your family  (children or grandchildren ) Believe me there are far better ways to keep your metabolism up and your weight down.  If you have a hypothyroid  problem, that needs to be addressed right away.  You will find lots of help and empathy on this forum.  Good luck.  
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212753_tn?1275076711
So what is so bad about taking a little pill compared to the expense of smoking? I say this as a former smoker,throidless,bi polar person that used smoking to deal with the stressers in my life. yeah I still want to smoke and yeah I didnt want to gain any more weight so I made major lifestyle changes to adress this,
I make sure I have healthy food in the house when I feel like ransacking the kitchen.
I exercise at least 30 min a day.
I have lost from 214 last fall to 175 as of today..
Those of us who smoke can find hundreds of reasons not to quit. I decided to find hundreds of reasons to quit. Its all about quality of life.    quality of life is better without smoking than with smoking.
Please dont let your enlarged thyroid get out of hand like mine did. It grew below my sternum and I had to have it taken out by cutting through it was so big and it just happened to have cancer in it.
the quit smoking forum is great too. There is lots of support and caring folks over there as well.
BTW I got hypnotized. last November. I have  fallen off the wagon a couple of times but over all the hypnotist was worth every penny I spent.

Blessed Be
Venora
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649848_tn?1357751184
How on earth did you manage to lose all that weight??  I quit smoking in Aug 2007, but before that even, I had started to gain lots of weight.  I had to quit smoking because of the growth of excess tissue on my vocal cords which caused me to have to have 2 surgeries to get rid of, as I could barely talk anymore.  Just about the time I quit smoking, I was diagnosed with vitamin B12 deficiency because I was exhausted all the time.  I was started on shots, but the weight gain had started some months before that.  The B12 shots helped some, but not nearly enough.  I was still exhausted, gaining weight, hair falling out - classic low thyroid symtoms (symptoms), but that wasn't diagnosed for almost a year (June 2008).  I was started on 100 mcg synthroid, retested in Sep and dropped down to 88 mcg synthroid/daily.  I diet and exercise daily (between exercise at work and my workouts, I average 2-3 hrs/day) and I can't lose an ounce.  In fact, just in the past 24 hrs, my scale says I gained 2 lbs.  I center my diet on fruits, veggies, whole grains, etc.  Any suggestions would be appreciated.  By the way - even though it's been over a year since I quit smoking, I was prescribed Chantix to help with the tobacco craving and it did work. I have only recently started craving again, but I think most of the time I crave it because I used to handle stress with a cigarette and now I'm so frustrated with not being able to budge any of this weight, the natural solution is to smoke.  My husband also quit for 6 months and started again.  I'm struggling with it.  
Thanks for any help
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Avatar_m_tn
How is your doctor making decisions regarding your thyroid situation?  Is he/she basing it entirely on TSH?  Has your free T4 and free T3 been checked?  How is your normal temperature  compared to people without hypothyroidism?  It should be close to the normal of 98.6.  With this kind of info and your personal symptoms you can at least make an informed decision about your thyroid medication level.
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635985_tn?1222820407
I had my last cigarette April 9th, the day I had RAI.
Talk about stress.
I had decided to quit before I was diagnosed with Graves Disease, but the diagnoses bolstered my resolve to quit.
I have gained 25#, that I will attribute 10# to the lack of nicotine and the remainder to becoming hypo.
I quit for multiple reasons...the smell being a major one.  It's not until you quit that you realize how smelly you are.
Yep, I still crave a cigarette at times, but I also crave ice cream and chocolate.
There are too many pluses to quitting than negatives, but this excess weight is disturbing.
I am on the high side of 50 yo, and have always been in decent physical shape and will be again.
I got mad at myself for smoking...I felt I was being stupid.
The expense, the cough, the smell, standing outside in the cold winter to get that last drag, the "stigma" of being a smoker.
But with all that said, only you can decide what to do, because it's not easy.
Good luck
Nancie
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649848_tn?1357751184
Dr is making decisions based on TSH levels.  Initial TSH was 55.51, with T-4 @ 0.6, T-3 not ordered.  Last T-4 was 0.8; TSH 0.03; T-3 not ordered for labs.  Next bloodwork scheduled for middle of Nov.  I do get chilled very easily, but I don't feel too bad except for all the excess weight that I can't get rid of and the associated depression.  Also, I tend to have night sweats real bad so often wake up drenched in sweat, throw off cover (I sleep with only a sheet and very light weight cotton blanket), only to get chilled when the air hits me so I have to pull the cover back on - it's a vicious cycle all night so I often only sleep a few hrs a night, which doesn't help.  Swelling feet, ankles, fingers, etc; aches and pains especially after I've been sitting for a while or when I first get up in the morning.  

I'm sure I won't start smoking again, but sometimes it sure sounds like a good idea if I really thought it would help me get rid of some of this weight; however, it's not worth the other things that could go wrong.  My sister was diagnosed hypo several months before I was and as soon as she started on her med, she lost all the weight she had gained and I guess I thought I would too - boy did I thought wrong!!  

Thanks for your feedback.  Being into this only a few months, I can use all the help I can get because my dr seems to think that as long as I take med every day, I should have no complaints.  I wish it were that easy.  
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Avatar_m_tn
Something just doesn't add up.  From your initial, very high TSH, to the last result of .03,  and yet you were only taking 100 mcg of synthroid.  T4 was still low, and a more important test, for T3, wasn't even run.  When you go back in Nov. I would insist on a free T3 test to find out where you really are, since T3 is the most active thyroid component.  In the interim I would suggest that you get an idea of your condition by checking your temperature for a few times a day, for several days, in order to get a good average result, and compare to the normal of 98.6.  If your temperature is low, and with all those other symptoms,  you might be one of those patients who need for TSH to be completely suppressed, and free T3 to be in the upper part of the range,  in order to feel fright.  To support this, here are results from a study of hypothyroid patients.

The  Fraser Study.  Three physicians experienced in diagnosing and treating hypothyroidism assessed 148 hypothyroid patients on T4-replacement. The physicians used the Wayne clinical diagnostic index,[69]  an objective tool for deciding whether a patient’s thyroid hormone therapy is adequate, excessive, or insufficient. Statistical tests showed that the three physicians’ judgment didn’t differ in classifying patients.

Among the 148 patients, 108 were clinically normal. This means they were taking enough T4 to be free from symptoms of hypothyroidism. Despite this, 53 of them (49%) had TSH levels below the lower limit of the reference range. Conventional physicians, of course, would interpret their TSH test levels as evidence that the patients were "hyperthyroid" or "thyrotoxic." This mistake is understandable when prominent endocrinologists—Dr. Anthony Toft, for example—have incorrectly termed a low TSH as a "thyrotoxic" level.[70,p.91] And probably most physicians would have required these patients to lower their dosages of T4 to raise their TSH levels—even though the patients were clinically normal. As a result of lowering their dosages, however, some of them, and perhaps all, would have begun suffering from hypothyroid symptoms and risked developing diseases from too little thyroid hormone regulation.[37]

Among the 148 patients, 18 were clinically hypothyroid. This means they were taking too little T4 to keep them from suffering from symptoms and signs of thyroid hormone deficiency. Despite being clinically hypothyroid, 3 of the 18 patients (17%) had TSH levels below the lower limit of the reference range. Most physicians would have required these patients to lower their T4 doses to raise their TSH levels. Doing so would surely worsen their symptoms and signs of hypothyroidism,[68,p.809] and would make them more susceptible to potentially fatal diseases associated with hypothyroidism.[37]

The suffering of these patients and their potential for pathology would result from the obstinate demand by the endocrinology specialty that physicians titrate hypothyroid patients’ T4 doses by their TSH levels—and only by those levels. Of course, some endocrinologists also advise other physicians to use the free T4 in making dosage decisions. The Fraser study showed that among the 18 clinically hypothyroid patients, the free T4, like the TSH, led to a false interpretation of the patients’ status. In 4 of the 18 patients (22%), the free T4 was above the upper limit of the reference range. This gave a false signal that the patients were overtreated, when it fact they were undertreated.

Results of the Fraser study should alert all physicians to the potential for harming their patients through following the practice guidelines of the endocrinology specialty. Basing their dosage decisions on TSH and free T4 levels instead of clinical assessment will leave many patients undertreated—a condition that is hazardous to the patients’ health (see following section).
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Avatar_f_tn
i know that smoking isnt wise and i want to stop. i have and can again, but there is a conciquence and its not only withdrawels from the nicitine. my energy will fall i will gain weight and my thyroid will be to blame.i went through and read some of everyones stories about there thyroid problems and medicines they take and how they feel and it doesnt look like i would be better off there , than smoking a couple cigs a day. it would open a whole new set of problems for me. for those of you that think that its just coincidence that when i quit i have a thyroid disorder i am sorry to say i think your wrong. a pill or five pills i dont want to have to take. i dont want the problem. but i dont want to smoke ethier. i need to make a decision. o.k. maybe if i quit and feel like i did before i will go to the dr. and get another test. then she gives me one simple pill to make me feel normal again and fix my thyroid disorder. that would be fine if thats how it went,  but it won't. nothing is that simple and these drugs they give everyone have a million side effects and or dont work and then you need different ones and so on.i still am stuck on what i should do.
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Avatar_m_tn
I don't think a thyroid problem can result from stopping smoking.  It is very possible that you had a thyroid problem that was being somewhat obscured by the metabolic effect of smoking.  An easy way to check this would be to check your temperature for several times a day for several days and get a good average result and compare it to the normal of 98.6.  If your temperature is lower than 98.6, this is an indication of low metabolism/low thyroid, even when you are smoking.  By the way, I also think it takes much more than  "a couple of cigs a day"  to give you the kind of metabolic effect you mentioned.  Personally, I would never, ever choose smoking over taking thyroid medication, if that was the choice.
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