Health Chats
Weight Gain and Diabetes: Is Your Thyroid To Blame?
Wednesday Jun 29, 2011, 01:00PM - 02:00PM (EST)
Medical Director and CEO
Holtorf Medical Group and National Academy of Hypothyroidism
, Torrance, CA
You have tried everything to lose weight. You’ve tried the latest and greatest diet or fat-melting workout. You may even have tried prescription medication but you are now heavier than ever. Have you thought your thyroid is to blame? Every test you take and every doctor you see says you are in the normal range. Is type 2 diabetes looming? Weight gain is just one of a long list of symptoms that can be attributed to an underactive thyroid. Have you had other problems such as fatigue, brain fog, difficulty concentrating, depressed moods, muscle pain, elevated cholesterol, cold sensitivity, hair loss, or chronic infections just to name a few?<br><br> Learn how you can get the diagnosis and treatment you need to get back to the way you used to look and feel. Dr. Holtorf will answer your questions and share valuable information concerning your health. Kent Holtorf, M.D. will answer your questions about Diabetes, Hypothyroid or other Endocrine questions, on June 29, 2011 from 10am – 11am (Pacific Time). <br><br> Kent Holtorf, M.D. is founder and medical director of the Holtorf Medical Group. For well over a decade he has specialized in innovative evidence-based therapies for hard-to-treat and poorly understood illnesses: hypothyroidism, complex endocrine dysfunction, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia and chronic infectious diseases including Lyme disease and chronic viral illness. For years he has scoured the medical literature for innovative therapies to help patients and has passionately trained physicians across the country. Dr. Holtorf is dedicated to empowering patients with knowledge and encourages patients to take an active role in their health-care. He founded the non-profit National Academy of Hypothyroidism, which provides physicians and patients with the most up-to-date information on the diagnosis and treatment of hypothyroidism. His opinion is regularly sought after by major publications and networks. Dr. Holtorf is dedicated to empowering patients with knowledge and encourages patients to take an active role in their health-care. <br>
Kent Holtorf, MD:
As discussed, the Free T3, TSH, Free T4, Reverse T3, SHBG, and leptin levels.  This is discussed in detail on
what is the ideal tsh range for being able to lose and maintain weight, and also be healthy, and not hyper or hypo? and is  this correlated with high range free t3 mid range t4 ? thanks Kevin
Kent Holtorf, MD:
The problem is the limitatioin of TSH and Free T3/Reverse T3 is a better marker. It should be greater than 2.
Hi Dr. H :) Can you explain the reason why insulin resistance and weight gain are just as common as low thyroid function and gaining weight?
Kent Holtorf, MD:
Insulin resistance and low thyroid go together, but not typically detected by standard blood tests like TSH.
My son is 12yrs 6mth old, although tall for his age, he weighs a lot.  He has been on a low fat diet for over 18months now to no avail. We have 'uped' his exersise regime(tkd, judo, swimming,hikes,bike riding) until we can't fit any more in.  Should he be tested for a thyroid disorder?
Kent Holtorf, MD:
Yes, he should.  The problem is that children often go undiagnosed becuase they are in the so called normal range.  But with a little supplementation they often benefit with mood, attention and behavior in school often improve as well as weight loss.
I've gained 48 pounds in 7 months, 130 to 178 pounds.  I stopped menstruating in the first month of the weight gain and every month after.  BC has not stimulated menstruation.  Acne was terrible in first 6 months.  Severe edema in legs, ankles, arms.  Lasix (80mg twice daily) has no effect.  Ongoing vision problems starting 3 months ago.  Optometrist sees no problems in linear vision.  Have had testing by gyno and endocrinologist (thyroid, estrogren, progestin, testosterone, full kidney and liver panels, corisol 8 am test with supression pill taken night before at 11 pm, etc.) but everything comes back normal.  Please help!
Kent Holtorf, MD:
Again, they are probably just looking at the standard thryoid panal and missing it.
I have DiSH arthritis, plus diabetes and hypothyroid, could there be a link between these?  
Kent Holtorf, MD:
With arthritis and diabetes almost all with have low tissue levels of thyroid, but not detected with standard thyroid panels.
Hello, I am a 19 years old female and I have had graves disease for about 7+ years. I am tapazole 5mg everyday. Being that I have a hyper thyroid and on meds for awhile what is the likelihood of me going into remission? should I  look into alternate treatments such as: radiation and/or surgery?
Kent Holtorf, MD:
It typically will burn out over time.  You can try low dose Naltrexone, selenium and be sure your DHEA and tesosterone are optimal.  Doing that can often normalize.
I was detected with an underactive thyroid problem 1 year ago started a therapy (levothyroxine) and the doctors told me that I will have to continue taking the pills for the rest of my life. Apparently, once you start taking the pills you get dependent on them. I just want to check if this is really the case?
Kent Holtorf, MD:
It is not true that once you take thyroid you have to take it forever. Especially if being treated for a conversion problem, as it will actually help.  The problem is however, is that if you have low thyroid because the thryoid is not producing enough from conditions such as Hashi then you will likely has to continue thryoid supplementation to compensate for the lack of production.
I am a 4 1/2 yr cancer survivor. After my chemo I put on alot of weight, I was told because of the streriod in the chemo. The steroid also elavated my surgar so now I am type 2 diabetic. I have tried everything to lose weight..exercise, watching what I eat. I can not seem to lose weight. My doctor did check my thyroid and I was told it was normal. I don't know what else to do. Do you have any suggestions?
Kent Holtorf, MD:
They often blame the steriod, but it is usually the fact that the chemo bascially caused disfunctioin of the hypothalmus and putitary causing low thyroid and low metabolism, but not detected on standard blood tests becuase they are measuring the TSH to determine your level.
The parts of my body most resistant to weight loss are my upper and lower belly.  I'm not diabetic.  I've had regular thyroid tests done and nothing has been found.  However, I have some other symptoms of thyroid problems:  the outer 3rd of my eyebrows is thin, I get cold easily, I'm tired, and I have palpitations (although I also have mitral valve prolapse), my hair falls out too rapidly, my nails are weak, and my skin is dry.  Should I request a more in-depth study of my thyroid?
Kent Holtorf, MD:
Very common with low thryoid.  Again , if just based on TSH you look normal.
Kebeh21  I was on .125 for years. 2 months ago my TSH was 20. Went on .150 for 2 months now my TSH is .02 Getting a new dose at .137. why does it change so much. I have no thyroid it was removed with radation
Kent Holtorf, MD:
Studies show that it is impossible to get normal tissue thyroid levels when just giving T4 when you don't have a thyroid. Would suggest changing preparations.
I have bit high ACTH and elevated fasting blood sugar with A1c 5.9.  I have hypothyroidism.  Are all these related?  If I reduce the stress other things should be normal, right?
Kent Holtorf, MD:
Yes they are related with reduced tissues levles of T3. It looks like you also have low adrenals so that should be addressed with supplementation with T3.  Yes, if you can cure the stress that would be better, but easier said than done:)
I've had three thyroid tests now and they all came back normal but I feel like I have so many of the hypo symptoms!  Just frustrated.  Is it possible that the tests are incorrect?
Kent Holtorf, MD:
So common! The standard thryoid tests can miss up to 80% of low thyroid depending on the condition.  Would recommend a complete thryoid panal that you can find on for more details.
I am hypothyroid and post menopause.  I am on 90 mg. Armour, 0.1 mg Climara, and 100 mg. Progesterone.  My DR. is finding it difficult to get Armour at the correct dose to relieve my hypo symtoms, which sometimes appear as if I am hyper due to excess sweating, etc.  Should my DR. be addressing the estrogen hormones, or the thyroid hormones?  She says this combination is difficult to treat.  
Kent Holtorf, MD:
Would not say its difficult to treat and is very common.  Yes you need estrogen, progesteron, testosterone.  It is much better to balance all the hormones, and more effective than just replacing one hormone.
I am 34 yrs female, who is diagnoised with Hypothyroid diease. I have all symptoms of memory loss, puffy face,heavy bleeding for 10 days continously with pain etc. I am tired and sick weak, not feeling like to get up from bed. have insomia too. I went to endocrine doctor & he suggested me synethic thyroxine 25 mcg and I feeel bloated in my stomach all the time. my heart is paining, dont feel like having anything , and even though i hardly eat anything , its get excreted in minutes of consumption. I stopped the medicine because of bloatedness as my doc is out of town couldnt inform him. I want to know better medication which help me with this problem. I dont want to gain weight and have a stomach similar to 3-4 months pregnant.. Please help me
Kent Holtorf, MD:
You need a more thorough work up.  It could be chronic fatigue  syndrome among many other things.  
My question:  I had a total hysterectomy 6 years ago.  Since then my health has declined.  I have hypothyroid, taking 125 mcg per day, I have sleep apnea, on a c-pap @ 12 lbs pressure, I work out 6 days a week aquatic aerobics.  Have fibromyalgia, Taking Immunocal Platinum 2 x daily gives me energy!  Cannot loose weight.  I diet, I watch what I eat and still nothing comes off.  In fact my weight is increasing.  What can I do?  Help!  Islandgirl60  
Kent Holtorf, MD:
This is very common. Espcially when just giving T4 which has been shown not to be effective with conditions such as fibromyalgia.  Go to and look up the Confounding Conditions article for alot more detail.
I have an underproducing thyroid.  I take Levothyroxine NA .075mg each day.  I still have bouts of fatigue and my eyes become sensitive to sunlight at times as well.  Are these symptoms of an under-producing thyroid?