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:
Again, T4 preparation are suboptimal for the majority of people.  Would recommend considering changing preparatoins as a start.
I am of menopausal age and am on .5 mcg estradiol and 1/4 tsp 10% compounded progesterone cream (bio-identical) I cycle it, and have a very small amount of bleeding in the 5 days I don't take it. When my thyroid medication is lowered, the bleeding stops. Two and 1/2 years ago, before I went on T4/T3, I was bleeding an unusually large amount. My current levels are estradiol 64 and progesterone 1.9 at the maximum point of dosage. When I went off HRT, I had bad FX, barely slept for a year, so I was placed back on it. How does this affect my thyroid medication and lab levels ?
Kent Holtorf, MD:
It looks as though one problem is that your progesterone levels are to low and would suggest changing from cream to oral to get higher levels.
I am on Synthroid 150 but I am still tired and I can sleep 10-12 hours a night.  I always seem to lack the drive I wish I had.  Why do I always have to push so hard?  Thank You Michelle
Kent Holtorf, MD:
See previous posts about thryoid preparations.
I have hypothyroid with hashimotos and a goiter with nodules.  I have been on synthroid for 2 yrs and the swelling keeps getting worse!  It took them 3 yrs. to diagnose me and it was when my thryoid got very large that they finally listened to me.  It is hard to swallow, I lose my voice sometimes because of the swelling, and I get ear and throat infections a lot.  What can I do besides surgery?
Kent Holtorf, MD:
Again, supplementing with T3 would be beneficial as well as the Naltrexone andThyro RX as discussed in previos post.
What if you are on Thyroid medication and have been for years and still have most of these symptoms?
Kent Holtorf, MD:
Very common if you are taking a T4 only preparation.
I was diagnosed with an underactive thyroid. I gave gained about 50 lbs in a year. My health is REALLY, REALLY suffering. I was wondering, if once I start a regular regimen with my thyroid medication, will I start to lose the weight I've gained?
Kent Holtorf, MD:
I would look for leptin resistance as well.  You can visit to read the articles on weight loss.
I am diagnosed hypothyroid (Hashis) and on levothyroxine. The doc doesn't seem to be able to get my T3 levels up with it, but in NZ limited as to what else to prescribe. Any suggestions? I'm also taking selenium as our soils are deficient. My feet are like ice constantly, very sensitive to cold in general, constantly hungry, and very low alcohol tolerance, at times very low heart rate (down as low as 35 at times).  I've been pretty much OK on meds for a couple years and now seems to be playing up again. Any idea why this is and what I might try?
Kent Holtorf, MD:
Why won't he give T3?  Find a doctor who will do so!
What is the best medication for low thyroid, natural meds like ARMOUR or synthetic? Does taking T3 like Cytomel help as well?  I seem to feel better taking Cytomel along with my regular dose of Levoxyl.   Is there any new meds on the market?  My doctor never seems to really know the answers to these questions.  
Kent Holtorf, MD:
The best preparation depends on the person and the particular physiology.  We find that T3 SR to be most benefical for many.
I was 6 weeks postpartum when I started getting heart palpitations and chest tightness. Made a visit to the ER. They did an EKG and ran several blood test. Everything looked fine. I followed up with my family doctor who referred me to a cardiologist. The cardiologist set me up with a holter monitor and that also came back fine. So now I am left with this nagging question of what is causing the heart palps and chest problems. After days of googling I came across something called Postpartum thyroiditis. Could this be what I have? I questioned my doctor about but he refuses to believe its my thyroid because my blood test came back normal. My TSH level was 2.5. I am so confused and frustrated. I know my body and something odd is going on and no one seems to be able to help me. I was thinking about seeing an endo for a second opinion. What do you think?  
Kent Holtorf, MD:
The best studies show that a TSH of 2.5 is not normal to start with.  Although labs list it as normal.
What specific test should be done if the medication, namely Levoxyl is not helping my hypothyroid symptoms and I do not feel any better, even after the amount of medication is continuing
Kent Holtorf, MD:
Please see previous posts and visit
I am a 36 year old female who has been diagnosed with severe adult growth hormone deficiency- my pituitary gland produces no hormone. I inject Nordotropin AGH on a daily basis. I have signs of hypothyrodism and have just been tested for this. The TSH came back as 3.45 and the T4 as 0.8. These seem to be within the normal range but there is much discussion about what is "normal". To me, the TSH seems right on the verge of too high and the T4 right on the verge of too low. Should I be treated for Hypothyrodism? I am so tired all the time and my skin is so dry! I work out 6 times a week with a Tier3 personal trainer from a high end gym and I am losing no weight!
Kent Holtorf, MD:
The TSH is way too high in the fact that you have pitutary dysfuction makes it even worse.  You should be treated for low thyroid.
I've been tested for thyroid before and results have been normal. However, I can't lose weight. I work out like crazy 5 days a week and eat about 2000 calories a day. I'm only 5'4 but weigh 150 lbs. I also suffer from fatigue and also from high anxiety or feelings of depression. How accurate are those tests? Any advice on what I can do?
Kent Holtorf, MD:
Tests are not accurate especially with depression.  I would get full panal and get your basal metobolic rate tested which can be done in a doctor's office.
Unfortunately, we only have time for one more question.
I had hyperthyroid with thyroid storms nearly 2 years ago, I lost lots of weight, had very high temperatures & racing pulse, hair loss & then great fatigue.  My GP put me on some thyroid suppressing medication and beta blockers.  I didn't manage to see an endocrynologist for months so was on this medication for 3 months, far too long.  Eventually I saw this man and he told me my thyroid was totally inactive, zilch.  I put on lots of weight.  Endocrynologist just told me to stop taking the meds and it would go to normal, which it seemed to.  He said the hyperthyroid was just acute, caused by a virus. It now reads "normal" on several NHS tests, but all I can say is I still feel tired, fatigue, underactive, feel cold.  I'm afraid to take Kale or other thyroid stimulating things as it may produce the hyperthyroid again.  I still haven't lost the weight.  Would love some advice!
Kent Holtorf, MD:
Again, a more thorough panal would be recommended.
Dr. Holtorf, I'm not sure if you saw the weight gain and insulin resistance question I posted but I would like to ask you this also. As a patient advocate the stories of thyroid disease almost mirrors one after another and when suggesting things to these patients the same thing is said on a variety of levels. You need free testing over just the TSH and total labs. You may have adrenal fatigue. Your T4 meds may not be the best choice alone for your condition. What advice can you give the members on why this is happening so often and how to take charge before their conditions get out of hand?
Kent Holtorf, MD:
Yes, excellent question and a major problem in medicine is that changes in medicine is very slow.  If you see Why Doesn't My Doctor Know This on discusses this problem where most doctors are practicing 10 to 20 years behind the medical literature and really refuse to look at different ways of practicing.  The key is patient knowledge and empowerment.  You need to be an educated consumer/patient as you are doing  with things like this chat.  Keep it up!    
Thank you Dr. Holtorf for taking the time to answer our members' questions today.  We hope to bring you back in the future for another chat.
Kent Holtorf, MD:
Thank you all for joining me today! You can get more information  on and