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Thyroid Disorders Community
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Avatar universal

HELP! Weight and Thyroid? (Thyroid) Completely Lost and Looking for Answers!

Please help! Opinions and advice desperately needed!

Hi, first off I want to thank you for reading and apologise for the length of this post, I have posted several times on several sites before but have gotten no constructive advice regarding my current situation.

I have always been bigger since I was a child and always insecure about my weight, I didn't eat an awful lot more than other people but I will admit that I have had a slight binge eating problem with food when I was younger, though not severe and basically non existent now. I got very interested in health and nutrition when I reached the age of 12 or 13 and began researching and reading a lot about food and exercise, but especially food and the effects it has on the human body, I loved all of this new information and in an effort to get healthier and lose some weight I tried many different things to experiment and lost about 2 to 2 and a half stone in a very short space of time, I still had quite a bit to lose after this (about 2-3 stone more) to be happy and in a "healthy" weight range for my age, height etc, I stopped losing weight for awhile and though constantly trying new things with diet and exercises, refreshing my knowledge, no luck.

I joined slimming world when I was about 14, I didn't lose anything, then again at the age of 16 I went back and lost about a stone but somehow put it back on quickly afterwards with no dramatic change to my lifestyle, keep in mind that I was exercising regularly enough at this time with a decent diet.

I finished secondary/high school in the summer of 2013 and this was when I really began changing my life around drastically, I became a vegetarian in October 2013 but because of other things going on in my life and injuries I became much more sedentary, I wasn't exercising nearly as much but still trying my best to get some kind of activity in here and there, I was also eating a lot less due to depression and fear of gaining weight.

In December I decided enough was enough, this was when I really started turning things around, I began getting back into my usual routine and giving more than I ever did before, I completely changed my diet, began lifting weights and working out like crazy, my goals weren't just based on physical looks anymore but on strength, fitness, health and flexibility also. I started doing yoga and pushing my body like I hadn't before.

My diet was becoming more and more clean as months passed and though it wasn't perfect, yes, I had slip ups, occasional binges and many days I missed out on workouts, my life was still nothing like it was before.

In May 2014 I decided to become a vegan, though the switch from eating meat to vegetarian and then vegan was more so for ethical reasons than it was weight, I still feel like I should have seen some difference on the scales in that time. That summer was when I really realised that my weight was not shifting ONE bit, so I chose to test my body and for several weeks I increased my workouts even more in an attempt to scratch out that not exercising enough wasn't the issue, I was working out for hours on end every day, I felt like a crazy person crying all the time from exhaustion and wanting to scream in frustration only to stand on the scales to see no change, as you can imagine that really lowered my motivation but no matter how much I try I can't give up on this goal of mine.

That August (of 2014) I went to France for several weeks hoping that the change in climate and food would have some kind of impact on me, there I still continued my mostly healthy diet consisting of vegetables, lentils, fruit, almond milk, wholegrain breads etc I also did a mountain walk which was great fun, it took us about 3-4 hours to complete. It was tough with the sun glaring but I'm glad I did it.

When I came back from my trip I proceeded to post a similar message to this on forums. On a particular health/bodybuilding/weightloss site a seemingly experienced man got back to me and said that I was eating too little, focus more on my macro nutrients, get my bloods done etc etc all of which I did.

I've seen the dietician who was of no help. My bloods have come back fine the few times I've gotten them done. I have experimented with different ranges of calories from as little as 1200 -2000 , nothing seems to work. Furthermore, in the last year nothing has changed. I went to the doctor in late August past (2015) and explained everything for the second or third time, she then proceeded to suggest that I go on antidepressants because I was probably projecting all of my grieving from the passing of my mother onto my weight which is simply not the case, the only useful thing that she said was that I try a higher protein diet which I have been doing since September, I have increased my general intake of protein from food as well as taking a raw vegan protein shake daily and a thermogenic twice a day, I also take a vegan multivitamin regularly.

A few things to note:
- I was on the birth control pill from 2012 to 2015 (Yasminelle), I came off it in January last year (early 2015) in hopes that it was holding back my weight loss.
-I've gotten more bloods done a few days ago including thyroid function and will get the results for that next week. I am also waiting on getting further blood tests done for thyroid (antibodies I think?).
-I have taken three different types of "weight loss" medication in my life, which I absolutely know are not the answer or can promise to be effective in anyway and as suspected have had no effect on me (green coffee bean extract, sea kelp and now the thermogenic)
-I can go long periods without feeling hungry (not sure if that is relevant)
-I currently have between 1500-1800 calories a day, 60g+ of protein (I aim for 70+ and have 90-100 on good days but it is kind of difficult as a vegan)
-The supplements I currently take are a vegan multivitamin (regularly/most days), Sun Warrior Raw Vegan Protein and Solgar Thermogenic Complex

So here I am over 2 years later from changing my lifestyle so much, a stone and a half heavier than I was at one point with no explanation as to why or how, I can't state how much this is negatively impacting my life. I waited and waited trying to find answers, thinking that I was surely doing something wrong, I still may be but even if I am this does not add up to me one bit, when I put it into prospective...after changing your lifestyle so much you should see some kind of difference in weight, even if that wasn't your intention, right?

I am aware that your thyroid can show up fine when it is not but I have no idea if any of this is to do with my thyroid or not nor do I know what tests I can get done to try to figure out what is going on. I am completely lost and extremely frustrated, if you can offer any help at all, any suggested or any advice please do, it's very much appreciated.

Thank you again for reading this mini novel, haha! Have a great day.
3 Responses
Avatar universal
Of course weight gain can be affected by many things, including diet and exercise;  however, with all your efforts to lose weight and your current diet and exercise regimen I expect there is a problem with low metabolism.  So you do need to get some basic tests done.  From some words you used I surmise that you are in the UK.  If that is correct, then getting the right testing and diagnosis is even more difficult than we face in the U.S., due to the pervasive impact of the NHS.

The tests that you really need are for the biologically active thyroid hormones, Free T4 and Free T3, which are not the same as Total T4 and Total T3.  They always test for TSH in the mistaken belief that it reveals all they need to know about the status of the thyroid system.  Unfortunately TSH is a pituitary hormone that is affected by so many things that at best it is only an indicator, to be considered along with more important indicators such as symptoms and also levels of Free T4 and Free T3.  The best use of a TSH test is to identify overt hypothyroidism (TSH >10) and to distinguish between primary and central hypothyroidism.   Diagnosis should be based mainly on symptoms and secondarily on the levels of Free T4 and Free T3.  When evaluating test results, note the words of a good thyroid doctor.  

"The free T3 is not as helpful in untreated persons as the free T4 because in the light of a rather low FT4 the body will convert more T4 to T3 to maintain thyroid effect as well as is possible. So the person with a rather low FT4 and high-in-range FT3 may still be hypothyroid. However, if the FT4 is below 1.3 and the FT3 is also rather low, say below 3.4 (range 2 to 4.4 at LabCorp) then its likely that hypothyroidism is the cause of a person's symptoms."

So the first difficulty you face will be getting a doctor to test you for Free T4 and Free T3, in addition to TSH that they always test.  You may have to become very aggressive and insist on all three.  Then you can evaluate your results against the words of the good thyroid doctor above, and make your own diagnosis.  If those tests are within the so-called "normal" ranges you will be faced with trying to persuade the doctor that they are not adequate and are the cause of your symptoms.  

Another UK member who was having great difficulty in getting the tests and diagnosis she knew she should get told us this was how she was finally successful.

"What I have learned from my experience is that you have to go to the Dr's office and TELL THEM WHAT YOU WANT and to go backed up with knowledge.  You have to tell them that you have done your reading and looked into your condition and care about the long-term treatment of your health and thyroid.  If you fight for what you want, you will eventually find someone that is happy to go along with your wishes.  But we all have to take charge of our own health, right?"

Finally, for now, I also suggest that you should get tested for Viamin D, B12 and ferritin.  Low levels can cause symptoms that mimic hypothyroidism.  Low D and ferritin can also adversely affect metabolism of thyroid hormone.  It would also be a good idea to get tested for your morning serum cortisol level, but I greatly doubt you will be able to convince a doctor to do that, at least at the beginning.

Do you think it might be possible to get those all those tests done by your doctor?

Avatar universal
OMg.  I just spent a long time writing a response and it disappeared somehow.  Anyway, I'll try again, but first I need to let my fingers recover.  LOL.

So for now, please tell me about any other symptoms you have besides weight gain.  Also, please post any thyroid related blood test you have, along with reference ranges shown on the lab report.
Avatar universal
I don't have any idea where my first message was floating around but I am ecstatic that it reappeared.  
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