Thyroid Disorders Community
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Avatar universal

Hashimoto's and belly fat.

I have hashimoto's thyroiditis and i take synthroid for this. I am only in my 20's. I watch my food intake and I exercise regularly. Nothing seems to budge the weight and my stomach sticks out like it never did before. It can be so discouraging and would love any input. I have had an underactive thyroid since I was a teen.

This discussion is related to Weight Gain/hashimoto's disease What help is there.
14 Responses
Avatar universal
I'm around your age with hypo/hashi's and notice the same exact thing. I'm almost wondering if I am retaining fluid? It seems first thing in the morning my stomach looks normal then once I drink water or eat it sticks out like you had also said. I also watch my food intake to an extent and exercise when I feel well(I'm anemic right now so it's tough) I'd love to hear what others have to say about this.
Avatar universal
Post your FT3, FT4 levels along with your levels of Synthroid. Many docs treat the TSH levels and ignore the frees. We Hashis will not lose the weight until our frees are in the upper range of normal. Too many docs treat us with only Synthroid, a T4 drug. You need to have your 3 levels tested and treated as well. Our bodies are supposed to convert T4 to T3, but many times we don't, so we need a T3 drug like Cytomel added to the mix.

Also, some Hashis have noticed weight loss on a high protein/gluten-free diet.

If your endo won't treat your frees, and makes TSH (a pituitary hormone - NOT A THYROID HORMONE!) the number one priority, then it's time to find a new endo. The below site has endos recommended by patients. This is where I found my new WONDERFUL endo, but be sure to call the office and make sure the doc treats mostly thyroid, NOT DIABETES! Too many endos do not know enough about treating thyroid, and we are left to suffer with weight problems and fatigue.


:) Tamra
Avatar universal
Anybody heard any success stories about having your Thyroid removed?? I too have been struggling with this and have been thru 6 doctors, have been on every type of drug imaginable & now am depressed and frankly pissed off...I work out 7 days a week, eat less than 1700 calories a day & my weight wont budge...My next step is looking to get it removed...then you still take the Meds, but dont have the resistance....thats what I am hearing from 2 separate people I know that had theirs removed...seeing if anyone else has??
798555 tn?1292787551
Not so quick "dude".

I would get some more opinions on removing it, I have heard nightmares.

A valid reason is if you have thyroid cancer, or uncontrolable Graves hyper disease.

I have longtime Hashimoto's, its all about the proper med that works for you and the right level. That is what you need to tackel first hand. The wrong med and levels will mess you up. If you get it removed, you still need the med at the right levels. now to simply live.

What thyroid meds have you tried - and do you know about proper free T levels as opposed to TSH?

Read up here a little more before becoming thyroidless. Remember, with Hashi, it will eventually die off anyway.
Avatar universal
I'm on my 4th Endocronologist.  I was told I had Hashi. by one dr.  I also am watched b/c I have nodules on my thyroid.  I have a family history of thyroid disease in my family.  I have borderline low FT3 and FT4, low Total T3, normal TSH and recently found high cortisol levels.  Cushing's was ruled out.  I had all of the tests.  I've read the adrenal glands have to be treated first to help the ovarian and thyroid, in that order. I read they are interrelated.  (www.drlam.com-anyone know this site?) The problem is I don't have a doctor that will listen to me and my many symptoms I have.  the endo. prior to my present one put me on Cytomel 5mcg.  It doesn't seem to do much.  It brought my Total 3 up from 81 to 103.  My present endo didn't want to keep me on cytomel b/c my TSH shows fine.  I'm concerned and feel my medical needs aren't being met.  Any recommendations?
649848 tn?1534633700
Total T3 is obsolete -- you need to look at the Free T3.  

Are you on any other thyroid med besides the cytomel?  If your FT4 is also borderline, you might need a dosage of that along with the cytomel (or maybe in place of the cytomel).  

You might want to remind your endo that TSH is a pituitary hormone and as such, is not a good diagnostic for thyroid issues.  The actual thyroid hormones (FT3 and FT4) are the ones to pay attention to.
Avatar universal
i also have hashimoto with an underactive thyroid was diagnosed about 6 yr ago  i was given thyroxine after no real change i decided i needed a different endo so about 9months ago went to a new one who diagnosed hashimoto and said i was given wrong medication.im 37 yrs old and my normal body weight is and was always 58-60 kilos niw im 70 and i have about an extra 3 inches around my stomach and the top of my thighs so depressed as i work out about 4 times a week and in summer i swim evry morning for a hour plus workout i eat sensibly and it wont shift the weight cant even tone it to lose the inches im starting to wonder if its water retention.is everybody else frustrated with their endos they are the least helpful doctors ever and their specialitity is hormones-hello- why cant they understand its not just the physical stuff we suffer. my new doctor seems good very proffesional but so impersonal he doesnt know any of my symptom just goes by the blood test. my worst symptom are im forever consipated,emotional,migranes,tired all the time apart from night when i go to bed then i have insomnia,i itch constantly my head and back especially,muscle pains,depression,and the weight loss.but i already lost all my hair in the beginning. i now take 4 days a week 100g t4 and 3 times a week 88g t4 last time i went to doctors the second time with the new one my level had gone up a bit so im trying to be patient till the next visit in june 2011 to give the meds chance but as u all know its a long wait.anyway i asked my doctor if there was anything i cud take that wudnt interfer with the t4,that will help and he said 1 vit c tab a day and sellinium which is some kind of mineral i take these now evry day u have to take them 4 hours after ur thyriod med and for 2 moths now my energy levels r slightly better.i would really like to lose the excess weight tho thats the thing that gets me down the most as ive not even gone up a dress size my clothes dont fit me because f the shape and bigger size looks ridiculous ,also i would love not to be constipated as that is the symptom ive had the longest if anybody has any suggestion for losing weight that wont interfere with meds please let me know
1299122 tn?1281040416
I know this is an older string, but I am going to comment. Yes, is my answer about the ongoing issue with belly fat. I have had years of weight gains & losses. Never occurred to any of my doctors (ob/gyn) or primary cares that I had thyroid issues because my TSH was always "in range". SHAME on them for not seeing ALL the symptoms of hypothyroidism and Hashimotos. I have weighed anywhere from 116 to 152 (up to 199 during last pregnancy with gestational diabetes) I have a feeling that this is when the thyroid started to go haywire, after that pregnancy.
In 1995 I weighed 116 lbs. (I am 5'5") I thought I was sick or had cancer. By 2001 I weighed 150 lbs yet had not changed my eating habits at all. I then went down to 125 in 2002. My closet contains clothes sizes 4 through 10. Right now I am at the 10 and staying there - and most of the weight is indeed around my gut, hips and lower back.
The fat is different than any other time in my life. Underneath the fat I feel decent muscle tone, yet above the muscle is this lumpy odd shaped somewhat loose "stuff". It is depressing - I have NO IDEA how to fix this other than to practically starve myself which is not at all intelligent because my body needs the nutrients to fuel my internal organs and keep my mind alert. It IS a vicious cycle! I empathize completely!
Avatar universal
oh my god yeah im the same got a firm stomach under all this wobbly fat the same with my thighs rest of legs are perfectly toned but the top are so lose and wobbly i have no idea either cos i excercise at least 4 times a week i dont eat a lot and i eat healthy its so depressing thanx for reply
Avatar universal
When having hypothyroidism and Hashimoto your THS should be under 1 (this is as per my doctor who treats me). I was able to see results in losing some weight and belly fat after treatment with synthroid and Armour thyroid and especially after I got my vitamin D within limits. See if you can check your vitamin D levels.
1657806 tn?1302397585
I have hypothyroidism and my belly is really fat and jiggly and I look pregnant aside from being a guy... lol

TSH  0.79 (0.34-5.60)  FT4 0.78 (0.60-1.60   FT3 3.3 (2.4-4.2)

Doc didn't know what to make of those results so im waiting forever to see an endo :(
Avatar universal
I <3 you all!!! Thanks for leting me know I'm not alone!!! I had 4 months to lose 10 lbs. I lost only 5 & RELIGIOUSLY ate Weight Watchers & apples for snacks...worked out daily. IT'S SOOOO DEPRESSING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I HATE HASHI!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :'-( Becky
Avatar universal
I have the exact same thing. You sound just like me.  It's so frustrating! I am on Armour thyroid 60mg which for me, is a stable dose I feel good on. I have been eating clean for a month now; only 1200 calories and still, the scale hasn't budged and neither has my belly, hip or arm fat. I am very fit and in shape but you wouldn't know it looking at my waist and belly and my "doughy upper arms".  I weight train 3 times a week, do aerobic exercise 6 days a week plus a 15 min walk up hill every day. My husband says lift heavier weights but this did no good to tone me at all.  He doesn't understand.  I feel locked in a body I can't get out of.  I was once lean and chiseled at 5'2" 106lbs.  I had a 25" waist and 36" hips---no more.  My waist is now 27 1/2" no matter what I do and I have a layer of fat across my lower bell, hips and lower back that WONT go away.  I feel for you.
I know this is an older thread, ..... but SAME!  Scale doesn't budge and a layer of fat I can't get rid of despite cross fit, pilates, running.... In 2014, I switched from synthroid to armor and it was life changing, combined with eating clean and ability t increase exercise, I lost 65 pounds in 6 months.  Since mid-2015 (after gall bladder surgery), I now fluctuate between 10-15 pounds heavier, never able to get below 130.  Now I'm wondering if it's due a change in Armour's formulation after Activas bought out Forest Pharmaceuticals in 2015.  I'm thinking of making a change in NDT (maybe to NP Thyroid by Acella) ... But am worried about going further in the wrong direction!  Has anyone else taking Armour noticed a change since 2015 and successfully switched from Armour to another NDT
Armour did not change the amount of thyroid hormones T4 and T3.   Of course your weight is associated with diet and exercise, but also your Resting Metabolic Rate, which is affected by your thyroid levels.  So if it is not related to diet and exercise, then your difficulty losing additional weight may be that your current levels of Free T4 and Free T3, Vitamin D and ferritin are less than optimal for you.  Please post your test results for these, along with reference ranges shown on the lab report.   What is your current daily dosage of Armour?  Do you have any other symptoms?
Avatar universal
What are your thyroid related test results and reference ranges shown on the lab report.
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