Thyroid Disorders Community
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Avatar universal

Help! Can't lose the weight gained because of hypothyroidism

i'm 22, found out i was hypothroid about 2 years ago, by then i had gained almost 60 pounds. I take 75mg, i exercise 40 minutes everyday, i eat only fish and white meats plus veggies, very little sugar and bread. Why can't i lose any weight? Nothing is working, please help. Is there some sort of pill or type of exercise i need?
16 Responses
393685 tn?1425816122
It is a common and real situation for hypothyroid patients and I am one who is having trouble getting weight off. I never was "heavy" and still I really am not - but I gained 30 pounds since I became hypo and I fight everyday to lose weight.

I have come to the realization that until I get my TSH level normal and it stays there - I will have a difficult time getting those pounds off.  Stay on the best diet you can and keep trying - but you have to be at the right TSH for you to have your body work off those pounds.
393685 tn?1425816122
I wouldn't advise getting desperate and going on any fad diets or take diet pills either - This can be more harmful than good - and it may take you longer if you take these things and will most definately interfer with your medications to balance you out.

Find an exercise program you ENJOY and will committ to daily and just do that until your thyroid starts to behave. :)
497224 tn?1209856981
Wow. You sound just like me. I'm 22 and I've gained over 60 lbs in just over 2 years on a 1200 cal/ exercising 5 days a week. Until this all happened I've never been overweight.

I don't have any good advice for you, but thought I'd let you know that I'm in the same boat.

Keep up the healthy habits and talk to your doctor about your frustrations- there may be different types of treatments available that you haven't tried yet.
Avatar universal
iv had thyroid disease since 93 and iv never gained more than 5 pds iv heard 5 pds is the normal weight gain so check on what your eating and how much sorry
Avatar universal
When I was taking thyroxine for Hypo. my weight kept increasing whatever I ate.
I have switched to Armour and now it's the reverse
393685 tn?1425816122
Since I switched to Armour I also have lost 8 pounds.
Avatar universal
I am having this horrible problem too! I am 20 and have been taking synthroid (and about a year ago cytomel in addition) for hypothyroidism, i was diagnosed about 5 years ago. I am 5'2 and usually weigh around 115 but recently I have been gaining weight like crazy. I have been eating less than 1000 calories a day of fruits, veggies, low fat cheese/yogurt, turkey/ chicken/ fish and only whole grains in an effort to get back to that weight. How can I workout everyday, barely eat, and gain weight! I was 120 last month and now even while eating well and working out more I have gained 7 lbs in a month. I insisted on having my blood tested this past friday so i will get the results soon... if the Dr. doesnt suggest a dosage increase I may have a mental breakdown. I have tried everything and I am just getting so frustrated.
549681 tn?1229728099
Your weight is average!  Go check one of the BMI calculators.  You can weight 140lbs and still not be overweight at 5'2"!
You might also consider that you are working out.  Muscle weighs MORE than fat!
Avatar universal
I know that I am "average" I am also really concerned with the other sympoms i have been having, including leg cramps and restlessness that keep me awake at night. Also, depression, irritability/ moodiness (I could go on and on!) But the main reason the weight bothers me is because of how quickly i have put it on even while dieting.

My doctor called me today and has switched me to levoxyl at a higher dose. In 3 weeks if I am not better she said we will try Armour.
Avatar universal
I am also 22 and have gained 80lbs in 4 years due to thyroid tumors I developed and more than likely hypothyroid. I can't explain it any other way. No matter what I eat or how much I exercise I can not lose weight. I used to go to the gym everyday for an hour do cardio and weight lifting, ate healthy, for 3 months I could not lose a pound. I have no insurance so I can't go to the doctor and get medicine. Very Very Frustrating!
Avatar universal
Of course weight is related to calorie intake and calories burned through exercise.  But if your metabolism is lower than it should be for your height/weight/age, then you will automatically have more trouble than if your metabolism were normal.  This is the reason that some people cannot lose very much weight without going on a starvation diet.  Then when they try to go back to normal diet, weight goes right back up.  Nothing feels worse than having people think you are a lazy slug that overeats a lot of fattening food, when the main reason may be a low metabolism due to untreated or undertreated hypothyroidism.  

Some of you will recall that several months back we had a few posts from a registered nurse that was having similar problems and was not getting thyroid meds she thought she should have.  She got her metabolic rate tested and showed the doctor that she was lower than should be.  After getting thyroid meds for awhile, she went back and got retested and confirmed that her metabolism was now normal.  Just to assure herself and the doctor that thyroid was the cause, she stopped the meds for a while and retested metabolism and sure enough it was now back down.  Then she went back on the meds and retested metabolism, and you can guess the result--right back to normal again.  Her conclusion was that she would never let a doctor refuse to treat her hypothyroidism again, she would just show him the test results.

So from all this rambling, I suggest that you look closely at the actual thyroid test results and see if you have been tested for the actual, biologically active thyroid hormones, FT3 and FT4, and if not, get that done.  Then if you find that your FT3 and FT4 results are in the lower end of their range, then realize that the ranges are very broad, and that being in the lower end does not mean that you are "normal".  Goolarra has put together a good analysis of these ranges and what they mean.  Basically they are ranges within which the "Frees" can confidently be adjusted to alleviate symptoms and get patients to their euthyroid state.  This is a good link that talks about this very subject.

649848 tn?1534637300
I'm one of those that you are talking about gimel, who can't lose weight without starving to death AND my Free's are in the lower portion of their ranges; however, since shortly after I began taking synthroid, my TSH has been rock bottom (at one point 0.01) and my pcp kept lowering my dosage because he insisted I was hyper, when I wasn't.  THAT doctor would not even check Free T3.  Fortunately, I now have an endo who DOES check both Free T4 and Free T3 every time I have blood work done, but since my TSH remains very low (6 weeks ago was still just 0.14), he's hesitant to raise my dosage because he says keeping the TSH suppressed too much will cause osteoporosis.  I'm currently on 75 mcg levo + 5 mcg cytomel.  

AND because my Free's are in "range", he doesn't think it really matters much that they are near the bottom.  WE know that it does, but if we can't convince our doctor to believe us, we get to a point where we are totally stuck.  I just had blood work done last week and am waiting for results.  *I* feel like I might need an increase in my levo, but I'm almost certain to have a hard time convincing the doctor unless my levels have gone completely out of range and I doubt they have because I feel relatively good (basically just some fatigue and muscle/bone pain and cramps) - I just think I need a "tweak".  
Avatar universal
You might ask your doc just how TSH is supposed to affect osteoporosis.  TSH, as we know, is a pituitary hormone that does not affect body functions except to signal the thyroid glands to increase/decrease output.  When you think logically about it, how can the lack of a hormone do anything to you?  The lack of TSH does not do anything to the body that relates directly to your doctor's concern.  Osteoporosis, or bone loss, can only be caused by excessive levels of the actual, biologically active  thyroid hormones, FT3 and FT4.  

In your case there would be no concern, since your FT3 and FT4 are low in their ranges.  Plus, these ranges are very broad, they have never been adjusted like was done for TSH, and clearly there are  a lot of people who continue to have hypo symptoms, even when they are in the lower end of these ranges.  Ask your doctor where is the jeopardy to raising your FT3 and FT4 levels within these so-called "normal" ranges?  The doc can readily monitor your bone density, if he continues to have misgivings.   And you might have noticed this comment, in the link I gave above.  

"Increased bone loss with higher thyroid levels occurs only in persons who
are already in a bone-losing state, because thyroid hormones increase all metabolic activities in the body. So if you're losing bone you will lose it faster when your thyroid levels are raised. Such is the case with postmenopausal women who are not on estrogen (Appetecchia 2005). Bone loss with higher thyroid levels is not seen in most men or in younger premenopausal women because they are not losing bone to start with. The problem of bone less should be addressed by restoring the sex hormones and Vit. D, not with keeping someone's thyroid hormone levels low! "
649848 tn?1534637300
gimel, I have found other articles besides the one you posted that also say suppressed TSH does NOT contribute to osteoporosis, but I guess these guys learn this in med school and think it's gospel.  I am going to take a couple of these articles with me when I go see him at the end of the month - maybe that will get me somewhere.  

In addition, I recently had a DEXA, which showed that I have actually stopped some of the bone loss I'd had going on a couple of years ago.  I have had osteopenia for years and it WAS progressing to osteoporosis, but it seems that I've been able to stop that bone loss and I'm hoping that I might be able to actually start rebuilding.  I take 1200 mg calcium every day and my job keeps me outside nearly all day every day, but I wonder about vitamin D (my pcp recently refused to give me a lab order to get it and my blood calcium (which was high last year) checked.  

My point before was that we advise people to "get these certain blood tests done" because we know how important they are, but once the doctor makes up his mind to something and says "no", there's not a lot the patient can do about it, short of finding another doctor and sometimes that's not an option.  I went through a lot of this with my pcp prior to going to the endo.  That's why my pcp pegged me as a hypochondriac, because I was asking for all these tests to be done and he insisted that there was nothing wrong with me and refused to give me the lab orders.  This coming week, I am going to call a different doctor to get an appointment and will not be going back to my current pcp.  Unfortunately, not every one can do that.  
Avatar universal
When you call the doctor's office, tell them you have some questions before making an appointment, and ask to speak to a nurse.  Remember, you are the customer.  They are providing the service.
The first questions you should ask is whether the doctor routinely checks the actual, active  thyroid hormones, FT3 and FT4 for diagnosis and treatment, or if he relies mostly on TSH.  If you get the wrong answer to that, you might as well move on to another doctor.  If the first answers sound okay, then ask if the doctor would be willing to treat you based on listening to your symptoms and testing and adjusting FT3 and FT4 as required to alleviate those symptoms.  If the answer is no, then move on.  If the answer is yes, then ask if the doctor prescribes only T4 meds, or if he is willing to also prescribe a T4/T3 combo or even a T3 type med.  If the nurse will answer all these questions and the answers are what you want to hear, then you can have confidence in making the appt.  If not, then you won't be wasting your time by seeing that doctor.  
1571770 tn?1295743791
I'm 29 and have been dealing with thyroid issues since I was 15. I had radioactive treatment and was still hyperactive. I got pregnant in 2003 and my thyroid problems seemed to go into recession. I had no thyroid hormone levels issues at all. after I had my son I became hypothyroid. I worked out regulary, running, and cardio 3-6 times a week and I prepared meals and ate very healthy. I never had a real issue with wait gain untill I lost my health insurance and it was left untreated. in two years I gained 70 lbs and this was because I had stopped exercising everyday, and didn't watch what I ate every minute of the day. I had lost the energy to litterally maintain my body. You can't afford to slip up esspecially if your not being treated. I start meds again today and I can't wait till I feel normal again. I had been starting to feel llike I had no energy at all even if I slept well, losing hair, thickening dry skin, and feeling very cold all the time and worse of all I gained 70 pounds. I was having to force myself to get up and do things throughout the day. my last blood tsh levels were 82.2. They started me on thyroxine 200mcg apparently they normally start you on a lower dose such as 50mcg and then retest every 6wks. I guess if I had been untreated to much longer I was at extreme risk for coma. My hopes are that I will start to not feel like I have no energy and get back to how I used to excersise daily and eat very healthy. I forced myself to take  a walk today. I know that I felt like I didn't have the energy to do it but just the mind over matter got me outside. Like I said I can't wait to feel better. I wish you all the best luck with your thyroid problems and know that I'm fighting here with you guys.
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