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Thyroid Disorders Community
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Not losing weight (Hashimoto’s)

So just a quick update I have been on Synthroid .025 mg for two weeks as of yesterday, I am taking the generic of Synthroid called Levothyroxine.  I have also switched to a low carb keto genic diet, I haven’t been completely carb free because I don’t want any issues with keto flu. (My dr suggested this diet). I have not lost any weight and I was really hoping I would, should I also take an adrenal supplement? I literally could lose 100lbs, it needs to start coming off... please help. I suspect I have been hypothyroid for the last ten years (when I started putting on weight for no reason). I’m going to be 32 next week and it would be amazing to see even a little progress.
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Avatar universal
Two weeks on 25 mcg of T4 does nothing.  It is only a start.  The starting doses will not raise your Free T4 and Free T3 until TSH becomes suppressed and then further increases will start to raise your FT4 and FT3.  You will have to keep going back to the doctor every 4-5 weeks and get a dose increase, until the med suppresses TSH and your Free T4 and Free T3 levels start to rise.   Then it is a matter of adjusting the dosage as needed to relieve symptoms.  In addition you need to get your Vitamin D, B12 and ferritin tested and then supplemented as needed to optimize.  D should be at least 50 ng/mL, B12 in the upper end of its range, and ferritin should be at least 100.  If it were me I would also ask to switch to a desiccated type med like NatureThroid or Armour Thyroid to make sure you eventually get your Free T3 high enough to relieve symptoms.    Significant progress is going to take a while, but you need to get going, and make sure to get all this done.  
1756321 tn?1547098925
I gained weight without changing my eating pattern with hypothyroidism. All my labs were in range too. Just not my normal! The weight increase was notably when TSH was in the mid 3's.

So low thyroid was one cause of weight gain. The other cause was insulin resistance (my insulin was very high 24/7).

Ways to improve insulin sensitivity include no processed sugar, low carb, intermittent fasting, exercise to name a few things.
1756321 tn?1547098925
I forgot to add hypothyroid symptoms worsened when I first started thyroxine (thyroid gland production decreased further in response to thyroxine).  In took 5 weeks for thyroxine to build up in the blood.
Avatar universal
Thank you for the advice Gimel, I am going to request those added labs to be tested. It’s so tough, I’m like at wits end with feeling awful.
Red_Star- I did have a high glucose level..... been eating mostly keto, hoping it makes a difference. I know everything takes time, but I literally don’t want to feel this awful one more day, it’s so frustrating.
Avatar universal
Hi Sammyg,

Don't be discouraged with no weight loss in two weeks!  Some people may lose 5-10 lbs immediately starting a new diet, but that is usually water weight and not true loss.  

I gained 25-30 lbs without diet change and while exercising a lot in 2015 and 2016.  I lost 25 lbs in 2017 after realizing how much weight I had gained (and while having other hypo symptoms) by upping my exercise regime and counting every single calorie I ate for about a year.  I don't suggest this for most people, but I can tell you what little tweaks worked for me.  (Getting your thyroid hormone in the right range will hopefully help you feel better too and make the weight loss easier, but weight gained from hypothyroidism doesn't automatically come off when your metabolism is fixed which doesn't seem fair to me).  Keeping track/changing my diet by far had the biggest influence on my weight loss (I was running 100 miles a month and still gaining weight, and I wasn't eating that unhealthy, but just more calories than I was burning I guess).

I set very small goals, aiming for losing 5 pounds in 6 weeks vs. 30 pounds in 6 months.

I run a lot, and even while I was gaining weight I would run a lot.  I increased my distance running which probably helped, but what really worked best for me was adding a little bit of weight lifting (I'm talking about 5 to 12 pounds weights) a couple of times a week.  Putting on lean muscle definitely helped rev up my metabolism.  I didn't go to a gym, just did at home weights like shoulder press, chest press, bicep curl with 8lb weights and deadlift, calf raises with 12 lb weights.  Combining diet with weight lifting/putting on muscle will definitely help speed up weight loss, and you don't need to do a lot of weight lifting either, just 10-15 minutes a couple times a week helps.  (I know any kind of exercise might be hard when you are feeling low energy, but if you are trying to shed weight this definitely helps).

I kept a weight loss log where I'd write in my weekly weigh-in - when you're trying to lose weight weighing yourself everyday can be super discouraging because it takes time to see changes, but keeping a log helps keep track and you can look for trends (or lack of trends in my case).

My weight tends to fluctuate a lot (like up to 6 pounds) depending on what time of the month, or apparently now, how humid/hot it is outside.  When I was first losing weight, I'd get discouraged when I'd have weeks of 0.2, 0.4 pound decreases or even increases in weight, but day to day weight fluctuates so much that I now ignore this and look at the overall trend.  This is very discouraging when you're trying to lose weight but it hasn't started coming off yet.  I just checked my numbers from last year, I would lose 1.8 lb one week, 1.2 lb next week, then gain 1.5 lb the third week.  Sometimes I would lose about a pound for 3 weeks in a row, then gain 2 pounds on the 4th week.  This is very frustrating, but now I've learned to expect how it goes, and the numbers on the scale aren't the best way to measure success.  (My mom bought me a Weight Watchers scale for Christmas that has an app that averages weight over a certain period of time to see the overall trend - this is definitely better than going by what the scale says for one day, but I didn't have this until after I lost the weight).

The slower you lose the weight, the more likely the weight is to stay off and that you're not going to permanently screw up your metabolism.  The Biggest Loser TV show would show people losing 10 -15 pounds week after week, but the only way to do this is extreme calorie restriction and a lot of those contestants now have very low metabolic rates years after from extreme calorie restriction.  That's why doctors say the safest way to lose weight is to aim for 1-2 pounds per week, which means a 500 to 1000 calorie deficit each day.  I was counting calories (not suggesting you do that), and would aim for around 500 calories under each day, but in actuality if I could be under by 400 most days and had one day a week where I was over, I was fine with that.  

I hope the keto diet works for you - I think the best diets are ones that you can stick with for the long term and become more of a lifestyle than a diet, and what worked for me was just writing down everything I was eating and counting how many calories I was consuming - I didn't "change" my diet, but I did cut way down on snacking throughout the day, and made minor tweaks that helped (I cut out most cheese - mainly because I couldn't figure out calories in a hunk of cheese).  I just now looked up the keto diet and thyroid problems - it looks like very low carb intake (ketosis) is associated with lower free T3 levels and may prevent T4 from being converted in to T3, but if you are doing a "low carb" version without giving up carbs completely, you should be ok.  (And taking supplemental hormone should help you get to the right level of T3 even if you are in ketosis).

I would give the keto diet a couple of months and if you still don't see any weight coming off, you can try other diets.  I think picking something that is going to work for you in the long term/becomes a lifestyle definitely makes it easier, but may take longer to get the weight off.  Any diet has the potential to work as long as calories in are less than calories out... but that's easier said than done.

Please try not to be discouraged - according to a podcast I listen to about nutrition, it takes about two weeks for diet/exercise changes to show up on the scale, so what you eat or don't eat one day takes a long time to actually manifest in a change on the scale.  From what I've heard, it can take weeks to months to get your thyroid hormone to the right levels, so hopefully your hypo symptoms will start decreasing and help you feel better too!  Feel free to let us know how it goes - I'm rooting for you.



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