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Avatar universal

slow thyroid. whats helps lose weight

I was just wondering if anyone who suffers from a slow thyroid and is being treated for it has succesfully lost weight? From articles i've been reading, its starting to sound like the only way is some type of surgery. Like liposuction.
9 Responses
649848 tn?1534637300
COMMUNITY LEADER
I see you just started another thread and while it's usually best to keep all your questions in one thread so we don't keep asking for the same information from you, I'll go ahead and respond to this question, because it's one that's near and dear to my heart... lol

I never had a weight issue in my entire life until 2008 when my thyroid started whacking out and I literally gained 30 lbs in less than 3 months... I nearly freaked out!!  I've struggled and struggled, since then with diets, pills, exercise, you name it... my primary doctor even had me join a program through his office that was supposed to be super duper - weight loss guaranteed... Uh huh...

After struggling all these years, I'm very proud to say that I've recently managed to lose 20 lbs and I didn't have any surgery like liposuction or anything else.

The very first thing you have to do is make sure your thyroid hormones are adequate and by adequate, I don't mean, simply "in range"... I mean at a level that's adequate for you... I'm assuming that you posted your levels in your other thread.

The next thing I learned is about dieting and I basically quit "dieting" and simply eat as healthy a diet as I can for my situation.  That doesn't mean I'm perfect - I'm not, I'm human.  

I have peripheral neuropathy pretty bad in my feet and on a plane ride last fall, I sat beside a dietician, with whom I struck up a conversation. I asked if there was a diet for neuropathy, since there seems to be a special diet for just about everything else these days.  She said there was not, but she thought that if I'd eat an anti-inflammatory diet, there would be less inflammation and less pain... made sense to me.  She recommended lots of veggies, fruit, lean protein, etc.  Just so happens, these are all the good things that help us lose weight...

I cut out just about all the white bread and other products made with white flour (pizza, pastries, pancakes, pasta etc), because these things cause inflammation.  If I eat those things at all, I eat the whole grain versions.

Just to make it clear - I'm not talking about gluten free - because I do eat grains - I just try to eliminate the white versions or if I have to eat them, I eat very little.  Basically, stay away from the processed foods (simple carbs) that break down quickly in your body and spike insulin levels, causing insulin to store those extra carbs as fat, because those are the same foods that cause inflammation. Veggies and whole grains, on the other hand have complex carbs, otherwise known as fiber, that take longer to break down, so they don't spike your blood sugar and they help keep you fuller longer.  Research low glycemic diet.  

And don't forget the healthy fats to help you feel satisfied on fewer calories.

While many/most people say that diet is 80% of weight loss, exercise has been another key for me... If I don't exercise, I don't lose weight. I, typically, walk at least an hour most days and if I don't walk, I do other types of exercise, whether it be yard work, house work or other "formal" exercising.

Another thing I had to do was research all my medications... I discovered one bp med that was causing tiredness, increased hunger (weight gain?), numbness/tingling in my feet (exacerbating my neuropathy) ... our doctors don't always look at these things and when I presented my findings to my pcp, he insisted that the med in question was not causing the symptoms I thought it was, but he agreed to let me quit taking it as long as I checked my bp daily and kept a record. Those symptoms eased considerably and my bp readings have stayed within the normal range, without the med.  Bingo - we had a culprit and I dropped a couple more pounds.

We have to look at our entire lifestyle and, basically, everything that goes into our mouths, but as I stated at the beginning, the very first thing is to make sure thyroid hormone levels are right for you, then you'll probably still have to work at it, just like I did/do, because there are only a few who are lucky enough to have the weight just "fall off", but it can be done without expensive surgery.

Avatar universal
Barb - thank you for your comments and thank you Christina for posting the question.

Barb, would you mind sharing what you eat on a typical day?  I am so inspired by your weight loss story, and dieting (counting calories) hasn't been working for me at all so I'm thinking it's the type of foods I am eating. (my thryoid levels are not optimized yet but am working with the naturopath on that).

Thanks!
Avatar universal
Hmm Barb just curious as to what bp meds caused your tiredness etc.

Thanks,
Pat
649848 tn?1534637300
COMMUNITY LEADER
I try to eat all the foods they tell us are good for us, particularly, veggies, limited fruit, lean meats, eggs, healthy fats, whole grains, dairy, etc.

For me, what I don't eat (or what I severely limit) has been as important as what I do eat.  Those things are the typical things we hear that we shouldn't eat when we're trying to lose weight - all the "white" things - flour, sugar, rice, potatoes, pasta, etc, along with other processed foods.  To put it simply, these are the things that break down quickly in your system, causing your blood glucose levels to rise, which in turn causes insulin levels to spike.  Insulin is the hormone that deals with blood glucose and if that blood glucose isn't used for immediate energy, insulin stores it as fat.
Once it's stored, it's a lot harder to get rid of, as we all know!!

I find, too that if I don't eat fat, I don't get satisfied, so an hour after my meal, I'm back looking for something to eat... If I drink a glass of whole milk with lunch, eat butter on my veggies or baked potato, put coconut oil in my oatmeal, fry my eggs in butter, etc, I don't eat near as much at that meal, plus I stay fuller longer, so I'm not looking for a snack an hour later.  If I get hungry  between meals, I'll often drink a cup of green tea with a little coconut oil stirred into it or eat an apple with peanut butter.  I also like Bulletproof coffee - ( 8-10 oz strong hot coffee, 1 tbsp grass fed unsalted butter (I use regular butter), 1 tbsp coconut oil (preferably unflavored), 1 tsp stevia, if you sweeten your coffee (I don't); blend until frothy and enjoy.  I do this for breakfast sometimes and I don't eat near as much the whole rest of the day.  

Again, I want to stress that I'm not advocating gluten free or high fat diet...everything I eat is in reasonable portions.  For instance, if I have a bulletproof coffee, I'm not going to be eating much more fat for the day, but I'll load up veggies (either raw or cooked), with other seasonings because I can have all of those I want. I do eat bread, but in very limited quantities. If  hubby talks me into pizza for lunch I'm done eating bread for the day.

The only reason I even tried any of these things was because the dietician I talked to mentioned "anti-inflammatory" diet for my neuropathy and in my research, the bread and bread products, along with sugar and other related processed products kept cropping up as being inflammatory... so I set out to try to eliminate as much of that as I can.

Weight loss was the added, unexpected benefit...  

I do run into issues, because my husband is 5'11" tall and thin as a rail (not necessarily healthy), with no concept of hypothyroidism, other than the fact that he saw me (5' tall and very small framed) balloon from 105 lbs to 135 lbs in 3 months and all he said was "if you don't put it in, you won't put it on" (thank you dear, I understand that) while he's eating burgers and fries and I'm eating rabbit food that has no calories... His favorite meals are pizza, burgers, bacon, pancakes; he wants his white bread and it's wasteful to buy 2 kinds when neither will get fully eaten --- I can tell you're beginning to to see what I'm up against... lol  

I try not to go into panic mode when we go out to eat and he brings up Five Guys or Pizza Hut as possibilities... I'm learning to calmly remind him that those are no longer on my list.  Today we went out and as we were deciding, he mentioned Sonic and said "I don't suppose there's anything there you'd be willing to eat?"... "No, sorry, dear"...He groaned and mentioned a hot dog he'd had there years ago and always wanted to have again; he'd thought today might be a good day for that...(eye roll)  LOL  We ended up at Denny's where I had grilled tillapia, with salad and side veggies... not the best, but one of the better choices - only ate half of it anyway.

I can't say that what I'm doing will work for anyone else, because, obviously, you aren't me, and we all have to find our "combination", but I think  anti-inflammatory "could" benefit all of us... do some research, talk to your doctor and see what you come up with. My doctor had never mentioned anything like it to me, but when I mentioned it to him, the look on his face was like a lightbulb went on and he was all for it- go figure!

I do know that fats (even saturated fats) are not the enemy we've been told they are, because our body needs them, but of course, that depends on your individual situation and medical issues... talk to your doctor about this.  Since I've gone back to whole milk and more butter, coconut oil, etc, I've lost more weight and I feel better - more energenic... we'll see what my next blood work says.

Again, I don't advocate my strategy as an "across the board" resolution, because it isn't... It's working for me, but it might not for you... I'm losing about 2-3 lbs/mo.  I'd like to lose more, but I can live with this, considering that I've gone for 7 yrs gaining and no losing... :-)

If anyone wants to post on the Weight Loss & Dieting Forum, we can continue the conversation...  You can access that forum via the following link: http://www.medhelp.org/forums/Weight-Loss--Dieting/show/190
649848 tn?1534637300
COMMUNITY LEADER
The blood pressure medication I was on that was making me tired was Losartin (Cozaar).  Tiredness is not the only side effect of this medication and this is not the only medication in its class... Others include the following:
    Azilsartan (Edarbi)
    Candesartan (Atacand)
    Eprosartan (Teveten)
    Irbesartan (Avapro)
    Losartan (Cozaar)
    Olmesartan (Benicar)
    Telmisartan (Micardis)
    Valsartan (Diovan)

Check out their side effects that range from tiredness to symptoms of a cold to muscle cramps, increased hunger, acid/sour stomach, sneezing, numbness/tingling in the hands, feet or lips, as well as:  Headache, Dizziness, Lightheadedness, Nasal congestion, Back and leg pain, Diarrhea

These aren't "nice" drugs... I've gone to R-alpha lipoic acid and L-arginine to control my blood pressure... research and check with your doctor...

Avatar universal
Thank you!! This is very helpful information.
Avatar universal
Losartan--- That's what I am on !!!!!!!!  Hopefully, when I get my thyroid levels straightened out I can go off bp meds. I was on lisinopril before but I developed a bad cough.

I have been reading your information on nutrition and it's great.

Pat
649848 tn?1534637300
COMMUNITY LEADER
You can google "side effects of Losartan" and come up with several sites that will list them... some are common, some not so common.  I have a friend who kept asking me if I was getting, or had a cold and I kept saying no... nasal congestion and sneezing can be side effects of the med as well.  I no longer sound like I have a cold, either, though I do have a sneezing fit now and then, that I can't blame on the med, as I've been off it long enough for it to be out of my system, so any side effects should be gone.

If you have any of the side effects, talk to your doctor.  Sometimes we blame things on thyroid that isn't necessarily the fault of our thyroid.

Avatar universal
I posted on the weight loss forum to continue the above conversation. as you suggested.

Thanks,
Pat
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