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Avatar universal

Overweight and can't lose weight... doctors don't know why...

Hi everyone,

Here is my problem. I took 80lbs (35kg) in less than 18 months. I did not change anything in my life, except that I had an appendicitis surgery that went very wrong and then I went through a stressful period.
Since then, (1.5 yrs ago) I cannot lose the weight. (I don't gain weight either tho.)
I eat very healthily, drink plenty of water only, count in the calories I take in everyday, exercise a good 1.5 to 2h a day. I do not eat junk food. None of the above have any effects on my weight.
I went to see several doctors, done all possible tests (apparently) and nothing. I went to see endocrinologists, diabetologists, nutritionists etc... all of them eventually gave up saying," we don't know what's wrong with you. "
I have even been prescribed some metformin to see if it would have an impact. It did for the first week where it gave me diahrrea and made me lose about 5lbs. And then that's it. After a week I got used to the medicine and stopped losing weight.
I cannot stay like this because I hate myself. I was very happy with myself before, not the kind who is obscessed by her weight. Now I feel like the fun of life is being sucked out of me.
Seeing how having diahrea made me lose a bit of weight, I am to the point that I am seriously considering making myself throw up or taking in laxatives. Please don't start with the lectures... I'm a scientist, I very well know the health issues coming from it, but to tell you the truth, I don't care. Being overweight is the most unpleasant feeling, I cannot do half the things I used to... and it's just not me. I don't want to learn to like myself in this state, because it's so wrong.
Anyway, so now as a last resort, I figured I might ask for some help or tips online... you never know... has any of you ever encountered a case like mine? Do you know of any type of doctors which I could go see?
Honestly, I'm desperate.... So any help will be appreciated.

13 Responses
649848 tn?1534637300
No lectures, here.... If you are a scientist and know the dangers of taking laxatives or forcing yourself to throw up, I'm surprised that you'd even consider such a thing.

That said, I would strongly recommend that you take a good look at all your lab tests and make sure the proper tests were done to confirm adequate thyroid function.  I had the same thing happen a few years ago, and after being told for months, that it was all my own fault, I was finally diagnosed with hypothyroidism, then later with Hashimoto's Thyroiditis.  

Often when doctors test thyroid function, they only test TSH, which is a pituitary hormone and should only be used as an "indicator" of thyroid function, not by itself, as a diagnostic tool.  I'd be interested to know if your actual thyroid hormones (Free T3 and Free T4), were tested, and if so, what the results were low in their ranges, that could cause inability to lose weight.  You might also want to see if you were tested for insulin resistance and PCOS.  

While being overweight can be unpleasant, making yourself ill is even more unpleasant.  
Avatar universal

Being overweight is a disease in itself. My health is already deteriorating so when you reach this point, that doctors give up on you and you weight the pros and cons, in the end making yourself throw up or taking laxatives for a few months does not seem such a bad idea. When you compare a few health problems vs losing weight and feeling good again about yourself, then it can become very appealing.... Because although taking laxatives is really bad for your body in the long term, if taken reasonably, in the short term the health damage is minimum. Of course it cannot be a final solution but a short term one, why not..?...

Anyway, of course I have been tested for thyroid but after looking at my results you are right... the only thing I see is TSH and ultra-sound which according to doctors are acceptable. Nowhere is mentionned free T3 and T4... this is worth investigating for sure.
As for PCOS, this was my next educated guess... I was actually going to call my doctor on monday to see if they had done it.

Thanks a lot for the tips! And hopefully someday I'll figure what's wrong with me!
649848 tn?1534637300
I don't agree that being overweight is a "disease" in itself........ being overweight is a symptom of some other issue, whether it be physical (medical) or emotional.

If your health is already deteriorating, why would you want to do something to make it worse?  That doesn't make sense to me.  And if you make yourself throw up or use laxatives "for a few months", what happens when you stop - if you CAN stop?  A few months will put you into "habits" that will be very hard, if not impossible to break..  You will then be anorexic, bulimic, etc.  

I've had a lot of doctors "give up" on me, because I was tired all the time, gained weight, body hurt and the blood work was all "normal"...... most of them only wanted to put me on antidepressants; then all of a sudden a TSH test came back at 55...... voila -- this was an unmistakable problem and all of a sudden other things began to fall into place as well...... my fatigue was caused by a combination of pernicious anemia and hypothyroidism, my weight gain and body aches were a result of hypothyroidism......  

If you are truly eating well/exercising adequately, then your weight gain is most likely a result of some medical issue that has yet to be diagnosed.

Avatar universal
So I just realized that I had missed when I checked the other day the results of another blood test (there are waaay too many!) and there I found fT3 and fT4... The results are still in the norm but fT3 is at the limit of being too high and fT4 is at the limit of being too low. fT3 is 3.8 pg/dl while fT4 is 1.0 ng/dl... actually when I look, all the other stuff they tested for are at the very limit... Do these number mean anything to you?
649848 tn?1534637300
Yes, those numbers are very important!!  They are your actual thyroid hormone levels.  It's quite unusual to have FT3 so high and FT4, so low.  What are the reference ranges for these?  What was your TSH level?

Sorry to ask so many questions, but it does seem that there's a problem here.  
Avatar universal
Please don't be sorry! You're helping me, so I am very grateful and I am sorry to make you waste your time on my little problems!!

So on the paper they say the ranges are: fT3 2.0-4.4 pg/ml   and    fT4 0.9-1.7 ng/dl

As for the TSH I can't find a recent one, the last one I have is from a year ago... and I had about 3.8 so I guess maybe they should have recontrolled that as well :/
649848 tn?1534637300
Sorry, I haven't been online for a couple of days.  I'm not "wasting my time on your little problem".  I'm here to help if I can.  

It's the Free T3 that regulates metabolism and with yours as high as it is, I have to wonder at your weight gain, though the TSH of 3.8 is higher than the recommended upper limit for TSH.  Were there blood sugar tests there, such as hemoglobin A1c, fasting blood sugar, etc?  What about cholesterol levels?  I'm also wondering about pituitary issues.  

I'm going to do some research and see if I can find more information.  
649848 tn?1534637300
You said you can't find a TSH on the recent blood work -- do you see Thyroid Stimulating Hormone on it?  TSH is an abbreviation.
Avatar universal
Hi again,

Yes I know what TSH stands for, and no not newer than what I posted previously. So yes I had diabetes test (the whole shabang) and all is fine on the blood sugar level. Cholesterol is off the roof, 218 mg/dl when it should be less than 200... however this might be due to the pill I was on for 3 months which my body really disliked! I see only one hemoglobin test, which results is completely normal.
However my growth hormone are very low and my SHBg is really high. And that looks like it's a sign for growth hormone deficiency, whose symptoms correspond spot on to my case.
And as I do research Cushing's syndrom keeps popping up and I have not been tested for that either.

Anyway I changed doctor, mine was just too inactive and incompetent. I went to see another doctor who is redoing some of the tests to see the evolution in the past few months and said that if he still can't find anything, he is sending me to an endocrinologist! (About time....) So hopefully now, I'm on a good track to figure out what I have... But this time I am going to doctors with clear things in mind of what I want them to look for... It's so silly I feel like I have to do their job and diagnose myself if I want to lose weight!
649848 tn?1534637300
Wow, I can't believe they did FT3 and FT4 without a TSH - I've never known a doctor to do that, and this is one time a TSH might have been useful....

Under active thyroid causes high cholesterol levels.........

Growth hormone tends to decrease as we age.  SHBg is Sex Hormone Binding globulin; I couldn't find that it had anything to do with growth hormone, but it does have to do with testosterone levels.  Was there a testosterone test done to indicate why the SHBg was high?  

Cushings is caused by too high levels of cortisol.  Were there any cortisol tests done?  Research shows that the best tests for cortisol levels are the 24 hr saliva test, but many doctors don't do that - they do a "one time, fasting" blood test........

It's sad, but as a Co Leader on the thyroid forum also, I see that many of us have had to do our own diagnosing and determining the tests and treatments we need.

Be careful with endos -- many of them specialize in diabetes and don't look at the entire endocrine system.  

I do hope your new doctor is retesting for the thyroid hormones, as well, and do make sure you get the TSH test, along with the FT3 and FT4......  

Please do let me know what you find out.... and feel free to visit the thyroid community any time........

Avatar universal
Yeah I know about the TSH... I just moved to Germany and find that doctors are VERY reluctant to test you for a lot of stuff.... it's pretty sad.... Took me about 1 month to convince them that I was not fat because I eat sugar 24/7....

So there is a correlation between GH and SHBg, when there is a deficiency in GH the SHBg goes through the roof... the SHBg is an indicator of a GH problem. And of course not they didn't test my testosterone... when I asked why she said it's useless... so hence the change of doctors etc...

I am waiting for the cortisol results tomorrow which again of course were just done by the fast blood test... but if I see that the level is not definitely good I will require the real test.

I discovered that about endos not so long ago. My gynecologist sent me to see a "diabetologist " that's how they call it here, and the only thing she was capable of looking at was insuline of course... when I had been tested 10 times for diabetes already... it's so stupid, it's like she's specialist of diabetes so she's too stupid to go look beyond that...

I am waiting for new thyroid results tomorrow as well... I know for sure he's doing fT3... I'll see about TSH... but my guess is he won't have a look at it!!!

But I think the real problem is that I don't have anything that is really off... you see I have indicators everywhere that my hormones level is really low or high but doctors consider that as long as it is still in the "accepted" rate then everything is cool!
649848 tn?1534637300
Where did you find a correlation between GH and SHBg?  I couldn't find anything that linked them.  

Yes, most doctors won't treat anything that's "in range".  It's really too bad because often, low levels of something can have a huge effect on us.  Keep pushing for proper testing and treatment.
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649848 tn?1534637300
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