Dieting with Obstacles - Best Diet for Hypothyroidism

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01-12-2009, 04:10 AM
Hi, I am new and this is my first post. I have been looking over the site and see several places I need to post, 100lb, 40 something, etc., but I ended up here because I feel my hypothyroidism is my biggest hindrance to weight loss. I have lost weight in the past but since my diagnosis about 7 years ago I have not been able to get the weight to bulge. That is except during my pregnancy with my now almost 6yo ds. I have lost weight during each of my six pregnancies without trying. I didn't have any morning sickness but being pregnant was a big appetite suppressant for me. Then I would gain it all back plus more while breastfeeding and craved carbs. :(

To be truthful, I haven't seriously tried to lose weight for awhile because of the frustration of depriving myself and not seeing any results. I have been eating healthier, though, since last fall when my husband found out he had high cholestreol and triglycerides (both were normal for me) and he wanted to start eating better. Before I always had to prepare separate meals whenever I wanted to try to lose because he didn't want to change but now he is willing to do what he needs to do. Of course he has already lost some weight even though mine hasn't bulged. :mad:

Now that I have my husband on board to eat healthier, I want to get more serious and get on a more structured plan. Is there a method of weight loss that is best for hypothyroidism? I read everything I can about this condition and even have read Thyroid Diet by Mary Shomon (sp) but I don't remember now her recommendations. I am very much encouraged by you ladies that have lost alot of weight with this condition and would like to hear more about what worked and didn't work for you. I was thinking about the South Beach Diet because I have lost on Atkins in the past and low carb was kind of easy to stick with. As I understand it, South Beach is a healthier version with emphasis on good carbs and good fats and was originally geared for cardiac and diabetic patients. My husband has had episodes of atrial fib. and has been diagnosed as pre-diabetic and prescribed Metformin. Diabetes is not in his family but is in mine big time. My mother had it and currently both of my brothers and several aunts, uncles, and cousins have it. So far, I have not had any problems even though I suspect I have insulin resistance and I realize my kids are at high risk. I want to make permanent lifestyle changes for all of us.

I also know that exercise is very important and am planning to walk more. It is so hard when I never have any energy. I have a wonderful doctor that is willing to adjust medication or try different things (I have been on Synthroid, Armour, Armour+Cytomel, Levothyroid, Levothyroid+Cytomel) but nothing has helped me not to feel so tired all the time. I know from the past that exercise helps give me more energy and also curbs my appetite, so I'm going to have to just make myself do it.

I am glad I have found this site because I need the support. Are there any challenges, buddy systems, etc. that will help with motivation?

Thanks if you took the time to read all this. :)

01-12-2009, 06:33 AM
If your thyroid numbers are ok, maybe it's not the thyroid that makes you tired., I have been on a med for years and the only time I stay the same weight is when I am taking too much med-otherwise I have to watch my portions -I eat right mostly because I can;t have certain foods-and get exercise. Carrying around extra weight can make you tired too. I really don't know of a throid diet but South Beach and Weight Watchers are great to lose weight. It;s a life style thing.
Hope you do well. Mima

01-12-2009, 01:05 PM
Carrying around extra weight can make you tired too

That is what my doctor says. :) Losing weight is her answer to everything including my borderline high blood pressure. I know dietary changes can 'cure' lots of ailments. I've just got to put this knowledge to work. That's my problem, I do alot of reading about healthy eating and other people losing weight, but don't get serious about doing something myself. But that is in the past--I'm ready for a healthier lifestyle change and to hopefully lose some of this weight.
Thank you for your reply, Mima.

01-12-2009, 04:28 PM
Do you know your thyroid numbers (TSH, Free T4) because they should be in the optimal range, meaning the Free T4 should be in the upper part and the TSH should be 1.0 or lower. The new range for TSH is .3 to 3.0 and most patients feel their best when their level is around 1.0. You may need to have your meds increased.

I take only synthroid and as long as my levels are good I feel fine and can lose weight and don't get tired out.

Make sure you're getting protein with your meals and try to eat whole grains and that should help you curb your cravings for the carbs.

01-12-2009, 09:41 PM
I don't remember the exact numbers, but when I had blood work done last fall, my TSH was too low and my T3 and T4 were in the normal range.
This was at a health fair so I'm not sure if they test for free T3 or T4 or not. I don't have the test results in front of me; when I come across it I will post exact numbers. Also, I'm sure that the lab probably hasn't adopted the new guidelines for the TSH, so I don't know if my level was lower than .3 or not.

I forgot about the new guidelines and just assumed my medication needed to be lowered. I was taking both Levothyroxin and Cytomel and since I had just finished the last of my Cytomel, I didn't have it refilled. I didn't see my doctor until last week and she said I didn't have to drop the Cytomel because she didn't even consider TSH levels if T3 and T4 levels are normal. I told her I honestly couldn't tell a difference when taking the Cytomel, so she said I could stay off it if I wanted.

When I was first diagnosed, I started on Synthroid and made sure I never got a generic. When I couldn't tell a difference, my doctor wouldn't even consider trying something else. Because of this and other concerns I had with him, I switched doctors and she changed me to Armour. I took this for a few years and still didn't feel any different. I read that some people have trouble converting T4 to T3 and asked her about that. She then added Cytomel. When that didn't help, we then switched back to the synthetic T4, because since I tested positive for the antibodies that attack the thyroid, we thought they may also be attacking the natural thyroid hormones in the Armour. I started with the generic because of the cost--we don't have insurance. That is also the reason I try to get my blood work done at health fairs.

So then, I was taking Levothyroxin and Cytomel and still very tired. Now that I have dropped the Cytomel, I can't tell any difference. Through all these changes, my levels stayed pretty much in the normal range but I never felt any better. I wonder if I have other issues going on also. I do suspect that I have some sleep apnea. My doctor would like for me to have a sleep study, but without insurance that is impossible. She feels that my sleep will also improve if I lose weight.

Melissa, may I ask how much weight you have lost and did you do anything different than just adding more protein and whole grains? We have been eating healthier but I'm not losing so I need to do more. I know that I need to change some bad habits--I don't eat anything 'til way up in the day and then want to snack 'til I go to bed. My metabolism is messed up big time. I feel I need something more structured like a specific weight plan or maybe Fitday?

01-12-2009, 10:19 PM
For me, South Beach is the way to go and the only way I have lost weight since my thyroid went wacky. I've heard that most endos recommend at least eating only complex carbs (whole grains) and lots of protien but really thats what South Beach promotes along with fruits and veggies. I would give it a try!

01-13-2009, 04:34 PM
Hi, Yelie

I was leaning toward South Beach and went to the library yesterday to check out the book, but their only copy was out. I then found the Sonoma Diet book for a dollar at Dollar Tree and bought it. I have been reading it and wonder if it would not also fit the endo's recommendations. It is not low-carb but it is a Mediterranean style diet that stresses whole foods (lean protein, whole grains, fruits, vegetables, good fats) in reasonable portions. Sweets and processed foods are not allowed. Has anyone here tried this? I've posted some in the 3fatchicks Sonoma area but I don't know if any of them have thyroid issues.

Congratulations, Yelie, on your weight loss. I'm glad to see that there are people with thyroid problems that can still lose weight.

01-14-2009, 02:03 PM
That sounds a lot like South Beach too :) I'd give it a try! Just dont get discouraged if you arent losing as fast as everyone else, the thyroid makes it a bit slower but you'll get there :)