Dieting with Obstacles - Hypothyroidism & JRA~~Levoxyl or Prednison Anyone ???

06-01-2009, 07:31 PM
I have hypothyroidism and on 400mcg daily of levothyroxin . I also take 5 to10 mg of prednisone to battle my JRA but I do get days when I feel great and skip it all together.

My thyroid is checked by my rheumatologist along with all my other labs and last time she said it was normal at 3.7, when looking that up it seems a bit high to me but I'm not sure. Is that higher than normal?
When I go back I plan on asking her to recheck it and possibly send me back to an endocrinologist as I haven't seen one in years.

Especially since being on the predisone I find it hard to lose. Anyone take predisone and find it terribly difficult to lose? Or perhaps even found it easier ?

When I went off it cold turkey, I lose 25 pound in a month! Then I was hit with a flare and had to take twice as much for two months and start weaning back down.


06-02-2009, 12:40 AM

Yes, in MY opinion a TSH of 3.7 is too high. One way to REALLY find out what your thyroid is doing is to have the Free T4 AND Free T3 checked. This will tell you were the problem is.

I was on Synthroid for almost 2 years and even though my FT4 numbers were almost over range, my TSH STILL lingered around the high 2's and lower 3's. When I finally found someone willing to check the Free T3, we found the problem. I wasn't converting enough T4 to T3, which is technically the active thyroid hormone. T4 does have its place but research has not led to WHAT exact role it plays other than being converted to T3. I was put on a combination of Synthroid and Armour, and good grief, if you think getting just T4 meds optimized is a little tricky, throwing another thyroid med in the mix just about did me in.

I am sorry to hear that you have to rely on the Prednisone. I had to go on Cortef for a little while due to adrenal problems but I tapered it back down on my own and went off. I wasn't on it long enough to experience any weight gain. I just didn't want to shut cortisol production down for good or risk any other organ damage. The benefits for you certainly sound like they outweigh the risks. The weight gain is one of the many challenges of steroids.

But I would definitely get to an endocrinologist and see if you can get that TSH lowered a little. A TSH over 2 normally causes various symptoms. Most good endo's know that it needs to be around 1-2 for you to feel your best.

I am editing to add that I wasn't paying attention to the dose of Prednisone you were on...that is what would be called a physiologic dose meaning it is large enough to tackle the problem but not like a large, whopping dose that you get when you have an infection and such. Anything under 30mg a day is considered physiologic and not likely to cause side effects. Have you talked with the Rheumatologist about switching to something else? I have heard people rant about Prednisone and would rather take Medrol or Cortef. With that in mind, I don't know if the Prednisone is really the culprit. I know you said you lost weight when not taking it, but taking it coupled with having an undertreated thyroid problem may be the reason. Just a thought.

06-04-2009, 04:05 PM
I don't have hypothyroidism but I have been on Prednisone for over 2 months, and I have gained at least 10 pounds from it. I have tapered down from 60mg to 30mg per day, and I've noticed I'm not quite as hungry as I was on 60mg, but I am still eating more than I did before I started taking it. I don't know if your dose is high enough to really have the hunger/weight gain side effect.

06-04-2009, 08:31 PM
Go see an endocrinologist. I have hypothyroidism, take levothyroxine, and nothing substitutes a specialty doc. Women can be symptomatic in the high and low ranges of normal TSH levels.

06-23-2009, 04:02 AM
I think you did a good job. Keep it on.

06-24-2009, 12:55 PM
PhatChickLosingIt - a TSH of 3.7 is too high, and as Niecy said, the more accurate thyroid tests to have done are the FREE T3 and FREE T4 tests, along with the thyroid antibodies tests.

Please check out of the info at

take care,

08-27-2009, 09:22 PM
When you have your TSH levels checked by a doctor other than an Endocrinologist they (generally) go by the normal ranges on the lab report. Most say 1-5 is normal. Each person is different and you need to find the proper lever for you.

My pcp was happy with mine at 4.8 but I could barely go. I started with my endo and now my levels stay around 1 and that's good for me.