Dieting with Obstacles - hypothyroidism...advice?

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01-23-2006, 10:31 AM

I am new here..I recently posted my story on the support part of the forum. I was wondering if you guys could give any tips/advice on what helped you losing weight with hypothyroidism. I gained at least 125 pounds in a short period of time. I went a very long time without even knowing I was hypothyroid...and then I have been on a rollar coaster of different doses. I am taking 125 of synthroid now. But I just wanted to see since I have it really harder to lose weight with this even on medicine? And what if your doses change a lot? And suggestions would be greatly appreciated! :)

Have a good day!


01-23-2006, 10:52 AM
:hug: Hi Michelle... I have been on synthroid for 15 yrs. When I was first diagnosed with hypo.. my doc said to me, the good news is, it is treatable, and the bad news is, wont help you lose the weight very difficult to lose....You need to rev your metabolism all you can.... exercise early in the day, drink lots of water.... and find a diet plan that seems to work for you.. I personally lost a lot on south beach.. I am currently doing Sonoma.. I believe more, smaller meals will help keep you level....If you want to talk further, let me know.. would be glad to share my experience... India aka Barb

01-24-2006, 09:47 AM
Hi barb...thanks so much for your advice. So, its really hard to lose weight on synthroid? I thought it might be..I thought I read that somewhere. I did hear that you may have to work out more than other help with the metabolism. Also, this may be a strange question...but does it matter what time of day you take synthroid? Thanks again..have a good day! And anyone else who wants to offer advice it would be appreciated!


01-24-2006, 10:02 AM
Hi Michelle! I'm hypo and take Levoxyl (similiar to Synthroid). My doctor always told me that if my TSH was in the correct range, I should be able to lose weight normally - and she was right. Once I quit kidding around and got serious about diet and exercise, I lost 122 pounds in less than a year. So I guess you can say that being hypo didn't slow me down too much. :)

Exercise was - and is essential and I eat a fairly high protein/lower carb diet (about 45% protein, 25-30% good carbs and 25-30% good fats).

Best of luck to you! You CAN lose weight despite hypothyroidism!

01-27-2006, 09:26 AM

I'm hypothyroid and I take Armour natural thyroid. Right now, my condition is OUT OF CONTROL. We just doubled my meds, but I am freezing all the time, so I suspect we're gonna have to up them again... I don't know how long it takes for the new dose to kick in. However, I have managed to lose a few pounds since I've been on medication... I have a problem w/ binging and I'm working w/ my dr. to see if it's related to neurotransmitter problems, which is something else that I take supplements for.

I think it is possible to lose weight w/ hypo, but it sure doesn't make anything easier!

01-27-2006, 09:52 AM
I was reading just yesterday about this. There is a great book out there actually several from the same author about losing with hypo. It is mainly harder than a normal person. She stressed protien and low carbs. I can emil you the names if you want. I am not sure if I can give it out on the posts?w hat are the rules here? Anyway I am in the same boat. I am all over the board with my meds. Going to a new doc. today. I have recently done sb and lost 12 pds. I was on ww for almost a year and lost 4, so I do believe what this author says. She gives you ideas for vitamins and natural supplements to take to boast up your metabilism. I am loving her books. Hang in there if you want to support eachother i am in. I need to lose @40 pds.

01-27-2006, 10:01 AM
Please share the name of the book DJmommy. I too have hypo and struggle. It is not by any means impossible but it is definately HARDER. I have had to have my meds upped every year for 4 yrs now. My dr also told me the same thing it will not HELP you loose weight, but you can do it as long as your TSH is in the correct range. Good luck to you.

01-27-2006, 03:57 PM
well here they are I hope I am allowed to do this The one Book I love is The Thyroid Diet, Manage your matabolism for lasting weight loss. By Mary J. Shomon and here other one I was breifing yesterday is here 1st one I think Living well with Hypothyroidism. This one is good so far but I think I like the other one better. She also has a web site that you can check out. I can not think of it now if I find it I will give it to you. Is there a support thread for us to help eachother out? How did you lose all the weight. What diet are you following?

01-27-2006, 04:34 PM
I personally am just calorie counting and trying to get my recommended servings per the USDA of each food group each day. I have lost 43lbs since AUG 1, 2005.

01-27-2006, 06:03 PM
Have you researched the effect of flouride on hypothyroidism? My husband has the condition and we live in the city... we stopped drinking the tap water and started drinking distilled water only... it's no "miracle cure", but he felt much better and was able to pitch his meds... Now, he is also in heavy construction work so he gets lots of fresh air, sunlight, and he also takes his multi vitamins and Coral calcium on a daily basis... He didn't really notice any change in his condition until he stopped drinking tap water. I hope this helps... It's a horrible condition, sweethearts! I wish you the best... keep studying and be open minded!

01-28-2006, 10:06 AM
Lan thanks for the advice I drink sooooo much water. Gonna lose it that is fabulous. Wow what a great accomplishment so far. I wish I could stay on my proogram. I am doing sb and it does work for me if I stay focused. Today is a new day and I will start again. I do get my work outs in though, which is good. I just need help with the eating. Thanks for the info

01-28-2006, 10:54 AM
I fall off the "changing habits wagon" too, it isnt perfect. But I guess I drink enough water to not gain when I over indulge for a day or two. I flood my self with water (100oz/day) for a week or two to make up the difference and I see no gains. But each day I try again, and try to do it the right way. Some days I succeed some days I lack on success...but I NEVER FAIL, FAILURE is not an option.

If you would like a PM buddy feel free to add me to your list. I have one other gal here that we PM back and forth every day or so, and her and I have been doing it for a couple months, we dont share too much personal information and I dont even know her first name, but we really seem to like the communication with someone who is in the same physical boat as us.

01-31-2006, 09:59 AM
You should take you meds on an empty stomach and then wait 1 hour before eating or 2 hours after eating and then wait an hour. What you eat does make a difference. A little more protein, complex carbs, fruits and veggies, good fat and dairy are good. Watch raw cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, and soy as they inhibit the thyroid. I doubt changing water cured a thyroid problem. Once you have a defective thyroid it always is according to my doctor. Perhaps he was misdiagnosed to begin with.

02-02-2006, 03:56 PM
Hey Gang, I just noticed this post and had to jump in.

BunnyChick - I just sent you a pm and want to be sure that you see it.

Hi Michelle - I have finally started losing weight. I now take 5 grains of Armour Thyroid daily. I did not start losing any weight until I got up to 3 grains. It can be slow losing weight with a thyroid problem but once you are on a high enough dosage to treat your hypo symptoms, with the proper diet and exercise, most hypos can lose some weight. I've now lost 26 lbs in about 17 months and would love to lose another 20 lbs. I finally, think it might be possible since I'm finally receiving proper treatment for my low thyroid problem.

If you are on Synthroid and your doc is dosing you based on your TSH, then your dosage will probably change a lot. That is what happened to my mother and a lot of other people.

Indiacatz is right - most people won't lose weight on Synthroid. It is a T4 only product, and also one of it's side effects can be water retention. Armour contains both T4 AND T3, and that T3 can be very important to your mental well being, as well as things like hairloss and weightloss, etc. Some people will add Cytomel (T3) to their Synthroid, but I like getting it all in one natural product - Armour. ;-)

I am a member of a yahoo group where there are hundreds of members that switched from a synthetic thyroid med like synthroid or levoyxl and are now taking a natural thyroid med like Armour and have finally started losing weight.

A little over a year ago my mother switched from Synthroid to Armour, and once she got to 3 grains daily she started losing weight and has now lost 17 lbs. She is thrilled!!!

The book by Mary Shomon that djmommy mentioned "The Thyroid Diet, Manage your Metabolism for Lasting Weight Loss" is a great one and I think everyone that has a thyroid problem, or thinks they might have a thyroid problem, would do well to have it in their collection. There is a wealth of thyroid info in the book - not just as it pertains to weightloss.

LanMyers - you are so right about fluoride being a problem for everyone's thyroid. We only drink bottled or filtered water - we do our best to stay away from fluoride - we don't brush with it, we don't get fluoride treatments at the dentist, and as long as we are on the subject, we make sure that anytime we are xrayed (like at the dentist office) that they use a "thyroid shield" to cover and protect our thyroid from the radiation.

I've never heard of someone with a thyroid problem being able to stop the meds, usually you take them for life, but I'm glad your hubby is better!

Quilter - you are so right about taking your meds on an empty stomach. So many docs do not even mention that but if someone researches it on the internet or in books, they will eventually figure that out. Sure wish the docs would mention it to people. ;-)

Meg - I am thrilled that you have done so well. Your weightloss is an inspiration to all of us.

great topic - I'm so glad to see so many people talking about this stuff - you just don't know who all might be helped by talking about this kind of stuff.

take care,

02-02-2006, 04:57 PM
Cathy, I am on synthroid and just not real thrilled with it, can you give me some more information on the Armour? I would like to maybe talk to my dr about it when I go back in to see him in a couple weeks. You can PM me if you want. Thanks...I have gone from .50micrograms/day 3 yrs ago and I am now up to .150/day on the synthroid and it isnt helping the mental clarity/hair loss/feeling cold maybe this is something I should ask about.

02-02-2006, 10:31 PM
hey gonnaloose, sure ... I could probably talk about Armour and thyroid stuff for about a week without stopping ;) but i'll try to keep this brief.

If you are seeing an Endo you may have a hard time talking them into switching you from a synthetic (like synthroid or levoxyl) to Armour Thyroid. They have been mistakenly taught that Armour is not as stable as the synthetics. Usually it is easier to talk a General Practitioner into letting you switch to Armour. There are lots of doctors out there that are prescribing Armour Thyroid but you may have to hunt to find them.

There are a lot of good websites with great info and I will send those links to you by pm, but Mary Shomon has a lot of good info at and there is a new website called "stopthethyroidmadness" that you should check out. Also Armour has their own website where you can check out the info there.

You asked if I could give you more info on Armour so here is some basic....

Natural Thyroid 101

1) Armour is the most well known of the Natural Dessicated Thyroid meds and oldest on the market--since the late 1800's! But there is also Westhroid, Naturethroid and prescription generic Thyroid such as by Time Cap Labs, etc.

Additionally, many folks are using a natural thyroid called Thyroid-S from Thailand with great results. All the former come from pigs, and all are supposed to have their thyroid powder meet the stringent guidelines of the US Pharmacopia.

Natural Dessicated Thyroid contain the same hormones that your own thyroid would produce--T4, T3, T2, T1 and calcitonin, and that's why natural thyroid is SO superior over T4-only meds. They meet the stringent guidelines of the US Pharmacopoeia and are approved by the FDA.

2) There is also OTC natural thyroid, such as Nutri-Meds and others. These are not regulated, and the potency may be ess than Armour and others, so you may have to take more than the FDA-approved brands for the same effect. This may also be true for any "generic" thyroid preparations---they appear to be weaker than the name brands mentioned above.

3) It can be wise to start on a smaller dose of Armour than you will ultimately need, such as 1 grain or less. Why? Because your body may need to adjust to getting direct T3, and, you want to rule out any other issues which can crop up, such as sluggish adrenals or low Ferritin. Some have to start low because the direct T3 will give them palps with each raise--for instance if someone has MVP (mitral valve prolapse)--but the palps should subside within a few days.

It's also important to understand that you WILL NEED TO RAISE within a few weeks, or even less, to prevent your hypo from returning. Just because you start feeling bad does NOT mean Armour is not working. It simply means your body is crying out for more. In fact, you can go up 1/4 to 1/2 grain every few weeks until you get up to 2-3 grains. Then, it can be wise to hold each raise about 4-5 weeks to give the T4 time to build in your system, and show its conversion results from T4 to T3. Generally, most folks don't start finding their optimal dose until they are near 3 grains and over....remember this, and it has NOTHING to do with labs. It's SYMPTOMS.

4) The most biologically effective and direct way to take Natural Thyroid is sublingually or orally. i.e. you place the tablet between your gums and inner check, or under your tongue, or where the least amount of saliva is in your mouth, and forget about it. Either way, it is absorbed by the millions of capillaries that line your inner mouth --taking the hormones straight to your blood, bypassing the stomach and liver. Armour has a touch of sucrose in it, making it more palatible.

Natural Thyroid meds CAN be swallowed, of course, and since those like Nature Throid do not have the suitable taste like Armour does, it can be necessary. But it will be important to avoid iron, estrogen and calcium supplements at the same time, since both bind the thyroid hormones to some degree. Swallowing also brings stomach acid into contact with the Calcitonin in Armour, and you may lose on some of it's benefits to your bones. But it's OK if you have to swallow your meds!! You'll get great benefits!

5) Most folks find dividing their dose to at least twice a day, if not more, is optimal for them. It contains T3, which is short-lived, and peaks about 2 hours after you take it. An example is taking 2/3 in the morning, and the
other 1/3 in the early afternoon. Some folks dose 3-5 times a day. A few even do it once in the morning, and find that to be very effective. But most folks seem to notice a difference when they multi-dose. Experiment to find what is best for you. And remember: your own thyroid gives you what you need throughout the day instead of one dump, thus, multi-dosing is a way to replicate that.

6) Before labs were developed, doctors treated patients solely by symptoms ... and successfully. This is still an ideal way to treat---by symptoms. One important symptom is your temperature. Temps reflect metabolism, and metabolism is controlled by your thyroid. Find a MERCURY THERMOMETER, which is more accurate. Generally, you want your morning temp (before rising) to be 97.8 to 98.2, and your afternoon temp to be around 98.6. This is actually the BEST way to dose yourself!

Unfortunately, most docs put a huge reliance on labs over symptoms. Labs do NOT tell the whole story. So, if you are faced with that, your goal is generally to get your free T3 in the upper part of the range, if not
above. But you have to figure out where it is great for you, based on symptoms. When you get your free T3 at the top, (or when you dose yourself to eliminate all symptoms) you will often have a TSH BELOW range, i.e. below one, and that does NOT mean you are hyper. The TSH is less important once you start treatment, and just because one's TSH can
get lower than 1 while getting the free T3 up there, does NOT mean you have become hyper. Many docs are uninformed about this, so be prepared.

7) Armour et. al is bar-none superior to T4-only meds treatment (Synthroid, Levoxyl, etc) because it is natural (your body accepts ALL of it), it contains direct T3 (the most active hormone and necessary for every cell in your body), and it also contains T2, T1 and calcitonin. T2 has some role in metabolism. Calcitonin keeps the calcium in your bones, and certain docs have noticed improvement in bone density with folks on natural thyroid.

8) It is not uncommon to discover that you need more natural dessicated thyroid than you realize. An amount that gives you excellent energy may not be quite enough to stop hair loss, etc. Or vice versa. Before the TSH
lab came into existence (and played a huge part in ruining good thyroid care), most folks were on 3 grains and more. This is not to say that you will need that much, but it does speak to the reality that you may need more than you realize. MOST folks are on 3 grains or more when they find their optimal dose.

ALSO NOTE THAT THE Synthroid-to-Armour conversion charts are VERY inaccurate. You will need more than stated.

9) Often, there are other areas that need assistance when you are treating yourself with Armour. For one, many folks need to optimize their Ferritin level (storage iron), which is low in many with hypo. Why, we don't know yet. But low Ferritin can cause very similar symptoms as being hypo, OR can cause you to have hyper-like symptoms when you try to raise the Armour.

If upon starting Armour, you have very strange symptoms, including anxiety, insomnia, shakiness, it's a strong sign that you may need adrenal support. Cortisol is needed to distribute thyroid hormones to your cells, and if you are not making enough cortisol from sluggish adrenals, your blood will be high in thyroid hormones, producing the above symptoms. You might need to stop the Armour, or simply lower it, and get on that support for a few weeks before starting the Armour again. There are several adrenal supplements listed in the ADRENALS file on the site--all are used by different folks here. It is strongly recommended that you get an adrenal test--ZRT labs does a good 24 hour saliva test---and this is FAR superior to the one time blood test that ignorant docs will use on you. Or at the very least, do the SELF TESTS in the ADRENALS folder.

11) Take a Selenium tablet with your thyroid. Helps with the T4 to T3 conversion. L-Tyrosine helps, too. Zinc and Vit. C may play a role. Your need for B-vitamins will increase as you improve. Check out the supplement recommendations in the FILES section of this site.

12) If you are able to buy a large quantity of Armour keep it the freezer or refrig to preserve it's potency, pouring out about 1-2 months at a time. Armour does have a long shelf life, though, according to Forest Labs, so it's not a huge worry.

02-02-2006, 11:13 PM
Thanks, I was seeing an Endo a few years ago, and I HATED him. He was SOOOO unsympathetic. THen I went back to my clinic and the Dr there was pretty good, well when I went to make my follow up appt I found out that the clinic fired him since he "took toooooo long with each patient" well that is what I LIKED about him. So I am now going to go to my childrens Dr, he is a GP also, and I have always liked him so far. So I have read the PMs you sent and I have a TON of things to talk to him about. I hope we can get this crud worked out. THANKS A MILLION

02-03-2006, 12:41 PM
I here Armour is great. The hard thing is getting a doc to give it to you. They do not get any kick backs.

02-03-2006, 02:04 PM
I know there is another medicine, according to the PM information Cathy sent me that you can take in addition to say synthroid it is supposed to help with the T-3 conversion, it is called Cytomel. So if he (my dr) is reluctant to give me the Armour, I will ask about this also.

02-03-2006, 03:33 PM
Armour is the preferred product for many reasons. One book I haven't seen mentioned here is 'The Thyroid Diet' by Mary J. Shomon.

I have a good deal of information about hypothyroid. If anyone wants to pm me I'll send you my email address and forward what I have.

02-03-2006, 04:11 PM
GonnaLoose - that is definitely true, if you cannot get your doc to prescribe the Armour then you can get him to add the Cytomel in order to get the T3, if your doc agrees you need the T3....

BUT whenever someone does have the choice, let me just mention that to me the best choice would be to take one natural product (Armour) with no side effects, rather than to take two synthetic products (Synthroid and Cytomel) with possible side effects and also the costs of two drugs.

Even at 5 grains a day and no insurance, my Armour Thyroid costs less than $20 a month.

But yes, if nothing else, if you cannot find a doc that will prescribe Armour, then you can talk to your doc about adding the Cytomel if your Free T3 levels are low or in the lower 1/3 of the range. You may have to talk your doc into running the FREE T3 and FREE T4 tests, as most don't usually run those tests - they usually just run the TSH and maybe T3 uptake or some other ones.

Also, be sure that anytime you are having bloodwork done that you DO NOT take your meds before your blood is drawn. It will make the numbers look better than they actually are - especially with Armour - it causes the T3 to spike in the bloodstream after taking it - and throws those numbers way off and causes docs to freak and reduce your meds.

BTW - I love my doc - he is treating my symptoms - rather than my labs.

The best thing to do is have bloodwork done first thing in the morning and then take your thyroid med after the blood is drawn. That way you have not taken your thyroid meds since the day before. Some docs do not know to mention this to you, and a lot of people have their thyroid meds reduced simply bec they took their meds before the bloodwork was done.

Hubs - it sounds like you and I might have a lot in common. :-) I wonder if you and I happen to be members of the same yahoo group? I think I have most of Mary Shomon's books - they are all good! I also recently got 2 new books that I am really enjoying - one is by Dr. Steven Hotze called "Hormones, Health & Happiness" and the other is "Thyroid Power, Ten Steps to Total Health" by Drs. Richard & Karilee Shames - both have excellent info in them.

Hubs - I am always interested in more thyroid info. I will pm you and give you my email address - send me any info you want to share & thanks!


02-03-2006, 04:25 PM
Tons of information in here!

I went to an endo and even though my numbers were good, he put me on syntroid. At this point I was too tired to fight anyone and I did not think it was going to work. I did ask about Armor, but he gave me all the "reasons" why synthroid is better. I have been on it since march 2005, and things have been ok. I really have to be extra carful with mydiet, or I won't lose weight.

I recently had allergy testing done, and surpisingly I am sensitive to Armor and the other more natural forms of thyroid supplements. But I am still having a hard time losing weight, do you think i should talk to the dr and see if I should switch?? I am hesitant because if I am sensitive to it then it may hinder any weight loss efforts on my part, but it is so hard. It has taken me 2yrs to get 20lbs off. and it is discouraging to see others losing 2-4 lbs a week. any thoughts??

02-03-2006, 05:01 PM
Ellen - I'm curious - do you mean that you're allergy testing showed that you are allergic to Armour?

BTW, a lot of hypos deal with allergy and sinus problems. It can be a symptom of low thyroid, and a lot of people find that their allergies are better once they are on the correct dosage of thyroid meds.

I believe in Mary Shomon's books she comments that a hypo does well to lose 1 or 2 lbs a month. I don't know anyone that is hypo that loses 2 to 4 lbs a week, but I guess there are always exceptions. I would literally pass out if I saw that type of weightloss :faint: but boy wouldn't it be nice :-)

You said your "numbers were good" when your doc put you on Synthroid - do you happen to have copies of that bloodwork? I would be interested to look at what tests they ran and what your numbers were. Also what dosage of synthroid are you taking?

you said "any thoughts" - yes I have several, but I would start by having my doc run these specific tests and getting copies of the results and seeing what your numbers look like (I would be more than glad to help you with looking at the numbers if you would like).

Have your doc run:


If you are truly allergic to Armour ??? then I would see if your Free T3 is low and if so I would talk to the doc about adding Cytomel. I would also make sure that you are taking enough Synthroid to suppress your TSH and treat your low thyroid symptoms.

On Armour, mine and my son's and my mom's, and my sil's TSH all look something like 0.001 or 0.004 or so (suppressed) which scares some docs (if they are simply treating your numbers). Let me quote something here.....

"To completely rid ourselves of symptoms, we first and foremost dose by the elimination of SYMPTOMS—just as was successfully done before the TSH ever came into existence around 1973. We also check our temperatures with a mercury thermometer—seeking a before-rising temp of 97.8- 98.2, and a mid-afternoon temp of 98.6. We pay attention to our free T3 and free T4. And we note that when we have completely rid ourselves of symptoms, we have a free T3 at the top of the range. And in most of us, a free T3 at the top will suppress our TSH below one, with NO hyper-like symptoms. "

02-03-2006, 06:16 PM
I'll look forward to you PM cathy.

02-03-2006, 10:17 PM
well dang I plumb forgot - I will do that now :-)

02-05-2006, 04:55 PM
I know that they did all those test~i work for a very natural type dr. and have had my ears open. THanks for the input.

02-06-2006, 05:15 PM
I was glad to find this thread, I have to take synthroid as well and I have lost 30 pounds but i Have hit a brick wall, Anyone following the Jorge Cruise lifestyle?

02-06-2006, 05:51 PM
Syldervan, I know which wall you speak of, as I am there tooooooo! No I do not follow the JC diet.

02-07-2006, 09:48 AM
My meds have been all over the board for the last year. Up and down from hyper tp hypo. Currentley I am hyper so my nmeds have been lower. My T3 was normal . I am with a new Doc In a new state. I go back for blood work soon and will see results. When I get them back Cathy I would love to chat with you about the #s. They still confuse me at times. In the mean time I will continue to read Shomons book. I will also ask hin about armour. In the past 3 docs have shot me down on that. Anyway thanks for all the advice.

02-07-2006, 09:48 AM
My meds have been all over the board for the last year. Up and down from hyper tp hypo. Currentley I am hyper so my nmeds have been lower. My T3 was normal . I am with a new Doc In a new state. I go back for blood work soon and will see results. When I get them back Cathy I would love to chat with you about the #s. They still confuse me at times. In the mean time I will continue to read Shomons book. I will also ask hin about armour. In the past 3 docs have shot me down on that. Anyway thanks for all the advice.

02-07-2006, 10:07 AM
I Have read that we must avoid some food with hypo problem, can you guys tell me what they are?

02-07-2006, 11:11 AM
Watch raw cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, and soy as they inhibit the thyroid

Here is what was said earlier in this thread

02-07-2006, 11:54 AM
Oh no, I have been eating coselaw everyday and I like to steam carrots and brocoli and cauliflower, that is so disapointine to know, Is anyone able to eat those and still loose the weight..

02-07-2006, 12:20 PM
Boy do I hear you! I found out 3 yrs ago that my thyroid had basically decided to retire. After 2 1/2 years my numbers are finally good.

Funny without doing one thing different as far as my diet went I did lose 20 pounds just by righting my thyroid.

LOL now for the hard part all the rest I can't blame on that.

I am on Sonoma Diet now and it seems to be working and the food is awesome.

Good Luck to you!

02-07-2006, 12:55 PM
I know what you mean, before I got my thyorid under control, I was going to the gym everyday and the threadmill for 30 minutes everyday and a workout every day, different part of the body and in 9 months, of hard work, I had only lost 9 pounds, after I was diagnose and was stable, I manage to loose 30 pounds in 4 months but been struggling for 5 months now, loose 9 pounds in 4 weeks and gain in back, Grrrr...

02-07-2006, 01:30 PM
Just to make sure I get this right, if I cook cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli then is it ok,

02-08-2006, 02:05 PM
I just checked the forum rules to make sure it was ok for me to post a link to a new website that has a lot of great thyroid info and it looks like it is ok to do that (unless I've missed something - and if that is the case - please let me know).

So I just wanted to share this website as the info there could be very helpful to anyone with a thyroid problem or for anyone that thinks they might have a thyroid problem.

02-08-2006, 04:06 PM
Thanks a million.

02-08-2006, 04:10 PM
Just cruising the sites and found this...funny that I seem to be having the same problem as the gal that starting asking questions. I too am curious about Armour, and even asked my gp awhile ago about switching and he gave me a list of "reasons" why I shouldn' I just sit and try to lose a pound here and there. I try to watch what I eat and for the most part am good about that, but I can't seem to lose more than 3 pounds without going back up again. I went back to him at the beginnning of the week to get blood tests again as I think that I need an increase of the synthroid again. This is such a frustrating problem and it quite frankly makes me jealous when I hear of others that the weight just seems to melt off!!!( sorry all u people who know who u are). Anyway, that was my vent for the day, but I have had ths gp for 22 years and he gets me angry sometimes when he doesn't want to explore other avenues. I did see a endo awhile back but she basically backed him up on the armour thing as well. so what do you do?

02-08-2006, 05:12 PM
cutieshirl40 - i'm gonna send you a pm

02-09-2006, 04:29 PM
I can't find the post - but didn't somebody mention "depro-provera shots" here? if so I want to share some info with you that I just read.

02-09-2006, 06:20 PM
Ohhh I'm curious about depo shots I took them for a year before we decided we wanted to have another child I stopped taking the shots then I was diagnosed with thyroid probs (first hyper now hypo). Are they linked?

Cathy you always have a wealth of information to share :)

02-09-2006, 09:15 PM
Hey Michelle - gosh I haven't seen you in so long - how are you doing? it's always great to see ya girlie!!!!

I really don't know much about the Depro Provera shots, but this info was posted at my natural thyroid hormone group and I thought I should at least share it....

Depo-provera shot - Very Dangerous

We are reprinting this letter from an articulate young woman named Julie Barter whose life fell apart after she received a series of Depo-Provera shots for birth control. Until she went to an astute chiropractor, she had no idea that the Depo-Provera was causing her symptoms, and neither did the many doctors she went to, in spite of the fact that backache and skin rash are known side effects.

The supposed ease and convenience of this drug as a means of birth control seems to be particularly appealing to Gen-Xers who want quick, easy solutions. They assume it is safe because their doctors will prescribe it. We suspect that many thousands of young women are suffering this way, and hope that Julie's letter will be a wake-up call to both young women and their parents, to stay far away from this terrible drug.

Dear Dr. Lee,

I'm writing this to tell you about my experiences of the last year and a half on Depo-Provera injectable birth control. Before using the Depo-Provera I was a 26-year-old, extremely physically fit woman with no history of medical problems of any sort.

In January of 1998, I was looking for a reliable means of birth control. Being nable to handle any type of birth control pill, I began taking injections of Depo-Provera. My doctor told me it would work for me since it doesn't contain any estrogen, and that I wouldn't have any periods. Having been competing at an elite level in bicycle racing for many years, I didn't really have a menstrual cycle anyway, and decided that not having periods at all wouldn't be such a bad thing.

That was about all the information I was given about the stuff . I thought, no problem. It won't be much different from what is already going on with me.

Everything seemed fine for a number of months. I didn't notice any crazy emotional effects like I had experienced when I tried to take the Pill. My moods seemed totally unaffected. I thought, "Gee, this is great stuff. I don't even go through mood swings around the time of a period because I don't have any periods at all. How convenient."

Unexplained Back Pain

In midsummer, I began to notice that my lower back felt very tired all the time, which I had never experienced before. I'm on my feet and moving around a great deal at work, and by the time I got home and stood in the kitchen to make dinner, I would feel like there was just no comfortable position for my pelvis. My lower back just felt so tired. I just tried to ignore it.

Unexplained Skin Problems

At the same time, I also developed eczema-like skin rashes. I finally went to the doctor because I couldn't restrain myself from scratching. I was scratching myself bloody every night. The sores covered my scalp, neck, and arms, and the worst part was the rash on both my eyelids and on and above my lips. I felt like a monster. The doctor gave me cortisone cream and a prescription moisturizer. I tried these things for a couple weeks, and they didn't put even a dent in the itching or the red, scaly appearance of all the spots.

All this time, I was continuing to take Depo-Provera injections every 13 weeks without ever having any suspicion that it might be related in any way to my troubles.

In early November, I got a "cricky" feeling in my lower back. It felt as though it needed to pop. Usually in the past when I had felt something like that in my lower back, thirty minutes or so of yoga for my legs and back would take care of the problem. This time I stretched every day and tried everything I knew to get my back to move into a comfortable position. It was all to no avail. After ten days or so I thought maybe some weight-bearing exercise would mobilize it back into place, so I went for a run. My back didn't feel
so good toward the end of my run, and by the time I cooled off, I knew that I was in big trouble. I couldn't even stand up straight. I got an adjustment from a chiropractor that gave me quite a bit of relief, but I was so sore and weak from the incident that I was flat on my back for nearly a week after that.

My Life Falls Apart

After that it was just a haze of doctor visits and chiropractor visits and physical therapy visits. The upshot was that my back just wasn't healing. It kept on going out of place without even the slightest provocation. I was continuing to have adjustments, and it just wasn't holding. Throughout this time, I had been missing days of work here and there, and going home early almost every day because my back would be so exhausted by midday that I had to lie down for the rest of the day and evening. Eventually I was unable to sit at all. I had to rig up a standing work station for myself.

I was pretty much debilitated. I couldn't lift anything over about five pounds. I couldn't bend over. I couldn't even lie on the couch. I had a permanent nest laid out on the floor, because that was where I spent most of my time. My athletic endeavors had come to a screeching halt. I had been used to riding my bicycle about 40 miles a day, or running six or seven miles. I couldn't even look at my bike without wincing in pain. I was pretty much handicapped. I couldn't cook or clean and I couldn't even walk for exercise my back hurt so badly.

I took enormous doses of ibuprofen trying to get the inflammation to go down. I used ice. I used glucosamine sulfate. I avoided wheat, dairy and corn products. Nothing helped for long. As time went on, my back pain was not even ameliorated when I would lay down. It ached all the time no matter what, and any type of bending, standing, or moving would bring on much more severe pain.

An Astute Chiropractor Finds the Culprit

I finally went to see a chiropractor named Dean who told me it was absolutely essential for me to get off the Depo-Provera. He made no bones about it. He was very stern and came on very strong about the topic. I was astounded. I couldn't understand how birth control could have anything at all to do with my back.

He said that the hormones in the Depo are not the forms naturally made by the body. They are synthetically altered progestins so that the harmaceutical companies can patent these molecules and thus make a great deal more money from them, since they can't patent a substance found in nature. The problem is that even though these synthetic molecules do bind to the hormone receptors, the body simultaneously recognizes them as foreign substances that need to be eradicated. So the immune system works overtime around the clock trying to get rid of this nasty foreign substance The adrenal glands think it's emergency time all the time, so they pump out the hormone cortisol. Pretty soon, the adrenals are completely exhausted.

In Chinese medicine, the adrenals are on the same circuit as five of the muscles of the lower back. When the adrenals are over-tired, it inhibits these muscles of the lower back. Dean told me that the reason my back wasn't getting any better was because those muscles simply were not firing appropriately. Essentially, there was nothing holding my lower back together, and that's exactly what it felt like.

I Finally Understand What Has Happened

Well, this was quite a shock to me, and quite a bit to chew on. He did, however tell me not to simply take his word for it, but to do a little reading on my own. He recommended your book, What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Premenopause. I devoured the book in a couple of days, and thought it was a very plausible explanation. It also explained my skin problems, my low blood pressure and dizziness problems, as well as the two teeth that had gotten loose in the last year.

I called the pharmacist to find out how long the Depo was going to take to wear off. She told me that it has a half life of 50 days. It takes about four half-lives after one injection for it to undetectable in the body. She told me it reaches its peak concentration in the blood thirty days after an injection and drops from there. That bit of information caught my attention. As I thought
back to my major incidents of back problems, they were all within about 30 days after an injection. Well, that sealed it for me. I had no more doubt that the Depo-Provera was at the root of my problems.

The Healing Begins and I Start to Get My Life Back

I am now about 20 weeks out from my last (ever!) injection of Depo- Provera. I am off the anti-inflammatories. I began to be able to sit again about three weeks ago. I am slowly and gently beginning to ride my bike again. My skin is back to normal. I will be doing abdominal exercises for the rest of my life to help stabilize the permanent damage done to my back, and I'm using a progesterone cream to help get my own hormones back online.

I deeply regret that in my ignorance I poisoned myself. I would like to add that in speaking with other women during this time, there have been three other very young women who have suffered problems like mine or even worse after only a single injection of the Depo. I would like to emphasize as well that all of these women, including myself, are way too young to be suffering back trouble like this without a major traumatic injury.

If, in writing this account, I can help just one other person avoid the suffering caused to me by Depo-Provera, I will consider it time very well spent.

Julie Barter

02-13-2006, 11:38 AM
cutieshirl what dosage of synthroid are you on?

after a year, well most of that i didnt know my thyroid had retired, but more like 6 months of trying to figure out dosage, i went to a specialist. once i did that, and i was on actual synthroid and not the generic and a higher dosage, the weight fell off. however, now i am completed addicted to running after this is all said and done. i was trying EVERYTHING to lose the gained weight, and in the process found myself now not be able to quit!!

02-13-2006, 01:37 PM
Just wanted to share this with you, I follow Jorge Cruise lifestyle and

02-13-2006, 01:38 PM
oops here the rest, lol, for my afternoon snack, I cut off the carbs and replace them with protein and guess what the weight is coming off, Finally

02-13-2006, 08:45 PM
I'm new here but wanted to respond to this thread.

I have postablative hypothyroidism so my thyroid does not function at all. I have been on Synthroid since September currently 137 mcg but since I don't have a functioning thyroid I will need higher doses.

Anyway I gained 30 lbs quickly from Graves Disease (yes, a majority of the people gain with graves due to the increased appetite and then the fatigue) and the time I was going from hyper to hypo.

Once I got on Synthroid and got my energy back I joined Weight Watchers and have consistently lost an average of 2 lbs/week. I made goal in 18 weeks. I do have to watch my intake of whole grains (only 1-2 servings a day) but other than that nothing. I always had to watch my carb intake so nothing really new there.

BTW I am 40 years old so I am at the age where it is supposed to be difficult to lose weight.

I read all the Mary Shoman and Elaine Moore books and have spent hours on the thyroid site at plus researched conventional methods as well. I have made my choice and it seems to be working for me.

The Synthroid works for me. My endo checks more than tsh he checks free t4, free t3, and tsi ( for graves antibodies which never go away). Everyone is different and needs to take the route that best suits them.

Good luck to all.

02-14-2006, 05:29 PM
Maestra, I'm so glad that you are feeling well and that you have done a lot of research into the thyroid stuff - that's awesome!

Just wanted to comment tho that I noticed you've been on Synthroid since September. What I have found is that some folks do alright on Synthroid for 10 years or so - maybe even 15 - bec I think it takes about that long for the undertreated hypo to show up in some. After that time, it seems that many people are on other medications for symptoms that are actually hypo related.

I was wondering do you not have any hypo symptoms at all?
or do you find that you have to take other medications besides the Synthroid?

I truly hope that you continue to do well, but I'm also glad that you've researched the thyroid stuff and know about Armour Thyroid (or about adding Cytomel to the synthetic) - that way you will know where to turn if you start noticing hypo related symptoms.

And congrats on having an Endo that is running those thyroid tests. That is encouraging to hear.

I would love for you to keep in touch and keep me posted about how you are doing.

take care,

02-16-2006, 09:55 PM
Hey gang - this message was posted tonight at the yahoo naturalthyroidhormone group. I thought it might help to post it here and show how unreliable the TSH really is. You will notice this lady's TSH looks fine (the lower the number supposedly the better your thyroid, and the higher the number is suppose to be evidence of low thyroid - sounds backwards I know but that is how that one goes) but the Free T3 and Free T4 tests show that her thyroid is actually low.

Anyway - I thought perhaps it might make better sense to see some numbers and hear this story.

on the test result - the first number is the result - the number in paranthesis is the "normal range"

hope this helps someone

"Message: 12
Date: Thu, 16 Feb 2006 22:58:22 -0000
Subject: Don't go by TSH alone!!!

Hope you ladies don't mind me posting this, but I thought it was important to show soemone who might think that they have hypothyroidism but are told by their doctors that their levels are "normal".

I have a friend/co-worker who has a family history of thyroid disease. Her previous doctor tested her TSH & thyroid antibodies. Her antibodies were both elevated, but her TSH was normal. Her doctor told her this was normal, despite the fact that she had many of the symptoms, one being headaches, which her doctor was treating.

I told my friend I would bring her to my doctor, since he's really good & sees 5 to 6 thyroid patients a day. He tested her antibodies, TSH, FT4 & TT3. Here are her results with the reference ranges in parenthesis.

TSH - 1.7 (.4-5.5) btw this range is wrong it should be 0.3 to 3.0 but still TSH would look totally normal

FREE T4 - .7 (.8-1.8)

FREE T3 - 90 (60-180)

Also, her antibodies were 126 & 146.

So, my doctor has started her on 30 mgs. Armour & is going to restest her in 6 weeks.

So, this just goes to show you that even though your TSH may be "normal", your thyroid hormones (T4 & T3) may be low. If you have symptoms of thyroid disease & your doctor tells you that your TSH is "normal", INSIST on further testing."

02-16-2006, 11:31 PM
Here is my update....apparently my 2 hr test is good (thank god), my thyroid function is good for now also, he will check again in a couple months. I am still waiting on the cortisol test, it wont be done until tomorrow. He did say I have 'seasonal affective disorder' he said it is common and his wife has it also, so he gave me stuff for that. He doesnt want to change more than one thing at a time, but he did say that I can take the Armour if I want to, but he wants me to wait until this other medicine has time to kick in before he changes it. So, I have 3-4 weeks to see what happens, with that stuff. But I may have to wait a little longer depending on the results of the last test tomorrow. Wish me luck! I am NOT IR!!!! WOOOHOOOO

My fasting blood sugar was 81 and then 2 hr later it was 90 (OH MAN IS THAT ORANGE STUFF GROSS!!!!)

Misti in Seattle
02-17-2006, 12:23 AM
Hey I was happy to find this thread! I had a large tumor removed from my thyroid in July 04 and right before and since my weight has ballooned out of all proportion. I am hypo and take L-thyroxine. It has been a discouraging time but I am determined NOT to give up and get back in shape! I am choosing just a healthful eating plan and exercising since I am not a believer at all in diets but need something to live with.

02-17-2006, 07:56 AM
Hi there- Thought I would jump in-have been on Armour thyroid for years and am going to be tested again today. My dose got lowered last year but I am getting symptoms so I want to be checked again.When my dose was correct, I never thought it interfered with weight loss. I have gained lately because I have been on cortisone for asthma and it makes me hungry!!! And then I don't feel well becvause of wheezing so I don't walk. I saw wheezing was a sign of low-thyroid. Anyone know about that? Mima

Misti in Seattle
02-17-2006, 09:16 AM
Mima, that is encouraging about it not interfering with weight loss if you are on the right dose. I was on a very low dose and my doctor just increased it; I was glad as I was having all kinds of classic symptoms. Now I really want to get in shape and am ready to work at it!

02-17-2006, 09:31 AM
I have a question for you guys this morning, i Have been taking synthroid for about 1 year now, and all is fine, but loosing weight, I still strugle, now I have heard of hydroxycut and lypo6 to increase your energy(metabolism).

Is anyone ever tried those? I am reloctant to try this, so I would like to know if some of you have something else to recommend or should I stay away from this..

02-17-2006, 10:35 AM
Hey Mima (and everyone taking Armour Thyroid) - please make sure that you DO NOT take your Armour Thyroid on the day that your blood is drawn. Wait and take it after they draw your blood. The T3 in Armour spikes and causes the numbers to look higher than they actually are and a lot of people are having their Armour reduced based on those higher numbers that are skewed due to taking their Armour on that day. If you can get your doc to treat you based on your hypo symptoms - which you are obviously dealing with again - you will receive better treatment and feel better.

And yes - definitely - wheezing, asthma, sinus & bronchial stuff can be due to low thyroid and for many it gets better on the proper dosage - as you found out when you were on the higher dosage. Also the fact that you were losing weight and are now gaining on the lower dosage is another indicator that your dosage is too low to treat your symptoms.

Also, most people find that they need between 3 to 5 grains (180 mgs to 300 mgs) of Armour. A lot of docs mistakenly think that 2 grains (120 mgs) is good dosage of Armour for treating hypos and that is usually not the case.

I do have info I can share with you that shows most people do best on 3 to 5 grains if you would like.


02-17-2006, 10:45 AM
GonnaLooseitagain - you and I have been talking so I know you don't mind my questions ;)

What dosage of Armour are you on? - sorry I forgot

When you saw your doc yesterday did he run blood work and dose you based on that?

If you did do bloodwork, did you take your Armour on that before before they drew your blood?

If you got copies and don't mind me looking at it - can I see what tests they ran and what your numbers were.

The reason for some of my questions is bec I was offered antidepressants by every doc I saw - I didn't need them I needed my thyroid problem treated. Once I was on the proper dosage of Armour, I no longer dealt with depression, anxious feelings, and my obsessive compulsive personality (not disorder) is not so "uptight". I feel great! and everybody knows it! :p

There are a lot of people that start on antidepressants - like my son - that find once their thyroid problem is treated - that they don't need the antidepressants. There are hundreds that have come thru our thyroid group with the same story.

Soooooooooo I'm just trying to make sure you are taking enough Armour to treat your hypo symptoms. Some docs don't realize how many psych problems a low thyroid problem can cause.

Nosey Rosey Cathy ;)

02-17-2006, 01:22 PM
He has not put me on Armour yet, he wanted to wait to see what my numbers are like, I dont have the actual numbers yet, they are going to call me today to give me more results. I am still on Synthroid. I did the 2 hr glucose test and fasting was 81 and then after the 2 hr it was 90. I will ask about my actual thyroid numbers when they call me back today. I have taken AD's before and did pretty good on them, but I have never taken them for Seasonal Affective Dissorder.

02-17-2006, 01:38 PM
ok - well I explained why I was asking.

If they ran the Free T3 test, you will probaby find that your Free T3 is low, probably just barely within the normal range. That is just the way it goes on Synthroid. It is a T4 only product. Most people need their Free T3 level in the upper 1/3 of the range. My son's stays a little over the range in order for him to feel well and not deal so much with anxiety, depression, ocd, etc.

If it were me, and this is only my opinion (you can take it for what it is worth) I would want to be on Armour and on the correct dosage where my hypo symptoms were treated, before I thought about taking or adding any other med - especially any psych drugs. They are really hard to go on and off of. A lot of people find they only need the Armour - once they are actually taking the proper dosage.

If you want to talk about it - please ask exactly what tests they ran - the name of the test, the result and the range for that test, and jot it all down and let me know.

thanks girlie for putting up with my nosey rosey-ness ;)

02-17-2006, 04:42 PM
Wow, I lost 200 pounds while taking Levoxyl so I think you need to retaract that general statement. Armor is not a cureall.

02-17-2006, 04:48 PM
Hi Michelle, As for the time of day I take synthroid, I always have taken it as directed, first thing in the a.m before eating....

02-20-2006, 10:53 AM
I have been able to lose weight while being treated for hypothyroidism (with levoxyl) but it isn't easy. For me, the only thing that works is counting calories. I was able to drop 20 lbs over about 2.5 months by just increasing my veggies, increasing my protein, watching my carbs and keeping my calories around 1600 a day. Now if I just add some regular exericse to that, I think I will be on track for better success.