Weight Loss Support - Thyroid?




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Altari
10-26-2006, 01:02 AM
This is, by no means, meant to shift the blame for my weight off myself.

My friend is a quasi-med student. After she came down to visit me for the first time in a long time, she commented that she thought I might have a thyroid problem following my pregnancies. She said the gall bladder failure, inability to lose weight, and the nice pad of fat on the back of my neck were all signs that my thyroid might not be up to par.

Has anyone had any experience with this? I know a girl who swears she loses weight when she remembers to take her thyroid medication, but when she doesn't, no matter how much she diets or exercises the pounds won't budge. That's the exact problem I'm having and wonder if it's worth getting looked into.


SwimGirl
10-26-2006, 01:13 AM
Altari - My moms friend still had a really hard time losing weight even WITH her meds. Hopefully you do not, apparently you have to take those meds for the rest of your life! But I realllllly don't like taking pills. I sometimes wonder if there is something wrong with me, I have issues losing weight, or rather, had. I found for me it was dairy and wheat that were holding me back. The second I cut back I dropped 2 pounds overnight! I wish you the best of luck in finding out whats going on with your body.. I totally understand how completely discouraging it can be to be stuck.

-Aimee

mandalinn82
10-26-2006, 01:13 AM
Heres the thing...if you have a medical condition, it should be treated. When was your last physical? You could mention your symptoms at a general checkup and see what your doc wants you to do, or even suggest a thyroid test if he doesn't (but those symptoms would probably make your doc think "thyroid" anyway).

You know your body better than anyone else. If something feels off, get it checked out.


aphil
10-26-2006, 07:46 AM
That is the thing-you have to get tested to know. A lot of people have symptoms of thyroid issues...but don't have them. I am overweight, and I have always had skin problems, etc. and problems losing the weight after all of my kids...it takes me over a year-sometimes two-each time to lose the weight.
My doctor after my second child thought I might have thyroid issues-turns out I don't. It was just symptoms of other issues that are also symptoms of thyroid issues.
Basically-see your doctor and get checked. Your friend, and anyone here, cannot tell you. Only tests can.

Altari
10-26-2006, 08:33 AM
Obviously I'm not asking for a diagnosis. I was asking if anyone had had their own experience with a thyroid issue.

I see my doctor yearly but have never had a thyroid screening.

3Beans
10-26-2006, 08:46 AM
I used to be hyperthyroid and it couldn't be managed with pills. So I had a procedure done (RAI) that destroyed most of my thyroid. Now I'll be hypothyroid for the rest of my life and have to take a pill (synthroid) each morning to keep my thryoid hormone levels normal and my body functioning.

Synthroid does NOT function as a magic weight loss drug. I have to work at least as hard, if not harder, to manage my weight. Most people lose a few pounds when they start their medication as their metabolism balances a bit, but can't expect more than that without WORK and lots of it!

If you think you might be hypothyroid, get tested. But you will not suddenly reach your goal weight overnight if it turns out to be a positive diagnosis. You will, however, have to visit an endocrinologist and get bloodwork regularly until your thyroid hormone numbers are where they should be, then continue with annual visits and medication for the rest of your life.

Good luck...and if you get tested, I hope it's negative!

Lydia227
10-26-2006, 09:14 AM
Altari: I have a hypothyroid as well. Six months after giving birth to my second son my girlfriend noticed there was a large lump at the base of my neck. After surgery, we discovered that the tumor was the size of a small lemon. Fortunately, it was benign but it did completely destroy the left side of my thyroid. After a simple blood test my physician found that my hormone levels were okay with just one half of my thyroid and I was good to go.

One year later I began to live a nightmare and didn't know why. To say I was not myself is an understatment. I was beyond irritable, I couldn't remember even the simplist things, I was chilled to the bone in the middle of July, and looking at the photographs today I was retaining so much water that I looked hideous. Oh yeah, my hair was falling out too. Basically the wheels were coming off...

During my annual physical my physician ordered bloodwork suspecting that my thyroid was the issue. The tests came back positive and I began taking Synthyroid. They say that it takes several weeks if not a month for enough to build up in your system but within one week I was so happy that I thought someone should just slap me...I felt like me again.

Hypothyroidism isn't something to mess with. If you do have this disorder it is very important that you take the meds as directed without exception. The test is a simple bloodtest so if you suspect that you may have this problem don't put it off.

It's been a year that I have been on the medication. During this past year I have been able to piece myself back together. I'm much happier, mental acuity is clearer and my energy level is through the roof. Not all of this is from the medication but it got me started in the right direction.

In addition to taking the medication I joined a gym and began working out. I have lost over 50 lbs over the last year. I attibute that to my efforts in the gym and not the medication. To be clear, I work out six days a week, two hours a day. (That is before my stress fracture- learned my lesson there too)

Good luck, I do hope that the test is negative.

almostheaven
10-26-2006, 09:34 PM
I used to be hyperthyroid and it couldn't be managed with pills. So I had a procedure done (RAI) that destroyed most of my thyroid. Now I'll be hypothyroid for the rest of my life and have to take a pill (synthroid) each morning to keep my thryoid hormone levels normal and my body functioning.
My husband went through this. Not sure what they called the procedure he underwent, some series of radioactive pills...he had to spend a few days in a hotel because he could not be near me or the baby. They completely killed off his thyroid and he is on Synthroid for life, just as his mother was. He had full blown Grave's disease. They tried treating it with Mehtamasol(sp?), but his TH levels were so high, it didn't help. But sometimes thyroid CAN be treated with pills and brought on track, so it's not necessarily true that everyone would have to take pills for life as someone mentioned.

3Beans
10-26-2006, 10:10 PM
My husband went through this. Not sure what they called the procedure he underwent, some series of radioactive pills...he had to spend a few days in a hotel because he could not be near me or the baby. They completely killed off his thyroid and he is on Synthroid for life, just as his mother was. He had full blown Grave's disease. They tried treating it with Mehtamasol(sp?), but his TH levels were so high, it didn't help. But sometimes thyroid CAN be treated with pills and brought on track, so it's not necessarily true that everyone would have to take pills for life as someone mentioned.

You're absolutely right. That's true...some people go into remission from medication alone, or from dietary changes, or from alternative therapies. The point I wanted to convey was more that thyroid disease is not easy to cope with, and is a problem of its own rather than a solution to extra weight.

Sheila53
10-26-2006, 10:35 PM
For those of you taking thyroid medication, please be sure to get enough calcium. I've been on thyroid medication for 30 years, starting at a fairly high dosage, and going down in the last 10 years to my current level. A year ago I was shocked to find out that I have osteoporosis in two vertabrae and osteopenia in other areas. Because I have no risk factors (no one would ever call me small boned!), two different doctors have mentioned the thyroid medication as the culprit.

Lydia227
10-27-2006, 12:34 PM
For those of you taking thyroid medication, please be sure to get enough calcium. I've been on thyroid medication for 30 years, starting at a fairly high dosage, and going down in the last 10 years to my current level. A year ago I was shocked to find out that I have osteoporosis in two vertabrae and osteopenia in other areas. Because I have no risk factors (no one would ever call me small boned!), two different doctors have mentioned the thyroid medication as the culprit.

Good Point Shelia. I just had an appointment with my GP yesterday to have my annual levels checked. During the appointment I have requested a DEXA Scan just to get a baseline. He thought this was a good idea since I'm in my late thirties and my mother developed osteoporsis in her early forties. YIKES.:dizzy:

He did point out to me that there is a correlation between osteoporosis and Synthroid when the dosage has been prescribed at a level that is too high for the patient.

I sure do take those calcium suppliments. Couple of times a day on an empty stomach. Just one more thing to keep track of but as I rehab from a femeral neck stress fracture, I will take them to avoid any further damage to my framework. ;)

hermanita32
10-27-2006, 01:33 PM
altari-
I think the pad of fat on your neck is definitely worth getting checked out. my experience my the medication I take (unithroid) has not been a magic pill by any means. I have to work hard at maintaing my weight ( right now not losing anything). When I was diagnosed I felt fine and my aunt pointed out a pad of fat in the front of my neck called a goiter, my blood pressure was through the roof and I kept blacking out. At that time I weighed 145 lbs, exercising often. Luckily I got checked and was diagnosed with Graves' disease. I had the radioactive iodine treatment and became hypothyroid, 8 years later, I still haven't found the right cocktail for me, but I keep trying.
So yes, get the padding checked out, it may be nothing but then again it may not.

Altari
10-27-2006, 11:39 PM
It's actually on the back of my neck (not goiter); it's called a buffalo hump - how flattering. There are two causes : being fat or a bad thyroid. Hmm..

I did make an appointment with my GP. I had a ton of blood work run a year ago (pregnancy screening) and they did check my thyroid, but my friend said that post-partum can burn it out. :(

Thanks so much for everyone who shared their info. It helps to know what I may be getting into.

NewDay4MeToo
10-28-2006, 12:27 AM
Altari-

I feel your pain on the buffalo hump. I have one as well, but it is getting much smaller as I lose weight.

freiamaya
10-28-2006, 10:08 PM
OK, I can't help myself. When you see your GP, ask about CUSHING'S SYNDROME. This is a syndrome that involves excessive amounts of cortisol in your body. It is characterized by upper body obesity, some facial hair, and especially important for you, a fat pad (aka buffalo hump) at the base of your neck. Please get this checked out - you may already have had the blood work for it, but I think it is worth asking about!
Keep up informed!

Misti in Seattle
10-28-2006, 10:15 PM
Obviously I'm not asking for a diagnosis. I was asking if anyone had had their own experience with a thyroid issue.


:wave: raising hand :wave:

Yep, this one I'm experienced at! And let me add here that most doctors do NOT check for thyroid even at a physical unless you ask them to or there is other obvious reasons.

Mine became obvious because I had a huge tumor on the side of my neck... which believe it or not no one, self included, had even noticed until a surgeon I went to something minor noticed it immediately.

Anyway YES I had been gaining huge amounts of weight. Once I had the tumor removed and the meds regulated right I am losing the weight... and as you say, I too am not blaming the thyroid as I gave up and let things get out of control. And now I am eating right and moving my butt -- it is hard work but the weight is coming off and I feel great.

Also, please be cautious about "Internet diagnosis" as far as the proper meds for you IF your doctor does diagnose thyroid problems. I have been successfully taking L-thyroxine (synthroid) for a couple years now and doing great on it. There are those who strongly criticize it and of course perhaps it is not right for some. But it is fine for many of us; I have a friend also who takes it very successfully.

Anyway, yes I do strongly encourage you to follow through and have medical tests done.

Altari
10-28-2006, 11:22 PM
I did have a thryoid test done last time around. I had near-liver-failure following the birth of my second daughter, and my OB was concerned it would affect my other organs. Since the pregnancies were so close together, she ordered a screening on EVERYTHING.

freiamaya
10-28-2006, 11:31 PM
Hey, it just seems to me that when your friend, a quasi-medical student, has a quasi-diagnosis and you have questions about it, and post your concerns, you are bound to get a number of issues raised. I don't think anyone has "diagnosed" you -- there are a number of reasons for a "buffalo hump" other than being fat or having a thyroid condition. I think that people here are trying to help, not hinder your search for an answer. All I can suggest is that if you don't want any advice, don't ask for it!!! And you never know, you just might discover that SOME of the people who log onto this website are actually doctors, who have good advice, and would SUGGEST further tests WITHOUT diagnosing you online (which would be irresponsible, illegal, and actionable by a Board Licensing Agency). After all, why not take advantage of someone else's 7 years of University training, but I digress...

Altari
10-29-2006, 12:52 AM
Hey, it just seems to me that when your friend, a quasi-medical student, has a quasi-diagnosis and you have questions about it, and post your concerns, you are bound to get a number of issues raised. I don't think anyone has "diagnosed" you -- there are a number of reasons for a "buffalo hump" other than being fat or having a thyroid condition. I think that people here are trying to help, not hinder your search for an answer. All I can suggest is that if you don't want any advice, don't ask for it!!! And you never know, you just might discover that SOME of the people who log onto this website are actually doctors, who have good advice, and would SUGGEST further tests WITHOUT diagnosing you online (which would be irresponsible, illegal, and actionable by a Board Licensing Agency). After all, why not take advantage of someone else's 7 years of University training, but I digress...
I'm...sorry?

Has a bug crawled into everyone's panties lately? I ask for anyone's experience (not advice first off but am willing to listen) and clarify two pieces of information and suddenly I'm being harangued for it?

For FURTHER clarification, the buffalo hump came up with my doctor when I had all my tests run. She said, at the time, that the two main causes are being fat (which I am) or having a thyroid problem (which was not detected at the time). She said all other causes were not applicable to my situation.

But I digress... :dizzy:

Misti in Seattle
10-29-2006, 08:28 AM
Has a bug crawled into everyone's panties lately? I ask for anyone's experience (not advice first off but am willing to listen) and clarify two pieces of information and suddenly I'm being harangued for it?


Not mine! :lol: I thought you asked a very reasonable question. ;)

ValRock
10-29-2006, 08:33 AM
This is good information!!! I just went to the doctor yesterday and he found a large lump on my thyroid... I go back in on Monday for an ultrasound and needle biopsy. *hugs* to all of you!

Misti in Seattle
10-29-2006, 08:39 AM
Val, sorry about your lump but so glad you found it! The vast majority of thyroid lumps are totally benign. I studied this all out when I had mine. And even if you need surgery to remove it, I had it and it was not bad at all. I didn't even take my pain meds after I got home though of course everyone is different. After the first week or so it was just a nice reason to be off work for a while. :) Though of course I had to eat mushies, not drive or lift for a while. But you may not even need that.

You are in my prayers!!! Hope that is okay with you. Please be sure to let us know what the tests reveal.

scalewatcher
10-29-2006, 10:14 AM
I have a multi-nodule goiter. It was discovered during an MRI after I had cervical spinal fusion. I was sent to an Endocronoligist. He did blood test and sonograms. My thyroid hormone levels were in range but on the low side. I ask if taking the Synthroid would help the goiter and he said that there is not scientific evidence to prove that it would help. I choose not to take it. A year and a half later my thyroid hormone levels are closer to the middle range. I used to take synthroid meds. for 1984 - 1992. I used to get really sick to my stomach when I would miss my pill. Then in 1992 I started getting sick to my stomach almost everyday even when I took it. I was in a hurry one day to get to work, so I forgot to take my pill and later I noticed that I didn't get sick. So when I realized what happen I decided ti do an experiment. I took it the next day and got sick. I didn't take it the next day and was fine. I went to the Dr. and he took blood test and said that my thyroid levels where fine. I stopped taking the meds. with his permission. I don't like to take any meds. so I was very happy to not to have to take it.

Misti in Seattle
10-29-2006, 10:33 AM
That is great that you were able to go off the meds! I don't think that is likely to happen for me as half my thyroid and one parathyroid is gone. Still my doctor waited six weeks or so before putting me on meds as sometimes the other half picks up. Then I went on a lower dosage for another six weeks but she had to raise it up one notch and test again... this time it was normal so I don't get tested for another year. But I appreciate my doctor working to make sure I take only what I really need! I agree completely that it is best to take only what you need and great if you don't need any!

scalewatcher
10-29-2006, 10:40 AM
Misti in Seattle - I certainly agree with you about taking what you need. I took it when I needed it and will do it again if the need arises.

I just wanted to share my experience.

Misti in Seattle
10-29-2006, 11:01 AM
Yes, I did understand that was what you meant! :) I just meant to be expressing my happiness for you that you were able to successfully go off of it!

almostheaven
10-29-2006, 09:07 PM
That is great that you were able to go off the meds! I don't think that is likely to happen for me as half my thyroid and one parathyroid is gone. Still my doctor waited six weeks or so before putting me on meds as sometimes the other half picks up. Then I went on a lower dosage for another six weeks but she had to raise it up one notch and test again... this time it was normal so I don't get tested for another year. But I appreciate my doctor working to make sure I take only what I really need! I agree completely that it is best to take only what you need and great if you don't need any!
They completely killed hubby's thyroid, but they still didn't put him on synthroid for about 2 months as his TH levels were just so doggone high. When they first had him on methamasol, they had him take double the recommended dosage to try and regulate his thyroid. It helped, but they could never get his levels down quite enough. His immune system was so out of whack, they wouldn't even give him permission to have dental work for nearly two years...and he desperately needed it. A tooth finally got so bad they were worried more about the infection from it than from the dental work itself. They also had to put him on atenalol to slow his heart rate down as it was beating way too fast. Not only did he have a goiter, and was getting the bug eyes, the doc had med students come in (the V.A.) and listen to something in his neck he called a broulee(sp?). He said it was extremely rare. My hubby...the test subject. He's now on syntroid for life to take the place of having no thyroid now.

Altari
10-29-2006, 10:13 PM
They diagnosed my husband with one of those things as well ("broulee"). They said it was some kind of murmur that was weird but not life threatening. My husband's thyroid is really big...but they say it works fine.

It's great to hear that are some positive outcomes in this whole mess. I see my doctor on the 7th, so I'll find out what's going on then. My guess is that she'll also put me back on Zoloft (bleh) and start a diet pill that she wanted me to take before my last pregnancy - which is one of the reasons that I've avoided going to see her since then.

aphil
11-02-2006, 08:58 AM
Ummm....why would your doctor put you on Zoloft and a diet pill-especially if you don't want to take them? Neither one of these meds are relevant to the reason you are going in to see her (testing for thyroid problems) and honestly-if you are going in for the testing-you do NOT have to take the Zoloft or diet pills, even if she gives you a prescription for them. They are not like antibiotics, or a sort of medicine that you really NEED. They are purely optional, and if you don't want them, and she mentions them-tell her so!! You have control over your own body. You don't HAVE to take anything a doctor prescribes for you.

(For instance-a lot of people refuse cancer treatments even-if they know they are terminal, and would rather live out their last days feeling "good" rather than sick from chemo.)

If the doc wants to shove diet pills down your throat (which I am personally AGAINST for weight loss) and you don't want the antidepressant-don't take them, or find a new doctor.

Altari
11-02-2006, 12:40 PM
I have avoided going to see her because she wants to put me on those meds. My insurance limits which doctors I can go to, so she's my only choice.

QuilterInVA
11-02-2006, 01:43 PM
Why are you taking a diet pill if you don't want to - just say NO! You need to take responsibility for your medical decisions, not leave them up to anyone else. Diet pills can be dangerous.

aphil
11-02-2006, 04:22 PM
I have avoided going to see her because she wants to put me on those meds. My insurance limits which doctors I can go to, so she's my only choice.

I realize that she may be your only choice-BUT-you don't have to take them even if she suggests them. Tell her nicely that you HAVE already lost some of the extra weight through dietary changes and exercise, and if the thyroid testing comes back and shows that you have no problems there-then you would prefer to continue to do it with diet and exercise alone-no pills.

Short and sweet. You just have to tell her-plain and simple.