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Hypothyroidism & Weight Loss

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Old 06-28-2011, 01:57 PM   #1
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Default Hypothyroidism & Weight Loss

Hello Everyone-

I'm new to this site and I'm looking for some support from other women with hypothyroidism.

I'm not your average victim of hypothyroidism, as my thyroid never developed and I was born without one. I've been on Synthroid my entire life and while it keeps me alive, it does so without giving me any real metabolism to work with, which makes it literally three times as difficult to lose weight as a woman with a thyroid. I am beyond frustrated about that.

I have a relatively healthy set of eating habits and I just started going to the gym again. I moved to Boston this past September and have joined the YMCA and yesterday was my first visit. I've scheduled a personal training session for next week and I'm nervous about it.

At my heaviest, I was probably about 270lbs and currently I'm at 232. I'm 5'4", so my BMI is definitely obese and I'm sick of wearing a size 18. It's the smallest I've ever been but I just want to be able to go shopping at normal stores for once! I've always had to find plus-size clothing and I'm sick of it!

Any help would be appreciated, as would guidance or tips about what foods to avoid and what kind of workouts burn the most calories and fat. Anything would be great to help keep my motivation going.

Also- how do I get one of those weight ticker things?
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Old 06-28-2011, 02:01 PM   #2
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I have Hypothyroidism as well, my thyroid wasn't working at all so I took a radio active pill years ago to kill it and have been on Synthroid ever since. I have ALWAYS been heavy, I started the Ideal Protein diet on April 27th and so far have lost 41lbs and 49 inches. I love it, its manageable and I'm never hungry. I am 5'8 and now 352 lbs, I was at 388lbs.

As far as the ticker you get it after you post 20 times and have been a member of the site for 20 days!
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Old 06-28-2011, 03:11 PM   #3
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Oh wow- I've never heard of someone doing that. Was that the method doctors used before the surgery? That must have been so hard to go through!

Congratulations on your awesome weight loss! That seems like a lot of weight to lose so quickly, though! 41lbs in two months is a lot! Where did you find the Ideal Protein diet? Is there a website or something I could read about it?

Thanks for the tip about the ticker- I can't wait to get mine! It will be nice to see where I've been, where I am and where I'm headed. That definitely always helps me with motivation!
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Old 06-28-2011, 11:20 PM   #4
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Hi Magdalena,

My situation is more like wuv2bloved than yours - I had Grave's disease 10 years ago with radioactive iodine treatment. They nuked the crap out of it - I'm on 200mcg of Synthroid daily! I've had some success with the South Beach diet, but found it very easy to cheat on it. I've been on Medifast since April 16th, and I've lost 30 pounds on it.

BTW, my brother is somewhat similar to you - his pituitary doesn't secrete TSH; he's been on Synthroid since he was in preschool. He does better eating low carb, too.

Welcome, and good luck!

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Old 06-30-2011, 01:05 PM   #5
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I think our poor thyroids get blamed for a lot. You're metabolism should work just fine w/o a thyroid if you are managed correctly on your T4.

I have found a low carb, low fat diet really effective for me. I have had no problem losing weight this way. I would also suggest a weight training program. More weights at first, less cardio usually helps tame the initial hunger w/a new diet.

Building more muscle and taking in less sugar will help regulate all the hormones in your body (besides thyroid) that contribute to your metabolism.

Good Luck!
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Old 06-30-2011, 05:49 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MagdalenaRaela View Post
Oh wow- I've never heard of someone doing that. Was that the method doctors used before the surgery? That must have been so hard to go through!

Congratulations on your awesome weight loss! That seems like a lot of weight to lose so quickly, though! 41lbs in two months is a lot! Where did you find the Ideal Protein diet? Is there a website or something I could read about it?

Thanks for the tip about the ticker- I can't wait to get mine! It will be nice to see where I've been, where I am and where I'm headed. That definitely always helps me with motivation!

Thanks!!...you can find out details at www.idealprotein.com

Its a great diet, never hungry, the food is yummy...check it out, it might be something you would like to start...let me know if you have any questions. I would be more than happy to answer what I know. You can leave me a message on here or add me as a buddy if you would like!
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Old 06-30-2011, 10:48 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by serendipityberry View Post
I think our poor thyroids get blamed for a lot. You're metabolism should work just fine w/o a thyroid if you are managed correctly on your T4.
"Should" is the operative word there. My labs have been "normal" for 10 years, but I have never felt normal like I did before my thyroid issues started. Normal lab values are based on averages, and someone can be within normal limits yet nowhere near what their personal normal is. Unfortunately, most of us have no idea what our personal normal TSH and T4 levels are, since bloodwork isn't usually done until we have symptoms.


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Old 07-02-2011, 10:05 AM   #8
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I have been hypothyroid for the last 15 years (since I was 24 yo). Mine was simple autoimmune hypothyroidism. I gained 60 lbs before it was caught and I have never felt so bad in my life.
Once my T3 and T4 levels were normalized, I have felt "normal". Over the years, weight loss has been slow and I have won and lost the battle against my weight many times.
My metabolism has noticeably slowed in the last couple of years and I just think it's slowing as I age. The IP diet does work for me. As long as I don't take my Synthroid within 4 hours of taking my IP vitamins/supplements since they can interfere with eh absorption of Synthroid.

I wish you luck and know that you have support here.
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Old 07-04-2011, 12:20 PM   #9
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Wow, all of these responses are great- thank you all SO much!

Unfortunately, even though my levels have been managed well throughout my life, my metabolism still lags. My doctor said that while everything works the way it should, it's really just keeping me functional and not much else.

I did try the South Beach diet a few years ago, and while I dropped 10 or so pounds right away, it was hard to stick to and maintain. I've been back at the gym for a week now, just trying to build up my endurance and get back into the swing of things. I've just been doing about 30-40 minutes of cardio on the elliptical.

My problem when it comes to dieting is that I have a ridiculous sweet tooth and that's just bad all around because it causes me to crave more sugar. I've been watching what I eat and very loosely counting calories this past week, and I've been pretty good. This week will start the real calorie counting for me and I'm aiming to keep it around 1500 for the first few weeks.

SerendipityBerry- I do want to add strength training in, but have just been doing cardio as a means to get a bit conditioned beforehand. I also don't usually get hungry after working out- eating is the last thing I want to do for some reason. I'm meeting with a trainer on Wednesday (I get 3 free sessions) and hopefully will get a better idea on how to more effectively spend my time in the gym. About your diet- do you have a cap for carbs each day or do you simply eliminate them? How do you determine when you've reached your limit?

Thank you all again- I really appreciate everything you've posted!
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Old 07-10-2011, 08:27 AM   #10
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I have to say I'm surprised to hear there are folks on this forum that have no thyroid or had it ablated like me! I had graves disease a few years ago and took the radioactive iodine treatment. Initially with the graves I dropped 60 lbs then gained 70. Got pregnant after all was balanced out and now I'm at an all time high. I've used an ideal protein like diet but honestly it pretty well makes me sick. I've been doing simple calorie counting with phentermine but I have no idea if its going to give me results or not! Best of luck to all of you ladies!

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Old 07-10-2011, 07:45 PM   #11
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I just found this site today and am honored to be a part of it. I to have hypothyroidizm and struggle. I am doing weight watchers on my own because I only average a half pound a week and can't afford to pay $26.00 a pound just to attend meeting. I am a life time member of Weight Watchers twice. I just to eat. In the past two weeks, I've lost a total of 4.6 pounds and weigh on Monday mornings. Will slow down now losing as history has proven. Good Luck to all of you and thanks for helping me with all your comments. Hugs.
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Old 07-10-2011, 08:19 PM   #12
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It sucks to have health issues that make weight loss slower and/or more complicated. I have mild thyroid issues (not quite at the point of medication, but it's getting close), insulin resistance (on metformin), autoimmune issues (which require periodic doses of prednisone - I'm so hungry on prednisone I can't eat enough to not feel starved and it lowers metabolism and causes water weight gain to boot - but without the prednisone when I need it, I have no energy at all), I also have fibromyalgia (so alot of pain and fatigue) and a weird reaction to physical activity (it's almost like an "allergy" to sweating). When I sweat, even with only mild exertion my face turns fuschia then red and I start to get a histamine reaction (a crazy burning, itching sensation and often an asthma attack). I also have PMDD, and without birth control I experience insane hunger and moodswings (to the point hubby used to call me werewolf, before I found a bc that reduced symptoms).

And yet, for the first time in my life I am succeeding at weight loss. Not only losing the weight but also keeping it off. Something I couldn't do when I was healthier and could lose a lot faster (In my 20's I would lose 5-7 lbs per week on what it now takes to lose a pound or two a MONTH).

The birth control was really helpful, and I don't know if I would succeed without it. So was finding low-carb dieting (I don't always succeed with staying as low-carb as I need to, but I don't get the crazy hungries I used to get on high-carb eating).

I think the main difference between "this time" and all those other times though was simply deciding that I wasn't ever going to let myself quit because I felt it was hopeless. It's taken me 6 years to lose 91 lbs (most of it in the last three years). Even with my health issues, some would say that I "should" be able to lose faster, and that may or may not be true. I just know that getting mad and frustrated with myself has always resulted in my giving up, while feeling that I was accomplishing something has always given me motivation. So, I had to find more ways to feel good - and for me that meant seeing "just not gaining" as an accomplishment. When I started celebrating "staying the same" it became easier to lose weight and keep it off.

I've taken every pound one pound at a time. My goal (and one I celebrate) is to maintain my weight and "maybe lose one more." That way, most days I get to celebrate success (just by not gaining).

The dieting with obstacles group has been really helpful and so has my TOPS (taking off pounds sensibly, a non-profit group that meets weekly sort of like Weight Watchers except you can use any diet plan and most chapters run weight loss games and contests), because I've met so many people with similar problems (and worse).

I think whether or not you have challenges that make the process more difficult, the "enemy" is always the same - and it's not fat. Hopelessness (and it's precurser, frustration) are the real enemies - because without them there would be no backsliding up. No one would ever give up, if it weren't for frustration. So, I've worked harder at eliminating frustration than I have at weight loss, which means I'm losing slower than ever - but I'm also keeping it off (which I never did before - I was always losing or gaining, never maintaining).
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Old 07-10-2011, 11:28 PM   #13
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Grrrrr. It was time for my summer bloodwork, and I've been "rewarded" for my weight loss with a decrease in my Synthroid dose.

I feel GREAT, my T4 is within normal limits, but my TSH is nearly nonexistent, so down goes my dose. I already promised my doc's nurse that if I stop losing weight and feel like crap in a month, I will be marching in there demanding repeat bloodwork. :kick butt:
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Old 07-12-2011, 03:41 PM   #14
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I just wanted to chime in here, I can't offer much advise to losing the weight (yet) but I can offer some knowledge on thyroid issues. I have Hashi's and the thyroid gland makes more hormones than just what is needed to control your metabolism. I feel this is why weight loss is so difficult. Your body gets thrown off pretty bad when the thyroid isn't working properly, and therefore it won't cooperate with your efforts. Thyroid glands produce hormones for almost every function in your body...it's a pretty important little gland. A lot of people don't respond well to just t4 supplementation alone and some do. Some also need to supplement with more than just hormones to feel better. I've found that people with thyroid issues are sometimes deficient in selenium, and there are a few other nutrients I can't think of right now as well. I didn't find this out until I researched why I crave mushrooms all the time...go figure!

Something I am about to look in to is a t3/t4 combo to see if it helps my energy and focus among other things. Just guaging a "normal" tsh level isn't going off much as I'm sure we all know. Once you find a doctor that will treat YOU instead of your tsh levels you will have more of a chance at getting your body re-aligned again.

Best of luck to you!!!
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Old 07-16-2011, 10:16 PM   #15
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I have a feeling that exercise and strength training is going to be pretty important to us folks with thyroid issues. We may not have the normal metabolism, but if we build our lean muscle mass, we'll burn more calories to keep that muscle mass fed. I'm pretty well banking on that.

I will say that I've been doing calorie counting + phentermine for a week now and I'm down 3 lbs. Its not rapid loss but its not supposed to be. This next week I'm looking to add in some elliptical exercise in the mornings and I think that will help quite a bit as well. It seems to be that keeping my calorie intake around 1200 calories is helping me lose.

Hope you all find something that works as well!
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