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Old 10-26-2006, 01:02 AM   #1
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Default Thyroid?

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.
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Old 10-26-2006, 01:13 AM   #2
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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.

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Old 10-26-2006, 01:13 AM   #3
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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.
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Old 10-26-2006, 07:46 AM   #4
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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.
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Old 10-26-2006, 08:33 AM   #5
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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.
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Old 10-26-2006, 08:46 AM   #6
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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!
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Old 10-26-2006, 09:14 AM   #7
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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.
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Old 10-26-2006, 09:34 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3Beans View Post
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.
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Old 10-26-2006, 10:10 PM   #9
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Quote:
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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.
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Old 10-26-2006, 10:35 PM   #10
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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.
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Old 10-27-2006, 12:34 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Sheila53 View Post
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.

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.
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Old 10-27-2006, 01:33 PM   #12
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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.
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Old 10-27-2006, 11:39 PM   #13
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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.
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Old 10-28-2006, 12:27 AM   #14
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Altari-

I feel your pain on the buffalo hump. I have one as well, but it is getting much smaller as I lose weight.
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Old 10-28-2006, 10:08 PM   #15
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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!
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