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Old 10-14-2004, 12:30 PM   #1
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Default Hypothyroid question

I'm just curious, a question for you hypos out there, when you lost a good deal of weight did you ever experience a stall in your loss? I've been at 210 for about 2 months and I think I'm going to have to exercise 2 times a day to get my body going...I know that everyone can experience a plateau along the way but I was wondering if they last longer for hypos or not or if I just need to switch things up a bit? I've been doing good with my eating I've had cake in the house for 2 days and haven't touched it and thats saying something lol.

Just curious if anyone has some wisdom to share with me.

Michelle
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Old 10-14-2004, 01:51 PM   #2
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No wisdom here but a big congratulations on staying out of the cake!!

I'm assuming that your TSH levels are in the normal range?

I don't remember plateauing when I was losing for more than a week at the longest. If it seemed like my weight loss was stalling, I dropped my calories a bit or tweaked the carbs or did something -- new exercise or more exercise -- to get things moving. I did find that I had to drop the calories as the pounds came off since (unfortunately) it takes fewer calories to maintain a smaller body.

A few thoughts -- do you track your calories in something like Fitday? You could take a look at your calories and ratios for the past few months and see if you want to adjust them. Are you being honest with yourself about portion sizes? Are you avoiding the dread BLTs (bites, licks, and tastes? -- my downfall )? Could you increase the intensity of your exercise rather than doing more? Or try something new -- a new class or jogging instead of walking etc?

You're right -- sometimes we need to shake things up. And sometimes we just need to be patient -- your body will let go of the fat in its own good time if you keep up the good work.
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Old 10-14-2004, 04:59 PM   #3
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Meg thanks for the response! Yes I agree I could probably put a little more intensity into my workouts And I think also I'll do 1.5 hours workout 5 days a week now, and I never thought about dropping my calories as I've lost weight I'm going to do that drop them by 200 or so. I think I have been pretty honest about portion sizes I know when I've had a bad day of eating and will definately own up to it. But I'm also working on not having ANY bad days of eating. I'll just take it a day at a time.

Thanks so much for your help, you are a well of information for me!
Michelle
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Old 11-05-2004, 01:10 AM   #4
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New here, but wanted to reply. I am hypothyroid, and didn't just stall when trying to lose weight, but literally could not lose a single pound or any body fat. 6+ months working out 5-6 times a week with a diet reviewed several times by both a nutritionist and a doctor, a fitness and diet journal and online calorie counting rendered me at exactly the same place I started. Well, almost. It actually had made me much worse in terms of how I felt--I was constantly tired, to the point I had to stop working out because I was very worried about driving to or from the gym.

The main problem was that docs weren't diagnosing me as hypothyroid because my TSH was "normal." It was in the normal range, but clearly low for me (I had almost every other symptom of hypothyroidism, as well). I finally found a doc, and after much research found out that the problem wasn't my T4, really. It was my T3 (which is why I was hypothyroid). Now, I am on Armour thyroid and just finished a several-month period spent on cortisol. I feel MUCH better, and have just gotten approval from my doc to start excersizing again. I literally have not gained or lost a pound or any body fat in the last 2 years, regardless of what I've eaten (or haven't), or what excersize I've done (or haven't). Hopefully, now that I can start excersizing again, the meds will help me see that change.

Good luck to you, and know that you're not alone in having a hard time losing weight with the hypothyroid. My doc said it can take folks like us longer, so patience is essential.
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Old 11-05-2004, 01:32 AM   #5
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Shwankie, I have just recently started taking synthetic t3 as well as synthetic t4 so I take 50 mcg of each per day and I just had my levels rechecked last week so I'll hear how my levels were that time at my next appointment. All of my weight loss is overseen by my doctor because I have several health complications. At one point my pulmonologist told me to quit resistance/weight training because it was bruising my chest wall, and causing some very uncomfortable chest pain.

On top of my thyroid medications I also take Meridia which is a prescription appetite suppressant, which helps me usually. I stopped taking it for a bit and switched to phentermine which didn't really help just made me feel hyper and jittery. I don't think that there is a "magic" pill out there but I do believe that if there is help available that I can use it I by no means rely on medications to lose my weight, I eat good (99% of the time ) and drink my water, and exercise.

I wish you luck shwankie and welcome to 3FC!!
Michelle
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Old 11-19-2004, 05:19 PM   #6
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hey gang! I have been doing a lot of research on hypothyroidism over the past year bec my son's thyroid is so low, and mine is also low (shwankie - I am like you - I had almost all of the symptoms but it wasn't showing up in the blood work - which I will explain in a minute), and my mother's is low. So I've been trying to research the stuff and find out all that I can about it.

I am really busy and don't have time to get into everything, but wanted to say that a lot of docs are still using the regular old thyroid tests, instead of the newer more accurate tests, and also that on the TSH - the ranges has changed and very few labs or doctors are recognizing the new lab ranges yet.

The old TSH ranges were 0.5 to 5.5 and the new ranges have been changed to 0.3 to 3.0, so when you look at your TSH readings, (and I would ALWAYS GET COPIES OF MY BLOODWORK) be sure to keep in mind and tell your doctor about the new ranges. It is also very likely that the ranges will be changed soon to 0.3 to 2.0 - because there are those that feel that anything over 2.0 is hypothyroidism.

IT IS MOST IMPORTANT THAT WHEN YOU ARE HAVING BLOOD WORK DONE TO CHECK YOUR THYROID THAT YOU HAVE THE FOLLOWING TESTS RUN:

TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone from the pituitary gland)

FREE T3 (available active thyroid hormone)

FREE T4 (available storage thyroid hormone)

and the anti thyroid antibodies tests would also help
(TPO – Thyroid Peroxidase which detects Hashimoto’s autoimmune thyroid disease
and Thyroid Antithyroglobulin)

Some doctors are reluctant to run the Free T3 and Free T4, and will want to simply run the old thyroid tests. THIS IS NOT SUFFICIENT and can be very misleading and miss the problem!

Request or beg or demand the Free T3 and Free T4, TSH and the anti thyroid antibodies tests. If you do not want to go thru a doctor or cannot afford to, you can order the tests (Comprehensive Thyroid Panel II and Anti Thyroid Antibodies) yourself at www.healthcheckusa.com It is very easy to do and then they will send you the paperwork in the mail for you to take with you to the nearest lab to draw your blood and you can look up your results online in a few days and also receive them in the mail.

After the correct tests are done, if a low thyroid problem is found, it is usually best that you be treated with Armour Thyroid, and not the synthetic drugs like Synthroid, because Armour Thyroid contains BOTH T4 AND T3, and the others do not have T3. Some research indicates that T3 is needed especially for those with psychiatric symptoms such as depression.

there are articles that explain all of this and I am just giving my brief and condensed version of all of this, but you can find excellent info at www.thyroid.about.com

and there is an excellent book by Mary J. Shomon called "The Thyroid Diet" with a wealth of solid info that is easy to understand.

be well,
Cathy
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one for every 5 lbs lost since finally getting treatment in 2004 for my previously undiagnosed thyroid problem. I take 5 grains Armour Thyroid daily to treat my low thyroid symptoms and I can finally say that I feel good!!!!!

Last edited by cathyxxx; 11-19-2004 at 05:24 PM.
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Old 11-19-2004, 06:30 PM   #7
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Cathy, great information!! Now I take BOTH synthetic T3 and synthetic T4 (cytomel and synthroid) When my doctors run a panel on me they run the TSH, Free T3 and Free T4. I'm going to ask them about the TPO next time I go in!! Have you read anything on the synthetic T3 and T4 being used together for treatment rather than the Armour? I don't really have the option of working with an endocrinologist as there is only one that services my town and she only does so periodically Plus she won't accept my health insurance upfront, I have to pay her in full, and then once my insurance pays her then I get refunded, which stinks because it is pretty costly. Thanks again for the great info!!
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Old 11-19-2004, 11:02 PM   #8
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Hey Michelle - it's good to see ya girlie!

since you are already being treated for a low thyroid problem, and are taking both synthroid and cytomel I don't know that it would be important for you to have your antibodies checked - I mean since your doctor has already found the problem.

But for some people, they have a lot of low thyroid symptoms, but the regular blood work shows them within the ranges and the doctor tells them they are fine and will not treat their symptoms. In those cases, sometimes the problem will show up in the antibodies tests, if the patient persists and has the correct tests done. If there are a lot of anti thyroid antibodies then that means that their body is attacking their thyroid (like it would any infection) and making the thyroid fiberous where it cannot work properly.

So for you, it may not be important to do those other tests, but for anyone that is checking their thyroid to find if there is a problem - they should insist that all of those tests were done.

From everything I have read, if your taking synthroid it is probably good that the cytomel is added for the T3. Some people don't have to have the cytomel added, but a lot do. If you don't have a lot of choices Michelle, and are doing well on the synthroid and cytomel, then it is probably fine. There are those that do fine on it.

The thing is that Armour Thyroid is natural and has both T3 and T4 in it, and costs less than $20 a month. I don't think that synthroid and cytomel are too expensive, even tho I am not sure of the costs, but they are synthetic drugs and are more dangerous than Armour Thyroid, from what I have read, simply bec of the fact that they are a synthetic drug. But some people do well on synthroid and cytomel.

I am a member of a yahoo thyroid group and I cannot tell you how many people come in there with hypothyroidism saying that they are on synthroid (bec the drug companies push their drug on the doctors) and not doing well, and when they figure out that they need some T3, most are able to talk their doctor into simply switching them to Armour Thyroid, and all come back saying how much better they are feeling.

Also just wanted to mention that from the things I have read it is important to get your T3 up into the upper range, in order to be able to lose weight.

Michelle, do you happen to have a copy of your blood work? could you tell me what your TSH reading was, along with your Free T3 and T4?

And Michelle, you might really like The Thyroid Diet book by Mary J. Shomon that I mentioned. I think it runs about $11 from amazon.

I know how hard it is to lose weight, especially with hypothyroidism. Dr. Mercola says that a hypo needs to exercise for an hour a day. wow! that's a lot of exercise isn't it. I hate to think of you exercising twice a day - I mean how long could you keep that up? you have done really great Michelle and have lost a lot of weight. Your body may be adjusting to the weight loss. (hopefully it is not like mine and gonna fight you tooth and nail for every pound from here on out *sigh*)

I hope some of this helps!

hugs,
cathy
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one for every 5 lbs lost since finally getting treatment in 2004 for my previously undiagnosed thyroid problem. I take 5 grains Armour Thyroid daily to treat my low thyroid symptoms and I can finally say that I feel good!!!!!

Last edited by cathyxxx; 11-19-2004 at 11:07 PM.
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Old 11-20-2004, 10:26 AM   #9
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Cathy I don't have a copy of my lab results I go back to the doctor on the 2nd (I think) and I'll ask her for a copy then. I had one from about 6 months ago but I can't seem to find it my daughter probably used it for a coloring page lol. I'm curious what it says. I'm going to check out that book as well. The reason I'm interested in the TPO is because sometimes I'll be so tired, and then my test will come back in the "low normal" range so they won't up my meds, now don't get me wrong I have total faith in my doctors but you know how you can always tell when something is wrong with your body even though the tests say something else. From the reading I've done I suspect hashimotos but of course that is just speculation.

Cathy thanks so much for all the information!! You've been working hard!! Keep up the good work girlie!!

Michelle
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Old 11-20-2004, 11:41 AM   #10
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Michelle, just to answer your original question about a plateau lasting for what seems like forever - yes I'm experiencing that right now. I'm on Synthroid and have been at the same weight for one month. It's pretty depressing to be really good eating and exercising and to not see that darn scale move. I go thorugh long plateaus every five - eight pounds so the weight loss is really slow. Then to make matters worse, I decided it was the sythroid that was causing that and I stopped taking it. No, that didn't help and it was dumb. I know that. So I'm taking it again and still at my plateau.

Hang in there, the pounds will come off. It's just slow. And maintaining is way better than the other option. I got off the scale this morning and was thrilled that I'm at a steady weight and am not gaining. We'll both make it to our goals - we'll just be there a little later in time.
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Old 11-20-2004, 01:23 PM   #11
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Michelle, everything I have read says that we need to get our T3 and T4 into the upper normal range to feel better. You may be feeling tired simply because your T3 is still in the low normal range. You might want to do a search at www.thyroid.about.com on optimizing your thyroid and read some of the articles about it.

you might be able to print some info to share with your doctor to encourage them to get your T3 into the upper normal range.

and you are right, it might be good to get the antibodies tested - perhaps if they see there are antibodies present they would be willing to increase your thyroid meds - you may only need to increase the cytomel - the T3.

how long ago did you start taking the cytomel?
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Old 11-22-2004, 07:42 AM   #12
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Hi girls, I too have a low thyroid. I have been taking Levoxyl 100 MCG for about 4 years. Still don't feel my old self. This past summer noticed I have a balding spot on my scapt. I wear my hair with a low pair and combed over the very thin area. After reading all of your replies, do you think asking my dr. for Armour instead of Levoxyl will help this problem. My hair thinning on top is something I rather not have. This is worth than having the weight problem.. Do you experience this hair problem? Debbie

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Old 11-22-2004, 02:48 PM   #13
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Cathy, I started taking the cytomel about 3 months ago and right away I started noticing a difference! The doctor did say that we could try armour but also mentioned the synthetic t3 which I decided to go with adding that to my daily pill regimen lol.

Debbie, I don't have any spots on my scalp that seem to be thinning any more than the rest but if it helps any, I lose huge handfuls of hair everyday, I take a shower and the tub looks like bigfoot was in there lol, I brush my hair and it looks like a big shaggy dog had used my brush my clothes are constantly covered with clumps of my hair too, I think hair loss is part of the thyroid woes but you may want to speak with your doctor about anything that can be done about it

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Old 05-09-2005, 11:25 AM   #14
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Am new here and find I can relate to all these issues. I currently take 225mcg Synthroid, which has been adjusted in an upwards progression for the past several years. My med is always adjusted per TSH levels only, and have found in the last 3 years that I have had little to no metabolism. Despite what I feel is a healthy weight reduction eating pattern, as well as regular exercise, I am having progressive weight gain. I can't lose for the life of me.
When first diagnosed and treated several years ago, I lost wieght fairly easily and progressively, as in 150 #. I told myself I would never be that heavy again, but am creeping upward and am so stressed by this. Am now wondering if my T3 levels are not therapeutic, and am going to pusue this.
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Old 05-09-2005, 11:47 AM   #15
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Cindy, just wanted to mention that even tho weight gain and no/slow metabolism is a symptom of low thyroid - a lot of people also gain weight as a side effect of the synthroid. High blood pressure can be another.

How are you feeling? I mean do you feel well on the 225 mcgs of Synthroid? I find it is always best to treat by your symptoms rather than your TSH, especially once you are taking thyroid meds, as your TSH should be suppressed do to the meds. Do you have problems with hair loss and depression and such? I mean if you are still having low thyroid symptoms you would want to encourage your doc to treat your symptoms rather than your numbers. The TSH can be very misleading.

I was doing ok on 2 grains of Armour Thyroid (which is natural and has basically no side effects) but still had a lot of hair loss and trouble losing weight. Once I increased to 3 grains the hairloss slowed down and I have finally lost 15 lbs. It is still very slow but at least it is coming off.

It is really important to get your doctor to treat your symptoms rather than your numbers.

And again, there is an excellent book on all of this thyroid stuff by Mary J. Shomon called "The Thyroid Diet" with a wealth of solid info that is easy to understand.

be well,
Cathy
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