I've seen a few people mention thyroid problems so I thought I'd post my experience.
I've always been a comfortable size 14 - not skinny, but certainly not overweight either.
August 2010 had my usual annual check up at the GPs. All fine apart from my blood pressure is a bit high, but the nurse couldn't really suggest anything to improve it as I didn't need to lose weight, didn't smoke, ate healthily etc ....
17th December have blood tests to find out why I'm sleeping 14 hours a day and have put on 4 stone and discover my thyroid has failed completely. Thankfully the scan shows nothing nasty.
Because my levels were so low I had to start on a very low dose of thyroxine and it could only be increased every 6 weeks, so it took 6 months before I was on a proper dose, and in the meantime I'd gained another 2 stone. You can imagine what that did to my joints (especially my back) and my self-esteem.
10 months later I've succeeded in losing a grand total of 6 lbs, 5 of them within the last 2 weeks.
First I moved my vitamin and calcium supplements to the evening instead of the morning, since they can interfere with the absorption of thyroxine. Also, even if you eat a healthy diet, supplements are a good idea because some deficiencies also reduce how much thyroxine you absorb. Finally, I've started taking a separate folic acid supplement since extra folic acid helps your cells to actually use the thyroxine.
I hope the weight loss is going to continue, I'll let you know, but it's going to take a very long time.
Good luck with it all, RMW. My Mum has the same problem as you, only it's compounded by many more problems - heart condition, partial renal failure, diabetes........the list goes on! Some of the meds she has react with the thyroxine, so it's a bit of a delicate balancing act.
I understand about your loss of self-esteem - I too was six stones overweight a couple of years ago. I lost two stones, and I've kind of stuck there. I know I should do something about it before it's too late, and I will - tomorrow. Always tomorrow! Maybe I'll start my own thread on here and we can encourage each other.
It will be frustrating for you; you're at the mercy of the thyroxine to a huge extent - willpower will have very little to do with it. Keep your chin up and you'll get there. It may take a long time, but it'll be worth it!
Thyroxine works on a negative feedback system normally - so the higher the dose you take the less you produce yourself.
If they say you are producing none at all - how many micrograms have they prescribed?
You may find energy drinks can help, but higher doses of caffeine can make you feel irritable/anxious/paranoid and only offer short boosts often with an unpleasant come down.
Exercise is important and swimming is the least likely to injure anyone suffering sudden recent weight gain. The harder/longer you can try the more endorphins produced - making you feel happier.
Out of curiosity - buy a pack of non presciption non drowsy Sudafed and see if you feel a little better?
Joint pain can be greatly reduced by greatly increasing your intake of various oils - extra virgin olive oil being an easily available one that works well. If you can take 1/2 table spoonfuls of this twice a day - you shoukd know by day 2/3 at the latest if it works for you.
Keep in mind I'm qualified as a fitness instructor, not a medic.
Wow! Thanks for all the excellent tips and advice. Maybe I should have posted on here 12 months ago.
Janie, totally agree my willpower has nothing to do with my weight. I can stick to 1000 calories a day for a month and gain 4 lbs, then go mad for a weekend and lose 2.
Bang, I'm on 125mcg which has put my levels at the top end of normal. 150 mcg put me over. My GP is absolutely rigid on not being willing to up my dose at all despite the fact that my current risk of heart disease and diabetes, because of my weight, is at least 10 times the risk of adverse effects from increasing the dose. We have regular battles on this subject since I maintain the 'reference ranges' are based on other people's normal level not mine, and he should be treating according to symptoms. The weight gain is unfortunately not the only one I still have, just the most visible.
I can't tolerate any caffeine at all, it gives me migraines and pushes my blood pressure right up, plus they're either full of sugar or sorbitol or aspartame, neither of which I can tolerate either.
I was exercising (fairly vigorous) 45 minutes a day, but had to stop when I slipped a disc. I will be having surgery shortly. What might the sudafed do? I already take fish oil supplements for my joints.
Gbarbm, I eat oily fish or shellfish at least 5 times a week. Unfortunately as my thyroid has failed completely, no amount of iodine is going to increase natural production.
Sillygirl, I shall certainly try the chromium. It's really quite annoying to have to sleep 2 hours every afternoon.
Sudafed is pseudo ephedrine, a stimulant and broncho dilator. However, it is sold as a non drowsy decongestant.
Its enough of a pick you up to supply a bit more energy, and the dilation in your lungs actually feels relaxing.
Both thyroxine and pseudo ephedrine get you a ban for competing in sporting events - as they offer an advantage. Weirdly the UK is one of the few nations to let you buy pseudo ephedrine in viable doses over the counter.
Out of curiosity (and cost benefit) try the EV olive oil for a few days to see how you get on. Its mainly used for fixing joint pain from doing >2/300kg lifts. Fish oil has more Omega 3/6, but one fish in three from the north see has a tumour from pollution when caught.
Hempseed oil is a veg alternative to fish oils. Its quite expensive in most places - but Tesco sell it in 500ml black bottles called something like "Good Oil". It tastes good and has no other "active" ingredients!!!!!
Flax/linseed oil are good but more expensive options too.
I'm going to have to put off adding any drugs or supplements until after my surgery since I've already had the pre-op assessment and been told which I can/can't take before hand and on the day. I will be adding the chromium at lunchtime once I'm out of hospital, but the sudafed is a no go, it may interact with the blood pressure medication.
With all this keeping stuff separate from the thyroxine I'm going to be taking tablets 4 or 5 times a day soon!
Must check if the chromium will interfere with lunchtime meds.
I've been trying to lose weight for 17 years due to an underactive thyroid problem, last mid May (2011) I ended up in agony thinking I'd got appendicitis, was told it was possibly gallstones, whilst waiting 8 weeks for a scan I reasearched and totally changed my diet, I'd been blaming my thyroid for a few things that were diet related, 1 year later I have lost 3 stone (6 in total) with basic changes to my diet.
Skimmed instead of full fat milk, no pork (includes ham, bacon etc), brown instead of white bread and rice, no cheese, added cous cous to my diet and used more basic common sense.................... ..........worst thing was no chocolate or coffee, changed to decaf and bought some 70% cocoa chocolate = you can only eat 1 square and then its sickening lol
Good luck with your surgery reallymadwoman
I'm beginning to think diet is absolutely crucial for thyroid problems, but if I ate what you're eating Caz it would make me ill so maybe it's highly individual. Actually, what you are eating now is what I was eating when I gained weight every time I looked at food! I'm now only eating fish, chicken and vegetables. Luckily I can't stand sweet stuff. I've only lost another 1lb since the surgery but at least I haven't gained anything.
The surgery went really well and I'm getting better every day though I think I had rather unreasonable expectations of how quickly I'd be back in the gym etc - it's going to be at least another month then hopefully some exercise will get the weight loss going again.
I have also finally been referred to a consultant after some really weird test results and I'm now on liothyronine as well as thyroxine. I take the lion stuff, as I call it, at lunchtime and it's ended the after lunch crash, but it's fairly short acting so now I crash around 6 instead. It's early days though so it might improve when they increase the dose - this one has to be done really slowly as well.
I've been taking thyroxine for over 10 years now and have not noticed a problem gaining permanent weight. What I have noticed is that when I have gained weight it is much harder to lose it than before I became hypothyroid. After gaining extra pounds in the winter months, I find that I have to exercise and diet for three months before I see any changes. I take account of this now and have changed my winter diet - I no longer feast on traditional roast dinners, stews and casseroles.
I just came across something the other day when looking over slimming world stuff that mayAttachment 37974 help
I've only just found this for some reason. Unfortunately, because I don't produce any thyroid hormone myself, most of the information won't help me but maybe it will help someone else. I can confirm the gluten sensitivity thing though - I'm intolerant to gluten and most sugars, including lactose.
On re-reading this thread I can't believe how optimistic I was last June expecting to be back in the gym! I was at physio yesterday where they have basically given up because I am in so much pain I simply cannot do the most basic exercises. Constant limping has now also messed up my knee so I'll be having a scan for that soon. How many scans and x-rays do you need before getting an overdose of radiation?
On the positive side, anyone else tried the 5:2 Fast diet? I'm in week 4, have found it really easy to maintain and have lost 9lbs. Only 61 more to go!
My wife (Thyroid problem) and me bumped into 2 old friends who looked a lot slimmer than when we last met them. They told us about the Horizon TV programme last August investigating about living longer and coined the phrase the "The Fast Diet' - look for the book in Costco or Amazon . We started in January and have both lost a stone (in a healthy sustainable way). Check it out, it's a live longer strategy rather than a 'diet' as such. Initially you lose a pound a week.