Hypo thyroid and 60 lb. weight loss? Really?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by MidwestMom, Feb 7, 2014.

  1. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    But it's true. I have had two near syncope episodes of late and my doctor ordered serious blood work and what came back was a hypothyroid (and NOT mild) and, with that, higher cholestral, which hypothyroid causes. I was shocked. I knew I had registered as having a slightly hypo thyroid before going to Weight Watchers, but thought I couldn't really have one if I could steadily lose two pounds a week and lost 50-60 lbs. in all. I am flabbergasted.

    So now the doctor is doing secondary tests to be safe. I am wired to a heart monitor right now (can't wait to get rid of it) and then I have to see an endocrinologist. I am back on the Synthroid and will be for life.

    Does anyone have experience with a hypothyroid? If so, what symptoms did you get? Except for the weight loss, I recognize the symptoms in myself...some fatigue after working out, split, thin hair, intolerance to the cold (and, boy, it's been cold...haha) and joint pain (but thought that was just typical for someone with arthritis). All in all, I feel pretty good, but those two near fainting spells made me leery of driving too far. I don't know if that is connected, but I'll bet it is, even though it's more an atypical symptom.

    I had a test to see if my blood pressure fell if I stood up for a long time. It was called a tilt test. My blood pressure was lowish, but stayed in the same range. I have a long history of lowish blood pressure. The doctors do not feel that is the cause of my two near fainting episodes.

    I would appreciate any feedback anyone has on this thyroid problem. So all you lay doctors, if there are any, I would love to hear from you :)
  2. Sabine

    Sabine Member

    Disclaimer: I'm not a doctor :)

    My understanding of what the thyroid is/does is it regulates the metabolism. It will produce more hormones when the metabolism is to go faster, fewer when it needs to go slower.

    If a person is in the middle of a strict weight-loss diet, she probably isn't eating very much, so the body may think it is "starving". The body is going to want to slow the metabolism down so that it doesn't eat its self up.

    So, it seems to follow that in order to slow the metabolism down, the thyroid would produce fewer hormones.

    Now, if the person is eating a normal amount of food (1800 cal. or so), and the thyroid is still making low levels, then obviously the person needs hormone replacement. But if the person is on a strict diet (under 1800 cals), I would NOT want to take hormone replacement until the food intake got back up to a normal level.

    (I'm using 1800 cals as an example, an individual body may differ in what it needs to think it's eating enough.. probably depending on nutritional content and how much exercise the person is doing..)

    Just my 2 cents...
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I'm on WeightWatchers and not eating too little. And I'm eating very healthy too. And working out.
  4. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I have hypo but had no symptoms that I knew of; they found it in a routine blood test. I have had hypo since I was 26 (I have poly-glandular failure-adrenal, ovarian, and thyroid). When I was about 31 I gained a lot of weight. However, I joined Weight Watchers in 1996 when I was 33 and I lost 70 pounds and kept 50 pounds off of that 70 at all times (sometimes I get back down to 60 or 65 off but it just varies). I also have lowish blood pressure.
    I also try to eat healthy and workout. I'm not surprised by your results:)
  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Thanks, Wiped Out :)
  6. Sabine

    Sabine Member

    As long as you're eating enough, then the low thyroid level is probably due to malfunction, and it's good they found out.

    Congrats on the weight loss! It's hard work, I know ;)
  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Thanks a lot, kitty cat lover (I am assuming) :) As an animal lover, I have a soft spot in my heart for all of my animal loving friends :) If you have cats, hey, make them your avatar so we can all see.

    It did take a lot of work to lose the weight!
  8. Sabine

    Sabine Member

    I do love kitties, though I don't have time/energy for them like I used to. We still have 6 (too many!) and 3 of them are really the sweetest ones I've ever had. They were wild kittens that we brought home and tamed up.

    Good idea about the avatar!
  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    That kitten is cute enough to die for :) Six is a lot.

    To me, there is something lacking in a person who does not love animal. They have such pure souls...
  10. helpangel

    helpangel Active Member

    Angel & I both have hypothyroid and Angel really gains weight when hers is off. My weight stays within 10 Lbs depending on time of year, winter weight gain not so bad if I take Vit. D

    I would love to put all my cat's on my avatar but not sure how to pull it off - my dominant male (Charlie) hates Kiki (mom of 4 kittens) and Tiny is running lose in the basement in heat, I just hope she stays out of the stupid walls! Anyway not much room for a photo opt.

  11. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Just put one on. Or as many as you can :)
  12. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful


    Hypothyroidism your metabolism is excessively slow due to the body not producing enough hormone. It tends to cause excessive weight gain or at best makes it very difficult to loss weight. Symptoms are constipation, fatigue, dryness of skin/hair, weight gain, flushing.....and several more I can't think of in my current exhausted state of mind. It doesn't mean you can't lost weight, it just means it is very hard to do so.

    Both versions of thyroid disease run amok in my family, which happens to be rare. My paternal grandmother died of complications of untreated hypothyroidism in her very early 50's. My bio dad and oldest brother both have hyperthyroidism, my dad nearly died twice before they finally just removed his thyroid gland. My sis in Indy has hypothyroidism. (yes, she like many in the family has a long line of dxes) And easy child has hypothyroidism.

    The hypo version is more a pain in the rear than serious these days, especially with treatment. You stay under the care of the endocrinologist, keep up on your blood work, take your medications and watch what you eat to avoid excessive weight gain and complications such as high blood pressure.

    easy child has been treated since Darrin was an infant. Irritates me that she flat out refuses to be treated by the specialist instead of her family doctor, when even he told her he didn't feel comfortable treating her for it.
  13. Sabine

    Sabine Member

    My 13 year old has "borderline hypothyroidism", so her pediatrician. sent her for an ultrasound of her thyroid, and it's full of nodules and cists. She's going to an endocrinologist next month. If the endo agrees with the radiologist (that she has hashimotos's), then we'll be putting her on a gluten free diet. We're slowly moving in that direction anyway... making the change slowly..

    My 8 year old son also showed up borderline. (I got his #s.. 4.07 TSH and 1.37 T4.) The 8 year old can't gain weight skinny skinny, and the 13 year old is chubby.

    What's a bit weird is that the 13 year old showed up lactose intolerant about 3 years ago. She started when she was about 8 with tons of gas, but we didn't know why for a couple years. No one else, on either side of the family is lactose intolerant... and it's a genetic thing to be able to digest milk sugar.

    So, I've been confused for years about it. In my research about hashimoto's and the correlation with gluten intolerance, I came across a reference to lactose intolerance.

    Gluten damages the cilia in the intestines, the cilia are what produce the lactase (milk sugar digesting enzymes), so gluten consumption can potentially create lactose intolerance in a person that would otherwise be able to consume milk.

    My daughter was tested for celiac disease, and she doesn't have that, but many people are gluten-intolerant (and that doesn't show up on the routine blood tests).

    (And about my avatar.. I have to admit, I stole the picture from the internet. I used to have a kitty that looked JUST like this one though.. If I can get my camera working, then I'll switch it out for one of my own.)
  14. FlowerGarden

    FlowerGarden Active Member

    I have hashimoto's and never knew there was a connection to gluten. Do you mind sharing your research sites? I would be interested in reading about it.
  15. Sabine

    Sabine Member

    Well, my sources are just what you find when you google Hashimoto's and gluten. You'll find a TON of people all saying pretty much the same thing.

    However, the mainstream medical field does not make the correlation. It may be just that there haven't been studies done, or the studies were inconclusive. Usually once there is hard science that proves a theory like this wrong, it will be well published as debunked. Haven't found anything like that either.

    I did find one study that is interesting. Those with adult-onset autoimmune diabetes were found to have significantly more thyroid autoantibodies and gluten antibodies than those with type 2 diabetes. Here's the link:


    What we don't know is what came first?

    There are so many people that are saying they have thyroid(and other autoimmune) disease, began eating gluten-free, and now feel much better. Even without hard scientific evidence, it seems like a no-brainer to at least give the diet a try. If a few months of gluten-free eating doesn't make a person feel better, she can always start eating it again ;)
  16. nlj

    nlj Well-Known Member

    I have Hashimoto's. I take thyroxine and also vitamin B complex and Iodine supplements. I have found that controlling my diet helps as the thyroid need iodine to work effectively. You should avoid any foods that are high in starch as these absorb iodine. I avoid white bread, potatoes and bananas especially. As a general rule I try to avoid eating anything white, including white rice and pasta. I have also cut caffeine out of my diet completely and try to exercise every day. I found this book: 'The Healthy Thyroid' by Patsy Westcott which is full of information and advice.
    My main symptoms are extreme sensitivity to temperature, I get very hot and very cold. I also get very tired and depressed. My eyes often swell during the night and they get very dry, particularly when I'm not sleeping well - which is most of the time! I also had a miscarriage in 2006 which was probably a result of a bad episode of hypothyroidism. My mother has the same disease and so does one of my daughters so this is obviously hereditary.
    My advice would be to read as much as you can about it and take control, rather than just following what your doctor says and letting the disease control you. Once your thyroxine levels have been stabilised you should start feeling better. Watch your diet and be strict, exercise every day even when you just want to lie on the couch as you will feel better for it. Don't let yourself get really cold, as I find that I just get so chilled that I can't warm up again.
    Another bit of advice I would give would be to explain to your partner and family so that they know how you're feeling and don't think you're just being a lazy grouch. It can affect relationships if the symptoms aren't understood.
    I feel fine most of the time now that I don't let it control me. Good luck! x
  17. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Thanks to all for the advice. We are in the process of finding out if I have Hashimotos, but have to wait until March 5 to see an Endocrinologist who will do all the fun testing :)

    Actually, Lucy, I eat VERY healthy. I'm close to a vegan, but get plenty of protein with fat free milk products, especially Greek yogurt...yummy!!! I have a lot of beans and green beans too. I don't eat hardly any junk food at all and have small meals. I work out at least five days a week. Maybe this is why I have a low thyroid without many symptoms. It is not that bad yet. My TSH level was 10.5. I did not think I could possibly have this after I lost so much on Weight Watchers, but I guess I do. I can relate to the sensitivity to hot and cold temps, which is NOT FUN here in the US, Wisconsin where it has been below 0 almost every day this winter. At least it feels like it has. I do not have a particular problem with fatigue and have had anxiety and depression all of my life and it is not worse now than it has been, which means it has been controllable on my medication.

    I take generic Synthroid and have been told that the name brand is better. When I see the Endo. doctor I am going to ask if he will write a script for Synthroid and add "name brand only for medical purposes." In the past, when doctors have done that, it has forced insurance companies to pay for the name brand medication. Otherwise it will be hard for us to pay the name brand out of pocket...but maybe...we'll see.

    I am not one to shun medicine for just natural cures. I want to see my thyroid go to normal. Since I have been eating tons and tons of super foods and exercising my rear end off (literally...lol) my lifestyle could not be more healthy, yet my thyroid is low and my cholestral is a bit high (they say it will go down when my thyroid is under control). And I am one who WILL shun any saturated fat. Oh, well.
  18. Sabine

    Sabine Member


    Unfortunately, even with a perfect diet (whatever that may look like), it sounds like you'll be on thyroid medicine from now on. Your blood work is showing that that will likely be the case. Your pituitary gland is "yelling" at your thyroid to make more hormone. Your thyroid is damaged, so can't make the hormones required. (If you weren't eating enough food, then your pituitary itself would be putting on the breaks).

    A diet that would prevent any more damage to the thyroid (if there is such a thing..we don't really know....gluten free is as close as anyone has figured out), probably couldn't fix the thyroid... that's why you will most likely need to continue taking hormone replacement from here on out, no matter what you eat or how much you exercise.
    As for the "perfect" diet, there are as many theories out there as people ;) What I like to do: Read about as many conflicting diets as I can, find one, or a combination that sounds and feels right for me, and go with it. Even if it's the "wrong" diet, as long as I've done my research, and I feel confident that it isn't wrong, I can rest easy that I did my best.

    This is all theory at the moment, because I haven't stuck with any plan 100% yet. Baby steps :). I weighed 305 lbs 2 years ago, and I'm down to 265.. a LONG way to go! I do feel so much better though, both physically and emotionally, so something is helping.

    My preferred diet is "The Schwartzbein Principle" (probably spelled that wrong)... with a couple changes. She recommends snacking throughout the day (I like a 3 meal plan), and the protein-heavy breakfasts is too much (I like fruit, greek yogurt, granola).

    Now, if I can take my own advice and actually adhere to the diet* for a couple years, then I would have a leg to stand on to come back and say whether it was actually working :)

    And, just to clarify.. "working" does not mean maximum weight loss in minimum time. Been there, done that..and got to be a hundred more pounds than I started. Worked means that I'm healthy, and the weight gradually comes off and stays that way!