View Full Version : Hypothyroid

Susan Campbell
05-18-2007, 09:37 AM
Hi Girls
My husband found you - likes chasing lady cyclists keeps him motivated!

Anyway I've hit a brick wall with my Dr. I am hypothyroid but unless, I'm biking 5-6 days per week for 1-1.5 hours of Mtn/trail riding I just can't seem to loose weight. I'm 48 and my body is having a hard time sustaining that activity level. My Dr. says your in the "normal TSH range" and so it couldn't be my thyroid. just for record I don't believe him cause too many other symptons - like fatigue I'm dealing with.

My eating is really pretty good and fairly focused, not perfect, but not so bad that if I dont ride I put on 1-2 lbs per week. Last year 40 lbs (2 surgeries slowed me down)

Any others out there suffering from thyroid, Dr. who won't increase synthyroid with some suggestions, cause cycling May-October is all the winter will allow for me and I'd really like to hit 4 days per week. So I can golf and Kayak too.


05-18-2007, 09:48 AM
Welcome - visit the"getting to know you" thread to introduce yourself!

Have you gained any weight since your synthroid dose was set? The dose is based on weight, and I find it's a real slipperly slpoe. When I am at a heavier (winter) weight, it is very hard to lose weight, and I'm tired, etc. Then once I get into a good and healthy eating and cycling pattern, the weight comes off and I have energy. It's like the dose really starts to kick in once I am at the lower end of my normal weight range and it's easier to maintain a lower weight.

Is the doctor monitoring your TSH regularly? It should be checked at least once a year.

Are you taking your meds at same time of day on an empty stomach? Lots of foods and drink can interfere with how the thyroid is absorbed.

Would your doctor consider a T3/T4 combination? This includes some natural thyroid as well as the synthroid. There are some folks who swear by this combo as really making a difference.

Are you honestly keeping track of what you're eating and drinking to make sure your calorie intake is balanced with your activity level? The thyroid pill isn't a magic bullet, and even if the dose is appropriate, weight won't "magically" come off. It still may take some work. :)

05-18-2007, 10:17 AM
Susan, your dose should be adjusted based off of your FT3 and FT4 levels, not your TSH. TSH lags about 6 weeks behind dosage adjustments. Also, being in a "normal" range is all relavant - let your body be your guide and fight for it. I'm hyperthyroid so I'm comfortable at the tops of the ranges. Most likely being hypothyroid, you will be most comfortable at the low end of the range.

I keep a spreadsheet and graph with dosage amounts on them. I've been off meds for a year and remain stable, but I had to fight for medicine to control it. Most patients are noncompliant with their meds so you need to stay on top of it and prove that you're taking them when you're supposed to and how your body reacts to it. A good endo is hard to find so you are your best advocate.

Take care and good luck!

05-18-2007, 11:17 AM
Susan, your dose should be adjusted based off of your FT3 and FT4 levels, not your TSH. TSH lags about 6 weeks behind dosage adjustments.

Hmmm...interesting. I guess different doctors have different methods. Mine looks at TSH and FT4. I can't remember the last time he checked FT3.

Susan, welcome! My doctor likes to keep my TSH around 1. When it edges up to the top end of the "normal" range (which now is 0.3-3.0, apparently) and above, hypothyroid symptoms kick in. I take both T3 and T4 supplements, and the addition of T3 gave me my life back.

Is your doctor an endocrinologist, or a primary care doctor?

05-18-2007, 01:51 PM
The thyroid pill isn't a magic bullet, and even if the dose is appropriate, weight won't "magically" come off. It still may take some work. :)

Well said! When I got on medication I was happy thinking that all my problems were solved. What I learned was that the adjustment to the medication is yucky (was in the middle of summer) and no, the weight stayed right where it was. When I notice a difference is when I don't take them. If I miss 1-2 days, I start getting lethargic. If I miss longer (had to once due to insurance/doctor snafu) I immediately inflate beyond a size that will comfortably fit in my clothes.

Susan Campbell
05-18-2007, 03:32 PM
thanks for the feedback.
Re the magic pill. I've been on it for 12 years. Until the last 2-3 years my weight was just a gradual 1-3 lbs which I can honestly contribute to life just too busy with kids and not enough for me. Lately I can jump 5-10 in a month.
My food intake is not perfect but I'm not a drinker, eat only whole grains, desserts aren't in the house etc. I'm the only person I know when I joined weight watchers and put on weight.
My Dr. is a general practitioner and still is under the assumption that tsh .5-5.0 is the normal even though I took published paper into show him in 2003 it was reduced to .3-3.0 for statistical norms. He wouldn't look at it. I'm at 3.4
I tried to tell him that ranges are just that and maybe I'm not in the normal range or maybe we should be basing it on how I'm feeling no just on the lab printout.
I asked about a T3 supplement and he said no. I asked about testing for adrenals and hormone imbalance and he said dosen't account for anything.

I'd changed Dr. but in Canada, dispite the many benefits of social medical care, there is a shortage of Dr. I went almost 6 months till this opening came up

I'm trying to get into an endo through a friend who works at the health center, as my Dr. says it's not thyroid, so won't refer me.

I'm also going to go to a nutritionist so when the dr. looks at my 204 and growing weight I can prove that I'm eating correctly so it's not the source.

Yes my Dr. is a *&^(^but it's all I got for now. I am interested in adding the T3 supplement as someone suggested. Did you get it through a health store or is it prescription. Any suggestions or warnings there.

Yes I always take my pill same time in the AM, empty stomach. My meds were only increased once in last 10 years. My weight has increased 45 lbs.
So I will have to back into see him I guess for my whole 15 minute timeslot
and force him to look at the documents....wait physically armwrestling him to the ground probably isn't the way although I could probably flatten the little runt without much trouble.

I did loose weight when I cycled but it was the 5-6 days per week, plus I biked absolutely everywhere that one summer including getting groceries.
My concern is I've had 7 surgeries in 10 years, I've been told I have osteo arthritus in one knee so I know I'm not going to beable to be that active and don't want to gain the weight at that rate....

05-18-2007, 04:50 PM
Do you have any choice at all for a doctor?
If someone doesn't keep up on current research and doesn't listen to you it's definitely time for a different doc.

Just curious, how old is your doctor?

05-18-2007, 05:14 PM
I'm at 3.4..

I think this is your problem. This is high even for an uncorrected person. A person on thyroid meds should be maintained in the LOW end of the normal range. My docs like me in the 0.5-1 range and that is where I feel best.

I was recently put on a synthroid/cytomel combo (T4 plus T3), and I feel much better on it. I found my endo through the website 'best thyroid doctors' as a doctor that considers this therapy. http://www.thyroid-info.com/topdrs/texas.htm
He was also in the same group that my internist referred me to so it worked out really well.

I too had been gaining weight despite eating a calorie restricted diet and biking like crazy. I finally found that the only way to lose weight is to eat a severely restriected carbohydrate diet, essentially a ketogenic diet. However, I am still working out how to do long bike rides by doing a cyclical ketogenic diet where I refill glycogen stores around my long rides. BUT, I am also mildly diabetic. We are now trying to understand why, and if the diabetes and thyroid problem are linked. I posted about this on another thread

My advice to you is to use that website to find a good thyroid doc, and get yourself appropriate therapy. I am 99.9% sure you are still undercorrected.

05-18-2007, 08:21 PM
Welcom Susan,
The other girls have given you some really good advice. I also take T3 & T4 and I get them at a compounding pharmacy with a perscription from my Holistic longevity doctor who is also a medical doctor. I feel great now that my thyroid is regulated but still cannot loose weight like I used to.

I am not gaining weight and have only been on this new program for about 3 months. I am getting alot of exercise and now I think I have to restrict my calories and give up sugar completely. We'll see how that works.

Deja Vu
05-19-2007, 08:30 AM
A warm hello to all!

This is an important topic, for sure.

I am also hypothyroid and have been taking synthroid for 15 years. My first doctor had me on the non-synthetic thyroid hormone. Then a researcher put me on the synthroid. I cannot find anyone willing to prescribe the armour thyroid (non-synthetic).

As for you questions about any warnings?

Those of us having thyroid issue have a reason to know a little more about thyroid-related issue than the average person. You likley already know about:

_Correct thyroid functioning is very important for much more that weight control. It is important for weight control, but it is important for may other reasons, as well.

One potential problem with inadequate levels of thyroid hormone is a tendency for pre-senile dementia. (I am not sure if that form is reversible or not.)

_Always be careful! Make sure you are working with someone experienced and knowledgable! I saw a doctor talk to a group of people once about supplementing T3, which is indicated for some people. Anyway, he was very "big" on it! He was hyped, he hyped it, and a bunch of people saw him and went onto T3 with his direction. I had 5 acquaintances go to see him. All women. 3 of the 5 ended up in the local hospital's psych unit for severe T3-induced mania! (They did not have a history of manis previously. They claim to be without mania now that they have recovered from the T3 induced mania.) Mania, no matter the cause, can be very dangerous... often life-threatening. Mania is different from a little hypomania.

_In the U.S. some psychiatrists are using some thyroid supplementation for women suffering low energy and depression. So...that is another source for potantially having your thyroid function evaluated if you cannot see an endocrinologist. Also, if you have problems with depression, always have your thyroid level functioned checked to be sure it is okay!

**I am not a health professional and am not recommending anything except increasing knowlege about your body and your alternatives. Always be careful and consult a health professional.**

Best wishes!

~Inner Peace~

05-20-2007, 05:04 PM
BUT, I am also mildly diabetic. We are now trying to understand why, and if the diabetes and thyroid problem are linked. I posted about this on another thread

My advice to you is to use that website to find a good thyroid doc, and get yourself appropriate therapy. I am 99.9% sure you are still undercorrected.

Hypothyroidism and diabetes are often linked, usually to the weight gain associated with Hypothyroidism (Type II Diabetes). Get the weight off and the diabetes disappears, put weight back on and the sugar levels go up again. I don't have Hypothyroidism but my husband has. I'm borderline Hyperthyroid (it runs in my family). Not to be alarmist but Thyroid problems can damage your heart if it is not controlled. This is what caused my husband's heart-attack three years ago. He didn't know he had an underactive thyroid. We've since learned that it's hereditary in his family. Both his son and daughter, in their twenties, have it too.

I know your health system is different to ours in the UK but I'd kick up a fuss until you get referred to an Endocrinologist at your hospital. Don't be fobbed off by doctors who tell you to go on a diet. This is what happened to my husband. Non of the idiots had the sense to do a simple blood test. If they had, the Hypothyroidism would have been picked up and he probably would not have had a major heart attack that nearly killed him.

05-20-2007, 06:22 PM
Heart effects....

Yes, when my thyroid began to go out, I was 24 years old. Had fantastically low cholesterol levels and then they skyrocketed up to about 250 and stayed there despite manic cycling, healthy eating, weight loss, etc. until FINALLY (now I'm 32) this year got a doctor to medicate me to the low end of the TSH range (.5)...

"Magically," my cholesterol fell more than 50 points. The way my naturopathic doctor explains it is that the thyroid helps regulate metabolism, which is your body's furnace, and if it's not burning hot enough, then it won't burn up all the coal, leaving the cholesterol unburned and sticking to your arteries.

I just hope I can reverse the plaque that's prolly in my arteries from having eight years of high cholesterol.

Get a blood test! Get a new doctor! Cross that border if you have to ... good luck!

05-22-2007, 12:08 PM
If I miss longer (had to once due to insurance/doctor snafu) I immediately inflate beyond a size that will comfortably fit in my clothes.

Do you have a Sams Club near you? You don't have to be a member to use their pharmacies, and they often have lower rates on medications. I actually get my Levoxyl from them, don't use insurance and pay in cash, and it's only about $33 for 3 months worth. Look into cash payments if you haven't, because sometimes it is cheaper than using insurance, and not having insurance mucking in your meds can help prevent mishaps like that. I also don't have to worry about refill time limits and can get my meds enough in advance that even if something happens (once they were out of my dose for about a week before they could refill my Rx) I still won't miss doses.

Susan, I wish you luck in getting this solved. I was diagnosed at 3.48 two years ago, so the fact that you were told 3.4 is fine is really wonky.

05-23-2007, 07:34 AM
Hi ladies-
Similar problems here - I take 75 mcg of Synthroid - latest TSH was 2.4 - doctor says everything good - not interested in T3 or Armour.

Been biking madly for three months - expending anywhere from 400 to 700 calories 4 or 5 times a week, managing food on myfooddiary.com. Gained 7 pounds in that time (and, my clothes are tighter, it can't all be muscle!)

Went to have my RMR tested today - it is 1110. So, they told me I could reach my weight goal of 140 in OCtober of 2009. .2 pounds a week (I am at 160). Thinking my meds are not adequate given my RMR is sooooo low.

A normal RMR for my age and weight is ~1356.

I can't imagine what my RMR would have been if I had tested it 3 months ago when I was sedentary and only walking 4 times a week.

I made an appt. with an integretive doctor in another town who uses t3 supplementation in hypothyroid people. I love my current doctor and hope to keep her for other stuff- just not thyroid -


Susan Campbell
05-23-2007, 08:49 AM
Hi girls,
thanks for the support. If I can't get into the Endo through the back door I will have to go back the Dr. There are no other Dr. taking new patients within an hour of London.

Your words of encouragement have pumped me up again.
I wasn't aware of the heart, but I've noticed a trend in the higher cholestoral,
I'm terribly fatigued, (he just said I'm not enemic, am I not getting enough sleep), memory issues, chipping nails, periods of depression (but I know I'm not a depressed person-too full of life when the energy lets me) low libido etc etc... I just have way to many symptons. I think I'll take my husband the next time. Maybe this jerk responds better to men and also to keep me from sitting on him to read the info.