Weight Loss
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Thyroid problem in the way of losing weight?

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My mom and mom's mom both had thyroid problems, and it is very likely that I have a thyroid problem too. I'm 18, 5'6, weighing 174. I'm having my blood tested tomorrow to see if I have hypothyroidism or not.

I've been overweight all my life, and it's incredibly difficult for me to lose weight, but the easiest thing to gain weight. 3,500 calories in a pound, but I keep gaining when I'm DEFINITELY not eating that much. I stay consistent eating around 1,800 calories a day. I eat healthy things, lots of veggies and fruits, fiber, protein, good stuff. I workout normally about 4 times a week and I still can't seem to lose weight.

First I was undereating, anywhere from 1,000 to 1,400 calories a day even if I worked out. Didn't work and felt like I was starving myself, I upped my calories and still nothing. I feel like I'm doing everything perfect to lose weight and it's just not happening. Others seem to lose weight so easily by eating healthily and exercising.

Could it be that I have a thyroid problem since the thyroid controls metabolism? If they put me on medication, will losing weight be easier? I'm desperate!

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If you have Hypothyroidism getting treatment will help you lose weight and it will at least stop the gain. I unfortunately did not get diagnosed for 10years and that started the rot so I am glad that you are getting tested before it goes too long untreated.

Be aware that it takes a while for the doctors to get the dosage right so you will have to be patient. Practice used to be to give a high dosage and reduce it as needed which meant you felt better very quickly, but then they found that high levels of Thyroid hormone can lead to osteopoerosis so they now approach it from the other side and start with a low dose bringing it up slowly until you get to normal levels.

Good luck and be patient (easy for me to say)

It appears to me that you are eating inside your maintenance zone, so, yeah, you are not likely to see weight loss unless you drop a 100-200 calories off your daily average.

But if you do have hypothyroidism, then you may want to look at purchasing some of the more recent books on the subject.  Amazon has a good selection.  Just search Thyroid Diet.

Hypothyroidism definitely messes with your ability to lose weight.  The medication will (eventually) help with that.  You can also eat (avoid) foods that help (make worse) hypothyroidism (google the thyroid diet).  Wait for the test results, though.  :)

I agree with the other comments. IF you have a hypothyroid condition, it will definitely impact your ability to lose weight. Having close family members with the condition makes it more likely (but not inevitable) that you might have it too. But if your blood tests come back as normal, I think you may simply need to be more careful with your intake (check your portions) and perhaps reassess your calorie requirements according to your activity level.

If you do have hypothyroidism, the medication will help stabilize your hormones but it won't magically help you to lose all the weight you have gained. As Wendyannfr said, the dosage starts at the minimum and your doctor will increase as necessary over several months, following blood tests each time to assess your requirement.

One thing to note is that even with your medication at the correct level, weight loss with hypothyroidism is typically very slow (think one pound per month rather than one pound per week). You are right, the thyroid directly affects your metabolism and when working normally, it produces more or less hormone according to your activity level (increased activity= more hormone= weight loss). Unfortunately, the fixed dose of your medication does not adjust in this way, so you won't get the same effects with more exercise.

You will need to be more precise with your intake and be aware that certain foods inhibit the absorption of your medication (springing to mind: dairy, strawberries, grapefruits and broccoli .. there are few other foods you should limit or avoid - sometimes just around the time you take your meds). Get a good book (as suggested by others) to educate yourself. Your doctor is only one source of information and in my experience they do not usually know everything about your condition. Their aim is to get your hormone levels correct for your health. Losing weight is a side issue of less importance to your doctor.

There is a hypothyroidism group here on CC. You should find it if you type "hypothyroid" into the search bar for Groups. The people there will be able to advise and support you through the process of getting your medication right and losing weight.

4 Replies