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Old 10-08-2002, 06:23 PM   #1
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Question Synthroid causing weight gain?

I was diagnosed by my general practitioner about 7 months ago as having hypothyroidism. Since I have been on .112mg of Synthroid I have gained about 20 pounds. Isn't it supposed to help you lose the weight you have lost because of this disease? Is there another medication I should try? I have an appointment with an endocrinologist, but not until December. I could be as big as a house by them!! I watch what I eat, exercise, I'm very active, etc. I never had this problem until I went on it. Anyone else have this problem?

Thanks.

 
Old 10-09-2002, 07:08 PM   #2
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Hi wiski,
I doubt the synthroid is making you gain weight.
Keep track of what you eat. Maybe you thought you could eat more with the synthroid...not true that it makes one lose weight.

You may need a med increase, too.
It is good to see the endo.

What are your lab results and the lab values?

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Old 10-11-2002, 11:35 PM   #3
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Synthroid will actually speed up your metabolism, so it shouldn't make you gain weight. But who knows.....you might be sensitive to Synthroid and it might be messing up your system. Anything is possible. Are you absolultely sure you haven't increased your eating or gotten more sedentary? I know it can be hard to admit to!

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Old 10-12-2002, 02:57 AM   #4
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Synthroid won't speed up the metabolism if you are getting an inadequate dose.
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Old 10-14-2002, 06:19 AM   #5
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Without seeing your lab results to judge along with your symptoms, I can't say for sure, but I CAN venture an educated guess...

What often happens is that your thyroid gland was still somewhat functional. As you take the Synthroid to lower your TSH (TSH tells the thyroid gland to produce more hormones), your own thyroid gland produces less, and sometimes the result is that you are actually receiving less thyroid hormones now than what you were producing before going on Synthroid.

In essence, you are under-medicated and need a dose increase. I belive you that you lead a healthy lifestyle and have no doubt that you are trying to lose weight and/or keep from gaining, but it will continue to be hard as long as you are under-medicated.

you should talk to your doctor about symptoms, but leave your weight concerns out of the conversation with your doc. They often see weith gain as a sign of weakness, but, as hypos, we know better. Anyhow, request a dose increase, stating tht you want to keep yur lab values within the normal range, but ath you want to target what a healthy adult wth no thyroid symptoms might have. --A TSH near 1 is a good place to target.

Once you get to that point, if you still have symptoms, or are still gaining weight or unable to lse it, then you may have to get more agressive and/or look into other causes such as Diabetes or Insulin Resistance.

If you could post your lab results that would help. Ideally, a doctor will have TSH, Free T3, and Free T4 tests done. Some docs that are stuck in the past will order other tests instead such as Total T4 and T3 Uptake (NOT an actual T3 lab). The more information you can provide, the more direction we can give you in order to talk to your doctor.
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Old 12-12-2002, 05:02 AM   #6
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Yes!
I too have the exact same problem. Never a problem with my weight till I got on Synthroid! I am so glad to hear you say this....but I am sorry you are experiencing this too. It is so frusterating. I was 119 lbs till I got on synthroid, and in one month gained 10 lbs that will not budge. I worked out every day, harder...ate less...ate high protein....ate high carbs....tried 50 different herbs and supplement...tried increasing dose....tried decreasing dose...nothing works! It is puffy lumpy weight too...like water retention. I hate it. Its been a year now, and I am trying cytomel. I think it might be helping but its only been a week. I will keep you posted.

I am determined, and will not stop until I correct this. Lets keep in touch.

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Old 12-12-2002, 08:15 AM   #7
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I too have noticed weight gain on synthroid. It seems to make me retain water, though I don't have the swollen ankles or pitting. My abdomen and thighs feel bloated and "uncomfortable", like right before your period. I had my thyroid removed in May(cancer) and went on .125 of sythroid. I gained approx 7 pounds in two weeks and stayed there. I have always been thin adn weighed 118 before surgery. I stayed on the synthroid till august when I switched to 25mcg 3x's day in prep. for RAI therapy. I IMMEDIATELY went down to my pre-surgery weight. When I went off the sytomel for the scan/treatment I did not gain anything back, despite being off all meds for 5 weeks(my TSH was slow to rise!). After the treatment I went back on .125 of synthroid and agian gained approx 8 pounds within 2 weeks. My endo said that sometimes that happens, but he's not concerned cause I'm still in correct range for my height(5"6"). I am, mainly because I feel "bloated". I drink tons of water...always have, but it doesnt help. He added 5mcg of Cytomel 3x's day to my .125 of sythroid to see if it helped. I have lost a couple of pounds, but still feel "full" in my stomach and am constipated.

??? for the people on sythroid and cytomel....what dosages are you taking? I was thinking of upping Cytomel to 10mcg twice a day and 5mcg before bed (=25mcg day).


 
Old 12-12-2002, 08:27 PM   #8
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Synthroid is synthetic T4. In many people, synthetic T4-only treatment will result in weight gain. Why? Because it may not be adequate treatment. The theory is that when you ingest T4, your body will convert it adequately into the more active T3. But in a lot of hypo patients, it does not do an adequate job!! Being on synthetics can keep your T3 in the lower end of the range, and that can result in less energy, and more weight gain!!! When you add Cytomel (synthetic T3) to your daily regimine, and enough to get that fT3 in the upper end of the range, you have a better chance of maintaining the ideal weight you want.

BUT even better is switching to natural thyroid like Armour, which contains a nice amount of T3 to raise that in your own system, resulting in better energy.

And of course, logic tells you that no matter how ideal you get that fT3, you still have to exercise, and eat wisely (i.e. not more calories than you use). Even in people with healthy thyroids, the amount of calories that maintained your weight in your 20's, will cause you to gain weight in your 40's and so on.

 
Old 12-15-2002, 05:22 AM   #9
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It's working!
I added T3 (cytomel) three weeks ago, and I have lost 5lbs! Not to mention, I am started to recognize myself in the mirror for the first time in over a year of being on Synthroid only. Its hard to describe, but I had a foggy look...my face was swolen looking, and my eyes looked tired and lost. This addition of 10mcg of cytomel in the a.m. , and 10 mcg in the p.m., with my 100 mcg of synthroid has changed my life, and has allowed me to get "me" back.
It has been a very tough road to get here. After feeling worse on Synthroid, I have tried to wein myself off of it 3 times, and always hit a wall, where I could hardly get out of bed, and my hair would break, my hips would ache, my face would swell more. I would look at pictures of myself before my doctor put me on Synthroid and just cry. I was angry that I let this doctor take away my spark and vitality. I now am dependent on Synthroid, but atleast have finally found the missing element to allow all of it to work.
I cannot say that I am BETTER than I was before I started Synthroid, but with Cytomel added, and am the same, which was always good enough for me. When I started Synthroid, I was just missing periods, having very infrequent bowel mvmt's, with dry hair and skin. None of those things has changed really. I still haven't had a period since September. I look forward to finding a new holistic practitioner in Austin, and switch to Armour, but can't afford it right now....and I am just glad to be back to where I was, and finally losing weight. You would think these doctors would know what I have had to figure out for myself! The medical profession is a joke, and a disgrace.
Thank you all for your help. I wouldn't be here without you.
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Old 12-15-2002, 02:29 PM   #10
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Hi Bizspirit!! Hoorah, hoorah!! That is great news. You are now following the protocol of most all top-notch docs and thyroid experts when it comes to adding T3 to your daily thyroid regimin!

Glad you are noticing a difference, and I believe you will continue to notice it as your body takes in more of what you appeared to need all along.

And when and if you get to the point of switching to Armour, you will be getting T4 and T3, but you will also be getting T2 and T1, plus other substances just like what your thyroid makes in the first place. There appears to be some evidence that T2 works on your metabolism as well.


 
Old 04-13-2006, 10:57 AM   #11
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Re: Synthroid causing weight gain?

I have been hypothyroid for about 10 years. I quit smoking 4 years ago and since then I have gained over 50 lbs. What is this I have been reading about another medication besides synthroid?

 
Old 04-13-2006, 01:29 PM   #12
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Re: Synthroid causing weight gain?

Boy, exwife, you pulled up an old thread! You must be trying to do some reasearch. I remember doing that.

These are a lot of thyroid drugs. I did a search for "Thyroid Drug Information Database". There may be more, I don't know. If I KNOW what they are, I put the info beside it.

Brand Names

Armour Thyroid - this is the natural one - from pigs - has T4 & T3 plus I think T1 & T2
Cytomel - T3 only
Levothroid
Levoxyl
Naturethroid
Synthroid T4 only
Tapazole
Thyrogen
Thyrolar
Unithroid
Westhroid
Generic Thyroid Drug Names

Levothyroxine /L-thyroxine - this is what I take instead of Synthroid
Liothyronine
Liotrix
Methimazole
Propylthiouracil / PTU
Natural Thyroid
Thyrotropin alfa

Put each one into a search to find out about it. I take Levothyroxine - generic for synthroid. A number of different Drug Manufacturers make the above meds.

Post a new thread with any questions you may have. Be sure to explain your history a little.
Take care,
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