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Old 06-07-2008, 07:45 PM   #1
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Question underactive thyroid and extremely underweight

Hi Anyone & everyone, I've always been on the thin side but always sat at a healthy 55kgs, perfect for my height, (which "was" 164cm I've shrunk already to 162!!!!!) in my younger yrs. I went to the dr in 1997 weighing in at a mere 39kgs, terrified. That was when I found out I had an underactive thyroid. The most I've ever managed to hit in weight is 46kg. A short while ago it plummetted again to 40kg. Dr tested for everything dire that may have caused this, thankfully nothing was amiss. Thyroid levels were fine too. I personally think the weight loss then was the fact that I started working again. I've a naturally fast metabolism, that & taking Thyroxine (I take 200 of thyroxine one day then 175 the next) I feel I'm fighting a loosing battle. It's taken me 1yr to gain 4kgs since then & thats with the aid of ensure at times(when I can afford it). I eat like a horse anyhow so when im using the ensure I always feel constantly overfull which is mighty uncomfortable. So here I am sitting at 44kgs wearing size 6 jeans and looking a lot older than my yrs. Any advice would be greatfully appreciated. P/S I quit work a year ago.

 
Old 06-09-2008, 04:45 AM   #2
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Re: underactive thyroid and extremely underweight

That's a pretty hefty dose of thyroxine for someone your size. My first gut reaction is that you're overmedicated. You're actually displaying some very classic symptoms of hyperthyroidism. Even if your lab results are in normal range, I wonder how "normal" they really are. What did they test and what are the results? Why do you take thyroxine and how long have you been taking it?

Shrinking is a sign of osteoporosis. Too much thyroid hormone in the blood can cause that. That's a huge red flag and you should immediately have a bone density test done to find out how bad the osteoporosis is so that you can get it treated before it causes major problems.

I have a feeling that you're one that feels extremely good on the hyper side of life. All fine and dandy but it can be very detrimental to your body over the long run.

 
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Old 06-10-2008, 01:57 AM   #3
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Re: underactive thyroid and extremely underweight

Thankyou for your response - as I'm feeling deperate!! As i relayed in my post I am taking 200 one day and 175 the next. I really cannot tell you which test were and have been done T ? and T ?. But since being on the 200 and 175 for the past year 1/2 have been stable. I am a difficult case as I also have COPD & have had it explained to me that because of this; the energy I put in just breathing is a co-factor in my weightloss. Hence huge weight loss when I started working. I will approach my Dr in reguard to osteoporosis. From all I've read, the symptoms of over and under active thyroid are quite similiar.

 
Old 06-11-2008, 04:44 AM   #4
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Re: underactive thyroid and extremely underweight

The COPD does shed a different light on things. I thought you said you had nothing else going on. COPD can cause weight loss but that amount of weight loss is way too much and shouldn't happen if you have the COPD under treatment and are doing ok with it.

Things still don't hash though. You're terribly underweight at a bmi of around 16.4. Your body's at a level where it feels that it is starving. At the point of your diagnosis of an underactive thyroid, you were beyond starving at a bmi of 14.5.

You said you have trouble affording ensure? Is there a problem that might be preventing you from being able to purchase good, healthy, high calorie food?

Midwest? You around? Your thoughts? You're so good at this particular problem.

 
Old 06-12-2008, 11:49 PM   #5
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Re: underactive thyroid and extremely underweight

Yes the problem with affording ensure is that I'm on a disabilty pension-due to copd. i'ts not covered by NHS. So budget wise it's included in groceries, I've a 131/2 year old son that eats as much as me if not more. I tried sustegen(hospital) which is cheaper but still a drain on the $. Do you know of any other substitutes that are as good as ensure but less pricey?

 
Old 06-15-2008, 03:35 AM   #6
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Re: underactive thyroid and extremely underweight

It's a shame the supplements aren't covered. However, I have run into quite a few recipes on the web for high calorie smoothies and such that you can make from regular grocery stuff at a slightly lower expense.

If I were you, I'd get a generic multivitamin to take everyday and a big jug of canola oil. Put oil into everything you possibly can. Oil's got a lot of calories packed into a very small serving and canola's pretty much tasteless and has some good for the heart type stuff in it. That and olive oil are two of the "good" oils but olive oil's got too much flavor for me to slip into stuff except salad and pasta. Use your imagination. I've mixed it into milk, poured it over my meat and all kinds of things. You can add herbs to it and make it quite flavorful if you want. Before you know it, you can slip in an extra 500 or so calories a day without even trying. It's one of my tricks for when I need to put on weight fast.

Do you happen to know your thyroid hormone levels? I'm still wondering if your metabolism might be going a little too fast. There's also the fact that when the body goes into starvation mode, less hormones are produced in order to protect the body from starving to death so if levels are checked during that period, you'll end up with a falsely low thyroid hormone level that will correct itself once the body starts putting on some weight. It could cause overmedication if a close eye isn't kept on it. A "naturally fast metabolism" and hypothyroidism just don't jive. I'm still having my trouble wrapping my head around that one.

 
Old 06-15-2008, 06:38 AM   #7
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Re: underactive thyroid and extremely underweight

Yes, it's got me scratching my head too. I'm seeing the Dr this week after having a blood test, i'll nab a copy of him so i'll know my levels then. I'm not satisfied with the way my GP is dealing with my health in reguard to my thyroid, so i'm going to request to be referred to a speciallist.
I'm a cook and love cooking,but didn't realise the extra canola oil would make such a huge difference, thanks for the hint. My mums just given me a breadmaker, I'm having a ball messing around with it. Am a dab hand with smoothies too, I love my bananas, avacado and mango. My colesterol is borderline, but I have a hell of a lot of good colesterol in my system which is cool.
The problem seems to be stabilising the levels(to me!). Drastic but, i'd rather have the gland taken out (if that would help)than put up with "whatevers" going on all the time!! Thankyou so much for your help. I'll let you know how I go.... Sues61 :-)

 
Old 06-15-2008, 07:11 AM   #8
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Re: underactive thyroid and extremely underweight

Nab a copy for sure and see if you can't get hold of some of your old labs for comparison. If he's been going by TSH alone, he may be missing something. I'm a terribly rare bird that could be described as someone who's had a naturally fast metabolism all my life. I'm a hyper with normal TSH that sometimes even goes high. I have a secondary form of hyperthyroidism that's TSH driven. The labs never jive but I also require higher thyroid hormone levels than the average person, up to a point. I went on cytomel (T3) back in february to knock back my TSH a bit and actually started to gain weight and feel less hyper.

I love to eat. I'm not too fond of cooking. The oil's a cheater's way out. My cholesterol isn't borderline, it's downright high. The gp has me on fish oil capsules which brought my HDL up high enough that my ratio is good now and we're going to leave it at that and see what happens.

I'd have it out too if I could. Problem is people with my condition that have had it removed have had the darn thing grow back every time without fail. One woman had it removed 5 times. You'd think she'd learn.

A referral to a specialist is an excellent idea. Please keep me posted on how that goes.

 
Old 06-17-2008, 03:39 AM   #9
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Re: underactive thyroid and extremely underweight

Hi Access, my thyroid levels, at least TSH -1.34 & FT4 - 17.... in january they were TSH - 1.90 & FT4. In Feb 07 TSH -0.31 & 36. In jan 05 13.60 & 15. In 1999 the results were suggestive of Hasimotos thyroiditis. So TSH & FT4 has been the norm in testing with my DR. Was great today to be able to speak to him (thanx 2 U) in reguard to false levels due to low BMI/hormone factors. He's taken more bloods to test more in depth. I'm booked in for an ultrasound of my gland/s, also for a bone density test. I'm on the waiting list to see a specialist at a hospital, which here in OZ could mean a long wait, but its a start. When I was first diagnosed with hypo/thy, I was told that I was 6 months off going into a coma & total organ shut down. But then, I knew something was desperately wrong coz I was passing out all the time. Take care. keep ya posted..Sues

 
Old 06-18-2008, 03:54 AM   #10
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Re: underactive thyroid and extremely underweight

January T4 what??? I think the number's missing. You don't by any chance have the lab reference ranges for the T4's, do you? I know you guys kinda follow the brits methods but I think their's is more standardized than they are down under. But then again, tiny islands can get away with stuff like that.

Have you got the '99 results? It's sometimes helpful to see baseline readings before any medication is added. Was the hashis diagnosis based on the hormone levels or did they do antibody testing?

Sounds like you've got yourself a good doc. It's always nice to find one who'll listen and is open to suggestions. I hope your referral doesn't take too long but I think all of us, everywhere are familiar with the hurry up and wait game. Disgusting, ain't it?

 
Old 06-18-2008, 04:16 PM   #11
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Re: underactive thyroid and extremely underweight

OOps that was ft4 - 18 in jan 08.... Excuse any apparent ignorance by me, I've had the condition for a while now. Havent done much research & have taken Doc's words and advice as gospel/without question - till now. Base-line readings unsure of your meaning. Had an ultrasound yesturday, apparently my glands are very small, but thats all the radiologist would say. My chemist has been really helpful too & took the time to check her own notes on thyroxine etc. Now all I can do is wait for all these results come in to my GP,and wait to see the endocinologist..... Yeah the waiting is frustrating.. but at least the balls rolling. I'm looking forward to plumping out me wrinkles LOL, deveolpin' a butt that will hold up my jeans & fillin' out me bra!!!!! Where is Greasy Rock?? :-) Sues

 
Old 06-19-2008, 04:05 AM   #12
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Re: underactive thyroid and extremely underweight

What ignorance? I thought it was a typo. You can't possibly be ignorant if you're starting to question your course of treatment when things aren't going as they should. You got the ranges for those numbers?

Sounds like your gland has just about died out if it's that small. I do think you need to look into things though cause being that skinny just ain't right. But you know, in the meantime they've got ropes to hold up your britches and to be honest my boobs haven't seen the inside of a bra in ??? Wow. I can't remember. I like to leave em flapping in the wind. Well, maybe one day they'll flap.

By baseline I meant labs that were drawn before any medication was started.

Greasy Rock is right alongside the creek just over yonder in Back Valley. It's a big flat rock where the trappers gathered to butcher their game. The rock got greasy from all the fat. A little town grew up around it and they named it Greasy Rock. Someone got the brilliant idea to name the place after a guy named Sneed who probably never even stepped foot within the county and the town became known as Sneedville. A lot of the folks around here like the name Greasy Rock better. It's a little isolated community tucked in the mountains of Northeast Tennessee. USA that is.

 
Old 06-22-2008, 05:23 AM   #13
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Re: underactive thyroid and extremely underweight

I like the name Greasy Rock myself!!! You were right about low bone density. I have osteopenia (my T score for that was -1.5). So has my father,but he is 74yrs. My chemist told me it would be advsable to take cod liver oil(vit A) For my lungs. I decided to get a multi-oil instead & buy a good multivitamin as you suggested. I put away a lot of dairy products everyday and was surprised to find my colesterol wasn't through the roof.. But I use canola oil and olive oil for all else, so I guess thats whats saving me in that area. I'm right into spinach and riccotta danishes at the mo. No I dont have a baseline reading. That was a different Dr back in 1997. I think I shocked my Doc when I started prattling info off at him.... LOL.... got him movin' Get my other blood test result tommorrow. Hope you had a great weekend .... I did!!!! cheers Sues61

 
Old 06-22-2008, 06:36 PM   #14
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Re: underactive thyroid and extremely underweight

Something tells me you need your vitamin d level checked. My guess is you're going to find it a bit low.

I think it's keeping the thyroid hormone level on the high side that's keeping your cholesterol level in check. They actually used to use thyroid hormone to treat high cholesterol until they realized how dangerous that was. I'm actually kind of an anomoly. I'm a hyper with high cholesterol. The doc's got me gobbling fish oil capsules to keep my hdl level up high enough to offset the ldl levels. Even though my cholesterol's pretty high the ratio is really good now so I don't have to go on meds.

So you going to be seeing the doc to go over all these test results? You're going to have to start doing something about that osteopenia and the sooner you start, the better off you'll be and based on your vitamin d and calcium levels, he should be able to tell you where to start supplement wise. You don't wanna get to the point where you have to start trying to medicate it with the more powerful stuff. Right now I'm reluctantly doing a real low dose estrogen patch after a disasterous try at boniva. I wish I had known a lot earlier and been able to reverse the process. Everything screamed "test this woman" and no one gave it a second thought. I thought I was safe until after I made it thru meno. Live and learn.

Good to hear you had a great weekend. It's been absolutely lovely here and other than a massive chigger attack, I had a good time playing in the yard. I really can't think of anything I did that I "shoulda" done which always makes for a good time.

 
Old 06-26-2008, 08:16 AM   #15
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Re: underactive thyroid and extremely underweight

Doc didn't even seem concerned about the osteopenia, I asked about using calcium suppliments and wasn't too happy about it. !!??!! My dads on meds 4 it. Think I'll just get something anyhow. I'll be glad "when" I finally get to see the specialist. Do you think the multivitamin would cover me for vit D? I bought one thats for over 50yrs, I'm not far off it - thought I'd get in early LOL. My skins improved heaps since taking the fish oils -- was like flakey pastry before. It's winter over here in Oz, been bloody cold, so I've been revamping my place a bit, too cold n wet for gardening. Plan on painting my sons room in a couple of weeks. He's nearly 14yrs and needs a change to suit his age.

 
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