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  • Weight gain w/ thyroid medicine????

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    Old 04-13-2009, 07:02 AM   #1
    dolejaly
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    Weight gain w/ thyroid medicine????

    I was diagnosed a couple of years ago w/ under-active thyroid, and was put on 25 mg of synthroid, which the doc said it wasn't working, so I was raised to 75mg, and again same results....Now I am on 125 mg and I feel no better, but the doc says my readings are fine...Why am I still so darn tired and feel like death warmed over?...Also has anyone had a issue w/ weight gain while on this medication?

    I am normally a small person and have been my whole life, and now I can no longer wear any of my clothes, my stomach is swelled as if I am 6 - 7 months pregnant, my legs and feet are swelled, feels as if rubber bands are squeezing my ankles, it hurts even to have jean material touch my legs...I am dealing w/ hot flashes, then I am cold because I broke out into a sweat, so then I am hot and cold at the same time....A case of sweater on sweater off constantly....I take Black Cohosh to help w/ the night sweats and its not helping...I am so tired of feeling tired!!!!!! I went from a active person to a person that can't even stay awake long enough to watch a hour t.v program....GRRRRRRRRR....

    But, my biggest concern is the WEIGHT GAIN....could it be the medicine? I feel miserable........It hurts my stomach to bend over and tie my shoes, I feel like a pregnant woman that is in her final week of delivering a baby......

     
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    Old 04-13-2009, 08:42 AM   #2
    ducksinarow
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    Re: Weight gain w/ thyroid medicine????

    You might need to have all of your hormone levels checked. I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism and went on Armour. Felt great for a year. Then started feeling really tired, run down, no energy, etc. Also gained 15 pounds after having lost 20 the year before on the medication. Doctor doubled my Armour dose for over 5 months, didn't work. She discovered that my testosterone level was really low and I also have adrenal exhaustion. So it could be stress-related and not your thyroid. Just a suggestion.

     
    Old 04-13-2009, 08:43 AM   #3
    osteoblast
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    Re: Weight gain w/ thyroid medicine????

    First, I would suggest that you get a full physical and gynecological exam to rule out possible serious causes of swelling. I recently saw that abdominal swelling may be a sign of ovarian cancer -though you said your swelling is throughout your body. Best to be sure you know what you are dealing with.
    Perhaps it is the thyroid medication but.....it sounds like you are going through menopause . That is when I gained weight but when I started to ex and watch my diet the pounds all came off AND this is during a time I think I was undiagnosed hypo.
    After your rule out something serious then maybe you can begin to take self help measures. I think it may be helpful to keep a record of what you eat. You could look at a book store for diet journals...that may help you to see how many calories are going in. Of course, you would want to cut out the diet offenders like sugar, transfats and overeating of fats. And, don't eat within 2 hours of going to bed.
    And then track you exercise. If you aren't getting any exercise then maybe you could start with a pedometer and a walking program and slowly advance that ea. week to get to at least 10,000 steps a day.
    When you have your diet right and exercise right, then you could really see the extent of your issue.
    I found reading Bob Greene's Best Life Diet book helpful too...that is where the above ideas are from.
    If your thyroid numbers are now ok and that is something you would want to confirm. Maybe get your recent numbers and post here. IF the numbers are not optimal then some modification there would be needed. But, I would think for most people that if they were optimal on meds that alone would not resolve a weight issue. It would help but the rest of the work including diet modification and exercise would be the method to resolve a weight/health issue.
    I think you may also find the feeling of fatigue and lethargy can be helped with ex. Exercise physiologists say that ex. will raise your metabolism not only during ex. but during the rest of the day. I find if I ex. earlier in the day I will feel more energized during the rest of the day. It kicks starts what I think is a lagging metabolism due to hypo.
    Sorry this is too long! The above poster had some good ideas regarding hormone testing. That may be a piece of the puzzle.

    Last edited by osteoblast; 04-13-2009 at 08:56 AM.

     
    Old 04-13-2009, 09:02 AM   #4
    dolejaly
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    Re: Weight gain w/ thyroid medicine????

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by osteoblast View Post
    First, I would suggest that you get a full physical and gynecological exam to rule out possible serious causes of swelling. I recently saw that abdominal swelling may be a sign of ovarian cancer -though you said your swelling is throughout your body. Best to be sure you know what you are dealing with.
    Perhaps it is the thyroid medication but.....it sounds like you are going through menopause . That is when I gained weight but when I started to ex and watch my diet the pounds all came off AND this is during a time I think I was undiagnosed hypo.
    After your rule out something serious then maybe you can begin to take self help measures. I think it may be helpful to keep a record of what you eat. You could look at a book store for diet journals...that may help you to see how many calories are going in. Of course, you would want to cut out the diet offenders like sugar, transfats and overeating of fats. And, don't eat within 2 hours of going to bed.
    And then track you exercise. If you aren't getting any exercise then maybe you could start with a pedometer and a walking program and slowly advance that ea. week to get to at least 10,000 steps a day.
    When you have your diet right and exercise right, then you could really see the extent of your issue.
    I found reading Bob Greene's Best Life Diet book helpful too...that is where the above ideas are from.
    If your thyroid numbers are now ok and that is something you would want to confirm. Maybe get your recent numbers and post here. IF the numbers are not optimal then some modification there would be needed. But, I would think for most people that if they were optimal on meds that alone would not resolve a weight issue. It would help but the rest of the work including diet modification and exercise would be the method to resolve a weight/health issue.
    I think you may also find the feeling of fatigue and lethargy can be helped with ex. Exercise physiologists say that ex. will raise your metabolism not only during ex. but during the rest of the day. I find if I ex. earlier in the day I will feel more energized during the rest of the day. It kicks starts what I think is a lagging metabolism due to hypo.


    I went from a high metabolism to all I want to do is go back to bed and that is when I first get up....As far as the weight gain, I was recently diagnosed w/ a heart condition, nothing serious though, just beats a few extra beats, my heart rate use to run about 65 and now if fluctuates between 83 and 95, and my BP was always perfect and now is running a little high, not to mention I have a some disorders w/ my spine that leave me limited to certain exercises, so I try and do the ones that don't tear me a part....but, in the past 14 months I have gained almost 30 lbs and nothing in my life has changed except the heart ordeal and i don't eat very much, but I am not as energetic as I use to be, I was one that never sat down always doing something, and now I am so tired...You mentioned menopause, is there something I can do about the symptoms w/ that? I am 44 yrs old? The Dr. had a ultra sound done on me about a year ago and he mentioned fibromyalgia, but nothing else....He seen the swelling but all he says is "you are getting older"..and there is something wrong, even the people closest to me have said that I look bloated, not just a solid weight gain...That's why I questioned the thyroid medicine in regards to making a person gain weight...I normally would wear a size 1-3 in jeans and now I am looking into maybe a 5-6?

    But, since the raise on my dose of synthroid my weight just seem to sky rocket...I can eat nothing but maybe a orange and a few carrots w/ ranch dressing for 3 days and I am talking maybe 4 baby carrots (daily)and I actually gained 3 lbs in those 3 days....I tested to see what my weight would do w/ just eating the 4 carrots and 1 orange for 3 days......

     
    Old 04-13-2009, 09:43 AM   #5
    osteoblast
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    Re: Weight gain w/ thyroid medicine????

    Well, your dr. saying it is aging is a bit discouraging. To me that shows a lack of interest in wanting to track this down. Plus, if he thinks you're getting old at 44--that is even more discouraging. I think 44 is too young to be thinking that.
    Your hot/cold thing sounded like meno to me. Whether or not you are still having your period it sounds like a good time to get your hormones checked as the other poster said.
    Find out what your estradiol level is. It sounds like with your general doc saying aging, you should get your gynecologist into the project.
    Some will say that lowered estrogen will start screwing them up . Yet, some are surprised with high estrogen levels. So getting the hormones checked could give you great info.
    I have heard of various ways to assist with the hormones fluctuating and people getting relief. But first you have to find out where you are on the levels.
    Your few sticks of carrot and orange could not be doing anything bad for you . But the ranch dressing may have hydrogenated fats in it....just look at the label. Any hydrogenated fats you do not want. They will mess with your ability to control your weight. You will need to become a label reader. Check how much ranch dressing you are actually eating a day and look at the fat and calories in that it may really surprise you. Salad dressing is notorious for loading in fat and calories.
    You can make a delicious dip for your carrots with non fat plain yogurt or hummus (chickpeas).
    You would need to look at everything you eat and see what fat/sugar is in it.
    The good stuff won't make you fat...that is the real food of fruit and vegetables. You need to look at what else is going with the fruit and vegetables that you eat.
    I would think if you could take a diet journal to the dr. they could better determine what is going on .
    Also the diet journal would have you determine your calories and fat eaten ea. day.
    About the exercise, if you can walk you can get a pretty serious exercise program going. A pedometer could be a huge help. You can get one and set it to "steps" and see how many steps you get a day. They have pedometers you can clip on your waistband or some you put in your pocket. They say 10,000 is the number to aim for. Just see where you stack up next to that. Pedometers can be bought at places like Walmart, Target or sports stores for about $20 or so.A small investment to see what kind of ex. you are now getting and to help you improve!
    It sounds like right now you are suffering from feeling helpless to change your situation. I think it would help to know that you can get better. You just need some more info and a dr. that is willling to work with you AND the determination to see this through. You can do it!
    Maybe it would be a good idea to put your numbers on here---
    put thyroid numbers tsh, free t4 and t3
    also do you have your lipid profile LDL, HDL and triglycerides
    AND how is your blood glucose?

    Last edited by osteoblast; 04-13-2009 at 09:53 AM.

     
    Old 04-13-2009, 09:47 AM   #6
    Reece
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    Re: Weight gain w/ thyroid medicine????

    the thyroid medicine is not a medicine per se, it actually replaces the hormone your body is missing, so it doesn't usually result in side effects.

    What is your blood work like---your tsh, your free t4, your free t3? Being undermedicated is more likely to give you those symptoms, than the replacement hormone, my guess is you are undermedicated, even with the increase, and that's what's giving you your symptoms.

     
    Old 04-13-2009, 10:20 AM   #7
    midwest1
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    Re: Weight gain w/ thyroid medicine????

    When a full replacement dose of T4 isn't working, it might be time to ask for a trial of natural dessicated hormone like Armour Thyroid. It sounds very much as if your body isn't making use of the T4 you're taking. It might be putting your TSH into range without actually being used on the cellular level. Your MD may very well buck the idea of Armour with all his might, because most do. But if you really want to try a different approach, you should be able to find an MD willing to prescribe natural hormone for you.

    It's the opinion of thyroid expert, Dr. David Brownstein, that natural hormone products have a diuretic effect that synthetics don't have. Since much of the weight gained with hypothyroidism is water weight vs. fat, you stand the possibility of benefiting from switching.

     
    Old 04-13-2009, 12:00 PM   #8
    ducksinarow
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    Re: Weight gain w/ thyroid medicine????

    I totally agree with the use of Armour Thyroid. I have heard that Synthroid causes arthritis- I have a friend who is 69 years old who used Synthroid for years and now has arthritis all over and she does attribute it to Synthroid- she asked her doctor and the doctor confirmed that there is a link. I also have another friend on Synthroid for years and she is complaining of terrible pain in her hands. I have looked it up and there is a link. I would take natural over synthetic if possible. Armour replaces T3 as well as T4, plus it contains traces of T1 and T2. If you can, get the book Living Well with Hypothyroidism by Mary Shomon. It was very helpful. If you do a search for her name online, she has a blog and a newsletter. I am 44 years old too and feel really run down and tired. Still trying to find that balance of medications, hormones and lifestyle that will help me the most. I also suffer from extremely painful headaches- mostly happening in the middle of the night. Doctor attributed that to the low testosterone. 44 years old is about the time for perimenopause and hormone levels do change.

     
    Old 04-13-2009, 04:19 PM   #9
    osteoblast
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    Re: Weight gain w/ thyroid medicine????

    Ducksinarow-I keep hearing things about testosterone. I think those of us with hypo start with one problem that is pretty significant and then when you overlay female hormone fluctuations it sometimes is just too much! How much testosterone do you take? I assume it is in cream form. How has the testosterone helped you? Anything negative with use of testosterone?
    Maybe you could start another thread with the info on synthetic thyroid hormone replacement AND arthritis. I am certain there are many here who would have interest in that discussion.
    Dolejay--if you do get your homones checked maybe they could throw in the testosterone. When my doctor checked my hormones , she did not include the testosterone. I had to request that the next time that I thought of it.

     
    Old 04-14-2009, 06:25 AM   #10
    ducksinarow
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    Re: Weight gain w/ thyroid medicine????

    I am not that familair with the Synthroid/arthritis connection, but I will look it up again and start a thread with links to the info I found. I just wanted to look it up for my friend and get her some info. If a doctor orders hormone tests for a female, they definitely should include the male hormones because females do have them but in smaller amounts than males. I'm not sure how much testosterone I received because it was an injection and I know my doctor is trying to find a good balance. She also gave me a B12 shot and something for my adrenal exhaustion. I feel silly for not knowing the levels and exact hormones, but I was so tired of feeling tired that I was just happy that she was giving me something! I was taking a cream previous to the injection, but my testosterone levels went too high. I do have a bad side effect- my back breaks out terribly. I am so upset by this and feel like I am getting better in one area but there is a price to pay in another area. I did have this effect with the creamm too so I was expecting it. I just felt so physically run down that I was willing to deal with the skin issue just to feel like I could function better. I did feel better (fantatsic even) for about 4 days (about three days after the shots) but I do feel it wearing off and getting back to the same tiredness. I am due to go back to the dr. this week. I need to go every two weeks for the B12 and possibly the other shots, but I'm not sure since we are still experimenting with the levels and comparing that to how I feel. I think if you request hormone tests- definitely make sure all the sex hormones are included. That is so important and does give you good insight into what might be going on.

     
    Old 07-16-2010, 12:45 PM   #11
    peachy041
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    Re: Weight gain w/ thyroid medicine????

    What kind of testosterone do you take and are you currently taking? Is it bio-identical cream-was there any negative side effects such as weight gain or only positive side effects?

     
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