2

votes

Trying (and failing) to lose weight with thyroid disease

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created March 11, 2012 at 10:12 PM

Hi everyone. I???m having a lot of trouble right now with my diet/body/weight, and I???m wondering if anyone here can offer a little guidance or point me in the right direction of where I should go from here.

I???ve gained nearly 30 pounds (all fat) in the last two years, which has radically altered my way of life for the worse. I was a high-performing athlete before these ailments struck me: I was recently diagnosed with Hashimoto???s disease, hypothyroidism, adrenal dysfunction (chronically high cortisol), dysglycemia and possible insulin resistance, possible leaky gut, and I haven???t had a period since I went off birth control last December (was on it for over 10 years). I desperately want to lose these 30 lbs and feel like myself again, particularly as I???m getting married in just 6 short months.

I???ve tried about a million things over the past two years to stop gaining weight and to lose the weight I've gained, and nothing has worked. I'll spare you all those details (just trust me when I say I've about tried it all - yes, including IF) and just tell you about my most recent diet: I've been doing a fairly strict hypoallergenic diet since early this year, eating almost nothing but: whole eggs from a local farm (I eat the yolks raw), organic/nitrate-free pepperoni and chicken sausage, avocados, copious amounts of coconut butter and oil (3-5 Tbsp per day), allergen-free protein powder (Sunwarrior), occasional fish and shrimp, sea salt, and small amounts of cacao or carob powder and pure stevia, plus a couple cups of black coffee per week. I was eating sweet potatoes during most of this time too, but cut those out a couple weeks ago due to sugar concerns. I was also eating cauliflower, broccoli, and romaine lettuce for awhile, but I even cut those out, as they seemed to be irritating my gut. I also take a lot of supplements: algae-derived DHA, B vitamins, vitamin C, selenium, lots of probiotics, and many more.

As a former vegetarian, it???s been difficult enough for me to add the sausage and pepperoni to my diet ??? I???ve had strong aversions to unprocessed meats my whole life ??? so I???m doing the best I can on the animal-product front. No dairy for me, since I have Hashimoto???s. I can perhaps imagine myself adding ground beef to my diet ??? I think at this point I could handle the texture ??? but certainly no steaks or big hunks of meat requiring lots of chewing. I miss fruits and nuts quite a bit, but I???m willing to persevere in this no matter what it takes to lose the weight I???ve gained.

I???m limiting my diet to 1500 calories a day ??? occasionally I eat a little more than that; frequently I eat less than that. I eat a high-protein, high-fat breakfast (a la Leptin rx) immediately upon waking. I try to eat 3 meals a day, limited-to-no snacking, and I stop eating 3 hours before bed. I stopped exercising completely for almost a month (I did ???chronic cardio??? for years as an athlete), and now I???m only doing 20-minute weight-lifting sessions 3 times a week + occasional light walking. I sleep ~9 hours most nights. I???m 5???3??? tall and, like I said, have close to 30 lbs to lose to get back to my ideal, fit weight (preferably by September!). I am only 27 years old.

Since beginning this diet I described above, I???ve GAINED 5-7 more pounds. What am I doing wrong? What haven't I thought of or considered here? I don???t know where to go or what to do from here, and feel I am running out of time. I would truly appreciate any and all guidance or counsel.

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on December 20, 2013
at 08:22 AM

if you know what you are doing, you could always order what you need (or need to trial/test) online. this seems to be what a lot of people over at peatarian.com do. the two stores that they seem to use are both in Mexico, this one & this one

not recommending, just saying...leave it to you to do your own research

0242b468fe1c97997749db416c92e7ed

(4528)

on April 05, 2012
at 04:12 PM

Unfortunately no, not yet. Still working on that part. :( I wish I knew what I was doing wrong in that department (if anything) - I'm so dang uncomfortable with this extra 30 lbs! At least the gaining seems to have stopped...

F3920b85be76a5d8cf466d805bfb99e4

(638)

on March 15, 2012
at 02:15 PM

@curiosity, for me what works is to eliminate starch while in weight loss mode. I add some back in when in maintenance mode, but I never eat starch without some protein and fat because it makes me feel a sudden blood sugar drop later (and not in a good way).

Cc617780f1eb2094d916cbe54a9b69a6

on March 12, 2012
at 03:36 PM

It's kind of a relief to know I'm not the only one who absolutely HAS to restrict calories - thanks Lisa. I do miss my veggies - especially cauliflower - so I want to try adding those back in soon. My doctor actually mentioned hypochlorhydria last week, so I may want to seek out a good HCL supp. What about starch? Particularly sweet potatoes; man I miss those. Am I better off staying super-low-carb, or would it be good for me to add back some starch?

Cc617780f1eb2094d916cbe54a9b69a6

on March 12, 2012
at 03:32 PM

Thanks so much for relating to me, Kimmie! Good to know you're getting some help from a Dr. K doc. After I read his book, I was fascinated by the glutathione cream, so that's definitely something I plan to ask my new doctor about - thanks for vouching for it. The food "reactions" might stymie me the most. I feel like I've never "reacted" to anything before! In the past, even when I've gone many weeks without any gluten or coffee, and I eat/drink it again, I feel nothing. It's like I don't even know my own body here! But I'll do whatever it takes, at this point. Did you lose the weight?

7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on March 12, 2012
at 12:31 AM

If coconut oil is good to you, then you could leave it in for the elimination diet. In my opinion, the key is to find a small set of unprocessed foods that you can sustainably eat exclusively for 2 months. If removing coconut oil doesn't appeal to you, then leave it in!

E0250b1e6dc5ec1539ffb745042b4d80

(3651)

on March 11, 2012
at 11:11 PM

The T3 I'm using comes from a dispensary, not a pill from pharma. I think it's dessicated bovine thyroid gland. You seem to be on the right track with the Dr K approach to the thyroid part. You must also understand adrenals and watch trigs and insulin for the IR. this may require a dr that also knows how to and will prescribe progesterone, cortisol, things like that, depending on how things look. I did VLC for a long time and knocked out the IR, insulin, trigs, leptin are low. Vit D and omega 3 fish oil rule.

Cc617780f1eb2094d916cbe54a9b69a6

on March 11, 2012
at 10:52 PM

Thanks Sara. Interesting idea about the super-strict elimination diet, I'll think on that. It'd be tough. In particular, I don't know if I can give up coconut! :) Since I have Hashi's I already gave up gluten (and am very careful about what I buy, to avoid any traces of gluten), so I figure no point wasting $ on testing for celiac. Plus I don't think I have it, since I never reacted poorly to gluten. But I'm avoiding gluten anyway, since I probably have an "intolerance" to it thanks to Hashi's!

7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on March 11, 2012
at 10:47 PM

One last thing: since you have Hashimoto's you're at increased risk of having celiac disease. Have you been tested plus tried a gluten elimination/challenge diet to see how you respond? You're getting very little gluten on a paleo diet, but trace amounts could possibly still be causing you trouble. It's something to look into, at least.

7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on March 11, 2012
at 10:46 PM

One thing I notice about your hypoallergenic diet is that it has a lot of processed foods in it. You might do an elimination diet by picking one protein (e.g. ground beef), one starch (sweet potato, or white potato), and a couple of veggies (kale, spinach, etc). Eggs, protein powder, cacao, coconut oil, shrimp, sausages, and pepperonis can all be allergenic/irritating to some people. And if you're gluten sensitive, trace amounts of gluten could be problematic in these foods. Furthermore, you might be reacting to ingredients in the supplements.

7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on March 11, 2012
at 10:42 PM

I'm similar, except that instead of the fat sticking around, I can lose fat for a few months, but then I gain it all back and then some. I started increasing my carbs (and selenium and iodine) a bit a few weeks ago because I suspect thyroiditis, and feel a lot better now, but I'm still not losing weight. I'm going to give it a while longer to see if it works. A lot of people do well with very low carb, but for others, it seems to just make things worse.

Cc617780f1eb2094d916cbe54a9b69a6

on March 11, 2012
at 10:41 PM

Thank you so much for your reply. Yes, that's exactly how I feel! I'm currently treating with T3-only, multidosing pure T3 3-4 times per day. I'm still raising/adjusting my dose to find what's right for me. I also just found a doctor in my area that was trained by Dr. Datis Kharrazian. We're just getting started, though, and it'll be another few weeks before all my (hundreds of dollars' worth of) tests come back. What do you mean by "natural" T3? I was under the impression there is no such thing as non-synthetic isolated T3. I will go check out your profile and blog - thank you so much.

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8 Answers

2
E0250b1e6dc5ec1539ffb745042b4d80

(3651)

on March 11, 2012
at 10:30 PM

Wow. Sounds very familiar.

Since I went through this, I suspect you have noticed that you seem to be immune to even the best diet advice possible, and you wonder what's missing. Been there.

I ended up seeing a thyroid/hormone specialist that knew how to treat hypothyroid, insulin resistance, and chronic fatigue at the same time. I changed to a natural T3 and lots of other meds and supplements. Blood work went from train wreck to excellent.

You described a full on hormone crash- thyroid, adrenals, IR.

Find the right dr. Websites are going to take too long and lead to too many dead ends.

You can find notes on my own way out of the crash if you hit profile and follow to my blog and read "my diet and plan."

You can turn it around, but I would not be trying to unravel it myself at this point.

Cc617780f1eb2094d916cbe54a9b69a6

on March 11, 2012
at 10:41 PM

Thank you so much for your reply. Yes, that's exactly how I feel! I'm currently treating with T3-only, multidosing pure T3 3-4 times per day. I'm still raising/adjusting my dose to find what's right for me. I also just found a doctor in my area that was trained by Dr. Datis Kharrazian. We're just getting started, though, and it'll be another few weeks before all my (hundreds of dollars' worth of) tests come back. What do you mean by "natural" T3? I was under the impression there is no such thing as non-synthetic isolated T3. I will go check out your profile and blog - thank you so much.

E0250b1e6dc5ec1539ffb745042b4d80

(3651)

on March 11, 2012
at 11:11 PM

The T3 I'm using comes from a dispensary, not a pill from pharma. I think it's dessicated bovine thyroid gland. You seem to be on the right track with the Dr K approach to the thyroid part. You must also understand adrenals and watch trigs and insulin for the IR. this may require a dr that also knows how to and will prescribe progesterone, cortisol, things like that, depending on how things look. I did VLC for a long time and knocked out the IR, insulin, trigs, leptin are low. Vit D and omega 3 fish oil rule.

1
0242b468fe1c97997749db416c92e7ed

(4528)

on March 12, 2012
at 03:12 AM

Hi Curiosity,

Your story sounds eerily like my own - after a major health collapse and sudden ~30-lb. weight gain last year, I also recently began seeing a Dr. Kharrazian-trained functional health doctor for hashi's, adrenal problems and leaky gut.

I hate to say it, but it's likely that you will benefit from giving up your weekly coffee in addition to gluten. I know - I freaked out when my doctor broke the news to me too, but it seems that coffee tends to cross-react with gluten and can trigger autoimmune attacks the same way gluten can. I miss my coffee, but have found an acceptable (even enjoyable) substitute in hot decaf chai tea with a little coconut milk.

Also, I expect that your doctor will prescribe it for you before long, but transdermal glutathione cream has made a HUGE (HUGE!) difference in my energy levels and overall well being. Dr. K's brand Apex Energetics has a wonderful product called Oxicell that I can't recommend highly enough.

Cc617780f1eb2094d916cbe54a9b69a6

on March 12, 2012
at 03:32 PM

Thanks so much for relating to me, Kimmie! Good to know you're getting some help from a Dr. K doc. After I read his book, I was fascinated by the glutathione cream, so that's definitely something I plan to ask my new doctor about - thanks for vouching for it. The food "reactions" might stymie me the most. I feel like I've never "reacted" to anything before! In the past, even when I've gone many weeks without any gluten or coffee, and I eat/drink it again, I feel nothing. It's like I don't even know my own body here! But I'll do whatever it takes, at this point. Did you lose the weight?

0242b468fe1c97997749db416c92e7ed

(4528)

on April 05, 2012
at 04:12 PM

Unfortunately no, not yet. Still working on that part. :( I wish I knew what I was doing wrong in that department (if anything) - I'm so dang uncomfortable with this extra 30 lbs! At least the gaining seems to have stopped...

0
Medium avatar

on December 20, 2013
at 07:30 AM

Raise my hand to this, although I gained 10 lbs, quite a normal gain for hypo. Thing is since it all got worse when you came of BC please ask your doc to send you to a gyn whos familiar with PCOS and ask them to check our ovaries. Also ask them to run blood works for this. Normally with PCOS you'll be much lower in Progasteron, estrogen can be at the right level all though it's the worng kind of estrogen. You want to be high in estradiol and low in estrone. Estradiol makes the skin smooth and shiny and puts the fat storage on breast and hips o a gril. whereas being high in estrone is a sign of toxins being stored in the body, you get high in estrone if you ie have a high level of atibiotics in your body, pesticides and other toxins. Also soy products and legumes is not good at all being high in estrone.

I don't have hashi but my body doesn't convert T4 to T3, I'm currently being set on Amour Thyroid and when reached full does the doc will probably also put me on trijodtyronin cause she doesn't think Armour on it own will be sufficient.

She's the first one taking me seriously, I don't have much body fat even if I gained a lot for my hight, but I'm so tired and lost all my hair 10 years ago, since then weight has been uncontrollable. Suddently just dropping 10 pounds getting all lean and cut almost enough for competition then without diatary changes just jump up again. The body gets soooooo weird and doesnt feel strong and functional, hard to explain and people don't get what I mean since Im performing well still but you certainly do feel when it doesn't work as usual.

I hope you'll get the help you need and I'd be happy to be here for support if you like, I know how terrible it is when you don't understand what's happening to your body!

0
183f5c49a7a9548b6f5238d1f33cb35e

on December 20, 2013
at 03:30 AM

Ooh, exact same thing happened to me a few years ago - Thyroid crashed, Gained 30 pounds, which took it's toll on my knee! I am currently on 5 grains of dessicated thyroid per day, which makes me feel fab.

Unfortunately the only way I can lose weight is to restrict calories to 800~1100 per day. This is irregardless of Macros, IF, exercise level etc. If I want to lose fat I have to sustain a deficit like this. It does drive me nuts so have to do at least 2 days a week of eating at maintenance levels. Its tough for us Hypos but doable.

I stopped lamenting about my bad fate and just put my head up, accepted it and moved on with the diet. Now my knee is a lot happier :)

0
44e6b3d2c13ec8b5ed234f9637da4aec

on December 20, 2013
at 01:36 AM

Another one with a very similar story. Acute Hashimoto's at age 19 after eating fried sushi tempura (w/ loads of MSG i'm sure) a week after getting the Gardasil shot. No period since then (except if I'm on birth control), severe IBS, gut dysbiosis, possible Crohns, liver enzymes went nuts, food sensitivities up the wazoo. I also developed pretty significant gluten, soy, sulfite & histamine intolerance.

I did gain about 10 lbs (TSH of 11) and struggled to lose it b/c of acute severe anemia got my energy down back in 2009.

I have been "symptom free" of thyroid B.S. for 4 years by eating strict Paleo, limiting salt, no alcohol (i see no benefit in it), and exercising every day. I am no gym slave. Just move as much as possible throughout the day and do heavy weights 3x a week and sprints 2x a week.

My favorite solutions to Hashi weight gain: high fat, low carb diet, Nutritional Response Testing, acupuncture, staying positive, and finding a doctor who gave me enough Synthroid so I'm just VERY slightly "hyper" T3.

No period yet - but I am hoping by eating a lot of high quality fats, using activated charcoal and metal detox, and staying physically & emotionally balanced it will come back.

I'm so sorry you're going through this. I went through a lot of the "why me?? i'm only 19. i shouldn't have to spend my best years in bed depressed over something i cannot control" It's made a stronger, empathetic and mindful person of my health and others. Stay positive!!!!

0
Be157308a0438e382b88d9db4c12ab30

on December 19, 2013
at 10:27 PM

If you really suffer from hypothyroidism, may I ask, do you avoid iodized salt by any chance? Another thing, why the protein shakes? I never get why people trying to lose weight take protein shakes. That's what you take when you're going to the gym 5+ days a week trying to bulk up, not when you're trying to lose weight. People can easily obtain all the protein they need through normal foods (isn't that the point of the paleo diet?). Protein is insulinogenic so protein calories are not "free" calories like many people in the health community think, they do make you gain mass, through their simultaneous augmentative effect on insulin and IGF-1. I commend you for dropping sweet potatoes, that's a step in the right direction. By the way, do try other oils beside coconut; olive oil, macadamia oil, hazelnut oil, and avocado oil are all pretty great too; my personal favorite is olive oil, I pour it on everything.

0
75c5bf3cb99f487b9b2cc5b69314a0c8

on December 19, 2013
at 08:41 PM

Me too. Crashed and burned last October, couldn't get out of bed. I gained 30 lbs. between October and January. My doctor kept testing my TSH and telling me I was "fine." I had to beg her even to run a T3 and T4 (never mind reverse)...got tested again...and again...FINALLY at a TSH of almost 5 (!!!!!) she agreed to increase my synthetic hormones "a little" (17mcg) and refused me Armour. I'm on a search for an endocrinologist now.

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on December 20, 2013
at 08:22 AM

if you know what you are doing, you could always order what you need (or need to trial/test) online. this seems to be what a lot of people over at peatarian.com do. the two stores that they seem to use are both in Mexico, this one & this one

not recommending, just saying...leave it to you to do your own research

0
F3920b85be76a5d8cf466d805bfb99e4

(638)

on March 12, 2012
at 03:57 AM

Boy, do I recognize that story, it's like you were in my head. I found that I simply could not lose weight unless I dropped to very low calorie in order to lose weight. For me, that is 2 meals per day less than 1200 calories total a day with some IF thrown in, and a slight bump in calories on workout day. Only eat ground meat if that is an issue, there is nothing more delicious than a grilled bacon burger lettuce wrap. Seafood is yummy too. I would figure out a way to get some greens back into your diet: spinach, kale, collards, lettuces, cucumber, asparagus, zuccini, leek. These foods are chock full of necessary vitamins and minerals and can help you get a "full" feeling, which is an important signal to the brain. If you aren't digesting them well, I've heard some have success with Betaine HCL or digestive enzyme supplement.

Cc617780f1eb2094d916cbe54a9b69a6

on March 12, 2012
at 03:36 PM

It's kind of a relief to know I'm not the only one who absolutely HAS to restrict calories - thanks Lisa. I do miss my veggies - especially cauliflower - so I want to try adding those back in soon. My doctor actually mentioned hypochlorhydria last week, so I may want to seek out a good HCL supp. What about starch? Particularly sweet potatoes; man I miss those. Am I better off staying super-low-carb, or would it be good for me to add back some starch?

F3920b85be76a5d8cf466d805bfb99e4

(638)

on March 15, 2012
at 02:15 PM

@curiosity, for me what works is to eliminate starch while in weight loss mode. I add some back in when in maintenance mode, but I never eat starch without some protein and fat because it makes me feel a sudden blood sugar drop later (and not in a good way).

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