Levothyroxine & Weight Loss

Kenilworth, NJ

#42 Mar 4, 2009
Lucy wrote:
i have just had my whole thyroid removed due to thyroid cancer and am one week into my lexothyroxine but before i had the radio active treatment and after my surgery my weight went up a stone and half in 4 weeks!! I need to lose this again as im getting married in June and cant have my dress re-sized. Im on 175 of the drug as my docs told me they would make me slightly hyper to help supress the cancer and this in turn would keep me slim and that i should lose the weight i gained maybe even more....this sounds too good to be true...but im nervous im not going to lose weight after reading all of the comments on here....although i do fell like ive lost weight this week, i havent weighed myself yet. please some advice from someone who knows and has been on this drug for a while would be much appreciated.
<quoted text>
Emma - I am a 4 year thyroid cancer survivor and like you had my thyroid removed. I have been on Synthroid 160 for most of the 4 years after a little calibration of levels. I heat relatively healthy and I am very active - last Sept. I did a sprint triathlon and right now I am training for a half-marathon in May. Initially I gained 20 pounds after the surgery, but with my increased activity I have lost 10 pounds of it, but still have the nagging addtional 10 pounds that I can not lose for anything. I'm glad to see I am not the only one experiencing this. It is very frustrating.

The good news is that the survivor rates for thyroid cancer are excellent and an additional few pounds won't kill us.


San Francisco, CA

#43 Mar 4, 2009
What was the dosage you were first prescribed?

Cocoa, FL

#44 Mar 6, 2009
i want to take alli and am on 75mcg levothyroxine is it safe to do this? i am not losing weight as easy as i did before the thyroid problems.

Chico, CA

#45 Mar 10, 2009
I've been on levothyroxine for about a month, and every time I look online to see how this medication works for other people I find nothing but posts about how it doesn't help with weight loss, and in many cases actually causes weight gain. It's too early to tell with me... I seems like I've lost anywhere from 2-5 pounds this first month, but I know the real test will be in the coming months. I would love to hear some success stories... but I guess people who are feeling good and losing weight on this medication probably aren't likely to be posting online as much as people who are frustrated. I do know that I've felt better than I have in a long time since I've been taking this medication, and that's more important than losing the weight. I'm a 34 year old male, about 250 pounds, taking 50mcg a day.

Allentown, PA

#46 Mar 12, 2009
I take a very low dosage of levothyroxine and I have been going through serious weight loss. I am only 19 years old. My weight has dropped from 185 down to 150 and is still slowly decreasing. I've had many blood tests and everything comes back okay. I am scared and not happy cause I look sick. My arms and neck got so skinny it's ugly. My jean size went from 38 waist to 32 and now the 32's are loose. I also take Metoprolol 25mg twice daily because my doctor diagnosed me with Syncope, I've passed out several times in my life for no reason. The Metoprolol is not a cure for syncope, it may prevent future fainting episodes from happening. Does anyone know if either of these medications are linked to rapid unexplained weight loss? Please help!

Campton, NH

#47 Mar 13, 2009
I've been on levothyroxine for about 8 months now. I havn't expierienced weight loss or gain. But, I can definitely tell that I'm losing fat and gaining muscle because I am able to work out a lot more due to the higher energy levels. I'm wondering if the people gaining weight are gaining more muscle mass.

Sulphur Springs, TX

#48 Mar 16, 2009
I was diagnosed 6 years ago with thyroid disease and after 3 blood tests in 6 mo. intervals, was put on 75 mg of synthroid ( generic ). I weighed 175 lbs. and in 2 yrs., 130 lbs. ; now I am 112 lbs., size 2 and this is what i weighed at age 30 !! I am 56 and female ! your thyroid can make or break your weight during and after menopause !!! Finally , a woman doctor discovered that I was anemic, thyroid out of sinc, high glucose, high colesterol, and this was with one blood panel !!! every woman should have a tsh and fsh blood panel done after age 45, especially if she is run down , gaining weight in the mid section , has no sex drive , feels like crap , no interest in anything !!! honey, you are on the verge of death !!! good luck !!!!! get that blood work done and stay away from estrogen , testosterone, and progesterone!!! they are synthetic harmones and are cancer causing !!!!!!!

Since: Mar 09

United States

#49 Mar 18, 2009
I was just diagnosed with hypothyroidism after a year of fatigue and many other typical symptoms. Anyway, I was prescribed Levoxyl and I'm really worried about gaining more weight. I have gained over 60 lbs in less than a year and I after reading all the posts about this type of medication, I am really worried about this situation. Gaining 60+ pounds is pretty taxing on my self-esteem and I've tried dieting and exercising pre-diagnosis and didn't lose any weight. It's absolutely crucial that I lose weight, I am at the heaviest I've ever been in my life and I've never been over the 200 lb mark in my life. For those who have been on this medication for a while and know the ropes, what would you suggest as a good type of diet and work out regimen?


#50 Mar 20, 2009
Hi Jenna,

I have been diagnosed with a non-active to low producing thyroid. At my last blood test, my doctor who briefly took me off a thyroid prescription (for good reason) told me I was near emergency room care. Since, he has put me on levothyroxine which I have been taking for approximately 5 to 6 months. While many look or have unrealistic expectations for such thyroid medications, a good diet and basic workout regimen is still necessary and remains the true affecting catapult to true and long term weight loss.

As living proof, at the time I was diagnosed with a near non-functional/producing thyroid, I was at approximately 312 pounds at 6 ft.. After the medication was prescribed, I sought a realistic means to improve my health and take charge. Both my wife and I now are both "students" (smiles) and truly follow the diet and lifestyle improvements of both Dr. Oz and his partner as well as Dr. Weil. This has been an aid in helping to eat the proper foods and learn the labels - see their dvd's or books - You On A Diet available online. Next, my wife and I are true followers of the Pyramid diet program and have brought our daily caloric intake down to 1400 to 1600 calories a day. The key in eating we feel, is the 6 snacks/meals spread out across the day. In selecting your food intake, the key (I feel) are the recommendations of highly healthy and fiberous foods and techniques as defined by Dr. Oz and his partner. Now regarding basic exercise, again, I recommend Dr. Oz and his partner's (as outlined in his book) approach of the daily 30 walk (easy to do). He also recommends adding light flexibility and light strength exercises - provided on the dvd version of the You On A Diet and in the book as well.

Th question obviously is then, does this combination of the levothyroxine medication, diet and basic exercise work? I am happy to say in my opinion, yes it does and has results in my current 40 pounds of weight loss thusfar and I remain optimistic as to my goal to lose 100 pounds total by my 50th birthday in September.

My conclusion at this point is that, no levothyroxine is not the sole answer but remains a helpful agent in the reduction of weight. For yourself as a women and something easy as an analog, the levothyroxine to me is like adding a good dishwasher soap with a slight abrasive )or for a guy, smiles, like adding STP to your fuel in your car). Bottom line, the med will help your metabolism better than the force of the water jets and hot water or the basic lower octane fuel in aiding in the processing of your food intake. However, the simple mantra still remains...you need to start the engine or dishwasher thru a healthy diet and daily yet basic exercise.

Hope this helps you and others. I am not by any means an expert or spokesperson for the medication, just a male who is determined to find an out from being tired of feeling tired and depressed in my life before I turn 50 ! Smiles !



Denver, CO

#51 Mar 23, 2009
i have been dealing with a hypothyroid for many years now. my weight has been a yoyo effect and no diet pills work. what did work was the daniel fast for 45 days. i lost 30 pounds. i take my levothyroxine in the morning as soon as i wake up and eat an hour later. 4 hours after i take my pill i take a handful of vitamins ( hair skin and nail, b-complex,b-12,cla, ginko biloba,green tea,milk thistle and acai berry). i have personally not experieced any bad side effects. i feel great. i found out that if you have a thyroid problem that most likely you are allergic to soy and should avoid it. this has made it hard on me because i try to eat healthy and it seem like everything has soy in it. i drink alot of water to keep myself flushed. i stay away from diet pills, they make it worse. read up on what vitamins the thyroid needs to function properly. sea kelp is a great form of iodine,and the thyroid needs iodine. i am not a doctor, just a 32 year old woman that was tired of being lied too and wanted to be her old happy self. vitamins work with the thyroid pills. just take them 4 hours after you take your thyroid pill. live well and be happy, melody

Morgan City, LA

#52 Mar 30, 2009
I have been on Levothyroxine, generic for synthroid, and I do not want to gain any weight, I was told by my doctor that I should lose weight if anything, but I have been walking and dieting and feel like I havent done anything, the scale will not move, what sup with that? I know that it it is not a weight loss pill, but I had trouble before with the weight gain, and I dont want trouble with the weight gain on the meds?

Can anyone give me hope thatr I will lose, I have been on it for 2 1/2 weeks now, when will I have hope?

Hinckley, UK

#53 Apr 6, 2009
I was diagnosed this week and warned that the levothyroxine could make me lose weight.
To be honest I'm terrified!
What does this med actually do!?

Hinckley, UK

#54 Apr 6, 2009
I would also like to take the oportunity to tell 'Melody' that levothyroxine is NOT a diet pill. I would do anything not to have this hypothyroid problem and not to have to take this for the rest of my life, but I do!
kcino35 miami fla

Miami Beach, FL

#55 Apr 8, 2009
i have hypo since 1993.i was given iodine radiation treatment. since then my weight went up/down,my mental status also up/down!!this disease really f--ks you up!!! i was taking synthroid for 7yrs ,and in that time every dr ,and i mean every dr claimed that i was on the right dosage! meanwhile i lost hair and was always finding myself depressed and jumping from job to job ,and never really fitting in. believe me this is hormonal. im a dude and going through hormonal changes sucks!!! well i stopped for along time taking synthroid. my weight still went up/down ,and i had a emotional breakdown. in may 2008 i had my blood checked and the dr flipped on me for goig so long without taking drugs. he put me on and going back forth ,and getting adjustments nothing seemed to work. im looking into alternative meds. i cannot rely on a steroid. i dont get roidrage i get weight gain and disappointment. if anyone has had any luck with something other than synthroid ,and levoxthrone pls email at mattyaucello@hotmail.com thank you

Derby, KS

#56 Apr 10, 2009
Well Brian,
I assume you are not a doctor. Therefore it is quite rude to imply that all of us who have weight gain issues on Levothyroxine are fat and lazy slobs who eat bonbons all day.I went through an 8-week fitness camp where I worked out Mon-Fri, often running 2 miles in addition to weight training. While all the other girls lost 20-30 lbs, I lost 6.I was active before I was diagnosed with Hypothyroidism and have been active since. I have stopped the weight gain by continously working out, but have lost very little since being on the meds (100mg).I looked up this blog because I discoveed when I forgot to take my meds for a couple of days, I lost several lbs.To all you people in the same boat-I will go to my doc and discuss this with him and report back.This medication is important for the proper function of our organs, so NOT taking it could have far worse effects in the longrun then the the extra lbs we cannot get rid of.Stick with it and make the neccessary life changes.
Brian wrote:
I dont understand all of this. Hypo means your not producing enough hormone. So, you take the correct dosage to increase it, which would give you the opposite results of weight gain, which is weight loss. What is with everyone on here being hypo having weight gain? The only ones that should see wieght gain are the people that are HYPER not HYPO. If you were fat, lazy and sluggish before the meds and your tests showed a high score for not producing enough hormone then being on the correct doage will allow you to lose weight not gain. Its almost like you guys that used to be HYPER are now gaining weight because your now more HYPO with the meds, which is what should happen. Its a matter of adjusting levels to fit. If your HYPO you should see your weight level out or even lose the weight you gained when you werent producing enough. Some of you are just eating a crap load because your matbolism is now faster and you feel hungry after the meds to raise your level...eat normal as before. Also, some of you are confusing others when you say you are HYPO and gaining weight on meds...You were probably HYPER before and have a high dosage and now are more HYPO, so you gained weight as normal. If you are initially HYPO...fat, slugish, lazy, no energy then the right levels will make you more HYPER and thus energy and weight loss. You guys should get your posts correct or you will scare people with the wrong info. Bottom line is the correct dosage will balance it all out. Finally, most of these are women in menopause or on birth control, which can screw up anything and cause weight gain or counter act the thyroid meds. Someone needs to actually start posting good results, so the rest of the planet doesnt get freaked by a small 1% of the people with bad results.

Derby, KS

#57 Apr 10, 2009
I just read this article. I take levothyroxine and have not been able to loose weight. I did not consider that even though my levels are now normal, the medication may still bnot be optimally absorbed. I will discuss with my doc to see if I can switch to taking it at night to see if I can finally loose weight.Here is the link for anyone interested:

Hampton, Canada

#58 Apr 14, 2009
renee wrote:
This is very freaky reading this stuff. I will get my thyroid removed soon buy an ent and will be on synthroid. I am also scared that I won't lose weight. I am 230 lbs and have been on tapazole and beta blockers for 5 years battling hyperthyroidism. I just eat ALOT to get rid of the a nxiety symptoms. Is it possible to exercise and count calories and lose weight??? What about taking a diarectic for the water reatention I Here about. I alos read someone toking Selenium for the post thyroidectomy symptoms on synthroid and they fely alot better!!! Please reply!!!!!!!!
I have had success in feeling better when I take selenium and iodine(from a compounding pharmacy)12.5 mcg compounded iodine and 400 mcg selenium. I take these along with synthroid.
The first time I took synthroid 5 years ago without the above supplements I gained 30 lbs within 3 weeks of starting. I was afraid to take it again. I actually started the selenium and iodine first but then my numbers were thru the roof so had to add the thyroid hormone as well. But this time seems different. I feel amazing, human again...No weight loss yet, I'm still carrying the 30 lbs from the initial time I took synthroid. However, no weight gain this time and I feel different this time around....much better. It's only been two weeks, so time will tell.

Norwich, UK

#59 Apr 20, 2009
i had bloods done in 2007 and my tsh levels were 4.62 but they have just been done and now are at 5.82 - they are to be done again int three months before any meds are given. i will say i was advised to go on them before but i managed it through natural methods of diet, but i think this time i might not be so lucky.

so we'll see

Leland, NC

#60 Apr 29, 2009
I just started levothyroxine, I was diagnosed about a year ago with hypothyroid had my left one removed cause it had a cancerous nodgle in it and now they want to start me on this medication. I have asked my doc all the ?'s you all are asking and he told me since I am on a normal diet nothing w/lots of fibers or any caffeine and i dont smoke that i will more than likely lose the weight and not gain it. In the last 2 yrs since this has been going on i gained 60 lbs and in the last week since being on the diet I am on have lost 5 lbs. If you eat healthy excersize regularly and are on the right dosage. You can make your body do what you want it to. Some people have different effects call your doc and ask them if the effects you are having caused by either not enough or too much they can change your dosage over the phone to the pharmacist.

Colorado Springs, CO

#61 Apr 30, 2009
For those of you that are taking Levothyroxine and are gaining weight with it:

I am a nurse. I also have hypothroidism. My doctor prescribed a low dose of Levo and I took it. Gained a few pounds with it, but not too much. Went back for testing, and he doubled my dose of Levo. I took it at the higher dose, and promptly began to gain 3-4 pounds a week for 2 months. I began a weight loss program that involved a physician consult. This physician informed me that some people do not metabolized the Levo correctly. Levothyroxine is T4 replacement- your body is supposed to change T4 to T3, which is the Hormone that your body actually uses. However, some people actually do not convert the T4 to T3- instead they convert it into something this doctor called an "anti-thyroid hormone", thus actually worsening the weight gain. He said that for those people they need to take their med in an already formed T3 format. Armour thyroid, which has been around for years, contains T3 and T4, so it seems to be more effective for some people. However, it does still have T4 in it. For some, they are actually better if they take their Levo and add the T3 med called Cytomel. You may consider speaking to your doctor about this, as it does seem to help in the cases where regular T4 does not do the trick.

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