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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Can I still lose weight with hypothyroidism?

    I need to lose 10 kilos and find my weight loss very slow. I am taking 50 mcg oroxine daily. Does hypothyroidism hinder weight loss?
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • 8

    Thanks

    Melanie McGrice is an Advanced Accredited Practising Dietitian, one of the few dietitians in Australia to achieve that status. Her success has made her an … View Profile

    Hi,

    Although untreated hypothyroidism can slow down your metabolic rate (and therefore make it harder to lose weight), as you are taking oroxine, that should get it back into gear again.  Research shows that exercise combined with the oroxine will have an increased impact on your weight - more than exercise alone or the oroxine alone, as exercise makes the oroxine work more effectively.

    Make sure that you are doing the recommended amounts of exercise (45 minutes of planned exercise 7 days per week), and that you are eating the correct number of kilojoules for your requirements each day (a dietitian can help you with this).

    Hope this helps!

    Melanie
    www.nutritionplus.com.au

  • 7

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    Dr. John Mahony

    Cosmetic Physician

    Dr John Mahony studied Medicine at Sydney University 1980-1984 graduating early 1985. Internship and residency years followed in the Illawarra, covering general medical and surgical … View Profile

    50mcg per day of oroxine is a lower-than-average dose, but it might be right for you.

    A simple blood test ordered by your doctor with demonstrate whether or not this dose is correct and adequate.

    Do not change your dose without your doctor's advice, for to do so could be dangerous.

    Go to your doctor and have this reviewed

  • 5

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    Kirsty Woods

    Exercise Physiologist

    Hi I’m Kirsty Woods,I would like to use my experience, expertise and passion to help you reach your weight, energy and health goalsI have been … View Profile

    Weight loss in those with thyroid issues can be acheived with lifestyle intervention in conjunction with Gp management. Suggestion strategies include participating in resistance training (weights) to improve muscles mass and support metabolism. Getting a regualr supply of essential fatty acids (omega 3's), regualr eating patterns and reducing sugar intake (such as  low fat yoghurt, sweets, fruit juice) may also assist.

  • 5

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    I am an accredited practising dietitian, completing a Bachelor of Nutrition and Dietetics degree in 2012 as well as Bachelor of Biomedical Science.I have experience … View Profile

    Hypothryroidism does reduce your metabolic rate, however if you are taking medication to correct your thyroid function then it is very possible to still lose weight.

    I would recommend getting another blood test to thyroid function and change the medication dose of its not functioning correctly. Once your thyroid function os returned to normal weight loss can be achieved by following a healthy diet. Most people can lose weight by reducing serving sizes, choosing reduced fat foods and removing foods high in added sugar.

  • 1

    Thanks

    I am an accredited practising dietitian, completing a Bachelor of Nutrition and Dietetics degree in 2012 as well as Bachelor of Biomedical Science.I have experience … View Profile

    Hypothryroidism does reduce your metabolic rate, however if you are taking medication to correct your thyroid function then it is very possible to still lose weight.

    I would recommend getting another blood test to thyroid function and change the medication dose of its not functioning correctly. Once your thyroid function os returned to normal weight loss can be achieved by following a healthy diet. Most people can lose weight by reducing serving sizes, choosing reduced fat foods and removing foods high in added sugar.

  • 10

    Thanks

    Dr Kevin Lee

    Endocrinologist, Nuclear Medicine Physician

    Consultant Physician in Endocrinology, Diabetes & Nuclear Medicine. I am on Twitter @dr_kevinlee. I am on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/kevinleefracp/ I help patients with obesity, diabetes, thyroid, … View Profile

    Very good answers already, thank you.

    One study only recently published showed that only about 50% of patients lose any weight after initiation and adequate dosing of thyroxine (1).

    A meta-analysis also suggested that despite adequate thyroxine replacement, exercise intolerance is not reversed in a significant proportion of patients (2). 

    Therefore despite reversal of hypothyroidism, it appears many patients are unable to exercise and/or unable to lose weight.

    As an endocrinlogist I am quite frustrated by this, I wish I had the answers.


    Regards,

    Dr Kevin Lee
    BSc, MBBS, MHS(Clin Epi), FRACP
    Consultant Physician Endocrinologist

    1.    Lee SY, Braverman LE, Pearce EN. Changes in Body Weight After Treatment of Primary Hypothyroidism with Levothyroxine. Endocr Pract. 2014 Jun 16;1(-1):1–19.

    2.    Lankhaar JAC, de Vries WR, Jansen JACG, Zelissen PMJ, Backx FJG. Impact of Overt and Subclinical Hypothyroidism on Exercise Tolerance: A Systematic Review.

  • 5

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    Karen Maylee

    HealthShare Member

    Totally agree Dr Lee . Many years ago I had to take thyroid meds for about 1 year and lost nothing. I went to the gym 4 days a week and did weight watches and never waivered and I never lost a thing .  I know Im no doctor but it so frustrating when a dr tells you to eat the right amout of calories , take this and you will lose weight. What BS ! There is so much more to weightloss then that . Im getting bigger and bigger every year and have just been told my thyriod isnt working properly again . Something with the T3 the Dr said . However Im waiting 3 mths to have another test to see if its ok . I know by taking thyriod meds and going to the gym wont help my weightloss as I believe I have other under lying issue because I eat less then everyone in my household and while Im putting on the weight they stay the same.  Im now doing my own research now as GP'S are so lazy these days.  Im now going back to my GP armed with info and Im going to ask them to test my Leptin levels , something they should be suggesting !! Thanks to watching Dr Westin Childs on you tube I have a better understanding now. 

  • 7

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    wirrilyerna

    HealthShare Member

    Dr Lee,
    I am on 125mcg thyroxine  daily (thyroid removed) and cant loose weight.  Why isnt T3 included in thyroxine and would this be the reason why so many of us cant loose weight??

  • 8

    Thanks

    Dr Kevin Lee

    Endocrinologist, Nuclear Medicine Physician

    Consultant Physician in Endocrinology, Diabetes & Nuclear Medicine. I am on Twitter @dr_kevinlee. I am on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/kevinleefracp/ I help patients with obesity, diabetes, thyroid, … View Profile

    Hi

    It turns out that it is not appropriate for me to give specific medical advice.

    However it is important to stress that thyroxine (T4) is the recommended thyroid hormone replacement. T4 has many favourable drug profiles over T3.

    T3 should only be used under specialist GP or consultant physician in those who cannot tolerate T4 or resistant to T4.

    It is prudent for you to discuss thyroid hormone replacement with your GP if you still have symptoms of hypothyroidism.

    Regards,
    Dr Kevin Lee
    Consultant Physician Endocrinologist.
    MBBS, MHS(Clin Epi), FRACP

  • 2

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    Anonymous

    Thank you for answering. Unfortunatly GPs are stats driven by the companys that employ them and have no time to investigate solutions. Health has to be self managed now.  A big thank you to all the Health professionals who contribute to this site.

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