Avatar universal

I can't lose weight

I have been dieting and exercising for about 2 years. I have tried mini meals and 3 meals a day. I've kept track of my food like a crazy person measuring everything. I lifted weights consistently. I didnt do cardio consistently at first. I do now, been for months. I was 138 for years and I've gained weight from now where I cant stop gaining weight. Fluciate from 142 to 156 as I fight to keep the weight off. I'm 5 6 age 28 female. I've been tested for hypothyroidism my blood work isnt consistent for my thyroid hormone lvls. I've been tested for any and all auto immune. Nothing for that. I dont know what to do I'm at my wits end. I do cardio 3 to 4 days a weeks I'm soaked when I'm done. I do legs with resistance bands. I currently eat 1 meal in the morning with 2 snacks the rest of the day. I dont eat enough vegetables but I eat enough other things proper portions. What do I do??? I'm scared to eat I'm terrified to weigh myself. What is wrong with me???
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20879826 tn?1560494038
It might also be just hormones.  I for one have been trying to lose weight but now all of a sudden I lost a good number of pounds!
Helpful - 0
Yes, hormones are, often a factor in weight loss/gain.  What did you do to lose your pounds?  
Avatar universal
8 weight loss tips
1. Eat a high protein breakfast. ...
2.Avoid sugary drinks and fruit juice. ...
3.Drink water before meals. ...
4.Choose weight-loss-friendly foods. ...
5.Eat soluble fiber. ...
6.Drink coffee or tea. ...
7.Base your diet on whole foods. ...
8.Eat slowly.
Helpful - 0
These are great tips!  Thanks. :)
20879826 tn?1560494038
Hello!  You posted this in June - any improvement so far?  What is your BMI and what is your goal weight?   When doing cardio I was once advised to to 30 minutes of fast bursts - meaning if you're on a treadmill alternative 2 minutes each of high and low speeds - this will keep your heart pumping.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Are you actually overweight?  It a scientific fact if you eat less you lose weight. There is no way your body can gain weight unless it has fuel. If it's not fluid then it muscle or fat. Simple. You need to see a dietician and set up a healthy eating regime and stick to it. I went thru a period just like you until I started being honest with myself and writing down everything I ate. I was surprised how hard it was initially to really write EVERYTHING down. I put a notice on my fridge and cupboards which read...Really? There are still times when I gain a bit of weight and I say how the hell did that happen. Honest answer is  I got slack.  
Helpful - 0
No, not a scientific fact.  You aren't considering metabolism, you're only considering calories.  Let's say your eat less by cutting out veggies and adding in a lesser amount of white bread or high fat bacon.  You're eating less food, and maybe even fewer calories, but what you're eating is either too high in fat or metabolizes very quickly into sugar and if not burned quickly stores as additional fat.  So yes, you can eat less and gain weight.  While how much one eats is obviously important, what one eats is much more important.
Avatar universal
In that case, I think you should contact health expert or doctor. They can suggest you the best and don't loose hope. Nothing is impossible.
Helpful - 0
649848 tn?1534633700
I agree that if you only had a TSH test for thyroid, you didn't really get tested.  TSH is a pituitary hormone, not a thyroid hormone and it often, doesn't correlate with actual thyroid hormones.  The tests you need to have done are Free T4 and Free T3 - actual thyroid hormones.

I'm confused, too, when you say:  "I've been tested for hypothyroidism my blood work isnt consistent for my thyroid hormone lvls"  Can you  please explain that?

I agree that hypothyroidism doesn't cause weight gain for everyone; however, for many of us it does cause a lot of gain/inability to lose.  There are also thyroid issues, other than overt hypothyroidism that could come into play, as well.

It's true that there are things other than thyroid that cause weight gain/inability to lose, but since the thyroid controls metabolism, that should be completely ruled out by having all right test, including the specific tests for Hashimoto's, which are Thyroid Peroxidase Antibodies (TPOab) and Thyroglobulin Antibodies (TgAb).  

You might also look at insulin resistance as a cause... insulin resistance happens when our body doesn't metabolize carbohydrates properly.  When we eat simple carbs - like bread, pasta, white rice, etc they tend to spike our blood glucose, which in turn spikes insulin levels in an effort to bring down the glucose levels.   If the glucose isn't used quickly (activity), insulin stores it as fat for later use, but it often doesn't get used later so we keep gaining more weight.

You don't say how many calories you're actually eating and although it's true that calories aren't the most important thing, they do matter, especially if they're the wrong kind.  If you aren't eating enough, between your 1 meal and 2 snacks that can have a detrimental effect on weight loss.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Did you actually get your thyroid tested or just your Tsh levels, which is more a test of the relationship between your thyroid and your adrenal gland.  If you didn't get a complete analysis of how your T3 and T4 were both functioning and converting you didn't get your thyroid tested at all.  But thyroid isn't the only thing that affects weight, nor does it affect everyone the same way.  My wife has Hashimoto's and very few symptoms of it.  You say you don't eat enough veggies, but I'd say if you eat one meal and 2 snacks you aren't capable of getting enough nutrients to support your life and especially not your exercise levels.  As for sweating, that doesn't tell you how hard you're working out.  That's more a function of output and time, not how much you sweat, that's just water weight.  But no amount of exercise will compensate for a poor diet.  You seem concerned primarily with the quantity of food you consume rather than what foods you're consuming.  There are other things that also affect weight other than thyroid.  With food, how you metabolize what you eat is more important than calories.  Fatty fish doesn't make you fat.  Fatty beef can.  It's the difference in how your body is able to digest them and the kind of nutrients in them.  Life is complicated.  Aging makes everything harder.  Look at the other members of your family -- what's their body shape?  Genetics plays a role.  The chemicals put in our food plays a role.  How we prepare our food plays a role.  Some people can eat a whole cow a day and not gain a pound.  Others can't sniff one.  It really depends and you have to find what does what to you.  Keep trying with docs to see if anything is amiss, but also look to your diet and what you're doing when you're not exercising etc.  It's more complicated and also easier than it looks.  I'm pretty old now and when I look at photos of my youth there were no fat kids.  None.  Now you can't see a photo without one if you're looking at groups of kids.  Why?  Our lives and our diets changed.  Things that are not food were taking over and human will swallow pretty much anything that can be swallowed and call it food, but that doesn't make it so.  Don't despair, weight isn't everything, and there may be very simple things that can be changed that will help.
Helpful - 0
I went to a endocrinologist and they looked at my blood work and say I had nothing wrong with my thyroid. Ran 0 tests. Sent me home. T3 t4 are all normal my TSH is the one that fluctuates
Although most doctors consider any tests within the "normal" ranges as being fine, that doesn't necessarily mean you don't have a thyroid issue.  It depends on where, within the range, your results fall even if doctors don't think so.  I've found that endocrinologists are the biggest offenders of what we call "reference range endocrinology".   If you'd want to post your actual results with reference ranges, feel free to do so or you can check out our Thyroid Disorders community for more information.
Just want to point out, if you have subtle problems with many things, such as blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar, or thyroid as examples than don't rise to the level of something that needs medication, there are other ways of dealing with these subtle variations that may affect an individual but not most people.  It's very hard to know, however, if something is wrong when it doesn't fall into a level that clearly shows it's off.  People often turn to self-diagnosing at that point because doctors in general don't do intrusive medicine if they're good doctors if diagnostics don't show a need for it given that medication and surgery, which is what they study, can also cause problems.  This is where diet and lifestyle changes and natural medicine can play a role, but for that you have to know how to do that.  But when you do, you are experimenting on yourself, but in a way that doesn't come with permanent changes that medication or surgery can bring.  It can be undone by stopping what you're doing.  Not saying you have a thyroid problem, you apparently don't, but there are many people out there who believe they have a problem when doctors don't and there are practitioners of natural medicine who will agree it's a problem when doctors don't.  No real way to know who is right.  But the variation in Tsh might indicate a problem with your adrenal gland not caused by a thyroid problem, as that's what Tsh is measuring.  Lots of things can affect that as well.  Peace.
Depending on actual thyroid hormone levels, a really "good" doctor will often put patients on a trial dosage of thyroid hormones to see if helps alleviate symptoms, even it levels are "in range".  Unfortunately, there aren't a lot of those doctors around anymore.  Doctors, other than naturopaths and/or functional medicine doctors, tend to treat with "reference range technology", these days leaving a lot of people ill and trying to find their own way to feeling better.  Although diet and supplements, etc can help some people, if there's an autoimmune issue, nothing can really do a lot except proper medication.
I agree, but let me ask, if the levels don't show an autoimmune issue from a medical science perspective, then isn't it possible you're destroying a functioning thyroid by assuming that's the problem when testing doesn't show it's a problem?  There's a big difference between someone having certain levels that are suboptimal for a whole range of bodily functions, but that doesn't mean there's anything so off medication or surgery is required.  My point being, if you do the work for the thyroid, and it stops being able to function, you've destroyed a working organ on a guess.  Sometimes you'd be right and sometimes you'd be wrong.  If you at least try dietary and nutrient remedies, if they don't work, no harm done.  Whereas when the thyroid is obvi0usly not working, the medication would be necessary.  My wife has Hashimoto's -- nothing was going to fix that but medication, insofar as it does "fix" it.  But in my many years managing health food stores, I had customers and practitioners of all kinds who had some theories of bodily functions that might be right but had no scientific consensus and sometimes no proof whatsoever.  Yet, sometimes it worked.  And often it didn't, because that wasn't the actual problem.  I would hate to be a doctor and face the lawsuits if I destroyed a working organ because I suspected something was off when it turned out to be something else.  It's a pickle, as you're right, sometimes the testing doesn't pick up the reality.  This is hard stuff.  Peace.
Let me put this in perspective.  In March 2018, I showed up to my PCP with a thyroid full of nodules and a plethora of hypo symptoms.  My PCP tested freeT3, free T4, and TSH.  All were "within range", although the T3 and T4 were below 50%, and TSH was 3.4, which some consider high, especially if I had been pregnant, anything above 3 is treated, but not for me.  I went to the ENT, which also said I was "fine" and the resident at the ENT says "she gets cold too" when I listed my plethora of symptoms  and refused to test me for Hashimoto's when I said I thought this was what was going on, until  I practically begged for it.  I was told "there was nothing wrong with my thyroid hormone" at this point.

In the meantime, I was getting my thyroid assessed to see if one of my nodules was cancerous.  It was.  I did not receive any supplemental thyroid hormone until after half of my thyroid was removed, then my TSH went above 7, I was allowed to start a tiny dose of 25 mcg levothyroxine about two weeks before my second surgery... symptoms got much, much worse.  Going in to the second surgery, I could tell I was very hypo (low HR, very hard to run).  4 am the morning after surgery, I was in the hospital because calcium levels were low, and the nursing assistant checks my pulse and bp and it's something ridiculous like 40 beats per minute and 90/40 (that is hypothyroidism - I'm a good athlete but I'm not an elite or fast runner by any means, my resting pulse should not be 40, even asleep).  By a month after the second half of my thyroid was removed, my TSH went up to 16, and it took 4-5 months to even get TSH to "within range", even though I still had lots of symptoms.

I'm pretty sure at least some of this could have been avoided, if, when I first showed up to the doctors with a multinodular goiter and many, many hypo symptoms (someone who does endurance running gaining 40 pounds while running should be a huge clue, but I had lost the weight by the time I got to the doctor's, so I guess it never happened?), any of the doctors believed me and started me on hormone then and not waited 3 months until a month after half the problematic thyroid had been removed.

The only reason I ever found this site was after one of those doctors visits, worried about my nodules, but also extremely worried that my running had caused my thyroid problem because the doctor was so convinced it wasn't Hashimoto's.  (It was Hashi's).

I have a very strong impression that most doctors do not listen to patients symptoms and treat off of TSH.  My endocrinologist has been treating me by TSH, which really sucks because last year I had a ton of hypo symptoms, which if he listened to me, maybe he would have tested me for anemia (which I had), and possibly realized I was losing so much blood every month that it would be impossible to keep the thyroid hormone properly dosed in me.  I've left both ENT and endocrinologists feeling gaslighted - I know I'm experiencing hypothyroidism symptoms and they are all telling me nothing is wrong with me, and this has left me in tears thinking it is all in my head, and that I am making this up - that is why it is dangerous for doctors to not listen to patients.  (This was both before and after the surgeries and thyroid cancer diagnosis).

Anyway, this year, after months of no blood loss, now my TSH is very low and he wanted to reduce thyroid hormone, which was fine with me, because my free T4 had never been above 1.55 (range  0.8-1.8) and now was 1.78, which is very high for me.  (And goes with my personal theory that I was losing a lot of thyroid hormone every month with fibroid blood loss).  So luckily, I think I am now at the right dose, despite using a really inaccurate way to dose a human (TSH alone).  

I also understand that people may "lie" to doctors or exaggerate symptoms to get unnecessary dosage increases (I also don't think my gynecologist believed how much blood I was losing a month before my tests started showing how anemic I was and they saw how big the fibroid was).  Maybe this is to speed up weight loss?  Maybe to feel more energy?  I still get fatigued most afternoons, but I'm hoping as my iron levels slowly creep back up, this will become less of a problem.  (Inadequate thyroid medication and iron deficiency is one heck of an energy sucking punch).  

I would loved to have discovered my Hashimoto's years or decades earlier and started taking hormone when it was not a huge raging deal, and maybe I would have kept my thyroid if I received treatment when it was needed.  If I showed up with the numbers I did in March 2018 though, they would have refused to treat it, and it would have continued to its "final endpoint stage" anyway (which for me was thyroid cancer, so not a great outcome, in my opinion).  So... if it is a thyroid problem and if it is not dealt with, it can lead to huge problems down the road.

So... what is my point?  I agree with Barb.  A lot of endocrinologists use TSH alone to assess how well the thyroid is functioning, and this does not work for many, many patients because TSH can be within range but they can still be suffering.  Not only are thyroid symptoms debilitating for many people, but they can cause some very serious consequences down the road, just like treating when it is not a problem.
I completely agree with both of you on this.  I've never really understood this fixation on Tsh.  I guess it's just cheaper.  I've been having a host of problems tracing back to a weird reaction to tapering off Paxil.  It has never gotten better, and my life has been destroyed.  That's what brought me to this website originally, to see if anyone else has this happen because my psychiatrist never stopped maintaining that this doesn't happen.  Of course, it does, though rarely, it has a name, and the only treatment I've found is to go back on the drug.  Over the years I've gotten so many body pains after being athletic and injury free into my late forties, and it doesn't make any sense, so I saw my doc and said test me for everything.  I emphasized the thyroid.  He wrote up a test only for Tsh.  Fortunately, because of my experience in the health food biz, I knew a lot of thyroid sufferers, and I demanded he test for T3 and T4.  They were fine and I don't have a thyroid problem, I apparently have a wiped out brain neurotransmitter system, but it was just wrong that I had to demand what should have been obvious.  My wife does have Hashimoto's, though she really never had any debilitating effects of having it.  I think that's because she's just so mentally balanced that she just does what she has to do and doesn't worry about it even when everything is done horribly wrong.  But she did gain weight, and she was told, as so many are, that the thyroid doesn't affect weight.  Now, it's true, it doesn't for everyone.  But it's pretty clear it does for many.  This is the problem of living in "mainstream" medicine -- the mainstream is actually where you go to drown.  The place you can learn and be safe doing it is on the sides where the current doesn't drag you along.  So my point is, there are many things that be wrong with people.  It might not be the thyroid.  In your case, it's hard to see given your situation how it could not have been.  But most people aren't facing all that stuff, they just have some symptoms that could be a lot of different things and even mental problems.  The poster in this case has been tested and autoimmune ruled out.  That could be wrong.  And it could be right.  So I'm not questioning what you are suffering or what Barb might be suffering, I'm only saying that not everyone has a thyroid problem.  Some do, most don't.  Tons of things can go wrong with the human body.  Let me give an example of doing too much -- my best friend from my younger years got pancreatitis.  It was probably from gallstones.  They tried to treat him with insulin because his blood sugar went nuts, which it nearly always does if you have pancreatitis.  Fortunately, his mother had diabetes, and so he knew a lot about it, and he checked out of the hospital and went to a different one where they had better docs.  They could have killed him.  He got it again, and they took out a perfectly fine gallbladder.  Again, being at the wrong hospital.  That was a mistake.  Now he has a pancreas problem exacerbated by a missing gallbladder, and so eating is even harder.  Again they tried to give him insulin, and so again, to the better hospital at a university.  No diabetes, at least not yet.  This is what I'm referring to.  Doing too little is a problem of bad medicine.  So is doing too much.  Peace, all.
Thanks for sharing your experience.  

As for not being autoimmune, it is impossible to know unless they test for antibodies for thyroglobulin (Tg) and thyroid peroxidase (TPO).  In my case, multinodular goiter is almost always caused by either an iodine deficiency (unlikely in places with iodized salt) or Hashimoto's or Graves.  And, knowing this, I asked my PCP (twice) and ENT to test for Hashimoto's, and was turned down because all my thyroid hormones were in range, despite there being the strong evidence for Hashi's (multinodular goiter alone should have been a sign), but eventually convinced the ENT to let me do the test anyway.  The thyroid disorder page is full of questions about getting their doctor to request a test for Hashimoto's - so many people with hypo symptoms are simply dismissed and not given a test to eliminate Hashi's as a possibility of their symptoms.  I'm pretty sure I asked on here about "could I have Hashi's?" after my PCP dismissed my suggestion for the test.

As for being "mentally balanced", my guess is your wife has never had hypothyroidism symptoms that impact her mental health.  From my own experience, hypothyroidism can cause depression and anxiety, and can also very much screw up your female hormones (if you are a female) and that can really, really make things tough for you, mentally and otherwise.  After multiple months on Lupron Depot, which knocked down my estrogen, I now am realizing that a whole lot of my inability to control my anxiety is tied to how high my estrogen levels are.  Hormones are no joke, and I don't think what I went through with anxiety has anything to do with "mental toughness" and a lot more to do with a hormonal imbalance that skyrocketed when I was very hypo.

Not everyone experiences the same symptoms for hypothyroidism, some of them can be very subtle.  I probably would never use the term "mentally balanced" to refer to someone without problems and "mentally unbalanced" to refer to myself.  I have a strong feeling my anxiety and moodiness are tied to estrogen balance, which is not really something I have any control over.  If we started treating mental health with the same kindness and decency we treat any other health issue, that would do wonders to take away some of the stigma against people with mental health issues.  (I realize not everyone's anxiety is tied to estrogen, but if someone has breast cancer, I don't think "oh if they were just stronger physically, that isn't something that would have happened to them".  In the same way, if someone is struggling with depression or anxiety, I do not think "oh, if they were just more mentally balanced, that wouldn't have happened to them").

As for weight gain with hypothyroidism, I gained about 35-40 pounds (I think max was around 190, not something I am proud of, and did not realize it was happening at the time), while still running, and still eating a fairly healthy diet (no mammal meat, because I'm a pollopescatarian, no fried foods, very limited alcohol, lots of fruits and vegetables).  I'm also blaming the brain fog and not thinking clearly for not noticing my weight gain until it was so high.  It is possible I was "overeating" more than I used to, but it was like my body started gaining and just would not stop... my running speed also slowed way down at this time, but again, I did not realize something was wrong.

Even if Kaylynnk has no thyroid problem, hormones very commonly can affect how easy or hard it is for someone to lose weight.  I don't think treating a non-thyroid problem with thyroid medication is a good solution, but if there are enough symptoms there, the doctor could do more than the bare minimum to test for it, and in a large number of cases, this just isn't happening.  If it is not thyroid related, inability to lose weight could be caused by a different type of hormonal problem (e.g. PCOS, cortisol, estrogen dominance).  It could also be a hormonal issue causing water retention, which can make your weight appear higher but not necessarily because you are carrying more fat.  My weight is currently up 8 pounds from the start of the year, and I feel like I'm running more than ever and noticeably "look fitter" than I did two months ago, even though weight has not started to come back down a lot since going on the Lupron Depot.  

If the weight is still fluctuating between 142 and 156, depending on how rapidly it is fluctuating, I would think water retention might be playing some role (I would like some of those numbers for myself - I'm currently a 159, but with a couple extra inches at 5'9", so I would be happy just to be back to 151, where I started the year, but apparently not at the detriment to my insatiable need to run 50-60 miles a week).

I'd like to say that this isn't meant as an attack or disagreement with Paxiled, I think we are one the same page.  I personally do not think that people should be treated if they don't have a thyroid problem, but I think if the free T3 and free T4 are in the bottom half of their ranges, that should be a good sign to check for autoimmune thyroid.  I just wanted to share my problems getting tested appropriately, even with presenting with a giant swollen thyroid and lots of symptoms.   If there is no sign of a thyroid problem, antibody high or T4 and T3 numbers low, then it might be worth looking at other issues.

I also wanted to share my mental health thoughts, not as a criticism but more to just reach out and explain why certain terminology can be harmful, because I think there is still some stigma against people with mental health issues, and how they are often blamed for their issues, when it can be environmental from stress or grief, or a physical issue like hypothyroidism or hormones run awry.  Unless you've gone through it yourself, it is hard to begin to understand what someone suffering from this is going through.  Both my sister and one of my best friends dealt with extreme anxiety at a time before I had ever had that type of anxiety.  I just did not understand what they were going through or what panic attacks were about, or how that could even happen.  I now know much better, and apologized to both of them for just not understanding what they went through at the time.

And, I'm so sorry with what you have experienced tapering off Paxil, I can't imagine the pain that must have caused you.  I was on Zoloft (a low dose of 50 mg) in 2014 for about 9 months, and again when I was dealing with  my thyroid issues in 2018 (at an even lower dose of 25 mg) for 7 months.  I never felt great on Zoloft, it would cause digestive issues that made running harder for me, but luckily I was able to get off that with no problems.  (Not there is anything wrong with staying on if you need to and it is working for you).
I kind of got lost on this thread, but I think there are a couple of thins I need to go back and clarify.  

Paxiled, I'm sorry you've had to go through what you did.  I was put on Paxil once and it was horrible.  I only stayed on it for a week or so, then stopped taking it because I didn't really need it in the first place.  The doctor I had at the time was furious, but that was okay with me... I had issues he didn't want to deal with so he went the anti-depressant route instead of doing testing.  It turned out, some time later that Pernicious Anemia was the condition for which I was prescribed Paxil.   That should give you an idea why I distrust doctors so much.  :-)

I wanted to address the thought that giving a trial dose of thyroid hormones "ruins" a thyroid... it does not.  If one is given a trial dose and it doesn't help alleviate symptoms, the choices are to increase the dosage in case the original isn't high enough (often the case) or to stop the medication.  If the thyroid is functioning normally, it will begin producing hormones on its own again.

The TSH test was developed in the early 1970's.  Synthroid didn't come on the market until the late 70's/early 80's.  Prior to the TSH test,  if one had symptoms of hypothyroidism one was given a prescription for a desiccated hormone, Armour, which is the only one available at the time.  If it didn't work, they followed the routine I outlined above and it was all very straight forward.

Although there are many of us deficient in some nutrients that are needed for proper thyroid function, "thyroid" supplements purchased in health food stores are not allowed to have active thyroid hormones.  Although many of claim to be "glandular"... that's ground up glands (usually bovine) with hormones removed.  The problem is that tests have been done on some of these supplements and they don't always have all the active hormones removed.  Some of the tests have shown them to be higher in hormone levels than some desiccated hormones and they're very dangerous because one could actually end up with way more hormones than are needed.

I agree, basically, with everything Sarah has said here.   I've been at this thyroid game for 12 yrs now and I know that not everyone has the same symptoms, whether it be weight gain, muscle/joint issues, hair loss, mental health issues, etc.  There are over 300 symptoms that can be present with a hypothyroid issue.  Not all of us will have anywhere near all the symptoms and very rarely do we experience all the same symptoms as someone else.  Many of us will get varying symptoms each time our thyroid levels go out of range.  

I'm not going to go into my whole hypo history, because it's long and complicated but it's not totally experience Sarah's experience, except I haven't had thyroid cancer or thyroid removal.  Reading about her doctor experiences, I could almost think I'd written her post(s).  

Many people have symptoms that cause depression, anxiety, etc.  All too often, doctors do what my doctor did - prescribe anti-depressants when the problem is really thyroid related.  It's the same with many other symptoms - some drug is prescribed to "manage" the symptom when that's not what's needed.  

I"m totally thrilled for anyone who doesn't have a lot of hypo symptoms because I've had enough to cover everyone.  :-)  The problem is that doctors often refuse to acknowledge that thyroid hormones affect nearly every cell in the body, including the heart, brain and other organs - it just affects us all differently.  

I haven't had a lot of mental issues with hypothyroidism either, but that doesn't mean I'm more balanced than anyone else.  I'm retired now, but when I was working I never missed a single day because of my hypothyroidism...  That doesn't make me stronger than anyone else - I simply kept going because I had no other options.

If anyone has doubts/questions about what lack of thyroid hormones can do, I invite you to browse through questions/posts in the thyroid disorders community to get an idea of the hundreds of ways a thyroid condition can affect a person.  
Just to clarify, as someone whose life has been destroyed by mental illness, I'm the last person to ever cast aspersions on someone who has them.  When I say my wife is mentally balanced, that's for those who know me on here as I've been around a long time is to set a contrast with me.  Those of us with anxiety problems, and mine were bad when I was on Paxil and are now apparently untreatable because of my psychiatrist's complete quackery.  So I wasn't in any way disparaging anyone who has mental illness except me, and comparing how easily my wife handled her problem.  That isn't to say her problems were none -- her thyroid problem was not easy to get under control.  It didn't bother her as much as it did me, because that's just how she is.  But it took a long time twice for her to get her idiot endocrinologist -- and is there really any other kind? -- to get her medication right.  She has gained weight since because she doesn't exercise the way she used to, but at that time she was exercising hard daily at the gym and she started gaining weight.  Her docs told her thyroid problems don't have anything to do with weight gain.  Having worked in the health food biz, so many of my customers were dealing with suspected thyroid problems.  Now, I won't lie, most of them didn't actually have thyroid problems, so I've seen the other side of this.  There are lots of natural practiti0ners out there, and nutritionists, who just believe everyone has the fad of the day problem.  One year everyone has systemic yeast.  The next it's the thyroid.  The next it's soy or gluten.  Of course none of these is true, there are a lot of people and they all don't have the same problems.  When we suffer a problem it's easy to assume others with similar symptoms have the same problem, but as I've said, there are so many things that can go wrong in life that we really just can't assume others have what we have.  While my problem with Paxil happens with every drug that affects brain neurotransmitters, including addictive recreational drugs (even alcohol0l), it is not common.  But if it happens, say, 10% of the time, that's a lot of people because there a lot of people on the planet.  Docs ignore this too often.  But it's important to realize they often do too much because it pays better to do something than to do nothing.  Some estimates put it that 25% of Americans are taking antidepressants, and while I have no idea how we'd know this because most of them are prescribed by practitioners who work alone in an office and so how would anyone know, only hospitals are required to submit this kind of data and for everyone else it's voluntary, it that's true, it's impossible to believe that a quarter of Americans are mentally ill.  If it is true, there is something incredibly wrong with America.  And this may be.  Now, back to my wife, the one problem she has had to deal with is related to sexual hormones, and you thyroid sufferers know a lot better than I do that the two are linked.  So she does have some chronic problems that medication hasn't solved.  We deal.  It's all we can do.  She has a husband and a sister with a million things wrong, and so she just goes on and doesn't worry over it.  And that's what I mean by being mentally balanced.  It doesn't mean she doesn't have problems.  For one thing, being like that limits her empathy -- I'm no fan of suffering but it does give some of us empathy (and others just blind anger).  And I'm all for empathy.  Anyway, my bottom line is, doctors are largely incompetent.  So are dentists.  But so are the rest of us as well.  Humans aren't really all that good at much, but we tout the things we do that seem to be done well so much we often don't pay attention to all the idiot mistakes we make.  You know, we're human.  So no, I'm not disrespecting anyone with mental illness.  If I told you how much it has destroyed my life you would know that, but there's little point in detailing such things.  It's my problem.  As for supplements for the thyroid, I was never a fan of taking organs from a different animal and swallowing it.  I know it's in a lot of supplements that are formulated by some very highly regarded naturopaths, so they could be right.  I also know that if you are going to take a supplement you have to be very aware of the manufacturer of that supplement -- most companies out there aren't to be trusted.  But then, neither are pharmaceutical companies.  If GlaxoSmithKline hadn't lied about Paxil (and all of the other drugs they've made) a lot fewer people would have suffered from it.  Which isn't to say a lot haven't benefited from it.  I did until I tried to stop taking it, but it did make me an obsessive thinker and I gained a lot of weight because of it.  Which helps me to always say on here, drugs are very much like surgery -- if it goes right they can be a lifesaver, but it often goes very wrong.  That's why I always suggest trying everything else first.  And the main supplements I was referring to for hypothyroid are formulas that follow Chinese medicine and focus on food sources of iodine that is assimilable combined with other herbs.  There are also herbs for hyperthyroid.  If they do work, great. If they don't, you just stop taking them and move on.  So again, this is hard stuff.  Good docs are cautious.  Sometimes that saves you some big hurt.  And sometimes it gives you a big hurt.  It's not easy.  Peace, all.
I just want to clarify too now - I wasn't accusing you of calling anyone mentally unstable, I'm just not a fan of that terminology that implies if you have any sort of mental health issue you are "unstable".  But, you were referring to yourself and comparing your health problems with your wife's, I understand what you are saying, and I'm sorry I took your comment out of context.

As for 25% of people on antidepressants, if I think of all the adults in my immediate and near-extended family (parents, siblings, aunts, cousins) who are currently on anti-depressants versus not (that I know of), I come up with 4/16... it actually might be higher, not all my family members openly discuss these things.  (I'm not inclduing myself in the 4, I'm not on any anti-anxiety now, but I have been in the past).

Additionally, there are several members of the family that would probably have been helped by antidepressants when they were going through difficult times but are unlikely to seek medical help for it because of the stigma (for example, out of me and my four siblings, two of us have been on anti-anxiety medication or antidepressants, two of us haven't, but all of us have experienced major anxiety issues for extended periods of time).  

Is there a genetic component to anxiety and depression?  Or are they just very common?  (Some of my cousins also deal with major anxiety issues, some seek treatment, some are discouraged by their parents from even talking about their uncontrolled anxiety).  I'm glad some family members are willing to talk about their health issues, mental or otherwise, because then I start to realize that anxiety isn't just my problem, most of my generation in my family has struggled with it.

As for the ground up thyroid supplements -- I had a conversation with a roommate many, many years ago, when I was taking zyrtec everyday (I still am - I have seasonal allergies all the time, which I have a feeling are related to my Hashimoto's and an overactive upper respiratory immune response), and my roommate commented about how she'd hate to have to take medication everyday for the rest of her life.  I can't imagine what she thinks of me now, for me to continue to stay alive depends on taking thyroid hormone everyday - I can miss some days, don't get me wrong, but without a thyroid, no supplemental thyroid hormone means all my organs will gradually shutdown over a period of several painful months.

When I needed the rest of my thyroid removed, I was actually worried what would happen if there was a global apocalypse, I somehow survived, and I wouldn't be able to get my synthetic hormone.  I suppose I would be able to survive on "ground up animal thyroid tissue" if worst comes to worst, but hopefully none of us will ever have to deal with that.  Your mind can go to some dark places when you find out that your survival depends on a hormone that everyone else makes at least some on their own but now you are totally dependent on medication.  And sure, no one expects a global apocalypse, but I just googled "no thyroid and apocalypse" and apparently this is a fairly common worry in athyroid people like me.  Some people stockpile thyroid hormone just in case of an earthquake or hurricane or other natural disaster.

(If anyone is wondering, I normally avoid eating mammals, but I would at least have to modify my diet if there was a global apocalypse, to get some thyroid hormone in me.  Fish and birds also have thyroids, I guess we will cross that bridge when I survive the global apocalypse and am in a position where I'm alive but have no thyroid meds on hand.)
Well, the bright side is, if there is a global apocalypse, you probably won't survive it.  I mean, it's an apocalypse, right?  So cheer up!  My point about the number of Americans on antidepressants is that this isn't true in other countries.  No other country has the number of sick people the US has.  Now, there are countries that probably do but aren't counted because they have poor medical systems but many of the same problems the US has, such as Mexico, such as poor eating habits, tremendous wealth inequity, etc.  But it is true, the US has a lot more sick people.  We also don't live as long, but that difference isn't really large but it does exist.  So if that's true, again, either docs are overprescribing meds in order to make money off of us when less intrusive methods exist for treatment for most people with problems, or the US has a big big problem that needs fixing.  
As far as certain health problems like obesity, the US does have a lot more sick people than other countries.  As for mental health, I lived in the UK for four years, and there is much more of a stigma talking about mental health issues there compared to in the US, where it is much more acceptable to talk to others about being on antidepressants or seeing a therapist.  So is it more prevalent here?  Or are we just better at discussing problems all humans face?  There are countries in Europe that will assist people seeking to end their life (I'm guessing mostly for people with terminal illnesses who are in pain - I'm not making any judgment about this topic, just stating that it does exist).  Depression is not just an American problem.

Now - are people on antidepressants for too long because that is easier than trying to address the reasons why they are on the medication?  I think in some cases this is probably true.  I was put on Zoloft twice when I was experiencing anxiety, which I'm pretty sure was caused by an estrogen imbalance, which I'm pretty sure was caused by hypothyroidism, but the first time I didn't know I had a thyroid issue.  

I know many, many people on antidepressants, and knowing what they went through they started, I am glad that those therapeutics exist and are helping them.  Some people I know were suicidal before starting, so I'm extremely grateful these therapies exist, because otherwise I can't imagine what would have happened.  Do I think the people I know currently on antidepressants should not be on them?  No.  

If the medication is helping people, even if the pharmaceutical companies are getting rich, this is probably a good thing.  I just had two fibroid surgeries to remove a large fibroid and prevent heavy bleeding.  50 years ago, the treatment would have been a total hysterectomy.  300 years ago, I probably would have just bled to death.  If we have new therapies to address problems that have always existed but now we have ways to treat it (like chemotherapy for cancer, or a combination of antidepressants and therapy for people with depression), I think we should use them.

As for the apocalypse, this was never a "huge worry" for me, just something that popped into my head during the anxiety spiral between thyroid surgeries when I was diagnosed with cancer and about to lose the rest of my thyroid. This is apparently something  that more than just me has worried about before thyroid surgery, I think it just comes from jumping to "worst case scenario" about this new dependence on thyroid medication.  It is not something I'm still worried about.   I just thought it'd be fun to share since we were discussing ground up thyroid tissue supplements.
After the apocalypse when you're wandering around with your club and rucksack, break into a burnt-out pharmacy and get all the meds you need. lol
134578 tn?1693250592
When you say "I've been tested for hypothyroidism my blood work isnt consistent for my thyroid hormone lvls.," what does that mean? Could you give some actual numbers of your levels? Are you saying they fluctuate?
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