Levothyroxine And Synthroid Are Both T4 Only Medications
So here is the primary problem:
Levothyroxine and Synthroid are both T4 only medications.
Most Doctors will prescribe T4 medication under the assumption that your body will have no problem converting T4 into T3.
And in a perfect world, a world without stress, inflammation or other hormonal imbalances – it would.
But that’s not the world we live in…
Nowadays it’s VERY uncommon if someone has their stress managed, has no issues with blood sugar/insulin/leptin, has a normal menstrual cycle, is not overweight, has never done yo-yo diets, or has normal adrenal function.
Do any of these symptoms or situations sound familiar?
Chances are high that you are dealing with 1 or more of them.
And in states such as these, your body will turn T4 into reverse T3 as a way to “put on the brakes” and slow down your metabolism and cause symptoms of hypothyroidism.
Thyroid Medications And Weight Loss
It can be challenging to lose weight when you have hypothyroidism, and your thyroid medications may have something to do with it.
Getting the dose just right is critical, as is the timing of when you take it. In some cases, you may need to supplement with another medication.
For the sake of your overall health, as well as your weight-loss efforts, it’s important to work with your healthcare provider to get the most out of thyroid hormone therapy.
How To Finally Lose Weight With Hypothyroidism
So what are you supposed to do if you still have hypothyroid symptoms with “normal lab tests”?
What are you supposed to do if you haven’t been able to lose weight despite increasing your dose of Levothyroxine or Synthroid?
You have 2 ways to go about this:
1. Change your thyroid medication to include T3 containing medications
2. Boost thyroid conversion by taking certain supplements and treating certain conditions which limit the conversion process
The easiest way to increase thyroid function and lose weight is by adding pure T3 to your dose of Levothyroxine or Synthroid.
This allows you to bypass the T4 to T3 conversion process.
Your body can only make Reverse T3 if T4 is present, so if you only provide T3 to the body then it simply doesn’t have the option to create Reverse T3 and your levels will naturally fall.
This is one of the ways to “flush” out high levels of Reverse T3 in the body.
You can accomplish this by either switching from Levothyroxine to NDT or by simply adding Liothyronine or Cytomel to your total dose.
This step will require that a Doctor is willing to work with you, however, which is why I always recommend seeking out a provider with advanced knowledge about thyroid function.
If your plan is to take this information to your current Doctor to get them to understand this information or to order the “right” tests it will most likely backfire.
If you don’t have anyone local to you, then you do have a few options:
As a primer remember this:
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You Need More T3 Added To Your Thyroid Hormone Replacement
While Armour does contain some T3, your body may actually need more.
Armour thyroid contain fixed ratios of T4 to T3.
Meaning the amount of T3 in each grain of Armour is always the same.
In both of these conditions patients may require higher doses of T3 to saturate cellular receptors and allow thyroid hormone to get into the cells.
How do you know if you are someone who needs more T3?
Patients who need more T3 usually fall into one or more of the following categories:
- They have high levels of Reverse T3
- They have Leptin Resistance
- They have Diabetes, Prediabetes or Insulin Resistance
- They have extremely low body temperatures
- They have a personal history of bipolar disorder or a strong family history of mental health disorders
- They have a personal history of Fibromyalgia or Chronic fatigue syndrome
If you fall into any of the categories above AND you arent losing weight on Armour thyroid then you should talk to your Doctor about adding T3 to your regimen.
Adding T3 to Armour Thyroid
One problem with armour thyroid is the static dosing in each individual grain of hormone.
Each grain gives you 38mcg of T4 and 9mcg of T3.
This is ok for some patients but doesnt allow for altering individual dosing of the T4 and T3 if necessary.
Supraphysiologic dosing of T3 not only helps to overcome these hormone imbalances.
Thyroid Weight Loss Diet: Best Foods And Tips For Thyroid Patients To Lose Weight
PintrestDo people with thyroid gain weight easy?Can your diet help beat hypothyroidism?Increase your iodine intakeHaving fibre is importantHave more selenium-rich foodsLimit your intake of sugar and high-carb foodsIncrease anti-inflammatory foodsInclude more gluten-free productsConsider changing the timing of your mealsHydrate wellWhat foods should you avoid having?
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Speed Up Your Metabolism
You have no doubt heard that muscle burns calories faster and more efficiently than fat. You can increase your basal metabolism the rate at which you burn calories when you are resting by increasing your bodys muscle mass. Regular strength training will build muscle and help speed up your metabolism.
You can help the process along, too, by making sure that you get enough vitamins and nutrients, especially B-complex vitamins and vitamin C. These will help your body perform more efficiently. Finally, make sure that you are staying hydrated. Dehydration is sure to slow your metabolism.
You Feel Like You Are About To Get A Cold
A drop in thyroid hormones might trigger cold-like symptoms: sudden shivers, cold hands and feet, or a swollen throat.
Thyroid hormones help maintain body temperature, and you especially need optimal levels when transitioning between warm and cold temperatures. A swollen throat occurs when the thyroid tries to overcompensate for a lack of hormones.
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How Much Weight Can I Expect To Lose Once The Hypothyroidism Is Treated
Since much of the weight gain in hypothyroidism is accumulation in salt and water, when the hypothyroidism is treated one can expect a small weight loss. As in the treatment with hyperthyroidism, treatment of the abnormal state of hypothyroidism with thyroid hormone results in a return of body weight to what it was before the hypothyroidism developed. Since weight gain may have many causes and develops over a long period of time, it is fairly common to find that there is not a large amount of weight loss after successful treatment of hypothyroidism. Again, if all of the symptoms of hypothyroidism other than weight gain resolve with thyroid hormone treatment, it is unlikely that the weight gain was solely due to the thyroid. Once hypothyroidism has been treated and thyroid hormone levels are in the normal range, the ability to gain or lose weight is the same as in individuals who do not have thyroid problems.
Will Treatment Help Me Lose Weight
The short answer is: sometimes.
Finding the right dose of thyroid hormone replacement medication is a great step to controlling your weight. It may make it easier to lose those extra pounds that are associated with low thyroid hormone levels.
However, significant weight gain can be caused by several factors, so you should consider other factors that may play a role in your weight gain.
Some of the leading causes of weight gain include:
- Genetics may affect your susceptibility to gaining weight
- Junk food is engineered to stimulate the reward centers in your brain
- High insulin levels and insulin resistance may be linked to the development of obesity
- Many pharmaceutical drugs can cause weight gain as a side effect
- Leptin resistance is believed to be a leading factor in the cause of obesity
- Added sugar changes the hormones and biochemistry of your body
- Weight loss strategies based on false information can hold back your progress
Other symptoms of hypothyroidism can also make losing weight more challenging, including:
- Slowed heart rate
Managing these symptoms may make it easier to find motivation and energy to devote towards exercising and cooking healthy meals.
If thyroid hormone replacement medication is the right choice for you, it cannot stand alone. We believe in a whole body approach to long-term health and hypothyroidism, which means assessing and modifying your diet and lifestyle choices, in addition to medication.
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How Does My Thyroid Work
The thyroid gland is a small, butterfly-shaped organ located in the front of your neck just under the voice box . Picture the middle of the butterflys body centered on your neck, with the wings hugging around your windpipe . The main job of the thyroid is to control your metabolism. Metabolism is the process that your body uses to transform food to energy your body uses to function. The thyroid creates the hormones T4 and T3 to control your metabolism. These hormones work throughout the body to tell the bodys cells how much energy to use. They control your body temperature and heart rate.
When your thyroid works correctly, its constantly making hormones, releasing them and then making new hormones to replace whats been used. This keeps your metabolism functioning and all of your bodys systems in check. The amount of thyroid hormones in the bloodstream is controlled by the pituitary gland, which is located in the center of the skull below the brain. When the pituitary gland senses either a lack of thyroid hormone or too much, it adjusts its own hormone and sends it to the thyroid to balance out the amounts.
If the amount of thyroid hormones is too high or too low , the entire body is impacted.
Your Muscles Are Acting Up
Muscle twitching, cramping, and pain can be signs of hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism. They can also indicate your electrolytesmainly calcium and sodiumare out of balance.
If you feel sudden and intense muscle pain when you havent done any strenuous physical activity, it might be because your thyroid function has changed.
How Is Hypothyroidism Diagnosed
It can actually be difficult to diagnose hypothyroidism because the symptoms can be easily confused with other conditions. If you have any of the symptoms of hypothyroidism, talk to your healthcare provider. The main way to diagnose hypothyroidism is a blood test called the thyroid stimulating hormone test. Your healthcare provider may also order blood tests for conditions like Hashimotos disease. If the thyroid is enlarged, your provider may be able to feel it during a physical exam during an appointment.
How To Lose Weight If You Have Hypothyroidism
A diagnosis of hypothyroidism can feel overwhelming at first, and treatment can feel like a mountain to climb.
You may have thyroid issues caused by Hashimotos disease or even secondary hypothyroidism. Secondary hypothyroidism is caused by a failure of the pituitary gland.
But dont fret! If you have trouble with increasing body weight, we can take you through simple guidelines on how to lose weight with hypothyroidism.
There are natural treatments for hypothyroidism weight loss without jumping onto medication.
Just remember to treat these changes as a new lifestyle, not just a quick thyroid diet for weight loss. We want your changes to be sustainable. Here are the best tips, from stress reduction to eating habits, for hypothyroidism and weight loss.
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Optimise Your Thyroid Medication
I wanted to begin with a nutrition recommendation, but correcting your thyroid medication first priority.
Work with your health care provider to determine what type of medication is better for you, and also to find the optimal dose required. While Levothyroxine is on average more effective, Armour is reportedly much better tolerated.
There is no difference between taking your thyroid hormone meds in the morning vs evening. Choose whatever is easier for you to have it on a fasting stomach .
Summary: It is fundamental to work with your doctor to explore what type and dose of thyroid medication is best for you. Until your thyroid hormone levels are corrected, weight loss is much more difficult.
S To Attaining Your Ideal Body Composition
Hope is not lost! Your motivation may be lagging because the weight is not melting off even while taking thyroid hormone replacement. There are proactive steps you can take to address issues keeping you from meeting your goals.
Get your thyroid tested Discuss the results with your doctor to see if your TSH levels are in the higher end of the reference range, or if your T3 or TBG is low. You may need to adjust your current medication or supplement with T3 in order to find your optimal thyroid levels.
Optimize your thyroid medication Take levothyroxine on an empty stomach either a half hour before breakfast or before bedtime. Wait at least three to four hours after taking your medication before taking supplements or drinks that contain calcium or iron. Also, discuss any changes in your medications with your doctor.
Get tested for insulin and leptin resistance If you have these conditions, discuss treatment options with your doctor.
Exercise regularly Lifestyle changes, such as physical activity, which improve body composition , improve thyroid function. Regular exercise raises your metabolism, curbs your appetite, lowers blood sugar levels, and reduces insulin and leptin resistance.
Change your diet Work with your doctor to find a diet plan that will provide optimal thyroid health and control your weight while helping to manage or prevent conditions associated with hypothyroidism.
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Unable To Do Cardio Exercise
Regularly lifting weights is also highly beneficial, especially if mobility is an issue for you. In fact, its equally as important as cardio and we should be doing both where possible.
Known as resistance exercise, it still helps burns additional calories, but with the added benefit of building lean muscle. The more muscle you have, the faster your metabolism and the less likely you are to fall ill .
There are numerous resistance exercise programs on Youtube for beginners, and you can do it all at home if you invest in a pair of dumbbells or even one kettle bell.
Summary: Regular exercise helps to kick-start weight loss and speed up the entire process. It also improves your strength, mobility and metabolic health. If mobility is a problem for you, lifting weights or bodyweight exercises are a fantastic alternative.
How Long After Starting Thyroid Medication Will I Lose Weight
Hypothyroidism and weight gain often go hand in hand. Indeed, weight gain is one of the more common symptoms associated with an underactive thyroid. Understandably, many people assume that taking thyroid medication will help them lose weight. Some doctors even prescribe it to help with weight loss Ahead, determine how much weight you can expect to lose once you start taking thyroid medication and if it is a sustainable solution.
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What Are The Side Effects Of Levothyroxine Sodium
Reported side effects of levothyroxine sodium include:
- Not eating
- Skin problems, such as red, inflamed skin
- Increased drinking and urination and
- Increased activity level.
FDA encourages you to call your veterinarian if you think your dog is having a side effect from levothyroxine sodium. A side effect associated with a drug is called an adverse event. Adverse events also include a lack of effectiveness and reactions in people who handle the drug. Call your healthcare provider if you have a reaction to levothyroxine sodium.
FDA also encourages you to work with your veterinarian to report any adverse event – in either pets or people – associated with levothyroxine sodium or any product defect such as defective packaging or the drug is off-color. How to Report Animal Drug and Device Side Effects and Product Problems.
Remember to keep the drug in a secure location out of reach of children, dogs, cats, and other animals to prevent accidental ingestion or overdose.
Sometimes, a condition called thyrotoxicosis may develop dogs receiving levothyroxine sodium if:
- The dose is too high
- The dog has an underlying illness that affects the bodys ability to break down the drug or
- The dog is very sensitive to the drug.
Signs of thyrotoxicosis include panting, nervousness, hyperactivity, a rapid pulse, increased drinking and urination, vomiting, diarrhea, and weight loss despite having an increased appetite. Call your veterinarian if you see these signs in your dog.
Eat Foods Containing Iodine Selenium And Zinc
There are three minerals that you especially need to consume when you have an underactive thyroid, iodine, selenium and zinc.
Iodine is an essential mineral needed by the body to make thyroid hormones which in turn help control metabolism and other vital functions. Eat iodine rich foods such as:
- Himalayan Crystal Salt
Selenium is a mineral that plays a direct role in thyroid function. In fact, the thyroid contains the highest level of selenium than all other organs in your body.The body needs selenium to recycle iodine, so its important to eat foods that contain a high source of it including:
- Brazil nuts
Thyroid hormones are also closely interconnected with the mineral zinc, which is responsible for regulating Thyroid Stimulating Hormone . Foods high in zinc are:
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