4 Big Causes of Weight Gain in Hashimoto’s Patients

4 Big Causes of Weight Gain in Hashimoto’s

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Why is it so Hard to Lose Weight with Hashimoto’s?

If you have Hashimoto’s and you are gaining weight then stopping this weight gain should be your top priority. 

I’m not kidding when I say that weight gain in thyroid patients can cause a lot of distress. 

From the impact that it has on your psychological well-being (1) to the impact it has on your overall health (2), managing your weight is very important. 

mental impact of obesity on overweight patients

More so for patients that have Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. 

Why?

Because losing weight and keeping it off is harder for patients who have thyroid problems

Losing weight is also more difficult if you are a woman (3). And because Hashimoto’s impacts women (4) more than men, you have two things going against you. 

study showing that men lose weight more easily than women

But there is some good news:

Gaining weight with Hashimoto’s is not some inevitable thing that has to happen. 

And, even if has already happened to you, doesn’t mean that you can’t stop it or even lose the weight that you’ve gained from your diagnosis. 

The key is all about understanding the underlying cause of weight gain if you have a thyroid problem

Contrary to popular belief, it’s not just about your calories or your diet (though these can play a role). 

It’s a little bit more complicated which is why we are going to be discussing it today. 

In this article, you will learn:

  • How Hashimoto’s impacts your thyroid and why that results in weight gain. 
  • How inflammation contributes to weight gain and how to stop it. 
  • How your thyroid impacts your sex hormones and how they impact your weight. 
  • How subtle changes to your mood and brain can impact your willpower and ability to stay on track with your diet and lifestyle. 
  • How thyroid fatigue impacts your weight and ability to exercise and burn calories. 
  • Frequently asked weight loss questions about Hashimoto’s
  • And much more

Let’s jump in…

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4 Reasons You are Gaining Weight

If you were hoping to learn more about how to cut calories to help you lose weight then you’ve come to the wrong place. 

Calorie restriction may be the preferred method for weight loss by endocrinologists, nutritionists, and some researchers, but it’s not really going to help you much as a patient with Hashimoto’s

Having a thyroid problem changes everything. 

Your ability to manage your weight is more about hormone balance than anything else. 

The sooner you come to this realization the better. 

Yes, calories are important and, yes, they do play a role, but their role is minor to the things we are about to discuss. 

Calorie-restricted diets, such as those promoted by major weight loss brands and companies, can actually cause more harm than good for your thyroid. 

Just a few short weeks of cutting your calories on a daily basis are enough to slow down your thyroid, lower T3 (5), increase reverse T3 (6), and slow down your metabolism (7). 

long term calorie restriction reduces t3 levels in humans

You’ll want to avoid this type of diet at all costs. 

Instead, focus on these 4 major causes of weight gain: 

#1. Low Thyroid Function from Thyroid Gland Damage

The first and most obvious source of weight gain among patients with Hashimoto’s is that of thyroid function. 

In order to understand this connection, you have to understand the importance of thyroid hormone as it relates to your metabolism

Your metabolism, or basal metabolic rate, represents the number of calories that you burn on basic day-to-day functions. 

Ranging from things like eating to thinking to breathing, these calories are necessary for keeping you alive. 

Your thyroid helps to regulate this number by impacting things like your heart rate, how much cellular energy you produce, and how much heat your body produces. 

Patients with low thyroid function see a decline in their basal metabolic rate (8) which results in several things:

  • A decrease in their resting heart rate
  • A decrease in their body temperature
  • Weight gain due to a decrease in whole-body metabolism

Just think about this for a minute:

If you are gaining weight because your metabolism has dropped, do you think that lowering your calories will solve that problem? 

Or does it make sense to focus on the root cause of the problem and bring your thyroid back to its normal function? 

The answer is obvious. 

Spend your time and energy on INCREASING your thyroid function back to whatever its normal was before you developed Hashimoto’s

This is the single best and most important action you can take if you have Hashimoto’s and you are experiencing weight gain. 

How can you do that? 

The easiest way is to simply take thyroid medication

Thyroid medication will immediately boost up your thyroid function and, as long as it is dosed correctly, will bring you to normal very quickly. 

You don’t necessarily have to use medication, though, if you don’t want to. 

If you are in early-stage Hashimoto’s and in a sub-clinical hypothyroid state, you may be able to see improvement by using natural therapies. 

Treatments like changing your diet, regular exercise, stress reduction, getting enough sleep, and replacing nutrient deficiencies can sometimes be enough to improve your thyroid naturally

It doesn’t matter how you get there, just be sure you are focusing on your thyroid function. 

#2. Inflammation in Your Body from Immune Dysregulation

Another cause of weight in Hashimoto’s has to do with inflammation

Inflammation is not necessarily a bad thing on its own but it can become bad if it becomes rampant or chronic. 

Inflammation is the process by which your body fights off infections and helps your body repair damaged tissues. 

In this sense it’s good. 

But it can become a problem when it’s not properly managed by the body, when it’s found in places it shouldn’t be, or when it goes on for long periods of time. 

And this is exactly what happens in patients with Hashimotos. 

Because Hashimoto’s is primarily an autoimmune disease, inflammation is a core component of the disease. 

It is inflammation that results in thyroid gland damage and the recruitment of white blood cells (9) into your thyroid gland. 

And, over time, this inflammation of the thyroid gland may cause irreversible thyroid gland damage making you 100% reliant on thyroid medication for the rest of your life. 

Systemic inflammation also has a negative impact on other systems in your body including other fat-regulating hormones like insulin and leptin. 

Insulin resistance and leptin resistance are both made worse in the face of inflammation. 

Inflammation and your thyroid make weight gain worse in a vicious cycle. 

join 80000 thyroid patients

Excess weight gain results in the release of cytokines and chemokines (10) which in turn may make thyroid function worse. 

The worse your thyroid function gets the easier it is for you to gain weight. 

And the cycle repeats. 

Cooling down inflammation is an important way to stop this cycle to not only prevent further weight gain but to also slow down or stop the attack of your own immune system on your thyroid gland. 

When it comes to managing inflammation in Hashimoto’s, one of the best things you can do is simply avoid those things which trigger inflammation or make it worse. 

Things like eating inflammatory foods and oils, exposing yourself to too much stress, not getting enough sleep, exposure to environmental chemicals (11) or toxins, and chronic infections, can all contribute to low-grade inflammation. 

The key to stopping this inflammation isn’t to take something like an anti-inflammatory medication but instead to stop the root cause of the inflammation. 

#3. Sex Hormone Imbalances in Estrogen and Progesterone From Thyroid Dysfunction

Next up we have sex hormone imbalances. 

As a patient with Hashimoto’s, you are probably well familiar with the impact that your thyroid has on your weight. 

But what you may not realize is that there are other hormones that also contribute to your weight and these hormones can be dragged down by your thyroid. 

Here’s an example:

One common symptom of hypothyroidism (caused by Hashimoto’s) is infertility. 

The inability to conceive is a complex problem but, in the case of thyroid disease, stems from the impact that thyroid dysfunction has on progesterone, estrogen, and ovulation. 

Thyroid dysfunction results in anovulatory cycles (12) and disordered levels of both estrogen and progesterone. 

the impact of hypothyroidism on ovulation and fertility

The result? It’s much harder for your body to get pregnant. 

You might be thinking, what does infertility have to do with my weight?

A lot, actually!

Sex hormones such as estrogen and progesterone are hormones that can impact your fat cells. 

During puberty, these levels rise which causes weight gain in certain areas of the female body to accentuate the female figure. 

In menopause, it is the decline in these hormones that results in weight gain, vasomotor symptoms, bone loss, and so on. 

In other words, these hormones impact how and where your body stores fat. 

If your thyroid is dysfunctional then you may start to see changes in these sex hormones. 

The more disordered your progesterone and estrogen become, the more likely you are to gain stubborn fat in specific areas of your body. 

Excess weight gain in the hips, thighs, and butt region can all stem from sex hormone imbalances. 

#4. Changes to your Appetite from Your Mood and Depression

We all know how important diet is when it comes to managing weight. 

Whether you believe that calories are responsible for weight or whether you believe that it’s more about the quality of the food you eat that influences your weight, diet is still important. 

Patients with Hashimoto’s have a special struggle in this area that other people don’t. 

They have to deal with the ups and downs, mood changes, and depression that stem from thyroid disease. 

It’s not exactly known why Hashimoto’s causes these symptoms but one theory is that they are caused by neural inflammation (13). 

how hashimoto's thyroiditis impacts emotional function

Regardless of their cause, they exist and they can easily lead to weight gain. 

We know that if someone is depressed it’s harder to make good decisions about their diet. 

It’s a lot easier to eat unhealthy foods when you are feeling down because your willpower is sapped. 

Depression and mood changes don’t hit every patient with Hashimoto’s but you should be prepared in case it hits you. 

Be aware of your mood, how it impacts your dietary choices, and how these choices can impact your ability to lose weight. 

Treating your thyroid and managing inflammation can go a long way to keeping you from experiencing depressive symptoms. 

Hashimoto’s Weight Loss Frequently Asked Questions:

Because weight loss is so important to many patients with Hashimoto’s, I frequently get a lot of questions on this topic. 

Below I’ve included the most frequently asked questions and their answers. 

If you have additional questions that aren’t answered here please leave your comment below and I will continually add them to this list!

#1. How Much Weight Can you Gain with Hashimoto’s?

I wish I could say there is some magical number and that it will stop but that’s not the case. 

Weight gain varies from person to person and it largely depends on the severity of your disease. 

The worse your Hashimoto’s and the lower your thyroid function, the more weight you will gain. 

On average, most women who develop Hashimoto’s gain somewhere between 20 and 30 pounds from their thyroid. 

This initial weight gain stems from the thyroid but can then spiral as other problems start to stack on top of each other. 

Initial weight gain can limit your ability to exercise which causes more weight gain. 

This extra weight may result in hormone imbalances to important hormones such as insulin and leptin which may trigger more weight gain and so on. 

This type of vicious cycle is typically what causes weight gain in excess of 50 pounds or more in some Hashimoto’s patients. 

For this reason, it is very important that you do whatever it takes to manage your weight before it gets worse!

The more overweight you are and the longer you’ve been overweight the more difficult it will be to get back to normal

#2. How Long Does it Take To Lose Weight if you have Hashimoto’s? 

It really depends on the person!

Hashimoto’s is a dynamic disease which means that it impacts each person a little bit differently. 

As a result, it’s hard to predict how long or how difficult it will be to lose weight for any given person. 

In general, the worse your Hashimoto’s and the more impact it has on thyroid function, the longer it will take you to lose weight. 

Even though I can’t give you an exact answer, I can give you some general information. 

Assuming you are on the right treatment (which may include thyroid medication) and once you’ve dialed in your dietexercise routine, and so on, you should start to see your weight normalize within about 4-8 weeks. 

From there, you will most likely see a steady decline in your weight of about 2-10 pounds per month until you reach your normal body weight. 

For most thyroid patients this process will take on the order of 6 to 12 months but I’ve seen it take as long as 2 years in some cases. 

When it comes to your thyroid and your weight, it’s a slow process so prepare accordingly. 

This isn’t a bad thing, though, because once you lose weight the right way it will stay off for good! 

Embrace the slower consistent weight gain and it will pay you back in dividends for years to come. 

#3. How Hard is it to Lose Weight with Hashimoto’s? 

Unfortunately, it’s a lot more difficult for someone with Hashimoto’s to lose weight compared to someone who doesn’t have a thyroid problem. 

I always tell thyroid patients that it will take them about twice as long as someone who doesn’t have a thyroid problem to lose the same amount of weight. 

So if someone without a thyroid problem can lose 10 pounds, you should expect to lose 5 pounds. 

If it takes someone 1 month to lose 10 pounds then you should expect it to take you 2 months instead of one. 

Weight loss is also a little slower if you are a woman as opposed to a man. 

It’s roughly two to three times harder for women to lose the same weight as a man in the same time period

This is just a general estimate, though, so don’t take it as the gospel truth. 

There are some thyroid patients who are able to manage their weight much easier than other thyroid patients but this is not the norm. 

Due to how Hashimoto’s impacts your metabolism and due to how difficult it is to get on the right treatment, you should expect weight loss to be fairly difficult. 

#4. Will Thyroid Medication Help Me Finally Lose Weight? 

Yes, no, and maybe. 

It is definitely the hope that thyroid medication will help patients with Hashimoto’s lose weight but that isn’t always the case. 

Here’s why:

The most commonly prescribed thyroid medication, levothyroxine, contains one of the least powerful thyroid hormones known as T4. 

T4 is not active by itself and must be converted into T3 in order to act on your cells and do its job. 

T3 is the thyroid hormone responsible for increasing your metabolism, raising your body temperature, and helping you lose weight. 

So if you are someone who has been given T4 in the form of levothyroxine but your body can’t activate it or convert it then weight loss will be very difficult. 

What can you do to solve this problem?

You can take a combination thyroid medication that includes both T4 and T3 thyroid hormones. 

You can even build on this idea further by adding in T2 thyroid hormone which is the only thyroid hormone available over the counter.

From a weight loss perspective, T3 and T2 thyroid hormones are far more powerful and more effective than T4 but that doesn’t mean you should neglect T4.

t3 thyroid hormone chemical structure

Balancing all three of these hormones is important because that’s how the healthy thyroid gland operates.

T3 thyroid hormone can be prescribed by your doctor under the name Cytomel or liothyronine and that medication can be taken along with your prescription of levothyroxine

T2 thyroid hormone can be purchased as an over-the-counter supplement and added to your T4 and T3 regimen.

This strategy allows you to take T4, T3, and T2 thyroid hormones at the same time and gives your body more of the thyroid hormones that actually helps you lose weight. 

It gets even more complicated when you realize that the amount of T4 and T3 that you take needs to be individualized for the person

For instance, someone with Hashimoto’s may be fine using 100mcg of T4 and 10mcg of T3. 

On the other hand, another patient with Hashimoto’s may need 80mcg of T4 and 20mcg of T3. 

This balancing of T4 and T3 should be done on an individual basis to figure out what that person does best on. 

In order to arrive at your optimal dose, you will need thyroid lab tests beyond just the TSH. 

You will need to look at your free thyroid hormone levels including free T3, free T4, and reverse T3

Once you are on the right medication for your body you can then expect your thyroid medication to help you lose weight. 

#5. Does Hashimoto’s Cause Belly Fat?

Yes! Hashimoto’s can absolutely cause belly fat but it can also cause you to gain weight elsewhere on your body. 

You may or may not be aware but the location where you gain weight on your body can tell you a lot about your hormones. 

Belly fat, for instance, is usually caused by an increase in cortisol or insulin.

Low thyroid disease (such as that seen in Hashimoto’s) typically causes weight gain over the entire body in an equal fashion. 

So if you’ve gained weight just about everywhere including your arms, thighs, back, belly, and butt, then it’s most likely from your thyroid

But because thyroid hormone has an influence on both cortisol and insulin, it’s possible that Hashimoto’s may also result in belly fat. 

The key to losing belly fat if you have Hashimoto’s is all about treating your thyroid first and then picking up any leftover hormone imbalances afterward. 

When you optimize your thyroid you should see your metabolism improve which will naturally reduce your weight. 

If you still notice you have belly fat after optimizing your thyroid then you can look into other hormone imbalances such as insulin resistance or excess cortisol levels

#6. How do I know my Thyroid is Causing my Weight Gain?

It’s actually more difficult than you might think!

It is well known in the scientific literature that low thyroid function results in weight gain but, for whatever reason, doctors will look to blame just about anything else except your thyroid

To some degree, they are on the right track but their approach is still misguided. 

They are partially on the right track because the truth is that there are many conditions that can contribute to weight gain aside from your thyroid. 

Before you blame your thyroid, you will want to make sure that these other factors are not contributing. 

For instance, you can’t blame your thyroid for weight gain if you are sleeping 4 hours per night. 

You can’t blame your thyroid for your weight if you are eating an unhealthy diet, going through menopause, avoiding exercise, stressed out of your mind, and so on. 

All of these factors can and will have an impact on your weight. 

One of the easiest ways to check if your thyroid is contributing to your weight gain is by excluding these other factors

If you notice that you’ve suddenly gained 10-20 pounds out of the blue, without changing your diet or exercise pattern, AND you are experiencing the symptoms of low thyroid, then there’s a very high chance your weight gain is from your thyroid and not something else. 

#7. Is Intermittent Fasting Good for Hashimoto’s?

It can be! 

There’s a big controversy going on about intermittent fasting and how it may help with weight loss. 

On one hand, some people believe that it only helps because you are being forced into a state of caloric restriction. 

On the other, some people believe that there is something uniquely beneficial to hormones like insulin when you avoid eating for a set period of time. 

I happen to believe that fasting has benefits outside of its impact on calorie consumption which is why I believe it can be a very useful tool for thyroid patients

But even if it doesn’t and it turns out that it’s only beneficial because it reduces your calorie intake, it still helps!

As long as you don’t over-fast (push your body into a state where it triggers an adaptive starvation mode) then fasting is a safe and effective therapy for most thyroid patients. 

As always, be sure to keep your individual circumstance in mind when considering whether to fast or not. 

While it is beneficial for many people it can cause problems for others. 

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of what leads to weight gain in Hashimoto’s. 

It’s not quite as straightforward as “you ate too many calories”. 

The truth is that most patients with thyroid disease gain weight without changing their diet or exercise routine because of the impact that the thyroid has on metabolism and other hormone systems in the body

And it is these hormone systems that must be regulated and balanced if you want long-lasting weight loss. 

Now I want to hear from you:

Do you have Hashimoto’s and are you gaining weight?

Do you know the cause of your weight gain?

Are you having any luck in improving your thyroid and metabolism?

Do you feel that you have other hormone imbalances contributing to your weight?

Leave your questions or comments below! 

#1. ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6052856/

#2. ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4386197/

#3. ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6282840/

#4. pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24793874/

#5. pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16720655/

#6. pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/1249190/

#7. ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5886711/

#8. ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4044302/

#9. ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK459262/

#10. ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1483173/

#11. ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2790188/

#12. ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4724596/

#13. pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30373627/

what causes weight gain in Hashimoto's patients?

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About Dr. Westin Childs

Hey! I'm Westin Childs D.O. (former Osteopathic Physician). I don't practice medicine anymore and instead specialize in helping people like YOU who have thyroid problems, hormone imbalances, and weight loss resistance. I love to write and share what I've learned over the years. I also happen to formulate the best supplements on the market (well, at least in my opinion!) and I'm proud to say that over 80,000+ people have used them over the last 7 years. You can read more about my own personal health journey and why I am so passionate about what I do.

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32 thoughts on “4 Big Causes of Weight Gain in Hashimoto’s”

  1. Dr Child’s I was diagnosed with Hypothyroidism about 15 years ago and started on Synthroid but they said “Synthroid stopped working for me. ”
    Suggesting a NP THYROID of 2 90 MG every morning.
    Unfortunately NP THYROID is not paid for by my insurance. I don’t mind IF it is really Great for me but I don’t see it listed by YOU and just wanted Your opinion.
    Is this a high amount?
    Exactly what tests should I ask for to get the best reading?
    Thanks,
    Pamela Ransom

    Reply
  2. I am a 70 year old woman who was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s several years ago. I have struggled to lose weight and tried many diets with limited success. I take Lyrothyronine in a compounded form which has worked well for me. Negative side effects prevent me from taking T4 in any form, have tried many times. Most recently I have been on the Paleo AIP diet. Within 3 months I have had improved digestion, reduced inflammation/pain, better energy, clearer skin, and sleep well without medication.. This was a huge improvement. I also have slowly lost 17 lbs and hope to lose another 20. I plan to transition to the Paleo diet as the AIP one is very restricted and hard to sustain. I see a functional medicine dr. who has helped me with supplements, diet, lab work and medication monitoring. Your advice is right on target! I would encourage others to educate themselves and be patient, this is not a fast process. Thank you for making this information available and easy to understand.

    Reply
    • Hi Carol,

      Glad you found it helpful! I agree, AIP can help but I don’t think it’s a great long-term solution.

      Reply
    • Hi Carol. I ,too, am a 70 year old woman & was recently diagnosed with Hashimotos. My antibodies were just a little elevated (70). I am really struggling with weight gain despite having a good diet. I eat Paleo for the most part. I’ve been gluten free (100%) for 7 months and have noticed no change in my weight. My question for you is how do you navigate eating in restaurants? How about supplements- I’m trying to figure out the correct supplements without having to take SO many. Thanks. Hope you’re doing well. Kathleen

      Reply
      • I am 62 years old and was diagnosed with Hashimotos about a year and a half ago. I am taking supplements and not going the pharmaceutical route. I also cannot lose weight even though I eat good and supplement. I only eat out maybe once a month. Dr. Westin has a blog on the supplements that are needed to reduce your thyroid antibodies. I am taking a supplement with everything he suggests but my numbers aren’t moving down. They aren’t going higher either, though. Jeannette Wilson

        Reply
  3. Hi,
    Thankyou for all the information.

    I have Hashimotos aswell as fibromyalgia,
    And aside from the body pain and fatigue i have been struggling to lose weight.
    My endocrinologist put me on weight loss medication that did nothing.
    I do intermittent fasting, and i have started a gluten free diet for 2days now.
    My esr and ferratin levels are very high,soni know inflammation is a problem.
    I am not a huge eater at all, infact i struggle to eat in the day.
    Is there any advice that you can give me to help with weight loss? I am the highest i have ever been so its been extremely tough mentally for me.
    I am also on thyroid medication- 100mcg

    Reply
  4. I had gastric bypass surgery in 2009 and lost 110 lbs. but several years later was diagnosed with hypothyroid and now recently hasimotos disease. I have gained back half of the weight. I want to start your bundle, but curious if you think I will be able to benefit? Is someone who had gastric bypass able to absorb all these vitamins?

    Reply
    • Hi Laurie,

      Many people with gastric bypass have used my supplements with success. There will no doubt be some lost nutrients due to a lack of absorption but it appears that enough gets absorbed. But please note that the supplements in the Hashimoto’s bundle likely won’t have an impact on your weight. They are designed to primarily impact the immune system and thyroid function.

      Reply
  5. Hi Dr Childs, What you say resonates so well with my experience of Hashimotos, diagnosed in 2015. I had a bad “storm” in the summer of covid 2020 and am still trying to come back from that now with the help of a functional and expensive medicine doc. I am now 72 yrs old. I take a lot of supplements to address all the issues my testing uncovered. But have not lost any of the 30 pounds I gained that summer, and find it impossible to follow a paleo type diet. I have made many dietary improvements but still have some wine (2x/week), some coffee (1x/day), some red meat (1x/week), some cheese (about 2 oz/day), some eggs and some wheat bread (3x/week for each). That’s about 50% improved from previous levels of consumption, but I just can’t seem to muster the willpower to do better for more than a few weeks. What to do? Is this improvement of any value at all? It sure isn’t enough to lose weight! How have your patients managed to do better than me? Thanks for your reply.

    Reply
  6. Hi,
    I crashed two years ago when coming off birth control and starting perimenopause. Having struggled to find a doctor versed in Hashimoto’s and perimenopause was a struggle. It has taken two years to find the right doctor who was willing to experiment and ride this path with me. During the past two years I have put on 22 kilos (48.5 pounds) lost so much hair and aged ☹️
    Now 50 I am on an exhaustive list of medications, T4 100mcg , compounded T3 20mcg, LDN 4.5, 3.5mcg Testosterone, oestrogen, progesterone, metformin (fasting blood sugar 6.0) and although i feel 1000% better than I did initially, I’m still not losing any weight or feel somewhat normal. I take multiple supplements, vitamin D3, zinc & selenium, magnesium, ginseng fish oil, gut probiotics and natural gelatin for gut but I’m still struggling with energy!
    I’ve eliminated gluten, sugar and eat fairly healthy. Just at a loss as to where I go from here?

    Thanks Rachel

    Reply
      • Hi Dr Childs,
        Ironically my Dr suggested that just after i posted on your blog. By the way your blog is amazing and I can often lose myself for hours reading so much, very informative and empowering! Started ozempic here in Australia , found no issues/side effects for three weeks on 25mcg but the next dose at 50mcg I landed in hospital with shingles and non stop vomiting. I will attempt again on 25mcg once I get well enough it just might take a while to increase the dose or do you think staying on 25mcg will be of any benefit?
        One other question I’d like pose to both yourself and any readers.. is anyone taking or considered taking CBD oil for Hashimoto’s relief? That’s general CBD, no THC component whatsoever.
        Thanks again, value your reply!

        Reply
  7. Hello there!

    I just turned 36 in July!
    I was diagnosed in 2021 with Hashimoto’s and a very tiny goiter.
    My numbers bounce back and forth between hypo and hyper as we are still dialing in the Levothyroxine (Syn).
    7.40, 8.32, 10.82, 3.20, 8.88, 7.60, 0.16, 10.09…so far. BC came into play before the 0.16.

    I’ve definitely noticed weight gain and the struggle is real, haha.
    I’ve been a vegan since 2021 just before we discovered my thyroid issue.

    What is your opinion on the Vegan diet and does it help, hurt or matter?
    My endocrinologist insists that food doesn’t matter, but I’m inclined to disagree at the moment.
    I don’t believe food will delete it for me as some insist, especially with antibodies waging war against my thyroid but I’m curious if my diet helps or hurts. I’m not willing to give it up just yet but if it doesn’t help, finding a way to make it work is my goal.

    I also have a HIT workout challenge I’ve done off and on for a while. Last time i did the challenge for a full 6 weeks and lost nothing but felt good. I had to stop because I got shingles, probably from stressing about the weight and pandemic stress. Looking to give it another go soon as I’m not over weight but definitely at my heaviest weight.

    Vegan diet and how it fairs, your opinion? Please and Thank you.

    Reply
    • Hi Ali,

      I’m generally not a big fan of the vegan diet in those with thyroid disease or Hashimoto’s. In my experience, patients consuming animal products just do better in managing their disease and symptoms. If you can’t eat animal products, for whatever reason, then you will just need to compensate with higher doses of supplements and nutrients.

      Reply
  8. Hi Dr. Childs I have been diagnosed with Hashimotos for about ten years. I had a Dr that was very on top of my levels and I felt pretty good and was able to lose weight My recent specialist of 2 years has me mind baffled. I’m not sure if he know a lot or is that familiar with hashimotos. I have tried telling him I feel the best when my labs are “here” he tends to ignore. My labs about 7 months ago went haywire I was having extreme fatigue, headaches, palpitations change in vision, weight gain. He told me he had no idea what I was doing but my labs were bad. He took a good chunk of my armour thyroid away left me on a small dose of it and mixed in levothyroxine. I just recently had my labs redrawn and everything is ok except my T3 it was 0.03. So he is having me take a smaller does of Armour and levothyroxine on certain days and a higher dose of levo plus the smaller dose of armour the other days. So I’m guessing the smaller the level the higher it is with T3? He told me to stop eating poorly and keep active. (I try to keep active, (I’m so Lethargic though) and I don’t eat poorly at all.
    He said that this was it there was nothing more he could do for me, that I needed to go back to my PCP because he feels I have chronic fatigue syndrome. Any suggestions?

    Reply
  9. This is a great piece Dr Childs, so much information and such a complex disease. I was diagnosed in March, 2021. I’m a registered nurse, so stress was a big part of my job. I am no longer able to work due to the pain I get from Hashimoto’s. That is mostly from swelling I get all over. I have a large area in my left antecubital fossa which was the first sign I was sick. It was verified on MRI. I go in and out of hyper and hypo. I can now tell when it’s happening because of my resting HR and general feeling of fatigue when hypo and feel better if a bit hyper. I have lost 50lbs which I am very happy about. But over the last few days my HR has dropped into the 60s which is low for me (usually in 70s) and I have gained 5lbs. I take levothyroxine 25mcg every other day. I tried it daily but got hyper to the point my HR was in the 130s and I had weakness in my shoulders and legs, couldn’t climb the stairs. If my HR is slower, should I increase my dose? Maybe try two days on , one day off? My endo was useless and wouldn’t order the lab tests that you recommend so I went back to my other doctor who did order them all. My reverse T3 (I thinks that’s the one on your list that tells you if you are converting) was in the limits you listed for being a converter. I have your Hashimoto’s bundle and found I had to spread out the conversion booster to every other day to start and was going to start taking it daily now that I am adjusted to it, but just one each day for now. I did the full AIP and found my food triggers – wheat, and any other source of lectin foods, and corn. So I am off those foods but finding it hard to find things to eat. I have slipped up once in the last 18 mths with wheat. Based on the body wide pain I got from it, probably will be a long time before I do that again. Thanks for listening and hope you have a bit of information on how to proceed from here.

    Reply
    • Hi Elly,

      There are situations in which thyroid medication dose can be adjusted based on certain symptoms but I typically don’t recommend going this route unless you are very confident that your symptoms are 100% related to your thyroid. The problem with general symptoms like heart rate is that they can be influenced by many other factors outside of your thyroid and the last thing you’d want to do is try to solve a non-thyroid-related problem with more or less thyroid medication.

      Reply
  10. What are your thoughts on a person who is not diabetic, yet has Hashimotos, taking Ozempic or Wegovy for weightloss?

    Thank you!

    Reply
  11. Hello, Great article I have had Hashimoto”s since 1983 for a number of years I was taking 75mcg of Levothyroxine and felt better but not the way I previously had felt, in 2009 I was working for a physician and she suggested I try Cytomel 10mcg it was the greatest I felt like myself again as time went on and menopause came around the dose was increased eventually to 20mcg along with the Levo, then in 2018 began having afib episodes (2), the endocrinologist wanted me off Cytomel,I wouldn’t do it so we settled on 5mcg, the levo dose bounced around according to my TSH, I should tell you I am 74yrs young and a Kaiser Pt,in Jan of 2022 had another afib episode DX with sick sinus syndrome and had a pacemaker implanted set at 65HR it was during my recovery with no change in diet, but activity level dropped off for about 6 months, endocrinologist removed the Cytomel for about 4 months and I started to have symptoms again wt gain of 30#, terrible fatigue, brittle nails, hair thinning, dry skin, depression,I knew that it was the lack of Cytomel and to no avail they will only give me 5mcg daily. I am healthy with the exception of Hashimoto’s, they did start me on Bisoprolol 2.5mg daily along with Pradaxa and Losartan50mg bid, no more afib episodes,controlled with pacemaker and Bisoprolol, however they won’t budge, I feel I need at least 10mcg daily. any ideas, I take some of your supplements the T2 and the Leptin resistance RX, I also tried the conversion booster didn’t seem to help.

    Reply
    • Hi Cathy,

      How are your diet, stress, sleep, and general lifestyle? If you haven’t focused on those areas yet, you’ll probably find a lot of relief there.

      Reply
  12. Hello Dr,
    From the beginning of the traitement for Hashimoto 7 years ago I lost too much weight (unlike most people), can you explain me why and how to gain weight? (But maybe you’ll write an article about this problem later)
    Thanks for this blog and your helpful tips!

    Reply
  13. I have Hashimoto’s and TED as of 2 years ago. Once I started Armour, I lost a significant amount of weight about 50 lbs over those two years. I was stable at about 130 lbs for many months, then all of a sudden gained 10 lbs back but all in my belly. I’m not overweight, and I didn’t gain weight anywhere else, it’s all in my belly. I’ve been desperately trying to lose the extra 10 lbs to no avail. I recently found out I have high cortisol and have been trying everything to lower it and lose weight. I already eat a healthy, clean diet. I started LDN about 5 weeks ago and I’m sleeping better but not seeing any other results of yet. I was very strict on working out at least 3 days per week and now, not sure if it’s from the high cortisol but I can’t even workout anymore like I was. I keep injuring myself even with easy exercise such as walking. This is killing me because I loved working out and I feel like I can’t lose weight if I can’t workout. It’s a lose-lose right now. I’m open to suggestions.

    Reply
  14. I’ve had Hashimoto’s for 17+ years, postpartum onset. I started pre menopause at 35ish & was post menopause by 40. I have sleep apnea, & gallbladder removed about 9 years ago. I’m going on 48 this year. I’ve had endocrinologists & internists swear to me that weight is not affected by my thyroid. My new internist says my TSH results are optimal on 50mcg of Synthroid, and since my thyroid is controlled my weight issue is not my thyroid. She claims her area of expertise is thyroid & if I don’t agree with her, we’re probably not a good fit. It took me 9 months to get into her practice, and I have to drive 35 miles to get there because the city I live in doesn’t have availability in any of the internist offices that are covered by my insurance.
    Everything I just read in your article makes her sound like a quack. She says she only reads & considers information from accredited medical journals. I see your reference list, mainly being from the NIH. I’ve tried naturopathic doctors, expensive out of pocket programs, & multitudes of vitamins/pills from the internet that promise to help. None have. Or some weight comes off on highly restrictive diets (1000 calories/day maximum) but as soon as I stop that eating plan the pounds pile back on. I’m working on the emotional & psychological aspects with a therapist. I need a real doctor I can see in person that’s up to date & knowledgeable about this. I’m honestly floored by the response I received from this new doctor.

    Reply
    • Hi Bonnie,

      As much as doctors like to pay homage to the idea that they are up to date on the research, real research suggests that they aren’t: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3241518/

      Doctors really don’t have the time to spend hours each day reading the research and the studies they are given are usually provided by pharmaceutical companies. As a result, they end up 17 years behind.

      Reply

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