Just taking hormone replacement does not mean we will lose weight

Thyroid, hormones, insulin, and weight gain

Some weight gain can be related to a lower functioning thyroid gland—low thyroid is rampant.

Some people can gain weight because their thyroid is not functioning optimally.

Because thyroid hormone is the principal animator of metabolism (the rate at which you burn calories).

When the thyroid gland does not work optimally we may not be burning as much and storing more.

Being hypo thyroid/under active thyroid can = gain weight

Our bio logical stress response can call upon the glands to do extra work, especially the thyroid gland, and if the body keeps asking that gland to keep overworking, it can become tiered.

Signs and symptoms of to little thyroid hormone / hypo thyroid symptoms can overlap with menopause symptoms.

  • You can become constipated.
  • Weight gain
  • Brain fog: memory lapses, difficulty concentrating
  • Unmotivated
  • listless
  • Hair falls out (yes, I have had)
  • Your skin is dry, lifeless
  • Hormone irregularities Slow heartbeat
  • Neck swelling
  • High Cholesterol (yep tied to how your thyroid is doing)
  • Sluggish reflexes
  • Depression
  • Low energy/stamina
  • Cold hands and feet
  • Achy muscles
  • Heavy Legs (when walking feels like you are walking with cement legs)
  • Digestive problems (Gas abdominal bloating)
  • Hashimoto’s unexplained weight gain especially
  • Sleeping problems
  • Low temperature, and more

I found this out the hard way, one of my thyroid hormones FT3 (the active thyroid hormone Free T3), was not even in the reference range it was so low.

My doctor did not know how I was able to function, have enough energy do my exercise, etc. She was like wow! With your numbers most people would be laying in bed.

Basically, I could be burning 500 calories less a day than someone else. She used to say good thing you do a lot of exercise.

Here we go again with that exercise more model that was always ingrained in my brain, even my doctor was saying it.

I made it my mission to read everything I could on hypo thyroid disease, as it turned out I had tested for auto immune thyroid disease Hashimoto’s which is under active or what they call hypo thyroid disease. (running slow)

Then there is Graves disease when you are hyper thyroid, I totally would rather it be under active than over active, as over active can cause many more problems.

Most people do not have their antibodies tested to see if they have auto immune disease, or Hashimoto’s as the Dr’s don’t always want to bother running the tests because they basically treat you with the same thyroid hormone replacement that they use if you were hypo thyroid.

I was lucky when I first went to my Doctor who is my primary care doctor now and my endocrinologist. She ran the antibodies test ONE time, so I knew I had Hashimoto’s BUT she never wants to run it again as she said oh! You can’t bring the antibodies down.

Oh! yes you can. My antibodies were in the 1000’ s and now pretty low 23.

I run my own tests. Plus had a gluten sensitivity test run with cyrex labs online, and I’am sensitive to gluten.

Always contact a good practitioner and work with them. Because the thyroid and all are hormones are complicated, and this is just my experience with having Hashimoto’s since I was 50 and going through menopause.

Which any stress or transition can trigger it, as menopause did for me and over training I was told.

I was causing chronically high cortisol by running marathons in my late 50’s and stressing my adrenals which are tied to the thyroid gland.

When the adrenals are stressed we need to fix them first and sometimes the thyroid will respond positively and run better by addressing the adrenals first, it depends.

But there are differences, and with Hashimoto’s most react to gluten and sometimes cross contaminates such as coffee! Please I don’t want to hear give up coffee 🙂

Although years back when I was not sleeping I tried giving up caffeine, and I still was not sleeping as it was from the drop in my hormones not the coffee that was causing my not to sleep well.

Suggested blood work tests you may want to run to rule out the thyroid if you are having trouble losing weight, as all our hormones work together.

I suggest running a full thyroid panel

Optimal blood values Dr Myers talks about in her book.

  • TSH (Thyroid stimulating hormone): levels 1.0-2.0 uIU/mL or lower if on desiccated thyroid or compounded T3 can artificially surpress the TSH my doctor knows this.

I’am back on Armour desiccated thyroid. I was on WP thyroid as it has only 2 other ingredients, MCT oil and inulin a fiber which I loved taking, but it is still on back order from the manufacturer.
Natrurethroid is made by the same manufacturer as WP thyroid but has a few more ingredients both gluten free.


  • Free T3: > 3.2 pg/mL
  • Free T4: >1.1 ng/dL
  • Reverse T3: than a 10:1 ratio of RT3 to FT3

Testing thyroid antibodies test as your thyroid problem if you have one could be auto immune in nature.

  • Thyroid peroxidase antibody ( TPO ) < 9 IU/mL or negative (mine negative now )
  • Thyroglobulin Antibody (TgAb) 4 IU/mL or negative (mine 24) still working on it. But some doctors say anything 100 or less is not a problem.

Some Doctors will ONLY want to run a TSH test because of insurance, or they don’t believe in the other tests etc… if that is all they run.  Then run your own tests if you can afford it.

Also get a copy of your test results don’t just hear doctor say you are fine, you need to know the reference range to see if you are really in the optimal reference ranges for ALL your tests.

My doctor also likes my TSH 2 and under.

Old reference ranges for the TSH (thyroid Stimulating Hormone ) that some doctors and labs still use go up to 5, by then you are feeling terrible.

Other blood work for the Nutrients needed for optimal thyroid Function

  • Vitamin D (serum): normal 30-100 ng/mL : optimal according to Dr Amy Myers is 50-70 ng/mL (mine is about 80, my dr likes it there)
  • Iron/ferritin(serum): normal 12-150 ng/mL optimal 70-100
  • Homocysteine (serum): normal 5-15 mmol/L optimal 7-8 mmol/L
  • Selenium (RBC): 120-300 mcg/L; Optimal 200-250 mcg/L  ( important )
  • Zinc (RBC): 790-1500 mcg/L; optimal 200-250 mcg/L
  • Magnesium(RBC):normal 1.5-3.1 mmol/L, optimal 2.5-3.0 mmol/L
  • My Doctor also runs a B12 blood test as its important for thyroid function as well.

I suggest Dr Myers book The Thyroid connection I also love The Paleo Thyroid Solution by Elle Russ, she has a question and answer section with Dr Gary E. Foresman.

Both very good books, I must have ten books all about the thyroid I have collected over the years. I always try to do my own research so I can go into my doctors office well informed.

Digestion is huge, stress, sleep, and diet.

There are a lot of people low in selenium, iron, iodine, (Vitamin D which is really a pro hormone), and magnesium all can effect your thyroid negatively and health if you are low in any of them.

  • Eating a nutrient dense diet is best, for our hormones and our thyroid
  • Manage stress
  • Get enough sleep
  • Limit fast foods
  • Limit alcohol
  • Limit sugar
  • To much caffeine
  • food additives, colors etc all can effect the thyroid
  • Processed refine oils, hydrogenated fats etc…

MY take and what has helped my thyroid, and hormones and keeping my weight and energy stable.

On our plates I suggest to try:

  • Making your plate 1/2 to 2/3 full of colorful veggies (and some fruit at a meal or snack) more veggies than fruit.
  • Protein a serving is the size and thickness of the palm of your hand about.
  • With a dash of Fat such as 1 Tbs olive oil, 1/4 cup nuts, avocado etc…we don’t need as much fat as we think, although some of us do better with less fat and some do better with a bit more fat than others.
  • Ideally your meal will last you 4-5 hours then we know its hormonally correct for our bodies chemistry.

Questions to ask yourself….

How do you feel after you eat?
Do you have energy for hours ?
Do you feel sluggish after you eat?
Do you crave sugar and starchy foods after a meal?

Some may feel better when eating 3 meals and 2 snacks day to keep blood sugar stable.

We are all different, I used to do 3 meals and 2 snacks.

I change up how I eat everyday. Some days I eat just 2 meals, other days it is 3 meals, basically I eat when I’m hungry period.

Eating every meal doing the best you can consistently will get results, there is no perfection.

There is no right or wrong way, only what works for you.

Changing habits one at a time, works best for many people.

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