Thyroid cancer

A place for people affected by thyroid cancer to support one another, ask questions, and share their experiences.

Weight gain

Busycat
Posted by

Hi, so I'm a year since my RAI and total thyroidectomy and despite being on 175 mg of Levothyroxine and my T3 and T4 levels being apparently perfect, I've put on 10 pounds and will it shift. Not a chance! I run four times a week, I cycle most days, eat very sensibly, in fact more sensibly than I did, but my weight is creeping up. And still creeping! Not by much but about a pound a month. WHY??? And what can I do about it. My consultant just says, it will settle down eventually but it really bothers me. 

Chridster
Posted by

Hi Busycat,

Are you going off what the scales say or are you taking measurements as well? It's just that from your profile you are very active and I'm wondering if you are just putting on lean mass e.g. body recomposition.

Just out of curiosity what are your T4 and TSH levels?

Cheers

Busycat
Posted by

Hi, no I'm a full dress size bigger. And a bit, I'm storing stomach and back fat which I never did. My bmi is still OK but not what I want it to be. I have no idea what my levels are but I get tested every three months and he says they are right in the middle. 

barbaral
Posted by

Hi Busycat,

I would strongly urge you to start asking for the results and tracking them so you start to understand how different doses change how you feel and how your body reacts. Sometimes a dose that's a bit too high can make you put on weight because it can make you hungry all the time, just as a dose that's too low can mean your metabolism slows down. I would never advise anybody to accept when the doctor says the results are 'fine' 'ok' or 'right in the middle' and doesn't tell you what the numbers are.

Busycat
Posted by

Hahaha. No my consultant is lovely and does tell me exactly what my results are I just don't really take notice. I'm definitely not eating too much. I'm a bit of a gym bunny and keep my calories at 1400 a day plus I walk 1800 steps a day. I'm 51 and I've never had weight issues before. Somebody said that selenium b6 and zinc boost your T3 stimulation? 

Lass
Posted by

Hey there C,

If your levels are sitting within range and the consultant is happy with them, I'm not sure I'd be looking to try and alter them with supplements.


One thing I did wonder, and I hate to say it, but I wondered if you had considered age as a factor? At different stages of life, our bodies change on us and can do odd things - for example the phrase 'middle age spread. Could it be possible that you're menopausal, or pre-menopausal, so weight is increasing due to those hormones rather than thyroid hormones?


Lass

Xx



barbaral
Posted by

We had a member a few years back who was always urging us to have a few Brazil nuts a day for the selenium, but you don't actually know if you have any problem with 'T3 stimulation' because you don't have the blood test results.  Taking supplements is something you should definitely discuss with your doctors - even ones that seem quite innocuous can have unexpected impact on how your thyroxine works. 

Busycat
Posted by

Thanks for this, its easy to attribute everything to the cancer isnt it. Anyway, been to see GP who agrees i may well be menopausal!! ARGHHH.  Hes unsure about HRT with suppressive thyroxine so going to ask my consultant. Dnt know if anybody else knows about HRT and suppressive thyroxine teratment?

Cat

Lass
Posted by

Hey there Cat,

It's very easy to think that everything is cancer related after a diagnosis, I think we're all probably guilty of doing it at least once!

I'm afraid I don't know about the interaction of HRT and thyroxine, but I'm sure that Geri will..... if my stupid phone will let me tag her that is....

Ok, so apparently my phone will only tag at the start of a post. Lol. Least it worked!

Lass

Xx

Geri - Macmillan
Posted by

Hi and thanks  for tagging me in this discussion.

I’m sorry to hear about the weight gain. Once you’ve had thyroid cancer it’s not unusual to think that every new symptom must be related in some way.  There are numerous menopause symptoms and some of them can be really unpleasant.

HRT can help and having had thyroid cancer shouldn’t exclude you from having HRT. Some GPs will be happy to manage this, or you could ask for a referral to your local menopause clinic. Most NHS sexual health clinics have a menopause clinic as part of their service.

 

There are a few different preparations of HRT. Some are estrogen alone and others are a combination of estrogen and progestogen.

 

Higher levels of oestrogen can influence the free thyroid hormones in the blood. The free ones are more active and do all the work. If this happens you can be left with hypothyroid symptoms. If you had a normal functioning thyroid, then your body would naturally compensate for this. Being on a supplement your body isn’t able to do this.

 

Thyroid function tests should be done in the first 3 months of starting, stopping or changing HRT, and thyroxine dose changed (increased) if needed. If you do go down the route of HRT then make sure your doctor knows this.  

 

You may be interested in  how doctors diagnose menopause

 

If you want to read about the menopause in general and managing symptoms; The Menopause Matters website has some useful information. It also has a very good forum and advice on managing symptoms without HRT.  

 

 

I hope this is useful.

 

Best Wishes

 

Geri

Thyroid Cancer Information Nurse