Help… I have this thyroid issue and need to know if you have experienced this too

Thyroid problems are unfortunately so common in over 60s, and it can often feel like you’re alone in your treatment.

Thyroid problems are unfortunately so common in over 60s, and it can often feel like you’re alone in your treatment.

One such person who’s going through a thyroid issue is Brenda, a Starts at 60 reader.

She wrote to us this week, asking for your advice.

“Good morning, I am curious to find out if people who have had a full thyroidectomy had an increase in weight and if they have trouble losing weight. The medicos are divided on this”.

What are your thoughts and experiences? Share below.

  1. Can affect everyone differently. Some cant lose weight while others have no problems. Depends on whether you are hyper or hypo.

  2. If your thyroid is over active, you will lose weight rapidly, be a bit jittery etc., and if under active, you will gain weight and be inclined to be lethargic.

    • Brian Stevens how strange, I was opposite to you and all was resolved with medication at the time.

    • Faye chances are that after a thyroidectomy she will be hypothyroid. I don’t know why she had a thyroidectomy but think that thyroid function tests would be helpful.

  3. If you have had a total thyroidectomy you will have little if any thyroid tissue. This will lead to a lack of thyroid hormone, hypothyroidism. One of the symptoms of this is weight gain and difficulty losing weight. You may also feel the cold more, feel tired and generally “slow”. Your doctor should do thyroid function tests, including TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) which will be raised as the body struggles to force the production of thyroid hormones. You may need to see an endocrinologist to sort out your thyroid issues.

    • Yes Vivienne. Also the health issues that led to the thyroidectomy may be something that should be taken into consideration before a course of treatment is started.

    • I have read somewhere recently that blood tests for thyroid are not always correct readings. How else are we to find out what levels we have? I know I have 2 nodules in my thyroid but they are monitored yearly. Any tips on getting a correct reading.

    • Cynthia. Your levels of thyroid hormones may be in the normal range. Another indication is the level of TSH ( thyroid stimulating hormone) which is produced by the pituitary gland. This hormone is produced, as its name suggests, to maintain the production of thyroid hormones and this may be raised while it “forces” adequate production of T3 and T4, the thyroid hormones. Your clinical symptoms should indicate your thyroid state. Nuclear Medicine thyroid scans will also help show if the nodules are under or over active when compared to “normal” thyroid tissue. If you feel your treatment is not addressing your issues maybe you should see an endocrinologist.

    • Diana  

      Excellent advice, was going to write something very similar

  4. PS I have hypothyroidism but mine is the result of an autoimmune disease. Mine is successfully treated with Thyroxine but that may not be appropriate for you.

  5. Quite sure if we can get another brand of thyroid meds in Australia, lots more people with lose weight. I have experienced this and thinking of importing my meds from another country, where the brand I used to take, is available. Since changing meds, I have gained 20kg!!!!

    • Helen. Maybe you should consider having your thyroid function rechecked including TSH ( thyroid stimulating hormone). Sometimes your medication levels need adjusting. In the 35 years I have had hypothyroidism I have had to occasionally adjust my meds.

    • Nita Crompton I have changed doctors 3 times now in 2 years, to try and get to the bottom of this problem. According to them, my thyroid results are normal. I am desperate, because the weight gain started, not to talk about the tiredness, brittle nails, etc, after I changed to the local meds. I was on the previous meds since 1992, and never ever had any drama. We live on Gold Coast, Australia, and I am seriously hunting for someone to sort out this problem. To import the tablets on a permanent basis, I would have to go through the TGA in Australia, and get permission. Thanks for your concern.

    • Yes. It has worked well for me. I understand your frustration. I believe that “normal” results may be normal for one person but maybe not for another. I am sorry to hear of your problems.

    • Helen this is a little off the thyroid subject. Have you had your blood glucose levels checked? I have autoimmune hypothyroidism and also Type 1 diabetes. Before my diabetes was diagnosed I found it more difficult to control my weight. I also experienced tiredness before the symptoms of diabetes became obvious. It may be worth checking on.

    • Kathy Green . Yes I do. It like my type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease. I am fortunate in that my hypothyroidism is controlled well with thyroxine and has been for 35 years.

    • I also have hashi’s Nita Crompton and am now also insulin resistant as well as having fibromyalgia. My blood results are in normal range but I have a lot of things going on like splitting nails thinning hair. I class myself as lucky as a lot of young women have these problems and still have to look sfter families. The extreme tiredness is awful.

  6. kay schultz  

    I cannot lose weight no matter how hard I try

  7. I had a total thyroidectomy three years ago ,,,I did find it hard at first, but I researched a lot of dietetic advice ,,,,
    I have just lost 1/2 stone,,,purely by cutting down on carbohydrates
    I make Ninja smoothies for lunch instead of a sandwich ,,I am totall vegetarian

  8. Ps. I find the dose may be the problem,,,I find I am better on 150 ug /day ,,,my doctor reckons I should only take 100 ,,,,,,but my body tells me what I feel best on,,,
    Always remember not to take milk fir at least one hour after your tablets ,,,my e do says best to take In A.m . Before eating b,fast ,,,,,have them with fruit juice. Wait an hour before cereal or coffee

    • Over dosing may cause heart palpitations and symptoms of hyperthyroidism. It can also cause osteoporosis. Your body may bring thyroid hormone levels into the normal range by decreasing the levels of TSH.

  9. Have been on replacement for nearly 40 years .best thing I ever did was go to a “HRT” well as an ‘Endocro oligist’ All hormone levels were checked. Have never looked back. Worth checking it out.

  10. Patricia  

    If you had a full thyroidectomy, then i believe you were overactive. If the thyroid has been removed you are underactive.
    Hypo is under, hyper is over. Symptoms of under active are weight gain, and lethargy. You will most probably be put on Thyroxine, sometmes it takes a wee while to sort dosage out. Hang in there you will get there.

  11. Brenda, my problem was minor and rather than medicate with drugs, my doctor suggeted I take ‘KELP’. This I did and my thyroid is on track now. I guess how serious your condition is, good luck.

    • Barbara  

      How long did you take kelp before you started to notice a difference and is there any wright change

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