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Huge breakdown. Please help me...

Hi...this is completely off topic, but I'm comfortable on this board. I'll also post on Health and Fitness, but thought I should start here.

Here's my history...been on thyroid meds for hypothyroidism for about 1 1/2-2 years. Been on anti-depressants for 6 months.

Here's what's going on...since October, I have gained 30+ lbs. My eating habits haven't gotten worse. They are about the same, if not a little better. I've been better about eating more fruits and veggies than I used to and I rarely eat fast food now. Aside from that, in the last 6 months - year, my eating habits have not gotten worse. Prior to this, at my worst, I weighed 180. I know weigh 207 (as of 2 weeks ago...afraid to weigh again cause it just gets worse).

I exercise 2-4 times/week. 2 of those times is a 1 hour Power Sculpting class at the gym the rest is at home doing cardio machines, hand weights and pilates. I have always been on and off about exercising. But in the last couple months, I've been really good about it cause of the significant increase in my weight. Has it helped? No.

Who do I see? I finally had a breakdown this evening and told my husband what I weigh now (he hasn't noticed a huge change in my body, thought it was just a few lbs) and he couldn't believe it. He says that there must be something wrong with my metabolism or something and that I should see a doctor, dietician, someone. I don't know where to start.

Also...now that I am on anti-depressants and I think about it...I wonder if I really have a thyroid problem. When I began to think I did, I had all the classic signs, but now that I know the signs of depression, they are quite similar. Was I just in a depression at that time and put on thyroid medicine when I didn't need it? I do get my levels tested and they say they are normal while on meds. The reason they said I needed meds because over 2-3 years (they check every year), they had seen an steady increase in my levels and just before I was put on meds I was on the *high* end of normal. I think this was preventative.

I just feel so lost and confused about this. Any advice? Thanks.


Tue. May 9, 8:23pm

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It sounds like you are doing all the right things. Don't panic. You are taking care of yourself and making great changes. I would definitely see your doctor and get a professional opinion. Hang in there! Don't give up. We all support you and want you to do well. Good luck and keep us updated.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006, 9:16 PM

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Yes, you are taking care of yourself and asking all the right questions. Definitely talk to another doctor and a nutritionist. Do you walk? Try adding a walk to your schedule each day, I mean really each day. It can help with depression and to take off the weight.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006, 9:30 PM

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I am hypothyroid, too. It took about 2 years after I was diagnosed to start feeling like my old self again and get back to regular exercise - I continued to gain weight after being at normal thyrod levels. I had my metabolism checked and despite having my thyroid and TSH levels corrected (hope your docs measure both, the TSH is much more sensitive than only T4 levels), my metabolic rate is nearly off the low end of the scale. I have been reading a lot of the strengthening threads on PT, and am starting to slowly build up my muscles and get 4 - 6 cardio sessions per week, too, in an attempt to try to increase my basal metabolic rate. I really find that the weight lifting has made a wonderful difference in how I feel - a lot more energy, and I can even feel some muscle where I didn't before. So I recommend that you ask your doc to refer you to someplace that can measure your BMR. We'll help you all we can!

Tuesday, May 09, 2006, 10:47 PM

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Your doctor may also be able to tell you if the anti-depressants are contributing to the weight gain (some can) and you might see what their opinion is on switching to an alternative.

Thyroid issues are really tough because levels can change so much over the course of a very short time.

Exercise can help your body regulate itself though - both emotionally and hormonally so if you begin upping the amount make sure you keep track of the effect that has on you so you can report it to your Dr. As the previous poster noted getting your BMR measured could be a good place to start.

Best wishes to you!

Tuesday, May 09, 2006, 11:49 PM

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I also have a thyroid problem. My endo who I have seen for the last 4 years says there is no reason for anyone to gain weight while taking the meds. He says he should be checking my levels (TSH, T4 & T3) every 6 months and he adjusts my meds accordingly. I haven't gained any weight since being in his care. I also had type 2 diabetes but have managed to lose 27 pounds so far in the last 8 months which has gotten me off the diabetes meds. My suggestion to you is this: If your current doctor who handles your thyroid isn't checking your levels at least twice a year and tweaking your med dosage you need to find another doctor. Talk to him first about the weight gain and the new anti-depressants your taking see what he says and then talk to the doctor who gave you the anti-depressants and get their opinion and then get a second opinion from another endocrinologist. If your watching what you eat and exercising like you say you are its the meds. I have a feeling your thyroid meds are too high.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006, 1:51 AM

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All I can say is get to your doctor! Please!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006, 4:53 AM

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I suspect your weight gain is because you are eating more than you admit -- do you log your food regularly? I used to read your logs on spotlight and I seem to remember many, many, blanks. When you did log there were quite a few days when you were giving in to cake and pizza cravings multiple times in a day. If you are going to do that, then you need to be doing at least 30 mins of intense cardio every day...the medical recommendation for people wanting to lose weight is 60 mins a day, and that's when eating normally, not overeating. Power sculpt will probably help you tone muscles and improve metabolism, but it's the intense cardio that's going to significantly increase your calories burnt.

Perhaps the medication is making you overeat, perhaps it's your emotions, but if you don't log every single thing you eat, honestly and regularly, then it is hard to understand the underlying cause or pattern, and it's hard for PT to help.

You've lost weight before and can do it again, but it takes consistency and it's hard work!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006, 6:03 AM

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Which antidepressant are you on? Several have the side effect of weight gain with them and it sounds as if you started gaining weight around the time you went on the antidepressant. I agree with several of the other posters, consult your physician and ask if the weight gain could be a side effect of the meds you are on. Also, how old are you? Hormonal fluctuations in your 40's or earlier can stall your metabolism, despite your efforts in the gym.

Good luck and let us know what you come up with. There is always support here.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006, 7:55 AM

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Thank you everyone for your support. I really, really, appreciate it.

Just to answer some questions that came up and make a few comments...
I'm 23. The anti-depressant I *was* on was Paxil. I was on that from October until just a few weeks ago. I am now on Wellbutrin. I do see an endocrinologist and he does send me in for bloodwork every 6 months (when I first started going it was every 3 months). I like the suggestion of seeing my thyroid doctor, then my therapist (where the anit-depressants come from), then getting a 2nd opinion with another endo. I actually have an appt with my therapist and psychiatrist tomorrow, so I'll bring it up then. I'll have to call my regular doctor for a different endo. The one that I've been going to is one of the *best* in the area, but some doctors work for one person and not another.

I'm the first to admit that my eating habits are far from perfect. But they have *improved* over the past year. I find myself making sure that I eat more fruits and veggies when it used to just be meats and starches/carbs. I'm reaching for mustard instead of miracle whip, and I'm buying fat free cheeses. I know that all of that won't make things change over night, but I was saying that those changes over the last year shouldn't make my weight increase. Yes, my log has blank spots all over it, but it isn't because I'm hiding what I'm eating...I don't intentionally lie in my log...what do I have to lose hear? It's because I just get busy and forget to log in and fill it out or update it.

Thanks again everyone. I really appreciate the ideas and support. I'll make sure to update this as I figure out what I'm going to do for sure. If anyone else has any ideas...please post them. Thanks!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006, 8:21 AM

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I think it sounds like you are doing the right things to improve your diet...when it comes to it, losing weight is best done in moderation and you can alter your diet bit by bit to what feels comfortable. No need to cut things out all together!

About the thyroid thing, my sister went through an issue and the meds helped her a lot. She was sleeping all the time and concerned about her weight, but by exercising and seeing the dr, she's come a long way!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006, 4:10 PM

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Just because you're eating lots of fruits and veggies doesn't mean you're decreasing your caloric intake - an apple is 70 cal and banana 90. If you eat 2 of each it could add up to hefty almost 300 cal - same caloric amount as in a burger patty. And fruits are high in sugar - not a good thing for people with distressed endocrine system.

Simple googling brings out a good article:
http://thyroid.about.com/cs/dietweightloss/a/losingweight.htm



Link

Wednesday, May 10, 2006, 4:30 PM

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I also take meds for thyroid been on all types of anti-depression meds. I have notice that everytime the doctor changes my anti-depression meds I gain about 20lbs but once I have been on them for a while I loose the the weight. Also in my case with the thyroid meds when my thyriod is not functioning the way it should I gain weght. that is my problem right now my meds for my thyriod are too low and I have been gaining weght like there is no tomorrow go back to your doctor and make him listen to you. there are some anti-dression meds that help you loose the weight and help you with your anxieties.

Saturday, May 13, 2006, 3:13 PM

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If you are in the NJ area, I'd recommend going to see Dr. Furhman. He is an MD who focuses on curing disease through nutrition. My best friend in HS was on antidepressants and gained 70lbs. She was able to go off of her meds, lost 90 lbs, and looks great.

Saturday, May 13, 2006, 6:21 PM

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I've got several comments. first of all, i was also taking paxil and it makes you gain a lot of weight. i got very fat on it, and i wasn't overeating at the time. I gained about 30 pounds in a 6 moth period. recently I took prozac for ppd and that also made me gain weight - that coupled with the baby weight really wasn't pretty.

something else you might want to do is take a closer look at the kind of thyroid medicine you are taking. i am also hypothyroid and i take levothyroxine, but a friend of mine who has been on that same thyroid hormone for 15 years has recently switched to another kind, called armour i believe? he swears that synthroid/leveothyroxine are terrible for many reasons. i can't vouch for this, since I've only been on my medication for 3 months and it's working for me and I feel much better - but perhaps that's worth talking to your doctor about or researching? it's really a difference of synthetic or natural hormones.

maybe somebody has something to add here, but I just thought that I'd pass that on. Could be a bad interaction of medication that you are dealing with, and one of the symptoms might be super-slowed metabolism.



Saturday, May 13, 2006, 10:35 PM

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OP with UPDATE:

First...thanks everyone for the support and ideas. I really appreciate it.

I want to try to answer some of the questions that I remember seeing. The thyroid medication that I am on is Synthroid. I have heard good things about Armour and by looking on their site, I noticed that my doctor is a prescriber of it. I plan on asking about it at my next appt.

As far as the anti-depressants go...I was on Paxil (that's what I was on for 6 months causing weight gain). My psychiatrist then switched me to Wellbutrin. First 150, then moved up to 300. After 2 weeks (just last week), I was SUCH a mess. I felt so "off balance". I was really emotional, hormonal, moody, argumentative, sleepy, had insomnia, etc. It was horrible. The only good part was, during that 2 week time period, my constant weight gain had completely stopped. Just like magic. I had consistantly been gaining about 1-2 lbs a week prior to that and it just stopped. Well, he decided that the Wellbutrin 300 is probably too strong for me, so he moved me down to 150 and added Topomax 150. I guess Topomax is supposed to have a side effect of weight loss also and is a mood balancer. So well see. I'm slowly weening myself up to 150. Right now I'm at 25 and go up another 25 each week, so it will be a few weeks before I get there. Hopefully, this works.

Also...I work with a woman whose daughter recently graduated as a dietician. I decided to ask if I could make an appointment with her at the hospital she works at and she said since I work with her mom, that she'll just meet me on the side for free. That's great! I'd like to still pay her, but I'm glad she wants to see me. Obviously, everyone knows what they need to do to lose weight. Calories in
ALSO...I ordered Turbo Jam a few weeks ago and finally got it in the mail recently. I'm so excited to get started!

Thanks again for all the support!!!

Sunday, May 14, 2006, 7:00 PM

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anti-depressants and weight

I know we all have different experiences and mine in no way is a better indicator of the effects of anti-depressants on weight than anybody else's, but I felt like it was important for people who may be considering anti-depressants to know that not everybody gains weight on anti-depressants. I started Prozac a couple of months ago and have lost 10 lbs so far. I think it really depends on the person. Good luck to all who are struggling with these issues.

Monday, May 15, 2006, 8:38 AM

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