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EM2WL stopped working due to thyroid issues?
07-02-2014, 07:58 PM
Post: #1
EM2WL stopped working due to thyroid issues?
Wondering if anyone here is dealing with thyroid issues and has been actively following EM2WL. I have NOT yet been diagnosed, but both my mom and grandmother passed on from hypothyroidism, so I'm pretty much certain to get it (I turn 40 next month). I have been on the bandwagon for 3 years now and had awesome results, but last year I started gaining fat despite any diet or exercise changes. I was gaining up to 2 lbs a week earlier this year until I started adjusting my numbers in desperation (I really could care less what the scale says - I am down to 2 pairs of pants that fit. TWO. The rest are too tight to button or pull up). Right now I am at 1300 cals and 2 hours of exercise a day to STOP gaining. Which is absurd, my cut is 1920 and has always worked for me. Anything above 1300 - I start packing on the pounds again. Something is seriously messed up here, and my doctor is certain it's hormonal.

I am curious as to what your symptoms were prior to diagnosis, and most importantly - when you got your hormones back under control, were you able to pretty much go back to your previous EM2WL values, or did you find you had to tweak them for a while (ie, reset for several weeks/months)? I am paranoid about what this low calorie intake is doing to my metabolism, but I can't afford to go out and buy new clothes right now. My endocrinology appointment is at the end of the month, I hope to just stop gaining until then and then get back to a healthy intake.
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07-03-2014, 02:38 AM
Post: #2
RE: EM2WL stopped working due to thyroid issues?
Hey - some of the EM2WL experts may have something more official to contribute, but a few questions...

Your mom and grandmother died from hypothyroidism?? That's terrible, did they not receive treatment?

Secondly, are we talking Hashimotos hypothyroid or other?

I only ask because I suffer from hashi's, and low thyroid, and also used to think that I had to eat extremely low calories in order to not gain weight, due to the low thyroid. However I have since found out that this can be kind of a vicious circle. Restrictive dieting and over-exercising in and of itself can lead to low t3, which I had, and the only way to fix that is to eat more. But if it's Hashi's (which I also have), that's autoimmune, and you should be medicated straight away, especially if there have been deaths in the family because of it. And Hashimotos would explain the sudden onset of symptoms, not caused by restrictive dieting as you point out you have been eating more for three years. It would could explain why the eating more was working for you before, and now it's not. My bet would be that once you started the t4 replacement, the weight loss would start to happen within 12 weeks. I am sure I have read of other women having success on EM2WL with low thyroid issues.
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07-03-2014, 08:02 AM
Post: #3
RE: EM2WL stopped working due to thyroid issues?
I honestly do not know the nature of the hypothyroidism. My grandmother died before I was born, and I grew up with the story that she died from heart disease. My mom had food poisoning in 2007 and stopped breathing; she was rushed to the hospital and found to be in a hypothyroidic coma. She had symptoms but she had always explained them (and I had no clue what hypothyroidism was at that point) - the hair loss was genetic, her mom had had it too. She was always cold due to low blood pressure. Her skin was dry because she had fair skin, painful joints due to arthritis. When the doctors diagnosed her with hypothyroidism she said she "knew" she had it because her mom had had it too but she didn't want to be a burden to anyone (yes, she was that kind of mom). She passed away a week later from the damage it had done to her heart. Because of all of this, I have been extra vigilant about my own health. I refuse to put my kids through that. All I know about her type of hypothyroidism was the doctors said it was extremely treatable with just a pill. They had a great prognosis for her until they discovered the heart damage.

I have only had a TSH test done at this point but the levels were normal. There are 3 endocrinologists in town and the earliest I could get an appointment with any of them was July 30th. So my hands are tied on that. Would the TSH levels be affected by Hashimotos? I know there are numerous thyroid deficiencies that only show up in T3 or T4 tests - and some even not at all.
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07-03-2014, 03:49 PM
Post: #4
RE: EM2WL stopped working due to thyroid issues?
That is awful, just awful Sad
Any good endo will also test for antibodies which will show up Hashimotos. It affects the TSH and T4 levels in the same way and being hypothyroid, but because it is autoimmune it slowly eats away at your thyroid, so you have to be on pills for life. But once you get on the meds things should pick up. But you are 100% correct to be extra vigilant about it in your circumstances.
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02-03-2015, 07:24 PM (This post was last modified: 02-03-2015 07:28 PM by tillymonstar.)
Post: #5
RE: EM2WL stopped working due to thyroid issues?
(07-03-2014 08:02 AM)wookiemouse Wrote:  I honestly do not know the nature of the hypothyroidism. My grandmother died before I was born, and I grew up with the story that she died from heart disease. My mom had food poisoning in 2007 and stopped breathing; she was rushed to the hospital and found to be in a hypothyroidic coma. She had symptoms but she had always explained them (and I had no clue what hypothyroidism was at that point) - the hair loss was genetic, her mom had had it too. She was always cold due to low blood pressure. Her skin was dry because she had fair skin, painful joints due to arthritis. When the doctors diagnosed her with hypothyroidism she said she "knew" she had it because her mom had had it too but she didn't want to be a burden to anyone (yes, she was that kind of mom). She passed away a week later from the damage it had done to her heart. Because of all of this, I have been extra vigilant about my own health. I refuse to put my kids through that. All I know about her type of hypothyroidism was the doctors said it was extremely treatable with just a pill. They had a great prognosis for her until they discovered the heart damage.

I have only had a TSH test done at this point but the levels were normal. There are 3 endocrinologists in town and the earliest I could get an appointment with any of them was July 30th. So my hands are tied on that. Would the TSH levels be affected by Hashimotos? I know there are numerous thyroid deficiencies that only show up in T3 or T4 tests - and some even not at all.

My mother (and possibly even my father) had what I think was damage from a thyroid condition left untreated. My mom passed from complications of diabetes, which she also only found out about after she almost died from a diabetic coma. angry

Then she got pneumonia a few months later and her body was so run down, she just couldn't fight the infection. My dad passed from a sudden heart attack a year earlier. I was 19 years old when this happened so I can totally relate and am sitting here nodding my head about your vigilance with your health. I'm doing the same by getting to the bottom of this thyroid disease. I am so glad I found this forum and hoping I'll get my metabolism in order this year and be able to live a long and happy life with my two daughters!

I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease called Hashimoto's Thyroiditus about 5 years ago. It's a real PITA to figure out, the symptoms are all over the place so I've been researching how to heal/stop the attack on my thyroid for years now. I suggest you get tested for the following:

1. Complete metabolic panel (sex hormones as well?)
2. Lipid panel
3. Vitamin D
4. Iron tests - hemoglobin, hematocrit, ferritin
5. Thyroid- FT4, FT3, Antibodies (TPOab, TgAb), reverse T3, TSH
6. Blood sugar-- fasting glucose, HbA1c, fasting insulin
7. B-12

I'd also say that if you are diagnosed with just a hypothyroid (praying for you mama that you are just hypo and don't have Hashi's as it's SO much easier to treat) that you ask for natural desiccated thyroid hormones (Armour, Nature-Throid are the two big brands) rather then Synthroid which is synthetic and I've read a lot about it making the condition WORSE. This website really helped me understand a lot more, though IMHO it's crazy overwhelming! laughing Worth looking into, however: http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/

If you have symptoms or questions for me, please feel free to PM!
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02-04-2015, 06:34 PM
Post: #6
RE: EM2WL stopped working due to thyroid issues?
Thank you all so much for your replies and stories. As for an update - I'm still at a standstill here, but have managed to completely lose all faith in the medical profession. At least my primary care physician is in my corner, but the specialists I've been seeing are genuine quacks. (and no, I'm not usually a doctor hater, my husband is one!)

The first endocrinologist did not run any further bloodwork or tests. It was literally a 5 minute visit. He said it was normal aging weight gain and was about to walk out of the room when I said "That's it??!" To which he replied, "You can try going off birth control pills and see if that helps" and left. Complete waste of my time.

My PCP was very angry about this and sent me to a gastroenterologist. At this point, the weight gain was insane - it was only around my middle, I was very bloated and looked 6 months pregnant! After a CAT scan, endoscopy and colonscopy, I was diagnosed with "mild gastritis" and never received any kind of follow up. I ended up calling 2 weeks later, the receptionist had to track down the doctor because the results I was sent said "continue medication." I wasn't ON any medication. I heard him say in the background, "Tell her to take Nexium or something." Gee, thanks.

This also ticked off my PCP, who then sent me to a very well known endocrinology clinic in a major city almost 2 hours away. I met with the doctor on a very cold day, I was completely bundled up and looked quite fluffy. He told me the usual spiel of how we lose muscle mass as we age, which slows our metabolism and makes us gain weight. He said he would order a bazillion tests to rule anything out, but the bottom line was I was eating too much (I was at 1300 cals at this point, mind you - a good 500 under my cut) - he said I should be at 1100. And I needed to lift heavier weights because I didn't have enough muscle (at the time, I was doing STS Total Body in preparation for my SECOND round of STS, a 6 month pyramid this time. I can outlift Cathe on many sets weight-wise).

I had my follow up appointment 2 weeks later, I had dropped down to 1100 calories as instructed and was miserable. This time I met with a nurse practitioner at the same clinic. It was 75F out and I had on a tank top. He asked me about what the doctor had said and I told him about the calorie intake and not enough muscle mass. He looked at me and said "1100 calories is way too low. 1300 isn't even enough! And you're lifting too much, you're bulking up. All your bloodwork looks absolutely perfect though, so I can't say what's going on here. But it's not endocrine related."

*sigh* So no thyroid, yay! But still a mystery on this abdominal weight gain. I'm thinking of transitioning to gluten free to see if that makes any difference.

Other than that, I'm basically going to say screw it and do what makes me happy and keep buying bigger clothes if I have to. Back to lifting heavy, eating more and intense cardio on my cardio days. I enjoy those things.
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02-10-2015, 05:23 AM
Post: #7
RE: EM2WL stopped working due to thyroid issues?
I'm so sorry you have dealt with such idiotic doctors. My guess is that they didn't do the right tests for you and couldn't care less. Idiots. I think you have the right idea at this time to just carry on with what you enjoy. I'm upset for you!
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04-22-2015, 10:41 PM (This post was last modified: 04-22-2015 10:42 PM by tillymonstar.)
Post: #8
RE: EM2WL stopped working due to thyroid issues?
So I just read your update... and I was compelled to respond. So, you're on hormonal birth control? I have to tell you-- get off of it if you can. It IMHO ruined my hormonal balance and I'm STILL struggling to get off that rollercoaster + having two kids. I also was convinced the Mirena IUD was a great *alternative* and now they are in a class action law suit because it caused *some* women to get hypothyroidism! This might be your answer... Is there anyway you'll consider a more natural alternative? I'm proof that fertility awareness method works (I've spaced my second born based on it's principals) but lol you really have to be diligent in knowing signs when you are ovulating and abstaining. That can be tricky. Anyway-- it sounds like you are finding your way however-- I would suggest getting off and away from anything hormone-altering.
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04-23-2015, 03:24 AM
Post: #9
RE: EM2WL stopped working due to thyroid issues?
I have the mirena and it's wonderful. From what I understand it has such a low dosage of hormones that they can't really leave your uterus. I'm super sensitive to just about everything, (like a cup of green tea keeps me up for hours, and I get side effects from everything) birth control pills wrecked me and made me a complete hormonal mess, even the low dose ones. The mirena hasn't given me any noticeable side effects, but has actually help stabilize my moods from the excess estrogen I was getting from pills. There is also another IUD called the paraguard that has no hormones at all, but instead kills sperm by being made of copper, but it can make periods super heavy and painful.

I also had hypothyroidism, but once I started eating more, and got off the birth control pills, my levels normalized and all symptoms went away. Hypothyroidism and under eating really go hand in hand, because mine didn't develop until a few years after my eating disorder started.
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04-23-2015, 01:58 PM
Post: #10
RE: EM2WL stopped working due to thyroid issues?
I have been off all birth control since last October now, hubby got the big V so I don't have to worry about it. I still don't know what the cause of the odd weight gain was, but it's stabilized as I've been upping calories. I started wearing my Fitbit again and my TDEE looks to be in the 2600-2700 range - I was crazy undereating! I've worked my way back up to 2100 calories now and will continue until I hit maintenance, then do a 12 week reset over the summer. I'm pretty sure I've nailed the culprit tho - I've gone from 1100 calories to 2100 and haven't gained a pound!
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