Hypothyroid - will Medifast work?

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I lost my thyroid to cancer about 7 years ago. Since then, my weight has gone up with the births of my children and it has been a struggle to keep it off. I finally got up to 260, which is not good when you are 5'7"..

I have tried every diet on the market without success. I have changed my Synthroid dose more times than I can count. My doctor's answer to the weight loss is "eat less and move more". So I gave up... until now.

My new doctor switched me to Armour Thyroid and I feel much better than I have in.. well quite a while. I am doing well with Medifast. I have stopped craving junk food and seem to have more energy. In fact, when I eat junk food (anything fried or pizza) now for dinner, it makes me slightly ill because I can actually "feel" the grease. Yuck!.

I had begun losing weight at a slow but steady pace, which was great. Then this morning, BOOM!... a 3lb weight gain. I ran on the treadmill for 35 minutes last night for the first time in over a month. I ate right yesterday, even less than I normally do because I wasn't hungry. I drank water instead of soda.

So WHY did I gain 3lbs overnight? Seriously??? Days like this are when I wonder if I am doomed to be fat for the rest of my life. I am at 243. I want to get to at least 175. Right now, I wonder if that is even possible. (sigh).

I will not let this deter me. It is a temporary setback in a much bigger important picture. Surely this weight will leave. This too shall pass.....

Comments (49)

I was on Armour but now my pharmacist is unable to get it , so I'm back on synthroid. Where are you getting Armour?..

Comment #1

I weighed once a week when I started and was happy with the results. We 4 I decided to weigh every morning. BIG MISTAKE. Some days I would gain 2-3 pounds and lose them another. I spent all week thinking about that scale. Ended the week down in weight.

I went back to once a week and enjoy life much better...

Comment #2

The Armour is coming from a hospital pharmacy. My doctor's office is next to a major hospital here in Nashville, and apparently they are able to still get the Armour thyroid. Now my dose is fairly high, so I take 5 small pills a day, but it still works.

I have decided to weigh in once a week on Sunday mornings. Our scale is evil in that it is one of the doctor's office style with the slide bars and a level, so it does not leave much room for error, just heartbreakingly honest weight.

But I will not let the number on the scale get me down. Day by day I see an increase in energy, a decrease in appetite, and looser clothing. I am losing my cravings and the diet is getting easier to stick to. That in itself makes everything worth it. Is it a struggle when my family is eating chips, cookies, and steak? Yes. Is it worth it? Absolutely...

Comment #3

Missy - I'm amazed you can still get it. So far, I am very happy with having my meds compounded to be exactly what I need. And I only have to take 1 pill instead of several..

Oh, and BTW - Don't turn down steak!! 5 oz is definitely an OP option (one of my favs actually)..

Comment #4

Hi Missy - Glad to see your not letting the scale get you down. I weigh in on Sunday too! I was weighing in everyday and it was making me crazy with the ups and downs. I usually end the week down, so that is all I look at now. I still hope on occassionally, but try not to.

Have a great day..


Comment #5

I have issues with my thyroid as well. It started when I was in the military and we had no clue as to why I was gaining. I finally moved posts and the doctor there knew exactly what the problem was, but that was already 30 lbs in. Then I had two kids and blam here I am again. I live overseas so the meds here stink, but I'm getting test on schedule...

Comment #6

You are doing great. and you've gotten great advice here. I will just add that you are not doomed to be fat. when I first started Medifast many moons ago, and I had a "stall" I would just say, hey, I have lost xxx amount of weight, even if heaven forbit I never lost another lb, I am sooo much better off. that thought would "tide me over" until my weight dropped, usually the next week or so. That was a bit over 4 years ago, and 165 lbs ago...

It can be done and you can do it too. just never quit !!.


Comment #7

GI Jane.

I use to think I had a Hypothroid but the doctor checked it last year and it was fine..

Before I started Medifast I use to eat three meals a day and a snack. I could only lose maybe 3 pounds a month and would workout for an hour 5 days a week. Usually run for an hour on the treadmill. Didn't get anywhere with this method. Met my health coach and He said, your doing it wrong. I got on Medifast and starting loosing weight like crazy..

I use to weigh myself everyday and sometimes twice a day. Got so discouraged that I would go on eating binges, this was when I was a teenager. Got into a vicious cycle and behavior. Now a days I weigh in only on Saturdays and helps me to stay honest with myself for the rest of the weekend and the whole week. When you get a craving just think that it will take you almost a week to get back on. I have fallen into the cravings in the past and then was screwed that whole week feeling awful.


Comment #8

I can't tell you the difference I had between synthroid and amour. It was like night and day -.

By the way Target pharmacies carry Armour - they're one of the few nationwide pharmacies that do...

Comment #9

I take Armour and I get it from a pharmacy in canada. (I live in the US) It is trough mail order...

Comment #10

I can't seem to find a doctor who will prescribe Armour or Naturethroid (because I am very rural and not a lot of options for doctors who think outside the box). If anyone has any suggestions would you please pm me? I am in NY state (near Montreal Canada). I would travel for a doctor who would prescribe..

I imagine ordering through mail order from Canada you still needed a prescription from a doctor in the US?.

I'd appreciate anything..


Sorry for thread drift, but everyone has already offered what I would add...

Comment #11

Have you tried googling a naturopath? Or talk to your local chiropractor for suggestions!..

Comment #12

Also, wanted to say that I take the generic brand of Synthroid (levothyroxine) and I use it in combination with Cytomel, which is the T4 hormone (Synthroid and brands are T3) or visa versa. Make sure your Dr. prescribed a comprehensive TSH panel to make sure you are taking the right thyroid supplement. Ask him about Cytomel, many have had great results in combo with Synthroid. Good luck and feel free to message me if you need to!..

Comment #13

Armour (and other porcine based brands) thyroid has become very difficult to get (manufacturing issues), which may be why your Dr. is reluctant. If you are rural, it may be that your local pharmacy just can't get it. I take a compounded version of Armour ordered from the Womens International Pharmacy (through the mail), but you must have a prescription for the med. You need to see an endo that will do a full thyroid panel on you to determine what you really need and at what levels. Compounding is just about the only way you can get Armour these days without having to take 1/2 a dozen pills to make up the appropriate dose...

Comment #14

I go to someone in Wilkes-Barre PA, It is far but may be worth it. I am not necessarily a huge fan of the individual (although I have only seen him 1 time so far) but he does prescribe it. And yes, even though it is from a Canadian pharmacy, you still need a prescription...

Comment #15

He did say once everything was worked out I wouldnt have to come very often at all, (1 time a year). I drive an hour to see him because there was no one in my area...

Comment #16

I should have been more specific. I have full panels run every 3 months. I have ultrasounds done every 6 months. I have Hashimotos and have been dealing with thyroid related issues for 10 years. I wish to take a natural thyroid medication whether it be Armour or a compounded type. I just want a natural med, I want to get off the synthetics..

I have not been able to find a doctor who will prescribe Anything except levothyroxine, because they do not BELIVE in it. Get me to a 1 TSH and that is all they care about - had to fight to get a doctor who would allow the TSH to go to 1. First doctor thought 4 was perfect..

The pharmacies around here carry it and Cytomel, but won't tell me who prescribes. If there was a naturopath near me I would certainly have opted for that. I have even discussed at length with my GP & OB neither of whom are willing to prescribe because they don't know enough about it....

I have already traveled 2 hours from here to a "more open minded endo" that doesn't even want to try Cytomel - they didn't even look at my history before saying no..

Thanks all, but I am still looking for a doctor. Anyone who might know of a doctor, GP, endo, naturopath- I don't care who - lol) that they could recommend would be appreciated..

Sorry so lenghty, but hopefully it makes more sense now that I am just looking for a doctor.



Comment #17

Marilees thanks that sounds fine honestly, and I would probably drive there to be seen. My OB said she would work with an endo and run all the bloodwork and do the checkups once for them once I found an endo who would prescribe for me..

I am about 8 hours from NYC, but that was going to be my next step. So it looks like Wilkes Barr is closer to me!.

I will pm you.


Comment #18

Kk - I get that some doctors don't like Armour. Believe me, I have been to some that simply refused to use it and forced my on levo. I then went and found new doctors that would actually listen. One thing that I have been told is that the actual dosage in porcine-based meds are variable, unlike the exact dosage you get with synthetics. It can vary from batch to batch, or so I've been told. Synthetics are much more exacting in regards to the dosage you take being identical to the one you took last month..

My body seems to only accept Armour. Even the generics don't work for me. I truly hope you can find a doctor that will take the time to sit with you and discuss your test results. But do keep in mind that just because you want a more natural medication, does not necessarily mean that that is going to be the best thing for you as far as levels are concerned. I would suggest my dr. but she's on the other side of the country from you..

Best of luck to you...

Comment #19

That stuff you were told De about it not being reliable is something that the drug industry (levo) have brain washed doctors into believing. It is not true. I have done a lot of research on it. It is very annoying how so many doctors dont do the research...

Comment #20

Here is good place to look for doctors if you want to change.


Comment #21

Well, possibly, but I have been told the same thing by 3 pharmacists, a naturopath, and 2 Endo's that DO prescribe Armour and have never questioned my preference. Also my personal experience over the last few years supports it. It wasn't until I started compounding my armour that my levels have started to stabilize. After the reformulation of Armour just before it became hard to get I was all over the scale. Trust me, I have done my research as well. I have been without a thyroid since I was 8 years old.

One thing that I have learned about the internet is that you will find as many studies disagreeing with a subject as supporting it. There is a study out there for everything supporting both sides. We can always find something that tells us what we want to hear. I generally take what I read as interesting, but not necessarily factual. I am far more inclined to listen to the professionals that I trust with my life than something that I read on the internet...

Comment #22

I watched this doctor, who has written a book on Hypothyrodism, on our local talk show. I am attaching the information below. I think he may be right. I quit taking my meds for over a month just to see how my blood work would read, it was totally in the normal range when they checked my thyroid. Has me wondering my I took the medication, anyway, this book may shed more insight about thyroid issues that are more than the thyroid. See below **.

Millions of Americans suffer from hypothyroidism, but most don't know their condition is actually an auto-immune disorder, not a glandular problem. We talked with Datis Kharrazian, DHSc, DC, MneuroSCI, author of the new book, Why Do I Still Have Thyroid Symptoms When My Lab Tests Are Normal?, joined us to talk about the tests you should get and why a gluten-free diet could be the key to better health for those with hypothyroidism..

For more information, visit Dr. Kharrazian's website...

Comment #23

To people looking for Doctors and Armour try looking at these sites under resources tabs. Both of these have information about Docs ( actually I see a open minded, and capable physicians assistance some of the time) who will give Armour. I have mine compounded and mailed to me. I wish you all much luck. This is a hard thing to deal with and Armour can help so much! I hope one is near you, but even a 6 hour drive might be worth it!!!.



Good Luck! Niki..

Comment #24

I need to send this to my mom. Her Dr. put her on thyroid meds years ago, and never told her why. She is of the generation that Dr. knows best and will do pretty much what they tell her. I am trying very hard to get her to be more assertive with her questions and meds.

I think thyroid issues are as misdiagnosed as fibromyalgia is. Feeling tired and gaining weight? Must be your thyroid. Here have some meds.......

Comment #25

I had my thyroid removed/ablated as well and have been taking either Synthroid or the generic ever since. It's worked for me - although my levels do fluctuate with life changes. I do know Armour is available here as I've had patients on it in the hospital where I work. I really hope you've gotten this straightened out - I notice this post is over a month old...

Comment #26

Yeah I'm on the levothyoxine too and well it seems to help me lose weight but we see how it goes!..

Comment #27

Hi, I recently (Monday) was perscribed Armour Thyroid for Hypothyroid. I have noticed someplaces mention that taking this med while eating soy can hinder your body from absorbing the medication. I forgot to ask my doc while I was there. I am wondering if any of you have altered what medifast meals you are eating or if you are eating all the items????..

Comment #28

I take mine about 3-4 hours before eating. I set my alarm to get up and take it and go back to bed. It is a pain but seems to work...

Comment #29

I take my meds at 6 am and eat breakfast at 8. Calcium can also have an effect on your meds being absorbed so keep that in mind as well...

Comment #30

Got a refill on my prescription of Armour yesterday. I was looking at the label to get some info for a member that asked about compounding and found a label that I had not seen before. "Take 1 hour before meals or 2-3 hours AFTER meals". This is ANY meal, not just soy based. My Dr. also told me to take my thyroid alone, not with any other vitamins or supplements, which is what I had been doing.

Just thought I'd share...

Comment #31

So, I take it that this thyroid med you are on is better than what I am currently taking which is..levothyroxine...and if so I wonder if I can get it here in Tx! I may have to check into this......

Comment #32

Not necessarily. It's better for ME, but my situation is completely different from yours or most others. I am on complete replacement, not medication to regulate my thyroid. My body does not accept synthetic thyroid...

Comment #33

Yeah, I remember reading that in some of your threads about these thyroid problems and such, but also you dont have yours anymore. Did you ever find out where your levels were kept at? I think mine need to be lower to make me feel better, but then again I'm losing weight each week and nothing is going to be "normal" until my body gets regulated which is kind of frustrating sometimes..

Also, I'm considering getting my whole thyroid gland out too, and I'm going to eventually switch doctors and find a better one than the one I have now, I'm not to happy with this one, but for now I can cope!.

Wish more doctors knew what the heck they were doing with thyroid!..

Comment #34

I recently was diagnosed with hypothyroid and have been on 50mcg of levothyroxin for 8 weeks, I have just had my first followup blood test and will be seeing the doctor again on the 19th. I know that my level is not better because I am still having to take ibuprofen everyday for the joint stiffness and muscle aches. So I hope she raises the amout of meds by enough to get that to stop..

How long can it take to get regulated and should I be seeing a specialist for this instead of my internist?.

I have given this condition to myself, because of a lithium overdose (a long story) and I am living life now but little things like this keep creeping up on me..

I understand that the condition can cause problems with trying to lose weight, are there any successful Medifast folks here that have lost weight despite the condition?.

I am also a gastric bypass veteran (10 years ago) and a vegetarian of 25 years..

Please share...

Comment #35

I have never heard of levo or any other thyroid medication being used for joint stiffness and muscle aches. Thyroid meds are used to replace or control the levels of hormones in your body generated by the thyroid gland. The joint stiffness and aches could be caused by any number of things, including simply being overweight or getting older. You might try taking 1000mg of a supplement called MSM. I take this daily because of my fibro pain and have found that it does help some. If the joint stiffness continues, I do suggest that you find a specialist (rheumatologist) to take a look at you...

Comment #36

From The Mayo Clinis website on Hypothyroidism.

At first, you may barely notice the symptoms of hypothyroidism, such as fatigue and sluggishness, or you may simply attribute them to getting older. But as your metabolism continues to slow, you may develop more obvious signs and symptoms. Hypothyroidism signs and symptom may include:.



Increased sensitivity to cold.


Pale, dry skin.

A puffy face.

Hoarse voice.

An elevated blood cholesterol level.

Unexplained weight gain.

Muscle aches, tenderness and stiffness.

Pain, stiffness or swelling in your joints.

Muscle weakness.

Heavier than normal menstrual periods.

Brittle fingernails and hair.

My symptoms are advanced probably because of the lithium overdose in Jan 2009, so I was just wondering about other aspect of the problem..

Btw, cute profile pic De!..

Comment #37

Thanks. Interesting. I really had never heard of the joint muscle ache thing before. Go figure. I still maintain that it could be any number of things causing your pain, not necessarily thyroid levels. I will be very interested to hear how your levels come back, if you don't mind sharing..

I have been to both internists and Endocrinologists and find that endo's are better equipped to deal with thyroid issues. Something to think about. I still suggest trying the MSM. If it can help with joint/muscle pain issues associated with fibro, it could probably help you as well. You should be able to find it at Wal Mart or Walgreens. It's certainly not going to hurt.

Just some suggestions to get you through until your next appointment. Hang in there...

Comment #38

Wow, I knew that these were symptoms of being hypo, but just because all of this stuff says it on the web md do you think you may have thyroid problems? I doubt that you do, you could just be hurting due to age, or maybe your weight. Grant it myself I have aches and pains all over, but Im hypothyroid and I didnt find out until last august 09 and well I have felt better some days, but some so not! But I surely hope you dont have this disease, it's not real fun! Good luck!..

Comment #39

From the FAQ page:.

"Can I use Medifast if I am currently using thyroid medication?.

Individuals with hypothyroidism can use Medifast under the direct supervision of a physician. Your physician may want to monitor your labs and medications, and may suggest using a soy-free Medifast Meal around the time of day that you take thyroid medication. Within four to six weeks of starting the Medifast Program, you'll want to get your thyroid levels rechecked to help ensure that you are receiving a therapeutic level of medication. For information on soy-free products, please refer to our Allergen/Dietary Information (PDF).".

From the Medifast Soy Overview

"Thyroid Function.

One concern has been that soy protein may adversely affect thy-.

Roid function and may interfere with the absorption of synthetic.

Thyroid hormone. A review of 14 clinical trials by Messina &.

Redmond (2006) that assessed the effects of soy on at least one.

Measure of thyroid function, found that with only one exception,.

Either no effects or only very modest changes were noted. Thus,.

They concluded that there is little evidence in euthyroid, iodine-.

Replete individuals, that soy foods adversely affect thyroid func-.


In contrast, some evidence suggests that soy foods, by inhibiting.

Absorption, may increase the dose of thyroid hormone required.

By hypothyroid patients. Further, in some individuals who con-.

Sume marginal amounts of iodine, soy foods may, at least theo-.

Retically, increase the risk of developing clinical hypothyroidism.

BOTTOM LINE: Soy has no adverse effects in euthyroid individu-.

Als. Individuals with hypothyroidism on synthetic thyroid hor-.

Mones do not need to avoid soy in their diets. General guide-.

Lines are to consume soy meals three hours before or after taking.

Thyroid hormones; closely monitor labs; and ensure adequate.

Iodine is consumed."..

Comment #40

My TSH in April of 2009 was 2.02 and in June of this year it was 7.54, I was started on 50mcg of Levothyroxine and then 6 weeks later my TSH was 4.04, my doctor wants it to be between 1 and 2, so she raised the med to 88mcg and I go back again in 6 weeks for a recheck.

My question is, is that normal, I thought that hypothyroid came on slowly not in less than a year..


Comment #41

Alexis - I just don't know. I hope your Dr. is exploring the possible causes for this raise in TSH, not just monitoring your meds...

Comment #42

De, no she isn't, in fact I saw her today about a knee problem I am having and I asked her if she had any ideas on why it went up like that and she said no, and when I said I was curious about why she didn't order a full thyroid workup (T3, T4, etc instead of just TSH) she looked at me and said 'If you feel like you are getting sub-standard care here, you can go elsewhere" Wow, where did that come from?.

Anyway I came home and made an appt to see an endocrinologist, AND I am looking for a new primary doc..


Comment #43

Shees! Definitely find a good endo. You will likely have all manner of tests run so they can get answers. Good for you for not taking no for an answer!! Take care and keep us posted on the results...

Comment #44

Wow, isnt that a piece of art work of a dr! That was very rude for your dr to say that and not even really care! Good greif! Also, with your levels that high are you feeling any of the symptoms? Thats high and my highest was 11.4 I believe and let me tell you, I thought that I was going insane...but I'm assuming you just got diagnosed with this....anyways..hope you get that under control soon!..

Comment #45

Ah doctors - gotta love 'em. In 1998 I had a toddler son who had a virus. It was the week before Xmas so I was checking my glands to make sure I wasn't getting his virus - felt a big lump on the front of my neck..

Looooonnnnggg story short - the doctor told me not to freak out, I was a hypochondriac, that all I had was a goiter. I pushed and pushed - turned out I had 2 large cancerous tumors on my thyroid..

I had a baby at home and they just wanted to push me off. Lesson learned! If you don't feel right keep pushing until someone gives you a complete answer. And it has been my experience that a full thyroid panel should be standard - if you haven't had proper labs, definitely go somewhere else!..

Comment #46

I lost my thyroid to cancer about 7 years ago. Since then, my weight has gone up with the births of my children and it has been a struggle to keep it off. I finally got up to 260, which is not good when you are 5'7"..

I have tried every diet on the market without success. I have changed my Synthroid dose more times than I can count. My doctor's answer to the weight loss is "eat less and move more". So I gave up... until now.

I am also a thyroid cancer survivor. I still have 1/2 of my thyroid due to an error by the surgeon. Now I have nodules on that remaining lobe that have to be monitored every 6 months through a sono & blood work. I go to Sloane Kettering in NYC & I am on suppression therapy....high doses of synthroid.

My Epstein Barre was at all time high prior to MF, probe due to stress. My BP went sky high with the increased levels of synthroid. I was a mess. I had insomnia, night sweats, aches & pains, palpitations, low memory retention, swollen joints & hair loss. The worst was the anxiety that triggered migraines & vomiting from my nerves.

Even though I trust my endo & my GP I decided to take the bull by the proverbial horns....which is how I got here to MF. I would have been a bad chemistry experiment with BP meds, anxiolytics for my nerves, ambien for insomnia, nexium for the reflux. All I take now is my one small synthroid in the AM & I go about my day feeling pretty damned good..

I can tell you Medifast is the ONLY thing that has worked. I tried them all too. I am still hypothyroid. But my Epstein Barre load is low & my BP is normal. I am sleeping & feel I have my life back....almost. I still have 82lbs to go..

I have two kids (9 & 12) that are my total existence & reason for even being. I work full time & still managed to balloon up to 245lbs at 5'5" in 9 years (from 165). All while eating a very good healthy diet that would not cause weight gain in 98% of the population.

I totally understand your journey & frustration. I have not deviated in the weeks since I started on 6/25 yet my weight loss is slow. Much slower then others here. The weight gain can just be your body hanging onto water due to increased sodium or not drinking enough water. DO NOT GIVE UP!.

I wish you all the best & congrats on beating thyroid cancer & making yourself a priority by being on MF..

God Bless & be in touch. It is nice to share "war" stories with a fellow survivor. Perhaps we can help each other out through this journey..


Comment #47

Good endos are so hard to find. It is a disgrace that so many more woman are having thyroid issues not to mention the cancer rates are going up & yet they treat us like hypochondriacs. Apparently we do not know our own bodies. Makes me mad! Advocate for yourself & do not stop until you find a doc that is helpful & listens to you. I spent 2 years being told I was fat, lazy, depressed due to post partum etc...until FINALLY a doc took pity on my as I burst into tears in his office. He found my cancer.

This is a website I go to & find helpful & info. Thought I'd share.


Comment #48

Ugh! I was 8 when they found my cancer. There were no tests run (that I remember). Our family Dr. was concerned by the goiter on my neck and referred me to a surgeon, who took one look at me and had me scheduled for surgery within 24 hours! They determined I was probably born with it as it was a very slow growing type. It is SO hard to find decent doctors these days. I've been living with this for 41 years.

To find a Dr. that will actually LISTEN to what I have to say is like pulling teeth. I've had 2 since my first Dr. that I truly liked and trusted out of many...

Comment #49

This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.


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