I have a thyroid and a weight loss problem. I heard Dr.Oz say diabetics shouldn't take levothyroxin because it could be harmful. On WebMd, it says that it can prevent you from losing weight and that taking any diet medication can be harmful. I need to know because I'm having a great deal of problems losing weight. Exercising and walking is extremely painful. I limit portion sizes and have stopped eating things I shouldn’t. I'm desperate to lose weight. I'm 6'2" and 364lbs. Can you help?
Levothyroxine is a replacement for the hormone that the thyroid makes to help regulate metabolism. If your thyroid is unable to make enough of this hormone, it is likely that your doctor will prescribe it for you. If you don’t have enough thyroid hormone, you may experience weight gain, fatigue, dry skin, constipation and a slow heartbeat. Levothyroxine and other thyroid medications are not weight loss or diet medications; they are intended to supplement or replace the hormone that your body makes naturally. I was unable to find any indication that people with diabetes should not take levothyroxine. However, it’s possible that this medication may affect blood glucose levels, at least when one first starts taking it, so doses may need to be adjusted. If your levothyroxine dose is not regulated, it may make losing weight more difficult (which is why you need to have your thyroid hormone levels checked regularly), but not impossible. You should talk to your doctor or pharmacist, however, who can provide you with more guidance and information about levothyroxine than I can. In terms of losing weight, my advice to you is this: ask your doctor for a referral to a dietitian who can help you with an eating plan that will help you lose weight, and can also provide coaching and support. A dietitian can also discuss other weight loss options with you, such as joining a commercial program (Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, etc.), or a a local weight loss support group, trying a meal replacement program, and bariatric procedures . He or she may also be able to help you get started with exercises that don’t hurt your knees and back. Or, your doctor may be able to refer you to a physical therapist or exercise physiologist for an exercise program that’s tailored to your needs. This may include a water exercise program at your local Y or community center or using an armchair exercise video, for example. It can be hard to go it alone when you are trying to lose weight and get healthy, so take advantage of the resources that are available and, most importantly, find a source of support to keep you motivated and on track. Finally, talk to your doctor about the pain you are having. Again, there are options for helping you deal with this, such as medication, massage, acupuncture and specific exercises that can strengthen your muscles.