Hey, furball! Metabolically speaking, levothyroxine should make you lose or maintain weight if anything at all. Did your endocrinologist have any other ideas?
Think it over very carefully before you consider stopping your meds because the effects could be disastrous, even fatal. You simply cannot live without thyroid hormones and if alternative medicine worked so well the pharmaceutical industry would be out of business.
* It is not recommended that you stop taking levothyroxine unless your doctor advises you to do so.
Levothyroxine withdrawal may cause hypothyroidism, or underactive thyroid. Hypothyroidism causes WEIGHT GAIN, fatigue, depression and sensitivity to cold because your body does not have enough thyroid hormone so your body processes slow down. Patients with thyroid cancer may suffer acute hypothyroidism because of levothyroxine withdrawal.
Depression and Anxiety
Reducing your dosage or stopping altogether can cause depression and increased anxiety, according to a study published in December 2005 in the “European Journal of Endocrinology.” The study found that there is a consistent pattern of increased anxiety of around 44 percent and depression of around 17 percent in patients undergoing levothyroxine withdrawal.
Thyroid hormones help in the modulation of glucose metabolism, your body’s insulin response to blood sugar. Levothyroxine withdrawal can cause a state of insulin resistance, according to a study published in the June 2009 issue of “Thyroid.” Four patients were tested after six weeks of levothyroxine withdrawal and were found to have a significant degree of insulin resistance, which resulted in reduced glucose disposal -- how fast your body stabilizes blood sugar. Blood glucose affects your body’s energy level and ABILITY TO BURN FAT.
Hypothyroidism signs and symptom may include:
Increased sensitivity to cold
Elevated blood cholesterol level
Muscle aches, tenderness and stiffness
Pain, stiffness or swelling in your joints
Heavier than normal or irregular menstrual periods
Slowed heart rate
When hypothyroidism isn't treated, signs and symptoms can gradually become more severe. Constant stimulation of your thyroid gland to release more hormones may lead to an enlarged thyroid (goiter). In addition, you may become more forgetful, your thought processes may slow, or you may feel depressed.
Advanced hypothyroidism, known as myxedema, is rare, but when it occurs it can be life-threatening. Signs and symptoms include low blood pressure, decreased breathing, decreased body temperature, unresponsiveness and even coma. In extreme cases, myxedema can be fatal.