used to be really skinny
hypothyroidism in the naturally thin... 5/25/2008 11:34AM Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
I was always really (some might even say "scary") skinny as a child & all through high school (bmi=16-17, while eating at least 2000 cals/day), but when I got to college....

1.) I gained 20 lbs over 3 years (despite eating less/training a lot more); even when averaging 1300 cals/day (+training at least an hour/day), I don't lose weight...
2.) have really dry skin/lips (so dry it bleeds in the winter, no matter what type of lotion I use)
3.) feel fatigued (even a bit depressed) most of the day
4.) freeze (or have to wear layers of clothes) if the thermostat is below 75

My problem: since my BMI is around 19.5, I seriously doubt very many doctors will take me seriously (since hypothyrodism is something they usually see with overweight people). However, my current weight is "overweight" for me. I was just wondering if anyone had ever heard of (or experienced) hypothyroidism in a naturally thin person.....
The Real Truth
RE: hypothyroidism in the naturally thin... 5/25/2008 11:48AM - in reply to used to be really skinny Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
It's not hyperthyroidism; it's called "getting older". Your metabolism begins to slow after your childhood and teen years, and your body becomes a little less efficient at burning energy.
Notakicker
RE: hypothyroidism in the naturally thin... 5/25/2008 11:59AM - in reply to used to be really skinny Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Just make the appointment and ask for the thyroid test. What the heck. I did, for the same reasons, and mine results were negative.
LoneSurvivor
RE: hypothyroidism in the naturally thin... 5/25/2008 12:07PM - in reply to used to be really skinny Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Do you suffer from:

Constipation
Itchy Skin
Insomnia
Water Retention, Feeling Bloated?
Sugar Crashes?

eating less/training a lot more tells me your metabolism is shot and you are probably suffering from adrenal fatigue and vitamin/mineral deficiencies.

back off the training and get your caloric intake back up to 2000-3000.

I know that is hard to do when you are 20 lbs overweight, but once you get your metabolism back by eating consistently 3-6 meals a day...you should be able to train better and get your weight back down...
cdavis
RE: hypothyroidism in the naturally thin... 5/25/2008 12:12PM - in reply to used to be really skinny Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
I was in basically the same situation as you and had no idea why. I went to the doc who ran some tests and found I had hypothyroidism. It is NOT just fat people and any good docs know it.
used to be really skinny
RE: hypothyroidism in the naturally thin... 5/25/2008 12:21PM - in reply to LoneSurvivor Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
DEFINITELY the constant bloated feeling...and I DO watch my sodium intake/drink lots of water...
used to be really skinny
RE: hypothyroidism in the naturally thin... 5/25/2008 12:21PM - in reply to LoneSurvivor Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
DEFINITELY the constant bloated feeling...and I DO watch my sodium intake/drink lots of water...
RD
RE: hypothyroidism in the naturally thin... 5/25/2008 12:28PM - in reply to used to be really skinny Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
It sounds like you probably have self-induced hypothyroidism resulting from years of not taking in enough calories (2000 and definitely 1300 are way to low for most serious runners). For a while having a "negative" energy balance kept you at a low weight, but eventually your body kicked into "survival mode" by significantly slowing down your metabolism (increasing TSH levels)--causing weight gain, dry skin, fatigue (your body's way of telling you to conserve energy), etc.

The cure is eating more calories (small, frequent meals, plenty of good fats and protein).

Good luck!

Here is a study that shows elevated TSH levels in anorexics that was reversed with adequate nutrition:

http://www.psychosomaticmedicine.org/cgi/reprint/50/6/600.pdf
baba wawa
RE: hypothyroidism in the naturally thin... 5/25/2008 12:50PM - in reply to RD Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
RD has it right.

You really do need to treat yourself like someone with an eating disorder and learn to eat healthy again.

I graduated HS at 125 lbs 5'6". I am a dude. I went on a caloric restrictive diet and ran PRs my senior year....but it went downhill from there. In my mid-20s. my weight ballooned to 175 at one point and I was experiencing a lot more "survival" mode symptoms - basically nervous breakdown.

And to treat my problems, the doctor put me on prednisone which prolonged my issues and weight problems.

It took me a while, but I am down to 155lbs and eating 3-6 meals a day. I am not at my ideal running weight, but I do not go on low calorie diets to acheive that weight.

Your long-term health is much more important than your short term running PRs.
baba wawa
RE: hypothyroidism in the naturally thin... 5/25/2008 12:54PM - in reply to used to be really skinny Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
For a runner, watching your sodium intake and drinking lots of water can lead to death.

Say it with me "I have a eating disorder and I need help!"
med student
RE: hypothyroidism in the naturally thin... 5/25/2008 1:27PM - in reply to RD Reply | Return to Index | Report Post

RD wrote:

but eventually your body kicked into "survival mode" by significantly slowing down your metabolism (increasing TSH levels)--causing weight gain, dry skin, fatigue (your body's way of telling you to conserve energy), etc.


Here is a study that shows elevated TSH levels in anorexics that was reversed with adequate nutrition:

http://www.psychosomaticmedicine.org/cgi/reprint/50/6/600.pdf


Increasing TSH levels will not slow down your metabolism!! TSH stands for thyroid secreting hormone. In a healthy person, thyrotropin releasing hormone from the hypothalamus stimulates TSH in the anterior pituitary which stimulates the release of T3 and T4 from the thyroid. The thyroid hormones increase metabolism, so TSH increases metabolism.

I admit I did not read your article, but high TSH levels with a slow metabolism seems to me like a case of thyroid insensitivity to TSH. In such a case, the thyroid never secretes T3 and T4 (which are supposed to inhibit TSH secretion). Thus, the pituitary is tricked into thinking that it has not yet secreted TSH, and it keeps on secreting it.

Thus, high levels of TSH can be seen in some hypothyroid patients, but this is not the body trying to slow down the metabolism; this is an outcome of the pathology.
Scrunt
RE: hypothyroidism in the naturally thin... 7/22/2008 11:09AM - in reply to used to be really skinny Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Hello,
I have the same problem but I am older, I am a 31 and skinny as a rail, I shake real bad with a little coldness and very dry skin, hoarsness in my voice anxiety, and my TSH was normal but my ft4 was low the doctor said it was nothing, now 6 months later I feel very tired, losing my hair and tingling in my finger tips and feels like a lump on my neck, is anyone's symptoms like this and how will I tell the doctor that I think I have Hypothyroidism when I am very skinny?
Shaggy
RE: hypothyroidism in the naturally thin... 7/22/2008 11:21AM - in reply to med student Reply | Return to Index | Report Post

med student wrote:

Increasing TSH levels will not slow down your metabolism!! TSH stands for thyroid secreting hormone. In a healthy person, thyrotropin releasing hormone from the hypothalamus stimulates TSH in the anterior pituitary which stimulates the release of T3 and T4 from the thyroid. The thyroid hormones increase metabolism, so TSH increases metabolism.

I admit I did not read your article, but high TSH levels with a slow metabolism seems to me like a case of thyroid insensitivity to TSH. In such a case, the thyroid never secretes T3 and T4 (which are supposed to inhibit TSH secretion). Thus, the pituitary is tricked into thinking that it has not yet secreted TSH, and it keeps on secreting it.

Thus, high levels of TSH can be seen in some hypothyroid patients, but this is not the body trying to slow down the metabolism; this is an outcome of the pathology.


Med student...keep studying. TSH stands for thyroid stimulating hormone. And high TSH is seen in MOST hypothyroid patients (before treatment). High TSH usually means hypothyroidism.
abacus
RE: hypothyroidism in the naturally thin... 7/22/2008 11:28AM - in reply to used to be really skinny Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
A BMI of 19.5 is not "overweight" for anyone. You really sound like you're dealing with an eating disorder. Eating 1300-2000 calories a day is a problem for anyone who is also training 1 hr+ every day. Please talk to your doctor about this.
fpoiu
RE: hypothyroidism in the naturally thin... 7/22/2008 12:04PM - in reply to Scrunt Reply | Return to Index | Report Post

Scrunt wrote:

Hello,
I have the same problem but I am older, I am a 31 and skinny as a rail, I shake real bad with a little coldness and very dry skin, hoarsness in my voice anxiety, and my TSH was normal but my ft4 was low the doctor said it was nothing, now 6 months later I feel very tired, losing my hair and tingling in my finger tips and feels like a lump on my neck, is anyone's symptoms like this and how will I tell the doctor that I think I have Hypothyroidism when I am very skinny?


Go back and tell them that you want a T3 test in addition to a TSH test...sounds like you now have raynauds, which is correlated with hypothyroidism. get educated first before you go in. there are some good threads on here.

i swear that docs still think you have to be fat to have this problem. i had several of the symptoms you mentioned including the raynauds. i went to the doc and told her i wanted a test since it runs in my family. she himmed and hawed and said "well, since you're having symptoms, i'll test you but you don't look like you are". a week later test came back positive.
dsrunner has the week off
RE: hypothyroidism in the naturally thin... 7/22/2008 12:39PM - in reply to med student Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Med Student has it right.

In your case hypothyroid is probably saving you from disappearing entirely. Most extremely fit runners show signs of altered metabolism/ catabolism. This is protective.

You may want to look at the connection between low magnesium, pth levels, and hypothyroid. some of the research on vitamin D and low thyroid is also quite interesting.
dsrunner has the week off
RE: hypothyroidism in the naturally thin... 7/22/2008 12:50PM - in reply to med student Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Med Student has it right.

In your case hypothyroid (or hypometabolic condition?) is probably saving you from disappearing entirely or more serious physical breakdown. Most extremely fit runners show signs of altered metabolism/ catabolism. This is protective. You can't diet your way to a national class time. One of my frustrations
with LR is the push to get kids training mega mileage and the solinsky is fat myth that gets pushed here.

You may want to look at the connection between low magnesium, PTH levels, and hypothyroid. some of the research on vitamin D and low thyroid is also quite interesting.

good luck kid
pjb
RE: hypothyroidism in the naturally thin... 7/22/2008 1:20PM - in reply to used to be really skinny Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
I was diagnosed with it half way through my 2nd year of college. I was rail thin then and now, and I ate tons of food both then and now. I had typical symptoms of fatigue and sensitivity to cold and they went away with medication. I still take in at least 4000 calories a day and at just under 6'2" I've never weighed more than 152 lbs, whether I've been running or not. It doesn't necessarily make you gain weight (it may have been affecting my body composition when it was untreated, but I didn't gain weight), and it doesn't necessarily mean you're anorexic. Just get a blood test and listen to your doctor, not LR. Simple as that.
Running fan
RE: hypothyroidism in the naturally thin... 7/22/2008 3:43PM - in reply to used to be really skinny Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Old person here with hypothyroidism! Diagnosed when I was quite thin. TSH is Thyroid Stimulating, (not Secreting). If TSH is high, it is trying to get the thyroid to give out more hormone. When you take a replacement hormone, the TSH thus drops. Please note, there is disagreement in the medical field about just what the normal range for TSH should be before diagnosing hypothyroidism. Under the newest guidlines, many people who would have been told that they were within a normal TSH range would now be considered hypothyroid, and thus treated. Please be aware that we are all different, and a good doctor will treat the patient and their symptoms, and not just a TSH lab test number.
Stolen Bikes Ride Faster
RE: hypothyroidism in the naturally thin... 7/22/2008 3:50PM - in reply to Running fan Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
6'5" and 170lbs and I was just diagnosed with hypothyroidism. Running sucked, was tired after 10 minutes of running. Just started meds 4 weeks ago. You can be naturally skinny (not sure I ever weighted over 175 in my life) and have it.