Jimmy Moore's thyroid adventure

My friend, Jimmy Moore of Living La Vida Low Carb, describes his thyroid experience here.

As Jimmy points out, he was looking for a way to jump-start a 50-lb weight loss. In my experience, low thyroid hormone levels ("hypothyroidism") are an exceptionally common cause for weight gain. Correcting even marginal hypothyroidism can facilitate weight loss, often resulting in 10 or more pounds of weight loss within the first month.

Unfortunately, Jimmy's thyroid hormone panel proved normal: TSH 1.3, thyroid hormones free T3 and free T4 in the mid- to upper-half of the reference range.

I say "unfortunately" because it is really an easy, inexpensive, and benign solution for losing weight. (I don't, of course, wish that Jimmy or anyone else develops a thyroid condition. But it really can provide gratifying weight loss results when thyroid function is low.) Jimmy might consider taking his oral temperature first thing in the morning as another means of assessing the adequacy of thyroid function.

Perhaps you will be luckier than Jimmy and have thyroid dysfunction that can be corrected and jump-start your weight loss program. Fingerstick thyroid test kits like the one Jimmy used are available here from Track Your Plaque.

Comments (17) -

  • Jimmy Moore

    1/10/2010 3:10:02 AM |

    Actually, I have been taking my temperature first thing in the morning for the past two weeks, Dr. Davis.  The average reading when you throw out the highest and the lowest is 96.5.  What does this mean and what can I do to correct the issue?

  • Jenny

    1/10/2010 2:43:19 PM |

    Long term LC does something to some of us that isn't detectable by any lab test including the fancy ones but it is very real. That is why I can't  eat at VLC levels for prolonged periods any more. It took over 2 years of VLC eating to develop symptoms the first time, a year the second time and now after 2 months of VLC I'm half dead and freezing cold.

    Some kind of controlled carb cycling might help. I have been experimenting with modified alternate day fasting to do intense calorie changes which seems to be raising my body temperature, but unfortunately, it is tough to do with unstable blood sugars.

    It makes sense that the body responds to prolonged weight loss by slowing everything down to conserve energy and keep us alive and that this is happening in a way that involves ALL the hormones that regulate weight, which includes a lot more stuff than thyroid.

  • Anonymous

    1/10/2010 3:07:05 PM |

    My basal temp in the mornings averages about 96. My doctor wrote a prescription for Armour Thyroid, but it has been back ordered at the pharmacy for months.
    All I can do is wait to try this.


  • William Trumbower

    1/10/2010 6:19:01 PM |

    I believe the temps indicate an hypometabolic state.  The most common is hypothyroidism type 2.  My first step is to supplement with Iodine such as Iodarol 12.5 daily.  The next step is to try and eliminate the toxins in your diet that inhibit thyroid function.   See the list in Dr. Stars book.  If your temps stay low, consider supplementing with desiccated thyroid (if you can get it) The best product is naturethroid by RLC labs.  I would start low (30mg or 1/2gr) and slowly increase using your symptoms and temps to guide you.  Don't forget to test your hormones.  Low testosterone can cause a hypometabolic state.  If you supplement with natural testosterone, you should consider a small amount of progesterone and a product like Testanex to help decrease the aromatization of testosterone to estradiol.

  • Marco

    1/10/2010 9:57:45 PM |

    Dr. Davis - I think I am in the same boat - my T3 is normal (326), but T4 & TSH are borderline low (0.68 & 1.49) with morning temp of 97.3.  My doctor says these levels are "normal", but I suspect they are partly causing my abdominal fat issues.  So what exactly is your "easy, inexpensive, and benign solution"?

  • Anonymous

    1/11/2010 8:55:19 AM |

    I just used this method over 2 months or so to get iodine levels up....using around 1/3 bottle of tincture of iodine.


    Did notice some increased mental clarity...I think.  No extra weight loss that I can tell...though I did change my diet.

  • Diana Hsieh

    1/11/2010 7:19:56 PM |

    Hi Jimmy,

    I've been reading up on your thyroid testing, and I'm curious as to whether you have any of the other classic symptoms of hypothyroidism apart from the weight gain -- like lethargy, poor memory, feeling cold, muscle pains, depression, etc.  

    I was diagnosed as hypothyroid in November.  I've been on 50 mcg of Synthroid, with absolutely zero effect so far.  (I got new labs done last week, including a reverse T3.  I'm waiting to hear from my doctor about the results.)  My numbers aren't terribly bad, although my TSH was 3.23 in November.  And I have those symptoms I mentioned above in spades, such that I've been unable to work.  (I'm very unhappy about that!)  Also, I have a single-nodule goiter.  My temperatures are like yours -- averaging 96.5 a few weeks ago, and now just slightly over 97.

    I posted more details here:




    I've found a local source of desiccated thyroid, so I definitely want to switch to that.  

    I've learned that hypothyroidism is rampant in the women of the family, and both my mother and sister have a goiter.  I suspect that iodine deficiency -- brought to my attention by Dr. Davis (thank you!) -- is part of my problem.

    A friend of mine has similar symptoms (albeit milder), but her TSH is normal.  And I've read tons of accounts from people with fairly normal lab values, but with pretty clear hypothyroid symptoms.  (I'm not sure if their Free T3 and T4 were good, or if just their TSH was normal.)  Oddly, my Free T3 and T4 aren't terrible, although in the lower-middle of the reference range, despite my elevated TSH.

    In any case, I just wanted to encourage you to keep us apprised of what you discover.

    Thanks to you and Dr. Davis!

  • Dr. William Davis

    1/11/2010 8:51:42 PM |

    Hi, Jimmy--

    Personally, I would first take iodine supplements (e.g., kelp or drops) for 2-3 months and reassess. You might then opt for a low dose of thyroid, preferably both T3 and T4 if thyroid does not improve.

  • Electronic Medical Records

    2/10/2010 6:34:59 PM |

    Hilarious but true...the weight loss factor of this disease is really beneficial...hard to deal with the rest though.

  • lynn

    2/18/2010 6:21:26 PM |

    Dr. Davis, Jimmy has thyroid antinbodies. You may say they are low, but do you think it is healthy to have antibodies against one’s thyroid!? Seriously... Jimmy DOES have a thyroid problem and it is called Hashimotos.

    Furthermore, iodine can worse Hashimotos, so a person with Hashi’s should make sure to test their levels before supplementing iodine.

    Also, most hypothyroid patients need their FT3 to be at the TOP of the range; not just mid range.

    Finally, Jimmy has many of the clinical signs and symptoms of a thyroid problem: weight issues, high total cholesterol, coldness and fatigue.

  • Jeans

    11/2/2010 9:29:04 PM |

    Perhaps you will be luckier than Jimmy and have thyroid dysfunction that can be corrected and jump-start your weight loss program. Fingerstick thyroid test kits like the one Jimmy used are available here from Track Your Plaque.

  • Breast Augmentation Los Angeles

    11/30/2010 1:06:18 PM |

    That is true that there is a definite loss of weight when struck with thyroid.But that is the least there are other much worse symptoms which better be avoided.

  • porcine thyroid

    2/8/2011 10:25:47 AM |

    Hi!I have mixed symptoms of hypo and hyper thryoid. I take porcine thyroid daily. I feel much much better now

  • Anonymous

    3/18/2011 4:13:07 PM |

    My morning temperature is usually around 96.7.  My TSH is 1.244. Free T3 is 11.0.  Free T4 is 3.5.  I have mild adrenal fatigue.  I need to lose 5-7 pounds, and it is very difficult.  I have given up grains and junk food.  I mainly eat eggs, meat, vegetables, and nuts - no fruit. Most people who eat like me would be very thin.  My gynecologist suggested going on a low dose of Armour Thyroid.  I am confused.  He says my T3 and T4 are high; so why would I go on Armour?  Any suggestions or ideas will be greatly appreciated. I have not been able to find a doctor that I trust.
    P.S.  I am taking kelp capsules daily.

  • Anonymous

    3/18/2011 4:49:54 PM |

    I'm Sandra; I just posted earlier.  My doctor's assistant just called and said that she gave me T4 and T3 numbers, not Free T4 and Free T3.
    My Free T3 is 2.1 and my Free T4 is 1.5.  My TSH is 1.244. So, from my understanding, my T3 is below normal. This makes more sense to me.  I asked them if I could go on Naturethroid instead of Armour.  She is checking with the doctor.  Still would appreciate suggestions or ideas.
    P.S.  Dr. Davis, I  appreciate your blog.  I check it regularly.

  • Allen Sawyer

    3/28/2011 5:57:53 AM |

    This is I think one of the best blogs I've come across this year. Keep up.

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