All About ME! · Health · Weightloss.

How A Natural Weight Loss Supplement Left Me Needing Medication for Life


Apologies for the slightly sensationalist title, I felt like a Daily Fail reporter for a second there, but I needed to grab your attention. I know that for every post like this, there’ll be a post extolling the virtues of the very same product, or a person who thinks that we all worry too much and shouldn’t restrict ourselves, but I was asked to share this story by the lovely Lisa at The Mummy Whisperer as she thinks this might help others. She’s passionate about helping Mums to reach their weight goals through healthy living and this post totally backs up her ethos.

Back in about 2002, I was 18 and in a horrible relationship (although didn’t realise how horrible it was at the time). We didn’t go anywhere or do anything, life was spent either at work or in front of the telly with a takeaway and my weight crept up. A friend at work was dieting and I decided to join in to try to shift a few pounds, so I started a High Street stores equivalent of Slim Fast and also bought some of their own-brand slimming supplements. I’ve looked on their site today and they don’t appear to sell it anymore, but there are equivalents out there.

At the time, it didn’t occur to me for a second that something made of kelp, a completely natural product, could make me ill so I took the tablets despite not really feeling that they were making a difference. I lost some weight and gave up on the dieting, choosing to try to improve my lifestyle a bit but something was amiss.

I can’t remember which symptom came first, but the next year saw me losing patches of hair, developing skin conditions, feeling so fatigued that some days it was like walking through jelly, gaining weight again, having headaches, anxiety attacks, irregular periods, swelling around my throat and neck…the list goes on.

I went back and forth to the doctors and had blood tests, several rounds of the same tests in fact, but sometimes they were totally clear, sometimes they showed my thyroid levels to be slightly low or slightly high. The doctors refused to give me any tablets to help with the symptoms and I basically spent a miserable year feeling ill and depressed with an untreated case of Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.

Life went on and the symptoms seemed to recede, until about 2006 when I started to feel the symptoms all over again, only this time it was worse. I honestly felt like I was about one step away from slipping into a coma. This time, I was diagnosed with an under-active thyroid (hypothyroidism) and prescribed thyroxine to bring my levels back up to normal as they had got dangerously low. During all of this, I spoke to my doctor and while he was asking some questions, he asked if I’d ever taken any weight loss supplements. I told him about the kelp and it was like a lightbulb went on over his head. He explained that while iodine can improve thyroid function, it can also aggravate autoimmune thyroid disorders and cause permanent damage.

I may have suffered from Thyroiditis anyway and it may have gone away and never come back, but because I took a pill that was sold with no warnings, no restrictions and no information, I’ll now have to take tablets for the rest of my life. And the thing with an under-active thyroid is, even when your levels are okay on paper, it’s still possible to feel the symptoms, so some days I feel rubbish no matter what I do.

My advice is this: don’t take ANY supplement for weight loss without doing some research, speaking to a doctor and really thinking about what you’re doing. Natural products can still have a profound effect on the body and shouldn’t be taken lightly, even if they are for sale on the shelves of a high street store. And most importantly, weight loss is a really simple equation:


Don’t let snake-oil salesmen baffle you with bullshit and let you believe that you can’t do it without their ‘wonder product’, because you can and it’ll be so much more satisfying when you do.

More info:

 5 Lies About Your Thyroid Disease That You’re Likely to Hear

Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis


31 thoughts on “How A Natural Weight Loss Supplement Left Me Needing Medication for Life

  1. I never really trust natural weight loss supplements. I’d rather control my eating and consume more healthy food. I know some people who took weight loss supplements and immediately regretted a few months later. Thank you for sharing your story! Hope you’re doing well now.

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  4. This was the first time I tried the Lady Soma Detox – and before this, I have never used any kind of diet pill, I always relied on self-control, diet and exercise, but that didn’t seem to suffice anymore after I turned 40. The Lady Soma Detox actually worked for me. Also, no weird palpitations or jitteriness, although I drink 3 cups of coffee a day as well.

    I lost 8 lbs in 1 mo, but even better, I lost inches in my target areas and my clothes fit great again. I already recommended the Lady Soma Detox to family and friends and plan to take it for another couple of months. Good luck!

  5. Its a very nice topic and good information shared by you. A person should be careful to take any type of fat reduction supplement. Thanks for sharing your wisdom with us….

  6. It is always a better idea to talk to a doctor before taking any weight loss supplement. Because not all weight loss supplements are perfect to use and suitable for you. A doctor can give you the best advice on which weight loss supplement is perfect and most suitable for you.

  7. This is real good information, because people should be very careful before taking any kind of weight loss supplement or any other supplement, as sometimes they could do you more harm than good. It is always advisable to talk to your doctor before taking it.

  8. Risks are really always high when taking supplements, we should always be precautious and consult our doctors before taking it. A friend’s referral cant be enough, it’s always best to consult and consult doctors for safety purposes.

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  17. Hopefully this great article of yours will highlight the dangers of diet pills. I must admit though that I use a product that is safe and natural an it is helping me to lose weight gradually and I feel safely. The company’s (innoveat) main marketing campaign seems to be exactly what you are saying to avoid these dangerous substances. I’m sure there are other safe diet pills out there but you have to tread extremely carefully.

  18. Thanks for sharing your story. Just because they put the word “natural” on something, doesn’t necessarily make it so – especially when it’s in pill form. Your advice is great: “Move More, Eat Less”. I’d add: Eat less fast food and more healthy, organic food.

    1. Thanks for commenting, Maria. I think a large part of the problem, and something that I’ve been guilty of myself, is that people want weight loss to be easy and it’s just never going to be, which is why the diet industry is estimated to be worth anywhere between £2bn and £60bn per year. People will buy anything that they think will improve the weight loss process. I’m not a believer in ‘organic’ myself, but the sentiment about healthy food is spot on.

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  20. That’s really interesting and definitely a message that needs to be shared. I would never have thought about things like that having possible side effects 🙁 Thanks for sharing xx

    1. Thanks for commenting Cheryl, I think that’s why these things can be SO dangerous, there’s not even an inkling of what side effects could happen because we’re programmed to believe that ‘natural’ means safe.

  21. Ahh thank you for mentioning me lovely, that’s very sweet of you!

    This is such an important message I hope hundreds of Mums read it. I know it’s horrid to feel over weight, but the media makes us focus on losing it quick which in the best case scenario often just doesn’t work, but in your case has had such a detrimental effect it’s awful.

    I love supplements, herbs and alternative therapies. But not for dieting. And not without first checking with a doctor and getting really good advice.

    1. I think that’s exactly it, it’s not about being healthy or reaching a reasonable weight and body shape, it’s about how thin you can get in how short a time. If you take a look at the magazine stand in the local newsagents, I’d go as far as to say that 100% of the magazines aimed at women between 18 and 55 will have at least one mention of weight loss on the covers and it’s always “How you can lose weight and still eat” or “Lose weight fast”. Thanks for commenting.

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