The thyroid did occur to me after reading your post. Lots of conditions of the body do affect the thyroid and make it sluggish. Even parasites may indirectly slow down the thyroid
For instance-- if you have liver fluke (such as I had/am getting rid of) then your liver will not be able to effectively handle metabolism as it is too stressed out from handeling the parasites and toxins. That is why I gained about 20 lbs in only 2 months-with a bloated stomach also at the beginning of Summer last year. Either I was newly infected by fluke worm- or an infestation got worse and my body started slowing down. You dont even know you have fluke worms -unless you do a bowel cleanse- and will see the dead ones- and their eggs in the toilet. That's the only way I knew-and I was shocked!
After parasite cleansing,and then stopping eating all meat and dairy and beer (only now have home-made wine occasionaly) (and to think I was on the South Beach diet and Atkins!)
Using unrefined apple cidar vinegar daily- with cold pressed olive oil-- either in salads- as a veggie dip, etc.,( Did you know that Balsamic and Applecider vinegars encourage good ph balance- but Malt and white vinegar hurt the ph?)
Getting garlic in my diet, eating raw fruits and veggies that help make the body more alkaline has helped me drop the pounds fast. I did three liver flushes which is when the weight REALLY started to come off- right after that (and I was on birth control pills for over a year prior to my first liver flush)
Its not like I starve myself at all- I eat an abundance of my favorite raw fruits and veggies, raw nuts and seeds- I toss in some dried unsulphured fruits in with my nut mixes I bring to work- and eat with a raw apple-- with cinnamon sprinkled all over it- and some sea salt!
I do feel your intestinal tract and stomach need healing. Why not try a glass of warm water each morning with two tablespoons of raw unrefined applecidar vinegar (the kind with the mother still in it- One company that makes it is Bragg's) Add a teaspoon of raw honey or Stevia if you want. This will help a little in alkalzing your acids- and if you have arthritus, you may notice it help with that also.
Have you read MH's other website (made by Jcounts) called "Obeynature.com?
If you comb through this site through each catagory, you can get some insight on how to deal with your situation.
Here is the link- and link of some articles on that site that may be of help until MH comes back from his seminar,etc to help you further.