I'm 36 and have Hashimoto's. Treated on Levothyroxine.
Whenever I start reducing my carbs below even 100, I start to have exaggerated hypo symptoms. Brain fog, saying the wrong word, cold hands, and anxiety. I have tried adding supplements such as potassium, magnesium, and increasing sodium but I still have the symptoms.
I think this is an increase in Reverse T3. The same thing often happens to me when I deal with an illness such as a bad cold or even have a change in thyroid medication dosing (up or down). My system really has trouble adjusting to change.
I'm frustrated -- at 5'5" and 195 lbs, I would really like to lose weight. I don't believe that avoiding saturated fat is healthy or that grains are healthy.
I started out following the advice from Primal Blueprint, and am looking into the Schwarzbein Principle as it appears to be a more gradual program.
Does anyone else have tips for how to adjust to LC while hypothyroid/Hashimoto's?
Responding to questions -- trying paleo because numerous health practitioners suggest dietary modifications similar to those of paleo to improve autoimmunity. Mercola, Wolf, and Furhrman would all agree on the grains issue. Trying LC paleo for weight loss.
I don't think it's the LC flu because it comes with symptoms that for me have long been associated with Hashi's flare-ups in the absence of dietary changes. Dizziness that is not improved by potassium intake, for example, and flare-up of dry eye syndrome.
My non-Hashi's twin had the LC flu for less than a week, and it was not severe like this.
asked byElisaOS (219)
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on May 13, 2012
at 04:55 AM
I second the tyrosine advice above. And I eat 2-3 brazil nuts per day to cover selenium, which is needed for T4-T3 conversion.
But then I am treated with the local equivalent of Armour, which contains quite a bit of T3. And the filler in my thyroid capsules is tyrosine... Depending on where you live (and your doctor) you could try to switch to natural thyroid and find a dose which suits you.
I have accepted that paleo will not heal my Hashimoto's and have simply adapted my treatment to the new requirements. I feel very good with a LC-version of paleo and the weight is coming off slowly.
on May 21, 2012
at 06:48 PM
I also have Hashimoto's and am hypothyroid. I went Paleo on Jan. 1st and then fell off the wagon for about 6 weeks until April when I started again on a strict Whole 30. I am losing weight but I also had a much longer adjustment period than most people. Like you, my symptoms were very similar to low thyroid. Frustrating but I stuck it out and am finally starting to feel good again. This is a very individual process so comparing yourself, even to a TWIN, is a bit fruitless.
If you are concerned, you can always have your doc monitor your levels. I'm actually getting some blood work back this week as I'm wondering how the LC has affected my levels, if at all. I'm still playing around with the amount of carbs I take in and don't know that I have found my "sweet spot" just yet. I was losing weight, but my energy was poor. After upping the carbs a little, adding more protein and putting more effort into getting proper sleep, I am seeing marked improvement with my gym performance and the inches are coming off.
These forums are great for information but it's super important to always remember that we are ALL different. I was bummed that I'd read about people feeling GREAT after four days on this plan when I was coming from a somewhat clean diet and still feeling bad after 4 weeks. Continue to tweak your diet/ratios, eat super clean and monitor your levels.
Since coming off of the Whole 30 I am noticing even more food allergies...sometimes I want to yell, "WHY AM I SO SENSITIVE TO EVERYTHING?!" but then I realize that I'm taking the steps to figure out my own body and with perseverance and discipline I can feel better than I probably ever have.
Keep with it! If you are patient and willing to adjust I just can't imagine that eating a clean diet of whole foods could ever steer you wrong.
I've read that you have to "get healthy to lose weight not lose weight to get healthy". That really allowed me to feel like I didn't have to go VLC if I wasn't feeling good on that plan and I see myself improving across the board. wishing you all the best!
on May 13, 2012
at 12:49 AM
Try non-LC paleo. It's just like LC paleo, without the dogma.
on May 13, 2012
at 06:04 PM
Were you eating gluten before going paleo/LC. One thing to consider is that when some people go GF they go through opiod withdrawal symptoms. If you're digesting gluten into opioids, as some people do, you will be temporarily worse before getting better. Don't know whether that is an issue for you. Also, are you still eating dairy? Many people with Hashi's don't do well with dairy. Perhaps together with the sudden change in diet antigenic foods may be more of a trigger.
on May 13, 2012
at 12:54 PM
I wrote an article on losing weight with a pro thyroid diet, its very different than low carb but is definitely worth a shot.
on June 08, 2012
at 03:15 AM
Here's a 37 year old woman (now Paleo) Hashimoto's patient who's a certified athletic trainer, licensed physical therapist, and trigger point therapist.
The article: All of your blood work looks fine. The only thing that comes up is thyroid antibodies, but that???s nothing to worry about.??? My primary care doctor said these words to me in 1999, after I told him I???d been feeling anxious and jittery and couldn???t sleep for days at a time. I???d just had my first child a few months before, so since nothing else could be determined, the most obvious diagnosis was that I had postpartum anxiety and depression.
But while the symptoms went away over time with treatment, they were soon replaced by a mind-numbing fatigue. Little did I know that my own body was in the process of attacking itself because of an autoimmune disease called Hashimoto???s Thyroiditis.
Fast-forward to 2007. I had been under a tremendous amount of stress over the year. Though I continued to exercise, somehow I gained almost 20 pounds, and my hair began falling out in clumps. Even after eight hours of sleep, I was still so exhausted I could barely get out of bed in the morning.
I began researching my symptoms. My doctor???s words came back to me, and I began reading everything I could find on thyroid disorders. After getting an ultrasound, I discovered I had *nodules on my thyroid.*So with medication, over a few months I began to feel like I was getting some energy back. But my weight didn???t change, and exercise still proved too painful.
The impact this disease had on my life in the beginning was huge. I had been an athlete my entire life, swimming competitively in college, running 10Ks, and doing triathlons. At 37, I suddenly found myself unable to walk three miles with my children. To say that I was afraid for my future would be an understatement.
About a year into treatment for Hashimoto???s, I mentioned to a coworker that I felt better, but still not great. He suggested I try going gluten-free for a few weeks. I resisted, because I loved cereal, bread, and pasta. But then I learned that celiac disease is an autoimmune disease, and people with one autoimmune disease are more likely to be diagnosed with others over the years. I decided to give it a go.
After two gluten-free weeks, I felt 80 percent better. I was feeling more energetic, and gone were the cramps and painful bloating. I began to lose a little bit of weight, and I had the energy to begin gentle bodyweight exercises again. That was two years ago.
The Paleo Life
Then last spring I heard rumblings about the Paleo lifestyle. I researched the principles and learned that grains like wheat, rye, and barley can cause damage to the gut lining and put people at high risk for autoimmune diseases, including Hashimoto???s Thyroiditis, type 1 diabetes, and lupus. I went Paleo and cut out all of my gluten-free treats and dairy, increased my intake of coconut milk and oil, and began consuming larger quantities of grass-fed meats.
Almost immediately I noticed a difference in how I felt. My joint and muscle pain slowly faded away, I felt more rested when I woke up in the morning, and my brain felt sharp again. I even lost most of the weight I had gained over the years.
In the six months since I went Paleo, I???ve gone from not being able to walk a few miles to running, hiking, rock climbing, and weight lifting. My blood work looks good, my thyroid nodules are smaller, and I feel like I???m back to living the healthy life I had before Hashimoto???s decided to wreak havoc on my body.
More important, I don???t feel deprived of anything, because being able to play with my kids again is more important to me than eating pizza.
There is plenty of research to support the Paleo lifestyle as part of the comprehensive treatment plan for autoimmune diseases. A good place to start is by reading The Paleo Solution by Robb Wolf. The book explains the science and includes an index at the back listing 30 pages of research articles that helped convince me to take on this diet.
From my frustrating and trying experiences, my approach to working with my own patients as a physical therapist and trainer has changed. As part of my objective to treat the ???whole person,??? I want to be sure I provide my patients with as much information as possible, so it doesn???t take them five years to get back to living, like it took me. It was a long journey, but it feels good to be in my skin again.
on May 21, 2012
at 07:42 PM
You shouldn't be LC if you are hypo-thyroid. That's all. I wish more people would get this message across.
Do Paleo, but keep your carbs up. See what makes you feel best, but I would guess a level of 150 g carbs would be good. You don't need to be LC to lose weight, and further f-ing up your thyroid is not going to give you long-term health.
on May 13, 2012
at 12:42 AM
In Episode 460 of ???The Livin??? La Vida Low-Carb Show with Jimmy Moore,??? we hear from a San Diego, California-based chiropractor named Dr. Joni Labbe who has been mentored by a previous podcast guest named Dr. Datis Kharrazian who is one of the world???s foremost authorities on the subject of thyroid health. Dr. Labbe personally dealt with Hashimoto???s Disease and found the principles shared by Dr. Kharrazian to work for her???and now she???s passing along everything she has learned with her own patients dealing with a myriad of thyroid-related health issues. Dr. Labbe adds yet another voice of reason to this confusing yet vitally important subject.
on May 13, 2012
at 12:22 AM
You might want to look into tyrosine-rich foods (wine, cheese, meats, avocado, banana, et al.), as tyrosine is the immediate precursor to thyroid hormone, dopamine, and adrenaline/epinephrine.
If you're following Primal Blueprint, I assume you're working out your omega 3:6 balance (which should help). Perhaps instead of jumping into LC/VLC, you should concentrate on an anti-inflammatory diet: heal your gut with bone broth; remove grains and legumes but not carbs especially; increase your healthy fat consumption by using safe starches as a fat-delivery mechanism (e.g. peeled sweet potato with half a stick of melted butter and coconut oil).
Without knowing more specifically what you're doing and eating, better advice is hard. In general I would focus on lowering inflammation and healing your gut prior to worrying about carb intake. Eliminating grains and legumes will drastically lower your carbs happenstantially c:
on June 25, 2012
at 11:23 PM
curious to know how you are doing...I replied to your post some weeks back. I recently got back some blood work and noticed that although my TSH had gone done a teeny bit (not enough to make me feel better though) my T3 had gone up. I've been experiencing the same "I feel like I can't talk right" kind of stuff you described. Even right now, I have to re-read posts because the brain fog is so thick....UGH. Why do you think that T3 does this?
My current doctor still believes in the old TSH range and I'm quite a bit higher than what the new school docs believe is where most patients feel best. THANKFULLY, I have an appt with my new doctor who I am hopeful will listen to the fact that I have been feeling miserable on this dose of Synthroid. I am very hopeful that I will start feeling the benefits of the Paleo diet once I get my levels back to a comfortable level.
I have a little bit of weight I'd like to lose and went into Paleo thinking low carb would do it...It kind of did but it also really made me irritable and constipated. After looking into the Perfect Health diet, and what others had said about thyroid patients upping their carbs, I added back some white rice and potato. I felt SO MUCH BETTER! I have to be careful though because too many carbs and I want sweets. I was scared I'd gain weight but I didn't. I actually finally felt nourished. I know many Paleo folks are very anti rice and potato, I thought they were evil too. I cannot tell you though how much I learned by adding a bit in. I finally felt like I was starting to feel the greatness that other's described. Don't get me wrong, I still have to tweak, and am still finding my way but I think it may be worth a shot if you are still suffering.
I'm also hoping for myself that the increase in carbs and a better dose of thyroid meds will help everything fall into place for me. If you have the time and feel like it, I'd love to know where you are at with all of this. Your experience helps me understand my own. :) Thanks!
on May 13, 2012
at 06:33 AM
Glucose is needed to transform thyroid hormones into active thyroid. Eat more carbs.
on December 08, 2012
at 03:27 AM
Hi Elisa, I also have Hashi's & Pernicious Anemia. I'm seeing a natural path who is working with my "whole body". My doctor recommends eating 5-6 small meals a day. Always eating protein with each meal because it will keep your blood sugar level. I only eat chicken/fish, veggies, fruit, and occasionally eat brown rice. I recommend seeing a natural path because they will understand your concerns and beable to help you in a natural way. Good luck!! Jen :0)