This question is an inverse of a previous one: http://paleohacks.com/questions/1/hypothyroidism-and-paleo
In the other question, the role of iodine in hypothyroidism was discussed, as well as ways that iodine can be increased in the diet.
With hyperthyoidism, especially disorders like Graves Disease, increasing iodine in the diet can potentially exacerbate existing problems. Eggs and some seafood has a lot of iodine apparently (http://paleohacks.com/questions/405/how-do-you-get-dietary-iodine).
Also, can excessive carb intake increase thyroid capacity? It was suggested that low-carb could cause the reverse, hypothyroidism.
Are there anything people should keep in mind to avoid hyperthyroidism while eating Paleo?
asked byDavid_Csonka (6092)
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on May 01, 2010
at 06:54 PM
A paleo lifestyle does not cause pathologic hyperthyroidism. However, under certain conditions it can unmask or exacerbate hyperthyroidism.
Some paleo adherents take pretty hefty doses of iodine supplements (for example, see the comments section of this Free the Animal thread: http://freetheanimal.com/2010/01/the-hidden-benefit-of-the-sad-iodine.html ). This could contribute to hyperthyroidism. I recognize that taking megadoses of iodine is not paleo per se.
Soybeans contain isoflavones, which are reputed to interfere with thyroid function ( http://www.thyroid-info.com/articles/soydangers.htm ). If someone went paleo and eliminated soy from their diet, it could unmask a hyperthyroid state.
Some wheat flours in the United States are still bromated ( http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-bromated-flour.htm ). Bromine is a competitive inhibitor of iodine, so stopping wheat flour consumption (as in a paleo diet) could unmask hyperthyroidism.
Celiac disease (gluten-sensitive enteropathy) is sometimes associated with either Graves' disease or Hashimoto's thyroiditis (hyper- or hypo-thyroidism). It has not been shown that eliminating gluten from the diet will affect thyroid function in either direction, but it's theoretically possible.
Finally, Vitamin D and thyroid function have complex interactions and synergies. Both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism can lead to reduced Vitamin D levels ( http://www.goodhormonehealth.com/VitaminD.pdf ). Vitamin D supplements have been shown to inhibit the growth of thyroid cancers ( http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1850654/ ). However, it has not been shown that Vitamin D supplements, commonly taken by paleos, can actually trigger hyper- or hypo- thyroidism.
on May 01, 2010
at 04:19 PM
If I may, you are asking a couple questions here that I believe are a bit in conflict.
Concerning your last question, "Are there anything people should keep in mind to avoid hyperthyroidism while eating Paleo?" I can answer quite certainly, if philosophically, no. The tenet of the Paleo way of eating is that it alone is the proper, no compromises manner of consumption for which humans are evolutionarily suited. If you accept that tenet then you cannot fear Paleo could potentially lead to a chronic condition like hyperthyroid.
BTW, that tenet is an important point. From it follows the important distinction between simple low carb dieting and true Paleo way of eating. A simple low carb diet will allow someone to lose weight and improve many of their health markers. However, low carb-ing on KFC, McD, and whatever other hydrogenated seed oils we are bound to get from Big-Ag once low carb has grabbed the mainstream attention is not Paleo. Paleo encompasses the right fats, the right vitamins, and the right minerals in proper portion from natural, whole foods.
Now, the topic question was "Can Paleo exacerbate hyperthyroidism?" That is an altogether different question than "can Paleo lead to hyperthyroidism". In fact, I would rephrase it with emphasis as: "Are there aspects of a Paleo style of eating which may exacerbate a pathological cause of hyperthyroidism?"
I think the emphasis are important. Without those emphasis one may jump to fearing that Paleo may lead to hyperthyroid (or any chronic condition). As to the potentially exacerbating aspects, as concerns hyperthyroid I don't have an answer. I will say there are other conditions for which aspects of Paleo can have a negative effect. For instance, if you are already iodine deficient or very close to being so, the lack of iodine laced salt that comes with the processed food in the SAD can be problematic. One must mitigate that aspect of Paleo (ie. no industrially processed and manufactured food) by eating fish, seaweed or supplementing. Another condition is PKU. Meat causes these people harm. They must instead consume dairy for protein and non-grain based complex carbohydrates. Yet another aspect of Paleo is eating nutrient dense food and lots of animal fat. One must mitigate those aspects with moderation and exercise. Beef liver appears to be nature's multi-vitamin, however, like commercial multi-vitamins you can overdose on them, so moderation is key. Animal fats from commercial commodity producers can be high in omega-6 fats. One must mitigate again by moderation, preferring ruminants over pork and chicken, and grass-fed over feed lot corn fed, and perhaps supplementing omega-3 capsules.
Finally, this may be more of a philosophical answer than you were expecting (you can thank a Friday home with the kids). If so I'll hold no ill will for missing the bounty (as much as I would like to win it!). I do think it is an important answer though.
on January 03, 2012
at 06:52 PM
I just came across this thread and felt compelled to add insight from all of my research and LIVING with HYPERthyroid..which I was diagnosed about 5 months ago. Bottom line- there are distinct benefits to paleo diet and there is also potential significant detriment...potential for further aggravating HYPERthyroid making your condition and health worse. ALSO-it seems that there is some confusion in the discussion. It is VERY imporant not to confuse HYPO with HYPER..as well as understand that a paleo diet will not cause HYPER..HYPER is most often caused by Graves Disease- an autoimmune disease. To go further into the "rabbit hole" of HYPER/Graves, there is strong evidence/research that supports diet influence on HYPER (some say diet can "trigger" HYPER in those who are pre-disposed (genetic influence), and this is mostlikely compounded with environmental conditions (including what we put in our bodies- food, water, chemicals), and lastly stress.
Focusing on purely the diet since this is what the thread discussion is about- those WITH HYPER should stay away (research suggests) foods with glueten as well as ANY HIGH iodine food (Eggs, fish, anything from the sea, Dairy). This is the journey that I am about to embark on and hopefully go into "remission" from Graves Disease / HYPERthyroid. I can update anyone who may be interested.
Lastly, I will add two other components that may be of help to anyone trying to go into remission..from HYPERthyroid-
1) the above foods (groups) also can become allergens to our bodies...after a certain period of elimination, we may be able to introduce certain items back without issue like eggs and CERTAIN types of dairy (though there is much research that milk is not "good" for adults period).
2) There is also a significant of evidence out there that shows starting with a very restrictive diet along with probiotics to get your system "clean" and your gut flora stablized is a smart starting point to heal your body..which means further elimination of foods with sugars in them (fruit even)...but I am still researching on the length of the elimination with probiotics to get to that stablized state.
I hope this helps.