I'm 15 and I've been paleo for 3 months now, feeling great!
I'm trying to convince my family to turn paleo with me, but they won't give their grains up. My main concern is my mom, because she has hypothyroidism since like 9 years ago, and she takes hormone pills everyday to make up for the ones her thyroid can't produce.
Hypothyroidism also messes around with your body fat, so she is 20-25 lbs overweight (I'm not sure how much).
Since I've seen the paleo diet can cure metabolic syndrome, I though maybe it can help her heal her thyroid and stop taking those pills.
Does anybody know if it is possible? Or you just can't cure hypothyroidism?
Thanks in advance(:
asked byNatali (64)
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on July 17, 2013
at 05:13 PM
These links might be of interest:
on July 17, 2013
at 05:24 PM
This may be helpful reading to counteract some of the myths about low carb and thyroid function:
on July 17, 2013
at 08:36 PM
Hypothyroidism is usually caused by one's immune system attacking the thyroid with anti-thyroid antibodies. The condition is known as Hashimoto's thyroiditis; it is an autoimmune disease. This is probably what your mom has and there is a strong possibility you will develop it sooner or later, unfortunately. But it is smart for a young person like you wanting to postpone what might be an inevitability.
Oftentimes, but certainly not always, poor gut health is the underlying trigger to an autoimmune response. If you have any sort of digestive complaint it would be very beneficial to "clean up" your diet (at minimum eat more wholesome foods, at best go full Paleo) and get tested for pathogens if symptoms persist. Anecdotal evidence suggests going gluten free alone can help folks eliminate or reduce thyroid medication. They also see a reduction in the levels of thyroid antibodies in the blood. It's all good. :)
Beyond going on a wholesome/Paleo diet I suggest you start getting thyroid blood tests every couple of years. TSH, free T3 and free T4 levels would indicate if you are steering towards hypothyroidism. If the values begin to look bad then start having your thyroid antibodies tested regularly too.
Lastly, if your mom's thyroid levels are comfortably in the normal range then I don't see her thyroid condition being a significant factor in her being overweight. If she really watches her food consumption then I suggest she work with your doctor/endocrinologist to see if she needs to change her meds.
on July 17, 2013
at 08:52 PM
Hi - you kind of opened Pandora's box.
I would highly, highly recommend you read this post:
it's likely that she has deficiencies in the micronutrients selenium, iodine, and copper. By eating a perfect health style diet (beef liver once per week, up to 1 lb of salmon per week, dropping all grains, legumes, etc. - see their diet page)it's possible that she could see an improvement.
But she may have to supplement some nutrients, for example, if she has poor stomach acid (lots of hypothyroid people do).
And you ultimately want to find WHY she has hypothyroidism - is it stress from eating too much sugar and perhaps vegetable oils, does she have an infection that is causing her hypothyroidism, is she insufficient in iodine, selenium and copper?
It's going to take time and I would advise measuring some key parameters first - a complete Thyroid panel - antibodies, Free T3, Reverse T3, Free T4, TSH (see Stop the Thyroid madness laboratory tests), as well as levels of iron, B12, folate.
It'll be a couple hundred dollars but well worth it.
Then, have her slowly switch over to the perfect health diet (you can call it paleo, but she definitely needs to eat carbs and traditional paleo calling for 1 sweet potato or 1 potato can kind of run too low) and the supplements.
Track her lab results very carefully because seeing the blood work improve can be a motivating factor, and often the blood results may improve before your mom actually feels better.
I guess my other question would be, did your mom ask for help with her thyroid problems or is she happy taking the medication? It's not ideal, but if she's happy and feels she's at the right dose, then it may not be right for her to change.
Hypothyroidism can keep people above their ideal weight, but in general, adopting a paleo diet could make your mom's thyroid better or worse - if she's eating chicken breasts and broccoli and tomatoes week in and week out, you would have to be careful because eventually she or you would end up deficient in something. I wish the paleo diet were completely idiot proof, but it's not - not totally- and people here tend to track what they eat on fitday, to make sure they're meeting their RDA on vitamins, minerals and nutrients and even then supplementing to be sure.
However, just because the paleo diet isn't completely idiot proof is no reason not to try it, but try to include a HUGE variety of foods - animal and plant, and understand that nutrition can be a very powerful tool for helping medical problems. But it can also go horribly awry and you have to be careful!