1

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Thyroid Questions

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created April 08, 2011 at 9:56 PM

I've been Paleo for about 8 months -- pretty low carb (no wheat, grains, sugar, etc.) Do eat mostly grassfed meats, lots of veggies, eggs, cook with coconut oil and butter (sometimes olive oil) and consume some cream (although very little as don't drink cofee -- just with berries as snack). I was pretty healthy before I started Paleo and rarely got sick. Was on statins for about 5 years before went paleo, but stopped when I started.

Anyway about a month ago I developed some numbness/weakness in my left hand and arm (I'm a 57 yr old male). Got a bit nervous and went to my doctor to have things checked out -- they did an EKG and I had them do a VAP test for cholesterol. My numbers were somewhat high (in upper 200's) although my triglycerides were low (45) and ratios good and mostly fluffy LDls (I posted my numbers a while back on this blog http://paleohacks.com/questions/25678/help-interpreting-my-vap-test#axzz1Iy9eEkvz. Also have had a Coronary CT Scan test which came back with all zeros

The numbness has stuck around and I have seen a couple of docs and a neurologist. The neurologist did an EMG and MRI of my neck, plus ordered some blood work (thyroid, sedimentation, rheumatoid, lyme, etc.). EMG showed I have some carpal tunnel in my left hand (one with numbness) and a bit of a pinched nerve in my neck -- I am right handed by the way and work as a graphic artist (computer exclusively).

Anyway, since the numbness started, I have also developed sensitivity in the finger pads of both hands and pain in the joints of both hands (EMG showed no problem with my right hand). The neurologist told me that the blood test that cam back, showed my Thyroid level (T3) was low and thus I was borderline hypothyroid:

TSH 1.710 (range: .27-4.2) T3, Total 78 (80-200) Thyroxine, Free 1.43 (.93-1.7)

While I know only the T3 is out of range, I have also experienced a lack of energy since the conditions described above started, I've been much more sensitive to cold (chills when its's cold and I was always a person who never got cold) and my hands/fingers are much more sensitive to cold and heat, and have felt jittery as well (drop things way more than I used to). I thought the chills (sensitivity to cold) were the result of me having lost 20 pounds (I'm 5'7" and now 145lbs). Now I'm wondering whether my low thyroid could be causing some of the issues (joint/muscle pain) that I have been experiencing. I read some of the articles on Kris Kresser's site and my issues certainly seem to fit his descriptions.

Like I said above, I've always been healthy and can't figure out what's going on (have wondered whether my paleo diet could be the cause, whether Paleo might have influenced my low thyroid number and whether my issues might be actually thryoid induced. Trying to schedule a visit with my new Dr (who is a mostly Paleo dieter), but in the meantime, wanted to know what people thought of the thyroid numbers and the possibility of whether my diet and/or thyroid could be a cause of my problems.

One last note: my Potassium levels appear fine (4.1 mmol/L range:3.3-5.3) and I due take some magnesium (natural calm).

Sorry for the long post.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on September 27, 2011
at 08:41 PM

Not only CoQ10, but Vitamin D too.

F910318b9aa27b91bcf7881f39b9eabe

(1164)

on September 14, 2011
at 08:27 AM

Yeah, i wonder why people never consider the spine when they have weird symptoms, including numbness and shit, with no apparent cause.

Eecc48184707bc26bce631485b5b7e34

(4764)

on August 31, 2011
at 04:17 PM

Bummer, she moved her site - it's now wildness and wonder. Maybe you can find it there.

6869a1f2294b3a717a53645589a91d18

(1689)

on August 30, 2011
at 08:24 PM

lindsay link not working

662a4ea915eb7c758bdd797d77ead7b6

(656)

on June 07, 2011
at 12:28 PM

@Jamie, I was wondering where you are? I need and endo that is not closed minded. I am going crazy with the doctors I have. Mine suggested Flinstone vitamins for my iron......wasnt sure how to ask just you a question

E1c6e8005795364ef33867073e5d4ec1

(109)

on April 09, 2011
at 03:38 PM

Dr. K -- I could email you my EMG/MRI results (have them scanned) if you tell me how to contact you. Neurologist practice I saw came highly recommened (White Plains - Westchester)

E1c6e8005795364ef33867073e5d4ec1

(109)

on April 09, 2011
at 03:33 PM

Did eat a bunch of farm raised turkey recently.

E1c6e8005795364ef33867073e5d4ec1

(109)

on April 09, 2011
at 03:32 PM

Read these. It's what prompted me to post something and wonder if my problems could be thyroid related.

E1c6e8005795364ef33867073e5d4ec1

(109)

on April 09, 2011
at 03:24 PM

Also saw this too

E1c6e8005795364ef33867073e5d4ec1

(109)

on April 09, 2011
at 03:23 PM

Not much of a fan of organ meats (liver included)

E1c6e8005795364ef33867073e5d4ec1

(109)

on April 09, 2011
at 03:22 PM

Just raising this stuff as I was in some sense healthier before paleo than since (although first 7 months of paleo I felt perfectly fine). these problems I having cam on very suddenly and haven't been able to shake them. Nothing really changed in my diet from first 7 months to this past month, nor in my exercise routines (maybe a little more time in front of computer as got busier.

E1c6e8005795364ef33867073e5d4ec1

(109)

on April 09, 2011
at 03:20 PM

MRI showed disk bulges and Dr. said was pinching a nerve on left side of neck. Recommended PT. He just pointed out that I was borderline hypothyroid and should check it out with my regular Dr. in a few months. Seemed to think it (disk bulge) was affecting my left arm, but doesn't seem to explain joint pain/finger sensitivity in right (EMG showed normal nerve reactions in right). Said sensitivity in left could be related to carpal tunnel and disk.

06d21b99c58283ce575e36c4ecd4a458

(9948)

on April 09, 2011
at 02:27 AM

That damn fine endo should be added to Jimmy Moore's list of low carb friendly physicians. http://lowcarbdoctors.blogspot.com/ Jimmy's email is in his profile. Friend request on FB

A7ac68389a10bc99f33885e7ed0dbfe0

(165)

on April 09, 2011
at 01:12 AM

My wife was told by her gynecologist that her blood tests showed hypothyroidism and that she needed to start medication (for the rest of life) beginning right away. He was upset when she said she was heading for a second opinion... she went to a damn fine endocrinologist, who not only suggested a paleo diet... but after doing some additional tests and lab work... we just received news that everything looks great, and no medication! Hope you get the answers you seek.

06d21b99c58283ce575e36c4ecd4a458

(9948)

on April 09, 2011
at 12:07 AM

jstem, Note that Dr. K is a physician in NYC

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25472)

on April 08, 2011
at 11:58 PM

my bet it is a cervical disc causing far lateral recess syndrome.......easy to treat.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25472)

on April 08, 2011
at 11:57 PM

MRI of neck showed what? you left that out.....i would not expect your EMG to be helpful. Hypothyroidism can cause this but its rare.

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9 Answers

1
B96486cc39cf24fdf259424f833a5d5b

(493)

on August 02, 2011
at 05:09 PM

Statins - if you were on them for five years, then they probably caused the muscle damage that is responsible for your pain. They've been proven to be unsafe, unnecessary, and will cause so many problems that are hard to reverse once started. I'm hypothyroid (for approx 10 years) and muscle pain isn't part of the equation. The evidence is out there regarding statins, and I suggest looking into that.

CoQ10 levels are probably extremely low. Get some CoQ10 supplements (400mg) and try to boost them. Also eat lots of good fats and take some good Omega3s to help with the healing process.

Just my opinion.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on September 27, 2011
at 08:41 PM

Not only CoQ10, but Vitamin D too.

0
9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

on May 24, 2011
at 11:46 AM

Just to throw something out there, when my dad was around 70 he developed numbness in one hand that eventually led to weakness, to the point that he couldn't pick anything up with that hand. He was concerned about it and was thinking about things like stroke, but after a while he got diagnosed with a variant of shingles. This can apparently affect the nerves. He essentially suffered minor nerve damage. I think he was given anti-virals (the same thing they give you for chicken pox), and went through some physical therapy. He had different kinds of squeezy toys for his hand (springs, balls, etc). After a while, he regained full strength + control in his hand and recovered.

This doesn't sound exactly like your symptoms, but wanted to mention it.

0
417fc12653afccd40bf3d86c2d25e1a6

on May 24, 2011
at 10:57 AM

In the case pf hormone therapy replacement, whole natural thyroid is proven and effective for over 80 years.

0
5f2b8e0a671b7eaae8a6bd97f0ded166

(120)

on May 23, 2011
at 05:19 AM

I have hashimoto and i have problem with muscle cramps and joint pain. I read some where , possibly some Ray Peat article, that there is some potassium and magnesium deficiency in hypothyroid people. I have normal blood level of Potassium. I believe serum level doesn't really show our potassium need. In paleo if you do not eat considerable amount of vegetable it is not easy to get 4000 mg of potassium or 400 mg of magnesium. Our daily requirement of Potassium is 4 grams. Ratio of potassium and sodium is also important. Low sodium high potassium is suitable for us. I chose to drink 1.25 liter of coconut water, which provides me with 3000 mg of potassium and 300 mg of magnesium. I havent had any muscle cramp since. I do have occasional joint pains mostly attributed to dairy, nightshades and frcutose. Did you check your uric acid? If you have hashimoto you can try Cordain's autoimmune paleo version. Rashed Hasan

0
Efd6b1b4c4e84ad001b58de08d1d0e8f

on May 22, 2011
at 02:57 PM

Hi Jstern. I'm sorry for your troubles. I don't know anything definitive, but I can tell you I have had some similar symptoms in the course of treatment for Hashimotos. After I went on the thyroid meds but cut them back a bit (because my body sort of over-reacted to the meds), I started to get hand pain (joints but sort of all over) and muscle pain in my arms. Oddly, the pain was MUCH more prominent on my left side. This freaked me and my docs out a little. I've now had it on and off (mostly off) for four or so years and have been tested for everything (MS, Lupus, etc.) and as it clearly coincided with changes in dosage of the medicine I figure it's related to thyroid hormone somehow. I have tinkered with dosages a lot. I had gotten it to a pretty to a pretty good place in the last year or so--I felt it only if I got really tired. However, I have noticed that the pain has been significantly worse since I've been eating paleo the last month. I can't think why paleo might affect this.

I'm not sure what's going on with you but thought I'd share that in case it's helpful.

Susan

0
2f54dbe892ec89b12d1db686568e885a

(919)

on April 10, 2011
at 09:25 AM

Whilst not experiencing the numbness and other symptoms you refer to, I have also become less tolerant to the cold, and whereas pre-paleo I used to generate a lot of heat (not hot air), my body feels cold especially around the abdomenal area - my weight loss after 4 months of paleo eating is just 20 lbs (from 280) so I cannot attribute it to this, or can I.

0
B05cca10a89796cfc263840cad311cc7

on April 08, 2011
at 10:58 PM

http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/site-map/

if you want to be really paleo, look here!

check out the list of undertreated thyroid symptoms!

E1c6e8005795364ef33867073e5d4ec1

(109)

on April 09, 2011
at 03:24 PM

Also saw this too

0
1f24d4895246892ef4ee4d79b7f9eeeb

on April 08, 2011
at 10:24 PM

Chris Kresser has done an in-depth study of thyroid issues on his blog, The Healthy Skeptic. This link will get you started. http://thehealthyskeptic.org/thyroid

E1c6e8005795364ef33867073e5d4ec1

(109)

on April 09, 2011
at 03:32 PM

Read these. It's what prompted me to post something and wonder if my problems could be thyroid related.

0
Eecc48184707bc26bce631485b5b7e34

on April 08, 2011
at 10:19 PM

Paleo isn't paleo unless you're eating some organ meats (not just liver) along with the muscle meat we tend to enough of.

Chances are we'll be deficiency in zinc, several b vitamins, selenium unless eating more or less 'nose to tail' or 'whole animal'.

http://blog.cholesterol-and-health.com/2011/03/anyone-doing-paleo-without-liver-bones.html

http://www.lindsaymstarke.com/2010/08/offally-good/

Nutrient insufficiencies/deficiencies can definitely wreak havoc on endocrine functionality - and thyroid is part of that.

It appears that excessive methionine and tryptophan (muscle meat) can be inflammatory. We really need the glycine of bone/cartilage broth to balance it out.

E1c6e8005795364ef33867073e5d4ec1

(109)

on April 09, 2011
at 03:33 PM

Did eat a bunch of farm raised turkey recently.

E1c6e8005795364ef33867073e5d4ec1

(109)

on April 09, 2011
at 03:23 PM

Not much of a fan of organ meats (liver included)

Eecc48184707bc26bce631485b5b7e34

(4764)

on August 31, 2011
at 04:17 PM

Bummer, she moved her site - it's now wildness and wonder. Maybe you can find it there.

6869a1f2294b3a717a53645589a91d18

(1689)

on August 30, 2011
at 08:24 PM

lindsay link not working

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