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.
asked byjstern (109)
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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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
on April 08, 2011
at 10:58 PM
if you want to be really paleo, look here!
check out the list of undertreated thyroid symptoms!
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
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'.
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.