Cholesterol, thyroid and stress (oh my!)

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created November 17, 2011 at 8:16 PM

My very smart let's-look-at-alternative-care-too doctor just took eight vials of blood from me to check everything from Albumin to Zinc, as I'd been having some symptoms that he suspected could be hypothyroid. Sure enough, numbers came back with a TSH of 4.56. Used to be that was JUST borderline okay; now it's much higher than the recalculated top level of 3.0. I am not arguing; you go through the list of symptoms big and small and I have about 60% of them.

At the same time we checked the cholesterol and numbers came back far different than they were 2 years ago when I was still messing around with veg'ness, soy, etc.:

TOTAL CHOLESTEROL: 268 (2009) 208 (2011) Triglycerides: 117 (2009) 136 (2011) HDL: 58 (2009) 55 (2011) LDL: 187 (2009) 226 (2011)


1 -- Guilty, guilty, guilty; I'm on the road 45 weeks a year for 3-5 days at a time and it is not always feasible to bring my own food (no place to store it, cannot cross the border into Canada with it). And I am NOT a candidate for fasting, as it is a high stress job with people in my face nonstop for counseling 12 hours a day on these trips.

2 -- Could the thyroid numbers be partly responsible? It is my rough understanding that an underactive thyroid can kick up the numbers.

3 -- When I go off Paleo, part of the reason is the complete stopping up of "the pipes" and the gut discomfort. Even if I don't do grains, doing starch (potatoes) seems to help some -- but apparently that is too much carb.

4 -- I am better off without dairy, and stay away as much as possible from convenitional Dead Thing (farmed fish, grainfed beef/pork, antibiotic chicken).

That makes it damned hard to eat on the road at all, and what I can get is so unfulfilling and boring at the end of an exhausting day I admit to cheating simply because I am tired of having to say "no" to everything. Yes, I know, eat to live not live to eat but we're not supposed to see food as something just to choke down and ignore and get on with life. And it's getting to that point.

Okay, enough whining. The question is: how can I make Paleo work in such difficult circumstances -- and can I safely tell my doctor I won't take statins and such even if he pushes them? Advice, bouquets and brickbats appreciated.



on November 18, 2011
at 01:01 AM

Your thyroid function is most likely the culpret for your cholesterol numbers and your constipation (if that is what you were refering to). Fixing that with certain supplements and if that doesen't work going on medication would help you feel a lot better and be healthier.

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3 Answers


on November 17, 2011
at 09:14 PM

I took the sample of statins the Dr. gave me and after 1 wk, I could hardly move, everything ached so bad. He told me to stop taking them and he admitted that he didn't believe in them anyway.

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on November 17, 2011
at 08:44 PM

Do you supplement with iodide and selenium? There's no thyroid health with either of those deficiencies.

If it's possible to workout in a hotel gyms or make time to take some long walks, that could make a big difference in your health.

If you're simply forced to eat restaurant food, it'd probably be best to favor red meat and skew the meat portion of the diet larger as compared to the rest. That alone should improve your diet.



on November 18, 2011
at 01:12 AM

Well, you're Doc should be helping you answer these questions. Be straight forward about your reservations with taking the statins. If they try to push you into something and you don't feel comfortable tell them you need a little time to do your own research. I'm hypo and started doing Paleo 4 months ago and working out and feel better than I have in years. Do the best you can with what you've got. There has to be a middle ground you're comfortable with while on the road. Instead of concentrating on being perfect with the diet concentrate on what you can do with it. It doesn't have to be all or nothing. I will tell you that if you can go all in and make the commitment it's probably going to help clear up your thinking. I don't suffer from the brain fog I used to.

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