Less Paleo question, more thyroid based.
I started Paleo around a month ago hoping that it will help with many of my Hashimoto's symptoms (joint numbness, depression, weight issues), and yes, I do feel great! Gone are the basic bloated feeling, I don't have to starve myself in order to not gain weight and a month ago it helped alleviate my join stiffness/numbness. But here I am numb and sad again four weeks later.
So my question is, my Hashimoto's is NOT under control, it has been about a year, and my cycle seems to go -- drug increase, feel better, then 6 to 8 weeks later I fall apart. I am currently on 134 mg of Synthroid and 5 mg of Cytomel.Is there anything else I can do. Others with Hashimoto's, how long did it take you to be under control? Am I just going to feel like crap every 6 weeks for the rest of my life?
asked byImmy (10)
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on July 11, 2011
at 05:43 PM
I would read Chris Kresser's series about thyroid health here: http://thehealthyskeptic.org/thyroid
Then, I would read Paul Jamminet's series (wherre he disagrees about iodine being bad) here: http://perfecthealthdiet.com/?cat=49
If you're looking for takeaways: vit D; get enough selenium to balance the iodine; perhaps cut out the gluten.
on July 11, 2011
at 12:47 PM
You might want to read up about dessicated thyroid and T3 as an alternate to T4 only treatments, it seems to really make a difference for some people.
The major site is stop the thyroid madness
EDIT: opps didn't recognize Cytomel as T3, naughty of me. You might still consider reading the link, something might ring a bell. For example there is a recent post about Mg supplementation and some good insight in to vitamin C issues
on June 08, 2012
at 03:18 AM
Here's a 37 year old woman (now Paleo) Hashimoto's patient who's a certified athletic trainer, licensed physical therapist, and trigger point therapist.
The article: All of your blood work looks fine. The only thing that comes up is thyroid antibodies, but that???s nothing to worry about.??? My primary care doctor said these words to me in 1999, after I told him I???d been feeling anxious and jittery and couldn???t sleep for days at a time. I???d just had my first child a few months before, so since nothing else could be determined, the most obvious diagnosis was that I had postpartum anxiety and depression.
But while the symptoms went away over time with treatment, they were soon replaced by a mind-numbing fatigue. Little did I know that my own body was in the process of attacking itself because of an autoimmune disease called Hashimoto???s Thyroiditis.
Fast-forward to 2007. I had been under a tremendous amount of stress over the year. Though I continued to exercise, somehow I gained almost 20 pounds, and my hair began falling out in clumps. Even after eight hours of sleep, I was still so exhausted I could barely get out of bed in the morning.
I began researching my symptoms. My doctor???s words came back to me, and I began reading everything I could find on thyroid disorders. After getting an ultrasound, I discovered I had *nodules on my thyroid.*So with medication, over a few months I began to feel like I was getting some energy back. But my weight didn???t change, and exercise still proved too painful.
The impact this disease had on my life in the beginning was huge. I had been an athlete my entire life, swimming competitively in college, running 10Ks, and doing triathlons. At 37, I suddenly found myself unable to walk three miles with my children. To say that I was afraid for my future would be an understatement.
About a year into treatment for Hashimoto???s, I mentioned to a coworker that I felt better, but still not great. He suggested I try going gluten-free for a few weeks. I resisted, because I loved cereal, bread, and pasta. But then I learned that celiac disease is an autoimmune disease, and people with one autoimmune disease are more likely to be diagnosed with others over the years. I decided to give it a go.
After two gluten-free weeks, I felt 80 percent better. I was feeling more energetic, and gone were the cramps and painful bloating. I began to lose a little bit of weight, and I had the energy to begin gentle bodyweight exercises again. That was two years ago.
The Paleo Life
Then last spring I heard rumblings about the Paleo lifestyle. I researched the principles and learned that grains like wheat, rye, and barley can cause damage to the gut lining and put people at high risk for autoimmune diseases, including Hashimoto???s Thyroiditis, type 1 diabetes, and lupus. I went Paleo and cut out all of my gluten-free treats and dairy, increased my intake of coconut milk and oil, and began consuming larger quantities of grass-fed meats.
Almost immediately I noticed a difference in how I felt. My joint and muscle pain slowly faded away, I felt more rested when I woke up in the morning, and my brain felt sharp again. I even lost most of the weight I had gained over the years.
In the six months since I went Paleo, I???ve gone from not being able to walk a few miles to running, hiking, rock climbing, and weight lifting. My blood work looks good, my thyroid nodules are smaller, and I feel like I???m back to living the healthy life I had before Hashimoto???s decided to wreak havoc on my body.
More important, I don???t feel deprived of anything, because being able to play with my kids again is more important to me than eating pizza.
There is plenty of research to support the Paleo lifestyle as part of the comprehensive treatment plan for autoimmune diseases. A good place to start is by reading The Paleo Solution by Robb Wolf. The book explains the science and includes an index at the back listing 30 pages of research articles that helped convince me to take on this diet.
From my frustrating and trying experiences, my approach to working with my own patients as a physical therapist and trainer has changed. As part of my objective to treat the ???whole person,??? I want to be sure I provide my patients with as much information as possible, so it doesn???t take them five years to get back to living, like it took me. It was a long journey, but it feels good to be in my skin again.
on July 31, 2011
at 04:03 AM
Oh! And even one more thing- I wasn't a believer in the whole gluten-thyroid connection with hashis at first but for another diet I was on I ended up being off gluten and all grain entirely for about 4 months- and I will tell you- now I really know how much gluten affects me- a lot! When i've had it on occasion now I feel exhausted after, and also had severe stomach pains. But you really do have to take it out for quite some time before you'll notice a difference- like give it 3 months at least before reintroducing it. I think in the end we end up learning a lot of things about what's true based on how our bodies react to things- when you actually have a bad case of hashi's- it doesn't matter how many sites says to take iodine for your thyroid- I have done it enough times and felt the terrible results to know that it's causes a major hashi's flare-up for me with where my illness is currently at. I really hope you keep finding the answer. One other thing I may have just discovered is the trueness in being careful with goitregenic foods- at least when they're not cooked- I started making "green smoothies" the last 3 days with a bunch of kale in it and I've been so exhausted and constipated from it- so sad that sometimes when you think you're being healthy, your body is not currently in a state to view it as so.
on July 31, 2011
at 03:57 AM
Oh! And another thing! While technically you do need iodine as all people do- DON'T TAKE ANY RIGHT NOW!!! I can't emphasize this enough with Hashimotos- everytime I have seaweed I feel like I've been hit by a truck for several hours afterwards because of the iodine- the book I was talking about explains exactly why you can't take iodine when you have hashimoto's UNTIL you reduce all the inflammation that is causing the problems with your thyroid and the attacks on it by your body. That book has taught me so much about the reasons for many things with hashi's- AND he has a whole plan/protocol for reducing inflammation enough and buliding up certain things so that you can take iodine again and feel better- but i haven't tried any of this yet.
on July 31, 2011
at 03:54 AM
Hi there- I just came across your question while doing some research online re hashimotos- I'm not on the paleo diet- BUT- I did want to say I have hashimoto's pretty severely and I take only T3/Cytomel as my medication- and I take WAYYYY more than you- and it takes that much for most of my symptoms to be resolved. I take between 87.5 and 100 mcg (micrograms, not milligrams- you put that you take mg of cytomel, but it's not usually dosed that way so I'm assuming that's just a typo- you are probably only on 5 micrograms of cytomel) per day of cytomel, once in the morning. Some people might think this is crazy, but it was prescribed to me by an alternative health practitioner- they started me at 12.5 mcg and then doubled it about 2 or 3 weeks later, then gradually increased it by 12.5 mcg every week or 2 weeks until I got to this dose- now I actually vary my dose according to how I feel. You can keep track of how well it's working for you by taking your underarm temp first thing in the morning, and by checking your hear rate at rest. You can find a lot more info on this type of stuff on drlowe.com. I don't take any t4 meds at all. Anyway- everyone is different but I'm telling you, aside from some minor issues, I'm almost completely better with this medication at this level. I can hike for hours again, I can cook, I can take care of my 2 year old son full time, I can garden and all kinds of stuff. I hope this helps- hashimoto's is a terrible beast to deal with- especially because of like you said those weird energy fluctuations where you feel energetic for a week or 2 before crashing again- it happened to me so much- but now my energy levels are so much more consistent and I'm able to do so much more. If you want to communicate more in private, please feel free to email me at: heartlion at live dot com ok? I'd be happy to help. Also there's a new book out that's excellent called "hope for hashimotos"- it's on Amazon- I'm going to try their protocol. First time I've ever seen a book written specifically for this condition. Also the books explains exactly why you feel better for only a little while after upping your medication- it's makes total sense and he'll tell you what to do about it.
on July 11, 2011
at 04:56 PM
I have Hashimoto's but never had major ongoing symptoms from it (except for a giant nodule that I ultimately had to have removed), so I'm probably not the best person to advise. However, there is major evidence that the disease (like most autoimmune diseases) is triggered by gluten consumption. Make sure you rigorously avoid gluten, and give yourself some more time -- a month is very little time to expect a magical turnaround. I will say that after about two years off grains my TPO antibodies were negative when they were retested -- I know there are other possible reasons for that, but I like to think that once I stopped triggering the autoimmune process with my formerly very wheat-heavy diet the disease sort of went quiescent.