3

votes

Thyroid - Should I have been worried?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created September 15, 2011 at 10:32 AM

Note: These are NOT current test results. They are 2 years old.

So, I was reading through the Hack Jack Kronk's latest lab results thread, and I saw suggestions that he may need to kickstart his thyroid. I found that interesting because his TSH was only slightly higher than mine (his was 1.88, mine 1.69.. more on that in a minute). This piqued my interest, and made me curious on everyone's take on my thyroid panel.

Here's the situation: When I had this thyroid panel done, I was very, very sick. My stomach was swelling. I wasn't digesting food well, if at all. My stomach swelled so much my belly button ripped open a few times. It was bad. Very bad. I'm not even sure I could put it into words. I only found out within the past few months that it was actually gluten causing the problem. I realized it all started when I began eating gluten here and there. Then got sick, went to the doctor, they couldn't figure out what was wrong with me. Then, the sicker I got, the more gluten I ate. My logic was, I felt crappy already, what the heck does it matter if I eat cookies? It was sort of a vicious cycle. The worse I felt, the more crap I ate. Thousand of dollars in medical bills later, I eliminated the gluten and the improvements I've made are incredible. I'm sure I'm still suffering from some nutrient deficiencies here and there after being sick for so long, and my digestion isn't 100% perfect, but it's leaps and bounds ahead of where I was. For all intents and purposes, I feel awesome. But, there could always be improvements, I'm sure.

While I was sick, the doctors were trying to rule things out1, and I decided to get a thyroid panel. Multiple doctors looked over these results and declared my thyroid to be fine and not the cause of my problem. And obviously now I know at least the majority of my issue was the gluten. But given the situation I've laid out above, and given that for at least a year before this test was taken I had been on multiple antibiotics, would these thyroid results have made you raise and eyebrow? Also, if I were otherwise feeling healthy when I had the test and had the same results, would they cause any concern then? FWIW, I have tried using a kelp supplement and found that it actually made my throat hurt and I started losing my voice. It went away when I stopped the supplement. Iodized salt does not cause the same issue. Weird, eh? I do want to get another blood panel, but it is currently cost prohibitive.

Right, so WWYD if these were your results? I guess I'm just trying to figure out if I should have paid more attention to these at the time.

alt text

1. That may be putting it too nicely. What they did was tell me that since my stomach hurt, I had endometriosis. They put me on BC pills that almost landed me in the hospital, even though I had zero symptoms of endometriosis other than stomach pain. The BC pills came after the thyroid test tho, so they shouldn't be a factor. And they also didn't help anything.

9a0239d19c91526e11a28300fc6f4032

(165)

on September 16, 2011
at 11:18 AM

The endo is the one that liked those levels, though even finding a good endo can be hard. There's a list of good thyroid docs that she was on, she teaches at Georgetown University so she's very up to date on current research. I saw a holistic MD who believed I was hypo though. I do have to say, I wasn't so in tune with my body pre-thyroid medication that I could tell when things were off. Things had been so off for so long I didn't know. I've been on this journey for nearly 4 years, been through a second pregnancy, lots of adjusting of meds, and I'm still not 100% in tune.

41dfb1a4fecb38d24075ff52f13ccb28

on September 16, 2011
at 08:42 AM

Wow, I had no idea what I was going to start here :) The kelp I took was a Now Brand 150mcg pill. It wouldn't really surprise me if I were deficient in selenium - for multiple reasons, but mostly because on the list of high selenium foods ( http://www.healthaliciousness.com/articles/foods-high-in-selenium.php ), I tend to eat, uhm, none of them. Bacon here and there, and once in a while I get a hankerin' for braunschweiger, but that's about it. So I'll supplement for a month and see if it does anything. Supplement seems to be the most cost effective way to go about it for a trial. Thanks!

41dfb1a4fecb38d24075ff52f13ccb28

on September 16, 2011
at 08:07 AM

Wow, that's really interesting. Not that I'm trying to self-diagnose as Hashimoto's or anything, but I get the same reaction from kelp supplements. Also the diet you just described basically describes how I ate VLC, which is how I lost 60-ish lbs - except for eggs. I didn't purposely leave them out, but I don't think I had that many. So maybe the same diet with 1-2 eggs every once in a while. I started using iodized salt a few months ago and haven't had any issues with it. This is kind of awesome because you're the first person I've heard of who reacted the same way to kelp. Thanks so much!

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on September 16, 2011
at 06:42 AM

Maybe, but also far less readable

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on September 15, 2011
at 10:42 PM

This would be more useful in the comment section of Travis' question.

345c1755efe005edd162b770dc6fb821

(8767)

on September 15, 2011
at 07:04 PM

sorry don't have much expertise in the thyroid area, but you asked about the possibility of more improvements by staying off gluten...most definitely. I had a similar issue with intestinal swelling, was food allergies, but I did the same, bread rice etc. and it got worse. The point, implementing some GAPS protocols will help you heal (broths specifically)..you can get bones sometimes for free from the butcher, find a way to stay off grains for your health if possible. I'm so glad you are finding some relief and feeling better!!!

Medium avatar

(39821)

on September 15, 2011
at 06:30 PM

Those are fair points; I suppose each individual just needs to be apprised of the risks of both and then make their own decision.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on September 15, 2011
at 06:28 PM

Also, i think Brazil Nut has highest content in the world of selenium. You need only 1. Contrary, you need lots of water animals which all passed trough industrial processing.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on September 15, 2011
at 06:26 PM

Travis, you may be right, its hard to say when you actually cross the treashold where hormesis becomes pure poison. For one, we now live in bunkers comparing to our life in jungle in Africa. We do have much more radiation around for granted - air traveling, war, ozone holes, medical devices. On the other hand, the same is true for water region - many doctors don't recommend Kelp during pregnancy because of toxins and the same goes for other water creatures. I think its more reasonable to build our detox system then to label toxic foods of nature. So I will go for extra NAC, C, Zinc....

44348571d9bc70c02ac2975cc500f154

(5853)

on September 15, 2011
at 06:15 PM

I wish they would sell canned oysters herre with good oils. Only some sunflower crap variety is available. They would be nice source of nutrients, i take canned cod liver but it seems quiet poor in nutrition.

Medium avatar

(39821)

on September 15, 2011
at 06:01 PM

Those people whose ancestors ate them for thousands of years may have an advantage, but for the rest of us, it's a novel food that we would not have encountered. You may be right, but since you don't *have* to get selenium from it, why take the risk?

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on September 15, 2011
at 05:48 PM

Brazil nut isn't novel food. Who knows what are we designed for. Animals eat it to that measure that workers often get killed. Unlike humans, animals are still connected to nature 'a-la Avatar' (Xenohormesis) and they receive the same cosmic radiation.

Medium avatar

(39821)

on September 15, 2011
at 05:41 PM

We have plenty of hormesis from cosmic rays as it is. Unless you live deep underground in a lead-lined bunker, you're getting bombarded plenty. We're designed to deal with that, but we're not designed to eat novel foods that have 1000x more radium than the rest of our diet.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on September 15, 2011
at 05:36 PM

Also, mutagenic is not the same as cancerogenic

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on September 15, 2011
at 05:32 PM

Can you say hormesis ?

Medium avatar

(39821)

on September 15, 2011
at 05:28 PM

majkinetor: On my planet, ionizing radiation from ingested radium is mutagenic.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on September 15, 2011
at 05:25 PM

There is no problem with radium OR barium.

Medium avatar

(39821)

on September 15, 2011
at 04:31 PM

Not barium and radium.

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on September 15, 2011
at 03:56 PM

wouldn't seafood bioaccumulate more toxins than brazil nuts?

41dfb1a4fecb38d24075ff52f13ccb28

on September 15, 2011
at 01:23 PM

Oh, I forgot to ask. Is it an endo that likes those TSH/T4/T3 levels or the PCP that didn't believe you were hypo?

41dfb1a4fecb38d24075ff52f13ccb28

on September 15, 2011
at 01:08 PM

Oh, and I'm also down about 15 lbs again, but being sick made me gain a bunch of weight back, so there's still some more to go. It's creeping off, but not at any decent rate. Although, I am starting to look hourglass-ish again, which is nice. Before I was a little "hey koolaid!" from the swelling :)

41dfb1a4fecb38d24075ff52f13ccb28

on September 15, 2011
at 01:06 PM

Compared to someone in perfect health, my digestion is probably a little slower than I'd like and there's probably some leftover indigestion (reflux maybe?). But I'm also wondering how much of that is due to me eating more carbs than I know I do best on. I felt amazing on VLC, but it's cost prohibitive right now. (Darn economy is kind of kicking my butt in a big way.) But it also has only been a few months off the gluten, so could it get better still? I don't know. Or, maybe now that the gluten is gone, I need to address thyroid? Mostly I'm open to the possibilities.

41dfb1a4fecb38d24075ff52f13ccb28

on September 15, 2011
at 01:03 PM

Well, to be fair, it's possible I had thyroid symptoms at the time, but I had so much going on all at once there would really be no way for me to pinpoint which was thyroid and which was gluten, ya know? As for how I am now, I suppose it's all relative. I mean the swelling is gone. My intestines seem to be behaving. My energy is coming back. My hair and nails are growing like crazy. I'm able to get off the couch, whereas before I just laid there sobbing about the pain. So, compared to how I was, I am awesome. (more)

41dfb1a4fecb38d24075ff52f13ccb28

on September 15, 2011
at 12:59 PM

Interestingly enough, I'm actually on that site. If you go to the doctors hall of shame list and look at #68 that's me. But I don't want to confuse things here. That was before I started VLC, which made all my symptoms go away and made me lose about 60lbs. The current sick I'm talking about was after I lost all the weight and reintroduced gluten. Hope that's not confusing :) The list: http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/give-me-a-break/

Frontpage book

Get FREE instant access to our Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!

5 Answers

4
0faecc3397025eab246241f4dcd81f5e

(2361)

on September 16, 2011
at 01:42 AM

My TSH is 4.1, I have hashimotos, my antibodies are in the hundreds. But I have no symptoms, I was diagnosed 2 years ago, quite by accident in a general checkup.

Some think it is the symptoms that matter. Check out Dr Kharrazians book and website http://www.thyroidbook.com/index.html

I recently did a 30 day auto-immune paleo diet - no grains, legmues, nuts, seeds, dairy, alcohol, eggs, or nightshades. After than I had the lowest TSH in 2 years (4.1) and I lost a couple of pounds, although I'm not considered overweight - I just leaned out a little.

Kelp is not recommended as it contains Bromine - another halide, which competes with iodine. If you do try iodine - add it very slowly. In my case I got a horrible reaction and my thyroid started to swell. This is a common reaction with Hashimotos / auto immune thyroid disease. My TSH went up to 13! I just add a little iodised salt now.

41dfb1a4fecb38d24075ff52f13ccb28

on September 16, 2011
at 08:07 AM

Wow, that's really interesting. Not that I'm trying to self-diagnose as Hashimoto's or anything, but I get the same reaction from kelp supplements. Also the diet you just described basically describes how I ate VLC, which is how I lost 60-ish lbs - except for eggs. I didn't purposely leave them out, but I don't think I had that many. So maybe the same diet with 1-2 eggs every once in a while. I started using iodized salt a few months ago and haven't had any issues with it. This is kind of awesome because you're the first person I've heard of who reacted the same way to kelp. Thanks so much!

3
Medium avatar

on September 15, 2011
at 03:48 PM

Looks to me like possibly a slight selenium deficiency that is interfering with your ability to convert T4 to T3. It's extremely common due to the nutrient depletion that has occurred to our food. Take 200 mcg of selenium from a source of your choice every day. I personally eat a lot of seafood, specifically oysters and sardines, so I get plenty of it. Brazil nuts have tons of it, but they also have other potentially toxic things that they bioaccumulate. There's nothing wrong with just taking a supplement if you're deficient. I would wager that your T3 would swing upward and TSH would be something like .75 after supplementation. I personally don't really agree with the reference ranges.

You also may as well eat a bit of kelp here and there to keep T4 at the right level. If you took it in whole form, you could try switching to a capsule. The excess of both iodine and selenium is excreted without issue.

Good luck.

Medium avatar

(39821)

on September 15, 2011
at 06:30 PM

Those are fair points; I suppose each individual just needs to be apprised of the risks of both and then make their own decision.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on September 15, 2011
at 05:32 PM

Can you say hormesis ?

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on September 15, 2011
at 05:48 PM

Brazil nut isn't novel food. Who knows what are we designed for. Animals eat it to that measure that workers often get killed. Unlike humans, animals are still connected to nature 'a-la Avatar' (Xenohormesis) and they receive the same cosmic radiation.

Medium avatar

(39821)

on September 15, 2011
at 04:31 PM

Not barium and radium.

Medium avatar

(39821)

on September 15, 2011
at 05:41 PM

We have plenty of hormesis from cosmic rays as it is. Unless you live deep underground in a lead-lined bunker, you're getting bombarded plenty. We're designed to deal with that, but we're not designed to eat novel foods that have 1000x more radium than the rest of our diet.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on September 15, 2011
at 06:28 PM

Also, i think Brazil Nut has highest content in the world of selenium. You need only 1. Contrary, you need lots of water animals which all passed trough industrial processing.

Medium avatar

(39821)

on September 15, 2011
at 05:28 PM

majkinetor: On my planet, ionizing radiation from ingested radium is mutagenic.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on September 15, 2011
at 05:36 PM

Also, mutagenic is not the same as cancerogenic

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on September 15, 2011
at 05:25 PM

There is no problem with radium OR barium.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on September 15, 2011
at 06:26 PM

Travis, you may be right, its hard to say when you actually cross the treashold where hormesis becomes pure poison. For one, we now live in bunkers comparing to our life in jungle in Africa. We do have much more radiation around for granted - air traveling, war, ozone holes, medical devices. On the other hand, the same is true for water region - many doctors don't recommend Kelp during pregnancy because of toxins and the same goes for other water creatures. I think its more reasonable to build our detox system then to label toxic foods of nature. So I will go for extra NAC, C, Zinc....

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on September 15, 2011
at 03:56 PM

wouldn't seafood bioaccumulate more toxins than brazil nuts?

Medium avatar

(39821)

on September 15, 2011
at 06:01 PM

Those people whose ancestors ate them for thousands of years may have an advantage, but for the rest of us, it's a novel food that we would not have encountered. You may be right, but since you don't *have* to get selenium from it, why take the risk?

44348571d9bc70c02ac2975cc500f154

(5853)

on September 15, 2011
at 06:15 PM

I wish they would sell canned oysters herre with good oils. Only some sunflower crap variety is available. They would be nice source of nutrients, i take canned cod liver but it seems quiet poor in nutrition.

41dfb1a4fecb38d24075ff52f13ccb28

on September 16, 2011
at 08:42 AM

Wow, I had no idea what I was going to start here :) The kelp I took was a Now Brand 150mcg pill. It wouldn't really surprise me if I were deficient in selenium - for multiple reasons, but mostly because on the list of high selenium foods ( http://www.healthaliciousness.com/articles/foods-high-in-selenium.php ), I tend to eat, uhm, none of them. Bacon here and there, and once in a while I get a hankerin' for braunschweiger, but that's about it. So I'll supplement for a month and see if it does anything. Supplement seems to be the most cost effective way to go about it for a trial. Thanks!

3
9a0239d19c91526e11a28300fc6f4032

on September 15, 2011
at 11:54 AM

I've been seeing an endocrinologist for a few years. My PCP didn't "believe" I had hypothyroid problems but I did. And I've proven him wrong every time I start feeling "off" and go have my bloodwork checked and we need to adjust my meds and I feel better again. There are a very different schools of thought regarding thyroid levels. Some people believe it's somewhere in the mid-range of the wide number range the labs give you with your results. My doctor thinks that your TSH should be way at the bottom of range, the free T3 should be at the top of the range and free T4 should be mid-range. How are you feeling, though? http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/long-and-pathetic/ has a list of symptoms if that helps.

41dfb1a4fecb38d24075ff52f13ccb28

on September 15, 2011
at 01:23 PM

Oh, I forgot to ask. Is it an endo that likes those TSH/T4/T3 levels or the PCP that didn't believe you were hypo?

41dfb1a4fecb38d24075ff52f13ccb28

on September 15, 2011
at 12:59 PM

Interestingly enough, I'm actually on that site. If you go to the doctors hall of shame list and look at #68 that's me. But I don't want to confuse things here. That was before I started VLC, which made all my symptoms go away and made me lose about 60lbs. The current sick I'm talking about was after I lost all the weight and reintroduced gluten. Hope that's not confusing :) The list: http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/give-me-a-break/

9a0239d19c91526e11a28300fc6f4032

(165)

on September 16, 2011
at 11:18 AM

The endo is the one that liked those levels, though even finding a good endo can be hard. There's a list of good thyroid docs that she was on, she teaches at Georgetown University so she's very up to date on current research. I saw a holistic MD who believed I was hypo though. I do have to say, I wasn't so in tune with my body pre-thyroid medication that I could tell when things were off. Things had been so off for so long I didn't know. I've been on this journey for nearly 4 years, been through a second pregnancy, lots of adjusting of meds, and I'm still not 100% in tune.

0
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on September 15, 2011
at 05:31 PM

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on September 16, 2011
at 06:42 AM

Maybe, but also far less readable

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on September 15, 2011
at 10:42 PM

This would be more useful in the comment section of Travis' question.

0
Eecc48184707bc26bce631485b5b7e34

on September 15, 2011
at 11:30 AM

I would be concerned about those results in the absence of thyroid symptoms. How are you doing now?

*ETA*** WOULDN'T. I wouldn't be concerned about those results. Sheesh. So sorry about that.

41dfb1a4fecb38d24075ff52f13ccb28

on September 15, 2011
at 01:03 PM

Well, to be fair, it's possible I had thyroid symptoms at the time, but I had so much going on all at once there would really be no way for me to pinpoint which was thyroid and which was gluten, ya know? As for how I am now, I suppose it's all relative. I mean the swelling is gone. My intestines seem to be behaving. My energy is coming back. My hair and nails are growing like crazy. I'm able to get off the couch, whereas before I just laid there sobbing about the pain. So, compared to how I was, I am awesome. (more)

345c1755efe005edd162b770dc6fb821

(8767)

on September 15, 2011
at 07:04 PM

sorry don't have much expertise in the thyroid area, but you asked about the possibility of more improvements by staying off gluten...most definitely. I had a similar issue with intestinal swelling, was food allergies, but I did the same, bread rice etc. and it got worse. The point, implementing some GAPS protocols will help you heal (broths specifically)..you can get bones sometimes for free from the butcher, find a way to stay off grains for your health if possible. I'm so glad you are finding some relief and feeling better!!!

41dfb1a4fecb38d24075ff52f13ccb28

on September 15, 2011
at 01:06 PM

Compared to someone in perfect health, my digestion is probably a little slower than I'd like and there's probably some leftover indigestion (reflux maybe?). But I'm also wondering how much of that is due to me eating more carbs than I know I do best on. I felt amazing on VLC, but it's cost prohibitive right now. (Darn economy is kind of kicking my butt in a big way.) But it also has only been a few months off the gluten, so could it get better still? I don't know. Or, maybe now that the gluten is gone, I need to address thyroid? Mostly I'm open to the possibilities.

41dfb1a4fecb38d24075ff52f13ccb28

on September 15, 2011
at 01:08 PM

Oh, and I'm also down about 15 lbs again, but being sick made me gain a bunch of weight back, so there's still some more to go. It's creeping off, but not at any decent rate. Although, I am starting to look hourglass-ish again, which is nice. Before I was a little "hey koolaid!" from the swelling :)

Answer Question


Get FREE instant access to our
Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!