5'9" male, went from 208 lbs to 175 on pretty solid SAD (go ahead and laugh) and transition into primal, and went from 175 to 145 on LC primal (partly to see how far I could push it, kind of a game, if you will, back up to 160 lbs now). Plenty of exercise; lift, long rides/hikes, sprints. Have/had an eclectic array of symptoms;
- numb fingertips
- cold hands (historically always very warm), cold sensitivity
- a period of hard stools and dry skin on hands (over)
- low temp (just noticed)
- orange/yellow facial complexion (not severe, was getting a lot of sun)
- thin outer third of eyebrow
Do not seemingly have (at least relative to past);
- Muscle weakness (putting in good work the whole time)
- brittle fingernails and hair
- depression (kind of a trick question)
I was probably relatively "hypocaloric" the whole time, and I ate massive amounts of cruciferous vegetables (both raw and cooked).
From another post on here, it only just registered to me that these symptoms appeared after most of the weight was lost, presumably as reserves were depleted (I'm not slow, I'm special). I was more focused on the raw crucifers. I backed off the raw veggies, and lightly supplemented with kelp tablets (only one a day, not every day), and some seaweed (again not daily), both with selenium.
My current thinking is that the vegetables were a red-herring, and that my main problem was that;
- I just wasn't eating enough calories
- I remained LC to VLC after the weight was off
Primal maintenance is 100-150 grams of carbs, and leangains "off" is 125 for me. Trying to hit these numbers with leangains "on" of 400 grams every third day now.
Nailing all this down now, and still have symptoms, especially fingertips, but just began a corrective course. As you might surmise, the main question is...If I start eating like a sane person, will these symptoms abate?
I'm middle-aged, have no history of hypothyroidism, and no family history either. Didn't get checked out (and won't yet) because if the labs weren't right, I'd probably be on Synthroid by now, and I know from this site that I almost certainly ate my way into low T3.
Can I eat my way out?
Thanks in advance.
asked byJim_B (693)
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on September 04, 2012
at 01:40 PM
Jim, I really recommend getting yourself checked. It's the only way to know what's going on. If there is a practitioner of functional medicine or naturopath in your area, maybe go to them first, because they may not try to get you on thyroid hormones immediately. They will want to work on diet/lifestyle first.
I say this because the thyroid is not something to mess around or experiment with. A lot of people try to self-medicate with potassium iodide and kelp (as you said you had), but often (I would even say most of the time) these things can really irritate the thyroid and exacerbate the problem. It is extremely rare to have iodine deficiencies in our culture. By all means, focus on diet, but please be careful when trying to "cure" yourself, when you're not even sure what the problem is. Best of luck.
on September 04, 2012
at 01:20 PM
Yes diet can be a key factor in hypothyroidism. Happened to me as well. I am slowly coming out of it by incorporating some of Ray Peat's ideas. In all my reading, no one understands the thyroid better than him, and how to eat your way out of it. His writings can be dense for some, so Danny Roddy's site is a good primer as well as the Ray Peat Forum. I wish you well!
on September 05, 2012
at 02:22 PM
You do have to eat more, especially if you are on low carb. We have less of an appetite, so we have to actually think about it and add fat to get enough calories. Also, I've since realize that while my cheats on a low carb diet weren't bad enough to stop me from losing weight, they were enough to lower ketone levels in my blood. So, basically, it wasn't hypothyriod (I got it tested), it was not getting enough of any particular fuel source. Personally, I think ketones are the superior fuel source, but I suspect the same issue holds true if you can handle carbohydrates- once the fat comes off your body, your diet must provide stable amount of energy or else.
on September 05, 2012
at 02:13 PM
I went _hyper_T as soon as I went low carb paleo, from too much iodine i had in there. Seems to have settled now ive stopped my five egg a day + cranberries etc routine. Not sure about hypo, but I hear that going too low carb, too fast can trigger it, although that was the opposite of my experience. Thyroid is a sensitive thing clearly.
I think probably the lesson in all that, is probably that dietary changes, should, if possible, be made gradually.
You could always try adding a few extra carbs for now, or just add some coconut oil (boosts thyroid by 20%).