2

votes

Is there diet-induced hypothyroidism? Can I eat my way out?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created September 04, 2012 at 1:01 PM

Brief history:

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)
  • fatigue/sluggishness
  • 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;

  1. I just wasn't eating enough calories
  2. 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.

7e6644836cdbcbe2b06307ff7db92d31

(693)

on September 05, 2012
at 03:09 PM

Thanks Jamie. You understand the conundrum, right? I'm still getting up to speed on all of it, but for a hypothetical, let's say low T3 requires clinical intervention (pharmaceuticals). I know from my past diet (LC and not enough calories) that I probably had low T3. Why would I go to a doctor under those circumstances? Why not eat right for a couple months, let things equilibrate, and then get checked out?

7e6644836cdbcbe2b06307ff7db92d31

(693)

on September 05, 2012
at 03:01 PM

I was LC and not eating enough, so problems could have arisen from none, either, or both. I feel like I could pick my weight with the absence of hunger. 145 lbs was definitely light, and I'm more interested in functional fitness, besides. I successfully dropped a lot of weight, just wasn't prepared to modify my diet once that was complete. In the middle of figuring it all out now.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on September 05, 2012
at 02:24 PM

Go to a doctor, get a blood test. It may be nothing to do with thyroid, or that may be bang on the money. Its better not to guess if you dont have to.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on September 05, 2012
at 02:23 PM

+1 for not taking iodine supplements. You only need between 100-150mcgs counting in safety margin, individual variation and goitergens. Thats easy to get by eating right, and WAY less than is in seaweed.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on September 05, 2012
at 02:19 PM

Oh and I would guess, that if you sort the cause out, it would take a while to effect your nails and hair. They are slow growing after all.

7e6644836cdbcbe2b06307ff7db92d31

(693)

on September 05, 2012
at 12:15 PM

Thanks. What about Knox gelatin? It's easy to find.

C250cd5da05ca54ad3133630ff614573

(175)

on September 05, 2012
at 06:38 AM

Regarding vegetables, if you want to follow Peat and still eat vegetables, you can cook them. He thinks that's usually an improvement over eating them raw. Regarding muscle meat, it's ok to have it if you add 10 grams of gelatin for every pound of meat, if I recall correctly.

C250cd5da05ca54ad3133630ff614573

(175)

on September 05, 2012
at 06:38 AM

Regarding vegetables, if you want to follow Peat and still eat vegetables, you can cook them. He think that's usually an improvement over eating them raw. Regarding muscle meat, it's ok to have it if you add 10 grams of gelatin for every pound of meat, if I recall correctly.

C250cd5da05ca54ad3133630ff614573

(175)

on September 05, 2012
at 06:37 AM

Regarding muscle meat, it's ok to have it if you add 10 grams of gelatin for every pound of meat, if I recall correctly.

C250cd5da05ca54ad3133630ff614573

(175)

on September 05, 2012
at 06:36 AM

Regarding vegetables, if you want to follow Peat and still eat vegetables, you can cook them. He think that's usually an improvement over eating them raw.

C250cd5da05ca54ad3133630ff614573

(175)

on September 05, 2012
at 06:34 AM

I think you don't have to limit muscle meat if you add gelatin to your meal, like Great Lakes Gelatin. If you don't like milk, you can have cheese. Ray Peat said that the amino-acid profile of cheese might be more beneficial than milk for an adult. The most important thing in the Ray Peat diet, especially to help the thyroid, is to stop consuming foods with a significant amount of polyunsaturated fats. There is a thread on how to reduce PUFAs here: http://paleohacks.com/questions/107862/how-to-reduce-pufa-consumption#axzz25ZVGLjMG

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on September 04, 2012
at 04:38 PM

I don't know if those symptoms will abate, but I think you should consider eating like a sane person. All of us should. (Sane Paleo Weston Price person that is).

7e6644836cdbcbe2b06307ff7db92d31

(693)

on September 04, 2012
at 02:47 PM

Reviewed Peat again. Had been 16/8 IF, but think I could kick the day off with some OJ/coconut oil before the black coffee. Need to up protein to meet leangains/Peat recommendations. Not sure about milk (somewhat lactose intolerant), not sure about avoiding post-workout whey, not sure about limiting muscle meat, not sure about limiting vegetables, will have potatoes post-workout. Hopefully everything balances out, because it'll be a long slog before I'd become a full-blown Peatatarian.

7e6644836cdbcbe2b06307ff7db92d31

(693)

on September 04, 2012
at 02:40 PM

Thanks again, and I have taken your advice to heart. I will get checked out soon if things don't improve, not trying to be obstinate.

A1a0baccef58499acf9ceb3c874997f2

(675)

on September 04, 2012
at 02:31 PM

I understand. I have some thyroid issues, and some of the biggest dietary blessings have been going off of gluten, dairy, and NUTS. I've tried a strict autoimmune protocol too (no nightshades, nuts/seeds, or eggs), and find it very helpful, though difficult to maintain sometimes.

7e6644836cdbcbe2b06307ff7db92d31

(693)

on September 04, 2012
at 02:17 PM

For more background, I had to work extremely hard to get off Lipitor, and am reluctant to sign on for more medication. I'll get checked out if necessary, but I believe my problems are diet-induced, and think I have time to attempt corrective dietary measures. I'll monitor body temp and weight for progress. It boils down to this...I have no reason to believe this is not diet related, and every reason to believe it is diet related (I expect that I had low T3 based on my diet - in fact, something would have been "wrong" if I didn't have low T3 the way I was eating and living.)

7e6644836cdbcbe2b06307ff7db92d31

(693)

on September 04, 2012
at 02:10 PM

Thanks Hannah. My iodine supplementation was very conservative (not a lot and not daily). It seemed to fit with the raw crucifers/sea salt etc. I'm off that angle now. Just saw that Peat thinks supplementary iodine can actually suppress thyroid. I'm very wary of thyroid problems, and self-cures, lot of whacky things going on out there with high mg doses of Lugol's/Iodoral/Iosol. Really believe my problems were not enough carbs/calories after I lost a lot of weight and was still exercising hard. Increasing carbs seems to fit with Peat, so I'd like to try that first.

7e6644836cdbcbe2b06307ff7db92d31

(693)

on September 04, 2012
at 01:27 PM

Thanks, I'm a little familiar with Peat (stick an orange in my lunch now, along with the 2 hb eggs and 3 cups chopped carrot/celery/cucumber with 2 tbsp olive oil). Want to try upping carbs first, but will continue to review Peat.

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5 Answers

4
A1a0baccef58499acf9ceb3c874997f2

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.

7e6644836cdbcbe2b06307ff7db92d31

(693)

on September 04, 2012
at 02:17 PM

For more background, I had to work extremely hard to get off Lipitor, and am reluctant to sign on for more medication. I'll get checked out if necessary, but I believe my problems are diet-induced, and think I have time to attempt corrective dietary measures. I'll monitor body temp and weight for progress. It boils down to this...I have no reason to believe this is not diet related, and every reason to believe it is diet related (I expect that I had low T3 based on my diet - in fact, something would have been "wrong" if I didn't have low T3 the way I was eating and living.)

A1a0baccef58499acf9ceb3c874997f2

(675)

on September 04, 2012
at 02:31 PM

I understand. I have some thyroid issues, and some of the biggest dietary blessings have been going off of gluten, dairy, and NUTS. I've tried a strict autoimmune protocol too (no nightshades, nuts/seeds, or eggs), and find it very helpful, though difficult to maintain sometimes.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on September 05, 2012
at 02:23 PM

+1 for not taking iodine supplements. You only need between 100-150mcgs counting in safety margin, individual variation and goitergens. Thats easy to get by eating right, and WAY less than is in seaweed.

7e6644836cdbcbe2b06307ff7db92d31

(693)

on September 04, 2012
at 02:10 PM

Thanks Hannah. My iodine supplementation was very conservative (not a lot and not daily). It seemed to fit with the raw crucifers/sea salt etc. I'm off that angle now. Just saw that Peat thinks supplementary iodine can actually suppress thyroid. I'm very wary of thyroid problems, and self-cures, lot of whacky things going on out there with high mg doses of Lugol's/Iodoral/Iosol. Really believe my problems were not enough carbs/calories after I lost a lot of weight and was still exercising hard. Increasing carbs seems to fit with Peat, so I'd like to try that first.

7e6644836cdbcbe2b06307ff7db92d31

(693)

on September 04, 2012
at 02:40 PM

Thanks again, and I have taken your advice to heart. I will get checked out soon if things don't improve, not trying to be obstinate.

2
E8bf28bd28f5be7c34d4a1a97e7c1353

(253)

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!

7e6644836cdbcbe2b06307ff7db92d31

(693)

on September 04, 2012
at 02:47 PM

Reviewed Peat again. Had been 16/8 IF, but think I could kick the day off with some OJ/coconut oil before the black coffee. Need to up protein to meet leangains/Peat recommendations. Not sure about milk (somewhat lactose intolerant), not sure about avoiding post-workout whey, not sure about limiting muscle meat, not sure about limiting vegetables, will have potatoes post-workout. Hopefully everything balances out, because it'll be a long slog before I'd become a full-blown Peatatarian.

7e6644836cdbcbe2b06307ff7db92d31

(693)

on September 04, 2012
at 01:27 PM

Thanks, I'm a little familiar with Peat (stick an orange in my lunch now, along with the 2 hb eggs and 3 cups chopped carrot/celery/cucumber with 2 tbsp olive oil). Want to try upping carbs first, but will continue to review Peat.

C250cd5da05ca54ad3133630ff614573

(175)

on September 05, 2012
at 06:34 AM

I think you don't have to limit muscle meat if you add gelatin to your meal, like Great Lakes Gelatin. If you don't like milk, you can have cheese. Ray Peat said that the amino-acid profile of cheese might be more beneficial than milk for an adult. The most important thing in the Ray Peat diet, especially to help the thyroid, is to stop consuming foods with a significant amount of polyunsaturated fats. There is a thread on how to reduce PUFAs here: http://paleohacks.com/questions/107862/how-to-reduce-pufa-consumption#axzz25ZVGLjMG

C250cd5da05ca54ad3133630ff614573

(175)

on September 05, 2012
at 06:37 AM

Regarding muscle meat, it's ok to have it if you add 10 grams of gelatin for every pound of meat, if I recall correctly.

7e6644836cdbcbe2b06307ff7db92d31

(693)

on September 05, 2012
at 12:15 PM

Thanks. What about Knox gelatin? It's easy to find.

C250cd5da05ca54ad3133630ff614573

(175)

on September 05, 2012
at 06:36 AM

Regarding vegetables, if you want to follow Peat and still eat vegetables, you can cook them. He think that's usually an improvement over eating them raw.

C250cd5da05ca54ad3133630ff614573

(175)

on September 05, 2012
at 06:38 AM

Regarding vegetables, if you want to follow Peat and still eat vegetables, you can cook them. He think that's usually an improvement over eating them raw. Regarding muscle meat, it's ok to have it if you add 10 grams of gelatin for every pound of meat, if I recall correctly.

C250cd5da05ca54ad3133630ff614573

(175)

on September 05, 2012
at 06:38 AM

Regarding vegetables, if you want to follow Peat and still eat vegetables, you can cook them. He thinks that's usually an improvement over eating them raw. Regarding muscle meat, it's ok to have it if you add 10 grams of gelatin for every pound of meat, if I recall correctly.

1
7bf306ada57db47547e9da39a415edf6

(11214)

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.

7e6644836cdbcbe2b06307ff7db92d31

(693)

on September 05, 2012
at 03:01 PM

I was LC and not eating enough, so problems could have arisen from none, either, or both. I feel like I could pick my weight with the absence of hunger. 145 lbs was definitely light, and I'm more interested in functional fitness, besides. I successfully dropped a lot of weight, just wasn't prepared to modify my diet once that was complete. In the middle of figuring it all out now.

0
Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

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%).

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on September 05, 2012
at 02:19 PM

Oh and I would guess, that if you sort the cause out, it would take a while to effect your nails and hair. They are slow growing after all.

0
Ef26f888ed248de197c37a4cb04ef4a7

on September 05, 2012
at 06:10 AM

You could try a few days of overfeeding highcarb/ low fat. That always perks me up a lot after a period of calorie restriction or low carbing.

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