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New, Need Advice, Thyroid, PCOS

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  • New, Need Advice, Thyroid, PCOS

    HI I am new.

    I have a few questions. I want to start the PB diet for health reasons. I have been having symptoms too numerous to list. I found and Endo doc. after some blood test he is now concerned that I may have Hypothyroidism (TSH level went from 2.3 to 4.0 in a month an a half) & PCOS (du to extremely high testosterone level).

    I just had more blood drawn yesterday to confirm the Hypothyroidism, and I'm having an ultra sound on Friday to confirm PCOS.

    From what I have read about hypothyriodism diets, all the foods I love are the ones to stay away from ie broccoli, cauliflower,cabbage,brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, red meat etc.. according to my understanding of the PB I would be consuming large amounts of red meat & veggies. (BTW I do not eat fish, I have tried, but I do not like it al all)

    So I am wondering from anyone out there who may have Hypothyroidism & or PCOS has this change been helpful to you. Do you still eat the foods on the Hypothyroidism do not eat list?

    Once my next set of test results comes back he wants to sit down and talk about medicine.

    What should I do? PB change? Take Medicine? Advice Please.

  • #2

    Why (according to your dr) are you supposed to avoid things like the veggies you mentioned and red meat?

    I haven't been diagnosed but my mother has PCOS and both me and my sister had many symptoms of it. When I went somewhat (still not totally) primal many of them disappeared.

    I'd think it was grains and overly processed foods that contributed, not things like broccoli or red meat. Also I suspect (commercial) milk consumption has more to do with PCOS than anyone lets on.. all those hormones..


    • #3

      Cruciferous vegetables, among many other foods, are goitrogens. They inhibit iodine uptake by the thyroid. You may ask your doc, but it may be possible to supplement with enough iodine that you don't need to worry about eliminating various vegetables from your diet (although omega-6 fats are something that downregulates thyroid effect that iodine won't fix).

      You may have to remind your Doc that TSH is just a screening tool (and normal range is 0.3-3.0, although low end is better), not an ongoing diagnosis tool. Once you start on meds it's pretty meaningless, and you need to be doing a more full thyroid panel to check things out. Also make sure he checks adrenal function before you go chasing thyroid issues -- if adrenals aren't working, you can't utilize thyroid hormone. You may want to search the forum for the couple other threads that have come up, lots of good info in there.


      • #4

        "ie broccoli, cauliflower,cabbage,brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, red meat etc.. according to my understanding of the PB I would be consuming large amounts of red meat & veggies."

        Just steam/slightly cook the goitrogenic vegetables. Meat is not a problem if you are hypothyroid.

        Also eat lots of leafy green salad with your meat with lunch and for dinner steam/cook some vegies.

        Keeping you carbs low will be beneficial for PCOS.

        Get your iodine levels checked. If deficient you can take an iodine supplement for a bit. As Nick said don't go straight on thyroid meds - check adrenals okay. If you do go on thyroid meds see if you can get the natural dessicated thyroid ones.

        Also, check if you have auto-immune hypothyroid - your own body attacking thyroid. If so, gluten should be avoided.

        No soy also - do you have a lot of soy?


        • #5

          Nina - there is tons of good info here for hypoT and Nick is especially knowledgeable - do a search in the forums for "hypothyroid" - also Crystal is a good resource -

          I have been hypo for ten years - Hashimotos - been on Armour and Synthroid ...

          I eat just about everything except now have cut out the carbs and grains - I cook the goitrogenic ones and try to watch how much of that I eat - 1-2x per week or so. I do not eat soy at all.

          I went gluten-free last December and that helped a great deal ... but the biggie for me has been getting rid of ALL grains and sugars as well as the starches like swt potato, banana, etc .... I have been eating primal for about a month, having started a couple weeks or so before the challenge .... Although I also have adrenal issues that I am working through, I am feeling great ...

          And maybe it is just a temporary thing, but ... I am reducing the amount of Armour I take - wow ! ...

          anyhoo, there's tons of good info here

          Check out my new blog at


          • #6

            Hi there... I have PCOS, which was my main motivation for starting the Paleo diet. I have no experience with hypothyroidism, though.

            Since my PCOS is Insulin-resistance related, the Paleo diet has been extremely helpful. I've treated my PCOS with a combination of diet, exercise, acupuncture, and traditional chinese medicine (herbs). I did not want to take the medicine metformin, however, I know that it helps many women with PCOS.

            I think that what you should do depends on the severity of your symptoms, and how much you'd realistically be able to manage your conditions through lifestyle and/or holistic changes. If your PCOS symptoms are severe, then you might want to go on medication temporarily. If you are absolutely opposed to medication, then be prepared to do a lot of research and make some serious changes to your life. But it's entirely possible to do without medication.


            • #7

              Hi Nina

              We have a lot people here with thyroid problems. Yes, do a search. PCOS is related to thyroid problems. I am surprised that an endo. would dx you with a thyroid problem based on a TSH of 4. From, what I've seen, endos do not know how to properly treat hypoT. But, good for him. Since it flucuated, you need to test both antibodies, thyroid peroxidase and thyroidglobulin antibodies. Hashimottos is a very common thyroid autoimmune disorder. As mentioned you need the frees. People feel best with FT3 at the top or slightly over the range. TSH is not a good test at all for evaluating hypoT.

              Unfortunately, many people with low thyroid also have low adrenal function(cortisol). Your own thyroid production or medication will not work unless you have enough cortisol to use it. You may experience hyper. symptoms but in reality it's your bodies way of saying that it can't handle the meds. High cortisol will prevent your body from using thyroid hormones as well.

              I'm afraid that your doctor may want to prescribe synthroid, levoxyl, levothyroxine, compounding t4,t3. I would ask for naturethroid or westhroid. Armour is having problems.

              I avoid peanuts,soy, fluoride, all grains, because they do lower thyroid function. Other goiterogens I really don't worry about too much but cooking/steaming seems to help.

              Iodine alone could help a lot of people who have sluggish thyroids. The lack of iodine causes a build up of chlorine, fluoride, and bromide which ruins the thyroid. The RDA of 150mcg for iodine is pretty poor. I'm taking 12 mg of iodine(iodorol).


              • #8

                Thanks for all your insight. I spoke to my doctor again today. He has confirmed it is Hypothyroidism only. The PCOS, blood tests & ultrasound were negative. He has conducted so many blood tests, he orginally thought it was my pituitary glad. I have had every hormone level tested at least twice, including, cortisol levels, urine samples and my adrenal function & ultrasound of the adrenal glands. The reason he thought it was PCOS was my testosterone level was 3X higher than it should be, on the last set of tests it came out normal. I guess I don't have to worry about the goitrogen foods now.

                Marks book just came in the mail, I excited to read it!

                Crystal W posted " I'm afraid that your doctor may want to prescribe synthroid, levoxyl, levothyroxine, compounding t4,t3. I would ask for naturethroid or westhroid. Armour is having problems."

                He wants me to start on levothyroxine 25mg. I have an apointment on Monday. Why is Naturethroid or westhroid okay? Are they natural drugs as opposed to synethetic ones?


                • #9

                  there are a lot of people who will say you shouldn't take synthetic drugs (levothyroxine). I think they are spending too much timing freaking themselves out on the internet - as far as i know armour is extracted pig thyroid hormone. woopdie doo, like grok is going to go around taking out pig thyroid to make himself feel better. just take the levothyroxine. i've been taking it for 5 years now, my levels are great, i'm primal, i eat cauliflower and red meat like its my job, i am low body fat, high energy, all the good stuff. and my TSH was super-high before i started taking the meds.

                  hypothyroidism is really easy to treat - like your dr. said, 25mg pill every day probably forever, but no big deal. you'll be fine, you can eat all the same foods and it wont make any difference, unless you stop taking your pill.


                  • #10

                    Thanks gkh.


                    • #11

                      apologies for the lateness of my reply on this but hypothyroidism is nearly always caused by an iodine deficiency. please read this article about iodine deficiencies:


                      also by a ph test kit and test the ph of either your urine or your saliva (saliva probably easier) first thing in the morning before eating or drinking anything. you will want to maintain a body ph of 7.35-7.45, as you can see this is ever so slightly alkaline. acidosis of the body is a culprit of many dis-ease. an article about acidosis for more information about keeping your body at a neutral-alkaline level.


                      • #12

                        Phew. Lots of crackpot misinformation in here. Seriously, Nina, I recommend going and reading the other threads, and also checking out Stop The Thyroid Madness ( For every gkh who has good luck on levothyroxine there are plenty of others for whom it is totally inadequate. Armour, Naturethroid, and Westhroid are qualitatively different because they contain all of the hormones in the thyroid, not just T4: T3, T2, T1, and calcitonin. T4 is turned into T3, T2, and T1 progressively by various deiodinase enzymes, and they are more potent in individual tissues and faster acting as that happens. The process of converting T4 into those hormones and getting them to cells is prone to a lot of issues, and while T4-only replacement may work fine if literally everything else in your body is optimal, it's not a good assumption to make.

                        Again, TSH is a screening tool, and getting it back into normal range is not a cure. Your body temperature, heart rate, skin, hair, nails, level of energy, digestive system, etc. all need to stop presenting symptoms of hypothyroidism for you to consider your treatment a success. You need to have the doctor check 24hr cortisol, Free T4, Free T3, Reverse T3, ferritin, thyroid peroxidase, and thryoid antibodies, and you should keep a waking temperature log (should be 97.8-98.2 upon waking and 98.4-98.8 at 3PM), resting heart rate log, and if possible notes about the status of any hypo symptoms you observe (losing hair, brittle nails, feeling cold, and many others).

                        There are a lot of doctors and endrocrinologists who like things to be super simple -- send every diabetic home with some insulin, metformin, and instructions to eat more healthy whole grains, send every hypothyroid patient home with levothyroxine and increase the dose until TSH is maybe within spitting distance of what the acceptable levels for it were 6 years ago (range was moved to 0.3-3 in 2003, used to be 0.5-5, my wife was told she was fine with a TSH of 5.4 and plenty of hypo symptoms, so we switched doctors), etc.

                        It's an endocrine problem and therefore never simple, and you have the right to insist to an accurate diagnosis and alleviation of symptoms.

                        If gkh knew anything about thyroid problems, he/she wouldn't brag about eating cauliflower (a goitrogen) like it was a job, and would know that initial doses are not final doses, but are increased until the doctor gets tired of testing your TSH and tells you to go away. Additionally, gkh would know that 25mg is not even remotely a sane number for a dose of levothyroxine. A minimal dose would be more like 25ug and move up to 100-150ug for a serious deficiency.


                        • #13

                          Nick is right, Nina- I heed his advice and have similar problems. I am waiting for more test results myself (re: Hashi's, celiac, primary or secondary adrenal fatigue). While we can do much to enhance our health thru diet, natural dessicated thyroid is really essential to our continued health. Sadly, it looks like the FDA may pull our meds off the market- an announcement is expected today (Thurs Aug 27th). Check out the Stop The Thyroid Madness website as listed above & join Janie's group on Facebook for updates. The PB alone cannot save those of us with thyroid disease, as much as I wish it could.


                          • #14

                            Man, I hate the FDA. I may have to look into that Erfa stuff STTM talks about for my wife (


                            • #15
                              If you are still suffering with PCOS, Endometriosis, Fibrocystic Breasts or cysts there is a great deal of hope.

                              THE number 1 cause for PCOS, Endometriosis, Fibrocystic Breasts AND the eventual cancers of these organs PLUS Prostate problems in men with resulting prostate cancers are ALL THE SAME ! Also hyperthyroid, hypothyroid, Graves Disease & Hashimotos. A nationwide severe iodine deficiency. Every cell in the human body requires iodine to be healthy, ESPECIALLY the reproductive organs and the Thyroid which is responsible for hormones.

                              What happened to all of that iodized salt??? What little iodine we have in our cells has been replaced by nasty toxins called Bromides, Fluorides & Chlorides. (Halide Chemicals) We live in a SEA of these toxins in our food, our drinking water, our toothpaste, hair coloring, everywhere! These toxins cripple our immune system so that it is not as effective killing virus, germs, candida, & cancer cells.

                              For the complete and horrible story see this link, Iodine References:
                              Please pass these files on to friends & relatives. Send them out on Facebook & Twitter. Get the word out to everyone.

                              Symptoms from Iodine Deficiency
                              (typically the same as hypothyroidism - Link )
                              * Aches and pains, vague (1) * Asthma (13)
                              * Brittle Nails (12) * Candida(4)
                              * Cholesterol levels increased (1) * Cysts of skin, breast & ovaries (9)
                              * Cold intolerance (cold hands & feet) (1) * Concentration decreased [brain fog] (1)
                              * Constipation (1) * Depression (1)
                              * Diabetes (4) * Dry, coarse hair (1)
                              * Dry skin (1) * Dry Mouth
                              * Dry Eyes * Excessive sleepiness (1)
                              * Fatigue (1) Chronic Fatigue Syndrome * Fibromyalgia (4)
                              * Fluid Retention (4) * Graves’ Disease (4)
                              * Hair Loss (10) * Headaches (11)
                              * Heart rate slowing (1) * Hyperthyroid, hypothyroid, Hashi’s (4, 9)
                              * Immune system reduced function (4) * Insomnia (4)
                              * Keloids (9) * Memory Poor (12)
                              * Miscarriages & Low Baby IQ * Mental Retardation
                              * Muscle Cramps, Pain (1,4) * Parotid duct stones.(12) * Puffiness around the eyes (1) * Stomach Problems
                              * Sweating reduced or gone(1) * Swelling of the legs (edema) (1) * Temperature drop in body temp (1) * Thyroid cysts (Goiters) (2,3) * Weakness (12) * Weight gain (1)
                              THERE ARE MUCH MORE - 181 Symptoms ! ! ! Consequences of Iodine Deficiency

                              Symptoms from SEVERE Iodine Deficiency
                              * Migraine headaches (5,6) * Painful periods/heavy periods (5,6)
                              * Pelvic pain (5,6) * PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) (5,6)
                              * Endometriosis (5,6) * Fibroid Tumors (5,6)
                              * Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) (5,6) * Breast pain (fibrocystic tissue) (5,6)
                              * Cancers in female breasts & organs (5,6) * Lung Cancers (13)
                              * Prostate problems including Cancer (7,8) * testicular cancer (7,8)
                              * Thyroid Cancers * Erectile Dysfunction
                              1) Iodine Deficiency | University of Michigan Health System
                              (2) Thyroid Cyst Symptoms |
                              (3) Iodine Cures
                              (4) Iodine Therapy
                              (5) Iodine Deficiency and Estrogen Dominant Diseases - Jorge D. Flechas, MD - YouTube
                              (6) Iodine for Health by Donald W. Miller, Jr., MD
                              (7) Cancer and Iodine - The Iodine Project
                              (8) Iodine Deficiency - An Under-Recognized Epidemic
                              (9) Dr. James Howenstine -- Iodine is Vital For Good Health
                              (10) Iodine and Hair Loss: Is There A Connection? | Natural Health & Organic Living Blog
                              (11) Dr. James Howenstine -- Iodine is Vital For Good Health
                              (12) Iodine deficiency symptoms and benefits | Foods containing Iodine | Overdose Symptoms
                              (13) Dr. David Derry Answers Reader Questions -- Asthma and Thyroid Hormones

                              Join us at our Iodine Thread if you have any questions: