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Help with thyroid numbers please :)

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  • #16
    Originally posted by emmie View Post
    I constantly read (on the Internet) that low carb is 'bad' for thyroid. I have Hashimoto's, but I'm also incredibly carb sensitive and eat no more than 20g of carbs daily--and have done so for many years (with a carby day about every 2 months or so). My endo knows this and says that it does not harm my thyroid.

    As an indication, after I was diagnosed, my meds remained stable for the first 5 years, even though I was eating very low carb the entire time. Surely if there was some slowing of my thyroid, I would have required an increase in dosage? (I'm checked every 4 months).

    When my T3 tanked a few years ago, and I had to add Cytomel, I asked my endo again about my WOE because I'd 'read' that low carb inhibits conversion of T4 to T3. He told me that conversion problems are 'characteristic' of Hashi's and my WOE was not responsible.

    I have never seen any scientific evidence that low carb causes any thyroid problems.


    OMG you found an endo who will prescribe t3 and doesn't call it all 'vodoo'???

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    • #17
      Originally posted by marcadav View Post
      My understanding:
      The possible issue with VLC for some people does not impact the function of the thyroid. It can impact thyroid hormone conversion. Thyroidmanager.org* suggests that people need a minimum of 50 grams/day of glucose for good T4( storage hormone)to T3( active hormone) conversion. With this in mind, ingesting less than 50 grams of carbs/day long term MAY negatively impact conversion.

      I recall reading somewhere (can't remember where) that an issue with VLC and conversion is person specific- not impacted at all, impacted quickly with VLC, impacted after long term VLC or something in between.

      That being said, other things can impact conversion as well:
      1. Not eating enough
      2. Low selenium. 200mcg/day is needed
      3. Low Vitamin D
      4. Low ferritin

      * Effects of the Environment, Chemicals and Drugs on Thyroid Function – Thyroid Disease Manager
      scroll down to Nutrition
      The Non-Thyroidal Illness Syndrome – Thyroid Disease Manager
      scroll down to Low T3 states
      Sometimes I wonder about the whole not eating enough. I think maybe I under ate for a while in combination with too much exercise but that was a couple of years ago. As far as I know, thyroid function was pretty stable at that time. I would tell my mom how many calories I was eating and she thought that it was too low cal combined with all the exercise... and I was only maintaining my weight. But I would eat more on the weekends though.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by lucy1984 View Post
        OMG you found an endo who will prescribe t3 and doesn't call it all 'vodoo'???
        I've been doing some research on doctors in my area. I found one that looks at everything from heavy metals, T3, and who knows what else... He sounds really thorough. I'm super excited for my doctor's appt in a couple of weeks and that's a first haha
        From reviews I've read and saw on his website, he actually takes time to talk to you about symptoms and gets a good background from his patients.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by Danielle5690 View Post
          I haven't seen any scientific research either, but I've seen/heard tons of anecdotes that very low carb (less than 50g per day, which I don't normally do) leads to symptoms of hypothyroid. Could be related, or it could be something else.

          I'm having the same issue, my TSH is trending up and my T4 is getting lower. If I have the same issue next time I get bloodwork I'm going to suggest to my doc that we try a different treatment approach. I've been on T4 for years and my TSH has always been at least a little high, and my T3 is usually low. I suspect I'm just a poor converter.
          Do you supplement with selenium? Do you eat low carb? I mentioned to my new doctor (which I'm not going back to) T3 and she said only 1% of thyroid problems were due to T3 conversion issues. And I'm thinking, how do they know if endos never seem to want to test T3?! lol

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          • #20
            Originally posted by brookesam View Post
            Do you supplement with selenium? Do you eat low carb? I mentioned to my new doctor (which I'm not going back to) T3 and she said only 1% of thyroid problems were due to T3 conversion issues. And I'm thinking, how do they know if endos never seem to want to test T3?! lol
            My doc always tests all forms of thyroid hormone on my request, because I brought up T3 conversion problems to him. I'm on a high dose of T4 for my weight and still occasionally have symptoms and high TSH. I told him next time if my TSH is high and my T3 is low, I want to talk about changing my meds. He's open to the idea. I like my doc.

            I do eat fairly low carb (I don't try to keep it under 50g though... some days it just might end up there though). The post above by marcadav makes my symptoms make so much more sense! My TSH shot up to 6 after I switched to primal eating. I don't supplement with selenium (cause I'm lazy), but if it's going to improve my conversion I sure as hell need to.

            I don't know about what your doc said... my case is a little different because I had my thyroid completely removed. So I know that my blood levels of thyroid hormone are all directly related to how I process the medication. It makes fixing it a little simpler, and it also means I know for certain when I'm having conversion problems based on all my numbers. When there is a functioning thyroid, the interplay of medication and hormones becomes a little more complicated.

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