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Low Carb and Thyroid Function

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  • #31
    I know nothing about the thyroid and how low carb effects it buuuuuuuuut I just want to say that I am on a zero carb diet and as you can see my hair is doing just fine : )

    http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread69285.html

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    • #32
      Originally posted by emmie View Post
      I'm hypothyroid (Hashimoto's), and I find all the misinformation about carbs/thyroid to be incredibly annoying.

      First of all, hypo 'symptoms' can be symptoms of many, many other things in a person. No individual gets all the symptoms, and someone with an array of 'thyroid' symptoms can have a very healthy thyroid. For example, often women who are 'dieting' will suffer hair loss because they fail to eat sufficient protein. And a person who is 'tired a lot' or 'can't lose weight' doesn't necessarily have thyroid problems. If you are actually hypothyroid (thyroid isn't producing sufficient hormones), eating carbs isn't going to 'cure' you. But if you have some other dysfunction that's causing the symptoms, it's certainly possible for a dietary change to effect improvement in symptoms. [Yes, it's like putting some duct tape over the illuminated "check engine" light and thinking you have fixed the car]

      Since one aspect of Hashimoto's that I suffer from is flawed conversion of T4 to T3, the notion that we need carbs for that is ludicrous. Yes. the body uses glucose during the conversion process, but that's because the body functions on glucose to maintain itself. The conversion of T4 to T3 is like any other bodily function, and the body will use part of its energy source to accomplish that conversion. No one has to eat a 'special' diet to enable the conversion.

      I happen to be a person who is extremely carb sensitive, and I do best at about 20g carbs or fewer. Because of my age and metabolic situation, I also have to eat very low calorie ("low' by standard measurements, but sufficient for my own body). My endo knows this and, if fact, applauds my WOE. Since he does a full blood panel every 4 months, it's apparent that my low-carb eating is very healthy for my particular body. At age 71, the only Rx I take are my supplemental thyroid hormones. My BP and blood glucose are all excellent.
      Thank you, Emmie.

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      • #33
        Originally posted by Artbuc View Post
        I would be the happiest person in the world if I did not have to worry about my BG going above 140. Can you cite some references that show no harm above 140? Thanks.
        Evelyn Kocur very well may be your savior, then. I know I'm committing a paleo sin by linking to the blog of a person who didn't learn biochemistry from Gary Taubes, but here's a series of posts that was sparked by the first study Neckhammer linked. Not sure if they're in proper order.

        I'm not sure where you fall on the spectrum of cognitive dissonance (I know Neckhammer won't read these, and if he does he'll laugh it off and give his typical "girl U crazy!" response), but here's an opposing viewpoint:

        Where did the 140 mg/dL threshold come from?
        Context is Everything I - Diabetic vs. Non
        Context is Everything II: The OGTT
        Do Postprandial Spikes Glycate?
        Diabetic Neuropathy, Is it All About Hyperglycemia?

        Originally posted by emmie View Post
        If you are actually hypothyroid (thyroid isn't producing sufficient hormones), eating carbs isn't going to 'cure' you.
        Nobody who understands the difference between hypothyroidism and ESS is suggesting that. However, carbohydrates can "cure" quality of life issues that can arise from ESS.

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        • #34
          Originally posted by lucy1984 View Post
          Solobiker - with that sleep profile, I'd think about getting your adrenal functions looked like. That early hours awakening thing can be a sign of your cortisol being too low/too high, or low and high at the wrong times.
          Adrenals Web
          Thanks for the link.

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          • #35
            Originally posted by BeatlesFan View Post
            I know nothing about the thyroid and how low carb effects it buuuuuuuuut I just want to say that I am on a zero carb diet and as you can see my hair is doing just fine : )

            http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread69285.html
            Great job!

            Comment


            • #36
              Originally posted by Timthetaco View Post
              (I know Neckhammer won't read these, and if he does he'll laugh it off and give his typical "girl U crazy!" response)
              I actually don't ever recall saying that....

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              • #37
                Originally posted by Timthetaco View Post
                Evelyn Kocur very well may be your savior, then. I know I'm committing a paleo sin by linking to the blog of a person who didn't learn biochemistry from Gary Taubes, but here's a series of posts that was sparked by the first study Neckhammer linked. Not sure if they're in proper order.

                I'm not sure where you fall on the spectrum of cognitive dissonance (I know Neckhammer won't read these, and if he does he'll laugh it off and give his typical "girl U crazy!" response), but here's an opposing viewpoint:

                Where did the 140 mg/dL threshold come from?
                Context is Everything I - Diabetic vs. Non
                Context is Everything II: The OGTT
                Do Postprandial Spikes Glycate?
                Diabetic Neuropathy, Is it All About Hyperglycemia?



                Nobody who understands the difference between hypothyroidism and ESS is suggesting that. However, carbohydrates can "cure" quality of life issues that can arise from ESS.
                I did skim these links. No doubt that the evidence supporting nerve damage above 140 is far from iron clad. OTOH, you can say that about any nutrition or disease prevention theory out there. I find both sides of every issue are guilty of poking holes in the opposition data instead of positively putting forth their own argument. Biochemistry and genetics are so incomprehensibly complicated that no study will ever be a smoking gun. If you do not want to believe serum cholesterol causes CVD, it is easy to point out how no one has performed the perfect double-blind, randomized, controlled, placebo study conducted long enough to prove serum cholesterol causes CVD. Yet people will readily refer to totally sketchy studies to support their own theory. Your sources point out the lack of evidence supporting the 140 limit. However, what proof do they offer that 140 is safe? If you know you have a problem controlling blood sugar, you need to do something about it. If you think 140 is too low, pick another number which makes more sense to you. For me, I will stick to 140. I know that my vision is dramatically better since I went VLC, that is, since I have been keeping my 1 hour postprandial below 140. Also, I believe the macular hemorrage I experienced was due to high BG (came scary close to becoming blind in my right eye). Since I wasn't measuring BG before, I do not know what it typically ran, but doing a "homemade" OGTT and measuring my BG after a little ice cream, I am quite sure my BG stayed around 200 almost all day long on my previous diet. Maybe I would be ok at 160 or 180. If I had the interest, I could increase my carbs to control at 180 and see if my vision degrades. However, even if my vision stayed good, how would I know that other bad things were not happening? If "normal" people typically have 1 hour BG at 110-120 and are back to baseline at 2 hours, why shouldn't I shoot for 140 if I can achieve 140? If someone is closer to T2 than I, maybe the best they can do is 160 or 180 and that would represent a reasonable goal for them.
                Last edited by Artbuc; 11-14-2012, 04:05 AM.

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                • #38
                  If you have impaired glucose tolerance, than you should definitely be more careful with your blood sugar. If you're really curious what your glucose tolerance is, and if you have good insurance or can afford one, I'd say get an official OGTT. For the perfectly insulin sensitive, under 200 at 1 hour seems to be normal. Blood sugar rises and falls; it's physiology, not pathology. The 140 number is thrown out by the low carb crowd to represent the one number you never want to surpass, ever, which is out of context and untrue. I remember in the potato thread someone shared a link about the 140 mg/dl threshold after Otzi posted his entirely normal post-prandial spike from eating potatoes.

                  Unfortunately, low carb diets don't just appeal to those with IGT. I'm a non-diabetic 24 year old, and for a while I thought glucose was going to kill me. Low carb rhetoric can do that.

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    Originally posted by Paleobird View Post
                    Thank you.
                    Not trying to pick a fight, I have a sincere question:

                    This thread was created for the purpose of gathering information from people who have had experience with thyroid issues and low carb. Why are you going out of your way to post studies that claim there isn't a link and repeatedly thanking people who are saying they personally haven't had problems?

                    Clearly, this is an issue that some people are struggling with, and just because you aren't, that doesn't invalidate everyone else's experience.

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      The way I read the OP it was asking for incidences of low carb diet causing thyroid issues/hair loss... specifically hair loss as a symptom of low carb which is not necessarily a thyroid issue at all nor a carbohydrate consumption issue... Not issues of people who had existing thyroid issues and their experience with low carb diet causing further problems, though I respect your input as well.

                      I think that the OP has diabetes, not thyroid issues, and that is the reason for his query.
                      “You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist.”
                      ~Friedrich Nietzsche
                      And that's why I'm here eating HFLC Primal/Paleo.

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        Originally posted by BestBetter View Post
                        Not trying to pick a fight, I have a sincere question:

                        This thread was created for the purpose of gathering information from people who have had experience with thyroid issues and low carb. Why are you going out of your way to post studies that claim there isn't a link and repeatedly thanking people who are saying they personally haven't had problems?

                        Clearly, this is an issue that some people are struggling with, and just because you aren't, that doesn't invalidate everyone else's experience.
                        As Cori said, there is a difference between having experience with a pre-existing thyroid issue that was definitely not helped by low carbing and the persistent yet totally unfounded mythology that low carb somehow causes thyroid problems.

                        Your experiences are very valid. No one is saying otherwise. I just don't want people who could benefit greatly from low carb to be scared away from it by fear mongering that is not based on science.

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                        • #42
                          Originally posted by Paleobird View Post
                          I just don't want people who could benefit greatly from low carb to be scared away from it by fear mongering that is not based on science.
                          Paleobird, it is so hard to know what and whom to trust among all of the high profile folks making a living off nutrition and health. Do you think Kresser is simply misinformed or just angling to make more money, like he is doing right now with his $149 Cholesterol Course? Thanks.

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                          • #43
                            Originally posted by Artbuc View Post
                            Paleobird, it is so hard to know what and whom to trust among all of the high profile folks making a living off nutrition and health. Do you think Kresser is simply misinformed or just angling to make more money, like he is doing right now with his $149 Cholesterol Course? Thanks.
                            I have no idea what goes on in the mind of Chris Kresser. He is often described as "a clinician" but really he is an acupuncturist and expert in Eastern Medicine. Not that that is a bad thing. Just sayin' that just because something is "eastern" does not make it valid. Eastern medicine is what espouses tiger testicles and rhino horn as cures for infertility and impotence. Also the ability to stick needles into a patient's body thereby causing a release of endorphins which does greatly help with many bodily pain situations does not make one an expert in physiology or biochemistry.

                            His blog is slick and it is definitely "monetized" with his payed "programs" and supplements but, hey, I'm not going to knock him for that as our own beloved Mark does the same.

                            All that being what it is, the simple fact is that T3 production does go down in response to lowering carbs but this is normal and natural because less T3 is needed with a low carb diet. This lowering of T3 can (not does or will, but CAN) cause problems for someone who already has a thyroid disorder. Eating more carbs will not cure the thyroid problem but it may mask the symptoms for a while.

                            Bottom line, the thyroid is a very complex mechanism. I would rather trust mine to an endocrinologist than an acupuncturist.

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                            • #44
                              I would like to second Paleobird's comment about 'fear mongering.' I am constantly reading posts from people who are eating low carb and having a positive experience but worried that it is somehow destroying their thyroid. That's based entirely on the type of misinformation that is promoted by people who have a little information but no real knowledge.

                              I find it incredible that people tend to believe Internet postings or blogs from people with no real credentials. Unfortunately, claims like Kresser's can sound reliable (low carb lowers T3)--but the uninformed reader doesn't know that 1) it's a natural bodily change because the higher T3 isn't necessary with low carb; 2) it is not a permanent change--in a healthy person, the thyroid hormones are self-regulating, depending on the needs of the person.

                              For example, researchers were astounded some years ago when they noticed that critically ill patients in hospitals who had no thyroid problems had VERY low T3 levels. They wondered whether this was impeding recovery. Further research showed that this was an activity of the body's immune system that was actually promoting healing (in ways that scientists still don't fully understand), and that T3 levels returned to normal once the individual had recovered from the illness.

                              Since I'm hypothyroid and regularly checked by my endo, I run some of these 'myths' that seem plausible by him, and he is aware of the nonsense on the Internet because, he tells me, patients are always asking him about things they read that 'scare' them but aren't true medically.

                              Comment


                              • #45
                                Originally posted by Paleobird View Post
                                I have no idea what goes on in the mind of Chris Kresser. He is often described as "a clinician" but really he is an acupuncturist and expert in Eastern Medicine. Not that that is a bad thing. Just sayin' that just because something is "eastern" does not make it valid. Eastern medicine is what espouses tiger testicles and rhino horn as cures for infertility and impotence. Also the ability to stick needles into a patient's body thereby causing a release of endorphins which does greatly help with many bodily pain situations does not make one an expert in physiology or biochemistry.

                                His blog is slick and it is definitely "monetized" with his payed "programs" and supplements but, hey, I'm not going to knock him for that as our own beloved Mark does the same.

                                All that being what it is, the simple fact is that T3 production does go down in response to lowering carbs but this is normal and natural because less T3 is needed with a low carb diet. This lowering of T3 can (not does or will, but CAN) cause problems for someone who already has a thyroid disorder. Eating more carbs will not cure the thyroid problem but it may mask the symptoms for a while.

                                Bottom line, the thyroid is a very complex mechanism. I would rather trust mine to an endocrinologist than an acupuncturist.
                                AMEN!! Your post prompted me to examine his credentials which he openly lays out in his autobio. With all due respect to Dr Kresser, how dare he pass himself off as a cholesterol expert or pontificate on the highly complex biochemistry of thyroid function? I am beginning to think Peter Attia is nothing more than a big blow-hard himself but at least he is a MD. In his cholesterol series he strongly and unequivocally said LDL-P is the ONLY thing that matters; however, in his "personal journey" blog written a couple years earlier, he talks about the importance of LDL particle size. I asked about this conflict. To his credit, he promptly answered. However, his answer was we really don't know because the science is unsettled. Well, if that is the case, why was he so adamant and unequivocal in his cholesterol series? Wow....

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