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Can this reverse hypothyroidism without medication?

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  • Can this reverse hypothyroidism without medication?

    My husband is convinced I have hypothyroidism. Over the years, I've tried every conventional "diet" out there and I've never lost any weight. My daughter (a petite little thing) and I traveled together for a week once and she ate twice as much as I did. I never lose nor gain weight. And that has been the case since I started eating primal two weeks ago. The only non-primal things I've ingested were a cocktail and an ice cream cone (soft serve - last night - yum!). No gain. No loss. I really don't want to go the pharmaceutical route. Anyone have any experience with this????

  • #2
    Do you have any symptoms of hypothyroidism? Have you ever talked to a doctor about this? There are more "natural" ways of treating it, with supplements instead of prescriptions, but you still (likely) need to take something.
    Depression Lies

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    • #3
      Your post leaves me with questions:
      1. How old are you?
      2. Do you need to lose weight?
      3. What are your symptoms that having you thinking about thyroid disease? Hypothyroidism: Symptoms and Treatments of Hypothyroid Disease - Part 1: Introduction, Causes, and Symptoms of Hypothyroidism
      4. When's the last time you've had a physical and have you been tested for thyroid issues?
      5. How's your blood sugar levels?

      Things that can inhibit thyroid function and/or hormones:
      1. Anemia, including low ferritin
      2. Low vitamin D
      3. Inadequate selenium-- 200mcg/day
      4. Too low calories and/or carbs
      5. Stress--including over exercising
      6. Soy

      All that being said, you are just starting primal. You need to give it time.. It is a lifestyle, not a quick weight loss diet.

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      • #4
        I agree with the above posters. You should get a medical opinion before assuming that you have this or that. You've only been doing this for 2 weeks, give it time. This isn't a crash diet.
        F 28/5'4/100 lbs

        "I'm not a psychopath, I'm a high-functioning sociopath; do your research."

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        • #5
          Thank you all. I'm 52 and about 75 pounds overweight. I've been complaining to my doctor for years who keeps saying my numbers are all within normal range. But nothing ever changes. I have two close friends who were told the same thing, but when they went to an endocrinologist - who tested further - they were placed on thyroid medications with good results. I've got an appointment with their endocrinologist next month. I'd just like to know if anyone else has had the experience of things changing with this way of eating. I'm not eating primal just to lose weight. My husband and I have been moving towards this for years and came across this when looking for low carb recipes. We only eat whole, organic foods, buy our beef from a friend who raises them, and are physically active. If this alone can make a difference, I'd like to forgo any medication that might be offered...and at least be armed with more information for the appointment.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Nonni View Post
            Thank you all. I'm 52 and about 75 pounds overweight. I've been complaining to my doctor for years who keeps saying my numbers are all within normal range. But nothing ever changes. I have two close friends who were told the same thing, but when they went to an endocrinologist - who tested further - they were placed on thyroid medications with good results. I've got an appointment with their endocrinologist next month. I'd just like to know if anyone else has had the experience of things changing with this way of eating. I'm not eating primal just to lose weight. My husband and I have been moving towards this for years and came across this when looking for low carb recipes. We only eat whole, organic foods, buy our beef from a friend who raises them, and are physically active. If this alone can make a difference, I'd like to forgo any medication that might be offered...and at least be armed with more information for the appointment.
            Menopause or perimenopause can also make losing weight difficult. I had to get thyroid hormones as well as female sex hormones optimized before I was able to lose weight. Even after I was hormonally optimized my body needed time to heal from the lack of hormones before my weight moved.

            Do you have copies of your test results?

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Nonni View Post
              Thank you all. I'm 52 and about 75 pounds overweight. I've been complaining to my doctor for years who keeps saying my numbers are all within normal range. But nothing ever changes. I have two close friends who were told the same thing, but when they went to an endocrinologist - who tested further - they were placed on thyroid medications with good results. I've got an appointment with their endocrinologist next month. I'd just like to know if anyone else has had the experience of things changing with this way of eating. I'm not eating primal just to lose weight. My husband and I have been moving towards this for years and came across this when looking for low carb recipes. We only eat whole, organic foods, buy our beef from a friend who raises them, and are physically active. If this alone can make a difference, I'd like to forgo any medication that might be offered...and at least be armed with more information for the appointment.
              What does your doctor use as "normal" in his labs? Many docs still use outdated lab figures such as 4.5 or 5.0 TSH as normal when in fact anything over 2.0 is a problem. They should also be checking your Vit D (nearly always low in people with thyroid problems) and they should check for Free T3, Free T4 and Thyroid Antibodies.

              My doc ignored my thyroid problems for 9 YEARS, including refusing to test me the last several years even though I offered to pay cash. Another doctor (my gyno, of all people) diagnosed me with hypothryoid. My old GP wanted me to rush down to get put on Synthroid but I decided that if he couldn't understand the symptoms enough to spot hypothyroidism in a case as extreme as mine was, he had no business treating it. I switched docs, who through further testing determined I have Hashimotos, the autoimmune disease that causes hypothyroidism.

              Like you, I was overweight and simply could NOT lose weight. I wasn't able to lose weight until I started thyroid treatment. I'm taking Naturethroid, a natural desiccated thyroid, as I decided I preferred that route to Synthroid for my treatment.
              High Weight: 225
              Weight at start of Primal: 189
              Current Weight: 174
              Goal Weight: 130

              Primal Start Date: 11/26/2012

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              • #8
                I am hypothyroid. I found out because My hubby and I were trying to get pregnant and it wasn't happening. I had child before so we started trying to figure out what was wrong. I had all of the blood work done through my MD and my thyroid numbers came back fine. 6 months later I went to see Dr. Cal Streeter DO and he asked me a bunch of questions about how I felt and then wanted me to take my temp three times a day... once before rising, at noon and I think at three pm. My temp never went above 98.0. That coupled with my symptoms was enough for him to place me on Armour Thyroid (natural not pharma crud). We had to adjust the dosage a bit, but within a few months I was feeling better and pregnant! My temp was and is at 98.6 on average. Dr. Streeter says that it is important to look at the whole picture instead of just focusing on lab results only.

                I have done every diet know to man;-) Eating primal is great and gives me energy, but has not 'cured' my hypothyroidism. What is helping me is the iodine supplement I take. I think I am pretty close to stopping the med I am on. If you have any questions you can send me a message. Have a great evening~
                Last edited by Baconista; 05-07-2013, 03:27 AM.

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                • #9
                  Quitting caffeine and good quality coconut oil can really give your thyroid a boost.

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                  • #10
                    Agreed about the differences in "normal" range. I was diagnosed with Hashimoto's 7 years ago, and at the time my HMO said anything below 5.0 was normal; now, my doctor agrees that TSH of 1-2 is optimal. You should also make sure they are testing you for Hashimoto's antibodies, T3, T4, the whole bit, not just TSH.

                    Your visit with the endocrinologist should give you some answers.
                    Starting weight: 195.8
                    Weight at end of 21-day challenge: ???

                    Goal: To free myself of food obsessions and maintain a healthy weight without DIEeting


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                    • #11
                      I found no amount of primal eating, no matter how strict, helped with my thyroid. The ONLY thing that worked was meds. After that, yes, fasting and eating well allowed me to lose weight. But trying to do it with hypothyroidism? You're fighting a losing battle. So definitely worth getting it checked out. Make sure they test t3 and rt3 too.

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                      • #12
                        Thank you so much everyone!! I really appreciate the input. It does feel like I'm fighting a losing battle in terms of weight loss. Grrrr....but there's no way I'm abandoning this way of eating. From what my friends say, this endo group is open to looking beyond the numbers to what I feel like. My temperature is never above 98. I didn't realize until recently that this had anything to do with hypothyroidism. It amazes me that my doctor didn't pick up on this. Oy. I've been doing quite a bit of reading and am ready for my appointment. I'm looking forward to getting the right kind of treatment and moving forward on this journey.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Nonni View Post
                          My temperature is never above 98. I didn't realize until recently that this had anything to do with hypothyroidism.
                          Cold extremities is a known symptom, (as is weight-gain -- not that there aren't other possible causes for that).

                          Are you ever really, absolutely, hit-with-a-poleaxe, dog-tired in the day? That can be a sign.

                          What about the outer edges of your eyebrows? It's common for those to go very thin, even for people to lose the outer third or so.

                          You may well be hypothyroid. It's not unusual.

                          If it turns out that you are hypothyroid, then I doubt switching to a paleo/primal diet is enough in itself to make that go away. It might well be that the diet of the late-20th/early-21st century developed world is at the root of things -- via an auto-immune reaction, probably -- but once the problem is there, it seems to be difficult to turn around.

                          Here's an interesting book on thyroid problems:

                          Why Do I Still Have Thyroid Symptoms? When My Lab Tests Are Normal: Datis Kharrazian: 9780985690403: Amazon.com: Books

                          It's a darn difficult book, though. There are a number of variants on this problem, and they seem to require different treatments. Datis Kharrazian has some credit in paleo -- or, more broadly, "real food" -- circles. He does seem to be coming more out of a rather older alternative health/chiropractic tradition that has less of a problem with carbohydrate than many paleo people do and that shades off into vegetarianism, but there's still some overlap. Here's a podcast he's talking on:

                          ‘Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb Show’ Episode 382: ‘The Truth About Thyroid Week’ With Dr. Datis Kharrazian « Jimmy Moore's Livin' La Vida Low Carb Blog

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Nonni View Post
                            Thank you all. I'm 52 and about 75 pounds overweight. I've been complaining to my doctor for years who keeps saying my numbers are all within normal range. But nothing ever changes. I have two close friends who were told the same thing, but when they went to an endocrinologist - who tested further - they were placed on thyroid medications with good results. I've got an appointment with their endocrinologist next month. I'd just like to know if anyone else has had the experience of things changing with this way of eating. I'm not eating primal just to lose weight. My husband and I have been moving towards this for years and came across this when looking for low carb recipes. We only eat whole, organic foods, buy our beef from a friend who raises them, and are physically active. If this alone can make a difference, I'd like to forgo any medication that might be offered...and at least be armed with more information for the appointment.
                            I have tested on the borderline of normal for whatever basic and useless measurement they normally go by. Not enough to ever get any treatment except once when I was a teenager I got thyroid pills. I took them for a while. I never noticed any difference, not that I would have known what to look for back then.

                            This has been my primal experience:

                            1. I started on a low carb version of primal. I also started taking iodine. I know that is controversial, but I read something somewhere that made it sound like it would be safe. I found potassium iodide at the store and started taking it. I got up to something like 24mg a day or something, I forget. I never noticed any effects with it. Later I found iodoral online and got that. It has both iodide and iodine. I took that for a while. Never noticed anything with that, either. By "noticed anything" I mean I never felt different, I never felt revved up, I never felt ill, weight didn't start falling off or anything. A lot of people will tell you taking iodine will hose your thyroid. Well, if I hosed my thyroid it hasn't made any difference.

                            2. I took dessicated porcine thyroid for a while. Again, never noticed anything. I figured it couldn't hurt. Maybe it would tell my body what to do. Maybe taking it would show me what it felt like to have more thyroid hormone coursing through my blood. Never noticed anything and some say these pills have any thyroid hormone removed anyway. I didn't take them very long.

                            3. I also took Vitamin D, ate at least weekly liver if not more and daily salmon with the skin and bones. Made sure to get some sunshine on my skin each day, too. This I did notice something. It made me feel good, healthy, happy, vital, energetic.

                            4. The weight I had came off pretty quickly just with eating a low carb primal diet, maybe once a week I did some 23 hour fasting but eventually gave it up because it made me really super cold. Just a bit of walking and hiking for exercise was enough.

                            5. After the weight loss stopped, I eventually quit the supplements. I generally don't like supplements. They seems like a waste of money but YMMV. I'll take the Vitamin D if the weather has been crappy and I'm starting to get sad. I've kept the weight off just with eating primal, and exercising something close to what is recommended by Mark, but significantly lazier.

                            6. I started lifting weights and that has been excellent! It has revved up my appetite but it's okay because I can eat BIG! I eat big and I eat more meat and potatoes than I used to. The body comp change has made me look better and feel better about myself. Recently I started an Olympic weight lifting class and doing these jumping lifts seems to have jolted my body into giving up a little more fat.

                            I honestly do not know if I had a thyroid problem. But I do feel like what I did was helpful to me. I do not feel cold as much as I used to. That could be the peri-menopause, though. I feel a lot healthier and more energetic than I ever did. I never jog or do slow cardio like that anymore. I hike on the weekends because I enjoy it, but other than that, I take a pleasant stroll in the sun or go lift some weights and that's about it for exercise. I eat as much as I can, too, but it's mostly just meat, sweet potatoes and vegetables that I eat big on.

                            There's some guy who is doing a series of blog posts on another website. He wrote the gutsense.org website. I hate the reveal everything a tiny bit at a time and leave everybody hanging without actually giving them the answer you promise method of sharing information so I haven't followed it beyond the first couple posts. Basically his theory is that women need to be especially careful to get as nutrient dense foods as they possibly can. In our modern world we don't physically work hard enough to allow ourselves to eat enough calories to get enough nutrition for a healthy body. So we're caught in this place where we have to eat less than we actually need. So better make everything count. This makes sense to me because of how I responded so well (improved health, vitality and energy) to the Vitamin D, the liver and salmon.

                            So the tl;dr; is that what works for me is to:
                            - eat the most nutrient rich foods possible: meat, liver, salmon with skin and bones, daily sunlight on my bare skin, leafy greens, seaweed salad, grass-fed fat/butter, real olive oil, no calorie counting, when faced with a choice choose the most nutritious option
                            - weight lifting to build a body that can demand and handle eating large quantities of food so I can get enough protein and vitamins from food
                            - eating BIG on meat, veggies and sweet potatoes and not so much on little treats like wine and chocolate

                            Sorry that was so damn long.
                            Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

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                            • #15
                              If you have a TSH over 1, you are hypothyroid. Read Ray Peat for more info.

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