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Thread: Thyroid problems page

  1. #1
    marci's Avatar
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    Hi gang

    Well, I just had my labs reviewed by my ND. She says the reason why my 14 weeks on the PB has not shown any muscle gain/ fat loss is coz my thyroid is messed up (amazing how my allopathic doc says I'm fine- but I guess they take more of a pass/fail approach whereas an ND tend to look at things in grades- like A-F!)

    Any thoughts on thyroid meds? She suggests Armour or another natural brand. I don't like the idea of taking anything but cannot take it much more (all this work and I cannot budge my 29% bodyfat at all) At least we know why...


    thanks!


  2. #2
    Nick's Avatar
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    If you want to know more, you should check out http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/ . My wife has been hypothyroid for about 5 years now, and recently switched from synthetic T4-only therapy to armour (I had to go find a new doctor who would prescribe it, so be glad you have a doctor who actively recommends it).


    It's completely premature to diagnose hypothryoidism based on inability to lose weight. If your ND has done some other tests and has other data, that's one thing, but low thyroid effect can be a result of a number of problems with the Pituitary-Thyroid-Adrenal axis.

    The pituitary gland releases thyroid stimulating hormone, which elicits thyroid hormone release from the thyroid. The thyroid gland makes thyroid hormone (T4)T (with iodine as a necessary precursor). The liver converts T4 to T3 with an enzyme made from selenium. Then T3 acts on tissues, as well as being converted into T2 and T1, which also act on tissues to drive metabolism. Cortisol from the adrenal glands helps get thyroid hormone into the tissues.


    Low metabolism could be a pituitary issue, in which case you'd have low serum thyroid hormones and near-zero TSH levels. You could have adrenal fatigue, with insufficient cortisol for your tissues to use the thyroid hormone. You could have iodine deficiency and/or selenium deficiency. High consumption of omega-6 fat will also reduce the effect of thyroid hormone on tissue.


    TSH is the method most doctors use to diagnose hypo/hyperthyroidism. If it's low, that means the pituitary thinks the thyroid is producing too much, and if it's high, the pituitary wants it to produce more (with a working pituitary). Normal range used to be 0.5-5, now it's 0.3-3 (at the time my wife switched doctors her TSH was 5.5 and they were fine with keeping her levothyroxine dose where it was).


    However, in studies, TSH has shown no correlation with symptoms of hypothryoidism. Serum free T3 has shown a mild correlation (R^2 = 0.3, pretty poor) with symptoms -- the best of any of the common tests. I can provide a link to that paper if you want -- the same lab did a study showing that T4+T3 therapy performed better than T4-only therapy in patients, too (in other words, Armour is better than Levoxyl).


    Ultimately the most important thing is your symptoms. Get a good thermometer, and take your waking temperature and afternoon temperature at 3pm. Waking temperature should be 97.8-98.2, and afternoon you should hit 98.6. The more days you can record this for, the better. Then you will be able to track the improvement as you take whatever steps are necessary depending on the eventual diagnosis.

    Other symptoms include dry/cracked skin, feeling like extremities are cold, digestive issues, feeling tired/sleepy in the middle of the day, and many others (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypothy...Early_symptoms).


    Armour contains T4 and T3 in a 4:1 ratio, but also contains T2 and T1, as well as calcitonin (a critical hormone for calcium trafficking that T4-only replacement drugs do not supply). Eating animal thyroid glands has been a therapy for ailing patients for thousands of years, and we can assume Grok probably didn't shy away from eating some thyroid either when he got the chance.


    Tried my best to give you the info necessary to navigate dealing with a doctor and thyroid issues, but please ask if you have any other questions.


  3. #3
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    Marci, I have been watching your posts and I have to say I commiserate....I am about the same age as you, and am having very similar problems. I did primal full on for 2 months, normally I would see some improvement for a change like that, I put on more fat in that time. no sugar of any kind, fat above 55% and carbs well under 50gms. after that I felt very discouraged and fell off the wagon. I still eat well, but am no longer particularly primal, but agree with it in principle. late last year I had a hair analysis that showed high levels of mercury, I had a blood test and my tsh showed 3.17, my ND said this was sub obtimal and put me on some glandulars which did nothing. because of the mercury they did an oral chelation challenge and the stuff they gave me really hurt my kidneys and liver. It was right before xmas so I didnt have alot of time to research it, if I had I wouldnt have done it, as my mineral panel showed my body couldnt take it. then they wanted to do IV chelations and I never went back. I got my amalgams out with a holistic dentist and started feeling better.


    but still I gained weight mostly round hips and butt but creeping to abs and my arms. so went to allopath and told her my concerns, she weighed me, ok I only put on 3 pounds since my check up in NOvember but she doesnt seem to get that its compositional, ie loss of muscle gain of fat. she wouldnt take me seriously. I was almost in tears and she was smirking. I am 5' 3" and weigh 120 but my skeleton is very slight, and I feel my best just under 110, which is where I was 2 years ago, with a lot of lean muscle mass. I guess for her to take me seriously I will have to gain another 80 pounds. I got her to do tsh and t4, but not for lipid panel which is important. my body temp is on the low side.


    I have had urine tests for adrenal function and they showed low function, but have improved recently. So has my sleep and not getting up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom which was driving me mad.


    Anyway, I like to ride my bike on my trainer in the morning, and had quit drinking coffee because of this whole mercury/adrenal mess, then I thought to hell with it, so started drinking coffee again, about the same time I started on the taurine and then I started taking about 3gms of L-Tyrosine which really kicked my energy levels up and I have loads more energy now. when I comb the conditioner out of my hair there seems to be less in the comb now.


    I really wish I could find someone that would take my endocrine concerns seriously that I can trust. At the moment I feel very alone.


  4. #4
    marci's Avatar
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    wow- Nick & Shelby- amazing responses. There's so much great info in here that I'll have to read & re-read these at home when I can really focus.

    Nick- prior to logging on I found the STTM site while doing a search...will get the book and study it. Yes we've done quite a few tests over the years so I do believe it's thyroid. So hopefully this therapy will help, along with the PB.

    Shelby-sending you a big e-hug!

    I wish I could waive a magic bone (as opposed to a magic wand) and fix all our issues.


  5. #5
    hfox's Avatar
    hfox is offline Junior Member
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    Is it common for people who have thyroid problems to have joint/bone aches?


  6. #6
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    Er, yeah. That wikipedia link didn't hyperlink properly:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypothyroidism#Early_symptoms


    Muscle cramps and joint pain are on the list of early symptoms. Of course that's a symptom with a numerous causes. The thyroid affects so much that it's easy to find a symptom of hypothyroidism, even if you have some other problem. Looking at a combo of body temperature, heart rate, and blood tests (free t3 being the most applicable, but TSH being useful just in case it's a pituitary problem) is the best way.


  7. #7
    marci's Avatar
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    Hfox -the site Nick recommends is excellent, will answer many questions you may have!


  8. #8
    62shelby's Avatar
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    I like the STTM site, good info.


    Marci back at you with the e-hug. wouldnt be nice to know that youre doing the right thing for yourself and it just all fall into place. I really admire your tenacity in the face of treading water, I am so weak willed in comparison!


  9. #9
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    Shelby- was it you who said taurine is good for water retention?


    I commiserate with both of you!


    I've gained a couple of pounds that I just cannot get off! I mean, they will not budge. I can't figure it out. I gave up sugar entirely and eat really "cleanly". And nothing seems to work. I mean, I used to eat something with sugar every day and at least 2 pints of ice cream a week. I've had none of it for over 2 mos and no change! I don't get it.


    Last time this happened (where my weight would not budge regardless of diet)-- it was because of my adrenal function.


    So, what I'm doing is supporting my adrenals, hoping that will help the situation.


    I'm a little taller than you at 5'4 and weigh 123. I'm most comfortable weighing in at 119-120'ish. I have a small frame and a fair amount of muscle. I'm probably older than you and Marci though- I'm almost 46, so likely my age has something to do with it. Man I hate that! ~to not have control over some of these hormonal issues.


  10. #10
    62shelby's Avatar
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    Primal Blueprint Expert Certification


    Ecala- we are the same age, I am 47 in December, so yeah the changing of the guard is always in the back of my mind, but I figure I am still regular and dont get any symptoms of either perimenopause or menopause, or is that just because I am fit? I know its terribly frustrating having towed the Primal line and not to see any results. I used to be able to tweak my exercise and diet and have absolute control over where it was going, and I hate that my allopath thinks its no big deal. even if its effecting my mental and emotional well being its a big deal imo.


    I take the Taurine for water clearance and for energy, the tyrosine rocks, suddenly nothing is a big deal for me, my g/f in Chicago started taking it after me and she is noticing some positive changes. I was going thru the motions with my exercise for the longest time, just doing the minimum to keep a base, now I am feeling more on fire like I used to, and am able to train harder. the sleep is up and down, I am going to take some big doses of magnesium to keep me asleep this weekend.


    I would really just love it if we could just figure out some answers ourselves rather than rely on indifferent health care providers.


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