Everyone is different.
I am very carb sensitive and have eaten 10-20g carbs daily for years. I'm also hypothyroid (Hashi's), and I don't experience any problems with my low-carb eating. This may be an individual issue--i.e., my body functions best on very low carb, so that may be why I have no problems.
However, the 'conversion' issue is very different. I have Hashimoto's and 7 of 10 cases of hypothyroid in the U.S. are due to Hashi's (often undiagnosed because of so many false negatives--another story). In any case, about 5 years after diagnosis (I was undiagnosed but hypo for 5 years before that), I began experiencing conversion problems and had to add Cytomel (T3).
I specifically asked my endo whether my low-carb eating (which he endorses) was responsible for my conversion issues, and he said--absolutely not. He explained that difficulty converting T4 to T3 is characteristic of Hashi's, and can be expected to occur at some time with anyone who has Hashi's. However, it's impossible to predict when it will occur. I should add that when it happens, the symptoms are so dramatic that it's impossible to ignore, since it's the T3 that controls our metabolism and affects how we feel.
Everyone is different.
Last edited by Wildapple; 01-07-2013 at 12:38 PM.
This is a brilliant thread - it's nice to see both sides of the argument laid out.
I'm no expert, but I don't generally agree with people saying it should be one approach or the other. I do believe each case is individual, and people's genes have a role to play in the optimal diets for each of us.
Chris Kresser (whether you take him seriously or not) says it better than me. He made an interesting point that the type of thyroid dysfunction determines what you should eat:
"autoimmune disease is not only extremely complex, but also highly individualized. Hashimoto’s in one person is not the same as Hashimoto’s in the next person. In one person, Hashimoto’s could present as a Th1-dominant condition. In another, it may present as Th2 dominant. In still another, both the Th1 and Th2 systems might be overactive, or underactive. And each of these cases requires a different approach. For example, botanicals like echinacea and astragalus stimulate the Th1 system. If someone with Th1 dominant Hashimoto’s takes these herbs, they’ll quite possibly get worse. On the other hand, antioxidants like green tea and Gotu Kola stimulate the Th2 system, and would be inappropriate for those with Th2 dominant Hashimoto’s."
Basics of immune balancing for Hashimoto’s
“I'm glad mushrooms are against the law, because I took them one time, and you know what happened to me? I laid in a field of green grass for four hours going, "My God! I love everything." Yeah, now if that isn't a hazard to our country..."
― Bill Hicks
"Sometimes eating the wrong food with the right attitude is a better choice than eating the right food with the wrong attitude... That’s how powerful the mind and the heart can be in the healing process."
- Chris Kresser
I 100% agree that Hashi's is very individualized. I feel like crap if my TSH goes over 2.0. Other people find they can tolerate (and feel fine) with TSH as high as 6-7 *but* they have to keep their TPO anti-bodies in check. Some even say that so long as their TPO AB's are in check that their TSH number doesn't even matter no matter how high it goes. The frustrating thing about thyroid disease of any type is that as important as the thyroid is, very few doctors understand it at all, and most will only treat lab results and not symptoms. That's unfortunate because I had to become *very* ill before I qualified for treatment with my old doc. Fortunately I have a new doc and she treats based on symptoms, using labs only as references.
I'm new to Primal, and have only been doing it for just over a month. However, I have found that when low carbing I am able to lose weight that my body stubbornly hangs on to when I eat carbs. I also don't have the wild sugar swings and the crash-and-burn that used to lead to me eating too much and often of the wrong foods because I'd grab whatever was handy. I don't eat nearly as often, or as much now. I feel warmer (which I think may be from the coconut oil?) and my hair loss seems fine. The sole thing that I noticed in my first month is that my menstrual period (sorry, guys) kicked in a week early and lasted for two weeks. I'm hoping that was due to stress (I lost my dog earlier this month and had to travel which I hate) and not due to the diet. I guess I'll know by next month. But so far it seems to really be working fine for me with my Hashi's.
There's something else to consider when people are already hypothyroid and begin eating low carb and experience 'symptoms.'
I personally have never experienced the 'carb flu' that afflicts so many new low carbers, but from their description of how they feel, their 'symptoms' are very much how I experience low thyroid function. So someone who is hypothyroid and assumes that low carb is creating problems with his/her thyroid because of 'symptoms' may only be experiencing that temporary 'low carb flu.'
Just a thought.
As to the 'conversion' issue being dependent on how much glucose we provide the body, I've mentioned earlier that our body doesn't need glucose from carbs but will create what it needs from whatever food we provide--that's the basis of glucogenesis, another much-misunderstood idea. If I'm eating mainly protein, my body creates its glucose from that protein. I don't need to eat carbs.
I am beginning to think that the limited carb intake may be the issue. I also found the Perfect Health Diet and plan on upping my carb intake to between 75 an 100 grams through potatoes, white rice, fruit, and starchy tubers.
Last edited by antharr; 01-15-2013 at 11:50 AM.