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Thread: Pregnant + medical issues: please help page

  1. #1
    Aloe's Avatar
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    Pregnant + medical issues: please help

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    Hello everybody,

    I've been about 80% primal for a year and a half (eat non-primal, carby meals around 3 times a week). I've found out I'm 6 weeks pregnant, which is really good news for DH and I. Also, I'm obese (why I haven't lost much weight is a good question. I don't know. I blame the 3 carby meals and not exercising enough. I mostly just walk and move slowly). I'm insulin resistant since I was 13.

    Some other background info would be that I used to keep my carbs around 20-50 grams a day, with macros of 60% fat, 30% and 10% carbs, spontaneously eating 1300-1800 calories per day. After finding out I'm pregnant, I've upped my carbs to around 80 grams a day (aprox. 2 portions of fruit a day / fat 55%, protein 30% and carbs 15%) and 2100 calories a day (aprox. 75% of my total daily energy expenditure), just to make sure I wasn't in deep ketosis-- just in case. I've read what the forum and google has to offer regarding ketosis+pregnancy, and there are no conclusive answers. I tend to think there would be no problems, but.......

    I've had some exams done by the doctor's orders. Most of them are fine (cholesterol is wonderful), but there are a few that are not right:

    Insulin: 36.91 (normal: 3 - 25)
    Glucose: 119 (normal: 70 - 99)
    Uric Acid: 6.4 (normal: 1.4 - 5.8)
    TSH: 11.63 (normal: 0.35 - 5) [T4 and T3 are fine]
    **the day before the exam, I happened to eat 140 grams of sugar, all primal sugar

    TSH is a worry for me, and the uric acid may be related to fructose, which may make me change the kind of primal carbs I'm eating. Still, the insulin and glucose numbers are my biggest worry. I want to know if you guys can help me figure out whether I can avoid developing gestational diabetes by controlling my carbs even further (make sure I keep them under 80 or lower?) and doing upper body small weights (maybe will help with insulin resistance?). Also, is there a way to control hypothiroidism through diet?

    Thanks in advance!
    Height: 5ft 9"
    Current pants size: 20 (Canada sizing).
    Goal: I'll let you know when I've reached it.

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  2. #2
    AussieNana's Avatar
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    140 grams of primal sugar? To my mind sugar is never primal. If you are spiking your blood sugars like that then you aren't primal, certainly on that day.

    Your insulin is a huge problem. Might I suggest you focus on developing stable blood sugars. This will also help your TSH - because with TSH like that you could find yourself with chronic fatigue later in pregnancy. If your thyroid drops during pregnancy then your child could be born with lower thyroid functioning - by four generations in our family a child was born with a thyroid that didn't work and with each generation worse than the last one.

    If you have problems with carb cravings use the ideas from Julia Ross in "The Diet Cure" and use l-glutamine and possibly 5-HTP/tryptophan to deal with them. There is another amino acid which can help as well if you eat sweet stuff to stop emotional pain.

    I'd also recommend eating fish daily.

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    It's safe and a good idea for you to keep your carbs on the low end during pregnancy.

    Read my post on Primal Pregnancy nutrition (see the below link.). And check out the comments re: Gestational Diabetes. There are some links in the comments that will be helpful.

    Eating seaweed, like nori can be helpful for upping your iodine and supporting your thyroid. Sufficient Vitamin D3 will also support your thyroid. Again, links in the article. ETA: not suggesting that you can sort out your thyroid nutritionally at this stage in your pregnancy! Do talk to your doc/endo re: appropriate meds.
    Last edited by Dragonfly; 03-13-2013 at 06:03 PM.

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    Standard health care is darn good at healthy babies.
    Some of you may die, but that is a risk I'm willing to take.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aloe View Post
    Hello everybody,
    TSH is a worry for me...
    No kidding. You have to get to an endocrinologist ASAP unless you want your child to have serious mental deficits as a result of your hypothyroidism. You need to be closely monitored during your entire pregnancy by someone very experienced. This is not something you can control with diet, good thoughts, or whatever BS you want to try to do to avoid the right way. Your doctor should have already told you this, unless they're just hoping it'll end up causing a miscarriage (which is also very possible). If they didn't scare the crap out of you then that means you need a new one than can properly convey the seriousness of your situation.

    I pretty much don't have a thyroid and my TSH has never been above 6 (found it early and have kept it well controlled). 11 means you are really off. Normal should be around 1. Normal T3 and T4 don't apply during pregnancy.

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    You really need to be on medication for your thyroid. This isn't something that should be played around with. I've had miscarriages because of being hypothyroid. Don't let this scare you because if you get on it then everything should be ok. I would HIGHLY recommend you see a endocrinologist. And keep your carbs low to help with the blood sugar. I'm wishing you all the best and luck! Please please see an endo!!

  7. #7
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    Definitely ask your doctor (ob/gyn) for a referral to an endo so that they can talk to each other.

    Beyond that, Dragonfly has done a lot of research on this material and so that's good support stuff otherwise.

    Good luck with your pregnancy!

  8. #8
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    With TSH levels like that, it's essential that you see an endocrinologist and get on some thyroid meds. Having out of control thyroid levels can effect your babies growth and development as well as increase your risk of miscarriage. I'd caution against dietary iodine supplementation that isn't food based (ie seaweed).

    There is no harm in being low carb during pregnancy as long as your getting adequate fats and proteins especially if it helps regulate your weight during pregnancy. Uric acid can also be a sign of out of control blood sugars and is found in diabetics, which would make it even more important for you to keep your carbs lower. If your BMI puts you in the category of overweight or obese you're at risk for a whole host of complications from gestational diabetes to preeclampsia to postpartum hemmorhage. In Canada, the new guidelines suggest that it is best to not gain or lose any weight during pregnancy if your BMI is >30. I hope this is helpful. I'd recommend seeing a good holistic nutritionalist... Good luck!

  9. #9
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    It sounds like you should have that test repeated after a few days of no excess sugar consumption. It's always possible that a single test could be a fluke or a response to a recent intake.

    Does "primal sugar" mean you're counting sugar in fruit (which I personally do not feel is necessary) and starches, or you were having ice cream, honey, maple syrup etc.?
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    Aloe's Avatar
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    Thank you everyone. I really appreciate the comments.

    I saw my doctor today. He and my midwife agree I shouldn't gain any weight, and well, I agree as well.
    My doctor has also asked me to go see an endocrinologist, and put me on 50mcg of levothyroxine. I asked the doctor and midwife about the risk of mental deficits; both disagree there's a risk. Still, just in case, I decided to take it, as I don't want to risk having problems with my baby or having a miscarriage because of it.

    Doc also asked me to go see a colleague that seems to be an "expert" on gestational diabetes. In this regard, I'm planning on controlling it more with diet than with medicine.

    Quote Originally Posted by namelesswonder View Post
    Does "primal sugar" mean you're counting sugar in fruit (which I personally do not feel is necessary) and starches, or you were having ice cream, honey, maple syrup etc.?
    The day before the exam, I had a nectarine, a teaspoon of honey and a banana as snacks throughout the day, and butternut squash for dinner. So yeah, it was mainly fruit that screwed with my sugar :-/

    Quote Originally Posted by Meghanner View Post
    I'd caution against dietary iodine supplementation that isn't food based
    I would like some help here. I have heard there are differences between synthetic and natural supplements, but I'm not clear what those are. I tend to prefer natural alternatives myself, but I felt this was a critical issue and I shouldn't wait to research and maybe not have the same effect. I'd rather stress my body a little more with synthetic medicine and make sure I was avoiding problems with my baby or having a miscarriage.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonfly View Post
    ETA: not suggesting that you can sort out your thyroid nutritionally at this stage in your pregnancy! Do talk to your doc/endo re: appropriate meds.
    Thank you for commenting. I've read your posts and articles before; I trust your opinion. I did see this message last night, before you added the ETA. I would ask, though, now that I started levothyroxine, should I still consider complementing with e.g., nori?
    Height: 5ft 9"
    Current pants size: 20 (Canada sizing).
    Goal: I'll let you know when I've reached it.

    *
    “The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind
    is a faithful servant. We have created a society that
    honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.”
    ~Albert Einstein~

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