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Thread: People with hypothyroid-- carb question! page

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    People with hypothyroid-- carb question!

    Hi all,

    I'm new to Primal and to MDA, so i'm sorry if this topic has been beaten to death!

    I just started Primal a few days ago. I am hypothyroid and have been on Armour for about 5 weeks. I've gained about 25 lbs over the past few years due to hypothyroid. My question is- what amount of carbs is a "safe" level to not affect the thyroid but still promote weight loss? Right now I'm starting out at about 120-150g, but I don't know if that's too low/too high. I kept my calories the same for now (maintain at about 2200, and just decreased the carbs and upped the fats)

    I'm a 23 y.o female, active (5-6 days per week of moderate lifting/cardio),

    Anyone with experience/wisdom? Thanks!

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    Neckhammer's Avatar
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    Carbs/low carb don't effect your actual thyroid gland one way or the other. I actually like low carb for people with hashimotos hypothyroid as it seems to work well with autoimmune problems. Carbs do however effect your conversion rate in the liver. So if you are suffering from liver dysfunction of some sort this could very well lead to hypo symptoms.

    I guess the real question is at what point of the process are your thyroid hormones being encumbered? What kind of hypo are you?
    Last edited by Neckhammer; 04-19-2013 at 07:46 PM.

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    OK thanks, I just took my temp and it is down significantly (after being low carb for only 3 days) so this is worrisome. Not sure if this is just a transition? Or if my thyroid is already getting worse?

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    Well your not exactly eating in a very low carb range so I would find it strange to be compromising even your conversion at that level. You do know that eating at under your caloric energy requirements (i.e. losing weight) also will lower your metabolism and give you those temp changes right? If you wanna crank up your metabolism and run hot then eat a ton of coconut product.....but you may well end up gaining weight as your doing so.

    Anyway, like I said before... what exactly is your thyroid issue? That really will effect the sort of advice you might need to follow.
    Last edited by Neckhammer; 04-19-2013 at 08:02 PM.

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    Since you are new to both primal and hypothyroidism my suggestion is to focus on health, not weight loss. It will take time to get adequately treated for your thyroid issues. Once you have been on the optimal dose and type of meds your body will need time to heal from the time it spent without enough thyroid hormones.

    Stressing your body with calorie restriction and/or too much exercise while trying to balance hormones will probably delay healing.I suggest eating primal foods to satiety and not focusing on macros.

    Things that can help thyroid function and hormone conversion include:
    1. Getting adequate selenium (200mcg/day)
    2. Getting adequate Vitamin D
    3. Getting adequate iron, including ferritin
    4. Getting enough calories and/or carbs
    5. Not over training
    6. Reducing stress

    Thyroid treatment is not a, " just take this pill and you'll be fine" journey. Rechecks, testing TSH, freeT4 and freeT3 , should be done every 6-8 weeks until frees are around midpoint of their range (many people need to be at midpoint or above) to feel well. Adjustment of meds should be slow as symptoms can lag behind blood work by months.

    It took me 8+years to get adequatey medicated. It took at least 6 months after that for my body to heal. After that, eating low carb (not VLC),then primal, and slowing adding exercise helped me get healthy. A perk of getting healthy is I lost weight--- 50+ lbs. I did not count calories or track macros.

    I have kept the weight off for 3+ years. There have been bumps in the road. Those bumps occur when my meds need adjustment.

    I hope this helps.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Neckhammer View Post
    Well your not exactly eating in a very low carb range so I would find it strange to be compromising even your conversion at that level. You do know that eating at under your caloric energy requirements (i.e. losing weight) also will lower your metabolism and give you those temp changes right? If you wanna crank up your metabolism and run hot then eat a ton of coconut product.....but you may well end up gaining weight as your doing so.

    Anyway, like I said before... what exactly is your thyroid issue? That really will effect the sort of advice you might need to follow.
    I am hypo (low) thyroid. I realize that a decrease in metabolism comes with weight loss but I find it odd that I had this response 1)only 3-4 days in and not even that low car and 2) my calories haven't been lowered. I just upped fat and lowered carbs

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    Whoops ...I just reread and saw that you have only been on thyroid hormones for 5 weeks so you are likely quite new to all of this. Marcadav laid things out quite well for you. Best of luck!
    Last edited by Neckhammer; 04-19-2013 at 08:48 PM.

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    Honestly, if you aren't even properly regulated for thyroid, I would just make your diet what you want it to be, then get your thyroid optimal once you are on a good routine. That is what I have done. Now upping my T3 to get to a good level, almost there. it can be very complicated. Better to have your diet stable and go from there IMO. I can't give you a number as I have never counted mine at all. I just cut out all sugar, all grains, reg. potato and only had sweet potato occasionally. Ate all fruit and other veg. did up my fat. Never felt hungry going this route.
    Last edited by Silvergirl; 04-19-2013 at 11:37 PM.
    Starting Primal June 2012 at 148.5lbs, goal weight in November 2012.
    Now 95lbs and holding.
    Primal, minus eggs, dairy and a myriad of other allergens.

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    You should absolutely not try low carb if you are hypo. You carbs are fine but if i were you i would up them and drop fat pretty low. This should help with temp and energy levels as well as hypo.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AMC View Post
    OK thanks, I just took my temp and it is down significantly (after being low carb for only 3 days) so this is worrisome. Not sure if this is just a transition? Or if my thyroid is already getting worse?
    First thing I would do is absolutely start dressing a lot more warmly. A lowered temp comes with its own series of problems. Dress as warmly as you can, drink hot drinks and take hot showers.

    Secondly, I think Marcadav has given you some good advice. Until your thyroid condition gets under control it will be hard for you to lose weight, and you may inhibit the healing process. Other than taking Armour, what else are you doing to treat your thyroid? What are your lab numbers?

    Also, people here will either advise you to raise carbs or raise fat. All this will tell you is how they eat. You need to listen to yourself. If your sleep has been effected and your temp is down, those are big signs that you're not going in the right direction.

    Try the shift to Primal eating without aiming for specific macros and see how that affects you.
    "I think the basic anti-aging diet is also the best diet for prevention and treatment of diabetes, scleroderma, and the various "connective tissue diseases." This would emphasize high protein, low unsaturated fats, low iron, and high antioxidant consumption, with a moderate or low starch consumption.

    In practice, this means that a major part of the diet should be milk, cheese, eggs, shellfish, fruits and coconut oil, with vitamin E and salt as the safest supplements."

    - Ray Peat

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