Hello all! I know a lot of you know a lot more than I do. I'm hoping someone can help. How knowledgeable some of you are astounds me!
I started paleo after being diagnosed with PCOS on august 7 2011 and was so excited. I had always been very overweght and my belly had always looked like I was pregnant despite not overeating and exercising for years. So I started paleo. I (female) went from 200 pounds at 5'8" to lowest of 176 in about 6 months. I hoped to keep on going, but the numbers started to go up. I had kept on stalling at 183 and to get to 176 I had to drink 2 shakes a day instead of meals (can't remember the name, but theyre ok for Paleo, vitamin filled) and then a paleo dinner. It is, even after paleo, still a little pregnant looking. Alittle less so, but I still look fat. Size 14, 12 on a very good day.
Then about 6 weeks ago I was diagnosed with celiac, which is fine bc Paleo is pretty much fine for people with Celiac.
I started eating normal paleo food again (not shakes 2x a day instead of food) and now hover between 184-187. for someone who is 5'8, this is WAAAAYYYY too much. Very, very frustrating. I was swimming every day too for at least 1/2 hour and walking for about 40 minutes a day. Most of the fat is around my waist (very PCOS). I've been that way since I was a kid :(
My doctor says my thyroid is on the low end of normal and says this must be why I can't lose weight. he's the first doctor who wants to do something about thyroid. Vitamin D levels are also extremely low. (BTW, I was told a few months ago I might even have MS.) He told me to take one gram of nature throid daily. i started 2 days ago and we'll see if i lose weight or feel better. in the past i was diagnosed with bipolar II (which went away after eating paleo, i'm told bipolar II can be likened to blood sugar highs and lows, which PCOSers have), definitely have been severaly depressed and always have had dry skin. Anemic too (common with celiacs). I dont have lupus or hashimoto's. always exhausted. dry skin.
here are my thyroid #s free T4 1.07 (says range is .83-1.62) free T3 2.9 (range 2.5-4.3) vitamin d - 25.5 (range 32-100) - i know very, very low
I feel like a human lab experiment. I dont know what else I can do to lose the weight. I have grown to hate my body as I have worked so hard for years to see no results. It has adversely affected my social life and self-esteem a lot.
Paleo seemed so promising and now it just seems useless. I do eat a lot of steamed broccoli and cabbage, which maybe slows the thyroid. But I'm supposed to havea lot of veggies because it raises sex hormone binding globulin, which helps flush out testosterone (with people with too mcuh PCOS have too much of). Paleo helped regulate my period so now I get it every 34-37 days. Which still seems not often enough.
I had tried metformin but that's when MS like problems started happening - we though it was becasue it strips you of vitmain b12 but that turned out not to be it. and metformin didnt help me lose weight.
could adrenals be overloaded??? I dont know what else to change or if I should even stick with Paleo anymore, though it seems as though with PCOS and CEliac I dont have much of a choice. should i be a zero carber? but dont i need carbs for thyroid and Sex hrmone binding globulin? i feel like i have no energy. my skin is getting dryer for some reason and i'm more tired and sad than usual lately.
Sample day: breakfast: eggs with onions, brocolli or spinach, butter lunch: lamb with nothing on it, brcolli and peppers and onions dinner: hamburger meat with turmeric, garlic, cinnamon, and a salad with olive oil
Sorry for the whining nature of this post. Really. I am just at rock bottom and I don't know what to do. I want to lose weight for once and for all. And I want energy and not to feel like a walking corpse. I am praying for a break through. Anyone have ANY thoughts? i am happy to answer any questions. I am amazed by how much knowledge some of you have. Thank you
It sounds like you have a lot on your plate. I am not a doctor but these are some thoughts:
Focus on your health and fixing that rather than weight loss. If you can fix some of the health issues I expect you will find it a lot easier to lose weight.
To fix the damage caused by this you need to be really strict about avoiding all gluten including being very careful about cross contamination in the kitchen and when eating out. It will take time to start to repair the harm coeliac disease can cause.
Get the anemia treated and your iron levels up to normal. Being anemic can make you feel pretty bad on its own.
Keep doing what you are doing and working with your doctor to sort this out. If it is an issue then you might find large benefits from correcting it.
Get a good vitamin D supplement and take it for 3 months and then get retested.
Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome
I know this can cause all kinds of problems and is a whole issue on it's own. There have been a few questions here before about it.
If is quite common to be deficient in vitamins and minerals if you have coeliac disease. You might find it helpful to take some dietary supplements to correct these. Paul Jaminet has a good page on recommended supplements that you may find useful. The selenium and iodine in particular may be worth checking out if you have thyroid problems.
This is very individual. I can't give any specific advice and it sounds like you are eating quite well. However it may be helpful to eat a wider range of foods to get as many nutrients as possible.
This could include fish and seafood, organ meat such as liver or pate and root vegetables.
People will give you all kinds of advise based on what has worked for them. Don't be afraid to find out what works for you.
My turning point occurred after eliminating 100% of the seed oils. Not sure how much, if any, you're getting. I don't count olive oil among the nasty stuff, just canola and the like that gets in there with the occasional cheat celiac convenience foods.
Also should note that most of us celiacs have multiple intolerances. The idea that eliminating gluten lets you do a victory dance is, quite frankly, bullshit. A horrific myth. As others have said, dietary stuff is highly individual. One must find one's own answer to the question, "what the fuck am I going to eat today."
Sorry for the cussing. I'm amped up.
For the record, I have come damn near to solving my dietary ills and it took me four years. There were periods of stasis along the way. This is normal. Elimination diets are key to self-understanding. Keep your mind open. There are foods that I really really like that I can't eat. Period. I'm past that.
95% of my diet is comprised of the following: grassfed beef, Japanese sweet potatoes, red wine, parmesan cheese, heavy cream. I also have kombucha and Greek yogurt. I think it's delicious but people tell me I'm limited...
Keep fighting to find the answers. You absolutely can solve this! And will with persistence over time.
I also suffer from a very severe case of PCOS and have also been told that my weight was going to be a struggle my entire life. In the past year i have lost 60 lbs. due to paleo and crossfit. The level of exercise you are doing may be enough for someone with a "normal" functioning body but some of us like you and i need to push it to the next level to get the same results. Im not saying crossfit is for everyone but maybe find someway to step up your physical activity level. Even if its just turning those walks into jogs or stepping up the distance every week. Even doing some free weights twice a week. Also a little blurb off the crossfit/paleo stuff. You mentioned regulating your hormones. I take a very low level of birth control to help regulate that and my periods. That i think has also helped my weight loss because it has given my body some consistency. Hope this helps (:
I feel for you, and your frustration, I don't have all of the health challenges you do, but I have PCOS, anemia, adrenal issues, chronically low D (better with supplements, but never great), and I did have hypothyroidism (I may still, but it is in that sub-clinical grey area and seems to be controlled okay through supplements and diet). I've got that same belly, I've looked pregnant since I was 8 years old. Sooo much fun when kids ask if there is a baby in there. It sucks that you are feeling lousy still, more tweaking, more time, and a lot of patience are probably your best bet.
Eating within a paleo template makes me feel a whole lot better, and seems to have stopped the ballooning process, but in and of itself, it also isn't turning me into lanky supermodel no matter which version I've tried so far, and that is okay with me because these are serious health problems that aren't going to disappear quickly, I'm trying to rebuild my body with better ingredients than I used for the first 30 years of my life, and I'm okay if that takes years, as long as I'm seeing some progress in the right direction.
On the BMI front you are kicking my butt, I'm several inches shorter and several pounds heavier if that is any consolation, but I feel better than I ever have, so I'm not complaining. This is the body I've got to work with and that's that. Doing a reality check for what I can expect to look like eating wholesome food and being physically active it has been helpful to look through really old family photos. I think we have been roped into this myth that in the old days people weren't overweight...bull pucky! There is a lot variety in those photos, the same variety I see in my family today, they ate whole foods, worked hard, and a lot of them were massive.
You are going to have to do your own tweaks to see what works for you, but personally, I make the most progress when I go with more red meat and less of the other stuff. Your diet looks pretty solid though. I've dropped most poultry, olive oil, nuts, and cut back on fruit. Bacon still makes the occasional appearance, but I don't eat it most days. Eggs seem to be problematic for some reason for me and make me feel listless, headachy, and annoyed so I try to do meat instead for breakfast most days. Trying to stuff myself with veggies also makes me feel gross and bloated, so I try to go for the most bang for my buck with a little seaweed, unsweetened powdered green drinks a few times per week, bitter greens like dandelion, and fistfuls of fresh herbs like parsley and cilantro. Fermented salty things like kim chi and sauerkraut are also kinder to my belly. And I know the eyes will be rolling out there, due to my repetition on this, but broth is freakin' magic and makes my belly a little flatter, it is also a good medium for getting enough salt. Are you getting enough raw salt like grey salt, Celtic Sea Salt, or Himalayan pink salt? I go all zombie-like and feel like dookie without sufficient salt.
What is your environment like? Stress, light pollution, noise pollution, air pollution, plastics, etc. One of the downsides of PCOS seems to be being more sensitive to endocrine disruption than others to things like this. You certainly can't control everything, but I think it is worth at least taking a survey of the stressors in your life to see which can be improved without adding to your stress level further.
The other thing with being more sensitive to external stressors is that it causes magnesium wasting, so with PCOS extra care needs to be taken to keep magnesium levels up (I prefer transdermally with Epsom Salt baths and Magnesium Oil so as not to interfere with digestion, but if for some reason you need it, mag makes a good laxative too).
I'm becoming more of a believer in the usefulness of bodywork like massage, lymphatic massage, acupuncture, myofascial work, and even saunas and alternating temperatures in the shower (not sure if it is a detox thing, squidging the lymphatic fluid around, or just increasing circulation to speed up the healing process, but it feels like it is helping). It is right on the edge of woo in my opinion, but castor oil packs (or just rubbing castor oil on my tummy) do seem to decrease the bloat when I remember to use them.
As far as low carb causing thyroid issues, I've read several interesting theories about LC hypothyroidism either simply being an adaptation to down regulating digestion (slow and steady, longetivity enthusiasts point to this as a good thing) or that it might be caused by having too much omega 6 either in the diet or in the body's fat stores. Heck if I know whether either of those is true, but I'm looking into them. I also wonder how much of people developing low thyroid and losing hair on low carb is from releasing toxins and hormones that were stored in body fat. I had some weird hair loss thing going on for a while, and thought it might be thyroid but it was tied to the anemia, taking Thorne Ferrasorb and eating a little more liver I was able to stop that and turn it around.
And...I might be turning myself into a baked potato, and I don't know how much it is actually augmenting my vitamin D levels, but dragging my butt down the tanning salon, and using the beds that actually have UVB bulbs every week or two is making a world of difference in my outlook on life. Sunlight is crazy important from what I've read about MS, so that might be something to consider too. What are your MS type symptoms? From what I've read there are some crossover symptoms with B12 deficiency or heavy metal toxicity and MS. N-Acetyl-Cysteine (NAC) can do what metformin was doing and may help with neuropathy from heavy metal build up if that is an issue.
Sorry about the rambling novel length answer, but I spend a lot of time trying to figure these things out for myself, so it all kind of pours out given the opportunity. I hope some of this is useful.
Hi KC, I don't have much advice to give, but wanted to say hang in there, things will get better! First, please remember that Paleo is not just for weight loss, and while you might not be losing weight due to hormones and other factors, it is still the healthiest way of eating, so don't give up on it. Second, remember that VLC and even LC can exacerbate low thyroid problems. I would start by concentrating on getting the Vitamin D up and upping your carbs just a little bit, even if it's only a once a week re-feed.
You might want to look into Robb Wolf's autoimmune protocol and trying that strict for 30 days and see if you have some improvements. Adversely, you could also try the PHD approach of adding back in some carbs (600ish cal a day) and see if you feel better that way.
There are people with receptor and other problems of the thyroid that have NORMAL TSH but borderline or abnormal one or more of the following tests so you must have these checked:
Total T4 (TT4) AND Free T4 (FT4)
Resin T3 Uptake (T3U/T7/T3RU) AND Free T3 (FT3)
Reverse T3 (rT3)
Thyroid Peroxidase Antibodies (TPOAb) AND Thryoglobulin Antibodies (TGB Ab)
Thyroid-Stimulating Immunoglobins (TSI) AND TSH stimulating Antibodies (TSAb)
If you have negative to all the thyroid antibodies hen I would supplement with iodine and selenium. You can do 150 mcg (micrograms) of selenium daily but iodine slowly increase. For example week 1 take daily 150 mcg (micrograms) of kelp (iodine), week 2 take 300 mcg daily, week 3 take daily 450 mcg, week 4 take daily 600 mcg. Most people without any antibodies to thyroid function (no sign of Hashimoto's autoimmune thyroid) will do well with 600 mcg to 1 gram (1000 micrograms) of kelp a day.
You should work with a functional/holistic practitioner who supports Paleo and can track and order the bloodwork/hormone panels. Do not try to do this yourself. You need help, but understand the science behind it.
Also read 2 books: Kharrazian discusses PCOS, thyroid, Vitamin D deficiency, and celiac being connected!
Why Do I Still Have Thyroid Symptoms? When My Lab Tests Are Normal: A Revolutionary Breakthrough In Understanding Hashimoto's Disease and Hypothyroidism by Dr. Datis Kharrazian, DHSc, DC, MS, MNeuroSci, FAACP, DACBN, DABCN, DIBAK, CNS - chiropractic doctor
Iodine: Why you need it, Why you can't live without it by Dr. David Brownstein, MD Chris Kresser, a licensed acupuncturist, (also Paleo) has written a lot on thyroid/iodine, among many other topics on blogposts. He works with clients in his office and through Skype/phone.
For more Paleo Diet hacks: Are people curing hypothyroid??? - PaleoHacks.com http://paleohacks.com/questions/106904/are-people-curing-hypothyroid#ixzz1uTzNmOCY
Despite being generally a stimulant, caffeine (examples: coffee, tea, cola, chocolate) acts on thyroid function as a suppressant. Indeed some studies on rats suggest that excess caffeine in conjunction with a lack of iodine may promote the formation of thyroid cancers. Masterjohn recommends no more then 5 servings of goitrogens/week and Kresser no more then 3-6 servings/week for anyone with thyroid issues. Paul Jaminet, Chris Masterjohn, and Chris Kresser have written well on this.
http://www.westonaprice.org/basics/bearers-of-the-cross Fermentation makes soy goitrogens worse! http://blog.cholesterol-and-health.com/2010/10/fermentation-does-not-neutrailize.html
Typically the code 503 services a small place although with good people. If perhaps you are showing interest to find out what regions have been served using this code, it is simple to find an area code index chart. Certainly there you will see that this particular area code 503 is in fact for seashore regions exclusively. And also for the regions far from the beaches it's put in place area codes 458.
Couple of the largest cities and towns in Oregon happen to be taken care of with this sort of area code. As an example, these specific areas are usually: Salem, Portland, Tillamook, and Astoria. Right before April, '08, this unique area code was arranging the counties of Clatsop and also Tillamook. During the time the telephone coverage involving code 503 has been overlaid by making use of area signal 971.
If you get mysterious telephone calls that originated in this kind of area code, i.e. area code 503 it's probable they are coming from bigger towns and cities, even though you can simply at least make certain that they're from the north west of the state. Learning the area code, it is usually much more surely that you're going to figure out the caller's identity. You will probably make an effort to just remember just about any close family plus associates just who are in this particular location for certain.