Someone near and dear to me has developed acute thyroiditis and is very, very ill. This is posted with his permission.
Adult male, 72 yo Scientist, PhD -expertise in neurobiology, biochemistry, molecular biology) [As most of you know (per my 4000+ posts on MDA), offering advice is not usually an area of difficulty for me. In this case though, because of his background, my perfectionistic self (not to mention the worried, emotional self) is getting in the way.]
Hx includes T2 diabetes, well-controlled per ADA standards, for the past 30 years on typical ADA diabetic diet.
Dx: Acute thyroiditis
Rx treatment offered: prednisone. Declined treatment.
Onset of illness: 14 days ago
6 pm every night, throat pain on right side
6 pm every night, sudden sweats
6 pm every night "bone crushing" fatigue
daily general fatigue, no appetite, loosing muscle mass
daily, sudden poor blood glucose control on the diet that has always controlled his diabetes "well". (I know, I know...)
He used to walk 5-6 miles per day and now is (suddenly) having trouble walking 100 yards. Used to ride his bike 3-4x per week at a moderate pace. Simply can't do it now. Gait has always been sprightly but is now slow- almost halting.... I almost asked why he was limping as he approached me to tell me about the recent illness. Weight loss is apparent. Lack of general vitality is apparent.
His physicians have nothing to offer him aside from "it will either go away or it won't." "It's either a bacterial/viral infection or it's not." He's very willing to try whatever suggestions I have.
Those of you that know me know that typically, I have no problems making suggestions. However, as he is a scientist (expertise in neurobiology, biochemistry, molecular biology) I'm not feeling as confident. And my emotions are clouding my thinking. Trying hard to maintain some emotional distance by focusing on the intellectual side of this but seeing the significant changes in him since I last saw him 7 days ago has really thrown me for a loop.
Where to start? While dietary changes may or may not cure him, moving his diet in the direction of paleo, primal, perfect health diet will give him the best possible nutritional support from which can only be of benefit. It's definitely more nutrient dense and biologically appropriate than his current grain based ADA diabetes diet.
Seems that a whole animal (including organs, broth etc) diet, possibly with with "safe starch" additions as tolerated by blood glucose along with some plants would be the way to go. Now to just find the best way to share that information and best supporting evidence.
What references would you want to supply if you found yourself in my shoes?
Paul Jaminet's book Perfect Health Diet? (I have read it; seems like an excellent choice)
Robb Wolf's book? (which I haven't read)
The Primal Blueprint is excellent for many but not scientific enough in this case.
Offering him both a book to read and making a power point with the most pertinent additional information would be the way to go - that or writing up the info in a short report.
The most pertinent of the following and will also be passed along: http://180degreehealth.blogspot.com/2011/03/protein-closer-look.html
Thoughts? Good references to pass along? Recommendations regarding any of the above books or other resources?
Any help is greatly appreciated.
ETA: Information provided will not be construed as medical advice etc etc :)
You know what, Katherine? I've been doing the thing that I warned you against. A guy I know and like and respect tremendously was diagnosed with ALS over a year and a half ago. All this time I've been trying to build up the perfect collection of evidence and advice to offer him. Meanwhile, his disease has quickly progressed and is likely to kill him soon. :-(
Anyway, I've found a few more indications that a ketogenic diet could retard the progression of ALS:
“Maiming mitochondria in familial ALS - Nature Medicine,” http://0-www.nature.com.skyline.ucdenver.edu/nm/journal/v10/n9/abs/nm0904-905.html.
“ScienceDirect - Mitochondrion : Mitochondrial dysfunction and its role in motor neuron degeneration in ALS,” http://0-www.sciencedirect.com.skyline.ucdenver.edu/science/article/pii/S1567724905000346.
“ScienceDirect - European Journal of Internal Medicine : Nutrition and Alzheimer’s disease: The detrimental role of a high carbohydrate diet,” http://0-www.sciencedirect.com.skyline.ucdenver.edu/science/article/pii/S0953620511000045.
Perhaps it is already too late for my friend. :-(
Hopefully this research by Seneff et al. will help others in the future.
Two resources: William Davis at Trackyourplaque http://www.trackyourplaque.com/blog/?s=thyroiditis and this http://www.paleoforlife.org/success/thyroiditis
It would appear that a truly ketogenic diet with 80-85% % fat 15-20% protein plus supplementation with Vit D3 would be an excellent start to getting your friend back to health. Lots of eggs, bacon, liver, heart, kidneys, fatty steaks, fatty leg of lamb, bone broth, lots of coconut oil and perhaps ghee...not butter.
I would also see if you can get a history of foods he ate prior to his sudden change..looking for a change in his normal eating...looking for some sort of food poison that is attacking his thyroid. When he was ok, did he go out and pick some wild mushrooms?
I'm sorry to hear about the scary problem that your friend has. I hope things get better quickly.
I don't have particular knowledge of the thyroid, but I've read many papers related to ketogenic diet, and so if you suggest a ketogenic diet to your friend and he has some specific concern about it then maybe one of the papers that I've read would apply.
So, keep us posted.
And maybe don't stress too much about getting everything perfect. Maybe tell your friend those things that you do already know and then you can come back around later with more information about specific concerns or ideas that he has.