I have imposed upon myself what seems like an encyclopedia's worth of information recently on hypothyroidism since learning about my lab numbers. Now, I'm not saying I've retained it all, or even the majority of it, but it's amazing how the thyroid seems to be interconnected to so many physiological processes. Chris Masterjohn alluded to this in his answer on my VAP thread and several other people have brought up hypothyroidism as a possible issue.
Patrik has asked about it here quite a while back and got some good responses: Hypothyroidism and Paleo
Dr Kruse posted a "VAP" article the other day and discussed the thyroid and it's connection to cholesterol and other things. Here are a few excerpts from his article (my emphasis bolded):
... "If your thyroid is working well, when you get a serious gut insult that causes “leakage”, your thyroid responds by increasing production of its own hormone to allow the the upregulation of cholesterol turnover. How it does this is by acting as a co factor (thyroid hormone) with vitamin A to allow the conversion of cholesterol to pregnenlone."
... "thyroid hormones help regulate the and control the inflammatory processes in our bodies. When we lose control of our thyroid hormone production ( hypothyroidism by any cause) we effectively lose control of how the brain sends its message to our peripheral cells. We can no longer make steroid hormones effectively from pregnenolone. This is the basis of the pregnenolone steal syndrome."
... "Its stimulatory protein is TSH and it is released from the brain at the anterior pituitary site. In hypothyroidism, TSH is high because the brain is trying to nudge the thyroid gland to make more active hormone (T4). Remember that T4 has to be converted to the active form of thyroid hormone called T3, guess where? The answer is in the liver! So the liver is critical to how this brain gut axis system works."
Also, Ray Peat seems to have a mountain of knowledge and understanding on how it all connects, and his articles will make you feel like you just jumped off of a furious session with the Sit-n-Spin (80's nostalgia rules).
Here are a few choice pieces from his [very long] article on Hypothyroidism: (note that part at the bottom about the pounding heart. Many Paleo people have described this. I've experienced it myself. Very intersting to hear Ray Peat break it down. Also, my father and his father were hypoglycemic, so for me personally, this all connects in that way as well.)
... "During the night, at the time adrenaline and free fatty acids are at their highest, TSH usually reaches its peak. TSH itself can produce lipolysis, raising the level of circulating free fatty acids. This suggests that a high level of TSH could sometimes contribute to functional hypothyroidism, because of the antimetabolic effects of the unsaturated fatty acids."
... "The combination of pulse rate and temperature is much better than either one alone. I happened to see two people whose resting pulse rates were chronically extremely high, despite their hypothyroid symptoms. When they took a thyroid supplement, their pulse rates came down to normal. (Healthy and intelligent groups of people have been found to have an average resting pulse rate of 85/minute, while less healthy groups average close to 70/minute.)
The speed of the pulse is partly determined by adrenaline, and many hypothyroid people compensate with very high adrenaline production. Knowing that hypothyroid people are susceptible to hypoglycemia, and that hypoglycemia increases adrenaline, I found that many people had normal (and sometimes faster than average) pulse rates when they woke up in the morning, and when they got hungry. Salt, which helps to maintain blood sugar, also tends to lower adrenalin, and hypothyroid people often lose salt too easily in their urine and sweat. Measuring the pulse rate before and after breakfast, and in the afternoon, can give a good impression of the variations in adrenalin. (The blood pressure, too, will show the effects of adrenaline in hypothyroid people. Hypothyroidism is a major cause of hypertension.)"
... "Blood sugar falls at night, and the body relies on the glucose stored in the liver as glycogen for energy, and hypothyroid people store very little sugar. As a result, adrenalin and cortisol begin to rise almost as soon as a person goes to bed, and in hypothyroid people, they rise very high, with the adrenalin usually peaking around 1 or 2 A.M., and the cortisol peaking around dawn; the high cortisol raises blood sugar as morning approaches, and allows adrenalin to decline. Some people wake up during the adrenalin peak with a pounding heart, and have trouble getting back to sleep unless they eat something."
And some more from a different article on Thyroid: Therapies, Confusion, and Fraud , including a strongly worded stance on how he feels about the way medical professionals are failing miserably when it comes to diagnosing thyroid issues in recent years:
..."The thyroid hormones associate with three types of simple proteins in the serum: Transthyretin (prealbumin), thyroid binding globulin, and albumin. A very significant amount is also associated with various serum lipoproteins, including HDL, LDL, and VLDL (very low density lipoproteins). A very large portion of the thyroid in the blood is associated with the red blood cells."
... "In the absence of commercial techniques that reflect thyroid physiology realistically, there is no valid alternative to diagnosis based on the known physiological indicators of hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism. The failure to treat sick people because of one or another blood test that indicates "normal thyroid function," or the destruction of patients' healthy thyroid glands because one of the tests indicates hyperthyroidism, isn't acceptable just because it's the professional standard, and is enforced by benighted state licensing boards.
Toward the end of the twentieth century, there has been considerable discussion of "evidence-based medicine." Good judgment requires good information, but there are forces that would over-rule individual judgment as to whether published information is applicable to certain patients. In an atmosphere that sanctions prescribing estrogen or insulin without evidence of an estrogen deficiency or insulin deficiency, but that penalizes practitioners who prescribe thyroid to correct symptoms, the published "evidence" is necessarily heavily biased. In this context, "meta-analysis" becomes a tool of authoritarianism, replacing the use of judgment with the improper use of statistical analysis.
Unless someone can demonstrate the scientific invalidity of the methods used to diagnose hypothyroidism up to 1945, then they constitute the best present evidence for evaluating hypothyroidism, because all of the blood tests that have been used since 1950 have been shown to be, at best, very crude and conceptually inappropriate methods."
Does anyone here on PaleoHacks have some additional information and/or insight into hypothyroidism?
Also, In my quest to find out more, I came across The Hypothyroidism Solution? Has anybody ordered it? Of course, given the nature of the sales brochure page, it's touted as "the answer to all problems in life and you will be miserable without it".
But if anyone has already gotten the ebook (which is basically a pdf I suppose), do you feel it was worth it?