Has anyone done the Autoimmune version of Paleo with Hashimoto's? If so, has this worked in aiding weight loss? Hashimoto's makes it much more difficult to lose weight and I'd love to hear from people who have Hashi's and have been successful with Autoimmune Paleo. If so, what else are you doing to help lose weight? Exercise wise? Thanks!
Here's a 37 year old woman (now Paleo) Hashimoto's patient who's a certified athletic trainer, licensed physical therapist, and trigger point therapist.
The article: All of your blood work looks fine. The only thing that comes up is thyroid antibodies, but that’s nothing to worry about.” My primary care doctor said these words to me in 1999, after I told him I’d been feeling anxious and jittery and couldn’t sleep for days at a time. I’d just had my first child a few months before, so since nothing else could be determined, the most obvious diagnosis was that I had postpartum anxiety and depression.
But while the symptoms went away over time with treatment, they were soon replaced by a mind-numbing fatigue. Little did I know that my own body was in the process of attacking itself because of an autoimmune disease called Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.
Fast-forward to 2007. I had been under a tremendous amount of stress over the year. Though I continued to exercise, somehow I gained almost 20 pounds, and my hair began falling out in clumps. Even after eight hours of sleep, I was still so exhausted I could barely get out of bed in the morning.
I began researching my symptoms. My doctor’s words came back to me, and I began reading everything I could find on thyroid disorders. After getting an ultrasound, I discovered I had *nodules on my thyroid.*So with medication, over a few months I began to feel like I was getting some energy back. But my weight didn’t change, and exercise still proved too painful.
The impact this disease had on my life in the beginning was huge. I had been an athlete my entire life, swimming competitively in college, running 10Ks, and doing triathlons. At 37, I suddenly found myself unable to walk three miles with my children. To say that I was afraid for my future would be an understatement.
About a year into treatment for Hashimoto’s, I mentioned to a coworker that I felt better, but still not great. He suggested I try going gluten-free for a few weeks. I resisted, because I loved cereal, bread, and pasta. But then I learned that celiac disease is an autoimmune disease, and people with one autoimmune disease are more likely to be diagnosed with others over the years. I decided to give it a go.
After two gluten-free weeks, I felt 80 percent better. I was feeling more energetic, and gone were the cramps and painful bloating. I began to lose a little bit of weight, and I had the energy to begin gentle bodyweight exercises again. That was two years ago.
The Paleo Life
Then last spring I heard rumblings about the Paleo lifestyle. I researched the principles and learned that grains like wheat, rye, and barley can cause damage to the gut lining and put people at high risk for autoimmune diseases, including Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, type 1 diabetes, and lupus. I went Paleo and cut out all of my gluten-free treats and dairy, increased my intake of coconut milk and oil, and began consuming larger quantities of grass-fed meats.
Almost immediately I noticed a difference in how I felt. My joint and muscle pain slowly faded away, I felt more rested when I woke up in the morning, and my brain felt sharp again. I even lost most of the weight I had gained over the years.
In the six months since I went Paleo, I’ve gone from not being able to walk a few miles to running, hiking, rock climbing, and weight lifting. My blood work looks good, my thyroid nodules are smaller, and I feel like I’m back to living the healthy life I had before Hashimoto’s decided to wreak havoc on my body.
More important, I don’t feel deprived of anything, because being able to play with my kids again is more important to me than eating pizza.
There is plenty of research to support the Paleo lifestyle as part of the comprehensive treatment plan for autoimmune diseases. A good place to start is by reading The Paleo Solution by Robb Wolf. The book explains the science and includes an index at the back listing 30 pages of research articles that helped convince me to take on this diet.
From my frustrating and trying experiences, my approach to working with my own patients as a physical therapist and trainer has changed. As part of my objective to treat the “whole person,” I want to be sure I provide my patients with as much information as possible, so it doesn’t take them five years to get back to living, like it took me. It was a long journey, but it feels good to be in my skin again.
I also have Hashimotos and I'm new to the paleo lifestyle. My doctor and I have been questioning my inability to lose weight for a couple years now. First she suggested going Gluten Free. Which I did, and I lost 2 lbs within 2 weeks. I also felt amazing after the first 7 days. But after a long traveling summer and falling off the wagon and talking some more with my doc and doing some research I decided to try Paleo for 30 days. I gotta say that after almost 2 weeks not only do I constantly have an upset stomach but I'm very tired and foggy. I'm going to give it the entire 30 days though. If I don't feel better or lose weight after the 30 days I may go back to gluten free and add back in rice and quinoa.
I should mention I haven't eaten any processed meats or foods. I'm taking the various supplements suggested (magnesium, Vit. D, fish oil, probiotic, etc)., I'm not eating dairy. I am eating only grass-fed meats/etc., fruits and veggies.. tons of dark greens, light amount of nuts. Coconut and olive oil. Some caffeine but not a ton. Low sodium but not no sodium. I've had maybe 1/4 sweet potato and 1/4 regular potato and one banana in about two weeks.. so very low starch. Maybe not VLC but pretty close.
I really believe in this lifestyle. The evidence is just super convincing. So like I said, I'm sticking with it for at least another two weeks..
I have Hashimotos and have lost 10 pounds in 3 months on the autoimmune protocol. I'm actually looking at upping my carbs because I don't really have the weight to lose anymore. I would definitely give it a try, it might even help some other autoimmune symptoms. I have had great success with it and plan on staying on it for a long time :)
I am not aware of the autoimmune version of Paleo (but will check into it), but I do have Hashimoto's and have been eating a Paleo diet for about 2-3 months. I have not lost weight, but my Hashi's is untreated currently while I wait to get into a doctor. I also exercise regularly, about 3-5 hours per week.
I have Hashimoto's and have been eating Paleo since Jan. 2012. Took about 6 weeks off (well, fell off the wagon) and then came back on doing a Whole30 in April. It takes me much longer than average to make the adjustment in terms of energy levels balancing and foggy headedness but I am losing weight. The first month I lost about 9 lbs (which is quite a bit for me, I'm only 5'1) but then I put it back on in the 6 weeks off...:(
During the Whole 30 I just finished, I lost only 5 lbs but about 7 inches. I'm getting my body fat retested tomorrow. I can definitely feel a difference in my body comp which I focus on instead of scale numbers.
It's been proven that it can be harder for folks with thyroid issues to lose weight. However, in my experience, if I am taking my Synthroid, being honest about how much I am eating, not cheating with many treats and getting regular exercise I do lose weight. If you truly and honestly believe you are doing everything right, maybe talk to your doc about adjusting your medication.
It's a bummer of a disease and so frustrating for us women who already have trouble taking weight off, but whatever I can do to feel vibrant and healthy is worth it to me! Good luck!
I have Hashimoto's - been Paleo for about 3 months, went Primal recently (drinking raw milk, cheeses, butter, etc). First 6-8 weeks on Paleo were difficult - probably the detox of everything. At about 1-1/2 months I started losing weight, and have lost a total of 15 pounds to date. I'm back at my normal weight I have been all my life except for the last 5 years of having a leaky gut and several autoimmune issues that gave me a bloated stomach, and severe inflammation. I lost that weight without exercising at all... Overall I feel good, but there are still days I don't have the energy I'd like to have... I attribute that to still dealing with some health issues, a variation of sleep apnea and life stress :-)
I think you need to stay on Paleo for 4-6 months to really see what the full benefits can be. At 30 days many health issues are just starting to unravel. Just my 2 cents.