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?
Iodine + Carbs helped the majority of my thyroid symptoms after only 2 months. I am taking it very slow with the Iodine. I started 1 drop of Iosol in June, worked up to 2 drops after 3 weeks and then 3 drops. I am now on 1 pill of Iodoral. Since then, I switched to a high carb paleo diet with mostly tubers and some white rice, veggies, less animal protein and fat.
I am not "hypothyroid", but had slowed thyroid symptoms from VLC. Just adding starch did not help with all the symptoms. Going on a Kitiva style diet has helped exponentially.
Things that got better with higher carb + Iodine:
Now, when I tested my thyroid back in 9/2010 after being VLC for about 9 months my TSH was 1.27, T3 was 3.5 and T4 1.1
I have not since tested it and I waited a solid year to really treat it. I tried just adding a tuber or two to get my carbs up to 100-150 for a bit and while that helped, the real difference was in May when I went high carb and June when I added Iodine.
I think the Iodoral has played a major role in my improvements as well as a selenium supplement. Iodine supplementation seems to improve alot of things so it definitely can't hurt. Will updated when I get more blood tests done but I feel 100%.
I also want to add that anyone not taking Iodine when treating the thyroid is making a grave mistake. If you read the reviews for Iodoral and Iosol around the net, many cure their thyroid issues for good with Iodine supplementation. Paul Jaminent makes a good case for it as well. I know Ray Peat is not a fan of Iodine, but I have read glowing reviews from people all around the net and experience great things myself in a short time with Iodine. Also note that Peat thinks thyroid should be supplemented, so not sure where he stands on optimizing your own hormones over supplementation.
Strict gluten avoidance is also, very very key.
In addition to iodine and carbs...
I'm reading "Mastering Leptin" right now and there's some good stuff in it...
The precise mechanism of thyroid hormone control by the subconscious brain has now been discovered. The problem is caused by low leptin in the brain, [which is] part of the genetic response to starvation. Low Leptin in the brain producers a signal to slow down metabolism so that we do not perish from a lack of food. Higher leptin in the brain says metabolism can go faster [because] plenty of food is being consumed. Leptin resistance means there is too much food being ingested, but the brain is not getting the message.
There is now proof that leptin signals the specific production of thyroid hormone; consequently, when there is leptin resistance thyroid hormone will be less active everywhere in your body. A low thyroid condition produces a three-fold lowering of UCP3 in muscle. As we have discussed, this directly turns down healthy fat burning by muscle, which in turn contributes to obesity.
Taken together, the new science shows that leptin-induced elevated cholesterol occurs by two mechanisms working synergistically together in the wrong direction:
1) Low leptin in the brain [due to leptin resistance] signals the liver to make extra cholesterol.
2) Low leptin in the brain slow down thyroid hormone, in turn reducing normal cholesterol clearance from the body.
Fixing leptin resistance fixes the source of both problems... (p. 100-101)
Elsewhere the book states:
Leptin is boss and thyroid answers to it.
Some carbohydrates are needed in a healthy diet or the thyroid turns off...
Perhaps looking into effective regulation of the hormone leptin could be a key?
The article cited in the book is here.
i've been looking at this recently also because i think iodine deficiency and hypothyroidism may play a major factor in why many women have such difficulty losing weight. i ask the basic hypothyroid questions of women i help who are hard losers (are you lethargic, cold, hair falling out?) and the vast majority of the hard losers have iodine deficiency/hypothyroid symptoms. i don't feel comfortable speaking at length about it but there was a great series on it over at phd.
they make a strong case for supplementing selenium along with iodine if you are indeed deficient.
The key point for hypothyroidism is to realize that the most common causes are unknown to your docs and have zero to do with your thyroid hormone levels because the thyroid hormone receptor is altered by the things that cause hypothyroidism. IT changes protein folding. So you must pay attn to patients clinical symptoms as they dictate what is really going on at the thyroid level. Number one causes of this problem in my humble opinion.
Those cover 99% of my clinical cases.
I am hypothyroid - Hashimotos or auto-immune thyroid disease. Be VERY careful with iodine, I've twice tried it and even a small amount makes my thyroid flare up and TSH increase.
Check out Chris Kresser - he has a great series http://thehealthyskeptic.org/thyroid
Also Dr Kharazian who has an excellent thyroid book: http://thyroidbook.com/
If your hypothyroid is auto-immune like mine - try a strict auto-immune paleo diet - no legumes, dairy, alcohol, grains, sugar, processed food, eggs, nuts or seeds (30 days)
I'm feeling great doing this, yet to test my thyroid but weight is better.
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