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Starch, Diabetes, Thyroid

by (10)
Updated about 14 hours ago
Created April 25, 2013 at 4:05 PM

I hope someone may have the same issue or dilemma as myself who can answer my question. I am trying to get my Hemoglobin A1C down. I got it from 5.9 to 5.5 in 2 yrs. by going fairly low carb. Now I get a test which shows a high TSH and I have been hearing that eating some starch can normalize and help the thyroid. I really don't want to go on drugs or hormones, so I would love to do this naturally. I eat seaweed for the iodine, btw. That being said, there are people like Dr. Richard Bernstein, Dr. Ron Rosedale and so many others who would consider my A1C numbers diabetic and forbid me from starches. I've noticed that when I eat a little sweet potato with my meals, I don't get nocturnal calf cramps. It's kind of a catch 22 for me. Should I eat some starch to fix thyroid and can it fix thyroid? Should I not eat starch to avoid diabetes?

The fighting, the diet wars and disagreements with all the "experts" makes me crazy because our lives are at stake here

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Medium avatar
10176 · April 27, 2013 at 5:45 PM

My A1C was 8 and fasting blood glucose 200 when I was diagnosed T2. I was also obese, and dealing with that helped a lot. At your 117 lb weight maybe it is thyroid, because it's not obesity related.

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10994 · April 26, 2013 at 11:28 AM

Yes, I see Why you're concerned, and if I were you I wouldn't be. It's a sweet potato, seriously, you're body can handle a sweet potato.

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4393 · April 26, 2013 at 9:57 AM

Shar, if magnesium does not help then you most likely need more potassium, which is why sweet potato helps (it contains around 230 mg of potassium per 100 g). other good potassium sources are tomatoes (& tomato juice or paste) & other types of potatoes. a list of some veg & fruit sources, http://nutritiondata.self.com/foods-011122000000000000000-w.html?maxCount=100 & http://nutritiondata.self.com/foods-009122000000000000000-w.html?maxCount=100

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4393 · April 26, 2013 at 5:44 AM

Shar, see my comment under ecks answer for a possible explanation of your nocturnal calf cramps.

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4393 · April 26, 2013 at 5:41 AM

Shar, if magnesium does not help then you are most likely need more potassium, which is why sweet potato helps (it contains around 230 mg of potassium per 100 g). other good potassium sources are all potatoes and tomatoes (& tomato juice or paste). a list of some veg & fruit sources, http://nutritiondata.self.com/foods-011122000000000000000-w.html?maxCount=100 & http://nutritiondata.self.com/foods-009122000000000000000-w.html?maxCount=100

121ffd3bb9fa6f08b8f0c98343167c28
10 · April 25, 2013 at 11:50 PM

I have been listening to the info from Ray Peat and I wonder if his theories are the way to go. I'm terrified to drink his recommended orange juice and lots of milk, fruits, etc. He claims all of this can fix the thyroid and fix the diabetes. Ugh..so frustrating!

121ffd3bb9fa6f08b8f0c98343167c28
10 · April 25, 2013 at 11:49 PM

My A1c came down to 5.5 when I went low carb. Mostly higher fat, adequate protein and veggies. I am 5'3, weigh 117 and have worked out for 30 years. You can imagine my shock when he told me "prediabetes". I have always had stubborn belly fat and right now my waist measures 29, but I would be happier with 27. When I was intermittent fasting, I achieved that and got down to 108, but I don't think that was healthy and may have screwed my thyroid and adrenals.

121ffd3bb9fa6f08b8f0c98343167c28
10 · April 25, 2013 at 11:45 PM

I was diagnosed in 2010 when my A1C hit 5.9. I am so mad at my doctor because he should have caught it in 2009 when it was 5.5. He told me to go on a modified low carb ATkins type diet. He really doesn't know much although he has a local radio show and thinks he's the smartest man in the world. I dropped him because he offered no help. I test my BG. My fasting is quite low (70s). My post prandials (even with a small sweet potato added are in the 90s or low 100s in the first hour and go to the 80s in 2 to 3 hours.

121ffd3bb9fa6f08b8f0c98343167c28
10 · April 25, 2013 at 7:18 PM

Thanks for the link, ecks! I don't have restless leg. I have nocturnal, painful leg cramps in my calves mostly. I have tried using magnesium at pretty good doses. Some nights it helps, some not. I have found that in the past couple of years, many muscles on my body will go into spasm quite easy if I strain or pull the wrong way. That is why I thought adding more starchy carbs may help if indeed it's a thyroid issue.

121ffd3bb9fa6f08b8f0c98343167c28
10 · April 25, 2013 at 7:16 PM

Maybe my question was misunderstood. I am prediabetic according to my A1C numbers and many of the diabetes docs (Rosedale, Bernstein, many more) are the ones who come up with this "stuff". You can see where I'm concerned. My goal is to improve my thyroid levels and stay out of diabetes.

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7 Answers

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3150 · April 25, 2013 at 7:22 PM

There's a lot of debate on the hypothyroidism and Iodine thing, my understanding (from what I have read about this subject) is that iodine should help a lot stimulating conversion from T4 to T3, BUT in some cases an immune reaction may work in the wrong way and make things worse, that's why there's so much debate today as for whether iodine is good or bad for the thyroid.

Seems that in order to make iodine work, selenium is very important and that an unbalance between the two can play a huge role in success or failure.

See this link that explains some interesting things.

The fact that grains are a common source of selenium could be why people start getting into trouble when starting to go grain free and low carb. Putting some carbs into the equation can help the thyroid as they lower cortisol in general who competes with other hormones and interfere with the thyroid. But maybe that's not the real solution, just a quick fix.

I'd try to see if some additional selenium may do the trick for you. I'd keep with the seaweed and seafood in general, it's loaded with nutrients and omega 3 and should definitively help. I'd try adding some Brazil nuts, just 2 or 3 of them a day can provide you all needed daily intake of selenium. Ok they're pretty high in omega 6 and phytates but I guess in you case it's worth trying, you can offset the omega 6 with the seafood and grass-fed meat and clean eating with no refined sugars and grains.

I don't think that eating some sweet potato would hurt you if you keep your general carb intake no more high than 'moderate', and your mileage may vary, but I don't also think that you must go that way by force to fix the thyroid. The body should be able to run well with low carb, if not, IMHO one should work into this, paleo helps but I guess some time and tweaks will be needed when coming from diabetes, we're pretty messed up by our old habits...

Hope that helps!

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50 · April 26, 2013 at 2:54 AM

Calf cramps can also be from calcium deficiency.

Medium avatar
1
10176 · April 25, 2013 at 10:29 PM

What does your flesh-and-blood doctor say? The e-docs can't interpret your blood test panel, and it sounds like someone has diagnosed you as pre diabetic.

When I was T2 diabetic, cooked starches sent my fasting blood glucose through the roof. Sushi rice was the worst, but overeating dry breakfast cereal was my main problem. My A1C came down when I severely restricted high glycemic carbs (sugars and starches) and lost weight.

Medium avatar
10176 · April 27, 2013 at 5:45 PM

My A1C was 8 and fasting blood glucose 200 when I was diagnosed T2. I was also obese, and dealing with that helped a lot. At your 117 lb weight maybe it is thyroid, because it's not obesity related.

121ffd3bb9fa6f08b8f0c98343167c28
10 · April 25, 2013 at 11:50 PM

I have been listening to the info from Ray Peat and I wonder if his theories are the way to go. I'm terrified to drink his recommended orange juice and lots of milk, fruits, etc. He claims all of this can fix the thyroid and fix the diabetes. Ugh..so frustrating!

121ffd3bb9fa6f08b8f0c98343167c28
10 · April 25, 2013 at 11:49 PM

My A1c came down to 5.5 when I went low carb. Mostly higher fat, adequate protein and veggies. I am 5'3, weigh 117 and have worked out for 30 years. You can imagine my shock when he told me "prediabetes". I have always had stubborn belly fat and right now my waist measures 29, but I would be happier with 27. When I was intermittent fasting, I achieved that and got down to 108, but I don't think that was healthy and may have screwed my thyroid and adrenals.

121ffd3bb9fa6f08b8f0c98343167c28
10 · April 25, 2013 at 11:45 PM

I was diagnosed in 2010 when my A1C hit 5.9. I am so mad at my doctor because he should have caught it in 2009 when it was 5.5. He told me to go on a modified low carb ATkins type diet. He really doesn't know much although he has a local radio show and thinks he's the smartest man in the world. I dropped him because he offered no help. I test my BG. My fasting is quite low (70s). My post prandials (even with a small sweet potato added are in the 90s or low 100s in the first hour and go to the 80s in 2 to 3 hours.

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3180 · April 25, 2013 at 10:00 PM

You want to try something unconventional that will blow you away? Potato Starch.

Bob's Red Mill sells unmodified potato starch in 1 pound bags for like $2. Buy a couple pounds, and eat 4TBS of it a day. You have to eat it uncooked, mix it in yogurt, milk, ice cream, whipped cream, whatever you want. Eat it all at once or spread throughout the day--an after dinner smoothie with the whole 4TBS is easy.

Then check your FBG and watch it go down, down, down.

This works because of the 'second-meal effect' of resistant starch. I brought mine down from the 130's to high 80's in 2 weeks with this trick!

Make sure whatever potato starch you use is 'unmodified' and it can't be heated at all, or it will destroy the resistant starch aspect.

Try it and tell us!

Here's an article on the premise: http://images.abbottnutrition.com/ANHI/MEDIA/Second%20Meal%20Effect%20Review%20and%20Citation%20Table.pdf

Now, this doesn't address your thyroid. For that, i would recommend eating 1-2 large servings of starchy veg a day: Potatoes, rice, plantains, squash, sweet potatoes. Eat starch at every meal. Give it 3 months and retest TSH, should be in range. For further support, eat a can of sardines or smoked oysters every day or 4-5 times a week as a minimum. These contain all the iodine and selenium you'll ever need.

Good luck!

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721 · April 25, 2013 at 6:36 PM

I'm sure sweet potato isn't the only thing you can consume to remedy your issue. It sounds like you've noticed a trend without caring to read further. Maybe this will help:

http://paleolithicmd.com/2013/04/23/restless-leg-syndrome-is-your-diet-related/

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4393 · April 26, 2013 at 9:57 AM

Shar, if magnesium does not help then you most likely need more potassium, which is why sweet potato helps (it contains around 230 mg of potassium per 100 g). other good potassium sources are tomatoes (& tomato juice or paste) & other types of potatoes. a list of some veg & fruit sources, http://nutritiondata.self.com/foods-011122000000000000000-w.html?maxCount=100 & http://nutritiondata.self.com/foods-009122000000000000000-w.html?maxCount=100

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb
4393 · April 26, 2013 at 5:41 AM

Shar, if magnesium does not help then you are most likely need more potassium, which is why sweet potato helps (it contains around 230 mg of potassium per 100 g). other good potassium sources are all potatoes and tomatoes (& tomato juice or paste). a list of some veg & fruit sources, http://nutritiondata.self.com/foods-011122000000000000000-w.html?maxCount=100 & http://nutritiondata.self.com/foods-009122000000000000000-w.html?maxCount=100

121ffd3bb9fa6f08b8f0c98343167c28
10 · April 25, 2013 at 7:18 PM

Thanks for the link, ecks! I don't have restless leg. I have nocturnal, painful leg cramps in my calves mostly. I have tried using magnesium at pretty good doses. Some nights it helps, some not. I have found that in the past couple of years, many muscles on my body will go into spasm quite easy if I strain or pull the wrong way. That is why I thought adding more starchy carbs may help if indeed it's a thyroid issue.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5
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10994 · April 25, 2013 at 4:43 PM

Lol, I must have missed the study that showed a sweet potato with dinner causes diabetes. Seriously, who comes up with this sh*t?

Just eat the dang sweet potato if it's the only thing helping you not cramp up in the middle of the night, you don't need to be stressing out about this.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5
10994 · April 26, 2013 at 11:28 AM

Yes, I see Why you're concerned, and if I were you I wouldn't be. It's a sweet potato, seriously, you're body can handle a sweet potato.

121ffd3bb9fa6f08b8f0c98343167c28
10 · April 25, 2013 at 7:16 PM

Maybe my question was misunderstood. I am prediabetic according to my A1C numbers and many of the diabetes docs (Rosedale, Bernstein, many more) are the ones who come up with this "stuff". You can see where I'm concerned. My goal is to improve my thyroid levels and stay out of diabetes.

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1667 · April 25, 2013 at 4:31 PM

Since when does starch cause diabetes?

Im gonna give you some tough love, your health is nobodies responsability but your own.

Try including starch it for 30 days see how you sleep and feel.

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