What came first, the Paleo or the Thyroid?

So I went to the Docs because I felt like my hormones were all over the place. Who the hell gets spots and weird menstruation patterns in their 40s, after all? Well, I suppose women approaching ‘The Change’ do, but I’m not old enough for…….shit. Maybe I am.

Bloods were taken and I sat back and relaxed. A lifetime of negative tests and a healthy body and mind can lull one into a reassuring sense of arrogance about these things. I’m as fit as I’ve been at any time in my life to this point, so what could possibly be wrong?

The blood results were in this morning, and a casual conversation with the Doctor’s office forced me to ask the Receptionist to actually repeat herself. An under-active thyroid? Whaaaa?!

My first thought, if I’m completely honest was, “Hell yeah”. I saw this as the vindication I need for the fact that I still carry excess body fat, in spite of the work I have put in with a radical diet and exercise regime. I had assumed up to this point that I find it so much harder to lose fat because I’m old, but maybe my thyroid was the culprit after all.

paleo crossfit

I have been following a Paleo diet for around 18 months now, and whilst I do imbibe the occasional glass of wine, I rarely eat sugar and always eat a grain-free, low carb diet. Coupled with my healthy diet, I exercise a lot – Crossfit at least 3 or 4 times per week, and intense netball matches twice a week. There’s not much more I could do, and yet body fat lingers in certain places in spite of this hard work.

Whilst I’ve not yet had my Doc’s consultation about this matter, I wanted to post this to see whether the Paleo community can offer any advice. Paleo is good for auto-immune issues, right? Removing gluten from my diet must surely be helpful to my thyroid? I don’t eat polyunsaturated fats – also good, yes? Well, that’s what I thought until I read this. Now I am confused…..

Is it possible that my low carb regime is stifling hormone production? Could it be that I have Euthyroid Sick Syndrome? Is there a chance that my thyroid gland is perfectly healthy but the T3/T4 hormones are not being produced in adequate proportions, giving the impression of Hypothyroidism? In other words, that my Paleo diet has actually caused my Hypothyroidism?!

I am in a dilemma. I have always avoided telling my GP that I follow a Paleo diet. I have no intention of changing, but quite frankly could do without the ‘low fat diets are good for you’ spiel that I would undoubtedly get if I ‘fessed up. Perhaps now I need to come clean, but will a High Street GP be able to help me with such a complex matter?

According to the article above, if I am a victim of ESS, synthetic T4 medication is not going to be able to help me. Without the missing hormones required to convert it into the required T3 which can be absorbed into my body’s organs effectively, I might as well not bother.

Feeling a little lost and rather confused, I’ll keep you posted.

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Curbing Carbs

paleoThis was so NOT what I thought it was going to be.

Once you’ve resisted the temptation to chomp your way through an entire baguette for a couple of days, two of the most incredible things happen:-

1. The hunger pangs totally disappear, as do the cravings

2. You feel shit

On the chomping baguettes issue, I should firstly put on record that we were, up to this point, total bake-o-philes (I made that up). We had taken our bakery ‘issues’ to extremes. Trog Dad is a one-time Master Baker (no sniggering please) and his passion for flour and yeast had recently been rekindled when I had purchased him a day’s Artisan Baking course, as a birthday present. Bad timing.

We had also bought a job lot of rice from the Wholesalers, and a year’s supply of Noodles. Bugger. Still, we could wait until we’d munched our way through the lot, or we could just get started. Right now.

So we did the latter.

On point number 2, here’s what happened. At around day 4 of this experience, I was struggling to get out of bed in the morning. I felt light-headed and drained of energy. A bit ‘sweaty’ and frankly struggling to do anything that involved moving my limbs. I felt about 95. It passed, but has reared its head on several occasions (mainly for a day only) since then.

We’re now in week 10. I really need to work out how to isolate this feeling and pin it down to what I’m eating/not eating that’s causing it. I am guessing (from research online) that it’s Ketosis and that I’m low on carbs, but since I’m eating plenty of green veg, I’m now not so sure. Maybe it’s about the amount of fat I’m consuming/not…..

Any ideas?