Sunday, February 5, 2012

interesting thyroid "discovery"....

I misled you, yesterday:  i had that innocent meal all planned out, but when the kids came back from the birthday party, they were all "up" for going to Marina's for dinner -- and i wasn't about to argue.  :-D 

After mentally juggling whether i might add cheese or rice to my PPC program, rice won (it came with my carne asada -- i DID NOT TOUCH the beans).  Now, here's the interesting part:  all over the paleo blogosphere, you'll hear that a diet too low in carbohydrates will result in lower functional thyroid level.  Apparently, not in me.

The argument is, it takes sugars to convert T4 (the "starter" hormone the thyroid makes) to T3 (the active hormone, converted all over the body, but mostly in the liver).  Therefore, if you run your body on a lower carb regimen, you'll not convert as well.  This has apparently been "proven" in rodent studies (i can't remember if it's been tested in humans).  A certain very lean young male bodybuilder uses this as basis for giving questionable nutritional advice to people like me -- the very opposite phenotype to himself (don't get me started!)....

So, having eaten a VERY low carb diet for the entire month of January, i had a significant serving of starch last night, for the first time since starting the Personal Paleo Code program.  I woke up this morning, curled up in a ball and feeling rather chilly.  Enhanced T4-T3 conversion?  HAHAHAHAhahahah....

Just last month we were reminded (as has been known since the middle of the 20th century, but conveniently "forgotten") that the body IS able to convert fatty acids to glucose, as well as protein-to-glucose.  The body, in its wisdom, has a way to do what it NEEDS to.  Correspondingly, my liver seems to provide me with enough sugars to achieve the thyroid conversion just fine on a low-carb diet, fueled by my own body's stores.  Feed the body in an evolutionarily appropriate manner, and it'll work with you.

Mark this down in the "every body is unique" category, maybe, but i've always been suspicious of the "you need a significant amount of carbs" message, given how good i feel on a low-carb regimen.  I DO NOT believe that more than 50 carbs a day does me anything but ill, based on a half-century's experience living in this body.

Pay attention to your body.  It's less likely to lie to you than someone with a reputation to build (or uphold).


  1. Good for you for finding what works! I'm one of those who has to keep carbs up, as LC, or VLC (which I practiced for quite a while) makes my thyroid all wonky, and slooooows down my metabolism.

    Thyroid is such a complex issue. I wonder if it matters in what way you're hypothyroid? (Autoimmune vs. other.) Anyway, as you say, we all need ot listen to our systems and find what works.

  2. i wonder about the mechanism of mine -- i was diagnosed as an infant, obviously before a lot of things were defined.... ever since i finally said "screw the doctors" and started researching and tweaking things for myself, i've begun to suspect that mine was all about MALNUTRITION! there are a number of things that i don't absorb well, and a growing list of things i should largely avoid (the benefit of biting the bullet and doing the PPC wholeheartedly)!