Wednesday, February 6, 2013

no dieting allowed!

Shortly after i started the blog, i also started a notepad document where i compiled ideas for postings and references for later reading (and possible comment).  There are a sluagh* of items on different subjects, but most center on hypothyroidism, which is by far my biggest health hurdle.  I occasionally review my previous notations when i add something to them; sometimes i'm not ripe to appreciate them when i write them down, and i AM, later.

Today i followed a link i discovered some time ago, and it has put me onto a tangent i can believe in.  It speaks of the deiodinases which convert T4 to 3 (and also to rT3), and D1 is shorthand for the deiodinase which contributes largely to SYMPTOMATIC hypothyroidism when it's in reduced supply.  One's T4 can be in an acceptable range, and peripheral T3 can be too low as a result.  There's quite a laundry-list of things which inhibit our D1....

The conclusions drawn in the article are NOT what i find interesting here.  THEY say, because of the actions of these Ds, to be healthy the patient's TSH number is immaterial and if there's not enough free T3 ... GIVE 'EM MORE DRUGS!  We want our DRUUUUUUGGGGS!!!  MO-O-O-O-ORE TEE-THREEEEEE!!!!!

As they say down in Texas -- sheeee-YIT!  I know people want to feel normal, but did it never occur to them that the body is dialing down on thyroid conversion for a reason?

A few of the things that suppress D1 (and which they discussed in the article) are:

  • physiologic and emotional stress; 
  • depression; 
  • dieting; 
  • weight gain and leptin resistance; 
  • insulin resistance, obesity and diabetes; 
  • inflammation from autoimmune disease or systemic illness; 
  • chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia; 
  • chronic pain; and 
  • exposure to toxins and plastics.
Taking the T3 to normalize physiological processes while the causes of reduced D1 are tackled is obviously very supportive to the patient.  But taking the supplement and not addressing the ROOT CAUSES is just plain dumb.  This goes back to my objection to looking for "temporary relief, indefinitely"!

The body OBVIOUSLY wants us to slow down when these destabilizing causes are in action!  It wants us to fix what's the matter, not carry on as if nothing were wrong.  Remove the poisons, heal the injuries, outwear the stressor while getting extra rest, increase omega3 and hang around upbeat friends to help inflammation and mood, and ... FGS stop calorie-restricted dieting!

One thing i find marvelous about LCHF is that i'm "never" hungry.  Assuming i eat the right foods, i can eat to fullness in two to three meals, i'm not tempted to snack, and i don't gain weight.  I just CAN'T consume those "excess" calories that CICO-enthusiasts are so fond of condemning -- there's no room.  Entering my intake in FitDay reveals to me that while eating this way, i spontaneously eat from 1200 to 2200 calories per day, with between half and three-quarters of them from fats.  I guess some people would call that low end "calorie restricted" but since i'm not consciously trying to do so, and it doesn't happen every day, i don't believe it would be accurate to call it CR.

Apparently, a thyroid-challenged person HAS to find non-toxic foods that will satisfy without causing her/him to gain, if T3 values are to remain within an acceptable range.  And while i would object to telling hypothyroids "don't diet!" if they have excess fat that is burdening their systems, i know damn well that choosing a reducing diet careful is in their best interests!  ... I also hope that they'll exercise reasonable skepticism about the absurd promotion of a LFHC diet for their condition!
* while trying to ascertain the proper spelling of "sloo" -- whether it's slough or slew -- informed me that this americanism derived from an irish word.  therefore i'll honor the source by spelling the original way.  erin go bragh!  ;-)


  1. I like Armour Thyroid better than Synthyroid I used to take before. It contains T3 ": T4 (thyroxine), T3 (triiodothyronine) in the proportions usually present in pig thyroids (approximately 80% T4 and 20% T3)." There are claims that such amounts of T3 are too high for humans. I can't report any ill effect.

  2. yes, indeed -- Synthroid is garbage! some people seem to get along all right on it (their powers of conversion are apparently robust), but most do MUCH better on a "natural" (i.e. animal-derived) product that has T3 too. i did well on Armour till they changed the formula and then created that "shortage" three or four years ago. why on earth are doctors so damned scared they're gonna give people ENOUGH T3? incidents of bad effects from overdosing are probably as rare as hens' teeth.

    1. I suspect market forces favor Synthroid, but may be I am just getting paranoid.

    2. :-) you don't come across as paranoid to me, but as a realist, Galina! now that you make me ponder it, i'm sure it's easier and cheaper to "build" synthroid in a lab than to deal with natural animal products, which have to be dealt with promptly or they'll decompose!

    3. May be it is not absolutely so, but I think that Armour Thyroid is not the proper big product of a Pharm industry. Doctors are under heavy influence of a BigPharm, even if Synthroid is easier to manage but less profitable, it is produced by a big pharm company with a very aggressive marketing strategy, they even was penalized in a past It is just my guess that marketing played a role in the Synthroid popularity.

  3. Selenium deficiency will make D1 less available:

    Iodothyronine deiodinases (thyroid hormone deiodinases)

    The thyroid gland releases very small amounts of biologically active thyroid hormone (triiodothyronine or T3) and larger amounts of an inactive form of thyroid hormone (thyroxine or T4) into the circulation. Most of the biologically active T3 in the circulation and inside cells is created by the removal of one iodine atom from T4 in a reaction catalyzed by selenium-dependent iodothyronine deiodinase enzymes. Three different selenium-dependent iodothyronine deiodinases (types I, II, and III) can both activate and inactivate thyroid hormone by acting on T3, T4, or other thyroid hormone metabolites. Thus, selenium is an essential element for normal development, growth, and metabolism because of its role in the regulation of thyroid hormones (2, 5).

    Selenium deficiency might also help produce some of the other symptoms listed, or be caused by dieting, drugs (especially valproate), some viral infections (including HCV, HIV), high mercury levels, coeliac and non-coeliac gluten sensitivity.
    Foods that supply selenium include: fish and shellfish, organ meats, meat, Brazil nuts.

    1. selenium is exceedingly important to people with any kind of thyroid "weakness." i always make a point of saying that if you supplement iodine, you NEED to supplement selenium as well -- situations where iodine seems to make hashimoto's patients worse tend to not correct for selenium. it's not only essential for the deiodinase to work, but also a part of the transport molecule (transthyretin) which ferries the hormone into cells.

      :-) i'm wondering if i ought to increase my dosage of it -- i take a megadose of iodine (and need it). maybe the RDAs of selenium are horribly understated as well....

  4. For a while I was using a, and noticed that just after logging couple of eggs I usually reached my required daily selenium requirements. I try to eat couple Brazilian nuts a day, but I miss to do it quite often. Is the official requirement for selenium too low?

    1. i don't know -- i think it's worth looking into!

    2. You could easily double the RDA, in fact around 90mcg maximises peroxidase. I don't think you can easily overdose on natural sources, there is no recorded Brazil nut overdose online, and people in parts of Wisconson (or is it Wyoming?) get about 700mcg without ill effects (there is toxicity from over 1mg in parts of China).

      But supplements have been associated with diabetes in one study (200mcg), and high intakes with increases in cholesterol (not that that's a bad thing) in some others.

      Sulfur amino acids are protective against selenium toxicity as selenium competes with cysteine at high doses, causing weakness of cysteine-rich proteins; hair, nails, muscles, and insulin.

      The safe upper limit (UL) from all sources is set at 400mcg.

    3. Thank you, George, a lot. You always try to help.
      I wonder, if somebody takes a thyroid replacement which contains T3 already, then keeping selenium high is less important?

    4. yes, thanks, George! i'm going to boost to 400 (from 200) myself.

      Galina, that's a good question. probably less important, but i'm not sure they know all selenium is good for yet -- they only figured out what it IS in the 1980s! :-)

  5. I remember Emily Dean mentioned that ketogenic diets left people selenium deficient and it led to serious complications. I was guessing then that the ketogenic diets in question were crappy ones, very deficient in proper protein sources, unlike the Atkins induction diet. I never investigated further, just used it as a reason to munch on Brazilian nuts from time to time.

    1. it could be that the ketogenic diets she spoke of are the horrible things they feed epileptic children -- no wonder THEY might be deficient!