Doc Says Go Paleo

Can the Paleo Diet Improve Hyperthyroid Disease?
"Go Paleo," the Doc said.
Will Paleo actually improve Autoimmune Thyroid Disease?

Okay. I admit I'm not very fond of yearly checkups.

I see them as a huge scam designed to increase profits within the medical community. The insurance company acts like the good guy by not charging you for those checkups, but there's always an ulterior financial motive behind the gesture.

At the time, hubby's company insisted that everyone have a checkup, or they would have to pay a large share of their own health-coverage premium. Flat out manipulation, but what can you do?

It took me over 4 hours to find a doctor in our area who would perform the checkup because most of the doctors who belong to Cigna here are pediatricians.

We ended up with an holistic nurse practitioner, instead of a real doctor.

She worked for a local Urgent Care facility.

Since they were willing to see us that very day, and we only needed a physical, we jumped at the chance to get it over with. Apparently, physicals don't have to be performed by a doctor. A nurse will do.

I Asked to Have My Thyroid Tested

We were not fasting that day, so we had to go back again the following morning for blood work. Cigna requires you to input your cholesterol numbers among other statistics when you take their online health survey every year, and I didn't know that you had to fast before a cholesterol test.

The nurse practitioner wasn't there the day we went back. The assistant who draws blood simply asked us which tests the insurance company wanted run.

Cigna only wanted cholesterol tests, but something the nurse had asked me the day before about my skin, hair, and nails
encouraged me to ask the assistant to run a thyroid panel.

Since I had gained quite a bit of weight over the past couple of years and have a lot of hypothyroid symptoms, I thought it would be a good idea to have them test the thyroid again.

I wasn't hopeful.

Most general practitioners won't do anything unless your TSH exceeds 5.0. I learned that lesson when I was seeing a diabetic specialist in Southern California who refused to treat me for thyroid problems, even though my TSH was a whopping 4.9.

The last time I had a thyroid panel run, it was only 1.2, down from 2.3 the prior time I had it checked, so I figured that was a good thing. A low-carb diet must reverse a sluggish thyroid.

Thyroid Test Results

The test result was rather shocking. It was down even further this time. In fact it was:

LESS THAN .10!!!

That's point one-zero. Less than 1.

That didn't make any sense to me since my symptoms have always been hypothyroid, and my maintenance level of calories keeps going down, not up. But after doing a little bit of research online, I discovered that some people with Hashimoto's Disease have a low TSH.

The explanation for that was that once damaged by an autoimmune attack, the thyroid can leak hormones into the blood, which the pituitary gland will interpret as the thyroid over-reacting.

The pituitary gland is the gland that secrets TSH in order to alert the thyroid to what's going on.

In addition, some people with Hashimoto's Disease also go into overdrive whenever they eat gluten or iodine. That would include being accidentally glutened, which does happen to me now and then.

Gluten's molecular structure is similar to the thyroid's molecular structure and the immune system can get confused and start attacking the thyroid.

BUT, my TSH history said something different.

My TSH History

Many years ago, I had to have a physical for work.

That doctor said I had an enlarged thyroid gland and that I needed to have it checked out right away. I made an appointment with my doctor, but to him, the thyroid did not feel enlarged.

TSH came back 4.9, which was just barely under the 5.0 that I needed to receive treatment, so he didn't do anything about it. He told me my thyroid was just fine!

When I came down with vertigo, that doctor also checked out my thyroid, but like the prior doc, he only ran my TSH. He didn't run any antibody tests or specific hormones such as T4 and T3. TSH at that time was 2.0, so I thought a low-carb diet had corrected whatever was wrong.

My latest test was 1.2, after doing a strict lower fat low-carb diet and losing 100 pounds, so it still looked good to me. In fact, my last doctor told me I was the healthiest patient she had ever seen. But that wasn't true.

What's Going On Now

The problem was that each of these thyroid tests had been performed by different doctors. These different doctors were not able to see the sliding scale pattern that was occurring.

None of them were interested in my TSH history because they were not very knowledgeable about the thyroid, but surprisingly, the nurse practitioner was.

Her suspicion was a problem with the pituitary gland, possibly some form of thyroid disease, and maybe even adrenal issues. Going from 4.9 to 2.0 to 1.2 to less than .10 pointed to pituitary problems, she said, because my TSH should be extremely high due to the symptoms.

Going Paleo?

I had a lot of blood drawn the following day, so it quickly turned into a waiting game. But as we were walking out the door together, the nurse told me that there were some things that I could do for myself right away.

"Let's talk about your diet," she said. 

I don't know WHY practitioners always assume your diet is bad if you're fat. I've been on a whole foods diet for as long as I can remember. Even when I wasn't doing Sugarbusters or Weight Watchers or Atkins, I was still eating a low processed foods diet, due to chemical sensitivities.

"If you want a healthy diet with recipes available online," she continued, "The Paleo Diet is the best there is."

This surprised me.

I didn't expect her to say that.

I expected to hear her tell me to cut out processed foods, sugar, and stuff like that. Things I was already doing.

When I told her that I was already familiar with that type of diet, she grew a bit excited.

But the conversation ended there. I didn't want to go into it with her. There is no way hubby is going to go for another restrictive diet, especially a very expensive one that required grass-fed meats.

The logic behind which foods are healthy to eat and which foods are not does not make any sense to either of us. But I'll talk about the issues we have with Paleo in the next post, and maybe someone can help me understand it better than I currently do.

To read the thyroid test results, go HERE.


  1. Dear Vickie, I do think you are going to find the answer to your condition. The good news is your getting closer. Have a blesses day!

  2. Thanks so much for stopping by, reading, and commenting. I really hope you are right. I've been sick for far too long now.


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