Sunday, July 15, 2012

Missing Piece of the Puzzle??

Before I got sick I was very active: on ice training 3-4 times per week, weight lifting 3 times per week and cardio almost everyday.  I ate organic, low fat, low salt, moderate carb GF diet with no red meat.  I ate sweets in moderation.  My weight was stalled at 220lbs.  At 5'2" I fell into the morbidly obese range and I totally baffled my doctor.  "I don't understand why you aren't loosing weight."  But instead of testing anything he just let it slide since my cholesterol numbers were good, although on the high end of normal.  He did threaten me with statins if they crept up anymore.  I think he couldn't understand how I could exercise so much and eat so healthy, he even told me that I ate healthier than most of his patients,  and not loose an ounce.  Of course I had lost quite a bit of fat only to be replaced by muscle so scale wise I had only dropped ten pounds since starting figure skating training and totally stalled out for a year and a half.  He let it slide.

One more piece of information, most of my weight is around my middle.  I'm portly.  Too bad I'm not a guy I would be considered a nice portly English gentleman instead of a fat old broad.  Anywho,  this all points to thyroid issues but he never tested it or looked into it.

Once I had CFS my body went totally berserk and I had trouble temperature regulating my body.  My hands and feet were cold constantly.  My mom had to knit me wristlets to keep my hands warm and I had to have socks or slippers on constantly.  Often even during the summer months.  I always had my feet tucked under blankets.

Once I started the Paleo/Primal kick I noticed that my hands and feet weren't cold quite so often.  I was barefoot more often and didn't require my wristlets on a daily basis.  This summer I'm not sweating buckets unless it is close to 100F outside and I'm not living in the AC everyday.

A few weeks back I read about people on the Paleo diet are often iodine deficient since they tend to eat either Himalayan salt or Celtic sea salt, neither of which have iodine added.  So unless you eat seafood or sushi or sea vegetables on a daily basis you are probably running a little low.  See Mark's Daily Apple post.  So I tried some kelp capsules but they gave me instant heartburn.  It took me a while but I managed to find some iodine pills.  Turns out that these buggers are scarce since people have forgotten that you need iodine for your thyroid to function normally.  Check this list out of what happens when you are iodine deficient:

–Weight loss is stalled or you gain weight despite your efforts.
–Heart disease risk is escalated–Total and LDL cholesterol and triglyceride values increase
–Risk of fibrocystic breast disease and possibly breast cancer increase (breast tissue concentrates iodine)
–Gingivitis and poor oral health increase (salivary glands concentrate iodine)
-Thyroid swells

Guess what I have!?!
Stalled weight loss.
Excess belly fat.
Fibrocystic breasts but the cysts are too small to worry about.
Elevated LDL and triglyceride levels (these started to come down after I went Paleo)
And nodules on my thyroid!!  (the endo I saw for CFS found these) Can't remember if it is swollen but I wouldn't be surprised.
When I first got sick I measured out as hypothyroid (underactive).  It is now in the very low end of normal which I doubt is optimal.

Holy crap!  Maybe, just maybe, I have an iodine deficiency?  I've been eating low salt for years since that is what I was supposed to do and then when I did use salt it was Celtic sea salt.  God knows how long I've had an iodine deficiency.  No one has EVER bothered to check this.

Since I've been supplementing I'm hotter.  I am no longer cold like I have been for the last two years.  This kinda blows since it is the summer and I'm miserable when I'm hot but this also means my metabolism is kicking it up a notch and the iodine supplements are doing something.  

So here is the source for the above list.  Wheat Belly Blog.  It is a quick and interesting read.  It also discusses dosing levels.  I apparently started out on the low end of things and noticed a difference the same day.  I broke out in a sweat (it has been hot here but I've been running cold for two years now).  My hands and feet are hot again which they haven't been for years.  My reaction was kind of alarming so I started cutting the pills in half.  Mark's Daily Apple explains why this probably happened.  The thyroid basically overreacts since it has been iodine starved for so long.  I'm sure the thyroid wonkies of CFS don't help any here either.  So if you start taking iodine take a very small dose!!  And work up.

So a week or so later of intermittently taking half doses I'm up to intermittently taking whole pills.  My body isn't reacting so violently.  I'm hot.  All.  The.  F'ing.  Time.  My feet are hot.  My hands are hot.  I've been taking cold showers to cool off (last year I wouldn't have been able to tolerate this at all).  I'm sweating buckets but it is hot and humid out so this is a normal reaction unlike last year where I used to sweat in my room when the AC was on even though I was cold.  

The thing I'm curious about is now that I've tinkered with my diet, I'm eating very few grains, almost no sweeteners of any kind, taking iodine and my thyroid seems to be working better, and I tapered off the steroids, will I loose weight???  Finally???  Please God!?!?!  Please!!!  I'm begging you!!!!

Or I'm just going to have to accept that I'm forever going to be a dumpy old broad.  I should be used to going against social norms by now.  I've had fifty years of practice at it.....  

1 comment:

  1. Extremely interesting - I am trying to do paleo to help health issues but did not know about iodine (Found you thru Fibro Bloggers )