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manorqueensc

Hypothyroidism

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I'm asking this question for my mom (promise!) who is seriously considering the Whole30 challenge.  I just finished mine, and she was amazed at my results. I'm actually continuing with this lifestyle because I feel so amazing! Anyway, back to her...

 

She has hypothyroidism, and she has been told the last 10+ years by her doctor that her thyroid basically doesn't function.  He said she needs to keep taking a strong dose of Synthroid--I'm guessing to help prevent cancer??

 

She very recently had her thyroid levels checked, but she wants to do the Whole30 challenge.  My question is:  if she continues taking the same dose of her thyroid medication while on the challenge, will she be able to tell that it has helped when she goes back after the 30 days to get them checked again?  

 

She is really hoping to at least reduce the dose she has to take, but she's under the impression that she'll never get to get off of that high of a dose because of what the doctor has told her for so many years...

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The purpose of Synthroid is to replace the T4 hormone. If her thyroid is basically nonfunctional, then her body needs the Synthroid to function, period.

 

What may or may not happen if W30 improves her thyroid function while she is on a high T4 dose is that she might begin to experience symptoms of hyperthyroidism. My guess is that such an improvement would be more subtle than drastic (but I am no medical expert). She should definitely keep her doctor in the loop on the W30.

 

Hopefully her doctor is supportive of the W30 and sees the benefit of addressing overall health, and will be responsive to her clinical symptoms rather than just treating her to a TSH number, as unfortunately many doctors do. If he/she is not supportive then your mom would benefit from finding a new doctor.

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Just throwing in my two cents.  I've had Hashimoto's hypothyroidism for 16 years and I've been on Synthroid or Levothyroxine the entire time - somewhere between 125-200 mcg while weighing between 150-230 pounds (I was a really chunky kid when I was diagnosed). 

 

She'll never be able to stop taking it - without replacement hormones she would gain weight, feel tired, have dry nails and hair. There's no way to replace it in your diet. It will probably need adjusted after she loses weight though.  

 

Best of luck to your mom! I know how much of a struggle it is to try to lose weight with hypothroidism. The Whole30 and paleo eating has been really helpful to me. I'm not an amazing success story because I definitely fell off the wagon - but I'm back on again!

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Even though your mom will have to keep taking synthroid, I would encourage her to do the W30. I have been taking Synthroid for 10 years now, but I believe my thyroid was bad for a long time before that. Eventually the thyroid gets so damaged it will not work properly.

 

But being on W30 has been great for me. Many people who have Hashimoto's have a myriad of other problems that W30 can help. Since Hashi's is an autoimmune disease, if you have it, you are more likely to have other AI diseases. And being hypo can effect your blood sugar and cholesterol levels, so being on a while diet is very helpful. Plus, chance are she will lose weight, which is very difficult for hypo's to do.

 

I am interested to see what my levels are when I go for my thyroid check up next January. I don't expect to get off synthroid, but I hope my antibody markers are lower. I know I feel better and have less joint pain and have lost some weight, so that is a plus.

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If your thyroid's not functioning, or if it's been removed, you have to take synthetic thyroid hormone.  The most widely known is Synthroid.  I had thyroid cancer and thus a thyroidectomy in 2012.  Since your thyroid regulates your metabolism it's function needs to be replaced.  Synthroid doesn't prevent cancer, it replaces the hormones that your thyroid used to put out.  I did my first Whole30 in Aug/Sept without any problem.  Actually, I did it in conjunction with a low-iodine diet that I needed to do to prepare for my last round of radioactive iodine body scans.  I did lose 6 pounds during my Whole30, but it did not cause a need to change my dose of Synthroid, even though that brings my total weight loss to 55 pounds.  I had a ton of bloodwork done along with the scans at the end of it and it didn't change the dose needed at all.  My understanding is that the dose of Synthroid has more to do with the TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone) that your pituitary gland produces in response to thyroid cells in your body.  If thyroid is gone or not functioning, the pituitary gland responds accordingly.  Unless there is a change in the amount of thyroid cells, or in the amount of thyroid hormone being produced, there's no need to change the dosage of your med.  It doesn't really have anything to do with weight.

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