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Saturday, June 9, 2012

Eliminate Excuses - Clean Eating and Hypothyroidism

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My friends and family that know me well, know much about my struggle with the metabolic disorder, hypothyroidism and thyroid disease. For those of you that do not know what thyroid disease is, let me break it down for you in an incredibly basic (you can read more about the disease if you want, this is just an overview) sort-of way:

Your thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland in the front middle of your neck that secretes hormones, specifically T-4 (or thyroxine), among others. These hormones influence your metabolism, overall growth and development, as well as your body temperature. There are two types of thyroid malfunction:

  • Hyperthyroidism is the increased (high) production of thyroid hormones, including T-4. Often individuals with hyperthyroidism have a very fast metabolism, are underweight, often warm/hot to the touch, have an increased heart rate and may even feel nervous or jittery.
  • Hypothyroidism (the much more popular of the two) is a decreased or low production of thyroid hormones, including T-4. Individuals with hypothyroidism tend to feel cool often, have slow metabolic reaction to foods (metabolism), gain weight or find it hard to lose weight, may experience bouts of sluggishness, lack of energy, hair loss or thinning and even problems with regular hormonal and reproductive function.

Both of these diseases MUST be controlled with medicine for your body to function normally and the only way for you to find out if you have either is to get a blood test administered by your doctor's office.

Now that we are clear... I wanted to share a little of my experience with you just in case you are going through the same thing. I am hyperthyroid and was originally diagnosed with the disease when I was 19 years old (I am 28 now). I have been taking medicine on and off (yes, I know the off part is bad - that never should have happened) for 9 years now. I originally began on thyroxine, the drug used to treat hypothyroidism, my dose was 25mcg. Today I take 135mcg. A huge step, huh?  I attribute A LOT of that to my previous dietary habits (and heredity, but since my mother only takes 50mcg daily, I don't think that's mainly it).

Prior to eating clean, my body would react to my new medicine dosage doing exactly what the doctors wanted it to do and then BANG! All of a sudden, it was like I hit a brick wall and the medicine would no longer work... they would increase my dosage and the cycle would start again. Since I have been eating clean consistently (6 months), my dosage has NOT been altered and I can see gains in my energy levels. I no longer crawl back into bed at 10 am in the morning, my hair no longer falls out and I have faith that this will continue! Nourish your body correctly and with aid from the right dosage of medication, your body will begin to heal itself.

DO NOT let people tell you they are overweight because of a thyroid problem (unless it is untreated)! And don't think that is the reason you are either (if you have a thyroid problem). There are NO excuses HERE - just hard work! I work EXTREMELY hard and watch everything that goes into my body and I am 5'2'' tall, 120 lbs, and 19.5% bodyfat. It CAN be done! I am living proof! You can do it too - don't fall into the trap of excuses.

Good luck on your journey! Even if my story touches one of you today, it's worth it!
Tiffany

22 comments:

  1. Wow, thank you so much for sharing this. I have Hashimoto's thyroiditis induced Hypothyriodism. I am 5'3" and weight 205 today (highest was around 230). I've just recently started getting into clean eating and cross fit and have seen great results. I've only had my diagnosis for 3 years and have had the same issues with my dosage of meds. It is an encouragement to see proof that I can continue and get results. Thanks again for sharing!

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    1. Thank you for your comment Courtney. I too have Hashimoto's (thought it was a little too in depth to get into that for this post). I am so glad that you enjoyed my article and I encourage you to eat clean and continue your training. There is no substitute for hard work and trust me, the diet will help SO much!

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    2. I have blood tests that indicate Hashimoto, but the level is not high enough to medicate (over 4 is abnormal and I am usually around an 8). I have been struggling, not so much with weight (5'3" 130) but with being cold all the time, fibrocystic breast tissue, endometriosis and ovarian cysts, and very sluggish and fatigued. I am going to try clean eating to see hoe it helps. Thank you.

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    3. I was diagnosed with Hashimotos Hypothyroidism when I was 15 diagnosed with Thyroid Cancer when I was 16, and have been on th road to almost "proving my doctor wrong" (that I will be overweight) for the last 15 years. It is tough, but you must listen to your body and do research. Its the only body youll have so make sure your treating it right!!! I went Autoimmune Paleo a few months back, and am in the lookout for a natropath doctor in my area. I have been Gluten free for the past couple years and rarely intake carbs outside fruits and veggies. I work out (mostly weight training) proper supplementation, and water intake. I am 125lbs and 5'4. I have more muscle than I ever have and fit into a size 2-4. Working on my energy levels, but progress is progress!! :o)

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  2. I had thyroid cancer and have had my thyroid completely removed. I had no idea how much not having a thyroid would impact my life and my energy level. My body just doesn't work like it did and I feel like I have to work 10 times harder to get to my goals. I've been looking at going to a clean diet not necessarily to lose weight, although that is welcomed, but to have more energy and not be exhausted after work. Thank you so much for posting this entry!

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    1. Miss Amos, you are certainly welcome! A large reason I chose to start eating clean is because I was headed on a path to lose my thyroid and I know there are a whole host of adverse effects and challenge that accompany that. I encourage you to try eating clean - it will change your life and help you get back to the "you", you once were!

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    2. Hi Tiffany, how can I learn to start eating clean? Where can I access the eating clean info. I was diagnosed with hyper 4.75 and 4.97. I noticed I am getting skinnier. Have no energy, major mood swings. Losing hair by chunks. And pain in my thyroid, neck and cranial. I keep taking myself off of thw naturthroid afyer 20 days because of thw major cotton mouth, severe dry lips and dry face symptoms. I look forward to your response

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  3. WOW! I'm so glad that you wrote this post! I've been reading over your website, Whitney's site and Jamie Eason's site, along with lots of info on eating clean. I'm staring Jamie's 12 week program tomorrow. I too have hypothyroidism and was literally just wondering how it would affect my thyroid! In the past I have also done a lot of research on certain foods to avoid when you are hypothyroid. I was surprised to see how many veggies were actually on the list. Are there any foods you try to avoid or has the eating clean just completely helped so much that it doesn't matter? THANKS!

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    1. Tammy, I would be fibbing if I said that eating clean has totally solved all of my problems. I do try to stay away from cruciferous veggies like broccoli and I occasionally have cauliflower. The eating clean REALLY does help though, so jump on the bandwagon and follow along with us!
      If you want, follow me on my personal website too!

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    2. I lost 1/2 of my thyroid 3 years ago & want to feel better. I have been on your website & would like to try to eat clean & exercise more. Can you give me more info on Jamie's 12 week program?

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    3. Sherrie, I received your email! I will respond shortly!

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  4. Thank you so much for this post! I have Hashimoto's Hypothyroidism and so far I've lost about 20 lbs and have another 20-30ish to go! You seriously gave me the boost of motivation I needed after reading so many people complaining about not losing any weight with hypothyroidism! :) BTW, I'm 16 and I've was diagnosed about a year and a half ago!

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    1. Sarah, I am so sorry to hear about your recent diagnosis. I wish I could say that you won't have it harder than your friends, but I can't. What I CAN say, is START eating this way, RIGHT now!! It will help you in more ways than you will ever know!

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  5. love your blog, and you are such an inspiration. I as well have hashimotos. Diagnosed 2.5 years ago. I am currently 5'4 and 205 at age 26. It sucks, and i am terrible at staying on my synthroid. I am just starting my research and planning to start clean eating. It is going to be a big adjustment for this busy mom of 2, but we are going to try our hardest!

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    1. We are so happy that you like the blog! Eating clean is going to be a way that you totally bless your body!! Start today - start NOW!! You won't regret it!

      As for your research... do you mean that you are really bad about your meds working or just remembering to take it? Have your doctor check all of your thyroid levels, including your T4 and T3, sometimes it's a combo!

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  6. Hi Tiffany
    I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism a year ago. I am taking Armor thyroid medicine, which is naturally made and not synthetic. I understand so much the fight with weight and how much harder It is to lose weight! I have gained 12 pounds in the last 2 years and have not been able to lose it. This is after having 4 children and losing baby weight each time. I am taking a class -Pump- 3 times a week ( my 4th week)! I am learning and eating better everyday to eat clean, but the weight is still not coming off. I just read on Dr Ozs website that there are certain foods that block the medicine like- broccoli, spinache, almonds, to name a few!!! Subsequently, these are among the foods I've been eating daily! Do you know about this new information?

    Thank you so much,
    Kathy

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  7. I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism in 2010 after a miscarriage. My levels were never out of the normal range when I was tested, but they were low so I take 15mg of armour thyroid daily. I just had a baby 11 weeks ago and am struggling to lose the baby weight. I'm currently on Weight Watchers after trying Atkins - which left me frustrated bc the scales didn't move but 2 pounds in a 3 week period. I was successful with Weight Watchers after my first child 6 years ago, but this time I feel like I need to take it a step further. That's why I am thinking about the Eat Clean diet that Tosca Reno developed. I try to eat foods in it's most simple form so I feel like this could benefit me. I have fobromyalgia and osteoarthritis as well and I try to control some of my pain by not eating a lot of white flour or white sugar but lately it seems that's all I crave. I've even started taking L-Glutamine bc I read it can help with the carb cravings. I know that carbs are toxic to me with the health issues I have and I just don't want to waste my time on another eating change if it won't really be beneficial to me. I would love your thoughts!! Thanks so much!!

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  8. I too was diagnosed with thyroid cancer two years ago. As of right now I am at my heaviest and want to be healthy. Than you for letting us know that this is possible to attain.

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  9. Thanks for sharing this! I was just recently (actually, less than two weeks ago) diagnosed with hypothyroidism and I have been concerned for my overall health. Growing up, it didn't take me long to figure out that I would have to work harder than my peers to maintain a healthy weight and overall lifestyle; but there are times I just want to quit everything. It helps now to know that there is an explanation as to why my body is so different; but I've been trying to learn how to eat and exercise for my disorder.

    Your post really encouraged me to keep it up! Thanks for that :)

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  10. I was also diagnosed with hashimotos and so I am intrigued by clean eating. Can anyone explain why or how clean eating has a positive effect on hypothyroidism?Thanks for all the posts, it has been very insightful! :)

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  11. Thanks for this. I was diagnosed yesterday with hypo. My levels were only *slightly* off, but enough so that a few months ago, I felt like I slammed into a brick wall in terms of energy and my hair was falling out like crazy. My daughter is 3 now and I knew it wasn't just from the changes just from giving birth anymore. I've lost 60ish lbs in the last 11 months just from changing my diet and lifting. I'm hoping that the meds (I'm starting on 50mcg of levo) will help me regain the energy I've lost and get me back on track. It's been a rough couple of months trying to figure out what's wrong, but I'm so happy to have answers!

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  12. I was born with Hashimoto's and resulting hypothyroidism, and have had a wide variety of dietary habits, however I have been active since age 3 when I started ballet. I have never struggled with unhealthy weight, but I have fluctuated. Bottom line, clean eating will help ANYONE, not just those of us with metabolic problems. I was lucky and had spectacular medical care through my pediatric endocrinologist, my pediatrician, and my current endocrinologist, keeping my medication in line. I also suggest routine testing for Celiac's Disease, as I developed this at age 30, and it is also autoimmune. Bottom line, eat right, exercise, and keep up with medication monitoring. I'm 5'0", 16% body fat and 114 lbs.

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