New & not sure where to start - thyroid & hormones

ilovethesea

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Feb 9, 2013
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Hi, I posted in the ask for help forum but I better introduce myself here too.

I am a 37 yr old female and came across the forum researching estrogen and progesterone. Actually I heard of Ray Peat before from '180 degree health' blog which I used to read, and I found that through the Weston Price stuff.

So now here I am in process of transitioning to Ray Peat style eating. At the moment I would say I have a 'whole foods' diet but now I see that may not be as healthy as I thought, ie. too low in vitamin A, protein, sugar... and of course too high in PUFAs since I've been taking fermented cod liver oil for years and eat a lot of leafy vegetables.

I "feel" healthy but I definitely have issues that I am not sure I am managing properly.

First of all I had 1/2 of my thyroid removed 5 yrs ago due to thyroid cancer. In retrospect I wish I never let them do that, however it's what has made me take an interest in health so maybe it was a blessing in disguise. After a lot of agony with my levels I finally refused to see any more endocrinologists and just work with a naturopathic doctor. Now I take mostly natural thyroid with a little bit of Synthroid and my levels are free T3 5 pmol/L, free T4 16 pmol/L, TSH 0.2. I feel normal on this dose although still get cold feet and hands sometimes, and have slightly lower energy and body temperature in the mornings before I take my pills.

I also take 50 mg Iodoral daily (I used to take more than this for a few years but have reduced it now to a maintenance dose). Confused as to whether I should keep it up. I started taking it on the advice of the yahoo iodine group forum, because I believe I was severely iodine deficient which contributed to the cancer... although the main factor seems to be that I had several throat xrays as a child. Anyway I have never noticed any benefits or symptoms from the iodine except that it made me have to reduce my thyroid dosage. Oh and it also increased my progesterone which used to be low.

Speaking of progesterone that is the other reason I'm investigating Ray Peat's diet. As I mentioned in the ask for help forum I'm frustrated with a persistent case of premenstrual acne. My cycles are perfectly regular (28 days like clockwork) but I always break out in the last 2 weeks of my cycle and then clear up in the 1st two weeks. My ND suggested I take plant estrogens since the birth control pill and spironolactone gave me perfect skin in the past when I was on them before. When I took chasteberry (which raises progesterone?) I broke out badly... same thing with the low dose progesterone-only birth control pill.

So now I am confused if plant estrogens would be harmful... but I am scared of breaking out with Progest-E given my experience with progesterones. Also I don't know if this means anything but I feel bitchy in the last 2 weeks of my cycle when progesterone is higher and normal in the 1st 2 weeks when estrogen is higher. However I was always moody and depressed on the birth control pill.

Sorry to write so much but this is a summary of my issues and hopefully someone here can help me get started in the right direction. I find this hormone stuff so confusing and obviously doctors even naturopaths are pretty much useless.
thank you!
 

cliff

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Jul 26, 2012
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Excess iodine is implicated in thyroid cancer, ray thinks it's only safe to supplement with 150mcg or less.

You could try cytomel and cynoplus to get a more controlled dosage of thyroid hormones. Eating some dairy and fruit like milk/oj as soon as you wake up could help too. Making sure to have small frequent meals of sugar and protein will help to convert t4 into t3 and keep stress hormones low.

Using temp and pulse can help you figure out when you need to eat and use more thyroid.
 

ilovethesea

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I wish I could find more info about his views on iodine. Living in the goiter belt and having read so much on the iodine forum, Dr. Browstein etc it is quite hard to wrap my mind around that iodine is bad, as you can imagine!!... here I thought it was a lack of iodine that caused my thyroid cancer! (although mostly the radiation exposure on my throat). I thought I was correcting a deficiency and protecting myself from other cancers :(

Since I'm already on a natural thyroid/Synthroid combo (the natural is like Armour I guess but it's not called that here in Canada) - what would be the reason to add T3-only meds like Cytomel? Would it be just as easy to split my existing dosage throughout the day and/or add more of what I'm already taking? I say this because a) it's been such a challenge finding the "right" levels that my doctor and ND are happy with (which they are now), and b) it's a huge hassle to acquire more meds than what I'm already on...

That said I do agree with the idea of dosing based on symptoms not numbers on a chart.

As for diet I will try your suggestions - I do know from my last thorough bloodwork last year I am too high in cortisol...

I'm going to order a better thermometer and then will post my temps for feedback if you don't mind. I feel like I have so much to learn here.
 

cliff

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Joined
Jul 26, 2012
Messages
425
Age
32
Location
Los Angeles
If you take too much t4 it can build up and cause issues. That's why pure t3 can be beneficial. Sugar will help the t4 convert to t3 tho.
 

ilovethesea

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Ok thanks. I'm starting with dividing my existing dosage to see if that makes any difference. So, 30mg natural thyroid + 0.025mg Synthroid at breakfast, and then the same thing again at lunchtime.

So far I feel more tired :( Maybe my body is used to having the big surge in the mornings.

I would love to get off the Synthroid and just be on the natural thyroid... but every time I've went below 0.05mg a day my bloodwork shows T3 too high, and I also break out.
 
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