Shrimp's Peat Log- Thyroid, Anxiety And Acne Issues, Oh My!

Shrimp

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I've been dealing with hypothyroidism for about three years now (diagnosed), probably longer undiagnosed. My problems were worsened by the Paleo diet (lots of PUFAs). I've tried Armour thyroid, large doses of Cytomel (up to 125mcg daily), and NP thyroid to little effect. I fixed reverse T3 issues, yet thyroid medicine still had little effect on me.

Last year, I stumbled upon Peat and tried some of his suggestions. A few months after adding coffee, OJ, niacin, Vit. A, gelatin, coconut oil and ice cream to my diet and cutting out most PUFAs, I was experiencing some improvement in symptoms while remaining on a stable dose of doctor-prescribed thyroid medication. Then one day, while on vacation in the mountains of New Hampshire, I suddenly became hyperthyroid while at an amusement park with my boyfriend. I was shaky, sweaty, light-headed, nauseous, anxious, weak, and my heart was pounding at 150+ bpm. I felt like I was going to die, and spent the night in the ER. They stopped my thyroid medicine cold turkey, put me on beta blockers and Zofran, and I was basically out of commission for a month with disabling anxiety and fatigue, along with low blood pressure from the beta blockers. It has been eight months since the incident and I am still unwell.

I have a history of digestive issues, depression, and anxiety since childhood. Was fed soy formula instead of breast or cow milk as a baby (caused digestive distress), then put on two years of antibiotics to prevent recurrent UTIs due to a kidney problem. I've never felt "healthy" and comfortable in my body.

My current issues are anxiety/panic attacks, fatigue, cold hands/feet, disorientation, bad acne that leaves pitted scars, and slow digestion with lots of burping after eating anything. The anxiety and fatigue are disabling, and I can't get much done day-to-day anymore. I'm 25 and I feel like I'm 75.

Currently I am eating bacon, eggs, shrimp, beef, gelatin, rice, potatoes, OJ, dried/sugared papaya, dates, coconut milk sorbet, dark chocolate, and coffee. No dairy due to acne, less fresh fruits because the water content makes me bloated. I supplement with salt, niacinamide, Nutrisorb A, K2, aspirin, eggshell calcium and magnesium oil, as well as progest-E on days 14-28 of my cycle. I'm slowly raising my thyroid medicine under doctor supervision; currently taking 45mg NDT/day.

As I'm pretty foggy-headed, I'd like to keep a log to document what I'm doing and how it's affecting me. Hopefully this will help me sort myself out, and maybe others will find some benefit from it as well!
 

Beebop

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Re: Shrimp's Peat log- thyroid, anxiety and acne issues, oh

Hi Shrimp, nice to hear your story. I've had some similar experiences: having been mostly stable for a long time on my thyroid medication level, I recently started having mild hyper symptoms. So I've reduced my dose but it didn't exactly help. So I'm still working on that. Currently also got brain fog (I think as a result).

Good luck with your healing! Please update us :)
 

juanitacarlos

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Re: Shrimp's Peat log- thyroid, anxiety and acne issues, oh

Hi Shrimp - can I please ask why your incident at New Hampshire was due to your thyroid meds - how was that confirmed?
 

narouz

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Re: Shrimp's Peat log- thyroid, anxiety and acne issues, oh

Welcome, Shrimp!

I do wonder if I need to resist the urge to see your case through the lens of my own thyroid situation,
but...you might put this into your bag of possible explanations:

There are some people at the Yahoo RT3_T3 group (I think that's their handle; never can remember)
who think T3 "receptors" get blocked by T4 containing medicines in some people,
causing lack of response to supplemented thyroid meds.
You might want to read my longer post on these ideas over on another thread:

http://www.raypeatforum.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=1150&view=unread#unread

Your experience in New Hampshire might be interpreted as the natural result of "clearing" those "receptors,"
which is part of that Yahoo group's protocol:
one takes T3 only for about 3 months
at which time many experience this "clearing" (of excess T4) clogging the thyroid receptors.

They warn to be alert to this possible "clearing"
because it typically can happen very suddenly,
at which point one can become very hyperthyroid
(depending upon how much T3 you've been dosing)
from all the T3 being able to be processed by the body--
thus the need to spot the clearing right away and reduce dosage dramatically.

I'm trying the T3-only protocol and am about a month in.
I wrote some other views about this on another thread;
I'll try to find that and post a link to that too.

[edit: Here's that other bit:]
http://www.raypeatforum.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=1112&p=14335&hilit=thyroid+resistance#p14335
 

jyb

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Re: Shrimp's Peat log- thyroid, anxiety and acne issues, oh

How you emailed RP about this? Do update the forum with what he says.
 

Shrimp

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Re: Shrimp's Peat log- thyroid, anxiety and acne issues, oh

Beebop said:
Hi Shrimp, nice to hear your story. I've had some similar experiences: having been mostly stable for a long time on my thyroid medication level, I recently started having mild hyper symptoms. So I've reduced my dose but it didn't exactly help. So I'm still working on that. Currently also got brain fog (I think as a result).

Good luck with your healing! Please update us :)
Hi Beebop! Thanks for stopping by. :) It's a hell of a balancing act with these meds to find that sweet spot where you feel like a normal human being. Definitely seems like a good idea to back off the meds a bit when even mild symptoms come up, because man, full-blown hyper is scary.

Good luck to you as well, and I'll be sure to keep things updated when I can!

ttramone said:
Hi Shrimp - can I please ask why your incident at New Hampshire was due to your thyroid meds - how was that confirmed?

Hi! It was confirmed by bloodwork that revealed high free t3, total t3 and extremely low TSH, along with very clear hyper symptoms (150+ bpm heart rate, 99.6 temp, shakiness, anxiety, couldn't keep fluids in me, light-headed, nauseous, weak, etc.). All other bloodwork was normal.

narouz said:
Your experience in New Hampshire might be interpreted as the natural result of "clearing" those "receptors,"
which is part of that Yahoo group's protocol:
one takes T3 only for about 3 months
at which time many experience this "clearing" (of excess T4) clogging the thyroid receptors.
Thanks for the welcome and the info! I had heard of this theory and did consider that what I had was some sort of "clearing" due to the shift to Peat eating, however it came on with literally only a headache the night before as a warning and nothing more. It seemed more of a stress response than anything, but it's hard to say why or what triggered it so suddenly. My doctor thinks dehydration may have been a part of things. I'll definitely keep an eye on my reverse T3 though, because my ratio has been high before (was normal last bloodwork).

jyb said:
How you emailed RP about this? Do update the forum with what he says.
Hi jyb! I e-mailed him about doing a consultation a while ago, and he asked for my bloodwork so I sent it to him and he never got back to me. I could e-mail him again, though; just don't wanna bug him too much! I'll be sure to let you guys know if I do get in contact with him.
 

charlie

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Re: Shrimp's Peat log- thyroid, anxiety and acne issues, oh

Shrimp, what thyroid were you on when the hyper incident happened?
 

jyb

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Re: Shrimp's Peat log- thyroid, anxiety and acne issues, oh

Shrimp said:
Hi! It was confirmed by bloodwork that revealed high free t3, total t3 and extremely low TSH, along with very clear hyper symptoms (150+ bpm heart rate, 99.6 temp, shakiness, anxiety, couldn't keep fluids in me, light-headed, nauseous, weak, etc.). All other bloodwork was normal.

Just curious, is does that necessarily mean hyper? When I start to get sick I sometimes have top pulse and temps, only to realize it's just the beginning of a flu or something.
 

charlie

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Re: Shrimp's Peat log- thyroid, anxiety and acne issues, oh

Good point jyb.

I was looking up hyperthyroid symptoms a couple days ago(actually it was due to this thread) and it said temps would go up to 104. My temp these days max out around 99.6 so I do not think Shrimps temp was anywhere near hyper.

Edit:

Actually is was "Thyroid Storm" where temp can go up to 104.

Source

Thyrotoxic crisis (or thyroid storm) is a rare but severe complication of hyperthyroidism, which may occur when a thyrotoxic patient becomes very sick or physically stressed. Its symptoms can include: an increase in body temperature to over 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit), tachycardia, arrhythmia, vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration, coma, and death.[citation needed] Thyroid storm requires prompt treatment and hospitalization. The main treatment is to decrease the circulating thyroid hormone levels and decrease their formation. Propylthiouracil and methimazole are two agents that decrease thyroid hormone synthesis and are usually prescribed in fairly high doses.[10]

To inhibit thyroid hormone release from the thyroid gland, sodium iodide, potassium iodide, and/or Lugol's solution can be given. Beta blockers such as propranolol (Inderal, Inderal LA, Innopran XL) can help to control the heart rate, and intravenous steroids may be used to help support the circulation. Earlier in the 20th century the mortality of thyroid storm approached 100%. However, now, with the use of aggressive therapy as described above, the death rate from thyroid storm is less than 20%.[10]
 

charlie

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Re: Shrimp's Peat log- thyroid, anxiety and acne issues, oh

After doing some google fu. It seems that with infection(bacterial, viral) that indeed your heart rate can go pretty high. I am wondering if you maybe you were fighting the flu, or some other kind of virus, or bacterial infection. Maybe you noticed your fast heart beat, and maybe starting freaking out and having anxiety due to that? Which would raise your pulse even more, which would give you even more anxiety and on and on. Also, anytime I am at the doctors or hospital my pulse and blood pressure are up due to anxiety from being there.

Anyways, just throwing out some ideas to go along with jyb's train of thought.
 

charlie

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Re: Shrimp's Peat log- thyroid, anxiety and acne issues, oh

Shrimp said:
They stopped my thyroid medicine cold turkey, put me on beta blockers and Zofran, and I was basically out of commission for a month with disabling anxiety and fatigue, along with low blood pressure from the beta blockers. It has been eight months since the incident and I am still unwell.

This is very suspect too. The half life of T4 is a couple weeks if I remember correctly. So within a couple weeks at most, things should have really calmed down if it was due to hyper.
 

narouz

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Re: Shrimp's Peat log- thyroid, anxiety and acne issues, oh

Yeah. Shrimp, what kind of thyroid were you taking at the time of the episode, and how much?

I've tried Armour thyroid, large doses of Cytomel (up to 125mcg daily), and NP thyroid to little effect.

Last year, I stumbled upon Peat and tried some of his suggestions. A few months after adding coffee, OJ, niacin, Vit. A, gelatin, coconut oil and ice cream to my diet and cutting out most PUFAs, I was experiencing some improvement in symptoms while remaining on a stable dose of doctor-prescribed thyroid medication. Then one day, while on vacation in the mountains of New Hampshire, I suddenly became hyperthyroid while at an amusement park with my boyfriend.
 

Shrimp

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Re: Shrimp's Peat log- thyroid, anxiety and acne issues, oh

Charlie and narouz, I was on 120mg of Acella NP thyroid (generic NDT), and 25mcg of Cytomel, split up into four doses daily.

jyb said:
Just curious, is does that necessarily mean hyper? When I start to get sick I sometimes have top pulse and temps, only to realize it's just the beginning of a flu or something.

Charlie said:
After doing some google fu. It seems that with infection(bacterial, viral) that indeed your heart rate can go pretty high. I am wondering if you maybe you were fighting the flu, or some other kind of virus, or bacterial infection. Maybe you noticed your fast heart beat, and maybe starting freaking out and having anxiety due to that? Which would raise your pulse even more, which would give you even more anxiety and on and on. Also, anytime I am at the doctors or hospital my pulse and blood pressure are up due to anxiety from being there.

jyb, It doesn't necessarily mean hyper, but in my case, they ran extensive bloodwork and found nothing else wrong except elevated thyroid hormones.

Charlie, they did cultures for bacterial infections and found nothing. The fast heart beat was the last thing I noticed; it was only in the hospital when they told me that my heart rate was extremely fast that I realized that was off. Mostly I felt shaky, wired, weak, unable to retain anything I drank, and like I was going to faint. I was actually fairly calm at the hospital all things considered. The hyper phase lasted 1-2 weeks, and I was on beta blockers to keep my heart rate down because it would skyrocket when I was off them. After that period I became very hypo again as I had to stop all meds cold turkey in the hospital, and that hypo period is what kept me out of commission. My hormones were all over the place and documented with bloodwork, then finally settled in a hypo state, where I've been since then.
 

narouz

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Re: Shrimp's Peat log- thyroid, anxiety and acne issues, oh

"I'm slowly raising my thyroid medicine under doctor supervision; currently taking 45mg NDT/day."

Shrimp-
Are you still on those beta-blockers?
Have you had any TSH tests recently?
Do you check your temps and pulses? If so, what are they lookin' like?
 

Shrimp

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Re: Shrimp's Peat log- thyroid, anxiety and acne issues, oh

narouz said:
"I'm slowly raising my thyroid medicine under doctor supervision; currently taking 45mg NDT/day."

Shrimp-
Are you still on those beta-blockers?
Have you had any TSH tests recently?
Do you check your temps and pulses? If so, what are they lookin' like?
I weaned myself off of the beta blockers soon after the hyper episode; they helped keep my heart rate reasonable while my body calmed down, but made my already low blood pressure tank and gave me extreme insomnia. Bad stuff!
Just had TSH and progesterone labs done on Tuesday and am waiting for the labs to get back; will be sure to post them when I get them.
I've been pretty lazy about monitoring my temps and pulses regularly, but I have been taking them sporadically. My temps have ranged from 97.7-98.0, pulse from 75-85. BP can dip really low at times (80/60?) and I don't know why, so I've been trying to take in more salt but I don't crave it at all. It just makes me thirsty more than anything. :?
 

Lucy

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Re: Shrimp's Peat log- thyroid, anxiety and acne issues, oh

Shrimp, you mention you had this episode in the mountains, so I wonder, could it be the altitude that had something to do with it? I'm now slowly raising my T3 dosage, and some weeks ago I spent a few days in the mountains, at an altitude of about 1500m. On the last day I got some hyper/adrenaline symptoms (high HR, feeling wired etc.) that I always get if I quickly raise thyroid hormone to the point of symptom resolution. It seems altitude, or perhaps being in nature, raised my metabolism that much.

The more I think about it, the more it seems to me that these symptoms, at least in my case, are not hyperthyroidism, but high adrenaline combined with adequate thyroid function, which raises sensitivity to adrenaline (Ray said adrenaline should come down with time, so that thyroid should only have a calming effect). The same thing can happen if you drink coffee -- I used to get really cold feet and anxiety after drinking only small amounts of coffee. The effect will get magnified if you don't eat for a long time and deplete your glycogen reserves, which raises adrenaline even further.

Measuring TSH or T3 can not give you a definite answer (for example, T3 can be high, but your reverse T3 can be elevated at the same time, blocking the effects of T3), but I guess one way you could distinguish between hyperthyroidism and high adrenaline is by looking at the temperature of your extremities. When you're hyperthyroid, your hands and feet should be really warm as well. For example, I always have a high body temperature (up to 99.5F) and a high pulse, but I know this is caused by stress hormones because of cold hands and feet (and a high cholesterol, prolactin etc.).
 

Shrimp

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Re: Shrimp's Peat log- thyroid, anxiety and acne issues, oh

Lucy said:
Shrimp, you mention you had this episode in the mountains, so I wonder, could it be the altitude that had something to do with it? I'm now slowly raising my T3 dosage, and some weeks ago I spent a few days in the mountains, at an altitude of about 1500m. On the last day I got some hyper/adrenaline symptoms (high HR, feeling wired etc.) that I always get if I quickly raise thyroid hormone to the point of symptom resolution. It seems altitude, or perhaps being in nature, raised my metabolism that much.

The more I think about it, the more it seems to me that these symptoms, at least in my case, are not hyperthyroidism, but high adrenaline combined with adequate thyroid function, which raises sensitivity to adrenaline (Ray said adrenaline should come down with time, so that thyroid should only have a calming effect). The same thing can happen if you drink coffee -- I used to get really cold feet and anxiety after drinking only small amounts of coffee. The effect will get magnified if you don't eat for a long time and deplete your glycogen reserves, which raises adrenaline even further.

Measuring TSH or T3 can not give you a definite answer (for example, T3 can be high, but your reverse T3 can be elevated at the same time, blocking the effects of T3), but I guess one way you could distinguish between hyperthyroidism and high adrenaline is by looking at the temperature of your extremities. When you're hyperthyroid, your hands and feet should be really warm as well. For example, I always have a high body temperature (up to 99.5F) and a high pulse, but I know this is caused by stress hormones because of cold hands and feet (and a high cholesterol, prolactin etc.).
Hi Lucy,
I did consider that the episode in the mountains could have had an effect on things, but I was only at an altitude of ~900m for a few hours the day before I got sick. Otherwise I was at a normal altitude. I did spend a lot of time outdoors, and wonder if that might have had an effect on things as I normally am inside a lot.

I think my symptoms then were bonafide hyper, while now they are adrenaline related. As you said, the cold extremeties are a dead-giveaway; my body temp is 98.5 right now, and my hands and feet are uncomfortably cold. Have you found anything to help abate the adrenaline symptoms?

@Jenn: I've been using magnesium oil for over a month now with little effect, but perhaps it needs more time. It does seem like a promising supplement given my symptoms!

-------

I've felt really, really lousy lately. I worked a busy holiday yesterday and went ~6 hours without eating, sipping on orange juice with salt throughout my shift. My blood sugar must have tanked because I became extremely moody, and had a horrid headache even though I rarely get headaches.

I'm still extremely anxious, exhausted and my hands and feet are like popsicles. I'm also feeling hungry all the time, but not sure what to eat. Beef and potatoes seem to be the only thing that fills me for a whlie, but I am kind of grossed out by eating the same thing so much. I don't know if I'm eating enough. To top things off, I'm breaking out with facial acne a lot worse than usual, with deeper nodules on my cheeks and jawline. I know everything is related somehow, but I'm not sure how.

On another note, as much as I love the taste of coffee, it makes me feel really off. I take it with food, sugar and cream and still it feels like it give me shallow breathing. I'd like to keep drinking it, but I think I'll stop for now.

This anxiety is really awful, and rarely lets up. When it does occasionally subside, I notice my breathing is much deeper and my hands and feet are warmer. I might try breathing exercises to see if I can try to dissipate some of it.
 

Beebop

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Re: Shrimp's Peat log- thyroid, anxiety and acne issues, oh

Hey Shrimp, I've been experimenting with ways of not letting myself get hypoglycaemia. I find keeping some cheese with me at work as well as juice, milk, fruit, coffee with gelatin etc has really worked. If you're sipping OJ and have 6 hours to go, and that's all you can eat, then maybe add LOADS of sugar. Helps me!
 

charlie

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Re: Shrimp's Peat log- thyroid, anxiety and acne issues, oh

I think that is really good advice, Beebop. :mytwocents
 
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