Around the Web; Eating Disorders and Hypothyroidism

Items that caught my eye this week:

(1) Would You Be My Meatheart?: I wasn’t clever enough to give this to Shou-Ching for Valentine’s Day, but would have known to use genuine hearts from the Asian market. Wait till next year honey!

(2) By the way: Who knew Manolo has a food blog?

(3) Ronaldo Forced Out of Soccer for Lack of Thyroid Hormone. Famed soccer star Ronaldo is retiring because he has hypothyroidism and he says soccer authorities consider treatment to be doping – so he has to retire to fix his health.

Absurd! Mary Shomon agrees.

(4) Ronaldo may play the “beautiful game,” but we Americans play the crazy game. This running back plays football like I used to:

(5) Startling if True: Paleo Pepper abridges a talk by Dr. Flechas at iodine4health.com claiming that thyroid hormone replacement may actually increase risk of breast cancer among hypothyroid women – what is needed is high-dose iodine:

A women with hypothyroidism has a 6% chance of developing breast cancer. Once she starts taking thyroid hormone, it doubles her chances. Once she’s been on thyroid hormone replacement for 15 years, it more than triples it – she now has a 19.6% chance of developing breast cancer.

I have not seen such statistics before and would have to check these claims. We recommend iodine and selenium as the first steps in dealing with hypothyroidism, but generally support thyroid hormone replacement.

(6) Burying the Lede: Is “strengthens pelvic floor muscles” really the number one benefit?

(7) Another Perfect Health breakfast idea: Emily suggests cream of rice with cream, butter, and apricot applesauce.

(8) Paleolithic Dairy?: Ravi at Daia Sol Gaia argues that dogs may have been domesticated and goats tamed and used for milk as early as 35,000 years ago – the start of the Upper Paleolithic. Is goat milk a Paleo food?

(9) The authentic way to drink Paleo goat milk: Paleolithic settlers at Gough Cave in England, c. 13,000 to 10,000 BC, ate human bone marrow and brain and used the skulls as drinking chalices:

Via Dienekes. Apparently drinking from human skulls is a widely attested practice, both in Paleolithic and historical times – see e.g. the Krum and Herodotus’s Scythians.

Reference: Bello SM et al. Earliest Directly-Dated Human Skull-Cups. PLoS ONE 6(2): e17026. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0017026. Link.

(10) Avoid vegetable oils if you want a baby: Chris Highcock found a paper showing that infertile women eat 23% more polyunsaturated fat, and 17% less saturated fat, than fertile women. Infertile men eat 20% more polyunsaturated fat than fertile men.

Reference: Revonta M et al. Health and life style among infertile men and women. Sex Reprod Healthc. 2010 Aug;1(3):91-8. http://pmid.us/21122604.

(11) Never give up:

“I had the head doctor of surgical I.C.U. say, ‘Miracles happen.’

(Via Craig Newmark)

(12) Which Machine for the Hippo? I thought this was a cool picture:

(From NPR via John Durant)

(13) Finally, our video: We’ve had a bit of discussion of eating disorders this week, in the comments to the “Therapy AND Life” post. That reminded me of this CBS News interview of a “Biggest Loser” contestant who said she developed an eating disorder during the show:

Leave a comment ?

37 Comments.

  1. Thanks for the ping-back! Actually – i believe that goats (and dogs) could well have hung with our paleo pals 40, 60 or even 100 thousand years back – there is simply no logical reason why this could NOT have been the case and many reasons that is probably WAS the case – check our our arguments at DaiaSolGaia.com
    thanks again!
    Ravi

  2. It’s sad to see Ronaldo retire because of hypothyroidism. I am also a soccer player and just a couple months ago got my thyroid checked, but I was only given the TSH level, which was 5.17!! My doctor said I was between the normal range and had nothing to worry about, but now the more I read the more I realize how wrong she was. I have been displaying many of the signs of hypothyroidism for years now, except I don’t gain weight as easily, in fact, I have a hard time putting on weight.

    What could be causing my under-active thyroid? My guess is that I might have Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia, which both my little brother and sister were diagnosed with a couple months back. It is genetically inherited so there is a high possibility I might have it even though I don’t display much of the physical symptoms. I just wish I could have gotten tested when I still had health insurance.

    Any thoughts Paul?

  3. Hi Robert,

    5.17 is very high and definitely needs to be fixed.

    There are many possible causes. Most common are autoimmune (usually wheat) and infectious causes. Infections can either hit the thyroid directly or can create iodine deficiencies.

    Assuming you don’t have Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia, the obvious place to start is with iodine and selenium supplementation. Build up iodine very slowly, start at 500 mcg/day and double once a month until you’re getting 12.5 mg/day. That takes at least 6 months. Eliminate wheat/grains, goitrogens like soy, omega-6 fats. Follow our diet.

    The best thing is to get tested for a full thyroid panel and antibodies, preferably an adrenal panel too. Obviously it would be nice to have health insurance for this. But the dietary and supplement changes will be beneficial regardless of what the tests show, so you can go ahead with dietary changes even if you choose not to get tested.

    Best of luck!

    Paul

  4. Hi Paul–

    Just a quick word, I haven’t fact checked either. I was so excited about what I was starting to learn that I wanted to get up the preliminary stuff as soon as possible. Even though I’m in Taiwan and have very touch-and-go access to resources, I’m going to keep digging on iodine and on this iodine group to see what sorts of meaningful commentary and statistics are out there.

    Will keep you posted if I find anything interesting, particularly about the statistics you mentioned.

    Best,
    Pepper

  5. I have listened to that entire interview with Dr. Flecha (fascinating stuff, including the incredible range of problems he’s seen resolve with iodine in his family practice, including diabetics able to discontinue insulin). Flechas is not against taking thyroid hormone when it’s needed. His patients certainly certainly do, and he used to himself (before iodine cured his own hypothyroidism).

    He refers to a 1976 article in JAMA for his statement that women taking thyroid hormone incur a much greater risk of breast cancer. He says the reason is that thyroid hormone medication inhibits the body’s absorption of iodine. He doesn’t say it explicitly in this interview, but I gather that he does not think thyroid supplementation is dangerous if a woman is taking sufficient iodine to be replete and despite this still needs thyroid support. It would be interesting to track down that JAMA article and any subsequent research on this.

    By the way, Flechas also states in this interview that iodine prevents polyunsaturated fats from becoming oxidized. Could widespread iodine deficiency be part of the reason polyunsaturated fats cause such trouble? An interesting idea considering that the development of iodine deficiency in the population might correspond pretty well with the explosion of the diseases of civilization. Could be a relatively unexplored piece of the puzzle.

    The Flechas interview is here and highly recommended independent of these particular issues: http://curezone.com/ig/i.asp?i=21726. It shows what one open-minded doctor has been able to accomplish via iodine supplementation. It’s quite remarkable.

  6. Hi Bill,

    Thanks for the information. We would also agree that iodine and selenium should be the first steps, then thyroid hormone. I’m glad it seems like his therapeutic recommendations are the same as ours.

    The JAMA article, if true, would pose a severe warning to the many hypothyroid patients who rely on thyroid hormone but not iodine for their recovery.

    I hadn’t heard that iodine prevents lipid peroxidation. Will have to look into that one. If so, more evidence that it pays to try to get everything right — everything is interconnected and it’s hard to predict from what angle trouble will arise or a cure will come!

    Best, Paul

  7. Paul, what’s your opinion on the best way to approach hypothyroidism for someone with Hashimoto’s? Is any dose of iodine safe? Are any viruses suspected of causing Hashi’s?

  8. Paul said, “We would also agree that iodine and selenium should be the first steps, then thyroid hormone.”

    Yes, I neglected to point out that Dr. Flechas, and the other iodine docs, do recommend selenium as a very important “companion nutrient” to iodine. In fact, they generally recommend a comprehensive nutritional program including, at minimum, selenium, magnesium, Vitamin C, and unrefined salt. The biochemical basis for this program is explained in a series of “Iodine Project” papers by Dr. Guy Abraham and his colleagues. Iodine in high doses alone is not necessarily a good idea.

    The salt, as you know, is important to help toxic halogens, especially bromine, leave the body in urine as iodine drives them out the tissues. When I upped my iodine to 50 mg/day after my iodine loading test showed appalling bromine toxicity despite taking 12.5 mg/day for months, I experienced a brief period of awful detox symptoms–in my case, sinus symptoms, but many get acne and a long list of other problems. My doc consulted with Dr. Flechas (since his lab did my loading test), and he recommended a teaspoon of Celtic salt per day to help manage the bromine detox. My symptoms subsided within a week or so and I haven’t had problems since on 50 mg. There is also a more aggressive “salt loading” protocol that can be used temporarily to address severe bromine detox problems, which I did for a short time as well.

    By the way, I know you recommend ramping up iodine doses very slowly, but I believe Dr. Flechas and the other docs using iodine often put people right on 12.5 mg to 50 mg/day, or even more with severe disease such as cancer. Of course this is under medical supervision, with careful thyroid monitoring. I myself did it your way, low and slow, beginning with the addition of kelp and dulse to my cooking and then very gradually introducing Iodoral. But apparently that isn’t the only way it can be done safely, with careful monitoring. I had to continuously reduce my thyroid hormone medications; I’m now taking nearly half of what I was and it’s still dropping. I was constantly experiencing hyperthyroid symptoms, confirmed by TSH and free T4 bloodwork. So in my experience your cautions are well justified, especially for people on thyroid meds. If I hadn’t reduced my doses, I might be dead now!

    Diabetics who take iodine have to even more careful, as their insulin requirements may drop precipitously; Dr. Flechas tells some amazing stories in that interview about diabetic patients of his experiencing stunning recoveries. Of course too much insulin can easily kill you, too. He also tells of one female patient on long term testosterone supplementation for low sex drive who started on iodine at one point. She returned after a while complaining that her sex drive was driving her crazy. She, too, needed to reduce her hormone dose dramatically or face the consequences. Dr. Flechas says that iodine is necessary for the proper functioning of all hormone receptors, so supplementation in a deficient person can cause dramatic changes in response to a variety of hormone supplements. It’s very good medicine, but precisely because it is so powerful it must be used with care.

  9. Hi Lacie,

    I think iodine is always worth trying, including for Hashimoto’s patients.

    Iodine won’t immediately fix the disease, but I think it can be expected to generate many long-run benefits.

    We recommend increasing dose slowly to avoid reactive hypothyroidism/hyperthyroidism, partly because these might have bad consequences in themselves but also because the symptoms are miserable and might cause people to give up on iodine.

    As you know, we think infections cause most diseases, including most autoimmune diseases such as Hashi’s. The thyroids of Hashi’s patients are almost always infected by multiple pathogens. Common viruses found in Hashi’s thyroids include parvovirus, hepatitis C, Epstein-Barr virus, coxsackie virus, and herpes virus.

    A review can be found here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20625285. A few sample parvovirus papers: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21190433, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20153771.

    Other types of pathogen have also been implicated, including Mycobacterium (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20429717), Yersinia and Borrelia (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16571084), and H. pylori (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18271683).

    It’s a complex condition, but I believe that once infections and toxic foods like wheat are removed, the Hashimoto’s will clear in a matter of months.

    Best, Paul

  10. Hi Bill,

    Thanks much, those are all great points.

    As we mention in the book, in the old days doctors would give huge iodine doses — gram doses! — when dealing with infections.

    I think it matters what disease you’re dealing with. With cancer I would go as fast as possible. But for mainly healthy people with hypothyroidism, I think it’s best to go slow.

    A big problem is that it takes a month to adapt to a new iodine level, and reactive hypothyroidism/hyperthyroidism can make people miserable for a long time. Many people would give up on iodine supplementation rather than see it through. But a slow ramp up, they can stick with.

    Also I worry about acute events happening during induced hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism. Proper thyroid levels are so important, it’s best to be gentle in manipulating them I think.

    Your experience is a great example. Going slow is just so much safer.

    By the way, I’m glad it worked and you’ve been able to lower your dose!

    The diabetic stories are very interesting. Thanks!

    Best, Paul

  11. Thanks for all the great references, Paul. By the way, I finally bought your book last week. Your work has been invaluable in helping me take control of my own wellness (as opposed to illness).

    My boyfriend got hantavirus 10 years ago while driving in a dust storm on a trip to the Four Corners region of the Southwest. It’s fairly rare, so we’ve had to guess at how it’s affected him. He’s definitely hypothyroid (TSH 6.25 and 5.75 in 2 separate tests, 2 doctors apathetic about it). Does hanta have any close relatives that I could do some research on and maybe figure it out?

    You’re way ahead of the curve with your work on chronic infections. I’d love to see a post or series on a rogue’s gallery of bacteria, viruses, and fungi that attack human immune systems. You could call it “Bad Bugs.”

  12. Hi Lacie,

    Great idea! “Bad bugs.” I’ll have to start working on that one. After “My story.”

    If you’ve read our hypothyroidism posts, you know that a TSH of 6 is screaming for help.

    This paper would be relevant to your boyfriend’s case: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20397036.

    To find viruses with possibly similar vulnerabilities you could search on “enveloped viruses” or “RNA viruses.”

    Autophagy should be helpful against hantavirus. So I would recommend intermittent fasting and a protein-restricted diet.

  13. Maybe statistics is not always helpful to those who just have no chance to avoid behaviour that is harmful according to statisitcs. I have Hashimoto`s desease and I am taking thyroid hormones since I was 11 years old (for 21 years now). According to my doctor (a very qulified man) I have virtually no thyroid function left for my thyroid is vanishing. Evidently iodine intake isn`t very likely to help for my thyroid cannot do anything with it. I am living well without experiencing any symtoms whatsoever from my lack of thyroid function. So what am I supposed to do? Stop medication to lower my breast cancer risk to the average 10% every woman faces? Don`t misunderstand me, I would do a lot to maintain optimal health but in my case there doesn´t exist an option, so the statisitcs just gave me a miserable start into the day…

  14. Iris wrote: “According to my doctor (a very qulified man) I have virtually no thyroid function left for my thyroid is vanishing. Evidently iodine intake isn`t very likely to help for my thyroid cannot do anything with it.”

    Iodine might help you anyway, since it appears to increase the sensitivity of the hormone receptors that allow thyroid hormones and other hormones to do their work. So, like many of us hypothyroids, you may be able to reduce your dose of thyroid hormone as your tissues become replete with iodine, even if your thyroid itself is not capable of recovering.

    I also would not assume your thyroid is a lost cause. In my experience, almost all doctors believe that hypothyroidism can’t get better, because they’ve never seen it happen. But many of us have gotten better. I don’t really know if my own thyroid is functioning better now, or whether my dramatically decreased need for thyroid medication just a result of better hormone receptor functioning. But some people have reported that their anti-thyroid antibodies (the hallmark of Hashimoto’s disease) disappear entirely with iodine supplementation. That suggests to me at least the possibility of helping a damaged thyroid function better, even if doctors believe that’s impossible.

    Also, iodine is needed by all tissues in the body, not just the thyroid. Dr. David Brownstein’s book about iodine discusses this in detail. There are many important benefits to rectifying iodine deficiency beyond improvement of thyroid function, among them cancer prevention.

  15. Bill, thanks for a great reply to Iris.

    Iris, I’m so sorry to hear that your disease has progressed so far. I’m glad you’re able to keep healthy with the hormones.

    I would never counsel avoiding the hormones – you need them! The data doesn’t argue against stopping the hormones, only in favor of iodine supplementation as the highest priority.

    Since the elevated breast cancer risk is probably due to an induced tissue iodine deficiency, it might be eliminated by iodine supplementation.

    Take a close look at Bill’s reply and consider adding iodine to your supplements. Be careful to build up slowly to avoid stimulating the immune attack on your thyroid.

    Best, Paul

  16. Paul,

    Im starting to introduce the iodine/selenium for my thyroid (current TSH 3.4 with low T3)–you recommended starting with Kelp, 500mcg per day. I was wondering if potassium iodide supplementation is equally effective or if there is a reason you suggest the kelp? I’m also using 200mcg of selenium, is this an adequate dose? My new MD is certain that I have yeast overgrowth and Im hoping that this supplementation will help. She has also suggested a trial of olive leaf extract and mastic gum.

    Thanks for all the info re: the connection between hypothyroidism and candida, including the hereditary links. I just find out that my older sister, who is celiac, has been diagnosed with hypothyroidism and candida overgrowth, she is suffering with some of the same digestion issues. As I now understand it, my grandmother was one of the first people to be diagnosed with celiac in the states, she was hospitalized for years until they found out what was wrong–so the links are strong and I have a better understanding of my situation.

    Devi

  17. Thank you so much, Paul! I am definitely going to discuss the iodine issue with my doctor. It seems to be a controversial issue for some sources seem to advice thyroid patients not do get too much of it. If you buy seeweed in Eurooe there actually is a warning on the package not to have more than a certain amount of it due to the iodine content. But I will definitely consider supplementing (tablets? Are they useful)? As to my Hashimoto`s disease I was “only” treated for hypothyroidism for 18 years or so and I do not know why they considered testing for it at all (I have never had the “typical” symptoms; I have always been at the lower end of a normal weight if not underweight from time to time etc.). When I intended to become pregnant some years ago I went to a specialist who took further tests and found out about the underlying Hashimoto`s disease. It didn`t have a great impact on my life. I wish to add that I had a healthy and uneventful pregnancy – just to give hope to those who are concerned…

  18. Hi Devi,

    Potassium iodide is better than kelp, but it’s hard to find in small doses. Go with it if it’s readily available.

    200 mcg selenium is not only adequate, it’s perfect.

    I’m so glad you’re understanding your disease, and have found a helpful doctor. It takes time to heal these chronic diseases, but you have a good chance now.

    Hi Iris,

    So nice to hear that your child is healthy. You might wish to check your adrenal situation, sometimes adrenal issues can mask thyroid symptoms.

    Our typical advice is to start at 500 mcg (maybe 1 mg) per day iodine, and take that for a month to let your thyroid adapt, then double the dose. Again, wait a month for adaptation and for any symptoms to subside; then double the dose again. Continue in this way. From 2 mg go to a quarter Iodoral tablet (3.125 mg). Then to a half, then to a full tablet (12.5 mg). This should take you about 6 months. Then decide what dose is appropriate for you. If you have cancer or an infectious disease, then I would increase iodine further; if you are healthy, then 12.5 mg/day should be plenty.

    Best, Paul

  19. Thanks! I have the Pure Encapsulations potassium iodide capsules, 225 mcg each, is this considered a small dose to start with?

    Devi

  20. Hi Devi,

    I think it’s a small dose but there’s nothing wrong with starting small. Try various doses and see if you notice any hypo- or hyper-thyroid like symptoms. Choose a dose below where those appear to start.

    Anything from 1 to 4 per day might be a good starting dose. Don’t do more than 4.

  21. Paul, I found the 1976 JAMA article Dr. Flechas referred to, regarding an increase in breast cancer among women taking thyroid hormone for hypothyroidism. Here’s the full text:

    http://jama.ama-assn.org/content/236/10/1124.full.pdf+html

    It’s only an observational study, but it’s a bit scary to see how closely the incidence of breast cancer tracked the length of time on thyroid hormone. And to see the magnitude of that association. The authors make a case that this is probably cause and effect, stating that hypothyroidism itself actually seems to protect against breast cancer and that it is the thyroid medication that is the likely cancer promoter in these women.

    I don’t think this observational study can conclusively prove the thesis, but I didn’t know any of this and it is scary. I’m very curious if anything more has been learned about this in the last 35 years. One would like to think a study like this would have launched a crash research effort to find out for sure if doctors are killing their hypothyroid patients and, if so, to figure out how to stop doing so. Isn’t that a pretty thought?

  22. Bill, thank you very much. I’m grateful that you’ve saved me the labor of finding it.

    It certainly would warrant follow-up investigations, but given the state of medical research there’s no guarantee that anything was done. I’ll look.

    I didn’t know of this either and that’s why I highlighted that part of Pepper’s post. It was a surprise – an important surprise! If iodine supplementation prevents the rise in breast cancer risk, this should force a significant change in clinical practice.

    Best, Paul

  23. Wow, I just found this website. I am very excited about ordering your book. I am 32 and have Hashimoto’s (diagnosed age 16, but the doc said I probably had it for years prior to that). My doctor told me not to take iodine, but then I read about Dr. Brownstein, who says to take it. I am highly concerned about breast cancer because my mom was dx’d with it at age 31 and died at age 36. Also, my daughter (2 years old), already has a high TSH (5.98), but no anti-thyroid antibodies like me.

    Should I try to take iodine? It appears that way based on previous responses.

    Also, for my daughter, should I try iodine due to her high TSH? If so, how much for a 32 pound 2.5 year old?that she only wants to eat meat and fruit?

    Thanks. 🙂
    Shannon

  24. Sorry, the last sentence should say, “Also, should I be concerned that she only wants to eat meat and fruit?”

    Thanks,
    Shannon

  25. Hi Shannon,

    Welcome!

    It happens that my mom died of cancer at 33 and her mom died of breast cancer at 52, so I empathize with you.

    I do believe that in treating thyroid disorders it’s best to supplement with selenium, iodine, and magnesium to start with; starting low (500 mcg/day) with the iodine and increasing very slowly (doubling dose no faster than once per month).

    In the meantime, take thyroid hormone as prescribed by your doctor, recognizing that as you increase iodine you’ll need to adjust hormone intake downward (assuming things go properly).

    I do believe your daughter should obtain iodine from food (seaweed, shellfish) or supplements. Children with iodine deficiency can suffer stunted growth and even mental retardation (see http://thyroid.about.com/cs/vitaminsupplement/a/iodine.htm). Given the hypothyroidism, you want to relieve any iodine deficiency.

    Children, even infants, need almost as much iodine as adults. The RDA is 90 mcg/day for 2 year olds, 150 mcg/day for adults. (http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/minerals/iodine/)

    You could start with seaweed. We have a seasoned seaweed recipe you can make at home, it’s delicious: http://perfecthealthdiet.com/?p=1829. However, nori has only small amounts of iodine, so you have to eat a lot.

    It’s good to increase iodine intake gradually, otherwise thyroid hormone levels can get out of whack. If you have any symptoms of hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism when taking iodine, back off the dose a bit, and wait 3 weeks before trying again. It may take 6 months to get to 12 mg/day which I think is good for an adult.

    Also, since wheat is the most common cause of Hashimoto’s, remove wheat if you haven’t already done so. Keep omega-6 fats down, avoid soy, and optimize vitamin D to help fight chronic infections which can also cause hypothyroidism.

    Feel free to ask questions and let me know how you do! Also, you might want to check out our hypothyroidism category: http://perfecthealthdiet.com/?cat=49.

    Best, Paul

    P.S. – Meat and fruit only … well, it’s not a perfect diet, but it’s also better than most Americans eat! Maybe you can sneak some eggs, seaweed, and “safe starches” in there.

  26. Thank you so much. My daughter is gluten-free. My in-laws think it’s “crazy to deprive a growing child of bread and pasta,” but I realize they just don’t understand the autoimmune reaction component of wheat. She was also a very, very heavy baby from 6-12 months (weighed 27 pounds by a year). I had a gut feeling it had to do with all the finger-foods (grains) she was eating. From age 14 months, she has been gluten-free and her skin rashes cleared, her sleep improved, dark circles under her eyes disappeared, and her stomach bloating went away. Also, at nearly 2.5 years old, she is 36 inches tall and weighs 32 pounds (she looks average weight now). Not that I have my daughter on a diet (I don’t), but she looked so incredibly bloated in old pictures I was worried about her. It wasn’t that cute “baby fat”; she literally looked bloated/stuffed. I just *knew* it was wheat and since removing it, the transformation is remarkable. As someone who has been obese my entire life, I did not want her facing the same hardships. When people give me a hard time about not allowing her to have gluten, I remind myself that I’m doing what I think is best for her. Plus, I let her eat without restriction all the meat, grass-fed butter, eggs, full fat sour cream and yogurt, fruits like berries and bananas, vegetables, rice, seafood, etc she wants. She doesn’t really like starch or vegetables. But she sure does love her seafood. Even though we had shrimp in butter, rice, and vegetables for dinner, she chose to only eat the shrimp in butter. If she could only eat from one food group it would be meat.

    Anyway, that was a huge tangent. I just wanted to say that I am happy that other people believe wheat is a big culprit. I don’t feel so crazy. And when I show people pictures of my baby when she was eating wheat and now, they say she doesn’t even look like the same child! Everyone used to say, “Oh, poor baby. You look so tired, you need a nap.” That was right after she had a nap!

    Irony struck as my husband blamed her food intolerance issues on me. Well, my husband’s doctor did an allergy panel on him and he was positive for wheat and casein for both IgE and IgG antibodies. My test was negative, but I’m still gluten-free.

    I will try the iodine supplementation and make sure my doctor monitors my thyroid frequently.

    Also, is gluten-free soy sauce occasionally acceptable? I know soy isn’t good, but sometimes I really want some shrimp fried rice. Is there a difference between unfermented and fermented soy?

    One final thing. I have read somewhere that people with autoimmune conditions shouldn’t eat eggs. Have you ever heard of this?

    Thank you again for all your help. 🙂

  27. Okay, so I exaggerate about meat & fruit only. Some days that’s what it seems like. Most days, she always eats her fruit and meat at daycare and almost always the vegetables return home. She occasionally will dig into a potato with butter & sour cream or some rice. But vegetables? Forget about it. Other than zucchini with lots of butter and some carrots and guacamole, not a whole lot of vegetables going on with her. Her favorite day care meal that I send is actually 24-hour bone broth turned into chicken lemon rice soup. So I guess she’s doing okay. 🙂

    Her diet truly is better than many kids. But as she gets older, it’s harder. She wants more and more gluten-free “treats.” I’ve convinced her that blueberries and heavy cream is a “treat” though and she is okay with that. But sometimes she begs for cookies and suckers like she sees at daycare. So I buy the least evil I can find.

  28. Hi Shannon,

    It’s great that you discovered the wheat sensitivity and had the courage to adopt a gluten-free diet!

    Remember that there are some other grain toxins besides gluten, so it’s good to stick to rice among the grains.

    A lucky girl to get bone broth chicken lemon rice soup!

    It’s OK to eat minimal vegetables, but give her a multivitamin and a few other supplements.

    It’s possible that her desire for “treats” is partly a desire for more carbs. Kids need more carbs than adults, up to 40% calories. You might try puffed rice treats, rice cookies, rice crackers. These are commonly available now in Asian or “health” food stores and most supermarkets.

    The trick is to keep her away from fructose and toward glucose-based carbs. Starches are ideal because they don’t develop the sweet tooth, but glucose-based sugars are healthy too.

    Re soy sauce, yes, it’s acceptable. First, fermentation reduces toxicity, second, as our book says “the dose makes the poison” – the quantity of soy protein in soy sauce is pretty small.

    You might want to check out our fried rice recipe: http://perfecthealthdiet.com/?p=1407

    Re eggs, egg proteins can be immunogenic. Two factors greatly multiply the risk: (1) A leaky gut and poor digestion that lets undigested proteins enter the body, and (2) wheat consumption which not only makes the gut leaky but also acts as an adjuvant to promote immunity against egg protein — we discuss this in the book. So people who are wheat sensitive tend to become egg sensitive too. Your husband may have this issue.

    An intermediate step which I would recommend trying is to eat egg yolks but not the whites. The whites are simple protein and you can get that easily from meat, so there is no nutritional value to the whites – the nutrition is in the yolks. The yolks have low protein levels and aren’t very immunogenic. So throwing out the whites might solve the problem.

    Even if someone has an egg sensitivity now, when their gut heals the egg sensitivity will go away. So I wouldn’t think of eggs as a permanent loss, just a temporary one while healing.

    Sounds like you’re doing great, Shannon! Your daughter is lucky to have a chance to grow up with good food. I really think good food during childhood can make a big difference in life.

    Best, Paul

  29. Paul,

    Thank you so much again for your response. I am ordering your book today and cannot wait to receive it.

    As an aside, I am a physician assistant student (will be a PA-C after graduation in a year plus taking my boards). I look forward to sharing your knowledge with my future patients as I intend to work in endocrinology or complementary/alternative medicine (probably both). I believe that medicine has strayed so far from true healing.

    Shannon

  30. Hey Paul,

    You said above:

    “Children, even infants, need almost as much iodine as adults. The RDA is 90 mg/day for 2 year olds, 150 mg/day for adults. (http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/minerals/iodine/)”

    You actually meant micrograms, not milligrams, right?

  31. Hi Frosty,

    Yes, mcg. Let me edit that one. Thanks!

  32. Hi Paul,

    I’ve been eating about 5 sheets of seaweed per week. I put it in my broth. Do you think this is sufficient?

  33. Hi Paul — Do you have any insights or opinions on hair analysis?
    The reason I’m asking is that I have been tracking nutrients via hair analysis, especially to see if selenium and iodine can get to optimal ranges. (This is important because I have Hashi’s and if I can ever get my thyroid to work again, I would love it!)
    For the past 2 1/2 years, my selenium has stayed the same (low in the range). But my iodine has gone from average to very, very high (shows as out of range in the tables). This without taking Lugol’s or anything!!!
    Meanwhile I have a lowish T3 (2.8) so I stay “cool” literally.
    Do you have any recommendations or ideas? Does it look like I have some baddie microbe causing problems? Help!

    • Hi Kathy,

      I don’t have experience interpreting hair analyses. So I would be just guessing.

      I don’t think there’s anything wrong with having iodine in the hair, or urine. There should be a stable amount of iodine in the body so roughly speaking what you lose will always more or less be equal to what you eat. So I think higher iodine levels mainly indicate you are obtaining more iodine, which is good. Most people get far too little.

      I’m not sure why you haven’t been able to raise selenium. If you are an athlete or use saunas, you might be excreting it in sweat rather than hair. Or you might benefit from eating more. Do you supplement selenium?

      Best, Paul

  34. P.S. Forgot to mention I am on a combination of Synthroid and Armour.

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