Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Re-fueling. . .Say it ain't so

I'm glad I got a "plan" put to screen regarding my daily food journey, but this journey may get a lot more interesting. You see, I've known for a while that I have some signs of hypothyroidism. When I first got wind of it some lame Dr. I hardly knew was ready to jam the synthetic hormone into my system, "and you'll be taking these for the rest of your life." Ah, what? Hold-on, bud-ball. The worst part of this was when he (Dr. Bonehead) wanted me to get another blood test the following week, to gather more information, but he suggested I be on the meds by then. Well, I didn't start them. The second blood test comes back more normal and I kid you not he's like, "see, the medication is working." First of all, I'm not on them yet you piece of . . .anyways, that was my first go around. I got a couple more opinions and they said just retest in about 6 months. So, that was three years ago. I've had blood work done a couple of times a year.

To make a long story short, I've got sub-clinical hypothyroidism which means I'm borderline. My TSH ((thyroid stimulating hormone) number is a little high. My brain produces that to keep my thyroid working, so my brain is working a little extra hard in order to keep my T3 and free T4 in the normal range. If the T3 and free T4 are good, the thyroid, apparently, is functioning normally. The TSH is a screening test. So, I guess I'm okay, but . . . .

When I was seeing Dr. Jerry Moylan, who was recommended to me by Tri pro Jim Vance via the TriClubofSD message board, Moylan looked at my blood work and we went into a full blown anti-inflammatory diet with supplements, etc. Heavy stuff, not real cheap. After that I retested, and my numbers were super normal and his range (an alternative, non-western guy) is even tighter than, say, Sharp Hospital. So the diet does work, at least it did.

Well, when I sent-out a query on the TCSD message board today I got back a ton of info. A doctor from Sharp actually broke the process down for me and said she would not treat me. And a nutrtionist/accupuncturist who has hypothyroidism gave me some great advice.

I just had some blood work done, and my TSH is a little higher than it's been. My current doctor (cool guy a sorta trust) wants me to start the meds. Instead, I'm going to go to a holistic endocrinologist and see what he has to say, maybe even get some natural hormone replacement, some stuff called Armour thyroid (I got all this from a guy from TCSD) and then work on some nutrition, serious nutrition, which may lead me to . . . becoming more of a vegitarian. I'm just throwing that out there.

It would be such an overhaul. It would probably benefit me big-time. But I love meat! The point of this post is just to point-out that much in the way of research and tinkering will be done to that daily food plan.

And what really got my head spinning was reading Tim Noakes' The Lore of Running last night and stumbling upon his point about hypothyroidism and run performance. It does affect one's ability to throw-down! And the subtlety is what can drive a runner mad! So, I was going mad. On top of that, I've gotten a lot of feedback from people who are on the synthetic hormone, everything from it makes you feel a lot better (more energy in general) to balancing moods, weight gain/loss, etc.

I do feel like my metabolism has slowed some. For as much as I run and have exercised in the last few years (1/2 ironman, running, etc.) I should be a little lighter, if you know what I mean. But maybe that's where the diet comes in.

As you can see, I got a lot on my plate!


  1. Okay - this whole situation is unfortunate, but it sounds like you are well on top of it. Nice.

    What is an anti-inflam - diet and what does it look like?

  2. Basically, no sugar, no flour, no coffee, alcohol, meat (other than turkey and certain fish).

    Typical day would be
    breakfast: grapefruit, maybe hot water with fresh lemon, pear

    Snack: walnuts/almonds (raw), taro chips

    Lunch: really fresh salad (all vegetables pretty much make the team), with olive oil, lemon squeezed.

    Dinner: steamed veggies, quinoa, black beans.

    I remember as far as fruit was concerned, I was to avoid bananas, grapes. . . those fruits really high in sugar. Apples/pears/grapefruit were big for me.

    And I took a lot of stuff to clear-out my GI and a supplement that was totally geared to anti-inflammatory by Metagenics. A lot of fish oil, too.

    I could do it, but I want to have an ale or two with my salad, or at least after a run!

    According to the anti-aging community (which should include everyone on earth), inflammation is what kills us.

    I'm going to learn more.

  3. No sugar, flour, coffee or alcohol, or meat.


    That would be a pretty radical change for me.

    I could see dropping coffee. I'd probably not like it. Alcohol too. I can do that. Flour? No bread? No pasta?

    No meat ... yeah, I could that.

    Sugar would be the challenge for me. So I might need to try that.

    Tell us more.