Elevated Tsh (Repost)

I am reposting this from the "General Discussion" forum as I realized afterwards getting some women-specific advice might be helpful. Sorry about the multiple posts!


 


Here is a cut and paste of what I just wrote:


 


Hey guys, I was hoping I could get some advice regarding my TSH. Over the past year my TSH has increased significantly, from 0.42 up to 2.56! I assume some fluctuations are normal; however, with the (multiple) blood works I have done over the year the trend is clearly positive. It has gone from 0.4 - 1.13 - 2.56. My TSH has always been low so this worries me - I would like advice as to how to reverse the trend and get the levels to decrease again. I have also noticed I seem to be gaining weight much more easily now than before, and there seems to be a decrease in my attention/focus span, I am a tad more fatigued as of the last two months. I also show elevated liver enzymes (ALT 64 with "normal range" supposedly 4-43). 


 


The primary change I have made to my lifestyle is diet. The lowest TSH (0.4) corresponds to January 2013 where I was neither vegetarian nor vegan but definitely not bulletproof, the highest (2.56) is from a few weeks ago and at this point I've gone from non-veg to veg/vegan to vegetarian low carb with fish. What a roller coaster! I enjoy experimenting. I went vegetarian roughly June 2013, vegan in September that same year (TSH = 1.13), out of curiosity, and remained vegan until July this year. Since May I had started to incorporate more fat and significantly restricted my carb intake, probably a little too much, and again out of curiosity. My diet is still mainly vegetarian, though I avoid dairy, but I have fish a few times every week and get about 60g carbs daily. I am not opposed to eating quality meat, the main reason I have not is the price. 


 


I would really appreciate advice - how can I decrease my TSH? I want to ensure my metabolism works properly. Any idea what might be the cause?


 


Comments

  • Repost 2: *** I should add, I know my current level is not abnormally high - my concern is simply the fact that it seems to be increasing after having been relatively stable for years.




  • I am reposting this from the "General Discussion" forum as I realized afterwards getting some women-specific advice might be helpful. Sorry about the multiple posts!


     


    Here is a cut and paste of what I just wrote:


     


    Hey guys, I was hoping I could get some advice regarding my TSH. Over the past year my TSH has increased significantly, from 0.42 up to 2.56! I assume some fluctuations are normal; however, with the (multiple) blood works I have done over the year the trend is clearly positive. It has gone from 0.4 - 1.13 - 2.56. My TSH has always been low so this worries me - I would like advice as to how to reverse the trend and get the levels to decrease again. I have also noticed I seem to be gaining weight much more easily now than before, and there seems to be a decrease in my attention/focus span, I am a tad more fatigued as of the last two months. I also show elevated liver enzymes (ALT 64 with "normal range" supposedly 4-43). 


     


    The primary change I have made to my lifestyle is diet. The lowest TSH (0.4) corresponds to January 2013 where I was neither vegetarian nor vegan but definitely not bulletproof, the highest (2.56) is from a few weeks ago and at this point I've gone from non-veg to veg/vegan to vegetarian low carb with fish. What a roller coaster! I enjoy experimenting. I went vegetarian roughly June 2013, vegan in September that same year (TSH = 1.13), out of curiosity, and remained vegan until July this year. Since May I had started to incorporate more fat and significantly restricted my carb intake, probably a little too much, and again out of curiosity. My diet is still mainly vegetarian, though I avoid dairy, but I have fish a few times every week and get about 60g carbs daily. I am not opposed to eating quality meat, the main reason I have not is the price. 


     


    I would really appreciate advice - how can I decrease my TSH? I want to ensure my metabolism works properly. Any idea what might be the cause?




    Sounds like you're sending yourself into metabolic derangement. Even going low carb without carb refeeds and plenty of fat and protein is probably not going to help your cause. On days you are low carb, keep it no more than 50g. If you're going to be vegetarian and/or vegan remember that plant proteins are incomplete. Simply put, there are two types of protein: complete and incomplete. Animal proteins are complete. Soy is actually a complete protein but it is a phytoestrogen (read: hormone disruptor) so keep that off your plate. There are much less expensive cuts of grass fed or grass finished meats (shanks, ground). You don't have to go for a ribeye every time.

    No Fail Fat Burning for Women available on Amazon now!

    Find out how I hacked my way to health, conquered PCOS, endometriosis, and lost 15% bodyfat in my forties.

     

     

     

  • Star ChaserStar Chaser Powered by Shred

    What was your carb intake level when your TSH was at it's lowest? Have you done at home testing of iodine levels?


    I am a Video Game composer under the pseudonym Star Chaser.

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  • What was your carb intake level when your TSH was at it's lowest? Have you done at home testing of iodine levels?




    I did not keep track of my macros at that time, but I would assume it was well above 100g/day - perhaps up to 200g. 


     


    No I have not! I will definitely try that though. A quick google search returned this:


    "Simple self-test for iodine deficiency:


    To check whether you have enough iodine on board, you can try this safe self-test at home. Simply dip a clean ball of cotton in inexpensive red-tinged USP tincture of iodine from any drugstore. Paint a 2-inch circle of tincture of iodine on soft skin tissue, such as the inner arm or thigh.


    Now wait – if the yellow-orange stain takes more than 6 hours to disappear, you are likely to be replete with iodine. If the stain is absorbed quickly (within 1–3 hours), your body may need a higher iodine intake."


    Do you think this will suffice?


  • Sounds like you're sending yourself into metabolic derangement. Even going low carb without carb refeeds and plenty of fat and protein is probably not going to help your cause. On days you are low carb, keep it no more than 50g. If you're going to be vegetarian and/or vegan remember that plant proteins are incomplete. Simply put, there are two types of protein: complete and incomplete. Animal proteins are complete. Soy is actually a complete protein but it is a phytoestrogen (read: hormone disruptor) so keep that off your plate. There are much less expensive cuts of grass fed or grass finished meats (shanks, ground). You don't have to go for a ribeye every time.




     


    Thank you for your reply. I have a feeling reintroducing some meat will be good for my body also so I will check for that. I've heard fermented soy, such as tofu, can also impact thyroid function and my vegan year was one long tofu binge, so that might have contributed to the present situation as well. My TSH did go up during that year. 

  • Star ChaserStar Chaser Powered by Shred
    It's pretty close yeah, good work, this is a bit closer:


    http://ihcfl.com/uploads/3/0/9/7/3097145/iodine_paint_patch_test.pdf


    Be careful if you start supplementing iodine though, especially if it turns out you are hypothyroid to any degree, even sub clinically. Note the warning at the bottom of that link. Chris kresser reccomnds starting at 225 micrograms and then doubling that dose every month until symptoms start to subside as a safe way of supplementing iodine I beleive.


    Something else to look into: you may not be handling low carb very well. It has been known to affect the thyroid and raise TSH levels. Are you eating pastured beef liver?

    I am a Video Game composer under the pseudonym Star Chaser.

    twitch.tv/starchaservgm (streaming most saturday and sunday nights EST)

    Guitarist:

    https://youtu.be/8L0SkovqEf4

    Next cover is Die by the Sword by Dragonforce.

    Music/Health/Biohacking Blog and Podcast currently under construction.

    Thanks to the internet, health experts, and my unending curiosity, I have overcome: excessive sweating (adrenal fatigue), anxiety and panic attacks, extremely high estrogen levels (man boobs), chronic brain fog (yeast overgrowth), depression, and am currently battling SIBO (took it from being so bloated it felt like my stomach skin was going to rip, slept 2 hours per night for a week because of upset stomach and being chronically fatigued to very mild, manageable but still annoying symptoms) and currently battling sleep deprivation/insomnia probably due to the SIBO/Leaky Gut and resulting histamine intolerance.

  • edited October 2014


    Thank you for your reply. I have a feeling reintroducing some meat will be good for my body also so I will check for that. I've heard fermented soy, such as tofu, can also impact thyroid function and my vegan year was one long tofu binge, so that might have contributed to the present situation as well. My TSH did go up during that year. 




    Man, yeah, I'd put good money on a soy binge really messing with your thyroid. Especially when it's challenging to get a non-GMO soy product these days (esp. in restaurants). Best of luck. Try to keep your healthy fat intake really high. High fat, moderate protein, low carb. Carb re-feed once or twice a week depending on your activity level.


    No Fail Fat Burning for Women available on Amazon now!

    Find out how I hacked my way to health, conquered PCOS, endometriosis, and lost 15% bodyfat in my forties.

     

     

     



  • Man, yeah, I'd put good money on a soy binge really messing with your thyroid. Especially when it's challenging to get a non-GMO soy product these days (esp. in restaurants). Best of luck. Try to keep your healthy fat intake really high. High fat, moderate protein, low carb. Carb re-feed once or twice a week depending on your activity level.




    Ugh. It is really quite frustrating doing something you think is good for you, and for it to turn out to be quite the opposite. Thanks for your advice. Another member, above, recommended beef liver, and my naturopath also noted good quality organ meats can be helpful in supporting the thyroid and realigning hormones. I also added in some more carbs as of friday - roughly 75grams daily - since my goal is not fat loss but overall increased well-being and mental focus and my body has seemed quite happy, in two days I am back at 4min/km while running and could add about 30% weight to each strength training exercise I perform. I feel like I got a big "THANK YOU / the body". Gonna keep a log and see what will happen in terms of weight and TSH for the coming couple of weeks and vary the dosage until I find the sweet spot. 

  • In my experience, my hormones are very linked to adrenals, cortisol and stress. Are you stressed? If so, if I were you, I'd also do this:


     


    - Get an Rx for Aromor Thyroid. 


    - Rest a lot


    - Do one proactive thing to de-stress every day: emwave, mediation, hot bath, journaling...


    - Even if your energy is low, think of resting and rebuilding, steer clear of "energizing" herbs and anything that will wind you up... including caffeine. 


    - Accupuncture.


    - Avoid sugar, large meat portions, too many cold foods and salads. Chew.


     


    Hope you feel better!




  • In my experience, my hormones are very linked to adrenals, cortisol and stress. Are you stressed? If so, if I were you, I'd also do this:


     


    - Get an Rx for Aromor Thyroid. 


    - Rest a lot


    - Do one proactive thing to de-stress every day: emwave, mediation, hot bath, journaling...


    - Even if your energy is low, think of resting and rebuilding, steer clear of "energizing" herbs and anything that will wind you up... including caffeine. 


    - Accupuncture.


    - Avoid sugar, large meat portions, too many cold foods and salads. Chew.


     


    Hope you feel better!




     I am stressed, in fact I hit a wall just a few weeks ago - it's been a horrible time. My friend told me to try meditating in the morning and or at night, since "you can only control how your day starts and ends, but never what happens throughout". That really stuck with me. Just adding in some more good starches has made a tremendous difference too, my TSH is back down to 0.9 (!) and I am much more energized and have started loosing fat/gaining muscle noticeably in the two weeks it has been. 

    I appreciate your support :) 

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