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Fasting with Medical Conditions

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Re: Thyroid and IF
01 Apr 2013, 23:46
I'm losing weight more slowly than most on 5:2, but I always lost weight slowly (dynamite might make it quicker, nothing else does).

However I've lost steadily for four months at about 1kg a month, which is new. On other diets I've had weeks without losing, even though not cheating. I'm happy with that, as it's 10-12kg a year and this is a very bearable way of losing weight. Also I feel good on 5:2, as if my body really enjoys having two fast days.

I think with some people the diet takes longer to kick in. Stand firm against your body!!!

>>This is a really interesting thread... It was suggested that I look at this tread because I have an under active thyroid (100mcg levothyroxine) and have not yet lost any weight 4 weeks in - anyone else notice slow weight loss compared to other fasters?[/quote]
Re: Thyroid and IF
01 Apr 2013, 23:52
I have an underactive thyroid and had a partial thyroidectomy 30 years ago. I was on thyroxine for over 20 years and it got less and less effective. Now I'm on a custom tailored T3/T4 and the difference in how I feel is staggering, I'm so much livelier and my brain is clearer.

I pay for the T3/T4 myself here in Australia, as it's not on the pharmaceutical benefits list, and it's well worth it. It's about $90 for three months' supply. A bargain considering how much better I feel.

I second your call to put on dopeyfying medicine for a while all those medical people who brush aside our concerns. It's the same with blood pressure medication. I take mine at teatime, when it doesn't matter as much if the keen edge is dulled from my brain.

>>And don't get me started on the subject of thyroxine either! It's all down to money in the end. It costs pennies to treat with T4 (thyroxine), a drug that only does 1/2 a job. All GP's and endo's should be drugged up with valium for a month, so they can see what it's actually like to live on thyroxine.[/quote]
Re: Thyroid and IF
02 Apr 2013, 00:03
Chris7376 wrote: I asked my GP about this (as i have underactive thyroid) and he said there was no relationship between IF and thyroid or weight and thyroid function.

I'm sorry to say but weight and thyroid are tightly related. Your GP didn't know what he was saying... :cry:
Re: Thyroid and IF
05 Apr 2013, 20:09
Wow, I am amazed at the wealth of information here! I too have hypothyroidism. After reading about it here, I read about the paleo diet and that's basically what I've actually been doing the past 5 years which has enabled me not to GAIN weight.

I am in the USA and taking a drug called Armour thyroid which is a combination of T3 & T4. This is prescribed to me by a holistic practitioner. Here in the US it is not that expensive, I pay around $50 for a three month supply (it is not covered by my insurance). I had taken thyroxin (synthroid) for several years without any help with weight loss or sluggishness despite good blood TSH level response to the medication. Frankly, I haven't seen much difference with the combination thyroid drug as far as weight loss, but I do have more energy on Armour.

One thought I have had reading these posts (it's a thought, not based on any research) is that because my thryoid disease is due to Hashimoto's, IF will help. Hashimoto is proported to be an auto-immune disease, and the cause of most cases of hypothyroidism. Well, auto immune to me screams inflamatory response. I'm hoping the benefits if IF will help this as the information in the 5:2 book sited studies showing improvement in other inflamatory issues.
Re: Thyroid and IF
07 Apr 2013, 11:17
Sad to say I have seen no improvement in inflammatory problems with IF, either 5:2 or 4:3 - I too had/have Hashimoto's and it certainly is an auto-immune inflammatory condition (thyroiditis, in fact - 'itis' means inflammation). I have recently started taking a combination of Aspirin and Fish Oils and have noticed a very definite reduction in arthritic pain over the past 10 days (there's a post somewhere about this but I can't recall where - thyroid-related memory problems!). I've been searching for 4 years to find something to help with the pain from my arthritic knees and this seems to be working so far - very pleased. If it works on this, it must address other inflammatory conditions in the body imo.

Also, I belong to an online thyroid support group and several of the members have been following IF in different forms since the Horizon programme aired in August. All of them have had some success - men seem to benefit more than women on 5:2, but women appear to have more success with 4:3. All of these people are hypothyroid for one reason or another and have found it almost impossible to lose weight previously - several underwent a 21 day water fast with unimpressive results (supporting my own juice fasting experience). So it seems underactive thyroid is not a barrier to success using IF as a weight loss strategy. Very encouraging.

Another interesting thing I have come across is the apparent low levels if IGF-1 in people who are hypo-thyroid. Below is a link for anyone interested (not sure I understand the scientific jargon but that appears to be the message - perhaps Caroline or PhilT can translate?).:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7682563
Re: Thyroid and IF
07 Apr 2013, 11:40
Yes, the paper appears to be saying that thyroid function influences the quantity and activity of growth factors, namely IGF1 and 2 and growth hormone (GH). Normalisation of thyroid function by treatment largely corrected the imbalance in growth factors (but not all). Unsurprisingly perhaps, growth factors were low in hypothyroid and high in hyperthyroid.

Since fasting should stimulate GH in order to initiate sparing of the muscles from being consumed to supply energy and to allow fat burning (though the GH response is less pronounced in obesity and hypothyroid), it could be that fasting does impact on thyroid function and IGF1 due to the interrelationships between these compounds. Indeed, fasting will reduce thyroid function after a certain length of time depending on the individual. I suspect that it is the refeeding aspect that is important in allowing weight loss in people with underactive thyroid. Perhaps 4:3 is effective due to more frequent oscillations between low and high food intake.
Re: Thyroid and IF
07 Apr 2013, 12:05
Perhaps I should try 4:3 once again. Last time was more of 2.5:4.5, LOL!
Re: Thyroid and IF
11 Apr 2013, 13:51
Being on a bunch of thyroid hormones myself this is something I wondered about when I started losing weigh. It is hard to Google thyroid hormones and weight loss because most of the hits are about losing weight because you are taking them, or (really not recommended) taking thyroid hormones to lose weight.

What I have found is mainly doctors disagreeing and anecdotal evidence.

www.medhelp.org/posts/Thyroid-Disorders/Increased-dosage-for-weight-loss/show/1259725
Nelly57: I have been losing weight and as a result my dosages of Levo have gotten too strong and had to be lowered. I have now lost 44 pounds. The times that my medication was too strong and I became Hyper instead of Hypo were absolute misery!


www.lowcarbfriends.com/bbs/thyroid/743673-would-you-need-less-medication-after-losing-weigh.html
luvmybabyhead: My endo says no, weight has nothing to do with how much thyroid medicine you need. ... I know people who are much thinner than me and are on a lot more and a lot less medicine than I am so that is confirmed in real life to me.

cocoanut: ... I disagree. My needs are unique to me but my weight does have an impact on my needs. I need a higher dose to maintain the metabolism for my fatter body than I do on my thinner body.

inatic: i havent needed less meds even though im leaner.. I've actually needed more because of my training.

Leo41: I have an excellent endo, and he mentioned once that he 'expected' to lower my dosage because of my weight loss (almost 200 lbs). However, that hasn't happened... I seem to need to same dosage to maintain barely satisfactory T4 and T3 levels.

qbert: My doctor told me I would need to lower the dose if I lost weight - it needs to be monitored...


Speaking as a enthusiastic amateur, I suspect there are a couple of factors involved. One is the equilibrium between the hormones you take and the rate your body is metabolising them. As you weight is going down especially in the early stage of rapid weight loss, there is less you for incoming hormones to spread around, meanwhile stores of hormone bound to plasma proteins in your lost volume ends up more concentrated back in the rest of you, so your hormone levels will go up. But this is only a temporary effect and the excess will decrease as the extra thyroid hormones are metabolised.

The bigger question is what type of tissue that uses thyroid hormones the most. I can't imagine fat tissue has much use for it. Muscle obviously does. If you lose fat, gain muscle and are more active, does that mean your need to thyroid hormones goes up? Or if your diet is one of those damaging ones where you lose muscle instead, does your need for thyroid hormone go down? Then again metabolising thyroid hormones by the liver and kidneys is a different process to their use as hormones by muscle tissue and weight loss has nothing to do with dosage once equilibrium has been re-established.

There may be a clue in the half lives of thyroid hormones which vary depending on whether the person is hypothyroid euthyroid (just right) or hyperthyroid.

From Gibaldi's Drug Delivery Systems in Pharmaceutical Care

Half Life of Levothyroxine (T4) Liothyronine (T3)
hypothyroid__9-10 days__________1.4 days
euthyroid____6-7 days___________1 day
hyperthyroid_3-4 days___________0.6 days

Now the terms hypothyroid euthyroid and hyperthyroid can have two distinct meanings as experienced by anyone still suffering the effects of hypothyroidism while their doctor says their blood test fine. The term euthyroid can be mean your blood levels are in the right range, below that range and you are hypothyroid, too high and you are hyperthyroid. But before the blood tests hypothyroidism used to mean your metabolism was too slow because of an under active thyroid, hyperthyroid was when you metabolism was racing because of an over active thyroid, euthyroid and you were just right.

Could losing weight, especially accompanied by an increase in metabolism change the half life you metabolise thyroid hormones at? So for a tired overweight person treated for hypothyroidism with blood levels in the euthyroid range, when they lose weight and speed up their metabolism, could their blood level drop because they are metabolising their hormones faster? Or could the increase in metabolism balance effects of weight loss that might otherwise raise your blood levels?

D_C
Re: Thyroid and IF
07 May 2013, 08:19
I have had my thyroid removed recently and cant lose weight - has anyone done this diet and lost in same circumstances??? I am getting desperate!! I am starting a fast today, I haven't eaten since last night at 7pm...so does the fast start then or this morning??
Re: Thyroid and IF
07 May 2013, 08:36
Hello tica,
Your fast started last night and so today you should aim to eat your 500cals, which means you can leave it until dinner tonight, or you can split it up into a small breakfast (say a poached egg), a bowl of soup for lunch and a light dinner. Most people find that once they start eating it flips the "hungerswitch" so most of us don't eat during the day, and try to eat all our cals in the evening. See what works best for you. Tomorrow you eat normally until your next fasting day. Hope that helps and good luck :clover:
Re: Thyroid and IF
07 May 2013, 09:18
I'm on 125mcg and 100mcg levothryroxine (T4) (alternating) for my underactive thyroid.
I have been referred to the consultant as originally my tsh was off the scale and my gp didn't know what to do with me. I seemed to stabilise under his care but now, when I feel constantly tired my gp just dismisses me and says my blood tests show normal so i must be fine. Ive been doing the 5:2 for about 3 months and not lost a lb but also havent gained anything (so cant be too bad) :razz:

Im posting on here to help gather anecdotal data (albeit non scientifically!)

But also Im thinking of changing GPs to someone who is not so disimissive and refers to my 'myxodema madness' (!!) Im also looking at alternative therapies and going privately :confused: . If anyone can give me a good starting point Id really appreciate it. As others have said, this forum seems more informative than others that I've come across.

BTW I have lost over 3 stone in the past on a different 'diet plan' and since my thyroid is pretty well useless to me I believe that for me and therefore others it is possible, if hard work, to loose the weight :grin:
Re: Thyroid and IF
07 May 2013, 23:07
appleaday, I would try and get a consultation with an endocrinologist, they are the specialists for thyroid and diabetes treatments. I feel for you, the constant tiredness and slugginess is NOT normal.
Re: Thyroid and IF
08 May 2013, 08:05
appleaday wrote: But also Im thinking of changing GPs to someone who is not so disimissive and refers to my 'myxodema madness' (!!) Im also looking at alternative therapies and going privately :confused: . If anyone can give me a good starting point Id really appreciate it.



You may be fortunate enough to find an enlightened endocrinologist on the NHS but, sadly, they are few and far between in my experience. There are several thyroid specialists practising privately in the UK and I have consulted one myself with good results. Where are you based? If you would like his details, please feel free to pm me.
Re: Thyroid and IF
08 May 2013, 08:26
mole3 wrote: My wife has an under active thyroid and takes thyroxine. Before starting 5:2 her dose was 125mcg, It's been at this level for 8 years. At her last review and after 6 months of this diet, the dose was cut to 100mcg.

We have no idea whether the reduction is down to the weight loss or diet or something else, but taking less drugs is a step in the right direction.


This has happened to me too, I had been on 5.2 for only 2 months when I had my thyroxine reduced from 125mcg to 100mcg. I have another blood test in a couple of weeks.
Re: Thyroid and IF
08 May 2013, 23:03
Appleaday - from everything I've read, people seem to do best when their T4 levels are in the top 75% area of normal. For my tests in the US, normal is 0.6 to 1.6 (on a scale of what, I have no idea). I feel best at 1.25. Right now my level is 0.69, and I feel awful even though my bloods are technically normal.

Thankfully, I have an endocrinologist who understands all of this. In March he told me to decrease my meds because my levels were too low - I just found out that they were 0.70, which while technically normal is lower than he wanted to see my levels. So I'm really thankful that although my levels are technically normal (even if it's the very low side of normal), I have a doctor willing to adjust my medication and try to get to the middle of the range. I definitely *feel* hypothyroid, with pretty much all of the classic symptoms.

I actually have Grave's Disease, which is a hyperactive thyroid. So I take medicine to suppress my thyroid function and lower my thyroid levels. I have been fasting since January and my thyroid levels have been going down a lot, so they reduced my medication twice now. I am getting my bloods done again in another week. They think my thyroid is magically repairing itself, but I think that the fasting is definitely helping it repair itself.

I do think that a low thyroid makes it super hard to lose weight. I have been battling the same two pounds for two months now.
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