Healthy Eating
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I'm a new bod

Hello All

I'm new here. I am a chubby dumpling of a wumman who never had to worry about her weight until about my younger child was about 10. I ate anything and everything with no problems, and then suddenly the calories fought back. I ballooned.

Since then I have lost weight, gained weight, lost it again - ad infinitum. I'm currently about 3 stones overweight, and am finding harder and harder tools it, or even stabilise. It's complicated by an underactive thyroid, antidepressant tablets (they aren't supposed to put weight on me, but I'm convinced they do) and Sjogren's syndrome. I also have sleep apnoea.

I do eat too much - I know I do - partly it is lack energy, partly boredom, partly because I'm just used to eating and partly because I like food just a bit too much.

I'm hoping to change my awful eating habits and get at last some of my surplus off, mainly for health reasons, but also for appearance and confidence.

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Hi LostBear,

Welcome to the Healthy eating forum. I hope you'll enjoy participating here, and do have a look around - we have lots of topics and Pinned posts. Also, the NHS Choices website (which this forum is linked to) has some great information too about Healthy eating:

nhs.uk/livewell/healthy-eat...

There is another Community in Health unlocked called 'NHS weight loss' community, and they have regular weigh-ins and more formalised support - all for free, and that's a great community to join if you would like to enjoy more support with your weight loss.

Anyway, I'd like to wish you success with your goals, and hope to see you around and about in the forum.

Zest :-)

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Hi there LostBear, firstly well done for being so open and honest about your self, I admire that.

Now I’ll give you something to think about, if you make positive changes now in 3 months time you will be so pleased that you did.

So where do you start? Well you could make an effort to have a short stroll and gradually increase it.

You could snack on grapes instead of sweets.

You could buy some aerobic weights and excercise your arms while you watch tv.

Now the more physical excercise we have the better we feel and sleep.

So what have you got to lose...weight,

And what have you got to gain better health and self esteem...and in 3 months time...

So good luck and I hope you enjoy being a member of HE.

Jerry 😊

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Welcome!!! Happy to be here for support along your journey! :)

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Have you joined the Thyroid UK forum on HE? It's been marvelous for me with regard to improving my health, & understanding the necessary nutrients I need for my body & brain to work better.

I'm vegetarian, & have been for 30 years. I find a wholefood diet high in pre & probiotics has been beneficial, as good gut health is absolutely essential for effective thyroid hormone conversion of the T4 (levothyroxine) you take, to T3 (triiodothyronine) which is the form every cell in our bodies need. It's also essential to have optimal, ie high in range, levels of nutrients, especially vitamins D, folate, B12 & Bs in general, as well as the minerals iron, ferritin, magnesium, & zinc. If you have hashimoto's autoimmune thyroiditis, the autoimmune form that affects 90% of hypos, many people find selenium helpful at lowering their antibodies, as is going gluten free, & for some, dairy free. I eat the latter as kefir, which is considered the best probiotic for good gut health. Probiotics & good gut health are also considered to be important for mental wellbeing & thought to influence the food choices we make.

For many people, doing aerobic exercise has a detrimental effect, & gentle exercise is better. This is because hypothyroid folks have a limited amount of T3 in their cells that we need for energy, & can't produce more fast enough. This can make out bodies shut down, & leave us floored with a slow recovery afterwards. WIf that sounds familiar, walking, yoga, & pilates are good alternatives.

Another thing to avoid is low calorie diets as this makes us store rather than utilise what we eat. As an example, I ballooned 20lbs & was diagnosed with FM, after eating a 1,000 calorie a day clean food diet, though eating soy every day exacerbated this & made me more hypo. I now eat a diet high in healthy fats from nuts & seeds & avocado, & avoid processed foods especially avoid margarine & inflammatory fats, & artificial sugars, as well as unfermented soy which impairs hormone production, conversion & absorption. Some people are sensitive to other goitrogenic foods, though only soy affects me. It's worth looking up any that you might have in your diet, & experimenting to see if that helps you feel better. I make sure I supplement for the above nutrients if they're not found in my diet, so that my hormones work effectively. I found I lost weight whilst increasing my nutrient intake.

Antidepressants reduce the efficacy of thyroid medication, so perhaps that's an issue with regard to weight gain & your mood, as well as a huge assortment of negative side effects. Levothyroxine is also an issue for some people that gain weight, especially if they don't convert it well.

Apologies for the bad grammar & any spellies, I'm in a rush & should be somewhere else! Do take a look around TUK & get back to me if there's anything you don't understand or need more information on.

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Thank you so much for your very comprehensive (and not at all ungrammatical!) reply. There's a lot in here I need to look into, it seems. No-one has mentioned Hashimoto's thyroiditis to me - I just assumed I had common-or-garden underachieve thyroid, but I'll have a look at the signs and symptoms.

Our GP practise is a lovely one, but they are very overworked, and assume that if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it's a duck (which is sensible, but it did mean that they spent about seven years trying to pin my constant thirst on diabetes, before discovering it was Sjogren's.

I'll try to find the Thyroid UK forum (not very technically adept, but I'm getting better). Your comment about getting exhausted very quickly (and after comparatively little effort), and then taking an age to recover, rings an entire campanologists' convention of bells!

Can I ask what FM is, that you were diagnosed with? (Apologies if you said and I missed it).

I know there is an alternative to Levothyroxine, but I understand that it is very expensive, and I'm not sure if my GP would be prepared to prescribe it. Thank you again for your lovely post. (And I probably will get in touch for help - thanks.)

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You're welcome!

Here's some links: TUK forum: healthunlocked.com/thyroidu...

& the charity's website list of symptoms:

thyroiduk.org.uk/tuk/about_...

These symptoms were what used to be used to diagnose hypothyroidism, rather than the current very inaccurate blood tests. Hopefully your GP will take note if you tick a lot of the boxes & quack appropriately. It's also good to get comprehensive blood tests done for free T4 & T3, which many GPs refuse to do. The testing range is too high for many people, who suffer unnecessarily. Any deficiency of the micro-nutrients I listed can cause our endocrine system to mess up, so if you can get those tested, & rule them out of the equation by supplementing, then all the better for flattening out the hormonal playing field. Two excellent members of TUK are particularly on form with this regard, so look out for SeasideSusie & SlowDragon's posts & responses, as well as the brilliant admins. If you get as many blood tests done as your GP will agree to, post them along with the ranges (in brackets) as a place to start effective diagnosis. I can't afford it on top of my meds & supplement expenses, but a lot of people opt for private blood testing which is discounted via TUK's charity website.

Taking your temperature (Barnes basal body temperature test) before getting out of bed for three months may also confirm if you're hypo: nourishholisticnutrition.co... My temperature was 35.1 degree celcius, so over 1.5 degrees lower than average, though it now feels fine at 36.1. I don't suffer in the occasional summer heatwaves as I've better temperature regulation. I just used a cheap digital thermometer, though I bought a second one as I thought the first was faulty as the reading was so low.

Again, a lot of doctors, even endocrinologists seem ignorant of hashimoto's which is very common. My issue isn't autoimmune, which meant I was left increasingly poorly for a long time, having had symptoms since my teens. Some people do manage to get T3 or NDT from their medics if they can prove things like conversion or genetic issues, but it's usually a running battle involving private testing to get either, so I just buy my own. Many people are fine on T4, so it's good to rule that out first, & other meds if not. T3 is the stuff our cells mitochondria need, so no faffing with conversion. Some numpty in Whitehall decided to buy it from a pharmaceutical company that upped the price to £3 a 20mcg pill which is the cost of 90 25mcg tablets in other countries, hence it being so difficult to get here. NDT (natural dessicated thyroid) is what was used successfully for 100 years prior to synthetic hormones being invented, & works best for most people (some hashi's folks don't feel so well on it) as it contains all the hormones the human body should produce including T1, T2 & calcitonin. Some research has found lack of T2 can increase the risk of obesity, & they're not yet sure what the other hormones do, aside from make most hypo's feel better. :) It's my only non-veggie habit as I take a low dose on top of T3 in winter, to avoid a return of skin & temperature symptoms.

Sjogrens often pops up on the TUK & the PA (pernicious anaemia) forums. I'm unsure if that's also autoimmune related. It's unfortunate that these disorders often bring their friends, & some poor folks have a handful of issues related to antibody production. I was tested for diabetes insipidus, (vasoppressin/antidiuretic hormone issue) as that can be caused by a pituitary adenoma, the latter causing my issue of secondary hypothyroidism which doctors & endos seem to know absolutely b****r all about. It might be worth flagging that DI as a potential issue with your GP.

FM is fibromyalgia, which is now a common diagnosis for older women, & increasingly younger women & men. It's similar to CFS (chronic fatigue syndrome) & ME (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis) with regard to fatigue, but has accompanying aches & flu-like symptoms which can be even more debilitating. It's thought these ailments were dreamed up by the drug companies when the criteria for diagnosing hypothyroidism changed from symptoms to blood tests. Nothing seems to effectively help FM/CFS/ME, yet billions of prescriptions for drugs that make sufferers more hypothyroid & possibly addicted are dished out, instead of the simple cheap medications that are effective. The research is carried out by the drugs companies who have themselves a very lucrative cash cow.

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Thank you again. I did manage to find and join the thyroid forum, but appreciate the link, and also the recommendations for SeaSusie's and SLowDragon's posts.

Sjogren's Syndrome IS aunt-immune, so maybe there is a link. For reasons best known to itself my body has started to accumulate little (and not-so-little) piles of calcium on some of my joints. Sometimes these hurt, mostly they don't. There is no apparent reason for this, but it's happening.

Both my GP and the consultant have offered surgery for it, but TBH as they are unsightly rather than uncomfortable I don't really want to.

I'll dig our thermometer out and start keeping a note of my morning temperature.

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Definitely ask for autoimmune antibody tests!

Magnesium, vitamin K2, & boron are essential for directing calcium to where we want it, but I've no knowledge of why it could be directed to your joints. Is it a type of autoimmune arthritis?

Good luck with your temperature testing!

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Reposting this link from a post on TUK re B3 & mental health: doctoryourself.com/niacinre...

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If you follow any of my posts you will see that I advocate whole food plant based diet. The great news is if you adopt this kind of lifestyle, losing weight for the long term is almost guaranteed and usually easy to troubleshoot if you don't. The people who don't lose weight tend to have other health issues and these may need specialist advice.

If you are interested then the Veganuary website is a great place to start where you will get people doing similar and sharing ideas & tips.

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