Nutritionist?

I've been diagnosed hypothyroid 2 yrs now. Still feel pretty awful some days. Is it worth seeing a nutritionist? Went to a general talk by one last week. Quite impressed but uncertain as to whether it's worth the cash outlay.

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  • Depends what you hope to get out of it. Why do you want to see a nutritionist? I can't say it would be top of my list of things to spend money on.

  • Get out of it? I want to get well, really. But yes it's more money...

  • Yes, of course you want to get well, but how do you think a nutritionist is going to help?

  • There is so much conflicting advice about diet that I want some informed hypothyroid specific advice. For instance does gluten or does gluten not affect thyroid function? Should I take iodine supplements? What about sugar - easy one that as I think most agree its poison. But what about carbs generally? And pulses and lentils?

  • Well, I'm not a nutritionist (thank the lord!) but I would say no, gluten does not affect thyroid function - not directly, anyway. What it does is apparently, cause antibodies to be active, because the chemical make-up is similar to that of thyroid tissue? Or something like that. So, giving up gluten decreases antibodies - in some people. Other people feel better on gluten-free because they are sensitive it it, or to grains. But, neither of the nutritionists I saw mentioned anything about that. I had to find that out for myself.

    No, you shouldn't take iodine supplements unless you are deficient in iodine - especially not if you have Hashi's, because it can exacerbate symptoms. Iodine is a trace mineral that is one of the ingredients of thyroid hormone. Not some magical substance that is going to perform a miracle on your thyroid and get it working again, as so many people - including a lot of doctors - seem to think. Obviously if you are deficient, you won't be able to make as much hormone as you should. But, if you have a damaged thyroid, iodine is not going to make it whole again.

    And, is sugar as bad as it's made out to be? Poison? Maybe that's going too far. But, not long ago, they were telling us fat was poison and would give us heart attacks. Now we know better. There's always so much more to learn, and change our way of thinking. Nutritionists, like doctors, seem to be stuck in ruts and not able to keep up with the latest knowledge and ideas.

  • Interesting comments thanks. Prof John Yudkin said sugar was bad in 60/70s and was laughed at by Food Manuf who used it as filler- and still do in savoury foods. Ended in Court case payout. However far worse than sugar are the articial sweeteners Nutrasweet/Aspartane owned by the dread evil Monsanto. its question of not over dosing on sugar and being sensible. Other day l read that sugar is worse than over doing salt - another thing blamed and now some are almost short of salt. lt has taken 50 years for Prof Yudkin book to be re-published and his work acknowledged. Stevia is the main sugar subtitute not known to harm, so far

  • Totally agree about the artificial sweeteners! As for stevia, it's horribly expensive and tastes foul. I'd rather have a bit of sugar! lol

  • Hi - my Healer said 20 years ago artifical sweet was bad and caused Alzheimers - at last it was in one paper this week. With Stevia you have to mind how its sold. Supermarkets put tiny amount in jar with other stuff for £5 - am suspicious it cd be gmo or chemicals. From a Herbalist it will be pure - then you need to think just where you are using it, as to whether taste will be affected.

  • Having read the root cause and the autoimmune solution (i have hashimotos) i have adopted the diet protocol that Dr Amy Myers suggests and i am beginning to see result? It's pretty restrictive but like you I want to feel well i am also taking most of the supplements recommended in the books.

  • Have just read your reply to LtAngua52 a few months ago V helpful.

  • If you have Hashimotos I would think it might be very worthwhile but possibly quite expensive. I have been considering doing so for some time

    Lots of Hashimotos problems are gut related often leading to leaky gut, gluten or other food intolerances, low nutrients etc as wel as gut infections & low stomach acid

    Improving nutrients, addressing food intolerances & supporting gut microbe with probiotics etc can make enormous difference - all are in field of nutrition rather than endocrinology

    Endocrinologists do not seem remotely interested in considering the gut, gluten or nutrients at all

    hypothyroidmom.com/is-yeast...

    hypothyroidmom.com/hashimot...

    thyroidpharmacist.com/artic...

  • Thanks for this I am minded to just do a private elimination diet. Leaky gut is indeed a problem - and I think ruling out processed food and gluten is the answer. Thanks too for the links - I'm on them...

  • If you could find a reputable one who is specialized in Hashimoto's it might be worth it. I see a nutritionist myself an while I would have probably eventually figured out all the stuff I learned from him it did speed up the process drastically. Just know that when you are trying to get to the bottom of digestive issues you can often make things worse before you make them better. Along the way you learn what your problems are.

    How much are they asking you to pay? I see my nutritionist about once every other month for $60 CDN (actually it's a phone consultation since I live outside of Canada), but in between we go forward and back with emails and updates and he doesn't charge any extra. Eventually I will stop with him, but it's been worth it in the meantime over the past 4-5 months.

    When I started with him I saw him in person, then continued over the phone since I live between countries.

  • Yes, that's the thing, IF you can find one that knows about thyroid. But, I should think, they must be pretty rare. It's difficult enough to find a doctor that knows anything about thyroid!

    Oh, just to say, I've seen two. And if I'd listened to either of them, I'd probably be dead by now. :(

  • Yes, that is why I said if, one should do their homework on any type of practitioner. I made sure to do my research. I found a naturopathic doctor who has 2 masters in biology, specified in Hashimoto's, and has won a number of awards. In Ontario (the province in which he practices) to be titled naturopathic doctor you have to have a degree from an accredited university. I don't believe in naturopathy generally so I made sure to find someone with a scientific background.

    I think if you aren't willing to try different approaches to healing you might just miss the key to getting better. Along the way you'll meet many "healers" who are full of BS, it's important to not blindly let anyone (including doctors) have full say over your health. So it's more a matter of being self-reliant than being afraid of trying new diets and finding someone's help.

    I personally wouldn't trust most "nutritionists" as most of them know nothing about auto-immune disease.

  • Sounds like quite a find!

  • He's helped so far, I've improved my digestion and nutritional understanding, I'm better at making dietary decisions now, but I think it's beyond his ability to help me much further.

    I don't react as a "usual" hashi's patient to therapies. My antibodies have doubled while under his advice (same advice as on this forum to be fair), and with a recent DAO deficiency diagnosis I believe I'm beyond his abilities now. So even someone as "specialized" as him has their limitations.

    I'm glad to have gained some knowledge from the experience, but I wish I could find someone who understands DAO deficiency and how it relates to Hashi's...

  • what is DAO?

  • Diamine Oxidase, it's a digestive enzyme that breaks down Histamine from foods, which keeps them from entering the blood. When someone's histamine levels are too high it causes something called Histaminosis which can cause all sorts of symptoms from digestive problems and inflammation, migraines, skin problems, even anaphylaxis.

    If you've ever drank too much red wine you've had an experience with this type of reaction since red wine is high in histamine and alcohol reduces and blocks DAO in the gut, hence the horrible headache the next morning.

  • Thats very interesting my daughter has a problem with too much histamine. She has been on antihistamines from age of 9. Shes now 35. Doc has never bothered only given her antihistamines. She has chronic urticaria, weight problems, bowel adhesions and acne? X

  • DAO deficiency is a fairly new thing to medicine, many doctors still know nothing about it. I would bring it up with her GP or Gastroenterologist (if she has one) and see if she can get her DAO levels tested (simple blood test). There is also another condition called Mast cell activation syndrome where the bodies cells give off histamines at a high rate has she looked into this? There is probably more literature on it. In either case if she has problems with histamines she should look into a low histamine diet.

  • Well, to be fair, antibodies do fluctuate, so you can't really say they've doubled because you don't know what they were at their highest before that. Unless you test them every day, you can never know just how high they go, nor how low. You just know what they are at any given test.

  • You're right. I've only been tracking my antibodies for a year so I can't really say what is causing them to go up. It's still frustrating when trying to do everything right to lower them and they sky rocket instead.

  • Is your TSH suppressed? If not, you don't stand much chance of lowering them. Gland activity = antibody activity, so if your TSH is still stimulating your thyroid, the antibodies are going to attack.

  • At my last test it was just barely suppressed 0,26 (0,30 - 4,20). I think you may have just helped me connect some dots, for the past few months I've had a high TSH as I wasn't doing well on levo alone (FT4 kept going up over range even as levo was reduced) so now with T3 I was finally able to get my TSH down again. Would be interested to see if antibodies come down.

  • That's not suppressed. You need it to be something like 0.01.

  • Damn 😓

  • :D

  • Thanks - it' just all so confusing. I'm in the UK and they are unlicensed Initial consultation is 75 quid - about 100 dollars US

  • May I ask are you optimally treated? If you're not on enough and/or the right thyroid hormone a change in diet is not likely to change the symptoms of being undermedicated. So you may find some things improve for instance if you find you have some food sensitivities and address them, but your thyroid symptoms are likely to remain unaffected.

  • I'm on 150 mg Levothyroxine. The GP is quite kind but it's just another condition to them. The dosage is quite high and I don't feel good about increasing it. I feel good for a few weeks then absolutely wiped out for few days. Odd.

  • Sure, well increasing levo isn't your only option and in fact won't help at all if for instance you're not converting, in which case you'd need at least some t3 in your meds.

    If the levo is just building up and going nowhere more 150mcg is too much, but if you need 200 it is not enough. You just need what you need. 150 is a perfectly normal dose, it is not particularly high.

    If as shaws suggested you have a full tft you'll know more.

  • I am not saying a nutritionist will be not helpful but it might be better spent by getting a Full Thyroid Profile blood test from one of our recommended labs as you still 'feel pretty awful' when you should be feeling well. Members can then point you in the right direction. It should be the earliest time possible (fasting) you an drink water and allow a gap of approx 24 hour from your last dose of levo and the test and take afterwards.

    TSH, T4, T3, Free T4, Free T3 and thyroid antibodies if you've not had antibodies tested before..

  • Thanks and yes a good idea - do you recommend Medichecks?

  • I haven't used Medichecks but other members have. I've used Blue Horizon and Medichecks are a new addition to the labs. I believe every Thursday Medichecks have some kind of special offer.

  • At the moment I am studying to become a natureopathic nutritional therapist. My opinion would be avoid nutritional therapists esp nhs ones. Like doctors they know nothing! I have been doing some in depth study into nutrition and have gone right back to basics. Its been heavy going and there has been a lot of extra research done on my part. Ive done it to benefit myself as I needed to find the answer to my thyroid problem. I have discovered that we are all individuals and there is no one answer our bodies are very complicated and its amazing how we work and function. Everything is a chain reaction and if only one small thing is out of balance we malfunction! How ill we get depends how long that malfunction has taken place. We go to the doc because we feel ill and what does the doctor do he looks at your symptoms and gives you a pill to cover the symptom which is basically putting a band aid on it. No way will he attempt to cure you because he cant! He knows nothing about nutrition. The lack of nutrition causes the majority of illnesses. Basically we need oxygen, water and nutrition to survive. Nutrition is very important and does amazing chemical reactions within the body. If doctors could only understand that we wouldnt need them coz we would all be cured and they dont want that do they? Its disgraceful that its all down to money its a sad state of affairs. Bottom line no I wouldnt recommend a nutritional therapist etc because sad part is they are all out to make money too so they wont cure you coz they want you to keep coming back to make money out of you. I spent a fortune on therapists before the penny dropped. They are all the same. My advice, get informed do the research and you will soon get the answers you were looking for and realise all these therapists out there are on a money making exercise. They know very little and bluff their way into your confidence. Everyone needs to take control of their own health xx

  • You could do a lot worse than taking on board the nutrirional advice from this forum. There is of course a caveat - we are all different and so what works for some may not work for others.

    I joined in Jan this year when I first suspected I had a thyroid problem and was very fortunate to be able to improve my nutrition whilst learning about what Hashi's was and how the foods I ate may affect my recovery to feeling better. I see levo as a hormone replacement and so, other than the limits my GP puts on my prescription, I want an increase till I feel well. Many people comment on feeling better after an increase and to then get a return of some symptoms - the advice usually is that another increase is needed unless there is a conversion issue, which blood tests usually confirm. I spend my money on the supplements that experienced members suggest and getting private blood tests done.

    I am still on the road to feeling better and have my 2nd follow up NHS bloods tomorrow (with private tests done as well) but I can see an improvement and I *know* it is the combination of levo and changes I have made to my diet as a result of this forum. It is like a treasure trove 🌞🌞.

    From what I've learnt over the last 4 months, I would spend my time reading up on this forum and asking questions, before considering looking for a nutritionist. I'm sure there are some good ones (though other than recommendation how you find one is questionable), but how many bad or *ineffective* ones will you have to spend your money on first? 😊

  • Many thanks Solstice - good advice

  • Good luck 🤗😊

  • I would get this book which contains lots of info on nutrition:

    amazon.co.uk/Hashimotos-Pro...

    Will give you a good head start if you later decide to see a nutritionist.

  • I have just seen a naturopathic nutritionist who also uses kinesiology. Yes, I rolled my eyes at first too, but what she told me my body needed seemed accurate. Told me 2.5 grains of NDT was pretty close to optimum for my thyroid but that my adrenals weren't good and I needed rhodiola to help. Also said Adrenomax was right for me. Told me I have h pylori, so mastic gum was called for. And I needed digestive enzymes. Now I will point out that she doesn't sell supplements, so she wasn't trying to make more money out of me. And 3 of the recommended items I already had. Maybe it's a load of rubbish but it was interesting that she seemed to hit on what I already knew/suspected. She also told me my emotional state was causing health issues and that I had to stop the booze. Well, I have followed her advice and I am starting to notice a difference. Not there yet, but I'm going to see a counsellor for all my childhood issues and anxiety, because I'm sure that exacerbates everything!

  • It sounds like you have found a good one 😊

    Agree the stressy stuff plays a part in all of this and it's something I have found needs to be dealt with and kept on top of.

    There's a lot isn't there, but bit by bit it starts to come together. Good luck with the progress 🤗.

  • It's about 4 years now. I'm hoping within the next 12 months I'll find the 'sweet spot'!

  • I hope you do too 🤗.

    My stars lined up in that my GP was cooperative (TSH under 10) and I found this forum. I know it doesn't always happen that way and I do thank my lucky stars. Just hope it carries on that way 🙄.

  • I have a good GP now but had to switch. My previous surgery just kept giving me mental health questionnaires. I'm sure I needed them, but I also needed for him to take me seriously that there was something wrong. After a year he tested me and saw I was indeed hypo. He kept me on the minimum dose of levo for a year and refused to refer me to an endo. I went privately and the man could see instantly I needed to double my dose and probably keep increasing until I got to 100mcg. I now see him on the NHS. He's not the answer to my prayers because when I showed him my saliva test results for very high cortisol, he basically shrugged.

  • Your experience seems to be what many have to go through and was what I feared would happen for me.

    I'm pleased you now have a better GP, mine isn't perfect but I could do a lot worse. From what I read on here not many GPs aren't clued up on adrenals, hope you can get a referral. I haven't gone down that path yet as I seem to be fairing well with current regime and not doing 'toxic' peeps helps a lot. My life is quite simple and my world is smaller but I'm more level and happy so good for now.

    Back next week for 2nd follow up, had bloods this morning. Currently on 100 but think I need a bit more. Just hope bloods say the same and I don't have too much of a battle. Will be armed with print off for TSH around 1 or below and my private TFTs.

    Edit - many GPS aren't clued up....

  • Good luck!

  • You too 🤗😊

  • Yes! See a functional nutritionist they can help you so much more than a general nutritionist

  • l'd try normal channels first - perhas you have. Someone rec a Marek Doyle on here who is also sport trainer. He seems have some good ideas for Low Cortisol but charges £180 a go - as do many now, and that may not be the end of it if we need blood tests which NHS wnt do if you are going private.

    l nearly went local Naturopath as written good book; told his wife l was on low income first, then couple days before she said that will be: £170 locally and £85 half hour. A friend had just been charged £1600 in London @ posh name clinic for blood tests in addition to consultation -so l am wary. Plus we are not guaranteed the result we need. My problem is more unusual and prob many do not understand it. Barely shows up in any books. Good luck

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