Thyroid UK
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Increased life expectancy of folks with Hypothyroidism

I was very surprised to learn today that people like myself that suffer from an Underactive Thyroid may actually have an increased life expectancy.

In the UK the average life expectancy for a Man is 78 years.

This is increased to 93 years old for a Man with an Underactive Thyroid.

It should be noted that you should be tested regularly around once every 3 months.

Take the correct medication and the right dosage.

I take mine as soon as I wake up, this give me time to shower , brush my teeth and get dressed before eating my Breakfast which is usually 3 boiled eggs and a cup of coffee.

Immediately before I have my breakfast and get a 2 tablespoons of Apple Cider Vinegar in to a glass and add cold water and an ice cube and drink it.

This has lead to me losing around 20kg of excess body fat without crash dieting or increased physical exercise in the past year.

THIS WAS RECOMMENDED BY GP. PLEASE CONSULT YOUR OWN FOR PROFESSIONAL ADVICE BEFORE EMBARKING ON IT.

I usually skip lunch altogether and eat a meal of either meat or fish with a salad.

Any pudding you like.

Before the evening meal I also take 2 XLS medical tablets.

Since my new very easy to follow changes, I have lost weight, and my medication has been reduced from 100mcg (Levothyroxine) to just 25mcg (Levothyroxine).

My TFT are showing at 6, which is just slightly above normal and I feel refreshed.

Last thing at night, I drink 1 small glass (equivalent to 2x shots) or Rum.

I do not know why, but my Doctor said a small amount of alcohol before bed can in some people actually improve Liver function, just don't over do it.

So there you have it. You can reverse a lot issues associated with the disease and still hopefully have a long and happy Life.

Biz hundert un tsvantsik (Yiddish)

(May you live) until the age of 120. (A wish for long life.) English

I have added the link below for you to read.

uk.reuters.com/article/us-t...

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I'm glad that you are doing well on the thyroid treatment that you are currently taking.

However, I really think it is unlikely that I'll be following in your footsteps. If I had to choose between quantity of life and quality of life I would always, always, always opt for the best possible quality. I watched my mother and an aunt suffer very poor health for the last 20 years of their lives (roughly a quarter of their lives in each case), and I don't want to be like them.

If I reduce my thyroid medication I can't think, my entire body is in pain and my memory disappears. And I'm only in my 50s. The idea of reducing my medication and spending the next 35 - 40 years like that would be my idea of hell.

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I know where you're coming from... I'm 34 and I've been suffering since I was about 27 - I have awful body pain, sometimes I find it so depressing. To a degree I find diet helps. When I cut out wheat and sugar and "ate clean" a lot of problems went - that being said, I don't think I'd want to reduce medication, it was the only time I felt anywhere near normal. I went off the diet after I met my significant other and he thought I was being pretentious *eye roll* (in fairness it was also an easy excuse). Going to try and get back into it now, it's just so hard after you stop!

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Hi Humanbean, I agree with you entirely, I'm in my fifties too and would suffer in exactly the same way. My Doctor told me to cut down the egg intake to no more than 2 a week (cholesterol too high, I also have laying hens!!) Not sure if it's the eggs alone or what you tend to eat with them :)

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I wouldn't listen to your doctor with regards to eggs, they are super good for and it's been proven now that they don't raise cholesterol. I have laying hens too and I often have 2 eggs a day!

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Eggs are not a cholestrol problem. I have 1 egg a day for breakfast and feel better with a protein start to the day. Since my thyroid has been treated with the correct medication dosage my cholestrol levels have dropped so the doctor took me off cholestrol medication. It now is in the normal range. I went from a high reading to a low reading that is why I was taken off medication.

It is all horse for courses ... it is so individual the treatment etc reqiired for the feeling of wellness.

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Your doctor clearly doesn't know the latest research that shows eating food with cholesterol in does not affect your cholesterol levels. Everything they told people about about using polyunsaturated fats and cutting out all sorts of good foods like eggs & avocados was not just wrong but PUFAs can actually be harmful.

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My doctor has approved my diet including eggs and avacardo. He put me onto cholestrol meds because my cholestrol was high. I am a diabetic, am a coeliac and other autoimmune problems. Now my under active throid meds have brought me into balance and the cholestrol has dropped he took me off the cholestrol medication.

They seem to want to err on the side of caution when you are a diabetic with your blood pressure, cholestrol etc.

He keeps adjusting meds as readings improve.

My next problem is to get my sugar teadings back down to around 6.2. It has gone up to 7.8 so doc not happy. Waiting until I finish the long dosage of antibiotics for chronic sinus infection. It could be the infection in sinus and stomach causi g the higher reading.

I think you miss understood what I was trying to say regarding the cholestrol.

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No I think I just put my reply in the wrong place, :) my comment was in relation to dabdab being told to cut down eggs. Reading all about the links between hypothyroidism and high cholesterol, diabetes, autoimmune diseases is fascinating because they are all totally interrelated and I don't think many GPs know much about it.

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I know you are right. My GP is very good but told me my TSH etc was OK. I never seemed to improve as one step forward 3 backwards.

Then I went to a functional doctor and 12 months later the improvement started. He is the first doctor that I came away with 40 sheets which included blood tests and explanation sheets for what was happening in the body.

I have been unwell for years and my coeliac and DH (dermatitis heptaformis - think it is spelt that way) the skin condition of coeliac was blamed.

Lots of other problems including 4 virus infections.

I think my poor immune system just was not coping.

It really is facinating and not just GPs get it wrong, so do specialists. Just wish I had the cash in the bank we have spent on my health issues and medications. Lol 😂😂😂

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Yep, studies showed that polyunsaturates reduced cholestereol and might have reduced deaths from CVD, but overall death rates (esp from cancer) for all causes increased in that group. So not a good idea.

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If your cholesterol is high, it's because you're hypo, not because of the eggs! Even if you ate three eggs a day, like the OP, it would be a mere drop in the ocean of the cholesterol required by your body to be healthy. Cholesterol is made in the liver and has little to do with what you eat.

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Thanks Greygoose, I'm at my wits end with the local surgery😭

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Well, it's just another thing that doctors know nothing about. They get a large part of their education from sales reps, apparently never suspecting that a SALES rep is selling something, and therefore tends to be biased.

Never, ever take dietary advice from a doctor! :)

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greygoose It's called FOLLOW THE MONEY . Many Dr's suffer from that syndrome .

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Indeed.

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Mine is within normal range and I eat 3 eggs for breakfast to start my day. Have done this regime for almost 2 years now.

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I heard somewhere about Japanese women, at some period of history, eating up to 30 eggs a day, because it was believed they made you beautiful. I think I'd rather stay ugly! I do like the occasional egg, but 30 a day...

Pity there were no cholesterol tests at that time. They might have gathered some interesting data.

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Ah, but studies show that the higher the cholesetrol, the longer you live - how else can you make hormones?

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The type of Cholesterol found in eggs cannot be absorbed by he Human Body. This is a widely known fact. I think your Doctor is Quakers. (Pun intended).

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I don't see what his religion has to do with it. Or did you mean 'quackers'?

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Oops I missed your link and it is the same study as below done in 2010

google.co.uk/amp/mobile.reu...

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As a couple of others have pointed out, who wants more years added to your life when your quality of life is crappy. Its not really a bonus. My guess is that it might be extending life similar to low calorie diet or low IGF/GH. With the slower metabolism, there is less/slower cellular turnover so your telomeres last longer. I was really surprised to read of the difference in life expectancy. A lot more than I would have guessed and I'd want to see how comprehensive the study was.

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Maybe what hes done is cut out the foods that he is sensitive to....and is following a low carb diet. I certainly find that way is the only way to maintain some control over my weight despite being well medicated. Its well known that apple cider is good for your liver....though two tablespoons with ice & water sounds hard going....I was told one teaspoon before meals.

I think the lowering of thyroid medication is absolutely down to the individual need. Personally 3 1/2 grains is the lowest I can do and that is only in hot weather...probably because my thyroid has long dince since ceased functioning.

Of course too low a dose for the individual is linked to higher colestrol, blood pressure and heart failure.....

As for long levity.....I agree quality of life is also important. Some people who are fit spritely and well do very well in their nineties.....but they are unusual. Not seen anyone in their hundreds living an active independent life doing what they enjoy. Is it the fruitegenerans who believe they can live well into their hundreds & being vegitarian is linked to longlevity plus fasting is meant to rest the body reducing stress.

Personally I think the dementia degeneration of our brains is more likely to hit us then our actual body function decline and be the reason for death. Having watched several of my relatives go through that process stripping them of all who they are Id personally rather go before that hits me. .

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I am seeing my brother-in-law who is 86 slipping very quickly into dementia and my mother-in-law who is 92 and well down the dementia pathway.

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Am so sorry to hear that bonnyaus. Horrible process to watch loved ones go through. ☹️☹️ Hugs xx

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Yes it is. Just watching the confusion in their faces and the mix up in their memory is very sad.

My mother-in-law has had major health issues from her late 40's including pernicious anemia which was not trested very well.

My brother-in-law has never been the same since he had a tripple bypass etc.

Neither really looked after themselves in regards to health and diet. 😒

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I indeed eat a very low carb diet. Carbohydrates if you think about are foreign to the body. In nature we were designed to eat vegetables with a little and occasion meat and as recent studies have shown a large amount of fish.

In fact the human metabolism thrives off fish.

The problem with our bodies is we are trying to make out bodies cope with foods it wasn't really designed to eat. We eat them because they are readily available, cost effective, taste nice etc but in Nature we are simply designed to eat small amounts of fish and some vegetables.

I understand where many of you are coming from about the final years of life and the fears of bad health blighting and enduring pain in those final years. Unfortunately decisions we make in our 30/40/50s will determine our fate. Of course dementia etc will happen regardless of diet and lifestyle choices.

The point I was making was you are more likely to live longer with an underactive thyroid that with a normal functioning one.

I lowered my medication not out of a whimsical choice, but because my bloods showed I no longer needed to be on such a high dose of 100mcg.

I control my diet, fish and veg with eggs strictly to avoid making my thyroid work so hard. The extra Thiamine in Fish reduces the auto immune resistance I have to Thyroxine making it more effective and therefore needing less.

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'I lowered my medication not out of a whimsical choice, but because my bloods showed I no longer needed to be on such a high dose of 100mcg.'

This would carry more water if you actually gave your full bloods - FT4 and FT3. But your TSH says that you need a lot more than 25 mcg. Most people, with a TSH of 6, would be pretty ill, regardless of their diet.

It could, of course, be that you have a pituitary problem causing that high TSH, and that your Frees are perfect. But, you don't give us that information, which makes this all a little bit suspect. :)

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'my medication has been reduced from 100mcg (Levothyroxine) to just 25mcg (Levothyroxine).'

And your TSH has gone up to 6! Why? What is the point of that? What do you think you gain by reducing your levo to the point where you become hypo again? Do you really think that's healthy?

I'm not sure the XLS is a good idea, either. Do you know how that works? It works by binding fat to fibres so that the fat is excreted rather than absorbed. So, what you actually have is a low-fat diet - and consequently low-calorie. Do you think low-fat diets are healthy? Actually, they aren't. The body needs fat. And, low-calorie diets impact negatively on conversion - which has probably contributed to the rise in your TSH.

Frankly, I think your regime is decidedly unhealthy, even if you have lost weight, and I agree with humanbean, I won't be following in your footsteps, either. It would actually rather surprise me if you made it to 78, let alone 93.

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Haha, I saw an article on tv about Naked Mole Rats.

They live 40-50 years due to their Low Metabolism.

I remember thinking that's me good for another 100 years then!

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Good morning,

That doesn't sound like a good idea to me, I aggree with Humanbean and Greygoose.

I can not believe that your life expectancy is increased with this awful condition, after all once you have it, it then leads on to another illness and another. Skipping meals is very bad especially with those with Adrenal Fatique, eating every three to four hours is recommended by Dr Barry Peatfield and that advice always worked for me.

Sorry I don't mean to be negative but this sounds like a very bad protocol and in time may cause problems

Best wishes

Debs

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It's interesting. My Grandma was hypo since she was in her 40's at diagnosis. She ate pretty much anything she wanted and was a healthy weight. She lived to 102. I sometimes thought she was under medicated but only after they put her in the nursing home at 95!

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Hello Guysgram, i'm so glad your Grandma lived to be a ripe age. I think if hypothyroidism is picked up soon enough then problems don't occur. For a lot of us who were left for years life is hell and to be honest I personally wouldn't want to live to a ripe old age like this. In fact when things are really bad I hope I don't wake up in the morning. When your body is against you and nothing is working properly and your full of horrid symptoms the quality of life just isn't there

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Hi Kitten whiskers.....I didnt realise Peatfields recommends eating every 3-4hrs. Is that only with adrenal fatigue.....which I no longer have thank goodness!!

For me eating three times a day, one of those is only a snack and eating when I feel hungry rather then by times seems to work much better in how I feel, energy levels and in helping me to manage my weight. For example if Ive had a really big meal the day before perhaps for a special occassion I have noticed the next morning I usually dont feel hungry so I go with that and eat later. My body seems to even its way out this way. Thats only me and everyone is different....lol.

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Hello Waveylines, yes eating every three to four hours is for people with Adrenal Fatique (Sorry I should have made that clearer) Thankfully I don't have adrenal fatique anymore, but still need to eat little and often. I am starting to wonder if blood sugar is an issue because if I get hungry I start to feel really ill. I can never eat a normal size meal otherwise I get really bloated and my tummy hurts : <

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Hi Kittenwhiskers. I also often felt bloated and needed to eat more frequently or had sugar cravings. However since following a low carb diet all of that has gone & I don't need to eat so frequently....my bloatedness etc also disappeared butbif I drop my current diet then all the symptoms flood back & then I regret it!!

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waveylines Sometimes the sugar cravings can be the result of candida in the tummy. I had this last year...the carving were unbelievable! Never known anything like it. I had adrenal fatigue too - any stress can knock my meds out of sync and cause problems but eventually get back on track when stress settles, takes time though.

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It does indeed take time Ursula. ☹️ Lol. Now my adrenals are recovered & have a diet that suits me I dont get the sugar cravings.....unless my meds are out of wack, am excessively tired or stressed. I dont have candida thank goodness so dont need to tread that route. I also believe its a sugar addiction too. I notice that if I allow myself a treat that is sweet hey presto I want more. Therefore dont keep sugary products in my home. Am talking about added sugar not those with natural sugar content such as fruit.

I think my bloatedness comes from a sensitivity to grains....as soon as I allow them back in wow my tummy hurts and bloats. I tested negative for celiacs. I wasnt like this before developing hypothyroidism so I believe its linked to the condition in some way, for me at least..... If I eat potato or sweet potaoes then this doesnt happen.....however I only have small portions once per week of them as we all need a bit of high carb every so often. Anymore then that and I put weight back on.....lol.

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It is A bit if a mine field! And we are all so different, and affected in all sorts if both similar and different ways. Hence the idea that one pill suits all is just ludicrous!. I HAD test for coeliac, told Dr had been.off gluten for 6 to 8 wks. Still went ahead with test. Was sometime later I realised test no good need to be eating gluten normally for test!! Dr must have known that? More wasted NHS money! That said don't think I'm coeliac...condition....

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Morning Waveylines,

Thank you for the advise I wiil certainly try that. Next month I am hoping to start the heal your gut diet by Lee Holmes - hopefully that will be very benefical x

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I dont know that book Kitten whiskers but I hope it works for you. Key is optomising your thyroid meds. Hope it works for you. 😊😊

It was a good endocrinologist who recommended the low carb diet when I complained about my ten year struggle of controlling my weight since diagnosis....even with optimal thyroid treatment. Spot on for me and am very grateful for the advice given. Its still a struggle and I definately need far less food than I did. Guess that makes for cheaper living though!! Haha!!!

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Good evening Waveylines,

It does sound like a good plan and I am shocked an endrocrinologist suggested it, I will be following that once I have healed my gut.

Sadly I have major trouble with Thyroid medications and will always remain very undermedicated but I can not do anything about that but I keep trying other things.

Best wishes

Debs

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In the article, lower thyroidal function doesn't mean that values are below-range or in the case of TSH, above range, but simply that they are within the ranges but at lower levels. This doesn't mean that being even mildly hypothyroid is good for you but simply that to live longer you need the genetic traits that place you low in the function range and apparently extend lifespan. If you don't know what your values were in perfect health, then living with lower thyroid function on treatment won't necessarily be a good thing. You might have been average or high in range in health and then keeping your values low in range on treatment will not link your fate to those with healthy lower function.

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Others have covered most of what you say, but what I want to know is this...why do you clean your teeth before eating your breakfast?

Surely you would have a healthier mouth if you cleaned them afterwards!

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There was research years ago that showed those who cleaned their teeth before breakfast had better teeth and gums.

Anyway the research was found to be be biased because it ignored the impact of genetics, being a non-smoking and diet e.g. low sugar diet, diet with limited/no fuzzy drinks.

However what was agreed is that you should not clean your teeth within 30 minutes of eating a meal as lots of foods are acidic so cleaning your teeth after eating means you are wearing away your tooth enamel. (Likewise if you throw up don't clean your teeth immediately wait about an hour but rinse your mouth with water in the meantime. )

So as you have to clean your teeth twice a day especially if you eat later you just clean them first thing as it helps to ensure you make more saliva.

(And yes do clean my teeth before eating breakfast - though I don't eat immediately afterwards most days - and I have been told I have good teeth and gums by multiple dentists. )

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Hi I also didn't realise that you need to eat every 3to4 hrs, I'm back on the 5/2diet to help me loose the weight I gained when gp decreased my meds, so now wondering if I'm doing the right thing, by the way got my meds back up to where they were before so am hoping this will help I have lost half a stone in the last month but still need to shift another stone.i would also choose quality over quantity of life cause what's the point of living till your old if you can't enjoy it.

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Seems odd when untreated hypo people die with heart problems and dementia - perhaps it jsut takes a long time. I do remember a study that showed that thre is a small group of people with naturally high normal TSH and no hypo symptoms, but that's not the same as being hypo. Lies, damn lies and statistics.

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I think if you've found a regime that works for you and you're feeling good then that's fantastic. I never understand when so many feel the need to put a negative spin on things. You're ultimately following a fairly low carb regime which is a winner for hypothyroidism not convinced on the xls though! Rum sounds good. I quite like a brandy occasionally 😀. We have slow metabolisms so we either eat accordingly or get fat. It's just something we have to accept as part of our condition

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I realise that writing a negative response to a positive post can appear to be ... mean (?) perhaps.

But this forum is mostly used by people who have not got well on standard treatment protocols for thyroid treatment. So when someone comes along and mentions how wonderful they feel on treatment that has kept many of us feeling ill, it can be grating for those of us who don't and who have had many decades of no treatment or the wrong treatment or who have been under-medicated for years.

Perhaps the answer for me personally is to not answer posts like this one. :)

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I agree with waveylines - you are much needed on this forum - whichever way you respond. Always an excellent read - and I learn loads too :-)

Keep up the good work ...

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Humanbean, if my post has caused you distress, then I sincerely apologise, this was not and never has been my intention.

I hope you find a path that works for you.

Cheers

Autan

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No, I'm not distressed. Just a bit grumpy sometimes. :)

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Awww humanbean please dont stop replying. I always find your posts interesting, informative & thought provoking....that includes posts in response to positive posts. 😊😊

And yes its hard when youve struggled with your health to sometimes read others posts who are flying along. Personally I think they are refreshing & they give a different spin....good to hear from people who have found a way forward that works for them. It also highlights how incredibly diverse the world of hypothyroidism truly is.......

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I found a very low carb diet. Eating as much fish as I can stand worked for me. I understand it will not work for many people. Hypothyroidism is a complex disease with many causes and effects and that means they are also many solutions.

I, myself struggled with depression following my diagnosis, erectile disfunction was causes me anxiety because I could respond to my Wife. Like many people on here I did the research and tried many things and most like all worked a little bit, but none of them made much of a significant different.

Only the Vegan Diet (Raw), rather than cooked seemed to elevate my moods. I found adding fish to a cooked Vegan diet, avoid cheese, yohurts and full cream milks helped significantly.

Keep trying different things, and try to be keep optimistic that is a must.

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My mother lived to 90, I always thought she was undiagnosed HypEr as opposed to HypO. There is no way she could have done everything she did unless she was HypEr. She could stay up all night sewing clothes and be washing at 6a, in the morning (by hand, for a whole family - 7 kids) and still get through the day coking and cleaning etc etc. She died of Thyroid cancer last year...

I have an aunt who is nearly 95, independent and was diagnosed HypEr T about 7- 8 years ago. Lots of HypEr and some HypO (me) in family. I can see lots undiagnosed too!

I somehow always associated the longer life with HypEr rather than HypO.

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I'm 34 and feel drained all the time along with other thyroid symptoms. I'd rather die at 50 if it meant living a healthy life and not this life I currently have.

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The research behind the article doesn't quite come up to the same conclusion as yours, autan. The research is all about whether or not there are genetic factors that render persons in families with long-living siblings as themselves (example: a person of ninety years of age who has at least one other sibling who is living that long, etc.) and both have a higher than expected TSH.

They also mention that the study group participants all have middle-aged offspring who also have elevated TSH.

From there the leap frogging goes rather wild. LOL We all should know that as we age our TSH elevates. It is a process I think not natural but due to the diminishing absorption of nutrients necessary for thyroid hormones to convert. So it is not surprising by any means that the TSH of those in the study (ninety years of age or older) all had elevated TSH. They also don't really discuss the health of these individuals as the criteria is limited to their age and having another sibling of the same longevity.

It is never surprising to find siblings who live to be a ripe old age. They grew up in the same household with the same habits. This, in my opinion, is more likely the reason for their longevity in life. Good habits most often equate to good health. The fact that both of them now have elevated TSH can be attributed to the fact that they are in what possibly can be the last decade of their lives. The body is winding down and systems are not as optimal as they were in the prime of life. Thus the elevated TSH.

The fact that their adult middle-aged children all have elevated TSH is meaningless, as the health of the offspring is not known.

But we do now know that using TSH as a measure of thyroid function is not accurate by any means.

The reality of the 2010 study is that it has since been proven (time and again) that what is deemed "normal" TSH for people should not be used in such a generalized fashion (if at all). Instead, TSH should be quantified by the use of specifying groups and appropriate ranges for those groups (example: gender, age, ethnicity, and perhaps [which the study contemplates] family history).

What this particular study does not do is make any real claim that being hypothyroidism can help render one with a longer life. That is not the purpose of the study nor did they imply such.

The term "underactive" is highly subjective, especially when dealing with TSH. What is underactive for one person may be perfect or perhaps even overactive for another, and so forth. What this all means is that it is a study that used a faulty criteria (TSH) as a basis for their inquiries and conclusions.

Remember, the study in question was done in 2010. Since that time (actually, for a long time before that) TSH is being found to be an inadequate measure of thyroid function. TSH can be used to indicate the need for further tests (if thyroid function appears it may be dysfunction); but most who keep up on their medical journals now know that TSH alone is never to be used for the diagnosis of thyroid dysfunction or for dosing thyroid hormones or anti-thyroid drugs (often used in treating hyperthyroidism). TSH alone tells us little.

Interesting though, autan!

Looking at what you do for your hypothyroidism is interesting but again, not surprising. We all do what we have to do to feel better. But what works for us may not work for others, as they may be at a completely different juncture than ourselves.

The thing to remember is that hypothyroidism has over 300 symptoms. This means that just like no one size fits all when it comes to treatment for hypothyroidism, there are many levels and varying degrees of hypothyroidism that demand attention in different ways. Some who would skip a lunch as you do would be in big trouble doing so. For those persons, to skip a meal is akin to inviting diabetes into their lives.

Everyone is different and at a different juncture in their journey with hypothyroidism. There are some basic things to discover, like correcting the lack of stomach acid (what you do with apple cider vinegar is a trick that is hundreds of years old but truly effective for some). Stomach acid is necessary for us to absorb the nutrients from our foods and supplements. Without adequate nutrients the thyroid cannot function properly, whether or not we have a working thyroid or not. The thyroid hormone replacement Thyroxine (T4) needs nutrients vital for conversion into the active thyroid hormone T3.

Thanks so much for posting this, autan. I found it enjoyable perusing the full study.

Hope you enjoy my reply.

Hugs!

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Thanks for explanation on thyroid conversion

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