(SAD = Standard American Diet)
This is merely a preliminary weekend blurb and I'll have much more to write later. Since my very well-received post on Paleo Problems the other day, I've had some interesting reports, mostly from women who've been doing their own n=1 self experimentation with iodine (Iodoral can be purchased from Amazon and has a combo of iodine and iodide at 12.5mg, equalling the average -- HUGE -- daily iodine consumption of the seaweed eating-Japanese).
The stories are strikingly similar. They go on Paleo, lose weight & feel great for 8-12 months, then crash. Weight loss stalls, they feel bad & depressed, are hungry, cold, and stop having their period. Could it be that eliminating processed food high in sodium (and iodized salt, since 70% of industrial salt is iodized) starts a process where the substrate for thyroid hormone, iodine, is depleted over time? I don't know, but that's my working hypothesis until somebody calls me an idiot.
Well, the second part to the story is that I have in the last few days received emails from three women -- one suffering amenorrhrea for many months -- who have essentially fixed all problems in days by supplementing iodine. I don't know all the levels being taken, but I think it's upwards of 12.5mg per day. One emailer lost 5 pounds in a week. Two others got their periods back.
On the other side of the issue, I have an email from a man who has gone from a TSH level of 6 to 38 (!!!) in a year or so. He's been taking 50mg of iodine for eight months. In my quick research on the issue, I note a number of sources that indicate iodine is a U-shaped curve, i.e., too little or too much can cause hypothyroid conditions. On the other hand, he reports feeling really great all the time. Again, I just wonder: what are the normal thyroid levels for true hunter gatherers? That said, no way that any natural diet would get you that much iodine chronically.
For myself, I have been hypo-t since way before going paleo. Now I take 120mg of desiccated thyroid per day. My numbers are now fine, within standard range, but I have cold hands and feet every morning, especially feet. It actually helps to just take off my shoes and go with just socks. The shoes, loose as they are, probably inhibit blood circulation. As soon as I eat, I get warm, and very quickly. The problem is that I find it very hard to eat before I'm hungry, which typically happens sometime between 10 and noon.
So, thinking caps on, everyone. We've got to drill this down.