I have a question regarding being a vegan and having a hypothyroid. I have been vegan for 4 years and have watched it transform my life in AMAZING ways. First I lost 80lbs and went from a size 22 to a size 8. I have so much more energy (which is good for a single mom of 2 girls!) and I live a life that I am proud to show my girls.
Anyways, I was just diagnosed with having a hypothyroid and adrenal fatigue syndrome. After much research on the internet, I have come away very confused. Most modern medical research seems to say that a vegan diet is very hard on the thyroid and adrenals and most of the food I am supposed to avoid are vegetables! Most natural supplements are made from animals! I would hate to give up this lifestyle that has changed my life and made me and everyone around me happier people. But I want to be the healthiest I can be. Does anyone know anything or anyone who has successfully managed a hypothyroid or adrenal fatigue problem while maintaining a vegan diet?
I've seen success stories in the Kind Life forum, however most of those stories are of people who were diagnosed BEFORE going vegan. I have been vegan 4 years and just a few months ago was diagnosed. And apparently it's the adrenal glands that I really need to have corrected because the thyroid glands can correct themselves once my adrenals are right.
I have severe Hypothyroid disorder, and the vegan diet has done nothing but help me! You do have to avoid soy...I still use soy products occasionally, but I make sure that they are organic and as un-processed as possible when I do...maybe 2-3 times a month. As far as avoiding vegetables, there's certain ones you have to avoid eating certain ways, but that's it. You can't eat broccoli or cauliflower raw, but eating it cooked is okay (don't ask me why, but every single bit of information I have found out there says so!) and other random tidbits like that. But being vegan has been the best thing for my thyroid health.
Thanks Dani - I do avoid soy. Do you also have any issues with your adrenal glands? I have noticed that even on natural vegan meds, and eating a very balanced vegan diet that contains no processed foods I am still extremely tired and if I have a lot of trouble losing weight now. Previous to being diagnosed I lost weight at a normal healthy pace. Now I have to work extremely hard, and I still have 20lbs to go before my BMI is in the healthy range. When I say extremely hard I mean that literally I run 6 miles a day, spin twice a week for an hour, do a full weight circuit 6 days a week, and yoga every morning and still my weight doesn't budge anymore.
Do you still get tired or have any similar issues?
I do also suffer from adrenal fatigue. My hypothyroidism was diagnosed after going vegan, but my doctor suspects that I have been struggling with it for years prior. I'm constantly tired, and also work out almost excessively with no results. I gained 80 pounds in three months when my thyroid went out of control, going from a size 0 to a size 16. It was devastating...destroyed my dance career and many other parts of my life. In one year, working out 6-7 days a week for at least two hours minimum, and eating 1200 calorie diet, I have only lost 11 pounds. My body has reshaped though, as I am down to a size 10 from a 16, but it's still hard to look in the mirror, knowing how hard I work for no results. I'm on 200 mcg of Synthroid and do acupuncture 2x/month, but I understand your issues completely, I really do.
I almost cried when I read this because someone understands! I am so sorry that your dance career and other parts of your life were destroyed. It get's SO frustrating to work so hard and see no results. To walk down the street and know that your body doesn't reflect the amount of work you put into it. To see another girl walk by with a beautiful figure and know that you probably work twice as hard with no results. When I tell people, they politely suggest that maybe I'm not as consistent as I claim I am. And it hurts to know that people just assume that because I still have 20lbs to go and am no longer losing, that I must not be doing what I say I am. I wonder if there is a way to overcome this?
I don't know, but it does hurt. It hurts when I see pictures of myself, or look at my dance resume...it hurts when people tell me to just work out and eat healthy...ummm...excuse me?! It hurts when people tell me I just must have a slow metabolism...it's hard when people just don't understand. Do you have any other effects besides the weight? I have had to cut most my hair off...I lost so much that the only way to make it look "normal" was to cut it super short. My skin gets rashes constantly, my fingers and toes are constantly purple and I have extremely low body temperature. Hopefully someday they'll find something that really works for EVERYBODY dealing with this...
I've had Grave's disease (Hyperthyroidism) and after treatment have become hypothyroid. This all happened years before going vegan. I was hoping that a vegan diet may help me lose some weight, get some energy, things like that. Not yet though. Dani, I was just noticing how thin my hair is this morning and thinking of getting it cut. I'm almost always cold. I don't think there's any hope for my actual thyroid though as I think we killed it off. Looking forward to seeing if anyone has tried anything that works.
About a month ago my new naturopath diagnosed me with both as well. She gave me some homeopathic remedies for stress and fatigue and gave me iodine supplements as well. They do seem to be helping, as long as I eat right I feel good. When I cheat and eat things I am allergic/sensitive too I feel like I've been hit by a truck for a few days.
Look up info on unrefined virgin cold pressed,organic of course, coconut oil and thyroid health. Alot of people have been helped with thyroid issues after adding coconut oil to their diet. I just learned about this yesterday so I'm not all up on my reading so I'd suggest doing some online searches. I had some issues with low thyroid a couple years ago so I'm always looking for info on keeping the thyroid healthy. HTH
The concept of adrenal fatigue doesn't have a basis in the widely accepted medical field. It is a diagnosis made by those out of mainstream medicine. I have been unable to find reliable diagnostic criteria and treatment strategies in my research.
In the absence of a very rare adrenal tumor or auto immune process of destruction, there is simply no way for those of us that remain skeptical to see independent, objective evidence of this disorder.
It is possible that you may want to take this diagnosis with a grain of salt (iodized).
Thyroid disorders, on the other hand are quite common and the thyroid gland is very sensitive to our environment and the foods we eat. Animal protein appears to be the most common source of thyroid malfunction but other factors exist.
Vegan is good because it avoids animal protein but to address the other factors superhero is unrivaled.