Puzzle Pieces ... Low Carb & Thyroid
So ... it' been a while, almost a human gestation period, since I reported my miraculous selenium insomnia cure. In a nutshell, I started taking Se to see if it might help and within days I was sleeping like a baby through the night. Although I found adding starches in somewhat difficult at first, I've also recently made clear that I'm eating a good 100g/day most days now ... at least that would be the average ... for starch. I still eat a lot of veggies that I don't bother counting the carbs in and fruit several times a week, so probably getting about 150g perhaps up to 200 total grams of carbs these days.
I'm now officially through menopause -- over two years now -- and though I find the Estroven helpful still, I'm not real regular about taking it anymore. When my current stock is gone I'll probably not buy more. (Ladies if you have a Costco membership it's really cheap there and worth trying in my opinion!). I haven't had a hot flash or dealt with night sweats in well over a year now. I've also slacked on the selenium ... which brings me to my point.
Look folks, whatever it is, long term very low carbing does not agree with a lot of people. And for me VLC was like my autopilot default setting for over 2 years with wonderful weight loss results and many feelings of good health and all that. So I can certainly relate to the fear or trepidation or whatever of change and not wanting to acknowledge a feeling of "drift" if you will. What do I mean by that? Well in 2009 I had pretty much plateaued out low carbing and what was odd was that some of those things I thought LC had likely cured or helped incredibly ... well those returned slowly and I found myself not wanting to admit it.
Now whether it's thyroid or whatever -- and I do hate those "if you answered yes to two of these 10 questions you might be XYZ" quizzes -- I've always had some of the symptoms ... especially the sensitivity to cold. Despite other improvements, my fingernails were paper thin and I had to get my nails "done" in 2009. But I am pretty much one of those people who only goes to the doc if I've got a problem, though as I age I'm trying to get better at that. I did have the routine thyroid test done and all was normal. I'm still trying to find an endo that's not into HCG (I was all set to get a full workup with one that looked so promising until I saw her on TV hawking that diet -- sorry, I just can't go there) and optimally takes our insurance. But in the meantime, perhaps some puzzle pieces just fell into place.
Maybe low carb depletes selenium ... and maybe that impairs thyroid function ... or whatever ... and who knows, maybe I'm like an Inuit banana eater in January or something ... but maybe it's leptin receptor sensitivity that goes out of whack and throws me off circadian cicles or something. But selenium fixed a problem I didn't even think was related to my diet -- insomnia -- and now even though I've pretty much stopped taking it I'm still sleeping well. And what got me thinking was that Richard Nickoley recently mentioned in one of his carb experiment posts that he's sleeping better these days.
So whether it's rT3 or whatever, or something totally unrelated, I've been noticing lately that a lot of low carbers seem to have trouble sleeping. As I did. And I spent two years writing it off to stress and such when that certainly hasn't changed and here I am sleeping normally again. Of course it could be that the female hormones have settled out too, but I suffered on and off with insomnia well before menopause hit, so I'm pretty sure that's not it ... especially since I had such an abrupt turnaround with the Se.
I'll end this with a fizzle because I don't really have some profound point to make. I just thought I'd share that now I sleep a LOT better w/o supplements. Is it something in the carb foods? Or perhaps something the VLC metabolism sapped? Can't know for sure b/c I don't do a lot of testing. But I for one can't dismiss the reportings of low carb malaise that seems to crop up after a while in so many. So to add to sentiments from a recent post, if some anecdotes are relevant (and they can be), then ALL anecdotes should be relevant. I'm not telling anyone to change what's working for them, but I do think we all have a tendency to rationalize and convince ourselves that things are going along swimmingly when they really aren't. If you are a low carber and your sleep is disturbed, it's something to consider changing.
I've been up too late tonight! Nighty nite peeps!