My Diet is out of control, please help

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hi there, 

               I have greaves disease and an over active thyroid. However in the last few months itd gone from over to under active and vice versa. I have been told that this is normal and im it will be sorted out soon.

Currently, I am under the impression its gone underactive but I feel like I am underactive as I just want to sleep all the time and I have found it diffiult walking for long distances.

The key problem is my diet though. I have recently been craving chocolate and eating a lot of it. I also have been consuming a lot of diet coke. I am aware I am probably addicted...which is another issue all together, but I would just like some guidence on what I should be eating. 

I have a lot of anxiety and my body has been showing signs of stress, which is odd as I havent felt stressed.

My main question is how do you change your diet so rapidly and to suit greaves disease and if I change my diet can I do it overtime, as I am aware that eating chocoate and consuming caffine is just because I feel unwell, in other words, its temporary as im doing it based on how I feel. 

I have also been eating a lot of veg, noodles and fish recently. So my main meals are relatively healthy, its just the chocolate and caffine.

I'm also going through a stubborn phase of denial, I don't want to have this condition and i'm scared about how it will affect me in the future so im holding onto my old bad habits as long as I can, I suppose.

ALTHOUGH, if chocolate and caffine are going to be dangerous for me then I will throw them away asap

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12 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi kat,

    I was wondering whether you have had your adrenals/cortisol tested? Chances are with being so up and down they may be suffering with the stress of it.

    It is my understanding that adrenal issues can make you crave things like sugar, caffeine, salt and increased thirst.

    I am in the process of having dexamethasone suppression tests to check my cortisol levels as the random abd overnight tests came back higher than normal.

    I know how you feel it is tough when you crave these things and hormone imbalances are difficult enough to deal with anyway

    I hope you get the help you need and let me know if you have any questions

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    • Posted

      Thank you for replying, your comment made me perk up and run out and buy loads of meat, veg, fruit and green tea. I have been brought up on a diet where anything such as musli, bran flakes or porriage never appealled to me and I wasn't encouraged to eat it so I've nearly had 21 years of not the worst diet in the world but one that is limited. 

      Anyway, you comment motivated me and after a few chocoates tonight, that I bought before I read your post lol, I am going to force myself to like all this stuff.

      I have had my cortisol tested, the last test was two weeks ago and after having my doctor tell me I may be a little underactive and a blood test I have had no letter or contact from him telling me to lower my dosage or anything so I suppose that has been at the back of my mind. 

      More so as when I am typing this or walking down the street my legs and hands ache. I've been eating lots of veg and salmon so I would be suprised if it were an iron decicientcy. 

       I don't think I have had an adrenals test, to be honest I am so new to the process the terminology seems to differ from what stages people are at to what country they are in and to how good their doctor is. 

      Although, I will call my gp and make an appointment and query the test. Thank you for your help it is sooooooo appreciated. 


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    • Posted

      Hi kat- aww glad you are feeling a bit better today smile

      Which cortisol tests have you had? In the UK there are a few. Usually in the following order:

      Random cortisol (isnt very meaningful)

      Overnight dexamethasone suppression test (you are prescribed a dexamethasone tablet which you take the night before then have your cortisol tested the next morning at 9am

      Low dose dexamethasone suppression test where you take dexamethasone tablets every six hours (which means waking yourself up at 3am - I have this to look forward to!). You are tested on the Monday at 9am then Wednesday at 9am then according to your results on Wednesday (I.e. If your cortisol has still not been adequately suppressed), they will do a high dose dexamethasone suppression test on the Friday (you just take a higher dose from weds onwards).

      These tests are for cushings disease (where too much cortisol is produced by the body).

      I believe there are also tests for Addison disease where the adrenals fail (but you would usually have severe symptoms if you had this).

      Adrenals are usually used as an alternative word to cortisol- to my understanding they are the same thing.

      All you can do is try and limit the bad food you have in the house and stock up on protein rich low sugar snacks to avoid temptation. The longer you resist sugary foods, the easier it will become to limit the amount you have (although this is easier said than done!!) Lots of people with thryoid conditions also find that giving up gluten can help ease some symptoms. It helped me with IBS and some find their energy levels improve.

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    • Posted

      after reading and digesting the cortisol test information I don't think i've had any of them. I've just been taking carbmimizole since April 2015 and had some bood tests. They are currently looking to give me the block and replace method. 

      I also had two cysts in my stomach in May 2015 which caused the thyroid to be in the background as it were. Due to the cyst I may be behind on blood tests or something.

      I'll call my gp tomorrow morning and query about cushings disease. Is cushings disease dangerous and is it linked to thyroid problems or something completely different ?

      Thank you for replyingxx

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  • Posted

    Bless your heart, I understand how difficult this is.

    In many ways the fear of my illness has really gotten me to change my diet. I'm NOT perfect, but for most part, it has helped tremendously.

    I very much limit flour products, sugar, caffeine, they are all very stimulating causing me to want more. Also high glycemic veggies that convert to sugars  too easily can cause sugar reactions.  Perhaps try to just taste those things you crave, but then walk away happy.  A lot of our health is such a mind game. Ugh... I'm going through trying to change my thinking to food as fuel, not bringing me happiness I think it brings. It's a process, but I must believe I can stop eating the bad for me things and replace it with other activities not related to putting food/drink in my body. 

    My doctor stresses me to alway eat protein with everything, verses just alone, especially fruit. 

    Changing our habits can take long time, but trying every day will help us! smile 

    Anxiety is so darn bad for us. Must replace it with present moment, simple things. Keep researching and asking questions.

    Best of luck to you. Hope you find relief soon, and for all of us. 

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    • Posted

      I was reading a book last night called '50 psychology ideas you really need to know' and thats the only way I suddenly realised that I fit the symptoms of being stressed, but I found it strange how I hadn't realised and that it was almost just in the background. 

      I then started to get emotional because I personally believe that this whole thyriod malfunction occured or was triggered by stress. 

      Thank you for giving me so much detail on the foods that you eat, I have just been to the supermarket and bought chicken, salmon and steak. Along with a mango, tomatos, broccoli, porriage, green tea , gluten free pasta and mini digestive biscuits. Would you say from looking at that list I am on the right track, I do hope so.

      I was told to eat anything and everything, then now I haven't been given any guidence about my diet and on one hand I want to keep my bad habits and on the hand I want to be reduce the syptoms as much as I can, or at least attempt too.

      I have been adopting a positive mindset though which has wavered a bit this winter. Hopefully once spring/summer sets in all us thyroid patients can do outside and do yoga whilst drinking water which will reduce our stress and the problem can go away, yeah, I may be in deep denial about it still. 

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    • Posted

      Do you like casseroles? Theyre a really easy way to eat more healthily. Especially if you have a slow cooker. Chop all the vegetables the night before and put in a plastic bag in th fridge. Next morning tip the prepared vegetables and diced meat in a slow cooker with some herbs and stock. It will be ready when you get in wt night. I found getting in from work hungry was the time I was most likely to hit the quick unhealthy foods like chocolate and crisps. This way I ate casserole instead. 'Somerset pork' is nice.
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    • Posted

      Are you in uk? If so register with freecycle As I git my slow cooker free from someone on there. Say you want email notifications so you can reply straight away that you want something.
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  • Posted

    Hello Kat0:

    My name is Shelly and I am a nurse in the USA.  I have Hashimoto's thyroid disease which is autoimmune like Graves.

    Avoid Gluten as it causes flare-ups in the thyroid.  Do not drink soda as it is pure carb!  The diet ones can contain aspartane and it can cause headaches.  It is also bad for losing weight.  You should cut it down slowly and limit the soda intake to 2 cans a day then cit down to 1 can a day and then 1/2 a can and then ZERO.  You will have to try it and go slow but it can be done. Drink water and or a flavor enhancer to water.  It is also better for the kidneys as they don't get bogged down with sugary type things.

    Do try and eat good foods like Baked Salmon, lean meats, chicken, salads, and avoid sweets.  Look at package labels and look at the carb load and ingredients.

    Have a check up of your heart and Oxygen levels since you should not be out of energy.  Many thyroid patients can have heart problems and also have your TSH and T4 and T3 levels done.  Vit D and B-12 also need to be checked and blood cortisol as the thyroid does work with the adrenal glands.

    Do try to walk a bit, do it slow only a few minutes at the start, then after a week increase it slowly.

    Diet is the fuel for the body and you must take it seriously.  Bad diet habits can cause kidney damage and liver problems.  Also no Alcohol or Beer as it is pure carbs also.

    Keep us posted, any questions just ask.



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    • Posted

      Shelly reminded me... I never would have thought my Vit D would ever be low, I go outside often, don't wear much sun screen. But I was below normal!  

      Insurance doesn't like to test Vit D very often and I don't think doctors think about it. So have it tested. 

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