Writen by Peter (@Gothic_football):
Let me start by saying I am not a doctor and I am merely relaying my personal experience with living a paleo lifestyle. I have been living my personal version of paleo since mid August 2012. Yes, that’s a relatively short period of time but my life has completely changed.
A thyroid disorder
I started paleo not out of a desire to lose weight, but because I have a thyroid disorder. I had been diagnosed with my disorder two years prior to starting paleo. My doctor put me on medicine to correct my disorder, but it wasn’t helping all my thyroid related issues. I was suffering from non stop heartburn, vomiting, frequent diarrhea, weight gain, and my all time favorite panic attacks! My panic attacks had got to the point I had actually gone to the hospital convinced I was having a heart attack. My doctor told me it would get better once they got my medicine adjusted. After two years, I was desperate for any relief from the effects of my thyroid issue.
I started looking around online reading blogs from others who suffered from thyroid disorders. I saw several people that had reported some relief by going gluten free. So, I started looking into gluten free eating which looked cool, but I started seeing links and references to paleo and the caveman diet. I started reading and was very impressed with what i was reading.
Seeing people claim that switching to paleo had helped them with a wide range of different medical issues. I figured that even if I tried and failed it couldn’t be worse than what I was already dealing with. So, armed with only a little knowledge I had gleamed from paleo websites and blogs; I started. No slow start and no baby steps! Simply switched from non paleo to paleo.
Without knowing it a friend from work had been living paleo for several years already. Once he heard I had gone paleo he dropped a burnt CD full of tons of info and cook books dealing with the paleo lifestyle. This was a huge help especially with figuring out different cooking ideas.
Relief from most of my thyroid issues
I started seeing relief from most of my thyroid issues within the first two weeks. However, around week three I realized I hadn’t had a panic attack in about a week.
For the first time in two years I wasn’t dealing with the overwhelming feeling of dread and angst. Once the panic attacks had ended this convinced me that the paleo lifestyle was truly for me. If I had any craving up to this point they all vanished. No more missing all the junk food I had been living off before switching.
I never did a cheat day because I had no desire for the food that cause me so many problems. The only non paleo thing I have eaten was a small piece of apple pie on thanksgiving. My stomach felt like crap afterwards but I couldn’t resist that thanksgiving tradition. Next thanksgiving I won’t even try the pie!!
I don’t see paleo as diet because I see a diet as something people do to lose weight. I live a paleo lifestyle because it relieved my issues related to having a thyroid disorder. Have I lost weight? Yes, I have lost 32lbs. without one trip to a gym or any extra exercise. I am sure if I started going to gym I could lose more quicker but losing weight wasn’t and isn’t my goal.
Leading a life free of thyroid related issues is the only thing that matters to me. I am not saying living a paleo lifestyle is the cure to thyroid disorders. What I am saying is that it certainly helped me feel like a regular human being again. If it helped me then hopefully living a paleo lifestyle can help others.