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Vegan Nutrition with Marty Davey
Hypothyroidism DietI'm 37, and have been vegan for over 10 years. A few months before I changed to a vegan diet, I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism, and have been taking synthroid ever since. After being underdosed for 3 years, I gained some 40 lbs., which I lost last year during my first detox cleanse. Following the cleanse, I returned to my vegan diet but left out wheat, gluten, and refined sugar. Shortly thereafter, I was stricken with bad acne on the cheeks and jawline. The problem alleviated a bit in the winter, and came back full force in the summer. I've never had skin problems until now; never smoked; I drink an average of 1.5 gallons of water daily; I run some 20 miles per week; rarely eat processed food, and most is organic; I've done another 2 cleanses since; and, I've been on Prolief for almost a year in hopes of defeating this problem (hasn't been so effective). Any advice? Is there a connection (hormonal, perhaps?) between the skin problems and cutting out wheat and gluten? What could this possibly be? Thank you for your help.
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I looked up side effects from synthroid. They include rashes and hives. This could be a partial cause of the skin issue. Since you were misdiagnosed for quite a while and you did a cleanse, you may be having a reaction to the synthroid. I would check on your dosage with your doctor.
Leaving out the wheat, gluten and sugar is a really good thing, and usually helps the skin. However, those foods that you no longer intake could have been your main source of the essential fatty acids. I would suggest you take stock of your fat consumption. Do you take DHA or flax?
Just like we need to eat certain proteins because our body doesn't make them, we have eat certain fats that we don't make. The term for this is essential [your body doesn't make it] fatty acids. The ones you need are alpha-linolinic and linoleic acids. Alpha-linolinic [ALA] is another name for Omega-3 fatty acid. There are more studies done on cardiac health with omega-3, but there are links to skin issues when there is a deficiency present. Many times vegetarians and vegans do not consume sufficient amounts of omega-3 fatty acid. Flax and walnuts are extremely high in omega-3 and I would suggest you include them in your diet. The standard recommendation is 2 tablespoons of flax meal [not flax oil] and a handful of walnuts daily.
I stress the flax meal because I have found it very convenient to use. You can buy flax seeds, use a cheap coffee grinders and grind your own weekly. Keep the flax meal in an opaque container in the frig. You can sprinkle it on everything, salads, oatmeal, soups, pasta sauce, pizza, etc. Use a little at a time and throughout the day. If you put 2 tablespoons on your oatmeal, the flax can act as a low grade laxative. So, be warned.
Flax meal is also an egg replacer in baking. One tablespoon of flax meal plus three tablespoons of water mixed together equal one egg. My breads and cakes always come out moist. If it is a good egg replacer, that means is coagulates. Consequently, when using it on soups or other hot items, put it on at the end of cooking or at serving time. This way it won't make your pasta sauce incredibly gummy.
If you haven't been using flax or eating walnuts, you may have a deficiency. Omega-3 convert into two other fats - EPA and DHA. DHA is the one I recommend supplementing. Many times we may eat enough omega-3, but it doesn't make the conversion to DHA. That can lead to cardiac issues as well as skin problems. The standard recommendation is 100-300 mg daily. There are companies which derive the DHA from mycroalgae, the same place fish get it, and they have non-gelatin caps.
It makes sense when losing weight to focus on the amount of fat in the diet, however, you still need some. Hopefully, in supplementing and noshing these walnuts will keep your skin in the pink.
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