I had a “comprehensive health assessment” last Friday, which is a fancy way to say “physical”. Since I don’t really have a family doctor right now, I went to the clinic my parents recommended, and they do everything from blood work to abdominal ultrasounds to fitness testing. It was pretty neat.
I expected to be criticized for my diet and thyroid treatment, and I was. I had a consultation with a dietitian who actually twitched as soon as I mentioned the word “paleo”. He told me I eat too much fat, especially saturated fat, which will raise my cholesterol and give me a heart attack (no). Also, my diet is severely lacking in fiber, of which grains are a necessary source (no). Also, even though I eat around 100 grams of carbohydrates a day, it’s not enough for my brain to function and I need to eat more (no). Also, it’s just too darn restrictive! Everything in moderation! (Sigh.)
The doctor herself mentioned “placebo effect” when I answered her question about why I cut out gluten. (If the placebo effect can fix a swollen painful thyroid, depression, and interstitial cystitis, among other things, then I’ll take it.) She also repeated the “everything in moderation” mantra, and told me I should start to eat bread, pasta, and other grains again, so I can have a healthy, balanced diet – because only people with specific gastrointestinal symptoms should cut out gluten. Okay, I’ll take that under advisement (no).
At my last physical, I was still taking Synthroid, and I was a mess. I was sleeping 10+ hours a night and napping every afternoon, I was miserable and depressed, all of my joints ached, and my hair was falling out. I had no energy to exercise or do my job. The doctor told me my thyroid was “adequately treated” because my TSH was under 10, and then gave me a lecture about my weight, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure (all being symptoms of – guess what – poor thyroid function). I got a pathetic score on the treadmill fitness test and did 0 push ups because I had no upper body strength. The physiotherapist told me I had the flexibility of an 80 year old woman, and my body fat measured in at almost 40%. It was depressing.
So I was pretty thrilled when I took a peek at the screen in the treadmill room on Friday and saw that my time was the longest out of anyone that day, and when my body fat measurement came back 5% less than what my Withings scale says. I passed the flexibility test with flying colours (“wow, you really must do a lot of yoga”). I was even happier when I saw the doctor for a review of my blood work, after being told all day that my diet is terrible, and she said “oh – your blood work is actually really good.” She even said “your cholesterol is amazing!” And my blood pressure is 90/60.
This paleo diet, it’s ruining me!