The Perfect Diet?

Anorexic IvyHere’s me shortly after I received treatment. I was around an acceptable 45kg by then but I can’t say I looked like I was in the pink of health

I suffer from an autoimmune disease called Graves’ Disease. And thanks to it, my thyroid gland has a mind of its own. For those of you who fell asleep in high school biology, the thyroid gland controls your body’s metabolism, and indirectly, your weight. When I was untreated, I looked dangerously anorexic at a weight of 38KG, but ate like a cow with 6 high-fat, high-sugar meals a day – and yet I continued to lose weight. After treatment, I now look like a cow at 70KG while eating like an anorexic with 2-3 low-sugar meals a day. And all medical professionals I’ve talked to just shrug me off with a nonchalant “cut the coke and go do some exercise and you’ll be fine” comment.

But I haven’t touched real coke for years, and I go to the gym.

And as an ENTJ, it doesn’t help that I feel the need to be in control everything. So I resent the fact that I cannot even control what is my birthright – my own body.

Caveman Diet: Holy Grail Diet for Graves Disease patients?

Out of this resentment and frustration, Google (or perhaps, God) finally decided to answer my searches. I stumbled upon a few sites talking about how the Paleolithic Diet aka Caveman Diet has helped people to treat and, in some cases even cure their autoimmune diseases.

The paleolithic diet says that we should eat like our evolutionary ancestors, the hunter-gatherers. So that would mean no grains, no dairy. Just meat and vegetables. The science of it seems a little dubious, but I decided to give it a shot anyway. Besides, I have nothing to lose – except my weight. πŸ˜€

And it has been nothing short of amazing! It’s only been 5 days and my clothes are looser, my skin is smoother, my goiter is smaller and I feel like I have the energy to run a marathon everyday! Best of all, it doesn’t feel like a diet at all. I eat 3-4 meals a day, I’m never hungry, and I even eat fast food junk (albeit a highly-customized version of it).

So I plan to do this for a month, and then see my family doctor for a check up. If the tests says I’m all clear, then I would love to able to do this for life, since it’s not just a diet for me, but a change in my lifestyle in hopes that I could regain control of my body.

Should you try it too?

Despite my disappointment and frustration with medical professionals, I don’t think you should try it before seeing a doctor – especially if you’re perfectly healthy.

And if there’s anything I’ve learned from this revelation is that that perhaps each person’s body responds differently to different diets and exercise habits. My mum, for example, has a diet that’s extremely high in sugar and carbohydrates and has no problem maintaining a healthy weight of 45KG. Whereas, a medium-high carb diet seemed to have affected my thyroid function, my skin and my general health…

My “theory” on diets and exercise

…which leads me to believe that what we eat in our childhood greatly affects how we maintain our bodies in adulthood. My mum came from a family impoverished by the Japanese occupation in Asia. She did not grow up with the luxury of dairy and meat. Her childhood diet consisted of vegetables, roots, rice and sugar. Essentially, carbs, carbs and more carbs! 😯

And perhaps that is precisely why she suffers no illnesses and have maintained her weight from putting 6 teaspoons of sugar in her daily coffee for the past few decades.

As for me, I grew up on a diet of chicken and eggs. As a child, nothing could come in between me and my KFC. And when I was hungry in the middle of the night, I ate omelettes. I never had a penchant for rice, vegetables or sugar. So perhaps the paleolithic diet suits me precisely because it mirrors how I ate as a growing child.

But all this is my very untested, very unscientific, very layman observation. And if there is a chance that my observation is scientifically true, it could potentially debunk many of the current theories that we staunchly believe in, since most of these theories are done on the premise that all humans respond similarly to the same diet and exercise regimens.

And that is why, I cannot possibly recommend this diet to anyone. For me, I decided to give science a rest, since it has done nothing but exacerbate my thyroid problems in the last decade. But if you are fortunate enough to have a fully-functioning body then, please take less risks and take better care of your health. πŸ™‚

  • Best. Quote. Ever:
    “As a child, nothing could come in between me and my KFC”

    You are right about being individualist/particular about diets because it is SO true that different people have different metabolisms. (After all, we’re almost only bacteria and very little human.) I knew this girl in junior high who ate nothing but hamburgers and yet I could lift her with my thumb. It’s true that I’m awesomely strong, for reference see this pic, but thumblifting a teenager is stretching it.

  • @Sigg3: Pls fix my href tag. I accidently clicked the Click to Comment butt. Good luck with your diet btw, and be careful!

  • Ivy

    @Sigg3: Dude! You’re alive! Been wondering where you been coz your blog hasn’t had much updates too! The link is fixed. πŸ™‚ Yups you definitely look awesomely strong – strong enough to thumblift a hamburger-binging girl. πŸ˜‰
    Thanks for the luck! Will need it! πŸ˜€

  • Sounds awesome. (: Seems like you wouldn’t be needing my dermatologist recommendation after all. (Using natural diets beats being on antibiotics for the skin any day. (;) It is really good to know that your general health has improved after using the diet but still -like what you said – a check-up with your doctor will be good. (:

    I’ve autoimmune urticaria – whereby I break into hives all the time because my body produces histamines in reaction to my mere existence. (Haha.) Unfortunately, no diet can help with this (I’ve checked around) but things are under control with my nightly antihistamines so … I guess I’m happy enough. (;

    “And as an ENTJ, it doesn’t help that I feel the need to be in control everything.”

    Me too.

  • k

    i’m on a similar thing too, except that i’m vegetarian (so no grains, no dairy and no meat for me as well) and i don’t cook my food (which consists of 90-95% fruit + veggies).

    anyway, good luck babe! hope you’ve managed to catch on to something that works for your condition!

  • yay! I’m glad you found something that works for you πŸ™‚

  • Yup, I’m alive! but keeping very busy:P

  • Thanks for sharing your diet experience . Glad you found one working for you. I remember many years I used to go on the non-carbo diet, means all meat and veggies only, no carbo and it worked very well. Just that after a few weeks, got cravings for noodles, rice, bread, cookies!!! Currently I am on vegetarian diet for about 3 months, hope I can survive and lose some weight as well at the end of it. πŸ˜€

  • I’m not on any particular diet but I just try to get healthy and get enough proteins/carbs/fats everyday… mostly protein though. As long as you eat foods with lots of nutrients and exercise regularly, you’ll be fine!

  • you know, i’ve been battling anorexia for a year now and someone has told me to try the same thing- i have been introduced to a lot of strange grains i’ve never eaten before that are actually quite good and unique to cook with. i couldn’t stick to the actual diet since i like dairy products like yogurt so much but i’ve been eating a lot of nuts and seeds and feel a lot better. however as a recovering anorexic, i have to eat all my nutrients and retain some kind of homeostatic balance before doing anything else which means getting very fat then very skinny :[

    good luck with your diet. with things like this we can all only hope for the best haha

  • I heartily agree with your observation that your childhood diet is often what helps you maintain your body later in life (despite of course, the lack of scientific evidence :)). When I started dating my husband my diet changed really dramatically, and I discovered a whole HOST of digestive issues I never even knew existed. The only time my body feels “normal” is when I eat like I did as a child.

    I hope the new diet works out for you! It’s hard when you feel like you can’t get “hold” of your body, no matter what you do.

  • Haaahaaa, I don’t have Grave’s but my thyroid acts hyperractive when for the most part my readings are fine. Blah.
    Please remember that health is not only based on your weight, but how much of your weight is fat! I’m underweight for my height, however my waist-size puts me more at risk for diseases like diabetes and heart problems. πŸ™

    I think that old-time Asian moms just never get sick. There’s some kind of Asian secret that they just don’t want to share with their kids. πŸ˜›

  • “Cut the coke and go do some exercise”? They should be banned from the medical profession. You do look a bit under the weather in that picture ( love the hairdo πŸ™‚
    but I’m glad you found a combination of diet and training to get better.
    Keep going!
    Five days is really short : I find it hard to believe results would be that quick ( then again who knows how your thyroid reacts )
    I went from 90 kilos to 80,5 in under 3 months by starting to jog again and eating more veggies and fruit. Still a bit to go, though πŸ™‚
    But I’ll get there.
    45 kilos would be a bit too far at 1m80 , though πŸ˜‰

    If you need inspiration go to my fav site of Clarence Bass, who’s fighting fit at 70 and whose site is full of no-nonsense , non-commercial scientifically sound advice. You can find an article there on the caveman diet among many others.

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  • This sounds very interesting to me. I also grew up with thyroid dysfunction, and after “treatment” I ended up growing fat, lethargic and lifeless. And the doctor just told me to suck it up, because contemporary medicine believes it’s better to have hypothyroidism, than hyperthyroidism. Hmm hmmm I will have to look more into this diet. Thank you very much for sharing πŸ˜€

    • Ivy

      My doctors said the same thing! T__T The diet is working well so far. I need to update my post actually. After 5 months of this diet, my thyroid condition is completely cured. πŸ˜€