Eating several baby carrots made me turn orange...hypothyroidism?
I ate less than ten baby carrots yesterday with dinner and I noticed about two hours ago that I had turned a nice shade of orange. At first I thought it was the lighting in my room, and then I thought I was just seeing the normal "yellow/tanness" that I've been observing on my face and limbs for several months now, something I attributed to either adrenal or thyroid dysfunction.
After a quick Google search, I actually came upon some websites that claim hypothyroidism can cause carotenoderma even with normal intake of carotenoids. Has anyone ever had this problem? I think I've been suffering from mild (doesn't feel mild, though) hypothyroidism for nearly a year, now, and the GPs and endocrinologist I've seen will not treat me because my bloodwork generally falls within the normal range. My last TSH was 3.77, though, but the endocrinologist mailed me a copy of the bloodwork with the word "normal" written on the top. I'm going to try to see another endocrinologist ASAP because the more symptoms I experience the more I'm convinced I have untreated thyroid disease. I want to be able to make a case to doctors, short of having to scarf down a bag of carrots before heading to an appointment with them.
You sure it was the carrots? You'd really have to be eating a heck of a lot, and as you say it has been over a few months....sounds far more like Addison's disease to me. You are in winter over in USA, so you obviously aren't 'tanning' in the height of summer!
Do a google search on Addison's Disease and see if any of the other symptoms relate to you. Often Hypothyroid and Addison's go hand in hand.
3.77 is on the high side meaning, you have hypo.
How are your eyes? Are the whites still white or are they yellowish? I have heard that jaundice can come on suddenly (while dealing with a bum gallbladder they gave me warnings of liver problems) and a person can look orange, not yellow. If the whites of your eyes are yellowish I would call your doctor. If not, you probably have more of a tan than the rest of us, enjoy! I would call your doctor anyway, though.
My wife also has the similar experience. Her Thyroid and parathyroid glands are removed and she is now taking supplements.Also, she drinks carrot juice every day and her palms and foot turned orange.
I'm with pandamom -I'd be leaning more toward jaundice than too much betacarotene from a few carrots -especially because it takes a very long time (more than 24 hours) to get to that saturation level (you have to be taking at least 100,000 units of vitamin A for weeks to get that much.) A handful of baby carrots barely hits 5,000 units. A test -wipe a white tissue across your forehead. If an orange coloration comes off -it is too much betacarotene. If not, it could be jaundice...Do you know if your liver enzymes are elevated? ~MM
Akkushotto--my TSH did become more elevated with time, and I was finally able to found an endocrinologist who thinks I have Hashimoto's. My thyroid is slowly "conking out", so I have subclinical hypothyroidism and am taking a low level of thyroid hormone to minimize the impact this is having on my body.
I never did ask my endo about the carrot thing, though! I haven't really noticed whether or not I change color after eating carrots since this post because I haven't had too many opportunities where I've munched on a bunch of raw baby carrots. Maybe I'll test this out in the near future.
medicmommy--at one point I did actually have elevated liver enzymes (nothing radical), but I had a terrible GP who didn't think the results were of any significance. I had to insist that my levels be retested in a few weeks; she didn't even want to bother, but begrudgingly humored me. The liver enzymes were in a normal range on the following test (albeit still on the "higher" end), so she told me she was right all along in thinking that the elevated enzymes were of no significance. while I am on several medications and probably should be more closely monitored by bloodwork, I have not had a liver panel in almost two years. I'm going to go for a general physical soon, though. The whites of my eyes look okay at the moment, but they weren't clear back when I originally made this post. So it's possible my liver was an issue!
Have you ever been tested for Hepatitis C? When it reaches it's chronic stage, it can be almost symptomless -and a person doesn't have to live a high-risk life style to contract it. I only ask because your liver processes EVERYTHING in your body and converts it to usable forms -including thyroid hormones. If it is under stress enough to cause jaundice, there may be something going on in the background -more than just medication processing. I had it for 5 years and didn't know. I attributed the fatigue, trouble concentrating, and occasional low blood sugar issues to aging, eating a not-so-good diet, and working a demanding job. It wouldn't hurt to get it checked. If it is positive, taking care of it will help get you on-track! ~MM
I believe I have been tested for Hepatitis C. I haven't had the carrot problem recently, but I think I'm going to visit my GP soon for some general bloodwork to be sure everything is ok. I've never had any problems with my blood sugar, but I have had a few transient ischemic attacks (or so my neurologist thinks) during the past few years. I went to the hospital for 2/4 of them, and they did bloodwork during one of those ER visits. I noticed I had trace ketones in my urine (probably not important) and a slightly low RBC count, which my doctor didn't mention as being a concern. Other than the aforementioned liver enzymes, EBV, parvovirus B19, thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), several other hormones (FSH, LH, etc.), and that RBC count, I haven't had any abnormal bloodwork. I was tested for a lot of different things but was always borderline for everything...low B12 (but not occult deficiency), ESR slowly increasing but not actually elevated last time it was checked, ceruloplasmin was borderline low (checking for Wilson's disease), etc. Everyone and their uncle kept suspecting Lyme disease and checking for that but the bloodwork came back negative each time.
I guess that's why I gave up on having bloodwork done except for having my TSH checked every 8 months or so to make sure that my thyroid medication is still working. I appreciate your input, though. I'll look through my bloodwork to see if I was tested for Hepatitis C, but I'm pretty sure I was back in 2008 when my GP ran a whole battery of tests. I'm glad you figured out that you had it and were able to overcome it!
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