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Does The Keto Diet Help With Thyroid Problems

What About Lower Carb Not Ketogenic

Can a Keto Diet Help With Thyroid Issues? ð©â?âï¸? Discover the connection!

Simply reducing carb intake lower than normal without ketosis is unlikely to influence thyroid hormone levels .

A;study of 17 obese patients on a 440 kcal diet for 3 weeks found those on the 1% carb diet had greater decreases in T3 levels compared to the 55% carb group .

So perhaps the further carbs are restricted, the more T3 hormone is reduced.

However, we must acknowledge the limitations of all these clinical trials Ive mentioned:

  • Tiny sample sizes
  • Tend to use;obese individuals, and may not be applicable to non-obese individuals
  • Studies were also not specific to individuals with existing hypothyroidism.

How directly we can apply the findings to a middle-aged man or woman with hypothyroidism is difficult to say.

But considering a long-term ketogenic diet can cause other hormonal imbalances it seems unnecessarily risky in these circumstances.

Summary: Severe calorie restriction appears to limit the conversion of T3 from T4, which is undesirable for hypothyroidism. Studies suggest a very low carb ketogenic diet may have a similar effect because of the way it mimics starvation or fasting . However, moderate low carb diets are likely safe.

Final Thoughts On The Keto Diet And Cholesterol

So does the keto diet raise cholesterol? It can due to the high-fat content of the diet, however, the keto diet overall has positive effects on cardiovascular health markers.

The bottom in is that instead of focusing so much on cholesterol levels, its a better idea to tackle chronic inflammation.;Inflammation is the primary cause of atherosclerosis, or hardening and stiffening of arteries that accompanies plaque deposits and increases risk for heart attacks.

If youre following the ketogenic diet, what are some ways you can take care of your heart and keep chronic inflammation at bay?

Read Next:;Keto Diet and Diabetes: Do They Work Well Together?

Is The Keto Diet Healthy

Wellness Dietitian Mary Condon, RN, LDN, said the keto diet may result in weight loss and lower blood sugars, but its a quick fix. More often than not, its not sustainable. Oftentimes weight gain may come back, and youll gain more than what you lost, Condon said.

Condon said you should always consult your primary care doctor before starting any new diet.

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Origins Of The Ketogenic Diet

Forms of intermittent fasting have been documented as far back as 500 BC.; The ketogenic diet mimics the effects of fasting in the body by creating a state of ketosis .;

In the 1920s the ketogenic diet was a well-established treatment for epilepsy but was traded out for epileptic drugs.; As many practitioners know, the effects of these drugs on nutrient status and health can be quite devastating and have long-term consequences.;

As a result of this, the ketogenic diet has gained a resurgence in popularity for the treatment of epilepsy and now many other disorders .

Low Carb Good For Thyroid

Using A Ketogenic Diet For Hypothyroid

Low carb and high-fat diets help with losing weight. For those with an underactive thyroid, it is particularly useful when pounds dont seem to budge.

Studies show dietary carbohydrates are a major regulatory factor in T3 the active thyroid hormone.

Its also responsible for metabolic and hormonal adaptations of brief fasting.

At first, all is well with dropping weight. However, over time, instead of feeling more energetic you may develop fatigue, cold sensitivity, and hair loss.

Only when you reintroduce carbohydrates do the symptoms subside.

Therefore, a long-term low carb or keto diet may not be ideal to improve thyroid health for those with hypothyroidism.

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The Potential Harm For Your Thyroid

The ketogenic diet isn’t all benefits, however, and I tend to think of this diet as potentially causing more harm than good for most thyroid patients.;

The reason I feel this way is that managing and balancing your thyroid is already so tenuous, to begin with.;

Those people with hypothyroidism know how difficult it can be to get their doctors on board with newer treatments which include medications that contain T3.;

So why would you want to risk further damaging your thyroid with a diet when the consequence may be very difficult to deal with?

I’m not saying that it’s impossible to repair your thyroid after you damage it, but it certainly takes a long time and you better be sure that whatever therapy you are doing is worth this potential risk.;

For what it’s worth, I find that most of the time damage done to the thyroid from diets or therapies can be fixed with the right treatments or right thyroid medication.;

And most people can simply stop the offending therapy , to normalize their thyroid function again.;

#1. Suppressed Thyroid Hormones

The first reason you want to be careful with the ketogenic diet is that it has been shown to suppress free thyroid hormone levels in some studies .;

There simply aren’t many studies which show the connection between thyroid function and the ketogenic diet, but what few studies we have, do show a potential negative outcome.;

This research, while done in children, mimics what I’ve seen in my own personal practice.;

#3. Further Hormone Imbalances

Reactive Foods On The Keto Diet

While a ketogenic diet restricts or eliminates some reactive foods such as gluten, the plan allows others such as soy and dairy. These foods are generally high in fat . However, they are two of the most problematic foods for the majority of those with Hashimotos.

While a thyroid-friendly, healthy ketogenic diet without dairy and soy is possible, it can be easy to turn to less than healthy foods on this type of diet. I sometimes see people eating inflammatory foods such as fast-food cheeseburgers , nuts and seeds roasted in vegetable oils, and keto-friendly desserts that contain artificial sweeteners and other reactive ingredients.

While these would fall under the ketogenic umbrella, they are not healthy.

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Using A Ketogenic Diet For Hypothyroid

People everywhere are using a ketogenic diet to massively boost their bodys ability to function and heal. Given that the ketogenic diet has been shown to help alleviate a number of conditions, I have people constantly asking me if a ketogenic diet is right for them. One that I get a lot is people with hypothyroidism. While opinion varies in the field, I think a ketogenic diet for hypothyroid conditions can be super beneficial if you do it right.

Of course, with anything pertaining to a health condition, you have to take into account unique factors per individual and per condition when designing a health plan. The following is the ketogenic plan I would recommend for someone dealing with hypothyroidism and factors you should consider when following one.

Can Keto Diet Slow Down The Thyroid Function

Does the Ketogenic Diet Cause Hypothyroidism or Hashimotoâs Thyroiditis â Dr.Berg

One advantage of undergoing a keto diet is lower insulin levels. It is problematic if you have too much insulin in your body. But, having too little insulin can just be as bad. Insulin is important for many important functions of the thyroid gland, including the livers ability to convert T3 from T4..

Hence, if you are on a keto diet, you will lower your insulin level to a point that the liver will not be able to convert T3 out of T4 adequately, which will inadvertently damage the thyroid by pushing the levels too low.

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Best Diet For Hypothyroidism: Foods To Eat Foods To Avoid

Hypothyroidism is a condition in which the body doesnt make enough thyroid hormones.

Thyroid hormones help control growth, cell repair, and metabolism. As a result, people with hypothyroidism may experience tiredness, hair loss, weight gain, feeling cold, and feeling down, among many other symptoms .

Hypothyroidism affects 12% of people worldwide and is 10 times more likely to affect women than men .

Foods alone wont cure hypothyroidism. However, a combination of the right nutrients and medication can help restore thyroid function and minimize your symptoms.

This article outlines the best diet for hypothyroidism, including which foods to eat and which to avoid all based on research.

The thyroid gland is a small, butterfly-shaped gland that sits near the base of your neck.

It makes and stores thyroid hormones that affect nearly every cell in your body .

When the thyroid gland receives a signal called thyroid-stimulating hormone , it releases thyroid hormones into the bloodstream. This signal is sent from the pituitary gland, a small gland found at the base of your brain, when thyroid hormone levels are low .

Occasionally, the thyroid gland doesnt release thyroid hormones, even when there is plenty of TSH. This is called primary hypothyroidism and the most common type of hypothyroidism.

Approximately 90% of primary hypothyroidism is caused by Hashimotos thyroiditis, an autoimmune disease in which your immune system mistakenly attacks your thyroid gland .

T3 & Reverse T3 Levels On Keto

Triiodothyronine is a thyroid hormone produced when thyroid-stimulating hormone is secreted by the pituitary gland. T3 is responsible for carrying oxygen and energy to cells .

Reverse Triiodothyronine is the inactive form of T3. This means it cannot perform the metabolic activities of T3 .

T3 and rT3 are the byproducts of the hormone thyroxine . They are formed when an iodine molecule is removed :

  • T3 is formed by the removal of an iodine molecule from the outer ring of T4
  • rT3 is formed by the removal of an iodine molecule on the inner ring of T4

Carbohydrate intake affects T3 and rT3 levels. A drop in T3 has been seen among low carbohydrate diets regardless of whether or not calories are restricted .

Reverse T3 levels increase in starvation and calorie-restricted diets despite what macronutrients are consumed . Elevated rT3 and may be the result of inadequate calories on the keto diet.

Research Against the Keto Diet

There were only two studies showing negative thyroid outcomes in a ketogenic diet.

Both focused on children and possible pre-existing thyroid conditions.

Epileptic children were found to develop subclinical hypothyroidism after being treated with the keto diet over a 12 month period .

In this study, 20 of the 120 patients had subclinical hypothyroidism .

Elevated TSH values and being female were seen as risk factors .

This illustrates the need for children undergoing a keto diet for epilepsy to be closely monitored for any possible thyroid dysfunction .

Read Also: What’s The Difference Between Underactive And Overactive Thyroid

Hypothyroidism And A Ketogenic Diet

This post may be sponsored or contain affiliate links. All opinions remain our own.

Not too long ago many people didnt know what hypothyroidism was. Hypothyroidism however in todays society, is becoming frequently more common in Western countries and around the world.

When your thyroid gland is underactive and has abnormally low activity, it results in the slowness of mental as well as physical development in both, children and adults.

As we all know, a lot of illnesses, diseases, and conditions can be taken care of with the help of the right kind of diet.

The question is: Is a low-carb or ketogenic diet good for hypothyroidism? Or what type of diet plan should you adhere to support the health of your thyroid gland?

What Are The Dangers Of The Keto Diet

Does the ketogenic diet cause thyroid issues?

If you are on diabetic medication that causes low blood sugar, those meds may need to be adjusted within a few days, Condon said. There are heart-healthy sources of fat, however if that person is not educated on heart-healthy sources of fat, they may consume excessive amounts of saturated fats that can increase your risk of heart disease, Condon said.

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The Potential Benefits For Your Thyroid

Is the ketogenic diet all bad?

The answer is no.;

In fact, it can be a great asset and tool for many people .;

My goal here is not to scare you away from this diet altogether, but it is to teach you to have a healthy respect for therapies and how they may potentially impact your thyroid in a negative way.;

We’ll talk more about the negatives below, but for now, let’s focus on the positives and how these may positively impact your thyroid.;

#1. Weight Loss

Yes, losing weight can have a positive impact on your thyroid.;

Several studies have shown that weight loss is usually associated with a decline in free T3, total T3, and an increase in reverse T3;, but this doesn’t explain the whole picture.;

What is the “standard” way to lose weight?

It’s calorie restriction.

So, all of the studies that we have which show this trend occur as a result of calorie-restricted diets.;

If you want to lose weight long-term, then this is absolutely NOT the way to do it because these types of diets WILL damage your metabolism and your thyroid.;

But what about the ketogenic diet?;

If done correctly, and if it is not associated with calorie restriction, then the ketogenic diet can help with weight loss which may positively impact your thyroid.;

In this setting, it doesn’t necessarily have to be associated with a decline in free T3, total T3, or an increase in reverse T3.;

In fact, weight loss can actually promote normal thyroid function as hormones such as leptin and insulin decrease.;

#2. Leptin Sensitivity

Health Benefits Of Low

One of the benefits of a low carb diet is it promotes faster weight loss.

One of the worst things about having hypothyroidism is your metabolic rate reduces drastically.

Due to low metabolism, you are just not able to lose weight the way you hoped to.

Hence, most of the people with hypothyroidism go through the problem of obesity as well, after a certain period of time.

If looking for a diet to help fight obesity and disease, it is good to shift to a diet high in fats such as a ketogenic, LCHF diet or a typical low-carb diet.

It will benefit you not just for the health reasons for being in ketosis but for the sake of maintaining a healthy figure.

Promoting weight loss allows people with hypothyroidism to avoid inviting other diseases.

Eating turmeric can be good for your underactive thyroid gland.

The Curcumin contained in the yellow spice inhibits aggression and metastasis in thyroid cancer cells.

Also Check: How To Check For Thyroid Issues

What I Eat In A Day Now

Eventually, I started adjusting the keto diet to fit my lifestyle better. For instance, at one point, I was trying to eat six meals a day, but it was really hard to find so many opportunities to sit down and have a mini meal with my busy school schedule. So I started incorporating intermittent fasting, which allows me to eat fewer times during the day. Because I’m eating a high-fat diet, that fills me up when I’m fasting.

A lot of people start out with the 16:8 method, or 16 hours of fasting with an eight-hour eating window. But I started out with 12 hours fasting, which I found easier in the beginning, and now I’m up to 14 to 16 hours of fasting. Plus, I only fast during the weekdays. I find it stressful on my body to do it every single day of the week, so I give myself the weekends to scale back and loosen my routine.

A day of eating for me might look like this:

  • Breakfast: I usually skip eating a typical breakfast due to intermittent fasting. But I do enjoy some tea or black coffee before I go to school.
  • Lunch: I make sure to include fatty meat cuts and many vegetables. People think being on keto means cutting out veggies, but I actually enjoy plenty of them.
  • Dinner: My current favorite meal for dinner is Fathead Keto Pizza.

Ketogenic Diet After Thyroidectomy

Hypothyroid & Keto / Intermittent Fasting | Ashley Salvatori

Does this information apply to you if you don’t have a thyroid or if your thyroid has been destroyed with radioactive iodine?

The short answer is yes.;

All of this information is still relevant to you but you should also proceed with slightly more caution than those with a functioning thyroid.;


Because, unlike them, you are 100% reliant upon thyroid medication to support the needs of thyroid function in your body.;

And people without a thyroid are generally undertreated as evidenced by the fact that most people gain weight after their thyroidectomy and suffer from the symptoms of hypothyroidism.;

I say proceed with caution because if you elect to use the keto diet then you must be prepared to make changes to your thyroid medication.;

Again, it’s not really a reason to avoid it 100%, but you will probably need to have your doctor on board with you to help regularly check and adjust your thyroid medication as needed.;

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Does Thyroid Medication Help With Infertility

  • How the thyroid affects the female reproductive system
  • Regulating your menstrual cycle when you have hypothyroidism
  • Infertility in males with thyroid disease
  • Where to start if you are struggling to conceive

The thyroid is a small, albeit mighty, endocrine gland located at the nape of your neck. This organ produces and secretes thyroid hormones, which direct cellular growth and metabolism. Thyroid hormones reach every organ system in your body, including your reproductive system.;

When thyroid hormone levels are too high or too low , it can affect your fertility. Indeed, having a healthy thyroid is a prerequisite for being fertile. While thyroid disease can lead to infertility, people with a thyroid condition may find their fertility outcomes improve remarkably after treating their underlying thyroid disease with thyroid hormone replacement medication.

The hypothalamus-pituitary axis controls the thyroid gland. The hypothalamus is located in the brain and produces specific hormones that send information to the pituitary, another gland located in the brain. Once the pituitary receives communication from the hypothalamus, it sends hormones to various organs in the body.;

The HPA is responsible for directing the thyroid. Based on the information received from the hypothalamus, the pituitary releases thyroid-stimulating hormone to signal the thyroid to make more or less thyroid hormone.;

Thyroid dysfunction can affect female fertility through:


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