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Old 05-24-2014, 01:57 PM   #1
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Can I do Low Carb If I Have Hypothyroidism?

I posted here a while ago discussing how I'm struggling to stay on plan and see results. Recently my doctor did my blood work and found that my TSH level is low and diagnosed me with subclinical hypothyroidism. So I have been started to synthroid low dose.

Can I still go on with low carbing? My doctor of course poopoo'd it but said it's not sustainable, blah blah, not referring at all to the low carb and thyroid interaction.

Anyone with experience? I am due to get my work redone in a few weeks.
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Old 05-24-2014, 02:07 PM   #2
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There is a section of the board dedicated to thyroid. Many of us low carb.

One question - Are you hypo or hyper? Low TSH would indicate hyperthyroid.
High TSH would be hypothyroid.
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Old 05-24-2014, 02:14 PM   #3
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My thyroid doctor was the one who turned me on to low carb. Life saver.
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Old 05-24-2014, 02:27 PM   #4
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Very good point, Psmiley.
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Old 05-24-2014, 05:16 PM   #5
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Okay...I think I understand.

There have been studies showing that T3 tends to lower on a low-carb diet. It's debatable whether this would affect only already hypo-T people in a negative way and it's also debatable whether a person who shows hypo on an LC diet would have shown hypo regardless at some point.

However, similar studies have been done for various NON-low carb weight loss efforts. In all cases, when a certain amount of weight was lost T3 lowered.

I am wracking my brain to remember whether it was just T3 specifically or whether reverse T3 was the problem.

In any regard, this slowdown is directly related to what your body sees as a time of limited resources, as evidenced by the fact that you are losing weight, even a relatively small amount, and for some people, apparently it can't be avoided except by, well, not losing weight.

I can look up some of these studies if you want...I'm cooking dinner so am in a hurry right now...although if you want the info immediately you can Google it to see the various sides to the argument.

It is actually still under debate whether the T3 slowdown is actually a problem, or whether it's actually not needed as much during the time of weight loss depending upon...oh man, I really can't remember any more. I guess I really should look up those studies for you...let me see what I can do...
So Google weight loss+thyroid, weight loss+T3, low carb+T3 and so on.

Last edited by WildAutumn; 05-24-2014 at 05:19 PM..
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Old 05-24-2014, 05:51 PM   #6
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Like has been said, many many of us have thyroid issues and successfully low carb. I am on meds (still not sure if I'm properly medicated, because there's some interference between other meds I take and accurate thyroid labs, but we're doing the best we can), and am losing. Slowly, yes, but I am losing.
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Old 05-26-2014, 12:22 AM   #7
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I'll tell ya what, when my T3 slows down I'm falling asleep.
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Old 05-30-2014, 11:02 AM   #8
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My doc was also the one that suggested low carb for hypo. I'm on 60 mg of Armour and lost 17 lbs in the first five weeks, and that's even with eating enough cauliflower every week to feed a small nation (I had read that cruciferous veggies can affect thyroid).
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Old 05-30-2014, 11:34 AM   #9
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The low carb, T3 issue is a good example of 1) junk science; 2) power of the internet to affect belief.

There are studies that show people eating low carb and having lower T3 than their usual level. That fact was glommed onto by anti-low-carb folk (who are legion) as an example of how 'dangerous' low carb is for the thyroid.

The FACT is that one of the 'duties' of T3 in the body is to manage blood glucose levels, and someone who switches to low-carb eating would need less T3--so the body makes less.

My endo (and others as posters have noted) LOVES the fact that I eat low carb and tells me that it's the healthiest way to eat.
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Old 05-30-2014, 04:22 PM   #10
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Yes, the low t3 correlates with calorie deficits more than low carb, but that never seems to be advertised. Count me as one who has gotten progressively more hypothyroid through weight reduction, which is VERY typical, but who still feels good and has not seen any exacerbation of symptoms while low carbing. Being highly weight reduced down regulates my thyroid function, low carb isn't any worse for it than anything else, and arguably gentler on my hormones than a LOT of other diets I could be using.
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Old 05-31-2014, 08:26 AM   #11
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I'm hypo and lost over 100 lbs on Atkins. Worked for me . It's worked for many!!
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Old 06-12-2014, 01:30 PM   #12
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I would be interested how I can raise thyroid on low-carb to get higher fat burning :=
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Old 06-12-2014, 01:36 PM   #13
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You can't. Our thyroid function is controlled by the body and the hormones it creates.

If you're talking about 'higher fat burning,' I'm assuming you mean to speed up your metabolism (which is controlled by the thyroid). According to my endocrinologist, we cannot affect the rate of our metabolism except with exercise and/or caffeine. But in both cases, the fat burning is temporary--a few hours.

Our metabolism is part of our genetic inheritance. It runs our bodies, but it's programmed by our genes. Because it's so important, nature wisely does not give us the ability to affect it in any significant way.
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Old 06-16-2014, 11:18 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leo41 View Post
The low carb, T3 issue is a good example of 1) junk science; 2) power of the internet to affect belief.

There are studies that show people eating low carb and having lower T3 than their usual level. That fact was glommed onto by anti-low-carb folk (who are legion) as an example of how 'dangerous' low carb is for the thyroid.

The FACT is that one of the 'duties' of T3 in the body is to manage blood glucose levels, and someone who switches to low-carb eating would need less T3--so the body makes less.

My endo (and others as posters have noted) LOVES the fact that I eat low carb and tells me that it's the healthiest way to eat.
Just doing a little reading up on this today. My energy levels are a little low (no thyroid issues, at least as of a few years ago), and I was wondering what might be causing it. I'm pretty sure it's low calorie intake and slight dehydration (working on both). I am going to have blood work done so will get my thyroid tested as well, but I have no other symptoms.
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Old 06-16-2014, 12:15 PM   #15
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Both lower calories and certainly some dehydration can cause fatigue. But it's always wise to get thyroid tested.

The difficulty (my experience and many others) is that low thyroid symptoms are very vague and general, and most primary doctors will look at normal-seeming labs and attribute the symptoms to other causes.

For example, many women in their 40s wind up on anti-depressants when the problem is thyroid.

My own doctor kept insisting it was just 'normal aging' for over 5 years.

I later learned from both my endos that it is fairly common for labs to look 'normal' when the individual is hypothyroid.

What's difficult is that my own primary doctor was useless in diagnosing my hypothyroidism, but my sister has a superb primary doctor treating her thyroid when she had some terrible endos. A good thyroid doctor isn't easy to find.
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Old 06-16-2014, 04:40 PM   #16
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Thanks Leo. I had my thyroid checked after I went on ADs years ago and it came back normal. I have since stopped taking the meds and went LC just a few months ago. I am in ketosis so just not hungry a lot, which leads to lower caloric intake than I am used to. I am trying to focus on eating nutrient dense food and drink my water! Interested to have blood work done again.
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Old 06-16-2014, 05:04 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leo41 View Post
Both lower calories and certainly some dehydration can cause fatigue. But it's always wise to get thyroid tested.

The difficulty (my experience and many others) is that low thyroid symptoms are very vague and general, and most primary doctors will look at normal-seeming labs and attribute the symptoms to other causes.

For example, many women in their 40s wind up on anti-depressants when the problem is thyroid.

My own doctor kept insisting it was just 'normal aging' for over 5 years.

I later learned from both my endos that it is fairly common for labs to look 'normal' when the individual is hypothyroid.

What's difficult is that my own primary doctor was useless in diagnosing my hypothyroidism, but my sister has a superb primary doctor treating her thyroid when she had some terrible endos. A good thyroid doctor isn't easy to find.
That's been my experience also. Just told I was experiencing symptoms of being a mom.

When I finally went to my current endo, she wanted to know what else I had been tested for. Luckily, my primary is good at running test and basically ruled out a bunch of other things, so the endo was finally willing to treat me! She is not great, but I'm hoping to change to someone else in the practice now that I am established as a patient.

It is a long process, but worth it when you finally start to feel a little better!
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Old 06-24-2014, 08:32 AM   #18
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Hi all I am new to the Low Carb Friends site.

My wife and I are doing Atkins induction but she has Hasimotos and although started losing well after first week has stalled and is discouraged.

Appreciate hearing from any members who understand this challenge.
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Old 06-24-2014, 09:56 AM   #19
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Dallas-
I have Hashimoto's, and if your wife's meds are OK, she should have no trouble losing weight. Keep in mind that with low-carb eating, many people experience an apparent 'stall' after the first week. That's mainly due to the body's adjusting to this new WOE.

I lost my initial 60 lbs while I was hypothyroid and undiagnosed. Once I was diagnosed and taking Rx hormones, my weight loss was basically the same. However, I've had a problem related to Hashi's that can affect some people.

About 5 years after I was diagnosed, my T3 dropped very suddenly, and I had incredible fatigue and began to gain weight rapidly and suddenly. When I was checked, my T3 didn't even register--that's how low it was. I began taking Cytomel (T3), and the problem was resolved. My endo explained that although our bodies naturally convert T4 to T3, sometimes with Hashi's, there are 'conversion' problems, and the body doesn't make the T3--which is the active hormone that actually runs everything! So now I take both T4 and T3.

I mention this because it is the only potential issue with Hashi's, but the symptom is so dramatic, that it is obvious if it happens. HOWEVER, some doctors don't regularly test T3, so your wife should make sure that's checked when she sees her doctor.
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Old 06-24-2014, 02:09 PM   #20
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Thanks Leo
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