reducing caffine and carbohydrate intake

Hi, I am have been reading about the positive effect that changes to your diet can make to your general health and well being when you are hypothyroid. I am considering giving up coffee and reducing my carbohydrate intake and increasing fruit and vegetables. These would be massive steps and difficult and I don't really want to do anything that is not going to make a difference. My blood results are now within normal range but I still struggling with low energy and need to do something possitive. I cant handle complicated dietry rules, it needs to be simple. Anyone any ideas, experience etc

49 Replies

  • Try the "Food Doctor" diet.

    Its all about getting your food balance %

    I found I was eating too much fruit & not enough protien.

    Every meal I now have 40% Protien 60% Cards (inc Fruit & Veg)

  • I would not assume that you should avoid caffeine. Some people seem to find caffeine (in the form of coffee and, maybe, tea - rather than "soda pop with caffeine") significantly helpful. I certainly drink both coffee and tea regularly.


  • Thanks for that Rod. The thought of giving up my early morning coffee would tip me over the edge I think!

  • I LOVE caffeine in the form of real coffee, but it hammers Adrenals so I tend to limit it as much as possible, but would find it hard to go without 100%

  • But caffeine is v bad for adrenals..

  • cloud,

    It may be that in some people, with some quantities and patterns of caffeine consumption, that is an issue.

    I simply wanted to point out that it is wrong to make assumptions and jump to the conclusion it is always bad. Many, many millions of people consume caffeine every day and live quite healthily to a ripe old age.

    In Hevbon's case it might be an important factor, but consider carefully.


  • ....a little of what you fancy does you good ! .....she sang as she sipped her coffee !

  • Well they say we are what we eat, so you're doing something worthwhile! Have you yet looked into whether you might have a candida overgrowth? Candida feeds on sugar. You can do a websearch for suggestions as to how to reduce it. I avoid all grains myself, and sugar, and do better this way. I'm not celic but I do have trouble digesting complex carbs.

  • Caffeine is not good for you anyway as it gives a false high. I am not coeliac but have been advised to go gluten free. I was suprised at how much gluten free stuff there is out there and have found a bread that is not how I imagined, it is ok and nice as toast. I haven't had caffeine for years and it cured a multitude of health issues for me. If you don't want to go gluten free, then use other carbs like sweet potato, spelt etc low GI bread :). Some times it's a minefield and it's better to do a little at a time to see what works for your body.

  • I am gluten free too and it's not a massive problem - except when eating out. I don't eat a lot of refined carbs anyway but I have the odd GF sandwich and it's fine. I know the jury is out on whether it benefits hypothyroid people or not but I have found my digestion is a lot better....not so much bloating and discomfort, so I'm sticking with it!

  • I am following the same gluten free diet and i found that the bloating is over :).


  • I have read an article on the link between thyroid problems and gluten intolerance. Certainly I am so much better for avoiding gluten although it was a shock as I lived on bread and pasta, oh and cakes and biscuits! I do feel much better now and won't go back on it. It may be worth adjusting your diet bit by bit so you will know what works for you and what doesn't. We are all so different.

  • Hello Hevbon, I've been looking at articles on going gluten free. I had already cut it down, but it seems that going gluten free altogether can really help some folks, so I would like to see how that works for me. I'd already cut out wheat and some dairy but am revising my diet again in the light of recent reading - I agree with Danifox though, it's best to do a little at a time and see what works for your own body - for me, gradual changes are important so that my body can adjust. I have tried more extreme approaches because I was so anxious for a resolution to the difficulties I have been having, but I got much more poorly very quickly - I imagine a lot of members are already struggling with poor health, so I think that's why the 'softly, softly, see what works for you' approach might be best. I'm hoping to post here in a month or so, giving some feedback on how I found the gluten free approach :)

  • I don't eat meat so gluten free and meat free is harder for me as I also work 7 - 7 so home cooking is out I need quick meals unfortunately. I have also been advised against soya due to thyroid and I really relied on Quorn :( . I have found GF snacks and cakes no problem!! In fact too many! And after 8 boxes of GF cereal I have found 3 I actually like! I have discovered buckwheat pasta (yet to try) as I don't like rice pasta's consistency when cooked. Morrisons have stacks of GF as do Waitrose. I haven't checked the others yet!! Found a fab supplier of pies and pastries GF obvs ! from Devon but there is a supplier near me.I did the bread and cereal a few weeks ago. Now am starting on the other bits !

  • There's no soya in Quorn, is there? I thought it was made from fungus.

  • You're right, Greygoose, there's no soya in Quorn - it's a microprotein, whatever that is! But the mince has barley in it which is a form of gluten although I don't think there is a large amount as I seem ok with it and I generally have to avoid gluten.

  • There you are, Danifox, you can eat it again! lol

  • That's right Grey.

    I used to eat bucket loads of soya pretend meat, and drink soya milk to help my menopause :-( My cholesterol was on the floor, but always wonder the knock it may have given my thyroid, and my children's too.

  • Sorry to say this, but it probably gave it a tremendous knock. Soy is a goitrogen, that is to say it impedes the uptake of iodine by the thyroid gland. But it also works at a cellular level, impeding the uptake of thyroid hormone by the receptors.

    Babies that are feed a soya based formula grow up to have defective thyroids and become hypo.

    I was recommended soya milk (ughhhhhhhhhh) by two different nutritionalists! I was soooooo ill. It was only when I started to research soya that I realised what I was doing to myself. It's terrible stuff.

    And having cholesterol 'on the floor' isn't a good idea, either. We need cholesterol, our brains need it. You cannot make certain hormones without it. Honestly, we're like sheep to the slaughter, following any daft fad that the media says is 'good for you'! I've left the flock.

    Hugs, Grey

  • It all started off for me with Mad Cow disease and I wanted to protect my children. They drank whole milk, just me with the soya milk, but I did make dishes with soya mince. I've thought about all this a lot and the harm I may have done them. We ate chicken and fish but no red meat. We had 5 veggies with each meal and an abundant amount of fruit. I was so proud they never got ill.

    My eldest daughter got diagnosed last year, but i do believe she would have been hypo anyway. My Mum and Gran were quite bonkers and given the body shape and symptoms I know about they were obviously untreated hypo. I know that sounds cruel, but what they put us through I think can to some extent be down to being hypo. My mum got diagnosed with a personality disorder, when probaly all she needed was Levo, or in those days NDT.

    Definitely no soya on the menu now, I even worry about broccoli these days!

  • Broccoli is a goitrogen, of course, but not in the same class as soya. For the most part, it's good for you! lol Whereas soya is all bad. There are lots of goitrogens out there, but with them, if they affect you, you know about it. If you don't know about it, they don't affect you. Soya is in a class of its own.

    I didn't mean to lay a guilt trip on you, Helcaster, you weren't to know. My words were coloured by my anger at the so-called experts that advised me to drink it. They should have known, it's their job to know, it wasn't mine. I think the soya milk was another, significant milestone in my decline. And I, like you, wonder if I'd be better these days if I'd never drunk it. Ho hum. Such is life.

    Hugs, Grey

  • I didn't take it that way, honest! I like you passing on your knowledge and experience. Xx

  • Thank you. xxx

  • I read a good scorce of information about diets etc; for different conditions by Eric Berg on Utube.

  • I find that reducing my intake of all carbohydrates helps to improve my energy levels. I tried substituting GF foods but found that they made my digestion worse, so I now I try to minimise my intake of all grains and sugar. But everyone reacts differently to certain foods so my advice would be to go slowly and work out what is best for you. If you have a high intake of coffee, strong tea or cola drinks, it might be worth just cutting those down to see if there is any improvement, same with alcohol - it may be a problem for some people but certainly not everyone. Some people may find they have a general overload of troublesome foods e.g. , sugar, bread, pasta, cakes, biscuits etc,, caffiene and alcohol - all together they may be just too much. Good luck.

  • 2 comments it was meant to be :) no soya mince for me and no Quorn as not GF :)

  • I'd already been told that Quorn was hard to digest but it was my only protein!

  • Hi I am vegetarian and wheat gluten free. I eat a bit of quorn the "chicken" fillets and pieces have no wheat in them, I think because of the limited options in what is normally considered to be protein sources, Its very important to eat loads of RAw veggies fruit, soaked and sprouted seeds and nuts, all the enzymes are very easily assimilated protein. Coffee wise... coffee is a very addictive drug which a lot of people are in denial about, ok its not a bad addiction to have but the reason u feel better when you've had a coffee is because its taken away the detox and craving symtoms and also borrowed from you energy reserves to give you your next high. I like coffee but I use it like a drug... a few times a year for party's and all nighters and know I will have to rest afterwards to not be grumpy, but maybe im just oversensitive to coffee. and alcohol has that been mentioned here? that's pure carbs, and I find it very taxing on all my system, specially digestive, so I just don't drink it anymore, my health is the most important thing to me, cause through it I can do and feel everything!

  • Cutting carbs is the way to go, it has changed my life radically but increasing fruit is not going to cut carbs very effectively! Fructose is sugar whatever way you look at it! Pity, I love the stuff, but it is dehydrogenate in a very pretty container :-(

  • dehydrogenate ??? That's spell checkers for you! **carbohydrate**

  • Hi

    I play golf with a guy who was advised to "try" going Gluten free by his Dr. The problem for him was that he did no feel any better and then found he could not go back onto gluten!!! His advice is "don't go gluten free unless you are sure that is what the problem is" He certainly regrets it!!! I found out that I did not have a very good tolerance to artificial preservatives and have been much better since cutting them out.

    The only thing I really miss is a pint of good English Bitter - but found out they put preservatives in it. Can drink Belgian & German beers all day long, but 2 or 3 mouth fulls of English bitter and it starts to taste really quite horrible.

    Luckily several of Tesco own products are artificial preservative & flavorings free.

    Agree with several of the comments - moderation is the key!!

    Good Luck

  • It's all too easy to grab unhealthy pies, sausage rolls and sandwiches when we are hungry and in a hurry and because they fill our tums and make us feel satisfied they are addictive..Surely eating a healthy diet suggests moderation and balance of all fresh organic foods or as many as possible. It just takes more time to organize and usually involves shopping more frequently, keeping out of supermarkets that make you buy more than you need and store food for longer is a good start. You will probably find it a much more joyous experience also good for your well being.Now to practice what I preach and hopefully loose wheight. Good Luck!

  • I cannot tolerate caffeine anymore - I flush bright red in the face and shake - good value for one cup of tea! This is since I went on to T3, maybe it sensitises one to it? And carbs make me bloat, so...

    I am going to try the 5:2 approach, which advocates a mediteranean eating regime on the non-fast days, so am guessing that it means lots of veg and not much carbs. with any luck that will help get my system back into a better balance.

    It must be twice as hard when like you one is a vegetarian. Good luck and hope you get on well with your trials.

  • I've given up chocolate because of fat and sugar. Life isn't worth living :-( I can't drink coffee or drink alcohol because of my stupid bladder, choc was my one treat. A nice bar of Green and Black's butterscotch on a Friday, not every week mind, but so yummy. :-( :-(

  • Hi I have been following a Gluten, caffeine, white carbs, cows dairy and redefined sugar free diet since February! I started doing it the try and control my lupus, but I'm sure it must be helping my general health including my Hashitmotos. It's not a wonder cure but I do feel better - energy levels are improved and mental clarity is MUCH better!

    I've been doing quite a lot of research and gluten seems to be the big bad for so many conditions! Going caffeine free is hard to begin with as the headaches are dreadful but there are so may alternatives its easy to stick with! Bread and cake are harder!

    I've lost 20lbs despite being on steroids, it's the first time I've been able to lose any weight since my thyroid packed up 10 years ago!

    There are some really great, tasty and filling recipes out there. I followed an online programme at

    My thyroid function hasn't improved but I feel more in control of both my thyroid and lupus!

    Could kill for a decent cake though!!

    Good luck Zoe

  • take a look at there are tons of great recipes :) Enjoy!

  • You have such self discipline! It's so hard not to get sugar craving when you feel tired all the time :-(

  • I find that there is a big difference between shop and home-baked bread in terms of the effect it has on you. I bake my own bread (in a breadmaker) and I know that this is the last thing you feel like doing if you don't feel brilliant but I do not experience any bloating with my own bread. Shop bought bread however.......! I understand that, because of the way bread is produced ie as quickly as possible, the proving time is sped up. What this actually means is that it goes on proving in your stomach - some things can't be rushed! This is probably what

    causes the bloating!

  • This is interesting info gerbera333. I get terribly bloated from some breads, I avoid white. My partner has kindly offered to buy me a breadmaker, how easy is it? We live miles from shops and we thought it would be a good investment. Are there good recipes for seeded bread?

  • Really easy - just throw in the ingredients and press a few buttons - return when it beeps!

    Don't know whether I'm allowed to mention names on here but would recommend the Panasonic with seed dispenser. It comes with a recipe booklet and then you can always change the recipes to your taste........Would also recommend Waitrose's Canadian breadflour.

    Happy bread-making!

  • Wow! I want one right now lol! Thanks so much for your top tips! :-)

  • I find that there is a big difference between shop and home-baked bread in terms of the effect it has on you. I bake my own bread (in a breadmaker) and I know that this is the last thing you feel like doing if you don't feel brilliant but I do not experience any bloating with my own bread. Shop bought bread however.......! I understand that, because of the way bread is produced ie as quickly as possible, the proving time is sped up. What this actually means is that it goes on proving in your stomach - some things can't be rushed! This is probably what

    causes the bloating!

  • Everything in moderation I would say. I'm careful about caffein but I find a morning cup of coffee is fine. I drink decaffeinated tea later on in the day. The best thing I did was cut out bread on a weightwatcher's diet. I lost weight slowly but it was an easy way of changing my diet. I eat a lot of fruit.

  • I was reccomended to try gluten free, and actually once you get going on it it is quite easy- there are a lot of gluten free products now, including bread, pasta, cakes, in all the supermarkets. It just takes a while to get used to it, and i do have the odd slip up when I'm out for dinner or something, and I think it has made an impact on my digestion- sadly though, no weight loss for me, it's still piling on despite also being a veggie- however, I am only at the beginning of a correct thyroid medication battle, so I won't blame the diet just yet!

  • I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer early Feb this year and have since had my right lobe removed. However, prior to this, I was diagnosed with diabetes in 2008. I followed all the recommendations and couldn't understand why my diabetes wasn't improving following diet and loads of exercise. I started following Patrick Holford's Low GI Diet after reading his book Say No to Diabetes and my health improved, I lost weight and my blood sugars started to come down. There are some tasty low GI recipes in his The Low GI Cookbook and I have also started using another low carb cookbook, The Low Carb Gourmet by Karen Barnaby. There are recipes to make pasta without flour and I like the cream cheese, coconut and lemon mounds. These are really tasty, do not contain sugar and I substituted the whipping cream with coconut milk to cut down on the fat content. Maybe these books might help others.

  • I attended a talk given by Patrick Holford, which really made sense. I have been following his Low GI Diet, and so far have lost 6lbs in 3 weeks....yippee.

    I feel much better and never feel hungry. He has a new book out in June- Burn Fat Fast, which I am going to try.

  • I was having a great problem with my eating habits, felt totally bloated and full, didnt want to eat and was almost on the verge on being throwing all caution to the wind and eating what I wanted when I wanted. I went to a health shop and had a simple test done. They told me basically to cut out all carbs, dairy, gluten free - I was left with rice, and a few fruit and veggies. I followed it strictly in the beginning, relising that I spent best part of the day in the bathroom and lost tremendous amounts of weight instantly. Not good. But I put it too good use and introduced the things I liked back into my diet gradually.

    I dont eat white bread anymore, I eat Hovis wholemeal 2 to 4 slices a week. Plenty of the fruit and veggies I like, a pasta dish once a week, chips once or twice a week, not too much meat,lamb, chicken. I also try to eat more alkaline than acid diet. small amount of pastry foods, as well as cakes, anything that contains both flour and marge or fat, as this irritates. One pro-biotic yoghurt drink a day and also ice cream. Rice Krispies for breakfast during the week and cooked breakfst on the weekend. This sort of works, loads of water, 2 cups of tea first thing and they limited through the day and a Latte on speciall occasions lol. I have semi skimmed milk and reduced sugar in tea to one. I hover between 8 and 8st 7lbs, which is good for me as I only have a small frame. Hope this helps. I think I should probably eat more meat and fish products, but when I do this irritates my stomache too much.

  • I too watch my diet after digestion problems and lactose intolerance found last year. I also had systemic candida a few years ago. I find a breakfast coffee ok but after switch to herbal teas and eat Raw as much as poss with home grown seed sprouts. Have recently cut out meat but still eat fish and eggs and cut right back on carbs although still have some as otherwise my weight goes down too much. Watch out for too much fruit though as sugar levels creeping up ( father is diabetic! ). Really is a constant effort and needs planning in my view but worth it. It is possible to eat out but prewarning the restaurant is a good idea. Good luck out there everyone, we are all different with varied other health problems too.

  • It is a fact that acceptance response of body differs from person to person,it depends on body structure which is never common . It is wrong to make opinion on the basis of experience of few people

You may also like...