Thyroid UK
84,071 members99,045 posts

Low carb diet might not be good for hypothyroid patients and other weighty problems

I found this article yesterday and it struck a chord with me. To discover that reverse T3 is the hormone that makes bears pile on weight and then sleep through the Winter makes perfect sense of my own experiences.

Interestingly I live in a mountainous area with high levels of hypothyroid due to low iodine, historically lots of damaged babies as a result of this. Apparently people used to sleep 23 hours a day through the Winters and that was considered normal.

I went very low carb before Christmas and after losing a few pounds, crashed very badly and put weight on at an incredible rate. But generally I feel happier on low carbs & gluten free, my main source of carbs before was fruit!

I think it just shows how complex the thyroid hormones are. My car gets more respect when it goes for a service than I do when I ask about weight loss. I wish I had a pound (money!) for every time I have been told "reduce your calorie intake and exercise more SIMPLES!" no it isn't. I have struggled with my weight all my life, I now suspect that my thyroid might have been dodgy for decades as I was always tired. I did lose a lot of weight successfully after the birth of my son so I'm not exactly unaquainted with weight loss strategies. At that time I followed the low fat diet and tried to keep to this for years afterwards, I now believe that I did myself and my metabolism more harm than good in the long run.

In France I was sent to a dietician who suggested white rice, pasta, bread and burgers, she even showed me photos in case I didn't know what she was talking about, I haven't eaten cr*p like that for decades!

My Doctor assumed that I was eating lots of junk food and told me that I would have diverticulitis and a fatty liver, I haven't. He always treated me like an idiot who piled weight on because I was a lazy glutton.

Other kinder Doctors have still urged me to lose my excess weight (I have a back problem that would greatly improve if I lost weight) for the good of my health, and again they assumed that I wasn't making any effort. I now believe that they are putting the cart before the horse, that when I feel well, when my hypo is treated properly and I have more energy I will lose weight slowly and steadily without having to punish myself.

I have been on a diet for most of my life, I eat lots of fresh vegetables and meat, I don't drink alcohol, use sugar etc etc but I am surrounded in this French village by octogenarians who eat vast amounts of everything, cheeses, salty charcuterie, wine, ice cream, big gateaux etc etc and who are remarkably fit.

Overweight people seem to be the last group that can be criticised publicly, judged, patronised and generally abused and I have had enough. As it is a problem that seems to affect many hypothyroid patients I think we should fight back and challenge these assumptions about laziness and overindulgence. In the media, obese people have become figures of hate!

When my hypo was first diagnosed my Doctor handed me the prescription and told me that the weight would now disappear! I was very excited at this prospect, but it didn't happen. Clearly it was my fault. Now I know better.

I am formulating some witty put downs ready for the next inevitable question or criticism of my size or what I eat.

2 Replies

Well, it certainly fits with my experience. I was moderately low carb anyway because I eat gluten free. I tried very low carbing for about a week, the weight dropped off and so did my sex hormones. My bum and boobs disappeared, and I stopped ovulating and this was all within a matter of a few weeks. I quickly had to give it up as a bad job. I found dr. cate's article several months later and thought "ah ha".


Hi last year from September until November I went on the Atkins diet which is practically no carbs and lost a stone and felt absolutely brilliant. More energy and more awake than I had felt for years. But, sadly I stopped it and am struggling to get my head round it again to start. I just seem to have a mental block. And all my weight has piled back on. Hey ho onwards and upwards.

Jo xx


You may also like...