Thyroid UK
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Can anyone help? craving high fat foods

My 17 year old daughter has just tested positive for overactive thyroid. She also has kidney dysfunction. All this is new to us and completely unexpected. We have yet to see an Endocrinologist. She has all of the symptoms listed but has been fainting quite a bit. At the moment she is utterly exhausted and starving hungry all the time. She has a strong craving for high fat (Ghee) Indian food. I know there is some link between Thyroid and fat digestion. Does anyone know more or had similar symptoms. she is keen to understand more about this craving and how to relieve it. Can anyone help? Many thanks

8 Replies

I was a young teenager when the Doctor said to my mother "let her eat what she wants. she is eating for two now". Before my mother could faint at that, he explained "the person she is now, and the person she is going to be". What he really should have done was checked my thyroid.....

It wont be relieved until her thyroid has been stablised. I have Graves (overactive) and can say that until she is medicated and stablised, she will continue to faint and crave fatty foods. The best way is little and often - she may need 6 meals a day until everything is sorted. Her metabolism is running faster than it should which will affect everything - she'll be running to the toilet a lot too as all her processes have been kicked up a few notches. Home cooked, wholesome healthy foods are naturally the best. Soups and smoothies are chock full of nutrients and energy. Porridge, mueslie etc for breakfast. Take Aways are great, and one of my biggest failings - they have a lot of additives in them which are NOT good for our thyriod problems.


Thank you so much for your response and the speed! We just wanted to be reassured that the cravings and fainting are part of the problem and not another condition. All other things you mention are true of her; running to the loo etc. The odd thing is that takeaways for us are reserved for special occasions so I don't understand her needing this.

We generally have a good home cooked diet but she is complaining about not wanting all her usual favorites. I note the six meals a day thing and will do this. At the moment it is three meals and snacking so I can improve on that.

I am concerned about the kidney function and although I am well aware of the difficulties it had not occurred to me that Hyperthyroidism will put an additional strain on them. Your point about additive is therefore particularity important. Once again thank you very have also saved me a small fortune in take-aways !


it wont be the takeaways she's craving but whats in them :) be it fat, carbs, spices etc. our bodies are funny like that. you might be able to find high calorie health drinks/snacks in boots that might help her when meals arent available.

i've only said what i am trying to do for myself and what seems to work for me, alas i still cant kick the chocolate craving.

others will be on with some betrer suggestions i'm sure.


You're right. She thinks it is the fat in the Ghee, she tells me eating margarine and sugar blended as in cake mixture is a satisfactory alternative!! I am horrified. I have just emailed Kidney Consultant to let him know so maybe we will be seen quicker. Thank you so much I am worried and it is nice to know we are not alone.

For now she is leaving the chocolate for her stressed out, over anxious mother !!


A thought about the kidney disfunction - it will be working overtime too, detoxing the body - unless it is not getting enough nutrients because of all the work it is having to do. Hence food with as little additives in it as possible is best. Caffeine and alcohol also make the kidney work harder to purify the body. I'm caffeine and fizzy pop free, have never had an issue with my kidneys thankfully. I also avoid "sugar free" as sweeteners can be pretty bad.

My dog had kidney problems (bear with me) and I discovered that reducing protein intake put less strain on the kidneys, particularly cutting out red meat and moving to fish, chicken, turkey. Vets recommend a low protein diet for dogs with kindey problems.


I'm 17 years old too. I've been diagnose with Grave disease (overactive thyroid) since 4 years ago. I crave for food with high levels of sugar glucose even now. Hyperthyroidism cause many of our body's functions to speed up. Therefore, people with 'Hyper'thyroidism may have high metabolism, increasing rate of heart rate, insomnia, hyperactivity, hair loss or bulging eyes.

She feels hungry that her stomach is empty because the digestive process in her body is working too fast. As we know, the function of the kidneys is to excrete waste products, it became a burden to kidney when we eat too much. Besides, overactive thyroid is about overproduction of iodine so she should try to avoid from food which high in iodine.

Thyrotoxicosis may cause heart failures. The increased heart rate represents an increased work burden on the heart. The behaviours will increase patients' risk of getting Coronary heart disease. I am currently taking Propranolol to slow down my heart beats.

I couldn't sleep every nights due to insomnia cause by hyperthyroidism. My body systems including my mind are too active, I'm tired yet I'm hyper. These are quite similar to Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), hyperactive child. I just can't sit quietly in class, I feel like walking around. Therefore, I hardly concentrate on studies. If she got the same problem, you may ask doctor for Meletonin, that's a sleeping pill :)

The concept of bulging eyes is like when we get into shock, our pupils become dilated. Hyperthyroid patients have bulging eyes because we are too hyper all the time (constantly), just like the time when you are shock, you feel nervous, your heart beats fast, your eyes dilated. We are in a situation like we are shocked constantly (all the time). Sorry for the bad explanation, I hope you understand :(

She might be hot-tempered, feels stress and depress. She was in no way to blame. Hormonal imbalance patients can't control emotional just like me, I couldn't. I don't mean to be mean and I actually feel guilty every times after I scold or argue with someone. Please don't blame her, she will definitely feels worst since we are already down. Hyperthyroid patients feel nervous easily because our heart beats fast. I keep laughing hard and loud when I feel nervous. For examples, during public speaking and presentation. I can't control my laughers. It is something like a laughing disorder, just feel like laughing even though nothing is funny. And when I cry, I couldn't stop, I cry for nothing even though I'm not really sad. Sometimes, I even have suicidal thoughts. I became an antisocial person with hyperthyroidism. So please don't stimulate her because thyroid disorder can cause mental disorder. I am currently taking Xanax to chill myself.

A lot of people might say weight is just a number yet it does matter for a teen especially for people with hyperthyroidism. I bet your daughter was slim and fit but I'm sensible that she is going to loss all her confidence during or after the treatments.

There are three treatments for Hyperthyroidism

1. Antithyroid medicine. Example, Cabimazole

2. Radioactive iodine (RAI 131)

3. Operation

But of the treatments cause patients to turn into Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) from overactive thyroid.

While taking Carbimazole, she will gained lots of weights, her face and hands will swollen. People with Hyperthyroidism who are always very slim and small definitely couldn't take it. I gained 24kg in 30days with Carbimazole. Overtaking of Carbimazole might cause her thyroid to become underactive temporary. Radioiodine and operation are permanent solutions but most probably her thyroid will turn into a hypothyroid instead of Euthyroid (normal thyroid).

Hyperthyroid patients may not have all kinds of symptoms just like I do not have bulging eyes. Hyperthyroid patients have high reading of T4, T3 and low TSH. Mine are...

T4 >155

T3 >30.8

TSH 0.0001

I'm already in thyroid storm. However, I didn't really get affected :)

I would like to recommend you a health supplement, it is called E-excel. It is a herbal medicine, it helps to improve our immune system.

As we know, Graves disease is an autoimmune disease. I used to recovered from Thyrotoxicosis once with E-excel, I stopped it because it is quite expensive for me as a student and now I'm taking it again, I'll tell you once I recover. At first I was someone who was has strong bias against health cares. After I tried it, I straight away recover from Thyrotoxicosis/ Hyperthyroidism. There is no side effect. It is such a elixir!!! I know it sounds like a lie but it is true, I swear. I'm NOT selling it, so there is no point for me to lie, I did not and will get anything of persuading you to take it. I'm just sharing my experience. You may go to internet and search for more information.

Best of luck :)


Thank you so much for taking the time to reply with lots of useful info. I am researching the supplement now it may hold things a bit until we can get the right treatment. Best of luck with your studies.


Fat isn't bad for you. Well, marg and heated vegetable oils are, but ghee is butter and so actually good for you. Might not rev up her metabolism as much as starch either. But really only treament will change things.


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