Thyroid UK

Diet Improvements

I first wrote to suggest I was going to try a Detox/Re-boot approach to my Hashimotos Disease. I have improved my diet. Cut out sugar completely from hot drinks, no diet drinks or 0 calorie anything. I seek farmers markets and similar options in supermarkets. I am also experimenting on gluten-free bread for the little amounts I do eat.

Improvements have been by eating more vegetables (juiced or whole) and lots of bananas and nuts/seeds. I now am regular for the first time in decades.

Unfortunately, my latest blood report showed cortisol level of 918 (171.0-536.0). This is being retested.

Latest thyroid results were deemed normal:

T4 16.6

serum free triiodothyrine 4.7

TSH 0.78 (0.3-4.2)

I am still tired. What is normal for someone cannot apply to us all surely. To get a normal result and still not be feeling great: is the answer to find a specialist who will unravel this complex and changing change of ranges and help make some sense of it.

I cannot be alone by not understanding these blood tests, their implications, and whether health professionals know themselves all there is to know on this complex but crucial gland.

20 Replies

Penelope, have they checked for diabetes? That can make a person feel lousy.


They have not checked for diabetes, I do have a Cortisol level that is way too high. Thanks for your concern though.

I am determined to get to the bottom of my health problems and will share any good findings I discover. I am losing weight and have been for some months, so I am really on the case. Blood counts looks alright. I think its the stress hormone Cortisol that my be the problem...we'll see.

You and others reading this may be interested in changes I have made is I no longer buy processed foods. I make my own humos and taramasalata. I use tahinni instead of butter and as I am not nut sensitive so use peanut butter (without preservatives or homemade) as a spread. I use olive oil instead of butter too.

I also look for farmers' markets locally. The intensive industrialised manufactured foods of today scare me with an auto-immune disease.


Seriously now, if you are drinking fruit juices, you need to check your blood glucose response to these. The doctor should test your HgbA1c.


I am only drinking juice made from real fruits, it may mean 3 or 4 small apples for example with a bit of ginger. I never drink carton juices. I will check out your earlier link re diabetes. Thanks :)


Btw banana might not be good if issues with gluten as protein in banana is similar to gluten and body might consider it as gluten.

I could not figure out why banana makes me so ill until read about it. Of course it is not the same for everyone but something one should consider if just gluten free does not seem to do the trick.


Thanks, we are all different for sure.

I seem to crave them, I've lost a lot of weight and think my body is craving the nutrients in the bananas. I'm finding pine nuts taste like nectar!! I have cut out sugar completely so that could also be a factor. Avocados are also on my hit list. I only drink tea or water. No fizzy drinks or manufactured juices. I now make my own juices with apples, pears & ginger. Or fresh beetroot with apple for instance. If I'm not that hungry I find this juicing approach helps. I devour brazil nuts and almonds too. I now throw mixed seeds on all my salads for the protein and good oils.

I think it is good to experiment, and in your cases bananas are not your friends, so find a replacement by checking what are in bananas, its not just sugar and starch, they are rich in potassium. They give me the fibre I need and therefore have solved a sluggish bowel.


Yup. I am into smoothies. I add blueberries, watermelon, seeds, nuts and figs. Rich in potassium and fibers. So good for my stomach :D

As you said if not hungry then juicing is good option! I don't have a juicer but planning on buying one to make veggie drinks as digesting veggies is hard for me.


Sounds good, just remember the calorific content of liquidized foods in terms of your total intake of calories. Smoothies are delicious, but remember they are still food.

The gut will, like mine, hopefully love the transit through the gut. I always sprinkle these on foods for that reason and don't blend them. Linseed, sunflower and hemp are nice in small amounts stirred into the fruit or veg drink as well as sprinkled on salads with some nuts.

I've got a long way to go, I am not a nutrition expert, but I research what natural foods help what, and incorporate those into my diet to help with my particular bundle of ailments :))


Yeah I read that seeds are good for microbiota feeding good bacteria. I am trying to heal my gut to see if it would help with hashi.

I am the opposite with calories, I am skinny and lose weight in no time when something is wrong :(


Me too i am Hashimotos sufferer without the weight gain. The calorific mentioning is for those who read these posts who DO have problem with weight gain.

I try to educate myself as much as possible, but it is a tricky one isn't it? Although we have the same disease (with its variations) it is not an easy one to understand!!!

This is a great forum to get some leads and encouragement.

Good luck :)


Yeah I am trying to educate myself as well finally accepting that I am intolerant to many things because of hashi. I always try to go back to normal and end up bedridden. Now I finally understand why. Thanks to this forum!

Good luck to you too :)


Wow, I didn't know that. I love bananas but really can't eat them - I know why now. Many thanks. x


Penelope, do you have the lab ref ranges for FT4 and FT3 (the figures in brackets after your results)? It's impossible to interpret results without them.


Of course;

Thyroid function 16.6 (12.0-22.0) pmol/L

T4 4.7 (3.1 -6.8) pmol/L (serum free triodothyronine level

TSH 0.78mu/L 0.3-4.2)

That is all I have, hope it helps. Is the first one T3?



TSH 0.78mu/L (0.3-4.2) - TSH is in the right area for most people.

FT4 16.6 (12.0-22.0) pmol/L - FT4 is half way through range, >19.0 is 'ideal'.

FT3 4.7 (3.1 -6.8) pmol/L - FT3 is mid range, >5.5 is 'ideal'.

Improving your diet is likely to improve your gut and may increase absorption of Levothyroxine but as you are still tired there is room for a dose increase which will lower your TSH slightly and improve your FT4 and FT3.

Read Dr. Toft's comments in Treatment Options Email if you would like a copy of the Pulse article to show your GP.

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My doctor has recommended a slight increase from 75mg to 100mg which I can do in steps, starting every other day. You were right on the increase, thank you. I'll do this starting tomorrow morning and then might stay on 100mg.

I remember when I first joined that I thought I could be drug-free by better eating etc., thanks to you all and my doctor I realise I will always need to take Levothyroxine. Acceptance on my part that I have a disease that needs treating has finally sunk in.

Thank you all.



Penelope, That's good news tweaking your dose should help with fatigue and acceptance means you can optimise your health in other ways. Think of Levothyroxine as low thyroid hormone replacement rather than a drug.

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Thank you so much! Funny how a change of words can change our perception of something. I am the same, but happier!! :))

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To answer one of your questions, no, doctors do not know all there is to know about thyroid. ln fact, they know very little about it and care less. For them it is a very simple disease - easy to diagnose, easy to treat - which couldn't be further from the truth! For them, anything in range is perfect, but we who suffer know that it's where in the range that the result falls, that counts. The ranges are unrealistic, and were only meant to be a guide, anyway.

As to finding a specialist... Not at all easy. But, if you could find one that knows about thyroid, he would certainly be better than your GP!


Thanks for reply. It really is like sifting though a bowl of spaghetti trying to get anywhere this this disease.

I'm not using the Bullit thing for juicing, when I do, I have an old blender/juicer which is doing a great job. It leaves all the pulp at the top. I mix eating normally with a juice/veg mix when I feel like the nutrients without the bulk. Much better. I do try and buy local produce, not pears flown half way around the world if possible for instance. The juicer removes all of the preservative peel I hope anyway.


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