Thyroid UK
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The effect of diet on hypothyroid recovery?

I'm 2 months into using T3 only for hypothyroidism and a lot of my symptoms are a lot better. My hands and feet are almost never cold anymore, my hair has stopped falling out in chunks, I'm sleeping better, and I feel like my energy and memory have improved. My heart rate is back in the normal range and my body temperature is also normal (it was often ~35.5 before but now I usually hit 37 during the day). But I still have some GI problems and muscle aches that I'm 99% sure are tied to my thyroid issue, since I've ruled out other causes with the help of doctors, and the symptoms appeared at the same time as my obvious hypothyroid symptoms. My question is has anyone found that trying to diet slowed/stopped their recovery from symptoms? I'm not really trying to lose weight at this point, just attempting to avoid regaining weight I was previously able to lose. It's still trivially easy for me to regain weight, and I'm over 50 pounds from a healthy weight. I can't really afford to buy new clothes right now if I regain all the weight I lost, but I'm worried these symptoms won't go away if I maintain my current calorie level. I'm hoping it will just take more time and I just need to be patient. Does anyone have any experience with this?

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Glad you already feeling an improvement. Weight is a big part of my symptoms that still haven't improved. Although I'm just one stone from my ideal but I still do not feel good. I know diets don't work and we have to eat more not less. I've starved myself for most of my life and just started changing after coming to this site. Have a look a greygoose post from today. Eating more of the right things. Nourishing the body.


You need a decent in-take of calories to be able to use the thyroid hormone you are taking. You may be taking T3, but you still have to convert that T3 to T2 and T1. Conversion, like every other bodily process, needs calories. So, I would say you're right. If your current calorie level is too low, it will affect your recovery.

Instead of counting calores - which is totally un-natural - count nutrients. You need good fat - which is high in calories - but you can't live without it. Pleny of protien, fresh fruit and veg. Avoid processed foods and cut down on the sugar. And let your body do the rest. Above all, avoid soy - all forms of unfermented soy.

When you're hypo, weight-gain is a symptom and has little to do with what you eat. :)


I liked the link you've put today GG and this is something I recall you telling me from the beginning. Eat more of the right things and the demonised fat! Now I'm an avocado and tahini kind of girl I'm pescatarian so it was tricky for me to eat protein and fats (have been vegan or vegetarian for most of my life). But now feel better eating more and yes you are right my weight hasn't increased. If anything went a tiny bit down

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Well, that's good to hear, Brubru. And I hope you're enjoying your food because that's very important for the morale!

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Yes GG!!' Food is my friend now. Not an enemy anymore


That's great! :)

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Hello Greygoose

Thanks for this helpful post.

Could you tell me what is 'good' fat? I'm vegan, will vegetable oils and coconut oil be good enough?

Soy is my main source of protein, being quick and easy when too tired to make food, is it always bad? I love my 'soy flour cheese' which provides oil, protein and Natex with it's B12 and can't think how to get protein in small quantities (essential because of my job to have only small amounts in my stomach)

With avoiding brassica, phytic acid, nightshades etc there's not much left to eat!

I did actually ask for a referral to a nutritionist for guidance but that is apparently 'only for people who are not well'.


I doubt a nutritionist would know anything about your needs.

Firstly : soy. Yes, it is always bad if it isn't fermented. And, if you are relying on it for your protein then you're going to be pretty short on protein, because soy contains a substance (forget the name) that stops the protein being absorbed by the human gut.

Soy flour, as far as I know, is not fermented. Which means that by eating it, you are making yourself far more hypo.

Soy has goitrogenic properties, which means that it impedes the uptake of iodine by the thyroid gland. However, more than that, soy has another action which impedes the uptake of hormone by the receptors in the cells - your thyroid hormone does not get into the cells if you are eating unfermented soy. And it doesn't matter if it's the hormone made by the gland, or the hormone you are taking in the form of Levo, soy stops it getting into the cells. It is very far from a 'health food'.

Good fat is animal fat - butter and such - but if you're vegan you won't eat that, I know.

Fat you get from avocados, nuts, coconut, olives, etc is good. But, be very careful with 'vegetable' oils. Most of them are very bad : sunflower seed oïl, grapeseed oïl, rapeseed, peanut, etc. Not because peanuts and sunflower seeds are bad, but because of the processes needed to extract the oïl.

If you can just cold press the seed - like walnuts - and the oïl comes pouring out - also like olives - then that's fine. Walnut oïl is exquisit in every way. But, if you have to heat and do other things to your seeds then the oïl becomes rancid and they have to bleach it and do all sorts of other unhealthy things to it to make it look and smell presentable. That is not good.

Why do you avoid 'brassica, phytic acid, nightshades etc'? Do they disagree with you? Or have you just read that hypos shouldn't eat them? That is a very thorny question, and one that should be gone into in greater detail. But first, give me your take on them, and I'll get back to you. :)


THANK-YOU so much GreyGoose - you've just filled in another part of the jigsaw for me, a very big part.

Although I don't rely on soy I do eat a lot even though I dislike the taste and I have just returned to drinking soya milk having discovered there is gluten in oat milk, which I love.

Think I need to try 2 weeks without gluten and see if it helps and if not return to oats, then I can also have a meusli type brekkie for protein.

I avoid brassica because I thought they interfered with thyroid functioning, phytic acid because I've read it does and nightshades because they cause joint pains, though actually I tend to eat them just because food is so, so boring with all these avoidances and because someone said we hypos should have potatoes every day.

(Muscle testing showed intolerance of most nuts, everything red, most pulses and on and on, rice, wheat, yeast etc etc. In truth, I can't believe it and having lived without them for two years reintroduced them with no noticeable worsening).

There you have my diet story - nearly as boring as the diet!!!


Apart from soy - which has been foist upon us by clever marketing, and is not a natural thing to eat at all - I do not believe in all these 'must-do's and 'must-not-do's. I think, in the main, these myths are spread around by people who do not even have thyroid problems, and are just theorising.

My rule is : if it makes you bad, give it up - if it doesn't have any effect, eat it.

An awful lot of blah-blah-blah is brayed about food by people who like to seem knowledgeable. But experience - mine and others' - tells me that not all goitrogens affect all hypos (and the list of goitrogens is long, not just brassicas, but peaches, almonds, legumes, and a lot more!). When my thyroid worked, I was affected by strawberries, pears, walnuts and corn (and soy, of course). They made me very ill, like coming down with flu. Since my gland gave up the ghost (or as good as) I can eat them all with no problem (except soy).

You have to find what's bad for you : do you feel ill anything up to 4 hours after ingesting something? If so, it could very well be a goitrogenic attack. Check what you've eaten. But if you Don't feel any effect, then carry on eating it. Sounds like you've already been doing that if you thought brassicas were the only problem. lol These things Don't have hidden effects that are suddenly going to bite you in the bum with no warning.

Same, I would say, goes for phytic acid and nightshades - although I Don't know an awful lot about them. I've never heard anyone say that hypos should eat potatoes every day. Who said that? I do know of one doctor that maintains potatoes are a good source of protein for hypos. Can't remember his name. And he also said that milk was a good source. But opinions on milk can be very anti - and a lot of people can't tolerate dairy - so you just have to go with what suits you best. You know your own body. If potatoes are your thing, eat them - although I coudn't eat them without milk and butter, that's for sure! But that's just me. We're all different, both in our principles and our tolérances - I salut you for being vegan, but I couldn't do it myself.

So, that's my philosophy of life. It's bad enough being cursed with this disease without thinking we're obliged to live on lettuce leaves - although I do like lettuce - but isn't that something else that's 'bad for us'? lol


Trouble is GG, that I never feel not tired so I can't tell if anything makes me worse!

Potatoes I read recently help the thyroid and someone on here posted the same, one of our nice Administrators I think.

Thanks for the vegan salutation, there are no doubt things you do that I couldn't - like giving up coffee.

I dunno what's bad for us any more, but this site is definitely good for us.



If you get hit by a goitrogen, it's more than just feeling tired!

However, try giving up the soy, and you could feel an awful lot better. We have to take these things one step at a time. And I think that would be a great first step!

I must have missed the post about the potatoes. Never mind. :)

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Well "feeling tired" was a bit of an understatement. I used to be knocked out as if I'd been given general anaesthetic, sometimes for hours. Now 15 years on I'm delighted that I no longer crawl upstairs on all fours or fall asleep whilst teaching yoga, lol.

Will try giving up the soy.


Good. :)


When you say "it is always bad if it isn't fermented" does that mean unfermented is OK? I use a teeny bit of gluten free Tamari occasionally....can I be more liberal? (I have got my fingers crossed!)


No. 'It's always bad' means it isn't ever OK.

Soy should only be consumed if it's fermented.

Unfermented soy is bad - all unfermented soy is bad. That's why the Japanese and the Chinese ferment it.

Tamari is supposed to be fermented - as is soy sauce - but be careful, there are a lot of fakes around. Check with the manufacturer to make sure. Better safe than sorry!


It just says it's traditionally brewed and aged in wooden kegs so I'm guessing that means fermented? I've emailed the company to double check.

If it is fermented, am I OK to use a tablespoon now and again? Good news if so!


I should think so, yes, if it is fermented. :)


Fab! Thanks a lot.

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If you've still got clinical symptoms you might need to increase your dose of T3 in very small increments till you've not symptoms, taking note of your pulse/temp as well several times a day. Also make sure your vitamins/minerals are at an optimum.


soy even soy sauce is bad for you.....if you have thyroid issues.....I was told to avoid it like the plague in all forms......


Dépends on the soy sauce. It's ok if it's fermented because that removes all the nasties. All soy sauce is supposed to be fermented, but in this imperfect world, there are lots of cheats!


I recommend wheat-free fermented "Tamari"soy sauce by Meridian.I also eat chill-fresh miso from Source Foods.Both available from wholefood shops.I have weaned myself off all other soy products,after using soya milk & tofu for years.Thanks to TUK.

After trying Koko milk mixed with "Good Hemp"I am now using just the hemp milk.

I cannot tolerate oats(blood sugar swings & sinus issues)but my online researches never resolved the issue of whether there was gluten in oats,apart from the risk of contamination in the factory & I am not a coeliac with an allergic response.

I mix tahini with miso & lemon juice for a delicious spread for rice cakes.

I have only just started going gluten free & am trying to restrict dairy to just cheese for protein.

Dr Michael Moseley was on radio4 talking about fats.Top researcher now confirms omega 6 oils like sunflower seed oils,soya oil are bad for everyone's health.(radio 4 "The Food Programme on BBC "iplayer.

I need to keep my protein up & have added chicken to my fish.Low protein over years hasn't done my thyroid any favours from what I hear.


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