New diet helped with hypothyroidism

I just had to share this with all of you.

Firstly a little history. I used to be a happy, healthy 44 yr old male and then over the course of a year my weight increased from 90kgs to 105kgs. I guessed it was a few too many helpings of food and ignored it but then the terrible anxiety and depression kicked in and the doctor gave me anti depressants and Olanzapine! This helped a bit but now my weight shot up to 115kgs and I developed chronic fatigue. I literally could barely get out of bed and I used to walk with the speed of a 90 yr old man. I was at my whits end until I found on the internet somewhere an article about how inept most doctors are in the UK at diagnosing thyroid issues. As usual all my tests can back 'normal' but I felt terrible. I had a private test which showed my tsh was just under 10. I managed to persuade my Dr that I was probably subclinically hypothyroid and I was started on Thyroxine: I dosage was ramped up to 150mg but I still felt quite fatigued : I eventually lost my job as I couldn't get to work.

I tried ndt but this didn't make any difference either.

In the end, in fact 4 months ago now I decided to go on the Ketogenic lifestyle and then my life changed completely. Within two weeks all forms of fatigue were gone completely; my anxiety and depression disappeared. I suddenly had clarity of thought all the time. Plus of course I started losing weight. As I type I'm down to 95kgs; so I've lost 20kgs in 4 months.

Whereas before I felt as though I was incapable of anything physically now I'm back in the gym - the hypothyroidism a thing of the past completely.

I'm not too sure what part of the Keto diet has helped me. I now eat at least. 2-3 tbl spoons of MCT oil/day. I eat around 80% of my calories as fat : butter, ghee etc. By default I eat less than 20gms of carbs a day which means I'm totally gluten free.

I still take the thyroxine, but whereas before I still had the fatigue now I have no symptoms.

I dropped my Olanzapine and Sertraline completely.

So to be honest I don't know what part of this diet has done the trick but I have to encourage people; if you've been suffering with this awful fatigue and anxiety/depression for a long time give a strict Ketogenic diet a go. The first couple of weeks are tough as your body adjusts but then suddenly things just may just get a lot better for you as they have for me!

Have a happy New Year, I hope this helps


19 Replies

  • Congratulations and well done. It's great that you've found a way to recover your health and have a lot to look forward to. Also that you've had a good weight loss by a change of diet and your post will give encouragement to members still struggling.

    You will definitely have a Happy 2017. :)

  • OllyJ, I'm glad you're feeling better. I take Sertraline and suspect that my hypothyroidism is worsened by it. Did your recovery coincide with your stopping Sertraline?

  • I stopped the Sertraline more recently so I can't attribute this to the cessation of symptoms. All I can say is that the high fat(gluten free) diet is what did the trick for me. The good thing about being on the Keto diet is that you don't even have to worry about what's gluten free and what isn't. Everything you can eat by default is gluten free. When I reflect on it now it's no brainier

  • for me, it was the gluten free part - reversed every problem I had :-)

  • Which could well be what's done the trick for me as well! :)

  • Lots of interesting articles on the net about connection between "non-typical coeliac" presenting with anxiety and / or depression as the ONLY symptoms.

    But if you also have Hashimoto's coeliac does also seem to disrupt thyroid uptake / conversion.

    I never had any obvious coeliac or gluten issues, but I have had fantastic improvement since going gluten-free. 😀

    Now confirmed as coeliac antibodies by endoscopy. But all standard coeliac blood tests had been negative.

  • please pm me the most helpful info you found to start this diet.I have Hashi's.I have anxiety & depression.I am about to start Sertraline.

  • I am really pleased for you Olly J. It must be great to feel well. Did you use a specific book or website to follow the diet ?

  • In the beginning I read 'the art and science of low carbohydrate living' by Volek and 'Keto Clarity' by Jimmy Moore and Eric Westman. It's important to be educated about how this high fat lifestyle works initially. Something else to note is this isn't a high protein diet, the quantity of protein doesn't really change. It's a huge reduction in carbohydrates in combination with a big increase is fat. (Manly from butter,ghee and MCT oil for me). Also there's a very knowledgeable lady on YouTube called Stefanie Keto person who has also been very helpful.

    As I've already said the beauty of this is that its a naturally Gluten Free life style which for me is really easy to follow whilst on this diet.

  • And is there a downside to the high fat diet in terms of health or is it "good fat"?

  • you need to stick to good fats: ie: ghee, butter (grass fed when possible), coconut oil, olive oil, avocado oil, MCT oil. Avoid the transfats; so all low fat spreads for example. Corn oil, sunflower oil. When you cook use a fat with a high smoke point, so ghee, butter or coconut oil. Save the olive or avocado oil to the salad dressing

  • I do that already I think but I will read some of the things you mention. Anything to try and feel well again. Thanks for the info Ollyj and a happy 2017 to you!

  • Thank you and happy 2017 to you too!

  • Can you explain to us all what MCT oil is? Why we should stick to it (and the others mentioned)?

    Are all trans fats, always and unequivocally bad for us?

  • MCT oil stands for medium chain triglycerides. It's a form of saturated fat as is coconut oil. In fact the MCT oil that can be bought is normally a concentrated form of coconut oil. Personally I don't enjoy the taste of coconut oil so I use bottled MCT oil instead which is virtually tasteless and odourless. When I have two table spoons in the morning with my breakfast it's really helps with my cognitive ability.

    This was a massive problem for me a few months ago when I was going through my hypothyroidism symptoms. I used to feel as though I was thinking through treacle. It's does take a few weeks to get used to though so it's best to start off with a teaspoon and work up.

    Transfats are supposed to raise LDL cholesterol levels. Now I realise that not all LDL cholesterol is bad but it's easy to stay away from so there's no point in taking the risk.

    The book I mentioned earlier really is the best source of information on the diet ('the art and science of low carbohydrate living').

    I'm no doctor or diet guru, I just wanted to highlight what's helped me in case other people wanted to try the same.

    Hope that helps

  • I forgot to add: the reason to stick to the fats I mentioned is so that your body can convert from one that uses glucose as it's primary energy source to one that uses ketones. The fat will be your primary fuel for all of your organs to use. Of course you need to stop eating all carbs as well (apart from leafy salad,cruciferous vegetables and my favourite avocados!). This also ensures gluten free foods are eaten only :)

  • Good for you olly only onwards and upwards for you. 😘

  • Thank you! I couldn't have envisioned I'd be feeling this healthy just a few months ago in September.

  • Dear Olly, I wanted to add that I have just gone on a ketogenic diet, as recommended by nateropath Roderick Lane (who practices in London and is an expert on metabolic disorders). I've been gluten free/ done the GAPS diet/ done colonics and juices etc etc and nothing helped me AT ALL! I only started the diet a few days back and, after a very horrible dose of keto-flu, am becoming more stable. I am CONVINCED this way of living is really going to help me. I am following the Paleo Plus diet by Terry Whals, which is an ultra nutrient dense ketogenic diet. Good luck to everyone!

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