Hypo people : which diet helps you feel better? - Thyroid UK

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Hypo people : which diet helps you feel better?

hendb profile image

I know there is no scientific evidence of diet influencing our thyroids.

I also know that there is no "one size fits all". but I would love to know what helped some of you feel better while hypo.

Personally i was on GAPS diet (basically a low carb diet supposed to heal the gut). I eliminated a lot of things from my diet. i ate gluten free, grain free, sugar free and fruit free. lots of vegetables, meats and good fats. The positive thing is that I cut off all sugar cravings anymore... the bad thing is that I think this diet didnt help my thyroid.

Now im lost and dont know what to eat/ not eat.

i started eating more carbs (more nuts, more squash, cooked carrots etc) but quickly i gained a lot of weight.

Then i stopped levo, and gained even more weight. 3 kilos in a week.

Anyway, please share with me your successes, tips to be in good shape. Because im pretty sure diet influences our bodies

21 Replies

Hi! Why did you stop taking Levo? Personally, I tried the Paleo diet for a while as suggested by a nutritionist, but couldn't last very long on the boring extreme diet of wacky weird tasting food. It also didn't do anything for my hypo symptoms including weight loss. It gave me nauseous feelings when eating and the thought of eating the foods permitted on the diet, I felt like a barn yard animal. Apologies to those who love it, you have a gift in tolerating punishment :) I have always eaten healthy generally with the odd treat on occasions, but this diet is not for me. Some swear by it, it did nothing positive for me. Widespread advice say no sugar, soya and caffeine is the way to go. I try to cut out/reduce yeast as I have a tendancy for Candida. I think you have to go on what your body feels as everyone is different. Perhaps try cutting single food groups or even specific foods and then reintroduce them back into your diet to see how you feel. If no change, eat it. Good luck!

hendb profile image
hendb in reply to MapleMoose

hello MapleMoose and Saggyuk thanks for your answers :) i stopped levo because i wasnt feeling well, i was seing no changes/ no improvements...and because it contains a lot of basty things (a part from lactose, other excipients bad for our health). i had a bad endo that was totally useless, and I thought I could heal mayself alone by taking som NDT (actually i was wrong, the NDT i took contained no hormones)...so during 2 weeks I was waiting for something to happen, while my body was probably struggling :(

Now im back to levo, day 2, i keep on taking some tyrosine (1000mg) in the morning...and i will probably have to wait 6 weeks to get my health back.

Regarding diet, I read the book of the US pharmacist, izabella Wents. many people consider that you can almost heal your thyroid with your diet.

many also consider that grains and Hugh glycemic food are detrimential for your thyroid. but i also read that hYPO people need carbs etc.

Im quite lost. and that's why i created this post.

now im probably more like saggyuk, i feel well and full when i eat rice for example...i feel better than when i eat steak + vegetables... Food for thoughts

ps: sorry for my english, im french

MapleMoose profile image
MapleMoose in reply to hendb

If you feel better with carbs eat them in moderation like anything. For me, if I can only eat a few types of things all the time my body starts repulsing them and I go off those foods, so I have to eat an all rounded diet. It's all about how you feel, only you knows your body. Unless you are Coeliac, eat gluten if you feel OK on it. As for the Levo, there is now a lactose free version. I actually requested that myself this morning from my local pharmacist and have to wait for it to be orderd. I haven't been tested for lactose intolerance but feel a bit allergic and bloaty if I consume heavy dairy products,so I limit it. Again, it's how you feel, and your body will tell you what foods it doesn't like. There is no point denying yourself if it doesn't make you feel unwell. Life is too short and precious for that. Ask your pharmacist about lactose free Levo, best of luck! :)

And your English is pretty good to me :)

greygoose profile image
greygoose in reply to hendb

hendb, you weren't taking NDT, you were taking a glandular. Not the same thing. :)

hendb profile image
hendb in reply to greygoose

greygoose you are right, i thought beed thyroid powder was the same than ndt. So please tell me, can I take glandular along with levo?

now that i'm back on levo..

and I have thos opened glandular bottle. Plus i remember in chineese medicine they say when you eat an organ meat (from an animal) you strenghten this same organ in your body...

greygoose profile image
greygoose in reply to hendb

Yes, that's what they say. But, I don't think there's much proof of that. It's a bit like saying when you eat lion meat, you become strong and brave like a lion. Nobody believes that anymore. But, there's no reason why you shouldn't take it. :)

Saggyuk profile image
Saggyuk in reply to hendb

It's good that you're trying to be honest - I didn't work it out until it was too late and thyroid already dead unfortunately but the changes I made did stop and reverse further damage elsewhere (adrenals were failing and becoming diabetic etc) and also many diagnosed conditions suddenly dissipated so it certainly worked for me.

If you wanted to stick with low glycemic carbs - new potatoes fall into the medium glycemic load levels and are much better than other forms (jacket potato being the worst) and basmati, brown or wild rice is better than other types of rice for glycemic level and also classed as medium rather than high. I never feel bad after eating these. Also as mentioned there are a ton of other gluten free whole grains and pseudo grains with lots of good stuff as well as carbs so just google them - quinoa is my fav and so easy. Also sweet potatoes and plaintain are yummy and have starchy carbs and are good for you. Sweet potato fries and steak is my fav. I never eat huge portions of rice either and always have a load of salad/veg to balance it out. Maybe even try polenta and I can have a small amount of oats without feeling rubbish. You can only really go by how you feel.

How long have you been trying with the new diet? It can take a while,some of issues didn't clear up until at least a year and took even more for some of my deficiencies to clear up.

I did use a website called cronometer which tracks every single nutrient in your food intake including micro nutrients and I found this very useful for a month to figure out where there were any obvious gaps in my diet. It's free to use and although it's a bit of hard work getting it started for a few days, it doesn't take much time at all after a week.

Good luck though :-)

hendb profile image
hendb in reply to Saggyuk

why/how your thyroid dyed? :(

Is it because you didnt take appropriate hormones?

im sure diet helps a lot. but i have 39 years old and cannot hear messages my body tell me. everybody says "you have ti listen to your body" etc. i do know how to do that.

i always had a conflictual relationship with food, AND with my body.Always hated it, hated my image.even if everyone around telling me you look fabulous etc.

With diet restrictions, i thought i could heak my gut (too many antibiotics , ivfs etc in the past). and there is a proven relationship between gut and thyroid.

that is mainly why grains a prohibited to heal hashi etc..

I was good on the paleo diet for a year.

But suddenly, this last month, when i stopped levo, everything has messed up :( i started feeling sad, depressed, gaining weight, eating a lot because i notice im gaining weight (vicious cercle).

it is like a domino falling you know?

And now im here, not knowing what to eat to feel ok.

ps : does hypo symptoms make you feel hungrier? im always hungry these days :(

thank you for reading this message :)

Saggyuk profile image
Saggyuk in reply to hendb

Well autoantibodies attacked my thyroid since I was in my early teens - so twenty odd years later and there's only so much it can withstand that before it's totally destroyed. Gluten seems to trigger my immune system but I only figured it out a few years ago and thyroid finally gave up the ghost on my last gluten trial and stopped producing anything of it's own or reacting to tsh at all - so can only assume it's dead tbh as certainly has no life left in it lol!

Try not to worry too much at the mo, you will put on weight and continue to feel crap until your t4 and t3 levels go back up to scratch and everything recovers as you went without your meds for a month but this will all go back to normal - normally takes me three months and not a lot you can do it about it in the meantime apart from keep yourself as well as possible. If you haven't been eating carbs/sugar or bad stuff for some time - unlikely to be the kind of unhealthy cravings so it might mean you need something or more.

Sometimes I know exactly what my body needs - like when I'm low in iron, I crave steak and when I'm low in calcium, I crave milk or when need more salt etc - and I even crave veggies if haven't eaten enough for a couple of days. However occasionally I can't stop the cravings and can't work out what it is no matter how much I eat and If feel the need to constantly eat - it normally turns out to be one of the more random micro nutrients like magnesium or patassium, selenium and so on. In this situation, I will generally try and pick at a more varied group of food with something that contains a little of everything but if still can't work it out, I take a multi vit with everything in it and has always resolved the issue so worth a try. With a restricted diet, you could be missing a few things you need which is why you should have a proper look at this.

I sometimes eat more when my thyroid is low as my body is craving energy from somewhere - but more often quick fixes like sugar/caffeine/etc that aren't good in the long run.

Most important is to make sure you're eating enough as not doing so in the long term can cause massive problems with endocrine system - it can lower your thyroid hormones and stop conversion, increase cortisol to compensate which then increases your blood sugar levels risking diabeties and this extra constant stress can cause things like adrenals to fail etc etc etc.

There's prob not much I can say to help in regards to issues with your body image etc as not been a particular issue of mine (I barely care and walk round with hairy legs most the time and never plucked me eyebrows and look like I barely made it out of bed when I get to work lol) - cared more about the fact everyone thought I was so lazy when I used to be really ill. Also most people have to work these kind of issues out for themselves- have you tried to move your focus onto other things or distraction - my friend does that who had similar issues. I suppose trying a more logical approach is good, if you tried that cronometer site, you can eat whatever you like as long as you're hitting those nutrient levels (and not eeating 2 person's worth of food) lol! Other than working out any particular thing you have a problem with, not much else you can do.

I hope you start to feel better soon x

Saggyuk profile image
Saggyuk in reply to Saggyuk

Have you had your vit d, iron, b12 and folate tested recently? :-)

hendb profile image
hendb in reply to Saggyuk

thank you so much for your lovely message.

And you made me lough with your "hairly legs" lol, you seem to have such a strong personality! Most of people conform to society's standards, like sheep :(

I'll try to follow your wisdom advices,and wait for the 4-6 week for my thyroid to stabilise.

thanks a lot for yoyr kindness

Saggyuk profile image
Saggyuk in reply to hendb

All of us have our weak areas and issues - that's just not my particular one so don't think like that. I know how it feels as used to look so ill, I use to cover it with makeup and would never go out without - not the type of makeup that's obvious - just to cover the paleness and red eyes as everyone would ask me if I'm ill if I didn't and carried this on out of habit even after looking healthier but then I gradually stopped caring - camping is good for breaking such habits as everyone walks around in their pyjamas with bed hair desperately needing the loo in the morning lol. I get too annoyed with the other stuff - I end up in too much pain to wear high heels and get ingrown hair that itches incredibly when I shave plus it takes too much time for me to bother and I'm always running too late in the mornings - otherwise I more than likely would lol!

I suppose I rarely care what people I don't know think and I've never lost a friend/family because I've put on a couple of stone and never lost a partner because of me hairy legs even though they may moan - other reasons, yes, but not these lol!

hendb profile image
hendb in reply to Saggyuk

love your funny message and state of mind :) thanks for making me lough this morning. have a great sunday!

Gluten free for me. Obviously sugar free is good for anyone although i can't myself lol. Maybe natural sugars in fruits would be good plus lots of other good stuff as don't want to restrict diet too much. Are you getting everything you need?

Some people who go low carb accidentally go low calorie too - are you definitely eating enough - 1750 calories per day minimum I would say - more if you're active. Not eating enough can make you put on more weight and cause further issues with blood sugars and adrenals. This happens with my mum and myself and we lose more weight when we eat more although sometimes it can take a few months for your body to adapt back so can put weight on at first if gone too long not eating enough.

I've seen some evidence that those with thyroid need some whole grain carbs to feel well. Plus it has been shown that whole grains are required for heart health but doesn't have to be gluten grains. There are things like quinoa and buckwheat, millet etc which are pseudo-grains, can you not try them?

To be honest, I'm more fussed about how I feel rather than weight so never really have any idea whether I put weight on or off - only tell if jeans get too big or too small lol!

And yes, why did you stop your levo?

Clean! By a million miles, when I followed that it was the only time that I almost felt normal! No wheat, no sugar, no processed food just home cooked meat and fruits and vegetables.

hendb profile image
hendb in reply to hellybaybee

an what about grains?

hellybaybee profile image
hellybaybee in reply to hendb

Grains are fine... I don't know if this varies by person, for example I know. Some hypo people don't fare well on dairy but I'm fine with that but can't eat wheat

I used Myfitnesspal app, stuck to 1200 calories a day, I feel that by sticking with calorie counting you will automatically cut out the sugars etc because they are so high in calories, have lost a total of 4 stone in 2 years. I had lost 3 stone before being prescribed T3, it was a hard slog and as soon as I went over 1200 calories the weight came back. I have found T3 has given my metabolism a boost along with sorting every symptom I had. I am now able to eat around 2000 calories a day without the weight piling back on.

I am not gluten free, but my daughter follows fodmap diet, easier to shop for the same, which is basically fresh veg, meat, fish, no gluten, dairy etc. No processed food.

The problem with calorie-counting is that you tend to cut out the fat, too. And the body really needs good fats. :)

Very true, but I did include fat in my diet and on those days just had to cut down on something else, its all about choices. I also made sure that I ate meat at lunchtime & fish in the evening, as meat doesnt digest for some time and I wanted to leave my system as clear as possible through the night to do its repair work.

I keep to restrictive eating times, avoid eating processed stuff, limit starchy foods & have enough plant based/dairy kefir for protein & pre/probiotics to stop me being hungry. I accept my weight goes up a few kilos in winter as cold weather makes me want more carbohydrates.

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