Please help with Diet and exercise !!

Hi guys looking for advice on Diet and exercise. Was diagnosed 10 weeks ago with low thyroid and currently on 100mcg Levo. As a keen runner 3x weekly I was advised by my gp to not run whilst waiting for optimal levels. What’s a decent exercise to do whilst waiting as hopeful my running will continue at some point ... or could I still do small runs ?? What’s best food to be eating too ? Thanks in advance

28 Replies

Your doctor is right that, at the moment, you need to take it easy. Strenuous exercise uses up your T3, and I should imagine yours is low, at the moment. And, if you're taking levo only, you won't be able to replace it easily. Try just gentle walking, or swimming, until your levels are optimal - and optimal means when all your symptoms are gone. If what you do wipes you out for two or three days after, it's too much, and you should cut back. You have to get to know your own body, and how it reacts.

As for food, it's more a question of what you shouldn't be eating. And, the answer to that is simple :

* No unfermented soy or artificial sweeteners.

* No processed oils, like sunflower seed, or rapeseed.

* No processed foods because they contain all of the above!

Instead eat plenty of good protein, and good fat, fresh fruit and veg, some carbs, not too much fibre and don't skimp on the salt - adrenals need salt. And, don't count calories, count nutrients.

In fact, it would be a good idea to get your nutrients tested. Vit D, vit B12, folate and ferritin. These are often low in hypos, because they usually have low stomach acid, which makes digestion and absorption of nutrients difficult. And, they all need to be optimal for your body to be able to use thyroid hormone.

Hope that helps. :)

Going to get vitamins tested next week hopeful gp will be willing . Great advice on food and exercise just really miss my running at the moment but hopefully will return in future .Thank you grey goose always appreciate your advice .

You're welcome. :)

T3 is the active thyroid hormone and enables everything in our body to work in unison. However if hypo we take levothyroxine T4 which converts to T3. T3 is the only Active thyroid hormone and if we exercise before we're on an optimum dose it reduces the T3 in our cells and we don't feel so good. As greygoose suggest, low impact exercise is best at present.

Walking it is then , just miss my running so much , was good for de stressing ! Thank you for your explanation, so much to learn and put into practice .

Just in case you aren't aware of how to proceed when getting blood tests for your thyroid hormones.

They have to be at the very earliest possible, fasting (you can drink water) and allow a gap of 24 hours between your last dose of levo and the test and take it afterwards. This helps keep your TSH at its highest as doctors appear to only take notice of the TSH and sometimes T4 but rarely T3. TSH is highest early a.m. and drops throughout the day and may mean doctor might not increase your dose, or even lower it.

Ask also for B12, Vit D, iron, ferritin and folate and antibodies if you have had antibodies tested.

After my first blood test Gp suggested just to take my lev as normal but after reading on here NOT to I decided to leave it out .. dose was increased .... will be assertive when Asking for vit levels as I can see it obviously matters regardless of what gp says . Thank you so much your advice is invaluable 😊

They do not know that levo before tests skews results or having test late p.m. Why - it puzzles me why their training is so poor as is the endocrinology with regard to problems with the thyroid gland.

Indeed . Mine is certainly getting better thanks to this website ;))

Could you please explain what foods are unfermented soya , enjoy edamame beans not sure if these are a nono.Thanks 😊

They are a nono because they aren't fermented. It's these young, soft beans that are used to make things like soy milk - a definite nono!

Soy protein, soy oil, soy lecithin, soy flour, tofu should all be avoided.

Be careful of soy sauce, because it is supposed to be made with fermented soy, but isn't always.

Basically everything with the word soy then ! Ok got it ... Just devising a food list of good fats , protein etc what not to eat .. Thanks again .. getting more knowledgeable by the day ;)

Animal fat - butter, lard, suet, dripping; olives and olive oil; nuts and nut oils - walnut, hazelnut, macadamia nut - peanut oil a bit iffy: avocado and avocado oil; coconut and coconut oil. Avoid seed oils - although it is sometimes claimed that some of them are cold pressed, but I have my doubts. I prefer to stick to the oils I can be sure of.

However, the seeds themselves are good to eat - sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, etc. - although I can't imagine rapeseeds are very appetising!

Palm oil, of course, has environmental issues.

That’s a great list ! Just to avoid seed oils then. .. ok am slowly getting there ... . just bread now , don’t eat a lot but still like a slice here n there .. am thinking it has to be gluten free ?

If you're on a gluten-free diet, then yes, it would have to be gluten-free. :)

Essential to get thyroid antibodies tested and vitamin D, Folate, ferritin and B12

If thyroid antibodies are high this is Hashimoto's or autoimmune thyroid disease

Low vitamin levels are much more likely with Hashimoto's

Also likely to benefit from strictly gluten free diet

Thanks for your reply

Will I need to get these done privately or should my gp do it ?

Your GP should do them, but may not

NHS should test antibodies, but they think it irrelevant

Certainly rarely tests TG antibodies unless TPO antibodies are high

But some people have high TG antibodies and not TPO antibodies.

For full evaluation you ideally need TSH, FT4, FT3, TT4, TPO and TG antibodies, plus vitamin D, folate, ferritin and B12 tested

If you can not get full thyroid and vitamin testing from GP

Medichecks Thyroid plus ultra vitamin or Blue Horizon Thyroid plus eleven are the most popular choice. DIY finger prick test or option to pay extra for private blood draw. Both companies often have money off offers.

All thyroid tests should be done as early as possible in morning and fasting and don't take Levo in the 24 hours prior to test, delay and take straight after. This gives highest TSH and most consistent results

Link about antibodies

Blood tests

Don't be surprised GP never mentions gut, gluten or low vitamins. Highly likely to dismiss gluten free diet as rubbish

Hashimoto's is very poorly understood

Changing to a strictly gluten free diet may help reduce symptoms, help gut heal and slowly lower antibodies

Have asked previously for vit etc test the answer I got was “ your haemoglobbin level is fine , if u were low it would show up here !! I will certainly try again , thank you 😊

These sort of results on this link below are seen far far too often on here

Thyroid hormones need good vitamin levels to work well

What an eye opener ! So basically your fighting for your own wellbeing... Thank you am on it !! Do you suggest self medicating on vitamins at this point or wait for results .. have bought vit c dissolving type so far and have added liver once a week .. making small changes it’s a lot to take in lol

Vitamin C and liver is very good idea

The rest wait to test first

Many thanks again :))

I feel your pain I used to run regularly and really miss it but your really need to get ALL your levels optimal before running I've tried 3 or 4 times since diagnosis in February but feel rubbish for days after I can still do good walks though at least 30 minutes a day and I'm hopeful that one day in the not to distant future I,LL be able to run again after following all the excellent advice on here x

Hey another runner , high five Claire walker 751 👋it’s good to hear am not alone, as of late been feeling really down :(( I guess I’ll just have to be patient , trying to pick up as much knowledge as I can from here as I go .. have started walking too . Thanks for your advice 😊

Your GP gave you a very good advice.

I was a runner, too, and I haven't been able to do so for a few years now. I feel for you. Frustrations will continue to come but the best thing is to focus on sorting your thyroid.

In the early stages of my treatment, even walking use to deplete my T3 and recovery seemed very painful and bleak.

My thyroid lab results are showing optimal and so are all other vitamins and minerals co-factor but I haven't had the courage to go back to running. However, I can walk for an hour or two now and don't have a slump of 3-4 days recovery.

The ups and downs are inevitable. I have a running buddy, who also became hypo, has picked up faster than I did and is back in training doing shorter distances.

Thank you , that all makes sense , also good to hear that it’s normal to feel like this . Will be keeping an eye on how am feeling tho after a walk , that I wasn’t doing as I didn’t think walking could affect anything ... Thanks again ;)

You are welcome! and I hope your recovery will be much faster than mine.

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