Keto/low carb for Hashimoto’s Hypothyroid - Thyroid UK

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Keto/low carb for Hashimoto’s Hypothyroid

Wired123 profile image
10 Replies

So I’ve been seeing conflicting info online about whether low carb is the right way to lose weight when hypo.

Some websites are saying keto causes too much acidity leading to increased inflammation (which we already have too much of) and too little insulin impairs the body’s ability to convert T4 to T3.

Others are saying keto is great for hypo as it improves thyroid hormone sensitivity so more is absorbed.

Keen to hear thoughts. I’ve done keto a few times before and lost 10kg each time but then cravings get too intense and I ended up with binge eating disorder and weight gain.

10 Replies
radd profile image


I think it depends upon your glucose and insulin state. If you raise ketones and then haven’t the insulin to deal with them that is as damaging as unusable raised blood sugars.

We all become very slightly more insulin resistant as we age, and it is seen commonly on this forum because of thyroid hormones influence on sugar metabolism, ie, acting as both insulin agonistic & antagonistic, and occurring with too much or too little thyroid hormone. You also need healthy adrenal glands to withstand the alterations in electrolytes caused by ketosis.

I have come to the conclusion that keto is great for a healthy person trying to lose a few lbs but if you have multiple conditions and thyroid hormones aren’t working well keto risks not working well and certainly isn’t a fix for losing weight due to insufficient and ineffectively working thyroid hormone.

T3 is very influential on mitochondria but we still require the cofactors for it to work, so it could be something as simple as addressing a zinc deficiency that then allows better biogenesis and weight loss. Zinc is used in the making of TSH which may stay elevated sometimes for years before hypothyroidism is adequately medicated. After diagnosis I was deficient in zinc and it took a long while of liposomal to rectify. (Zinc needs testing before supplementing significant amounts).

Or inadequate bile acids, also synonymous with hypothyroidism. This paper is too complicated to fully understand but outlines how the introduction of bile acids to mice increased energy expenditure in brown adipose tissue, encouraging weight loss and improving insulin resistance by up-regulating D2 activity (thyroid conversion enzyme) and improving oxygen consumption. How many of us have suffered ‘air hunger’! I previously supplemented ox bile for several years.

Anyway I digress, and there are members who claim to have used keto very successfully and others who successfully fast. Another thing I would never consider beyond my 12-14 hour daily/nightly fast. If you crave high-carb on keto, eating more fats/protein will help your body make the switch which then satiates your appetite.

Wired123 profile image
Wired123 in reply to radd

Some good points you raise and like every diet it does not work for everyone.

Interesting what you say about zinc and bile, I certainly need to try the bile product and see if that helps.

jamesal0 profile image

Use NDT (natural dedicated thyroid) and run a lowish TSH of near zero . Also cut out allot of carbs (keto-ish) particularly gluten carbs. Eat - Veg, real meat, Milk, coffee, tea , 3 eggs for breakfast. NO SUGAR. Don't eat diet products they are complete garbage - full of all sort of nasty artificial sugars and junk. I buy NDT online from many places.

I do 30-60min exercise per day that makes me sweat. Including some weight bearing exercise for bones . I (57 Y old male) swim 1 km Mon, Cycle 20-27km Tue, Jog 5km Wed, Swim Th, Jog Fri, Dirt bikes Sat, sleep in Sun. 15-20 min per day weights at home when I remember.

I weigh my self everyday first thing. You loose or gain weight 100 grams perday, so it's easy to monitor on digital scales and respond. But if you leave it for a week or two it's much harder to do something. If your weight is increasing remove something (chocolate, banana's, potato, bread etc) Set a realistic target for your height , age, gender, menapausal state etc . And over 3-4 months slowly work towards it, first couple of kg is easy but it gets harder and harder. I should be 83kg but I hover around 86-87kg. Get really cranky with myself when I hit 90kg. Good luck with it all. J

Wired123 profile image
Wired123 in reply to jamesal0

Wow that’s a tremendous amount of exercise, not sure I’d be able to find the time and energy around everything else including work and family commitments.

How do you have so much energy despite being hypo?

jamesal0 profile image
jamesal0 in reply to Wired123

I figure 1 hour a day is not much to pay for my health, I spend 2-3hours on Youtube and facebook :-)

Wired123 profile image
Wired123 in reply to jamesal0

Well even having that much energy and being hypo is a rare combo

jamesal0 profile image
jamesal0 in reply to jamesal0

NDT (natural dedicated thyroid) is the secret

Wired123 profile image
Wired123 in reply to jamesal0

Do you get this under the care of a doc or just self medicate. What brands of NDT do you recommend?

jamesal0 profile image
jamesal0 in reply to Wired123

I get NDT on script from a GP. It is mixed by a compounding pharmacy and hence I have no idea what brand it is . One annoyance is that it is a different batch and probably manufacture each time I go back and I have to find the best way/quantities to take with the new batch. Current split is 60mg breakfast, 30 Lunch and 60 with dinner. I delete the 30 with Lunch a couple of times a week when I'm start feeling a bit hyper. I have ordered WP Thyroid and xThyro-Gold a few times online, just to make sure I can get NDT if my GP or pharmacy gets the wobbles . Note if you dose using your symptoms rather than bloods you with have a much nicer time of NDT. And you can mix it with food as you are tuning the NDT dose almost daily vs anually when you get bloods. With food gives you a delayed release and stops stomach acid issues .

Jazzw profile image

YMMV - your mileage may vary.

I’ve tried every diet under the sun. They’ve all worked (to a point). While low carb works for me, I feel bloody awful on it and always crash off after a few weeks.

The diet that works is the one you can stick to. And that should only be after you’ve made sure everything else is optimal, i.e., your thyroid hormone levels are optimal, your vitamin and mineral levels are good etc.

I’ve been on the hunt for a quick fix diet for 40 years now. I’m still fat. It has occurred to me, more than once, that if I stopped wanting speedy weight loss, I might actually have made it to a healthy weight about 20 years ago. :)

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