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Is low carb bad for people with underactive thyroids?

Discussion in 'Low-carb Diet Forum' started by mazz33, Nov 20, 2015.

  1. mazz33

    mazz33 Type 2 · Active Member

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    There was a thread related to this a couple of weeks ago but I didn't feel it was appropriate to post in there.

    I have an underactive thyroid and type 2 diabetes, plus treatment resistant depression, anxiety and muscle/joint pain. Yay.
    I lost four stone last year, put it all back on this year. Mainly because I pretty much starved myself to lose that weight. This has been the same story for most of my adult life to be honest. Now I've got diabetes I spend most of my time panicking about it and desperately trying to lose weight, then just getting really miserable and giving up. Even after I lost four stone, I had a relapse of depression and that was it. All went back on. So, I'm thinking about trying low-carb.

    On the thread I saw, this was posted without commentary:

    Each article seems to say something conflicting. I have no idea what to think. The last thing I want to do is make myself worse. Is it just a case of "decide which source you want to believe" or is there something definitive available? Sorry if I sound a bit grouchy here, but I am horribly tired as usual and I really want to do the right thing.
     
  2. Brunneria

    Brunneria Other · Guru
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    Rather than deciding which source to believe, i would just give it a try.
    A month or so.
    See what happens.

    I really dont think that any one diet will suit everyone (i tried a lot of diets before i found the one that has been working consistently for me for several years now), but i do firmly believe that the only way to find out what does and doesnt work is by trying them out.

    If starvation, weight loss and rebound weight gain is a pattern for you, then repeating that pattern would be a very bad idea.

    Low carb high fat works for me - but you will never discover if it suits your body until you try it.
     
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  3. mazz33

    mazz33 Type 2 · Active Member

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    You make a very good point. Maybe subconsciously I'm trying to find reasons I can't do low carb, because it's really, really daunting. It would be such a huge change for me. I'm going to do some more research on this forum.
     
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  4. ewelina

    ewelina Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Ive tried low carb and the fact is that my thyroid levels went really bad at that time. I don't know if its coincidence but my test results were very bad. I do moderate carbs at the moment and its alright
     
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  5. mazz33

    mazz33 Type 2 · Active Member

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    Did they improve when you stopped? Or did they change your medication, because then you wouldn't be able to tell I guess...
     
  6. Charisma_1630

    Charisma_1630 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I'm type 1 and I have an underactive thyroid since pregnancy 3.5 years ago. It just never went away. I eat reasonably low carb. Not as low as most people on here and I gradually lowered it over a long period of time. I lost so much weight and kept it off. It was daunting for me at first as I've always lived on a piled up plate of carbs! I gradually started switching things over for a better option. I'm a massive chocoholic but I switched from a bar a day to a couple squares of 85% dipped in tea and it's enough to satisfy me now. Just don't do too much too soon as you'll always be in the trap of feeling Unsatisfied and giving up.
     
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  7. Kingsland

    Kingsland Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Whats the medical link between thyroid and low carbing? Why are you worried? I just don't understand ..... LCHF is a lifetime change of eating, not a weight loss diet (though you will most likely lose weight on it). There's nothing you can't eat - just not so much of it and not every day!
     
  8. superwoman1964

    superwoman1964 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I was a lot like you for a good year and a half after diagnosis. Low carbing one minute - eating hunks of bread the next. Then I realised there are plenty of slim people in the world who don't eat certain things for their health eg coeliacs.

    So I forgot all about weight loss and concentrated on getting my BG levels lower with LCHF.

    Switch to a smaller plate and make vegetable mash of various kinds to go with your meals. Lots of butter. Cream and cheese. If you are hungry have a low carb snack - nuts, cheese cube. Have berries and double cream for dessert. Make everything you eat be low carb but if you fancy eating something have it so long as it is low carb. Don't worry about calories. Stick to this for 2 weeks and I guarantee you will suddenly feel you need much less food to satisfy your hunger. That it when the weight loss starts. Enjoy it as a side effect of your lower BG levels which are a result of eating for your health not your weight. You will be amazed at how easy it is to stick to once you get going with it. You just need to make the mental readjustment.
     
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  9. Kingsland

    Kingsland Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Well said Superwoman!
     
  10. mazz33

    mazz33 Type 2 · Active Member

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    May I ask if you're on thyroxine and if so what dose? Has it changed since your pregnancy?
     
  11. mazz33

    mazz33 Type 2 · Active Member

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    Well those links in my post... some of them suggest I would be making my thyroid condition worse if I low-carbed. Something to do with the thyroid requiring carbs to produce the necessary hormones, so in a badly functioning thyroid low-carbing would be detrimental. But like I say, I don't know what to think as other links say quite the opposite.

    Although from what others seem to be saying, as long as you don't go too low it might be ok.
     
  12. mazz33

    mazz33 Type 2 · Active Member

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    Thank you. I think I will try it for a few weeks and see how I get on. I must admit I'm a bit frightened because I've always been told that butter and cream and cheese and meat are bad for you. Cheese especially is one of my favourite foods though, I could eat that all day. Ok I'm going to give it a go. I had a blood test which included my thyroid function this week, so I will have a good benchmark to work off.

    I'm also getting my hbA1c from this test so that'll be interesting, considering my diet hasn't been very good for the last six months. I was 6.6 last time. I hope I haven't mucked it up.
     
  13. carol43

    carol43 Type 2 (in remission!) · Well-Known Member

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    I have an under-active thyroid and was on 150mcg Levothyroxine for a good number of years. Diagnosed T2 and searched the internet and found this site. Started LCHF In April, my 3 months blood test showed that I was taking too much Levothyroixine so reduced to 125mcg and the next 3 month blood test still showed I was taking too much so now reduced again to 100mcg. So LCHF works in many ways. So I don't think you have any worries about that side of the regime. Good luck
     
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  14. mazz33

    mazz33 Type 2 · Active Member

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    That's good news. Did you also lose weight during those months?
     
  15. superwoman1964

    superwoman1964 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    So glad you are going to give it a go. Make sure you come on here and ask any question you like and everyone will be so happy to help.
     
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  16. Indy51

    Indy51 Type 2 · Expert

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    All I can do is tell you my experience which is the exact opposite to some Paleo claims (even though I'm a Paleo/Primal afficionado). At the same time I was diagnosed with Type 2, I was diagnosed as hypothyroid (TSH in the 4's) and with Vitamin D3 deficiency - my GP said these conditions tend to "cluster". Following LCHF, taking a Vitamin D3 supplement, controlling my BG and losing weight - not sure which was the most important part of the equation - resulted in normal TSH (back in the 1's) within 6 months.
     
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  17. ewelina

    ewelina Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I wasn't on medication. I was borderline when started low carbing then it went worse. Got back to moderate carbs and my thyroid improved. I'm taking small dose of levothyroxine now and its ok.
    I'm not saying it was because of low carbing but it happened at the same time. Have a go and get your blood tested after a month or so. you will get your answer there
     
  18. uart

    uart Type 1.5 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi Mazz33, could you also let us know if you're on any thyroid medication - I think it's relevant to the discussion.

    It's possible that the situation for T1s on insulin is somewhat different than it is for T2s (like me), however I had an under active thyroid most of my adult life (no medication), and the first real improvement I got was immediately after I started LCHF.

    I'm going to have to go for a follow up test soon, my last test was back in March this year and I had been on LCHF for about 2 to 3 months at the time. However it was the first time my results both HbA1c and thyroid levels came back in the normal range. I was very pleased.
    In my opinion there is a good chance that these conditions are inter-related. The underlying cause may well be your impaired carb metabolism coupled with a low fat (and therefore necessarily high carb) diet. My muscle joint pains have been considerably reduced since increasing my fat intake and reducing carbs accordingly. :)
     
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    #18 uart, Nov 21, 2015 at 3:43 AM
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 21, 2015
  19. Brunneria

    Brunneria Other · Guru
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    I agree with the muscle joint pain reduction on LC too. The diet has massively reduced inflammation, and taking vit d3 has helped with muscle aches and my mood has improved.
     
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  20. Indy51

    Indy51 Type 2 · Expert

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    I'd agree with the others re. pain. I've had lower back and hip issues for years that have gradually improved to the point where I was able to stop taking co-codamol :)

    Vitamin D3 also seems to be related to many pain syndromes, so if you haven't had it checked, I'd highly recommend being tested.
     
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