About Keto and Thyroid
Many of you often ask me about Keto and Thyroid Functioning.
Common knowledge tells you that restricting carbohydrates is not good for the thyroid, but that is a very simplistic view of the issue. Let’s talk a bit more about how the thyroid functions first.
Does Your Thyroid Need Help?
Did you know that 80% of women in the USA suffer from undiagnosed thyroid dysfunction??
Yes 80%!! That is a big number that could most likely include you!
Let’s see, do you feel like you have to drag yourself out of bed in the morning and you can not face the day without at least a cup of coffee?
Have you gained weight and no matter what you did could not keep it down?
Are you constantly constipated?
Are you depressed and lack enthusiasm for living?
Did you know that those are all symptoms of thyroid malfunction?
Unfortunately conventional endocrinology does not have many tools to fix this problem.
If you are diagnosed with hypothyroidism, the only thing a doctor can do is give you synthetic (or natural) thyroid hormones, so that the symptoms will get better.
Well, that does not always work, as many times the symptoms just persist...
Do you know why?
Because just supplementing with external hormones is not healing your thyroid first of all, just patching the problem, second it does not address the very important issue of endocrine balance.
A Delicate Balance
You thyroid does not exist in a vacuum, it is part of a closely interdependent system which is your endocrine system.
Thyroid function depends both on healthy adrenal and healthy ovary function.
If your sex hormones are imbalanced or you are under a lot of stress, guess what will happen?
You thyroid will suffer too, and it will not be fixed without addressing the possible issues of adrenals and ovaries, or testes if you are a man.
Also an excess of estrogen present in the body is going to impede proper thyroid hormone production, so it is vitally important to do a proper detox and support the liver before undergoing any thyroid protocol.
Furthermore the thyroid, as the master gland of the body is also interdependent with other systems, like your digestion, or your liver function, because 70% of thyroid hormones are converted there!
It is of vital importance for good thyroid functioning that you address the other systems of the body where the root causes of malfunction can hide.
So what can you do to help your thyroid?
How To Help The Thyroid
The fist step is adequate mineral supplementation, every organ needs a specific mineral to function, the thyroid needs iodine. You have to be careful to use the right supplement and in the right form, organic, protein bound iodine is easier to assimilate but it’s not likely to cause toxicity.
As mentioned before you need to look at all the different systems of the body and support their function, as they are all connected and connected to the thyroid!
I strongly recommend working with an experienced nutrition practitioner, so you will be guided in choosing the best supplement and dosage.
I also use whole food concentrates to support natural thyroid function and healing with great success, and have often experienced that my clients’ doctors were able to take them off their meds completely!
Keto and Thyroid
Isn’t a ketogenic or low carb diet bad for the thyroid?
Not necessarily. If done the right way a ketogenic diet can be very beneficial.
Many people ask me about what is the right way to eat keto without negatively impacting thyroid function.
A ketogenic diet can be done in many different ways. In my practice I come across many people, especially women, who come to me for weight loss, wanting to use the ketogenic diet but at the same time they have hypothyroidism and are often on thyroid medication.
So how do you work with individuals who have high insulin resistance, which they need to revert in order to lose weight, and hypothyroidism, which also play a factor in the inability to shed pounds? Especially when the needs of metabolism and thyroid hormone conversion are seemingly opposite!
Damaged metabolism asks for very low insulin, therefore no carbs, while the endocrine system could use some more carbs to stimulate that T4 to T3 conversion.
Achieving this delicate balance is not always easy.
First of all it takes good knowledge of the individual situation of the patient, and their level of carbohydrate intolerance.
Second you need to consider all the elements which lead to the thyroid dysfunction, the root causes, and address them!
Third you need to support the whole endocrine system, including gonads and adrenals.
And lastly you need to create an eating plan that contains as many necessary nutrients as possible, AND use nutritional supplements when needed! The plan also needs to balance the right amount of strategic carbohydrates to maintain ketosis, and at the same time feed the endocrine system and the gut!
That’s why it is always better to do Keto Paleo! (Read HERE all about it if you are new to the concept!)
If you know you have thyroid dysfunction I would again recommend working with a professional, like me, as you could make things worst by trying to do it yourself.
In closing I know that addressing your thyroid problems might seem daunting, but there are very effective ways to actually heal it, together with your whole endocrine system.
This is what foundational nutrition does!