About Me

Vivica Menegaz

Nutritionist, Author, & Blogger

Hi I am Vivica, welcome to my blog! I am a certified nutritionist and the creator of the Healing Foods Method. My philosophy of healing is to let the right foods delight you, nourish you and make you healthy!

Know Thy Thyroid -About Keto And Thyroid Function

Know Thy Thyroid Thyroid and Keto

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!

Are you worried about your thyroid? Do you ask yourself about the keto and thyroid combination? This post has the answers you need. thenourishedcaveman.com

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Comments 34

  1. What supplements do you personally take for your thyroid?

    • The Nourished Caveman says:

      I am now taking a Whole Food Protomorphogen and an herbal complex. That is because all my hormones are a bit wacko lately…it’s the age! 😛

  2. Katie Jo says:

    I’ve had a complete Thyroidectomy so I am on Armour for the rest of my life. I am very interested in doing the keto diet but wonder if someone like me is still a good candidate?

    • The Nourished Caveman says:

      yes, I think you are, as long as your diet is a clean keto paleo!!

  3. jenny martin says:

    How can I find a nutritional practitioner that can help me with this? I live in Plano TX

  4. Brenda says:

    My thyroid was removed 41 years ago. I have all of the symptoms of hypothyroidism. I have also be diagnosed as pre-diabetic. What can I do to lose weight and feel better??

    • The Nourished Caveman says:

      Hi Brenda, I am very sorry but the answer to your questions is much above the scope of this place. If you are interested in professional help you can fill out my inquiry form here: https://thenourishedcaveman.com/call
      It is not right for a practitioner to give general advice without knowing a person’s full health situation.Good luck with your health journey 🙂

  5. lisa says:

    I need some help i did radiation last year because I have Graves disease and / hyperthyroid I started on levothyroxine 3 months ago will the ketogenic diet help me lose weight

    • The Nourished Caveman says:

      Lisa, if you need help please contact me directly or fill out my inquiry form here: https://thenourishedcaveman.com/thehealingfoodsmethod

    • Tanja says:

      I TOTALLY understand where you’re coming from with being frustrated! I’ve been fighting this battle for 12 years now, but thanks to living in chronic stress, my adrenals have been hit HARD and are shutting down. Thyroid, adrenals, cortisol and sex hormones is so crazy to totally understand sometimes, especially when you have a Dr that won’t adjust the medication whenever you’re going from one extreme to the next! I’ve been to several endocrinologists, but as we all know, they want to go by lab levels and that’s it! Needless to say, I’ve had to reach out to someone to does the natural endocrine treatment because I’m so tired of wasting money on empty promises! I’m waiting for the tests to be completed in order to start to throw this mess into remission. I wish you the ultimate best in gaining your health back, it’s so frustrating being sick all the time! Not to mention that most people who don’t live this situation just don’t understand it.

      • The Nourished Caveman says:

        I can help too Tanja….all my patients have similar issues!

  6. Michelle says:

    What types of tests do you usually have a new client take to understand their overall health?
    I started eating very clean paleo ketodiet a year ago to balance my sex hormones adrenal and thyroid and improve mood and energy levels and general health. I have been very strict and its not working. I have tried supplements and spent thousands on hormone replacements. I am really frustrated and ready for some answers. All of the doctors have helped themselves to my cash and not helped me at all. So what tests would be required and what do you charge?

    • The Nourished Caveman says:

      Hi Michelle. Sounds like you are a good candidate to go deeper into your healing journey. If you are interested read this: https://thenourishedcaveman.com/thehealingfoodsmethod

      • Michelle says:

        I appreciate you responding but I was hoping you would answer my question.
        What kinds of diagnostic tests would be needed and what do you charge?

        • The Nourished Caveman says:

          Hi Michelle
          this question is beyond the scope of a blog answer sorry. You can fill out my inquiry form if you are interested in working with me…I have different options.

  7. Rachel Roddy says:

    I’m really glad I found your blog! My TSH is 4.88 so I am very close to being hypo. My dr wants to hold off on meds for now, but focus on diet and activity and check back in six months. I tried keto last spring (before I knew I had thyroid issues) and have never felt better. I stopped doing it because people were saying that it wasn’t healthy. Have you noticed a huge change in energy levels and overall feeling better? Thanks!

    • The Nourished Caveman says:

      Rachel, eating keto can help with thyroid problems, but it is definitively only part of the solution. Thryoid problems are complex and have deep roots in the many systems of the body. One of the reasons why they are “hard” to solve is that the root causes are ever completely addressed.

  8. Right on the mark! Great job!

    Dr. Augustine

  9. deanna morris says:

    I have had hypothyroid (hasimotos disease) for 18 years. Had to increase dosage last year to 200mcg. Have been on keto diet for only 2 months – went to Dr appointment for routine blood work. NO MORE HYPOTHYROID 🙂
    I thought all the health claims were a little far fetched with this diet. My hair has gotten more curly and is soft, no more hair loss, skin is no longer dry and itchy, less wrinkles.
    Only issue I had was my 1st period after starting keto, it was extremely painful and had to stay in bed for 2 days.
    Haven’t lost a lot of weight, but clothes are fitting looser.
    So glad I found keto info by accident.
    Game changer for sure!

    • The Nourished Caveman says:

      Wow Deanna I am impressed! Congratulations on your progress. As far as the period goes, it should normalize after you are on keto a few months. If it does not it means your liver and endocrine system need more attention…
      Best of luck with Keto!

  10. Natalie says:

    I would like to know your source for the statistic “80% of women suffer from an undiagnosed thyroid disfunction.” It seems like it would be pretty hard to determine if someone has a thyroid problem if they have not been diagnosed.

    • The Nourished Caveman says:

      I can not find my original source. This source states it is 60%, but I have read many other numbers. To be safe I would say that the estimate is between 60% and 80%. Of course it is just an estimate based on current diagnosed patients.

  11. Lynn says:

    If you are medicated for hypothyroidism, armour thyroid, and you take hormone replacement therapy (compounded cream of estradiol and progesterone), how do the ketone supplements affect those levels? What is the adjustment therapy and how often do you need to get blood work done? People with hypothyroidism (and hormone therapy) have to get regular blood work done anyway, so anytime there is a change, you have to make adjustments. How exactly does ketosis affect that? The T3 is the measure of how your body converts T4. If it is low, then the body is not converting and the thyroid is not functioning properly. The lower the T3, the worse you feel. If ketosis lowers the T3, how is that optimal? The euphoric feeling from BHB could offset the lethargy of hypothyroidism, but if it creates an issue with the underactive thyroid, is that a false “feel good”? Can you explain the science to me a little better with supporting documentation and scientific studies?

    • The Nourished Caveman says:

      The view you express is a very mechanistic, linear view of the body’s functioning. The human body is a very complex organism, in which all systems function is correlation and synergy. Unfortunately such limiting views are also adopted by mainstream medical system and endocrinology. As you can clearly see from the results, those systems are not able to maintain a state of health in the population. Quite the contrary.
      It is time that we return to a truly holistic way to treating the body and all it’s systems.
      Ketosis has many benefits, some of which are specifically correlated to hormonal function. It improves insulin sensitivity, lowers inflammation and cortisol and reduces estrogen dominance (in relation to insulin pathways) – those benefits are all indirectly related to thyroid function, but are strongly supportive of general thyroid health.
      In specific cases, like women going through menopause or individuals with Hashimotos or severe adrenal and thyroid dysfunction, even a ketogenic diet can be modified to support the production certain hormones. A cyclical Ketogenic diet could be most indicated in those cases.
      For some “scientific” studies and a good explanation of the physiological mechanism please read this article:

  12. Anita says:

    I am in my 40’s and my doctor told me this happens with age. I strongly disagree with him on it and I am still trying to figure out what causes my hypothyroidism. Don’t settle for less try any outlet.

  13. Tara says:

    This is a fantastic article! So much of the time, these things are super high level and without substantiation. I am an avid believer in eating keto (of some sort). My aunt was recently diagnosed with extremely low thyroid. She has struggled to lose weight her entire life in spite of eating a traditional high carb, low fat diet. I want to convince her to try something different but without direct experience dealing with thyroid issues, was wary. I will share your article with her. Thank you!

    • The Nourished Caveman says:

      Thank you Tara, I am glad to be of help!! I hope she will benefit from trying Keto!

  14. Hannah Sauve says:

    Hi! I am currently 26, and I was diagnosed with hashimotos when I was 16, and been on the same dose of synthroid with regular blood tests and have they have always been regulated. I recently started the KETO diet and now I am hearing from a few people that it is dangerous for those with thyroid conditions. I figure if I have been consistent with my levels for so long, I shouldn’t be affected. What are your thoughts?

    • The Nourished Caveman says:

      If you are doing a ketogenic diet with whole foods and listen to your body for possible carb-ups when needed, ou should be generally ok…but dont forget in such cases diet alone is usually not enough! I recommend proper supplementation to help rebuild your thyroid function. And by this I do not mean over the counter vitamins, but specific supplements only a practitioner can recommend. 🙂

  15. Shiela Rose Vicente says:

    Hi, I am 28 and been diagnosed with hyperthyroidism sometime in 2008. I’ve been to various endocrinologists and been drinking prescribed meds. Time came where my thyroid tests were normal. But, about 2 years ago I suddenly gained weight. I checked my thyroid and the result said I have hypothyroidism. I took levothyroxine. Then it became normal again but my weight didn’t change at all, I feel obese. I am now tired of taking any medicines and stopped seeing my endocrinologist. I want to try a natural diet/meal plan that will help normalize my thyroid, FOREVER. I am interested in trying this keto diet. Do you think this will help me? I need your help. Thank you in advance.

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