2

votes

IF and Hypothyroidism

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created July 11, 2010 at 1:12 AM

I am interested in trying IF, but am hesitant because I have hypothyroidism (dx about 4 years ago). I have only started feeling better in the past few months after the addition of T3 and iodine to Synthroid. Has anyone with hypothyroid tried IF? How did you fare? Thanks for any insight.

83d6a06c93bb3490dbca339cbbb63385

(526)

on October 17, 2010
at 03:23 AM

I would go ahead an try it out and just use your common sense. I have hypo that is very well controlled (amazing labs and few to no symptoms for the past few months) and I intermittent fast sometimes even going for well over hours without eating. I don't have any problems from it. It should be noted that something like 20% of thyroid hormones are synthesized in the digestive system so if there is not food in there that might cause lower thyroid production, but I would only worry about that if you were also severely restricting your eating, otherwise just make sure to eat to satiety.

13c5a9f1678d75b93f269cdcf69f14d5

(2339)

on July 13, 2010
at 02:50 PM

You may want to check your rT3 for a baseline before you start and then again after a few months.

Bbb993c8dacf76dd461703a82686c06a

(135)

on July 11, 2010
at 06:42 PM

I have read that people with hypo should not IF, and that it causes a down regulation of T3. As stated above, if indeed it takes 72 hours for the down regulation to occur, then I am ready to try it. Thanks!

25819079a9264c10bcba7cd592e16216

(446)

on July 11, 2010
at 06:33 PM

a lot of doctors/nurses these days strongly discourage dietary changes diverging from standard government recommendations. i've got a friend who switched from hyper to hypothyroidism, where it has stayed for several years. as i recommended that she try a no-grain-lower-carb paleo than her current diet, she won't do it per their nervousness about low-carb and thyroid issues. it seems to be something about them thinking a low-carb diet or no food in this case throwing the thyroid out of whack.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on July 11, 2010
at 06:25 PM

Just a short follow-up: http://leangains.blogspot.com/2009/11/fasting-and-metabolism.html says "[T]he downregulation of T3 takes more than 72 hrs to occur in humans. A short fast in the 16-24 hr range certainly doesn't impact negatively.", though he provides no references

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2 Answers

2
100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on July 11, 2010
at 04:09 PM

I have had thyroid issues in the past, though mild, and my current state is normal T4 and TSH, with low T3. I've just learned that this could be caused by estrogen dominance (see http://thehealthyskeptic.org/5-thyroid-patterns-that-wont-show-up-on-standard-lab-tests). I have tried IF without any problems at all. (I did about two weeks of alternate day fasting, about 22-26 hours at a time.)

But my question to you (and I'm being genuine, not sarcastic) is why would you suspect that having hypothyroidism would cause a problem for IFing? Maybe because of a possible net lowering of calories?

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on July 11, 2010
at 06:25 PM

Just a short follow-up: http://leangains.blogspot.com/2009/11/fasting-and-metabolism.html says "[T]he downregulation of T3 takes more than 72 hrs to occur in humans. A short fast in the 16-24 hr range certainly doesn't impact negatively.", though he provides no references

25819079a9264c10bcba7cd592e16216

(446)

on July 11, 2010
at 06:33 PM

a lot of doctors/nurses these days strongly discourage dietary changes diverging from standard government recommendations. i've got a friend who switched from hyper to hypothyroidism, where it has stayed for several years. as i recommended that she try a no-grain-lower-carb paleo than her current diet, she won't do it per their nervousness about low-carb and thyroid issues. it seems to be something about them thinking a low-carb diet or no food in this case throwing the thyroid out of whack.

Bbb993c8dacf76dd461703a82686c06a

(135)

on July 11, 2010
at 06:42 PM

I have read that people with hypo should not IF, and that it causes a down regulation of T3. As stated above, if indeed it takes 72 hours for the down regulation to occur, then I am ready to try it. Thanks!

13c5a9f1678d75b93f269cdcf69f14d5

(2339)

on July 13, 2010
at 02:50 PM

You may want to check your rT3 for a baseline before you start and then again after a few months.

83d6a06c93bb3490dbca339cbbb63385

(526)

on October 17, 2010
at 03:23 AM

I would go ahead an try it out and just use your common sense. I have hypo that is very well controlled (amazing labs and few to no symptoms for the past few months) and I intermittent fast sometimes even going for well over hours without eating. I don't have any problems from it. It should be noted that something like 20% of thyroid hormones are synthesized in the digestive system so if there is not food in there that might cause lower thyroid production, but I would only worry about that if you were also severely restricting your eating, otherwise just make sure to eat to satiety.

1
5d6a58590ba76136e8dc50c561c8ada2

(450)

on August 08, 2010
at 01:22 PM

I have hypothyroidism. I take Armour thyroid and also do IF when I feel like it, with no downsides. I have like a 10 hr window of time I eat (I can eat a LOT), and then don't eat much the rest of the day. So during the IF I'm actually not hungry/full in the beginning. It doesn't seem to affect my hypo. I also like eating coconut oil so that may be helping.

Honestly, I think it is completely natural to do IFs. In my past, I ate rather paleo without knowing it (although not high-quality stuff at the time), and was very fit and thin, although I wasn't really aware of my body/diet at all (didn't think about it much, and didn't know why everyone else was so chubby! lol). I just listened to what my body wanted and ate till satisfied. At school, I was never hungry enough for lunch and often only went to fit in--I just naturally fasted and felt great. When I became more aware, I followed conventional wisdom to try and keep my figure, got really depressed/skinny fat/fatigued over 4+ years, and also developed hypothyroidism. I ate very few calories, and still fasted sometimes thinking about how it seemed to work before (definitely the WRONG time to fast!), and would push it until I got very cold/light-headed. Very bad times.

Now that I'm back to eating clean and paleo, I'm still on my meds but IF when I feel like it, just like before. I never get cold/lightheaded during a fast. Also the feeling of hunger is quite different than when I went on the grains/CW diet.

So, I think you should just listen to your body, but of course stay up to date with blood tests too. I can usually feel when my numbers are off (insomnia = too much, cold more easily = too little, etc). I remember one post saying if you're hungry when you fast, you're not ready for IF, which applies to anyone.

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