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Low carb, thyroid, upping the carbs, need some advice

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  • Low carb, thyroid, upping the carbs, need some advice

    I have been looking into upping the carbs lately due to a slightly low thyroid. My temps were averaging 97.5F. I have run into some issues here...

    Sweet potatoes and raw milk in the diet have upped the temperatures to 98.3 on rising, 97.8 during the day, and 98.0 at night. But... too many sweet potatoes has caused some facial bloating.. either that or it was the maca.. which I stopped because it was giving me some anxiety. So I will limit the sweet potatoes to 2 a day, 1 at lunch and dinner... but I need closer to 150 carbs a day and I am having trouble getting there without fruit (I don't tolerate it well at this time)

    Besides carrots, onions, and parnsips does anyone have any other suggestions? Also, does anyone have any suggestions on how to increase carbs without experiencing the some bloating.. etc. I am not bloating in the belly at all, just in the face.

    I have ruled out Hashimoto's, tested negative for antibodies, (although I did bloat up in the face twice when I had a huge seaweed salad on two seperate occasions... very curious... also raw maca powder did the same)

    Here are my thyroid blood results

    TSH 1.27
    Free T4 1.1
    Fre T3 3.7

    I feel quite hot when my temperature reads 98.0 or 98.3... significantly hotter than when it reads 97.5.. is it possible that my thermometer is faulty? It is digital.

    I also have some other thyroid symptoms such as slightly low energy, some mild sleeping difficulties, dry skin and scalp, some brain fog here and there.

    I know why my thyroid is low... I went a little too crazy senior year of high school with XC and overtrained, lost like 30lbs. Poor gut flora is also a culript. I gained all the weight back on a SAD diet but overdid the junk to add quick weight. Found Primal last summer and messed around with Zero Carb Carnivore diets and VLC... probably did not help.

    Any advice? Sorry is this was long

  • #2
    What are the reference ranges for your labs? From what I see, everything looks good, but I might be going on different reference ranges.

    Do you get enough Vitamin D and Selenium?

    My MDA journal

    Primal Ponderings- my blog- finally added some food pron :P

    And best of all my Body Fat Makeover!!


    • #3
      You cannot rule out Hashimoto's because of low antibodies. When I had a biopsy of one of my thyroid nodules, the pathologist's report included a diagnosis of Hashimoto's. My endo said that was interesting because he could not have made a diagnosis on the basis of my lab work because the antibodies were too low, but the pathologist's report was definitive.

      I later read that there are many false negatives for Hashimoto's based on blood work because unless the antibodies are actively attacking the thyroid at the time of the blood draw, there may be an insufficiency noted.

      There are many triggers for thyroid disease, and food is one of the least prevalent, so don't blame yourself for any thyroid problems. The causes are many and are often unknown.


      • #4
        I'm just going through something quite similar with my thyroid. I've read heaps of stuff on which one of the lovely people on here directed me to.

        Looking at your labs and going by what I read (I'm no expert), low TSH and low T4 is often indicative of a pituitary problem rather than a thyroid one. Hypothyroidism will usually see you with elevated TSH levels in an attempt to stimulate more T4 production. What has your GP said?

        Looking at your ideas, it seems like you have been reading Matt Stone's stuff, am I right?
        My Journal


        • #5
          To respond to your question about carbs: butternut squash is good for me. I'll cut one in half and roast it in the oven, then store it in the fridge to add to soups and smoothies. Blended in, it just adds body and a tiny bit of sweetness--and carbs, of course, but you don't feel like you're having to eat something extra. Or perhaps you might consider adding in a white potato here and there (see Mark's recent post). Maybe blending it with other less-carby veggies (again, in a soup, or maybe mashed together with cauliflower or parsnips) would blunt the insulin effects while still helping to get the carbs up there?

          I have Hashimoto's and learned through trial and error that I really can't do VLC. Like you, I've found it a chore to raise my carbs much above 50 grams while eating primally. But I broke my foot a week ago and in the ensuing boredom decided to try some low-carb baking, something I'd been avoiding until I lost more weight. I made two batches of yummy shortbread cookies, of which I've been eating 2 or 3 (or 4) a day; eaten some rice; and not bothered at all with tracking macros. Lo and behold: eating this way, and with greatly reduced activity due to the broken foot, I've lost a pound a half over the past week!

          I'd like to understand better the science behind us hypothyroids needing more carbs. Beyond a dim suspicion that it has something to do with the adrenals, I'm not clear about it at all. Could someone help? Minxxa? I think you refer to this often in your posts. Just a simple explanation?


          • #6
            Originally posted by beenbean View Post
            I'd like to understand better the science behind us hypothyroids needing more carbs. Beyond a dim suspicion that it has something to do with the adrenals, I'm not clear about it at all. Could someone help? Minxxa? I think you refer to this often in your posts. Just a simple explanation?
            Thyroid hormones are sensitive to carbohydrate intake.
            I highly recommend heading over to and searching for "thyroid". There are several good articles that talk about carbohydrates and thyroid hormones.


            • #7
              I actually first heard about carbs/thyroid connection from someone else here, either marcadav or emmie I believe... not sure as my memory is Carp!

              I do know that if you're under stress (or have adrenal issues), too low in the carbs can look scary to your body so it starts turning your T4 into Reverse T3 (nonusable, helps you store fat instead) instead of regular T3 that is usable. My Reverse T3 numbers are pretty high, in the mid there is definitely something going on there. (I believe you're supposed to convert 20% or so of your T4 to RT3, but it shouldn't be a large amount).

              I have been shooting for 50g-90g of carbs, but am almost thinking of trying to average 100g for a while and see how my body likes that. But yes, it is harder when you're not eating grains or beans! I do eat avocado a lot... 1/2 to 1 a day, and a banana on occasion, maybe 1 a day or every other which helps. But yes, sweet potatoes and squash are my go tos which is fine cuz I adore a sweet potato swathed in buttah in the morning with my eggs and sweet potato has browns are good, too!

              If you go to the groups section on this board (under community), there's a hypothyroid group and I and others have been posting useful articles there. Feel free to check it out and definitely add articles you have that are missing... I'm trying to slowly get a good library of research and reference for people there so that there's a good starting point.

              I'll try to do some research on good articles on this and add them today, though... I'll update here if and when I do (or if somebody else beats me to it!)
              sigpic "Boy I got vision and the rest of the world is wearing bifocals" - Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid


              • #8
                Aright so I'll just up the carbs. It is very possible that it is something to do with my adrenals too.

                Emmie, with your hashi's, does your face swell up when you have any kind of potassium iodide? Such as seaweed, kelp supplements, or anything goidrogenic like raw maca? That is what happened to me, and either it just slowed my thyroid down to a halt, or it stimulated it and my body attakced it (Hashi's).

                But besides low thyriod I have no other symptoms of Hashi's. And I never have.


                • #9
                  I was just listening to a Robb Wolf paleo podcast last night where he talked about hypothyroidism at length. (I'm sorry, I can't remember which podcast it was, but each one has a table of contents; I *think* it was one of the earlier podcasts.) One thing I do remember is him saying to take iodine, which you can get over the counter. He said (I believe) 150 mcg of iodine is the standard dose. (Don't quote me on that -- please find that podcast and review the exact dosage for yourself.) He might have said something in relation to carbs here; I had my laptop in bed with me and was falling asleep.
                  "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food." -- Hippocrates


                  • #10
                    I'd always be careful with iodine. Yes, some people have low iodine and that causes symptoms, but treating with iodine can exacerbate other thyroid conditions (like Hashi's if I'm not mistaken). You really need to have some idea what type of thyroid issue you're having and your iodine levels before supplementing or you could do more harm than good.
                    sigpic "Boy I got vision and the rest of the world is wearing bifocals" - Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid