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How many carbs a day to NOT trigger thyroid disturbance

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  • How many carbs a day to NOT trigger thyroid disturbance

    I've heard low carbs mess with thyroid function. I am hypo and am on Synthroid. I lost alot of hair last time I went low carb. Do you know how many carbs a day one should have to off set any thyroid disturbances?

  • #2
    Originally posted by uniquelymade View Post
    I've heard low carbs mess with thyroid function. I am hypo and am on Synthroid. I lost alot of hair last time I went low carb. Do you know how many carbs a day one should have to off set any thyroid disturbances?
    I provided this info in another post a while ago:
    My understanding:
    The possible issue with VLC for some people does not impact the function of the thyroid. It can impact thyroid hormone conversion. Thyroidmanager.org* suggests that people need a minimum of 50 grams/day of glucose for good T4( storage hormone)to T3( active hormone) conversion. With this in mind, ingesting less than 50 grams of carbs/day long term MAY negatively impact conversion.

    I recall reading somewhere (can't remember where) that an issue with VLC and conversion is person specific- not impacted at all, impacted quickly with VLC, impacted after long term VLC or something in between.

    That being said, other things can impact conversion as well:
    1. Not eating enough
    2. Low selenium. 200mcg/day is needed
    3. Low Vitamin D
    4. Low ferritin

    * Effects of the Environment, Chemicals and Drugs on Thyroid Function – Thyroid Disease Manager
    scroll down to Nutrition
    The Non-Thyroidal Illness Syndrome – Thyroid Disease Manager
    scroll down to Low T3 states

    I think you mentioned something about feeling best with a TSH of 3. It left me wondering if your medication dosage was determined by TSH alone. If you haven't had freeT4 and freeT3 tested I suggest you have those tests run.

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    • #3
      Well the answer is none since you ask about "thyroid function".....but marcadav's answer is quite right as to why "some" people seem to have issue or report certain symptoms.

      Here is a good article on it Low-Carb Diets and Hypothyroidism: A False Alarm A Worldly Monk

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      • #4
        I think 50 grams a day would serve as a good low point. And this should go without saying, but just in case, don't try to get to 50 grams with leafy greens and non-starchy vegetables. I would use a dense starch like white potatoes, white rice or cassava.

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        • #5
          I tend to function best at 75-100g. I also think Tim has a point. Set it at 50 and adjust as necessary.
          Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, steak in one hand, chocolate in the other, yelling "Holy F***, What a Ride!"
          My Latest Journal

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          • #6
            Thank you all so much!

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            • #7
              My hair too sheds a lot on vlc. I lost 30+ lbs while in ketosis and other than my hair falling off i didn't experience other negative efect. Now i'm at 70 - 90 grams of carbs. Vegetables, few servings of fruit a day and sweet potato every other day are my carb sources. I'm neither losing or gaining now at 125 lbs and my hair is healthy and strong. If i am to go below 50 g for only a day, the shedding starts again. Kind of crazy.
              I would really like to lose a few more pounds, but i guess i'll just have to count calories from here on. No going back to vlc for me

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              • #8
                I had some severe hypothyroid symptoms going low carb for too long. I suspect the level of carbs needed to prevent thyroid suppression are different for everybody.

                Chris Kresser is a pretty awesome paleo/primal type doctor who has a pretty informative website with some great articles, especially on thyroid. If you haven't read them, they are worth checking out:

                http://chriskresser.com/thyroid

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by BestBetter View Post
                  I had some severe hypothyroid symptoms going low carb for too long. I suspect the level of carbs needed to prevent thyroid suppression are different for everybody.
                  ^This. +1.

                  I do much better when I get 60-80g of carbs a day. Below 50g is when it makes a difference in my thyroid levels.

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                  • #10
                    I would use a dense starch like white potatoes

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                    • #11
                      Are you getting any good dietary sources of iodine and selenium?

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by uniquelymade View Post
                        I've heard low carbs mess with thyroid function. I am hypo and am on Synthroid. I lost alot of hair last time I went low carb. Do you know how many carbs a day one should have to off set any thyroid disturbances?
                        If you know you have negative health issues reducing carbohydrate, why are you concerned about carb count? Carbohydrate has nothing to do with weight loss. Weight loss is calorie driven. Carbohydrate is not less healthy than fat. In fact, there are far more traditional societies eating higher carb/lower fat diets free of the diseases of modern civilization than traditional societies that eat higher fat/lower carb diets. Low carb diets are fairly rare throughout human history because most humans descended from warm and temperate weather regions where carbohydrates are plentiful and animals are lean. Very few of us are descendents of cold weather societies that ate fattier cuts of meat. Remember, animals in warm weather climates are generally lean where animals in poorly inhabited cold weather climates are often fatty. Historically speaking, your genetics probably would have to react better to a higher carbohydrate diet, which is probably why so many people have thyroid issues dropping carbs. It's not really natural.

                        This is worth a read.

                        Whole Health Source: Clarifications About Carbohydrate and Insulin

                        What matters is cutting out modern foods - grains, legumes, refined oils, preservatives, chemical sweeteners, thickeners, colorings and all that nasty stuff. A potato is just as healthy as a steak. Hell, we've been eating potatoes a lot longer than we've been eating steak! As long as you're eating whole foods, you'll get healthier and lean out regardless of macro breakdowns.
                        Last edited by ChocoTaco369; 10-18-2012, 08:33 PM.
                        Don't put your trust in anyone on this forum, including me. You are the key to your own success.

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                        • #13
                          One of the functions of T3, the active thyroid hormone, is metabolizing glucose. Low-carb diets reduce both T3 and insulin for the same reason: a reduced need to metabolize blood sugar.

                          There isn't a shred of evidence that reduced levels of T3 from a low-carb diet have any adverse effect.

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                          • #14
                            Does hair come back once you up carbs, or is it gone forever?

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by ChocoTaco369 View Post
                              In fact, there are far more traditional societies eating higher carb/lower fat diets free of the diseases of modern civilization than traditional societies that eat higher fat/lower carb diets.......
                              Meh, not according to your source Whole Health Source: Composition of the Hunter-Gatherer Diet

                              "There are a number of striking things about the data once you sum them up. First of all, diet composition varied widely. Many groups were almost totally carnivorous, with 46 getting over 85% of their calories from hunted foods. However, not a single group out of 229 was vegetarian or vegan. No group got less than 15% of their calories from hunted foods, and only 2 of 229 groups ate 76-85% of their calories from gathered foods (don't forget, "gathered foods" also includes small animals). On average, the hunter-gatherer groups analyzed got about 70% of their calories from hunted foods. This makes the case that meat-heavy omnivory is our preferred ecological niche. However, it also shows that we can thrive on a plant-rich diet containing modest amounts of quality animal foods."


                              Thats a bit less than 25% of traditional HGs getting less than 15% carbohydrate and the "average" HG society getting less than 30%...so if you truly want to look at this from a traditional society sense then I would stick to these sorts of numbers. If you do well with higher that is fine and there are some societies that do so....I just wouldn't go making the statement that they are any way shape or form the majority. That is just false.
                              Last edited by Neckhammer; 10-19-2012, 01:34 PM.

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