Is it possible to recover from hypothyroidism?

Before and after

Before and after

Is it possible to recover from hypothyroidism? Most people on thyroid hormone treatment need to continue this for the rest of their lives.

Here’s a story about an exception named Julia:

The Email

Hi Andreas,

I just want to let you know that I’ve recovered from hypothyroidism since starting LCHF.

I started to eat LCHF in August last year and had lost 44 lbs (20 kg) by the end of the year. After this I started to phase out my Levothyroxine medication and am now free from medication and my labs are just keep getting better and better (I draw blood every six weeks).

I hope this can inspire and give others hope, as I know that there are many people out there struggling with both hypothyroidism and obesity!




Congratulations, Julia!

This is not a common story in my experience. Most people who are treated with Levothyroxine medication (thyroid hormone) and start an LCHF diet still need to take their medication. Some may indeed need to reduce their dose considerably, but others may even have to increase it. And many stay on approximately the same dose.

But there are always exceptions.

In Julia’s case, it’s possible that the substantial weight loss contributed to a reduction in the amount of hormone needed. Perhaps the body’s own production is enough.

Or she may have had an inflammation in her thyroid, which healed after she started eating LCHF. Perhaps the diet change contributed, but it’s difficult to know for sure.


Are you on thyroid medication for hypothyroidism? Have you started an LCHF diet after being diagnosed? What happened?

Feel free to share your experience in more detail in the comments below.


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Do you have a success story you want to share? Send your information, plus before and after photos, to It would also be greatly appreciated if you shared what you eat in a typical day, whether you fast etc. More information:

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  1. Mark
    Hey saw your post if you have time I would love to explain to you why
  2. Gloria
    Thanks for your comment which I found very helpful. I also have had a total thyroidectomy due to is growing around my windpipe and choking me. I have been doing lchf since January 2016 so am a year behind you. Wondering how you are going now another 6 months down the track. I have reduced my thyroxine - was on almost the same as you were but 200mcg x4 weekly and 150mcg x3 weekly. Last October Dr wanted me to reduce to 150mcg daily which I did but had brain fog again so put my dose back up. Since I began lchf in January I have lost 11kg and for the last 4 weeks have reduced back down to 150mcg daily with no bad results. Had a blood test yesterday so will be interested to see what has happened. I have not consulted with my Dr about the changes I have made yet as they are very negative about lchf - NZ first country in the world to officially denounce it!! But am interested in whether you have continued to reduce your medication? Thanks.
  3. Chloe
    I have been LCHF for 3 years and since then I have had amenorrhea (no periods). Now at age 25 I've been diagnosed as premenopausal. My estrogen and FSH are too low and over the past year I can not satisfy my hunger or my cravings. My weight is healthy but I have still put on 20lbs over the last year. I tried upping fat intake and there is still no satisfaction, it amazes me how much I can consume. Any advice or insight would be greatly appreciated. I'm considering having to add starches back into my diet but am hesitant. Thanks
    Replies: #54, #59, #67
  4. Peter Biörck Team Diet Doctor
    If you are a member, then you are welcome to ask our experts here:

    One common advice is: "introducing longer fasts or an extended fast (3-5 days)"

    I have been LCHF for 3 years and since then I have had amenorrhea (no periods). Now at age 25 I've been diagnosed as premenopausal. My estrogen and FSH are too low and over the past year I can not satisfy my hunger or my cravings. My weight is healthy but I have still put on 20lbs over the last year. I tried upping fat intake and there is still no satisfaction, it amazes me how much I can consume. Any advice or insight would be greatly appreciated. I'm considering having to add starches back into my diet but am hesitant. Thanks

  5. Sam
    Lol why are you so angry? Maybe you need to chew on some meat to make you happy!
  6. 1 comment removed
  7. John Booth
    Sorry, but I think your'e a hell of a lot more attractive before than after.
    Reply: #60
  8. Seth
    Thyroid Med Change on LCHF.

    I was bouncing between 175mcg and 200mcg Synthroid for years. After 3 months on LCHF had to go down to 150mcg and who knows, it may go lower after I test again in a few weeks. (Weight dropped from 200# to 175# in that time. BF down to 13%. )

  9. Jrocks
    Chloe, I recommend you listen to the keto diet podcast. Leanne went through the same issues and discusses this at length. You can also find her website
  10. SGK
    What is your purpose with this comment? Why is it important for you to share your opinion on this? Do you have a more concrete advice to Julia, or do you just have a general urge to comment on how attractive you think women are?

    I choose to congratulate Julia to her improved health!

  11. Brad Miller
    I can relate to this article because I dreamed about overcoming my hypothyroidism for years.
    I tried just about everything I could think of but nothing seemed to work.

    Then I did something different and I took back control of my life in a few short weeks. Now I’m happy and don't think about hypothyroidism anymore.

    If anyone's interested, here's a website that helped me a lot:

    Best of luck!

  12. James
    This video was a surprise to me because my experience with low carb/keto diets and Hypothyroidism (Hashimoto's disease) is exhaustion, irritability and (unwanted) weight loss ... to the point where I can't continue the diet. My doc always said this was due to the thyroid needing some glucose to function properly.

    Note that I'm trying these keto diets not to lose weight (I'm already skinny) but to try and get rid of SIBO/GERD.

  13. Elizabeth
    I've been on Nature Thyroid for over ten years. I've been HFLC for a month and yesterday, I found out that I have lost 25 pounds and she cut my medications in half.
  14. Donna
    I've been eating low-carb/high-fat most of the time for about 3 years now and have been on thyroid meds for about 12 years. For the last 2-1/2 months, I haven't been taking my levothyroxine. I could feel that the pills weren't helping me anymore, so I tapered off and then quit taking them altogether. I waited for things like my hair to fall out and feeling tired all the time, the way I felt before, but that hasn't happened. So far, so good.

    When I saw my doctor a few months ago, I asked her about stopping the meds, but she laughed and told me that it couldn't be done--once on them, always on them. I'm enjoying proving her wrong. She's learned a lot about hypothyroidism because of me until now because of my numbers while on thyroid meds (TSH was best at near zero, and free T3 and free T4 in the high normal range--otherwise my hair would start falling out by the handful). She's about to learn some more when my next appointment comes up. I'm convinced that my hypothyroidism was caused by inflammation to my thyroid because of my high-carb diet, and now that the inflammation is gone, so is the need for the medication.

  15. barbara
    not only have I lost 70 pounds in a year, I just got the news my thyroid is better, lowered my med for it. also I am off insulin completely, aiming at thirty more pounds and the dr will take me off all my meds. wow, thanks for the support diet dr has been to me. Barbara g
  16. Jacquie Rogers
    My experience with hypothyroidism has been that after losing 35 lbs (bringing my BMI down from 31 to under 25) in the past eight months through eating LCHF, I still need the same level of levothyroxine as before.
  17. Daniela Meyer
    Hi Chloe,

    I'm curious how you are doing now? I just finished 2 months of serious keto and am starting to add back in complex carbs because I had such an intense hormonal reaction. I was very strict, counted macros, did urine tests multiple times a day and know for sure I was in ketosis all the time. I also ate a very healthy version of keto with as many vegetables as I could fit, a little yogurt and nuts. Took multivitamins, potassium supplements and drank broth to help with electrolytes. But I lost no weight (eating 1200 - 1400 calories a day). I was too exhausted to go to yoga and even walking a few blocks seemed overwhelming. My hair starting falling out, my acne flared up and I was irritable and emotional all the time. I kept waiting for it to pass because I was convinced keto would work. But I finally reached a point where I realized my body was telling me something was wrong. So I started researching and came across a number of nutrionists warning that for some women, keto can really derail the delicate hormonal system we have (that enables us to reproduce). Not having your period is a serious warning sign, especially for someone your age. And being hungry all the time means keto is no longer working for you. Your body need nutrients that it's not getting. I'm amazed and a little angry that a doctor would recommend fasting for you. Which is clearly the opposite of what you need. Slow weight gain like yours very likely means that LCHF is slowing down your metabolism and probably affecting your thyroid. I would highly recommend talking to a doctor or nutrionist about all the factors. If you're like me and you tend to be a little extreme and you're waiting for someone to encourage you that it's okay to transition out of keto, be encouraged! These are articles are super helpful:

    Reply: #69
  18. Katherine
    I've been either keto or LCHF for five months. (I don't test for keto; I just use recipes from the website.) I have lost 25 pounds, reduced my HbA1C from 6.1 to 5.8, and my doctor just reduced my levothyroxine from 175 mcg to 150 mcg. My hypothyroidism is Hashimoto's. I have experienced no problems; in fact, I feel better than I have in years. By the way, my cholesterol (161) and triglyceride (56) numbers are awesome! I get blood tests for thyroid at least every six months and do not expect to ever get off levothyroxine, which I've been taking for twenty-nine years.
  19. Sarah
    Daniela, that's not how you do keto. Also, you were eating wayyyyy too many vegetables. For someone with thyroid issues, that will aggravate things. Especially if you're eating goitrogens such as broccoli, kale, cabbage, mustard, etc (Google goitrogen foods). Your focus should be more on meat.
  20. Gary
    My wife had her thyroid removed some 20 years ago and is on 125 per day Levothyroxine she initially lost 12 lbs but it’s slowly going back on and she struggles with the eggs,meat & cheese ( only eating chicken) in this way of eating and struggles in not being able to eat Oats for breakfast and the occasional peach etc. So keto has become very difficult for her, can you actually lose on moderate carbs or is this just not the best woe for her. I should add she has just come off of HRT too ! It’s all going on.
    I love this lifestyle and it suits me perfectly improving my IBS no end. Thanks
    Reply: #71
  21. Artois
    I am hypothyroid and have done the low carb diet three times, the first time it was called Atkins. It has worked with astonishing success each time, resulting in huge weight loss accompanied by a great sense of accomplishment and wellbeing, however, I have never managed to maintain the strict regime and like your wife, miss my porridge with honey in the morning and some lovely crusty bread with cheese and wine or my wife’s heavenly lemon cheesecake!
    I’m currently 8 weeks alcohol free and 3 weeks into my latest ‘keto’ session, I get all anal about measuring everything, I know it will work, it always has, it’s how to maintain my ideal weight when I reach it that’s the problem, I always creep back to where I was and I believe so do most people.
    Btw, my hypothyroidism has never been affected in any way by a low carb diet, I am amazed to hear people talking about arbitrarily changing thier thyroid medication doses without talking to thier doctor, maybe that’s a US thing though, here we tend to do what we are told by our GP.
  22. Donna
    This is the first post I have been able to find on the "reversing" of hypothyroidism while on LCHF. I am hypothyroid and have been on LCHF for almost 7 months now. Approximately 3 months in, I started having symptoms of over-medication (hyperthyroid: heart palpitations, agitation, heat intolerance). I've had my TSH tested and my levels are so low they are undetectable. My levothyroxine dosage has been decreased twice and I am going back to the doctor next week, as my last TSH level is still undetectable and I continue to feel over-medicated. I am hoping that I might be able to discontinue the medication totally. I do wonder what would happen if I were to increase carbs/decrease fat?
  23. 2 comments removed
  24. Anne
    I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism and was prescribed Levothyroxine. I had some nasty side effects from these tablets as I'm hypersensitive to any pharmaceuticals, and almost ended up in hospital!
    I had to resort to natural methods . I cut down my carbs to 20g or less, increased my fats and rotated my occasion brassica veggies. My hypothyroidism is gone!! And by the wasy are my post viral meningitis crippling headaches 😊. My belief that tons of vegetables was best in the past has been completely overturned.
  25. K
    I was taking 225ug Levotyroxine earlier this year when I went LCHF. I already had anger issues, which went worse and I started having severe palpitations and panic attacks with the severity that I never experienced in my life before. I was feeling I am going to have a cardiac attack any moment. My suspicion was that I was over medicating on Levothyroxine. I spoke to my GP, they did blood test and advised me to stay on 225ug. Against my GP's advice, I rescued my Levo to 200 ug, got blood tests done in 6 weeks and my GP said stay on the current dose. I reduce my Levo again by myself to 150, waited 6 weeks, got blood done and my GP again says stay on the current dose. I reduce my dose to 100 without telling my GP, waited 6 weeks, got blood tests done and my GP says my T4, T3 levels are fine I should continue my current dose. What the f***!!!

    Upon each test my TSH levels were in the mid range and T4 levels near the upper limit but still within range. I am going to continue to reduce my Levo until my dose is zero or my T4/T3 levels plummet below the lower end of the normal range.

  26. elle100
    I'm very happy to hear someone, well several, have cut or eliminated their levothyroxine. I'm hoping to do the same as time passes in Keto dieting. I've already cut my BP meds in half. The thyroid is a bigger issue, I see. Oh! and thanks for that link to the Journal of Natural Heath. I'm going there now to read up on your cure, commenter Brad.
  27. Donna
    I was on levothyroxine for over 20 years, after consuming coconut oil and other fats I started having heart palpitations, I decided to lower my dose. After a week of half my normal dosage, I still had heart palpitations, so I again halved the dose, still those palpitations kept on coming, so I went to a speck of medication. I did that for about a week, then I just stopped it. I've got to admit that I initially put on about 10 pounds, but that came right off after 2 weeks. My eyebrows have actually grown back after not having the outer half for 20 years! I'm completely medication free now, I no longer take lipitor for cholesterol and I no longer take NSAIDS for pain.
  28. Debbie
    Has anyone here with Hashimotos had to cut out dairy ? Thank you!
  29. Debbie
    Once I started low carb/keto, natural desicated thyroid (NDT), added in T3 (liothyronine), I started to heal the Hashimotos. I also started taking Low Dose naltrexone to reduce the antibodies. I got a lot of help from the facebook group The Attuned thyroid. I am wondering if now I need to quit eating dairy? Thank you!
    Reply: #81
  30. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor

    Once I started low carb/keto, natural desicated thyroid (NDT), added in T3 (liothyronine), I started to heal the Hashimotos. I also started taking Low Dose naltrexone to reduce the antibodies. I got a lot of help from the facebook group The Attuned thyroid. I am wondering if now I need to quit eating dairy? Thank you!

    The best way to know for sure is to eliminate dairy for 3-4 weeks. Evaluate how you feel. If you then choose to reintroduce dairy, you can see if it affects you.

  31. Jill
    I’ve been following keto for 2 years. I am very thoughtful and methodical about logging my food and evaluating calories and macros. Weight loss is extremely slow for me, which causes me to tweak my macros and calories from time to time to try to optimize the diet for myself. I have hypothyroid, and my thyroid hormones decreased even more within the last few months. My dr is considering increasing my levothyroxine prescription amount, but I have had negative symptoms in the past when the prescription was increased. I also gained 15 lbs since August for no apparent reason. My periods since going keto are finally normal and regular after having amenorrhea problems for the last 25 years. I am jealous of the people who seem to have such an easy time losing weight on keto. It’s frustrating that I’m having such a hard time when I’m working very hard to do this correctly. I have no resources or support outside of Diet Doctor and a few other recipe-only sites because my family and doctors are very negative about keto.
    Reply: #83
  32. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor
    I'm sorry this has been such a struggle for you Jill. Please feel free to let me know if you'd like some troubleshooting links or suggestions here.
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