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!

Sincerely,

Julia

Commentary

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.

Question:

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.

More

LCHF for Beginners

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PS

Do you have a success story you want to share on this blog? Send it (photos appreciated) to andreas@dietdoctor.com, and please let me know if it’s OK to publish your photo and name or if you’d rather remain anonymous.

64 Comments

Top Comment

  1. Sophie
    Caylee,

    A study led by the University of the Internet shows that a 5% increase in unreferenced studies claiming random findings was associated with a 90% increased in being mocked on this forum.

    Read more →
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All Comments

  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
  4. Peter Biörck Team Diet Doctor
    If you are a member, then you are welcome to ask our experts here:
    http://www.dietdoctor.com/member/ask-the-experts

    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 http://www.healthfulpursuit.com
  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:
    http://www.journalofnaturalhealth.com/hypothyroidsolution

    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.
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