View Full Version : Hypothyroidism

10-13-2006, 09:10 AM
I have hypothyroidism, which makes dieting somewhat difficult. I do crossfit several times a week and exercise about5 hours a week.

Any diet/supplement suggestions for hypothyroidism?

Great publication

Robb Wolf
10-13-2006, 09:16 AM
Well…several things come to mind!

First when were you diagnosed with hypothyroidism and have you altered your nutrition and exercise patterns significantly since then? It might be a good idea to get that checked again.

Second thing, when you say: “dieting is somewhat difficult” I’m guessing you have had problems getting to a level of leanness you want? Me being the curious type…what does your nutrition look like? Are you getting several (4-5) meals per day with 3-6oz of protein like chicken, fish or beef at every meal? Plenty of veggies? No wheat, and a minimum of other grains and dairy (if your hypothyroidism is an autoimmune situation this recommendation of cutting the grains, soy and dairy could be VERY important). If these things are not in place it will be very hard to carry a low body-fat level and hey, it’s not dieting it’s just “good eat’n” :0)

Ok, third thing: bio-identical hormone replacement (BIHR) can be appropriate for both genders. That said I am assuming you are female, if I’m wrong please recommend any punitive retribution that seems appropriate! Try to find a doctor who specializes in BIHR. These doctors are hard to find but they exist. The book “Sex, Lies and Menopause” is also a must read (discusses BIHR).

Fourth thing and actually getting back to your original question! If you are not getting adequate iodine adding 1/8th tsp of powdered kelp per day for a few weeks might be helpful. Another product called guggul lipid can help in the conversion of T4-T3. But as this link points out it may be a conversion issue and or a lack of thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH): http://www.altsupportthyroid.org/t3/t3medrefs2.php.

It is NOT at all a clear-cut situation and a good doctor who actually remembers their endocrinology and has a good diagnostic lab can help you ferret out what is really going on. People try the self-diagnosis thing and do OK but if you can get some help in this area it can be quite beneficial. We work with an amazing doctor here in Chico, CA Dr. Nagel. Great doctor, fantastic person. He may be a resource for finding a good Doc in your area.

Just to re-cap: You can do a lot of stuff revolving around nutrition and exercise that will help regardless of your hormonal status. Get those dialed and if you need help doing that just let us know. If that is not getting you where you want to go think about finding a doctor that can help. Remember a good doctor can help, a bad one…well, yeah anyway…just find a good one! If you embark upon any of the supplements that are available it would be wise to know what your T4/T3 levels and TSH are so you can know that things are actually in need of help or that your intervention is doing something.

Sorry for the long response! Let me know if this helps.

10-13-2006, 09:16 AM
Let me add several facts, to the previous;

I am a male, and getting lean is the problem. I have exercised regularly even before Hypo, and my diet has gotten better and beteer although still not perfect. Mainly a zone type of diet, with some grains and very little diary. I get iodine in a multi about 150mcg a day. I take natural thyroid armour 200 mg a day. Have tried Cytomel, different doses etc.

For instance last year I ran two 1/2 marathons to train for a full marathon, and the full and lost about 6 lbs, so weight loss is difficult.

I will contact Dr Nagel but feel I have a good doctor.

Any other suggestions.


Robb Wolf
10-13-2006, 09:17 AM
It sounds like you are pretty dialed in! The Armour is typically much more effective than synthroid. Dr. Nagel is a great doctor so it might be helpful to get a new set of eyes on the problem. If you have a good Doc you are truly fortunate.

Two other things come to mind. Nutritionally you might try doing a strict Zone just as a means to lean out. You can calculate your Zone blocks on any of the Zone websites. You will need to weigh and measure your food for ~2 weeks to really get a sense of how much food you need. Most folks lean out quite rapidly on this and when they are at a desired BF level they increase their fat intake from 2-5x to reach a lean maintenance level. The second point regards exercise and I would shift more towards anaerobic interval work and weight training. Marathons are not the best way to get lean!! Are you doing the CrossFit WOD? Great place to start. Let me know how all this plays out!

Ben Kaminski
10-24-2006, 11:12 AM
What made you pick Armour? I have never tried it, but read that it has too much variation from batch to batch in levels of T3 or proportions of T3:T4. Also, because it has T3, it allegedly places you in a hyperthyroid state for several hours after taking it.

I am hypothyroid as well (the auto-immune type, hashimotos). My problem is the opposite however - I can't gain weight! My last test showed I was pretty hyperthyroid from the replacement, so that might explain why I have to eat so much. I took generic levothyroxine for about 8 months, and just switched to name brand Synthroid, to avoid absorption variations between different generics.

I would recommend considering a different thyroid replacement.

Bo Bolund
06-15-2007, 05:30 AM
Coconut oil is known to stimulate thyroid function

Mike ODonnell
06-15-2007, 07:17 AM
Are there any studies on the benefits of interval cardio training vs the standard long and slow training for hypothyroidism? In my book...training for a marathon would involve long training sessions over 45 min...and excessive training like that will definitely lead to a loss of muscle mass and depression of the thyroid. I would take full account of what Robb said about getting the diet on track esp upping the protein and dumping all grains (I am sure Dr G can go on more detail about that one with the link to thyroid issues). Also I would try keeping your training short and breif with more intervals (such as 1 min of higher intensity/2 min recovery pace....etc..) rather than long long cardio which may be adding to the problem. I think you will notice once things can get dialed in...the weight will start coming off easier.

Remember you have full control of your diet and exercise...and the weight will come off if you apply that control. Keep track of exercise and nutrition...see what works...throw out anything that doesn't.

Garrett Smith
06-15-2007, 05:27 PM
Eliminate all grains (mainly and most importantly the gluten grains) and make sure your iodine status is sufficient before messing around with thyroid hormone, IMO.

From what I understand, coconut oil helps to balance the thyroid, whether it is hypo- or hyper-. If there is a nutrient deficiency, dietary intolerance, or toxicity issue, it cannot overcome those.

Greg Davis
06-21-2007, 05:00 PM
Garrett- How can a layperson check their iodine status? I'm guessing that if i asked my MD to check this for me he would not be so helpful.

Garrett Smith
06-22-2007, 06:21 AM
I can run the 24-hour urine iodine loading test for you. Just contact my office 520-577-6888 and we'll ship the kit out.

No, insurance won't pay for it, so no need to get MD/PCPs involved anyway.

Greg Davis
06-25-2007, 06:05 PM
I called the office and got the scoop on it.. am considering it but I'm tight on cash and not so sure about shipping urine across a border.

But sounds pretty compelling to get it checked!

Yael Grauer
06-25-2007, 06:31 PM
I've used this thyroid test: http://www.wellnesswithin.com/articles/Iodine%20Patch%20Test.pdf .
It doesn't tell the whole story but does indicate iodine status.

Also one of my friends got her T3 and T4 checked out through these guys when her doc would only check for TSH:

Ryan Drum has these great well-researched articles on using seaweed and herbs in treating thyroid issues: