Action Steps: What Should You Do About Fasting
In general, we have only seen some studies about intermittent fasting and time-restricted feeding. So, there may be more benefits that emerge over time with a larger sample of data.
That said, so far, these kinds of fasts have been on the detrimental side for those who are struggling with thyroid disease. To be blunt, it often does more harm than good.
On the other hand, it is important to know that a protein-sparing modified fast is safe for those with thyroid disease .
Key Insight: If you are thinking about fasting, but want to play it safe with your thyroid, you would likely be best suited to try a protein-sparing modified fast first.
Have Your Hormone Levels Tested
Research shows that hormone resistance problemsincluding leptin resistance and insulin resistancemay contribute to the difficulties many thyroid patients face in losing weight. And since both hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism have been shown in multiple studies to create insulin resistance, this means you should consider having your fasting glucose and insulin levels tested, evaluated, and treated.
Fasting glucose levels above 100 may be a sign of insulin resistance and pre-diabetes, which can make weight loss even more difficult.
For chronically high levels, your doctor may prescribe a type 2 diabetes drug like Glucophage . For borderline levels, reducing the sugar and carbohydrates in your diet and following a healthy carbohydrate-controlled diet can lower your blood sugar and help with weight loss.
What Is Intermittent Fasting And Is It Safe For Thyroid Patients
Dieting with a dynamic or unique strategy has become a popular practice. This has been facilitated by the impressive range of diet plans developed and honed over the past few years.
Currently, one of the most popular diet plans is intermittent fasting. This weight management strategy revolves around limiting caloric intake to a specific period of time and then fasting for the remaining hours to support a longer period of ketosis or fat burning. When done correctly, intermittent fasting provides excellent results. But is it safe for those with a thyroid condition? Knowing the basic principles of intermittent fasting, how it supports healthy weight loss, and how it affects the thyroid is important for dieting safely.
Also Check: What Can I Eat On Fasting Days
Intermittent Fasting With Hashimotos
I have worked with dozens of women with Hashimoto’s. Many of them come to my program believing that fasting is one of the worst things they can do for their thyroid health.
Busting through this myth is part of the education I provide in Step 2 of my Thyroid Reboot Method.
The first thing to understand is that Hashimoto’s is NOT simply a thyroid issue. It is an autoimmune disease that impacts the thyroid. So, how does fasting help autoimmunity?
Intermittent Fasting And Hypothyroidism
There are a few things to consider when weighing if this style of eating is right for you. In looking at the research, here are the main takeaways for Hypothyroidism and intermittent fasting:
Intermittent Fasting may help with absorption of your thyroid medication
If you are taking synthetic thyroid hormone , fasting has some benefits. When taken during a fasted state, levothyroxine has been shown to be more efficient and absorbed better than those days when eating normally. The best time to take your thyroid medication is first thing in the morning, on an empty stomach. This is because there are various factors that may affect your thyroid medication absorption, but food is one of them and can greatly influence the absorption and efficacy. .
Intermittent Fasting may aid in weight loss, even with low thyroid
Intermittent fasting is another way to reduce the total calories you are eating. Reduction in total calories will generally lead to weight loss in a healthy person.
Nearly all Intermittent Fasting studies have resulted in some degree of weight loss, ranging from 2.59.9%. And while numerous studies have been conducted on intermittent fasting, the protocol, duration, and baseline characteristics of the sample population have varied greatly. It is important to consider the variation that a low thyroid condition can play.
Additionally, there has been research showing that alterations in weight and body composition can occur when doing intermittent fasting.
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My Experience With Intermittent Fasting
First off, what is intermittent fasting?
Intermittent fasting or intermittent energy restriction is an umbrella term for various meals timing schedules that cycle between a period of voluntary fasting and non-fasting over a defined period. Non-caloric drinks are consumable during fasting periods, contrary to religious fasting.
I first started implementing intermittent fasting into my diet back in mid-2016 when I was in a time in my life where I did a lot of experimenting in my diet.
Thats really all it was in the beginning, just an experiment that I would try out for six weeks only, or just about – but lets be honest, who really keeps track of the weeks as they pass?
After experimenting with intermittent fasting I remember going through brief bulking phase where I ate all the calories I could just to see how much muscle mass I could add on.
My bulking venture came to a screeching halt when I started having chronic inflammation issues from having too much dairy in my diet. Ill save this story for another time, but I literally started bleeding from my ears from having too much of an inflammatory diet .
So after I realized I needed to make some serious dietary changes, I naturally started gravitating back towards intermittent fasting.
I didnt plan it or strategize, I just fell back into it because it:
1.) was easy 2.) required less prep and thought than other diets, 3.) I wouldnt have to figure out what I was going to eat for breakfast everyday.
A Complete Guide To Intermittent Fasting And Hypothyroidism
Hypothyroidism is a condition in which your thyroid is underactive and does not produce sufficient levels of thyroid hormone. The result is that you cannot control your metabolism, heart rate, or body temperature adequately.
Common symptoms of the illness may include lethargy, depression, difficulty losing weight or sudden weight gain, sensitivity to cold, and constipation. Usually, older women get it.
It may be caused by Hashimotos disease, which is an autoimmune disorder that causes your immune cells to attack your healthy tissues.
Concerning the thyroid, this condition causes your immune cells to attack throat tissue, thus leading to thyroid inflammation.
Hashimotos disease often causes thyroid damage and a reduction in thyroid hormone levels.
Also Check: Can You Drink Water When Fasting
Intermittent Fasting Improves Insulin Resistance
There is another reason why intermittent fasting can be beneficial for hypothyroidismâit reduces insulin resistance . People with hypothyroidism are often insulin resistant and insulin resistance can worsen hypothyroidism .
Check out our article about intermittent fasting and insulin resistance to learn more about insulin resistance and how intermittent fasting helps to improve it.
Hypothyroidism And Intermittent Fasting Considerations:
Remember that its important to talk to your doctor prior to making any big changes. Also, remember that EVERY BODY is different! Listening to your body and knowing what feels right for you is the most important. You might do really well with a low carbohydrate diet, or you might feel fatigued and low energy.
Lastly, remember to listen to your body and be easy on yourself!
Follow all of the information above, along with talking to your doctor and/or endocrinologist for the best recommendations for your situation. For more information on supplementing the important minerals, you can read more about natural thyroid solutions.
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Is Fasting Bad For Your Thyroid
Before we can talk about the physiological effects of thyroid and fasting, we need to define what we mean when we use the word fasting. There may be some misunderstanding around the definition of fasting and its subsidiaries, and it makes a big difference to understand the nuances between them when you look at and analyze studies.
Fasting = Traditionally No food at all. Oils, ketone supplements, etc. It includes water and may include black coffee and black tea. Anything that would break a fast such as carbohydrates, fats or proteins are not allowed. As simple as that.
Time-Restricted Eating = Time of food access is restricted but without caloric restriction. An example would be eating food within an 8-hour window during the day, but fasting for the remainder of the day, ie 16 hours.
Intermittent Fasting = Very similar to Time-Restricted Eating in that there is no eating for a prolonged period of time during the day, but usually restricts calories as well.
Now that weve cleared up what the differences are between these methods of fasting, we need to address some of the misinformation regarding fasting and thyroid function.
Fasting Thyroid: : Can Fasting Cure Hypothyroidism
The popularity of intermittent Fasting thyroid?method has increased tremendously within the past couple of years. Advantages of intermittent fasting for hypothyroidism may include fat reduction, reduced inflammation, along with improved blood glucose balance.
Yet, just how do intermittent fasting thyroid and thyroid health fit together? Can it be safe to do intermittent fasting if you have thyroid problems?
This article will review the pros and cons of intermittent fasting and how it can influence thyroid function. Also, discuss whether you need to practice fasting in case you have hypothyroidism.
If you have thyroid problems, you should have a cautious approach towards incorporating intermittent fasting into your lifestyle.
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Diet And Weight Loss Tips For Thyroid Patients
Losing weight can be a frustrating process for many people with an underactive thyroid. Whether you have hypothyroidism or no thyroid after surgery or radioactive iodine treatment, thyroid function affects metabolism and can make weight loss an uphill battle.
Here are some surprising tips that can help you finally tackle your weight loss frustrations and get on track, as well as several diet and weight loss secrets to help you win the battle against excess pounds.
If Youve Read This Far And Have A Rough Idea Of How I Am As A Coach I Almost Never Promote Taking The Easy Way Out By Trying To Find A Shortcut If You Want Long
In my opinion, intermittent fasting can be really stressful on the body for women, since we have more delicate hormone balances and cycles. So if you are going to attempt intermittent fasting, or any diet really, remember that these diets are supposed to be short term, not necessarily a lifestyle.
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Give Your Digestion Time To Rest And Recover
The digestive system has been trained to work only occasionally however, it frequently operates around the clockeven though sleep processing food.Many people start eating immediately after getting up and continue until right before bed. This places immense pressure not just on the digestive system but on the entire body.
Humans didnt eat all of the time through evolution because the food was not easily accessible, and the body is constructed to work with no overactive gastrointestinal system.Studies have proven that fasting periods may help modulate and maintain healthy body weight, and fasting has an immediate effect on thyroid and immune health.
Intermittent Fasting For Hyperthyroidism: What You Need To Know
Not too long ago, in response to a commenter, I talked about intermittent fasting for hypothyroidism. You can check out that post here. Naturally, this got me wondering about how intermittent fasting might affect someone with a hyperactive thyroid gland. So today, Im going to discuss intermittent fasting for hyperthyroidism, and whether this way of eating can benefit these patients or not.
Of course, when it comes to diets, what works for one person may not work for another. Everyones body is different. We each have different genetics, environmental stressors, and nutritional requirements, so its impossible to create a one-size-fits-all diet plan. Whether intermittent fasting will help your overactive thyroid symptoms or not is entirely up to your body. But still, there are a few things you should know that can help you determine whether or not intermittent fasting is worth a shot.
So, what is intermittent fasting? How does it affect the thyroid gland? And does it have the potential to alleviate some of the symptoms of hyperthyroidism? Lets take a look!
**Always discuss diet changes with a doctor and/or licensed nutritionist**
**This post contains some affiliate links. If you purchase these products, I may receive a small percentage of the sale at no additional cost to you.**
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The Diets To Avoid If You Have Pcos Hypertension Or Thyroid Issues
With the plethora of diets trending on social media these days, its definitely mind-boggling to zero in on one that may actually work for you the right way. For those with health issues, this goes beyond just confusion that is caused by the conflicting information out thereone wrong diet move and you may find yourself battling further health complications. We spoke to two medical experts to get their views on some popular diets. Needless to say, it’s best to consult your own physician before you make changes to your diet if you’re also managing pre-existing health conditions.
Risks Of Intermittent Fasting
There are also risks associated with fasting. For instance, people with diabetes or blood sugar control issues may be at risk for low blood sugar levels when fasting, which can be life-threatening.
However, for most, the primary concern with intermittent fasting may be sustainability. Figuring out how to fit fasting into your work, social, and health routine can be challenging, especially for those who keep unusual hours or lack routine. With any eating method, the goal should be consistency and overall health for the long haul.
For some, intermittent fasting may lead to new or trigger previous disordered eating behaviors.
Remember that the more dietary pressure you put on yourself, the more likely you are to experience inflammation. This inflammation can worsen your autoimmune reactions or interfere with your thyroid function. For this reason, we recommend finding a way of eating that you can manage in the long-term.
Children, endurance athletes, underweight people, and women who are trying to conceive, pregnant, or breastfeeding should avoid intermittent fasting. Also, people with a risk for malnutrition, such as those with vitamin deficiencies, should not fast.
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Here Are Some Ways People Practice If:
16:8 method This means that you fast for 16 hours and eat normally during an 8-hour window during a 24 hour period. You can fit in 1, 2 or 3 meals during this time and you can modify the hours to fit your needs, but the longer the fasting window, the greater the purported benefits. This plan typically works well for beginners. Additionally, you try starting for 12 or fewer hours and work your way up as you become more comfortable.
Example: Stop eating after you eat dinner and do not eat again until lunch the next day.
5:2 method: The numbers in this IF plan refer to days. So, for 5 days you eat normally and for 2 days per week you fast completely. These 2 days can be spread out during the week to make it easier.
Example: Eat normally Monday, Wednesday and Friday and fast on Tuesday and Thursday.
Alternate Day:This refers to fasting one day and then eating normally the following day.
Example:Eat during a time restricted window on Monday, eat regular on Tuesday.
There are many other ways to practice fasting, so you can mix and match to come up with a plan that works best for you!
What Is The Thyroid
The thyroid is a small butterfly-shaped gland located in the front neck. Itâs the master regulator of energy metabolism .
It does so with the help of hormones: Triiodothyronine , Thyroxine , and TSH . T3 and T4 are produced by the thyroid, TSH is produced by another organ: the pituitary gland.
These two organs regulate thyroid function by a neat interplay, which you can compare with a homeâs central heating system. The pituitary gland is the thermostat that is set to a certain temperature. The thermostat sends signals to the heater to turn on or off .
T4 is the major form and is long-lasting. It is converted into active T3, which is the hormone that affects cells and, thereby, regulates metabolism.
The pituitary gland measures the concentration of T4 in the blood. If T4 is too low, it secretes TSH. TSH then stimulates the thyroid to produce more T4.
If T4 is too high, the pituitary gland produces less TSH, and the thyroidâs T4 release goes down .
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Why I Believed Strongly That Intermittent Fasting Has Positive Effects On Thyroid Functions
When your TSH level is drastically high , you can feel it even without a blood test. How? Waking up miserable every day, feeling super tired even you havent done anything yet, no appetite to work or do something and mood swaps.
In such cases, I bet you, if you would get your TSH levels checked, it would be 2 or 3 times higher than reference levels. This has proven by myself may be 10 times. So, it was me and my stubborn underactive thyroid gland that doesnt wants to get well. You can see my last visit for TSH test and here is the result. 11.25 mIU/mL.
If you are suffering from hypothyroidism, you probably heard about chronic inflammation which is the main factor to blame for such autoimmune diseases. Good news! Intermittent fasting has surprising corrective effects on chronic inflammation as well as Hashimotos Thyroiditis.
Even I have increased the Levothyroxine dose to 200 mcg, it was still helpless for me due to my miserable diet and lifestyle. So instead of increasing the dose, I have decided to change my life style with intermittent fasting and target chronic inflammation to decrease my TSH level, starting from 1st day of 2021. .