Should I eat carbs with a slow thyroid?
So is eating carbs good or bad for the thyroid? This is such a hot topic. This is a topic that I get asked about a lot. Particularly, because I'm working with so many women who have hypothyroidism. So I thought I would do a video about this and give you a little bit more in depth explanation.
There's so much information out there about low carb and high carb, and it's really overwhelming. Especially, if you struggle with a slow thyroid condition.
So I wanna put some information together here for you that can guide you and help gear you towards the direction that's gonna benefit you the most. Now, obviously, everyone is very person specific.
I will give you my own personal story with it. I did try low carbohydrate. This was years ago, before I had gotten certified in health coaching. And my thyroid numbers were horrible. I ended up feeling really, really bad within a few weeks.
I just so happened to have a blood panel scheduled. And my doctor immediately was like, "What are you doing differently? 'Cause your numbers look really bad." And I knew it because I felt miserable.
So I decided to start researching, "Well, why did this happen?" And I found out a lot of stuff that I wish I had looked at prior to starting that journey of going low carbohydrate. So here's some of the information that I think will help you.
First, keep in mind, that your liver has to do a lot of thyroid hormone conversion. This means you have inactive T4 and you have active T3. You have to convert a lot of T4 over to T3, because you only make about 20% active T3. A lot of people with a slow thyroid have a conversion issue. They cannot get that converted over.
The majority of that conversion happens in the liver. Well guess what? Your liver needs glucose in order to help that conversion to happen. So if you start going super low carbohydrate, you're not giving your body hardly any glucose at all. The body has an issue then with this conversion. The liver is drastically affected, because it doesn't have that glucose to help with that conversion process. So that is one really big reason why I'm very hesitant for anyone to go super low carbohydrate when you're struggling with a slow thyroid.
I really encourage you to be very careful and very cautious with going low carbohydrate unless your thyroid is really under control, which most people that come to me is not the case. So avoiding carbohydrates is not a good thing to do.
Also, keep in mind, when you don't have those thyroid hormone conversions, a lot of times what happens is women start relying on other things to help with that and they utilize cortisol and they utilize things like adrenaline. When you start using all those types of hormones to give you energy, because you don't have your thyroid hormones, your body thinks it's in a stress response. And unfortunately, when that happens, you start to feel wired, but tired.
And that's why a lot of thyroid people that come to me they're in that stage where they're exhausted but can't sleep because they're actually trying to use their cortisol and adrenaline to combat not having enough thyroid hormone or thyroid function. Well, that can actually happen from going low carbohydrate because your body thinks it's in a stress response then, because there's not enough glucose there.
Also, keep in mind, that when you're in this vicious cycle where you're constantly utilizing cortisol for your energy levels, and you're not really utilizing your thyroid hormones, you store body fat. It's inevitable and it especially in women.... it goes to the belly.
I also advise taking baby steps when you decide to increase your carb consumption where you're doing a little bit more carbs each day. This is so important so that your body has time to adapt.
Now when we're talking about carbohydrates, I'm not talking about these crappy carbs like processed carbs, sugar, and so on. I am talking about starchy carbs and fruits, etc. Some people with a slow thyroid can tolerate grains. If you can tolerate grains, make sure they're gluten-free.
I really do encourage starchy carbs like potatoes, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, because they have a ton of really good things in them, especially potassium. Potassium helps with thyroid hormones. It helps with thyroid hormone conversion. So make sure you're getting starchy carbs in too. You need a lot of potassium for everyday function. You need 4,500 milligrams for everyday function of potassium. So getting some starchy carbs in every day will absolutely help you with that.
I hope this information helps you and can give you some answers about carb consumption in relation to hypothyroidism or a slow thyroid. If you have symptoms like weight gain, hair loss, fatigue, anxiety and so on.....be very cautious cutting your carbs too low.
If you need help with that, then please reach out to me.
You can also grab my FREE guide on 5 Causes of Hypothyroidism right here.