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Unread 05-24-2016, 07:25 PM
Sunnybird Sunnybird is offline
Junior Member
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 1
Default Will a Keto Diet Cause Thyroid Problems?


I have recently started following a keto diet but I have a burning question: I read that a low-carb diet will lead to thyroid problems because your thyroid needs carbs to function properly. Now I am having second thoughts about the keto diet. What you do think? Below is an excerpt. Thanks:

(excerpt from

This unfortunate side effect of a very low carbohydrate intake is especially intriguing to anyone following a Paleo diet, since Paleo meals tend to be much lower in carbohydrates than the standard American diet. Essentially, if you eat a diet low in glucose, your body thinks that you’re experiencing food scarcity (famine). Responding to the threat of starvation, it slows your metabolism and does everything possible to conserve precious glucose for your brain: reproductive function and athletic performance are nice, but if your brain isn’t getting the nourishment it needs, they won’t do you any good.

Since the thyroid is responsible for the rate of your metabolism, it is obviously a very important part of this response. But the hormonal changes involved also affect thyroid function because the liver needs glucose to convert T4 to T3. When all available glucose is being conserved for your brain, this process must be temporarily put on hold. Moreover, one of the essential functions of T3 is to transport glucose into other cells: this also has to stop to save glucose. Thus, in a period of glucose deficiency, T4 is instead converted into the inactive form reverse T3 (rT3), which does not transport glucose into cells.

Thus, a low carbohydrate diet (or a starvation diet of any kind, including an eating disorder) can cause something called Non-Thyroidal Illness Syndrome or Euthyroid Sick Syndrome (a name that literally means “healthy thyroid sick syndrome”), a problem where your thyroid gland is functioning normally, but your thyroid hormones are not produced in the proper proportions. This causes all the symptoms of hypothyroidism even with a healthy thyroid – clearly an outcome most of us want to avoid.
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Unread 05-25-2016, 09:11 AM
lylemcdonald lylemcdonald is offline
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 1,241

While there is truth to this, ESS will eventually happen on all diets as there is more to the impaired conversion issue than just carb intake
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Unread 05-26-2016, 09:13 PM
ssg10587 ssg10587 is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 342

You arnt going to see thyroid problems unless you are on a keto diet for a long time.

If you are so worried about it, consider the CKD as is laid out on the site. Carb refeeds on weekend or however often to combat this lack and help with hormones.
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