Intermittent Fasting for Thyroid: Can Fasting Help You Manage Hypothyroidism?
Skipping meals or fasting for multiple days during the week may create nutrient deficiencies that can ultimately worsen a hypothyroid condition. If you have been diagnosed with hypothyroidism and are considering intermittent fasting as a way to improve your condition, it is important to understand its potential benefits and risks. In this article, we will discuss the evidence-based effects of intermittent fasting on thyroid health and the best practices to follow if you choose to try it.
What is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting (IF) is an eating pattern where individuals restrict their food intake for short periods of time, usually for 16 hours or more. It involves alternating between periods of fasting and periods of eating. For example, a person may fast for 16 hours and then eat during an 8-hour window. This type of fasting has become increasingly popular for weight loss and other health benefits.
How Does Intermittent Fasting Affect Thyroid Health?
Based on scientific evidence, an intermittent fasting routine can do you good if you are diagnosed with hypothyroidism and want to lose weight. Intermittent fasting may also help you manage your Hashimoto’s low thyroid. However, this depends on whether your blood sugar is stable and your adrenal glands are functioning properly. If we try any kind of fasting at all, it should be intermittent fasting whereby we eat within an 8-12 hour window, but then abstain from eating for the remaining time.
Potential Benefits of Intermittent Fasting for Thyroid Patients
But intermittent fasting can be beneficial for thyroid patients with weight issues. Our body processes energy from two food sources; one is carbohydrates and the other is fat. When we fast, our body starts to burn fat for energy instead of carbohydrates. This helps to reduce the amount of insulin in the body, which can help you lose weight and improve thyroid health.
Intermittent fasting can also help to reduce inflammation in the body, which can help to reduce symptoms of hypothyroidism. Additionally, intermittent fasting has been shown to improve mental clarity and focus, which can help you to stay on track with your diet and exercise plan.
Potential Risks of Intermittent Fasting for Thyroid Patients
However, restrictive diet therapies have low adherence rates in obese patients, particularly in stressed individuals. Moreover, food restriction can lead to deprivation and disordered eating patterns. Therefore, it is important to be aware of the potential risks of intermittent fasting for thyroid patients.
- Dehydration: Fasting can lead to dehydration, which can worsen symptoms of hypothyroidism.
- Nutrient Deficiencies: Intermittent fasting can lead to inadequate nutrient intake, which can worsen symptoms of hypothyroidism.
- Hormonal Imbalances: Intermittent fasting can disrupt hormones and lead to further disruption of the thyroid hormones.
Best Practices for Intermittent Fasting and Thyroid Health
But intermittent fasting should not go beyond 14 or 16 hours in thyroid patients and I don’t feel longer fasts are a good choice. Because in longer fasts body starts to use muscle for energy, which can lead to muscle wasting. Additionally, fasting for too long can lead to feelings of hunger, irritability, and fatigue, which can make it difficult to stick to your fasting schedule and can worsen symptoms of hypothyroidism.
Therefore, it is important to be mindful of the potential risks of intermittent fasting for thyroid patients. Before trying intermittent fasting, it is advisable to speak to your doctor or a nutritionist to ensure that it is safe for you. Additionally, it is important to ensure that you are getting enough nutrients from your diet and that you are drinking enough water to stay hydrated.
In conclusion, intermittent fasting can potentially help with hypothyroidism and does not present the typical problems of calorie-reduced diets. Nevertheless, you should be mindful of the potential risks of intermittent fasting for thyroid patients and consult with your doctor or a nutritionist before trying it. By following these best practices, you can reap the benefits of intermittent fasting while minimizing the risks.
Is intermittent fasting an effective treatment for hypothyroidism?
If you have been diagnosed with hypothyroidism and would like to lose weight, research suggests that an intermittent fasting routine could be beneficial for you. In addition to weight loss, this approach could help reduce insulin resistance and improve your overall health.
Does fasting have an impact on thyroid hormone levels?
For this reason, most healthcare providers suggest that you should
not fast before a thyroid function test.
Which diet is the most effective for weight loss while dealing with thyroid issues?
Certain foods, like those containing goitrogens, can interfere with the functioning of the thyroid and impede weight loss. It is better to consume foods like eggs, meat, fish, vegetables, gluten-free grains and seeds, some forms of dairy and non-caffeinated beverages.
How often should thyroid medicine be taken without fasting?
No fasting is usually necessary before a thyroid test, but you should consult with your doctor or pathologist to see if any special instructions should be followed. Depending on other tests you may be taking at the same time, they may ask you to fast for 8-10 hours.
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