Keto Compulsion

The keto life style

thyroid-function

If you are faithfully working the Keto lifestyle and still not receiving any of the benefits it has to offer, it may be an underlying thyroid imbalance.  In this article Why Is Keto Not Working For Me, I am going to give you a brief idea of what the thyroid is and how an imbalance can affect your Keto results.

Thyroid Hype – what is it?

The Thyroid is a gland in your neck that makes hormones, this regulates growth and development through the rate of metabolism; according to the dictionary.

I want to explain what the thyroid is and give you a base understanding of how important the thyroid’s functionality is.  It regulates your metabolism and when your metabolism isn’t working properly it off sets many other functions of the body.  You can’t metabolize or break down food properly if the main source is imbalanced.

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So, the thyroid controls how the metabolism works and the pituitary gland with the guidance of the hypothalamus both control the thyroid.  As stated above your thyroid gland is located in the neck by your wind pope and the pituitary gland is behind the bridge of your nose, which is all attached to the base of your brain.  With all of these very important parts being so closely in proximity to the brain you can see how important their roles are and how they can affect many other functions in the body.  So if any one of these vital body parts start malfunctioning it immediately causes confusion in the body.

The reason I want you to know how close the thyroid gland is to the brain is because you need to understand the affects of what an off balance thyroid can actually do.

When I was a teenager I was beyond moody, sensitive, depressed and angry.  You’re probably thinking, yea typical teenager right?  Which is exactly what my parents thought, little did they know my body was out of balance.  After many counselling sessions and problems at school they consulted my Doctor.  After running some blood tests and setting me up with an Endocrinologist they discovered I had an imbalance of estrogen and testosterone as well as an under active thyroid.  As my Endocrinologist explained to me, my body actually thought it was either pregnant or was going through menopause.  So it was not just typical teenage behavior and I was far from menopausal or pregnant.  Not only did it affect my moods, I started having abnormal hair growth on my face and gaining unexplained weight.

So If your hormones or thyroid is not functioning at a normal level all the dieting and living healthy will not help.

blood test

 

If you think you may have an imbalance of hormones ask your Doctor for a full report of thyroid function.  Some Doctors will only do a basic check up and assume because that result came back normal there are no other problems.

As a rule your Doctor should check your TSH levels, TSH is short for thyroid stimulating hormone.  If this is high or low then more testing is required, most Doctors will only test your TSH level and your T4 hormone level.  When in fact there are four hormones directly relating to your thyroid function and all four should be tested.   These hormones are T1, T2, T3 and yes T4.

So if you are following  a healthy regiment or the keto lifestyle faithfully and your feeling tired, agitated, moody, depressed, your hair is thinning, unexplained weight gain or loss you may want to have a chat with your Doctor.  If you do have a hormonal imbalance that goes untreated getting healthy or trying to lose weight may be a battle you don’t win and this can be extremely frustrating and lead to failure.

2 Most common thyroid disorders

There are many thyroid related disorders but the most commonly diagnosed are:

  1. Hypothyroidism 
  2. Hyperthyroidism 

 

Firstly I want to talk about hypothyroidism as this is one I can relate to.  After being diagnosed and medicated for hypothyroidism I noticed a big change and so did my parents.  Treatment was only one pill a day and regular blood tests to make sure my levels didn’t change, as they can from time to time.

Hypothyroidism just means that the thyroid gland is not producing enough of the thyroid hormone.  When this happens it slows the metabolism and can have many symptoms such as listed below:

  • Weight gain
  • Difficulty losing weight
  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Brain fog
  • Loss of memory
  • Abnormal menstrual cycle
  • Weakness & fatigue
  • Hair loss or thinning
  • Constipation

You don’t need to have all of these symptoms to have an imbalance in your thyroid hormones.  Having two or more of these symptoms warrant a Doctor visitation.  If you have already been diagnosed and treated with an imbalance and you’re still having symptoms you should request to see an Endocrinologist.

Moving onto the complete opposite of the first commonly known thyroid disorders is hyperthyroidism sometimes known as “graves disease”.   This is when your thyroid is overactive and produces too much of the thyroid hormone, hence “hyper”.  This disorder involves more health risk than hypothyroidism.  So when your thyroid is overactive this in turn speeds up everything metabolically.  This also can be treated with a medication once daily and follow up visits for testing levels of hormone production.  Your Doctor should also be looking into why your thyroid is over active as well as treating it.

Symptoms of this thyroid disorders are as follows:

  • Nervousness
  • Anxiety
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle weakness
  • Heart palpitations
  • Fast heart rate
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Shaky hands
  • Dry skin
  • Diarrhea
  • Irregular menstrual cycles

Again you do not need all of these symptoms to be concerned, its always best to be safe rather than sorry.  Two or more of these symptoms and you should make an appointment to talk it over with your Doctor.

Doctor

Most thyroid disorders are genetic so its also a good idea to look into family health history.  Some people may even have a mild thyroid disorder that shows no symptoms, so if thyroid disorders run in your family it is best to be tested.  Another thing to consider is just because you were tested and showed no abnormalities does not mean that your thyroid function won’t change down the road.  Regular tests should be done if any of your family history has thyroid disorders, especially if your having symptoms.

 

Calm your hormones!

So, in relation to the Keto lifestyle it is very important to make sure your thyroid is functioning on a normal level.  Other wise all of your efforts may not progress into experiencing any of the many benefits this lifestyle has to offer.  This may cause you to feel defeated and that you are doing something wrong when in fact you are not.  Take preventative measures to make sure you have healthy hormones so you don’t end up quitting and go back to living a not so healthy lifestyle again.

Throughout my life I have heard many people say “oh, its just a thyroid problem” and if you have an imbalance I’m sure you have heard it to.  This is coming from a poorly educated person, as the thyroid is very important and is connected directly to your brain through the pituitary gland.  So let’s stay healthy and if you are having any symptoms please see your Doctor to discuss your concerns and always do your genetic homework.

Keto-On

 

34 thoughts on “Why Is Keto Not Working For Me?

  1. I have to admit that I would hear ‘thyroid problem’ and simply think of weight gain. I had no idea that it could cause so many problems. I’m sorry for what you went through as a teenager, that must have been really tough, but at least you’re in a place to not only help yourself, but also others who are in the same boat. A very detailed and informative post, thank you 🙂

  2. Hi Amanda thanks for this very informative review on thyroid gland problems. I’m wondering if my son does not have this as he is constantly nervous in the mornings, has high heart rate and feeling tired, we’ve tried so many things to date. I will definitely get the doctor to check this. Also from what you are saying it seems that it is quite easy to treat. This has been very useful, thanks a million.

    1. Your welcome Abbas,

      I’m glad this offered some insight for you and I hope your Son gets the help he needs, yes it is a simple blood test and follow ups along with a pill a day for most.

      Be well.

  3. This was great information; thanks. I feel confident that my thyroid is working properly but I am soaking up as much information about the Keto lifestyle as I can. I discovered it accidentally when I started restricting sugar to get rid of persistent brain fog. As an unexpected “side effect”, I began to lose weight. Now I’m trying to understand how it all works so that I can maintain the new, healthier “me”.

    1. That’s great Theresa I love to hear of success stories, the health benefits along are amazing but better yet is unexpected “side effects”. I am going to do my next article on the science behind why fat does not make you fat like we’ve all been taught for years.

  4. This is a great writeup about thyroid gland. What I know about thyroid gland I can say is little compared to what I just read here. This is elaborating and and eye opener to almost everything I missed about the thyroid gland class. This is really helpful, I’m bookmarking the site for more interesting posts such as this. Keep it up. 

  5. A keto or ketogenic diet is a very low-carb diet, which can help you burn fat more effectively. Many people have already experienced its many proven benefits for weight loss, health and performance. However, if your efforts in shedding weight through keto is futile, then you should check your thyroid levels.

  6. This is a very interesting article and I must thank you for sharing it. I am lucky neough not to have any problems with my thyroid but my cousin has always suffered from it, and it has somehow affected her lifestyle in so many levels. I will pass you website to her I ma sure she will be more than grateful to have some good reading about her problem and maybe a way to get ebtter. Thank you again

    1. I really hope hope this will shed some light for your cousin Barbara, tell her to feel free to contact me with any questions she may have.  

      Thank you and be well.

  7. Hello,

    I’m really sorry for the experiences you went through while you were younger. However, this places you in a good position to help someone out who is going through the same experience. Now I know thyroid related problems can have more consequences and I’ll be advising anyone with such to visit a health specialist quickly.

    Thanks for the information. 

    1. Aww thank you Louis but just like you said I can now use that to help others and I love that.  I hope to make more people aware.

      Thank you for your comment.

  8. This is a really good article. I have been told in the past that I have problems with my thyroid. I have never had it checked to. I probably should as I am noticing some of the symptoms you were mentioning. Like brain fog and difficulty loosing weight, also hair loss. The amount of hair that I lose per day is incredible and I do not know why I am not bold. Thank you for a very good article. I will be sure to ask my doctor for a thyroid scan.

    1. Hey Alexandra,

      This is a simple blood test your Doctor can do and its always best to do this especially if your having symptoms.  Make sure and ask for thorough blood work though, TSH as well as T1-4.  They might try to tell you there is no need for it but if I were you I would insist, you do have the right.

      Thank you for your comment, please keep me updated.

  9. Hi and thanks for this post. I have not checked my thyroid but now I’m thinking that I should. My mum had hyperthyroidism and I remember when I was a child visiting her in hospital and screaming out loud because her neck had been cut from one side to the other and she looked like Frankenstein. Dad explained to me that she’d had a thyroid operation and now I realise it must have been for hyperthyroidism. Some of the symptoms you mention I experience and now I’m thinking I should be tested for that. Thanks.

    1. wow that sounds pretty traumatic Melissa, I am sorry to hear that.  I have a cousin who had a particularly interesting diagnosis, she started with hyperthyroidism and they gave her radioactive iodine and now she is hypo. like I am.  It is much safer to be medicated for hypo. then live with hyper.  Now we both take the same meds.  

      Its always best to be tested and I would make sure to ask for specific tests (your T1-4 and TSH levels) not just a general test.

      Thank you for your comment, please keep me updated.

  10. Hey Amanda, thanks for the insights.

    I have been reading a lot on Keto diet but still not completely sure on how to get started.

    Reality is, I don`t really trust on diets, I feel that there is always something missing, some restriction that is too strong, or some key factor that would become problematic for me.

    That`s why this post is just great, because sometimes, other factors are involved in results, and it is good to know of them, and be prepared… to be able to better understand and analyse the whole situation.

    I am so bookmarking your page, and I will check the other pages to learn more! 

    Thanks again for this great work and sharing! 

    Luiz

    1. Luiz,

      My goal for this website is to educate people on what the Keto lifestyle is, I don’t like to call it a diet because to me its more than just losing an extra pound or two.  

      I do have a page and sub pages for beginners:  https://ketocompulsion.com/ket

      I hope my website is helpful to you and please don’t hesitate to message or contact me with any questions or concerns you may have.

      I have lived this lifestyle now for 2 years and I am the healthiest I’ve been in a long time.  I always advise people to talk to thier Doctor before they start to get a full check up, so they can compare after adapting to this new way of life. 

      Numbers don’t lie and my Doctor was quite happy to see my improvements, and you will too as long as were putting good fats and healthy carbs in.

      Thank you for your comment.  I hope to hear from you again.

  11. Cool article, I was once diagnosed of Hypothyroidism about two years ago… Mine was so serious that I was put on diet, I couldn’t eat everything others ate, I found it difficult to loose weight, because of what I was passing through.. But at the latter I passed through those hard times and finally I got to live the Keto kind of lifestyle as you would call it..

    1. Sorry to hear you had such trouble at first but glad to hear you have overcome the problem.  I am also hypo and it does sometimes pose problems but if your medicated properly you shouldn’t have any symptoms.  Follow up appointments are very important.

      Thank you for your comment.

  12. Initially that image which shows a hand being injected, frightened me (smile). I must confess that your post on Thyroid is very very educative and enlightening. I have been able to learn that the state of the Thyroid greatly influences our keto lifestyle results. The symptoms of Thyroid disorders you listed are quite sufficient enough to watch so as to know ones thyroid state. Thanks so much for this post. Hope to get more similar posts from you subsequently

    1. Thank you so much, and sorry for the uncomfortable feeling with the needle, just representative of a blood test.  I am glad I could help you understand the thyroid and its affect on a ketogenic lifestyle.

  13. This is very good to know, very expository and informative on all levels and aspects but now that the problem is known, what is the viable and possible solution? What can be done to the Thyroid gland? What can be done to salvage the hormonal imbalance? And is this going to be the perfect solution?

    1. Well Oneal, 

      The perfect solution depends on the thyroid disorder itself.  Most hypothyroidism disorders are simply treated with one pill a day and regular follow ups.  Depending upon the severity of hyperthyroidism, sometimes a pill can  help but in more sever cases an iodine can be given to either reverse the affects or stop them.

      I am far from a Doctor but I am here to warn you of signs and symptoms of a possible problem.  Also to make people aware that thyroid disorders cause more than just weight gain or loss.

      Your Doctor should test your TSH levels as well as your T1 through 4 hormone levels, as well as refer you to an endocrinologist who specializes in study and treatment of the thyroid and hormonal imbalances.

      Thank you for your comment.

  14. Your article is very interesting and I’m glad that I read it. My mother-in-law has nearly all of the symptoms of hyperthyroidism. She had missed her recent doctor’s appointments. When she reschedules, I will encourage her to have this checked out. 

    Although I seem to be in good health right now, I was miserable during adolescents. It seemed that my symptoms were much stronger than those of my friends and lasted much longer. I wonder if that may have had something to do with it. It’s too late to go back but I’m beginning to gain more faith in doctors. If I see another teen struggle the way I did, I will share this.

    1. Thank you Thresa,  I hope your Mother in Law gets her symptoms under control, hyperthyroidism left untreated can be very dangerous.

      Sorry to hear of your struggles in your younger years, its never an easy phase to go through let alone with underlying issues.

      Be well.

  15. A great article!

    I must confess that I always associate thyroid gland problem with weight. I never imagined that it could cause many problems. It’s terrible for an adult to go through what you went through as a teenager, it’s really a sad thing, but you’re making life easier for many with this great article, sharing it free of charge! It’s such an awesome write up put together with experience and passion as well as love for humanity!

    please what is keto?

    1. So nice of you to say so Jay,  my experiences have paved a way for me to help others and that I am thankful for.  

      Keto is short for Ketogenic, its a healthier lifestyle choice a lot of people will refer to it as a diet but I prefer not to.  I have a post dedicated to beginner’s or those interested in starting this healthier way of life:  https://ketocompulsion.com/ket

      I hope this answers your question, please let me know if it does not.  

      Thank you for your kind words.

  16. Amanda

    You are beautiful give us a picture with a smile. You look like me when I try to do a selfie. I am terrible at those. I really love your website. I started looking through all of your information and I (being diabetic for 30+ years now) found myself on your Poison by Sugar page.. Good post.  I thought that it was most informative and I will be passing it on to my sister who has had a problem with her weight for her whole life. Her doctor gave her a test and said the usual. Normal results. Going to have her do those specific tests. I believe your website will be most helpful to her too. Thank you for all of your enlightening info and I will be back. Feel free to ask me anything. Happy to help a fellow WA’er. Blessed Be Kari

    1. Thank you Kari for your insight it is most helpful.  I will try and add a happier selfie LOL.  I hope this information is able to help your sister.  If her Doctor still only wants to do the basic testing, she should ask to see en endocrinologist.  

  17. This is a great article and an excellent education on the different thyroid conditions that our bodies may develop. I had no clue the thyroid was so intertwined with so many aspects of our health and that it is a regulator of our metabolism. Good to know! After reading this article it makes perfect sense to me why the thyroid is so important to good health and how it could impede with a keto diet. I am sure many of your readers will find great value in this post and future posts on this blog!

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