Dr. Stephen Phinney: Can you follow a ketogenic diet if you have no thyroid?

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Again we have to be careful not to give
specific medical advice,
but in general terms,
taking thyroid medication
can fully replace what the
thyroid gland normally does.
And it’s important to point
out that the thyroid gland
doesn’t make active thyroid hormones.
It makes a precursor,
called, we just say it’s,
it’s a precursor, it has
four iodine molecules on it.
Active thyroid hormone has three.
The thyroid makes the one with four,
your liver takes away one of those
iodines to make the three.
So you can take the
thyroid hormone by mouth,
and then the liver does the final step,
and can regulate much of that process.
And TSH is a useful test
because that’s a measure
of what the brain perceives in terms
of what the liver’s doing.
And so that can be used by your physician
to help judge the dose of oral
thyroid medicine as prescribed.
So again this is something
that has to be managed
between you and your
primary care physician.
We can’t give you
specific advice for that.


  1. You are not answering the question in regards to being able to go on the Ketogenic diet! We know not having a thyroid gland means we have to take thyroid meds !!! What about being on the Keto diet. I have no thyroid and am on Synthroid

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