Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis

Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis | The Paleo Diet

Hello Paleo Diet Team,

I’d like any information you might have on how The Paleo Diet has helped with thyroid issues. I have Hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s Disease and am having trouble getting consistent thyroid levels with medication. Thank you for your help.


Trevor Connor’s Response:

Hi Candice,

First a quick clarification on Hyper/hypothyroidism vs Hashimoto’s for our readers. Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis is the autoimmune condition where the immune system attacks the thyroid gland. We measure TgAB and thyroglobulin to track the progess of the disease. As Hashimoto’s progresses, the thyroid stops functioning properly and the patient experiences hyper- or hypothyroidism. They are tracked by looking at the Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH), triiodothyronine (T3), and thyroxine (T4) levels. However, a patient can have hyper- or hypothyroidism without any autoimmune processes.

With that being said, we had 18 Hashimoto’s subjects of which eight provided medical records. Eight of our 18 subjects saw clear signs of improvement following The Paleo Diet and four were able to reduce medication. One of the subjects provided medical records with TgAB and Thyroglobulin levels over three years. His levels improved after going on The Paleo Diet and was eventually able to stop taking medication.

The primary process we are looking at is an imbalance between T-help cells (Th17) and Treg cells in autoimmune conditions. I’ve read a lot of research showing a clear imbalance towards Th17 in people with Hashimoto’s and a fair amount of research has shown that a wheat-based diet can promote a Th17 imbalance.

Purge the wheat from your diet, and check out Dr. Cordain’s Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis (Hypothyroidism) to learn more about the healthful benefits of adopting The Paleo Diet to treat Hashimoto’s Disease.


Trevor Connor

The Paleo Diet Team

Trevor Connor | The Paleo DietTrevor Connor is Dr. Cordain’s last mentored graduate student and will complete his M.S. in HES and Nutrition from the Colorado State University this year and later enter the Ph.D. program. Connor was the Principle Investigator in a large case study, approximately 100 subjects, in which he and Dr. Cordain examined autoimmune patients following The Paleo Diet or Paleo-like diets.

About Trevor Connor, M.S.

Trevor Connor, M.S.Trevor Connor was Dr. Loren Cordain’s last graduate student at Colorado State University. His research with Dr. Cordain focused on the effects of a Paleo style diet on autoimmune conditions. Their pilot study included close to 60 volunteers with diverse conditions ranging from Crohn’s Disease, to Multiple Sclerosis to Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. The results were very promising, including all eight Crohn’s subjects going into remission on the Paleo Diet.

Trevor started working with Dr. Cordain in 2010, soon after retiring as a Professional Cyclist. At 38, he felt it was time to hang up the bike. Trevor had studied traditional sports nutrition for over a decade and was admittedly very reluctant to accept the Paleo Diet. But after experimenting with the diet himself, Trevor was able to return to the Pro Peloton at 40, getting Top Five’s in several races and establishing himself as the top ranked 40+ rider in the country for several years running.

Trevor now writes the Coaching Section of the international cycling magazine Velo, has his own coaching business, and recently managed the semi-Professional cycling team Team Rio Grande who’s alumni include Teejay Van Gaarderen, a top five finisher at the Tour de France and multiple national champions.

Trevor is currently working on publishing several studies and reviews on the effects of wheat on the digestive immune system. Recently, he moved back to Canada so his wife could pursue her dream of making the 2016 Olympics in pole vaulting (as a Paleo Dieter and ranked top 10 in the country in her mid-30’s.)

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“12” Comments

  1. Just FYI to site administrators….the link to Purge the wheat from your diet, and check out Dr. Cordain’s Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis (Hypothyroidism) goes to an article about canned fish…

  2. Great information. Dr. Wentz compiled some data on how people responded to the paleo diet (survey data to be clear) but in this data she showed that 81% of patients felt better on this diet and that 27% had a reduction in antibodies. This was for patients with Hashimoto’s but as you know most hypothyroidism in the US is thyroiditis, even if serum antibody levels are not present.

  3. One of the things that helped relieve my hypothyroidism wan to increase my protein consumption.
    Protein transports thyroid hormone to all your tissues. Eating a bit of protein with every meal can help normalize thyroid function.
    You can get protein from nut and nut butters, quinoa, legumes, and hormone and antibiotic-free animal products.
    Here is an article I came across with more tips to help you out with hypothyroidism:

  4. I do not have a thyroid either, mine was removed due to Graves’ Disease when I was only 14 years old.

    I don’t feel “normal,” and don’t know if I ever will. I’m looking into a more natural approach such as the dessicated hormone, I feel the pharmaceutical industry is making too much of a profit providing a medicine with only one necessary thyroid hormone when in fact there is T3, T1 and T2 but of course they don’t address that.

    I’ve tried the paleo and felt great on it with extra energy. I would look into the paleo, I would also read up about NatureThroid and all of those natural hormone alternatives. I like to use myself as a bit of a science experiment to see what works and the natural hormones is my next step. Paleo is great.

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  7. I’m a 40 year old healthy woman that has hashimoto’s for 9 years. I have been struggling with weight, depression, anxiety and body exhaustion. I’m taking my medication for the last months I felt something was wrong. I was lazy to go do blood tests (I just did a week ago) but I took a decision: I wanted to change my diet forever. My family has a history of autoimmune disseses like lupus, fibromaglia, and others.
    I’m in paleo (only fish cause I was a vegan and it’s hard to get back to red meat and poultry. I have been doing paleo for 3 weeks now. The results: I feel wonderful, I wake up full of energy, I lost 8 pounds and today I’m getting my blood test results. The point here is that avoiding dairy, legumes, pressed sugar and gluten has affected me in a positive way. I still need to loose another 25 pounds at least but the feeling of freshness and energy that this diet gave me is unbelievable. I still haven’t tell my endocrinologist about the food changes, but I’m almost sure he will agree with my decision.

  8. I had the beginnings of hashimotos and my doctor recommended I go on a gluten free diet. I took it a step further and went on the autoimmune paleo diet. It definitely made a difference in the amount of inflammation, brain fog and headaches. It is worth a shot. Took about a month before I started feeling better.

  9. I have Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and the early stages of Cushing’s syndrome and I am trying to educate myself in both. I also wonder how the Paleo diet helps thyroids and what the Paleo diet actually is since I have seen so many books for sale about it, but do not know anything about it.

  10. I have a question. Of your 18 test subjects, were they low carb paleo? Or did they eat fruit, sweet potatoes, etc.?

    I’m in between at the moment as I find low carbing helps me maintain weight and that I definitely gain on too many carbs, *but* too few carbs seem to impact my thyroid in not a good way (Hashi’s, for the record).

    Do you have sample day diets of your test subjects?

  11. Pingback: Talk about a Paleo diet: What Lucy would have eaten all those years ago – Plain Dealer | The Paleo Diet Recipe Cookbook

  12. Every article I dig up on Hashimoto’s Disease deals with people WITH a thyroid. My sister had been diagnosed with this and has no thyroid, as it was removed surgically several years ago. She is very frustrated with trying to educate herself in this area. Do you have helpful information I can pass on to her? I have been paleo for a few years now and would love for her to get on board, as well!

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