Fasting 13 or more hours when you have Hashimoto’s

fasting for better health

Extended fasting during the night fast may lower your risk of breast cancer or improve your prognosis. Fasting has also been shown to decrease the risk for other types of cancer, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.

The benefits of fasting — lower blood sugar and inflammation — may also benefit those working to manage Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism.

In the first study of its kind, researchers analyzed 11 years of data from non-diabetic breast cancer patients, with surprising results.

The women who fasted less than 13 hours per night showed a 36 percent increase in breast cancer recurrence compared to those who fasted for 13 or more hours.

In other words, going at least 13 hours between between dinner and breakfast is associated with a lower risk of cancer.

The study looked at daily sleep and dietary habits, serum blood sugar and inflammation markers (hemoglobin A1c and C-reactive protein), and the recurrence of cancer and breast tumors.

Longer fasting for better sleep and less disease risk

The study showed that each two-hour increase in fasting time made for longer nights of sleep. This is important not only because it helps people feel better, but also because it points to a healthier sleep-wake cycle, or circadian rhythm  An imbalanced circadian rhythm increases cancer risk, including breast cancer, along with numerous other chronic diseases.

A healthy circadian rhythm is an important component of a Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism protocol as it affects the health of overall metabolism and immunity.

Each two-hour increase in fasting time also reduced blood sugar and systemic inflammation, hence lowering the risk of diabetes and other diseases.

The longer nighttime fasters showed significantly lower levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), a protein made in the liver that increases with inflammation. Chronic inflammation leads to serious diseases, including heart disease, some forms of cancer, dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s disease.

Lowering inflammation is critical for those with Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism to prevent low thyroid symptoms and thyroid damage.

Got low blood sugar or adrenal fatigue? Then a bedtime snack may be appropriate

While the new research makes a strong case for extended nighttime fasting, long fasts may be detrimental to those with low blood sugar or adrenal fatigue.

In these cases, allowing blood sugar to drop too low through fasting can cause a series of negative hormonal consequences that result in insomnia, mood issues, fatigue, and poor brain function.

These consequences also mean Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism flares and trouble managing your autoimmune low thyroid condition.

If you wake up anxious at 3 or 4 a.m., you may be a victim of low blood sugar and need to eat a little protein to fall back asleep. Eating a little bit before bed can also help prevent those all-too-early wakeup calls. You also need to follow a diet during the day that stabilizes blood sugar.

Eating a healthy blood sugar diet over time may help you stabilize your blood sugar to the point that you can comfortably adopt the extended nighttime fast.

Stabilizing blood sugar is also critical to managing Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism

A simple, non-medical strategy for reducing cancer and disease risk when you have Hashimoto’s

These findings suggest that simply extending the time between dinner and breakfast to at least 13 hours may be a simple, non-medical strategy to reduce the risk of breast cancer and chronic disease.

It can also be a way to help you better manage Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism.

If you have questions or concerns about Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism, low thyroid function, nighttime fasting, sleep habits, blood sugar balancing, or disease prevention, please contact my office.

4 Comments. Leave new

  • Aqillah Chaudhri
    April 29, 2020 3:24 am

    I have Hashimotos hypothyroidism and try every year to fast in Ramadhan without success- symptoms include not being able to stay awake, early menstruation etc- Is there anything I can try to keep my Ramadhan fasts?

    • Functional Health News
      June 13, 2020 10:05 pm

      That’s tricky if your blood sugar is crashing. Some say branch chain amino acids can help keep your blood sugar up but it all depends on the individual. The best advice I can think of is to slowly work on improving your blood sugar stability the rest of the year. Those customs came about when there were not so many modern challenges to the human body!

  • 15 months ago I was diagnosed as borderline Type 2 diabetes (fasting BS >100 – <125), Hypothyroidism, Hasimoto's (Thy Perox Abs 429), and Hypercholesterolemia. Basically, metabolic syndrome. I started on the Keto Diet and over a period of 7 months lost 25 pounds, I am female, 5'3" and started at about 181 pounds. My blood sugar now hovers between 80's to 90's, for most part. For the last 8 months, even in a constant moderate to high ketosis state, I have not lost any weight and have been staying around 155 pounds. I have been doing intermitting fasting, eating only one meal a day. I have been trying to do some extended fasting, to break my plateau, but by day four my blood sugar was down to 53 mg/dL, my Ketones were 3.6 mmol/L, and GKI 0.8. you mention that low blood sugar is not good if you have Hasimoto's, but at what "number" do you consider too low of blood sugar for someone in an extended fast with Hasimoto's? And what would be the optimum blood sugar number that someone with Hasimoto's should maintain while on the Keto diet?

  • Sally Bowers
    May 25, 2021 8:04 am

    Hi, I have hashimoto and hypokalemia. I started ketovore and IF on 2-1-21. All inflammation disappeared. My body is starting to absorb potassium after 2 years of it not. I went from 7500 mg a day to 4500 now and weening still. I hope to be off of it soon. I’ve been starting with weekly 24 hr fasts. Free T3 is low normal (2.01). RT3 went from 28 to 22. Antibodies were near 900 for both (in Nov). Those haven’t been retested as the Dr feels its unnecessary. TSH is 3.14 (Nov) down from 5.68 a year ago. T4 was 9.4, FT4 1.08 (both in Nov). Im on my own in this as the Endo feels its unnecessary as you cant change hashi with diet or fasting. (HE SAYS). I feel very good and have plenty of energy. Not perfect as I have 120 more lbs to lose but I have lost 40 since 2-1-21. I feel this is a good sign. My health numbers are all good (chol. Trygl. HDL LDL Cortisol is low etc.) I have no guidance on this and Im just hoping Im helping and not hurting my thyroid. I do feel good so Im taking that as a good sign. Im not on any thyroid meds. I do take the necessary supplements that are recommended for Hashi. I guess IM wondering if you feel that what Im doing is ok as long as I feel good. Any help is greatly appreciated. Thank you, Sally Bowers


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