July 14, 2011 in Health, Nutrition

Restoring Thyroid Function and Estrogen Balance

A significant challenge that many people face is systemic imbalance that causes the thyroid to either underperform or overperform. Often, thyroid hormone imbalance becomes coupled with estrogen imbalance. The causes are many, but the good news is that there is a dietary and lifestyle approach that can make a difference.

A combined approach of intermittent fasting, pre-meal exercise and an early-to-bed/early-to-rise lifestyle can make a big difference in restoring thyroid function, balancing estrogen and testosterone, optimizing Human Growth Hormone production and balancing output of serotonin and melatonin.

I’ve become a big fan of regular morning fasting, exercising on an empty stomach and then breaking my fast with easy-to-digest, protein-rich meals. For many years now, I’ve been an early riser, and these days with dawn coming at ~4 a.m. in Japan, I tend to be up very early. My bedtime is seldom much later than 9 or 9:30 p.m., to ensure that I get adequate sleep.

The overall strategy is to ensure that my hippocampus is adequately stimulated during natural daylight hours and to minimize stimulation during nighttime hours. I enhance nighttime darkness through the use of blackout curtains and an eye mask. The early morning birdsong invariably acts as my alarm clock. During the evening hours between 11 p.m. and 1 a.m., optimal amounts of melatonin are released, which enable me to sleep better. I heal better, too. I can always tell when I’ve been up too late because I experience increased inflammation in the morning.

I’ve been fascinated by research that indicates that HGH is optimized with intermittent fasting and calorie restriction when combined with a high-protein/low-carbohydrate diet that is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids.

There is also significant information that points to a strong correlation between a lack of libido and high insulin resistance in sufferers of Metabolic Syndrome. Getting your diet in order can, apparently, help improve your sex life. Studies have shown hypogonadism in people with Type II diabetes, which is commonplace among those with MBS. Getting your leptin and insulin sensitivity back in order will have a strong effect on balancing your sex hormones.

Testosterone and estrogen balance have a role to play in thyroid function. Where estrogen imbalance is evident, one may also find thyroid function is compromised. So, getting those sex hormones back in balance can play a large role in restoring balance to the thyroid gland and its associated hormone output.

Ultimately, none of the stuff you read here is difficult to implement. Mostly, I parrot the common sense of yesteryear with new research to back it up. Early to bed and early to rise really does help to make you healthy, wealthy and wise. Chew your food well before you swallow (some enzymes are released only upon mastication, and nutrients are more bioavailable). Find the silver lining in every cloud. You are what you eat.

Live Intentionally. Live Well. Love Life.



  1. October 2, 2015 at 10:34 am



    Hi there,

    Thank you for your article 🙂 great information.

    Could you please advise if IF helps to decrease estrogen levels? Which is what causes the weight loss? Or does it just balance out the levels of Oestrogen and Prog?

    1. October 2, 2015 at 12:45 pm

      Trane Francks


      Hi, Jess. Thanks for a great question!

      Intermittent fasting combined with intense exercise has been documented as reducing estrogen as well as modulating body composition. This is an adaptation by the body to ensure that in times of extreme food scarcity, the female is less likely to reproduce offspring. It is only in her best interest to bear children in times when food is relatively plentiful.

      This can be used to good effect in cases where a person is experiencing abnormally high estrogen levels. In this scenario, following a fitness regimen that incorporates intense workouts along with fasting causes the body to recalibrate its estrogen output. If one continues long enough, it’s possible to rebalance the hormonal activity within the endocrine system.

      The weight loss comes as a byproduct of the body being cycled through our evolutionary feast/famine cycle. We evolved to NOT have food available to us 24/7/365. When we go through a famine cycle — even if it’s just intermittent for 12-18 hours/day, we kick off a plethora of bodily housekeeping processes that include dead-cell removal and protein scavenging.

      Putting the body through regular stress/recovery cycles gives us our evolutionary pattern that causes the body to thrive. Those cycles are important.

      Have a great day, Jess.

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