“I couldn’t believe I had Hashimoto’s. I used to follow what I believed to be a healthy, balanced diet. I avoided most fatty foods in fear of clogging my arteries and putting on weight. I based my diet around whole grains and vegetables, and I limited my intake of animal products. It was only after I discovered a low-carb and ketogenic approach to food when everything started making sense to me. My seemingly “healthy” lifestyle which combined too much exercise with a calorie restricted high-carb diet was hurting my thyroid instead of keeping me healthy.” —Martina Slajerova, Founder of KetoDiet App
Hashimoto’s Disease, or Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, is an autoimmune disease that damages the thyroid gland, affecting more women than men, according to National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.
For women, it is the most common cause of hypothyroidism, or an underactive thyroid. Symptoms of an underactive thyroid include fatigue, weight gain, depression, and joint pain..
And for Martina Slajerova, the founder and creator of the KetoDiet App, it left her struggling to maintain a healthy weight. But for individuals who eat his or her daily doses of fruits and vegetables, not consuming too much meat, and regularly exercising, how can maintaining a healthy diet and weight be so complex or damn near impossible?
That’s where the ketogenic diet (Keto Diet) comes into play, which offers a high fat, very low carb diet that’s often recommended to provide relief from menopause symptoms. It’s important to emphasize that following the Keto Diet may also come with several side effects that may not always be a great fit for everyone.
But for Slajerova, it was the beginning to a solution that would free her from the daily struggle of living with Hashimoto’s Disease. With weight gain often being a symptom of menopause that’s often attributed to changing hormone levels and a slower metabolism, undergoing the keto diet, if limited, has been found to help prevent weight gain associated with menopause.
One study in over 88,000 women found that following a low-carb diet was linked to a decreased risk of postmenopausal weight gain; where conversely, following a low-fat diet was tied to an increased risk of weight gain.
Taking that knowledge and compiling it into a one-stop-shop for women also suffering from Hashimoto’s, Slajerova came up with the KetoDiet App, which contains not just her personal knowledge and experience, but the collective knowledge from cookbooks, blogs, videos, and experts in a one-stop shop location.
And that’s where the idea of developing a mobile app that users could look to and have their questions answered in real-time came about. Unfortunately, since COVID-19 has taken the world by storm, the health/wellness sector, like most industries, has been hit hard.
Pre-coronavirus, however, Slajerova’s focus has been to provide a complete application that can guide users through the ketogenic diet–which she described as overwhelming:
“When I started following a low-carb diet, everything felt overwhelming. Knowing which foods to eat and avoid, staying under my carb limit and hitting my daily protein intake were some of the challenges I was facing.”
Features of the app such as recipe ideas, expert articles, and food tracking/journaling, according to Slajerova, are essential for both beginners and advanced keto dieters. Since discovering how to live and manage her life with Hashimoto’s, Slajerova has spent nine-years following her ketogenic approach.
“While I still need my thyroid medication, I no longer suffer from hypothyroid symptoms,” adding that her thyroid antibodies have dropped to “almost normal levels.”