Eating With Hypothyroidism

Updated on 27. Dec. 2018
Low Thyroid Activity Diet
Low Thyroid Activity Diet

If your body isn’t producing important thyroid hormones, you are said to have and underactive thyroid or hypothyroidism. EAT SMARTER will explain what causes this disease, how to prevent it and what you should be taken into account with regards to a proper diet with hypothyroidism.

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Hypothyroidism – What Is It?

The thyroid gland is a highly complex organ. It has taken a while for science to fully understand its secrets, and is still working to uncover the mystery. Your thyroid produces two hormones, thyroxin and triiodothyronine. These are both important for your metabolism, bones and many other functions in your body. If these hormones are missing because, for example your thyroid doesn’t produce enough or part of all of it has been removed, you need to get these hormones through special drugs. This can be done only with a prescription from your doctor or very limited prescription-free dietary supplements. Of course the right diet for hypothyroidism can really help as well.

Iodine For Hypothyroidism – Good Or Bad?

In addition to autoimmune diseases, thyroid surgery or treatment with radioiodine, an iodine deficiency in your diet can also cause hypothyroidism. Less advanced forms for hypothyroidism can be treated with extra doses of iodine; however, more advanced or severe cases need to be treated with prescription drugs. If you eat an iodine rich diet you can help prevent hypothyroidism however. It's not necessary to take additional iodine in the form of tablets, as we use usually use iodine-based salt for cooking and many of our everyday food are enriched with iodine. All in all, lack of iodine in your diet is one of the more rare causes for hypothyroidism.

The most common cause of hypothyroidism and chronic inflammation of the thyroid is an autoimmune disease Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. The causes of this disease have so far not been conclusively studied. While in a regular case of hypothyroidism additional iodine seems to help, people who have hypothyroidism due to Hashimoto’s can actually suffer more from an increase in iodine. According to current research, this, however, only applies to people who have corresponding genetic predispositions. Therefore, it is important to ask your doctor to clarify the cause of your hypothyroidism before starting any type of therapy for it.

Eating With Hypothyroidism: Trace Elements And Mineral Substances

For people who are looking to find the correct diet for hypothyroidism, you should be on a balanced diet (or restrictions) of iodine-containing foods in combination with drug recommendations of your doctors.

Since your thyroid gland needs iodine in order to make sufficient hormones to keep your body going, you should make sure you stay on the right diet so you eat the right amount of iodine. Good sources of iodine include numerous types of fish and iodized salt. On the other hand, you should restrict the consumption of just these foods if you have Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.

Eating a large amount of soy products in your regular diet is generally warned against since these can further restrict thyroid activity.

Selenium and zinc deficiencies, important trace elements for your metabolism, appear frequently in combination with an underactive thyroid. Therefore be sure to consume about 30 to 60 microgram of selenium every day (sources are whole grains, legumes, dairy products, meat, fish) and 7 to 11 milligrams of zinc (contained in meat, fish, Sesame, barley, sunflower seeds, parsley). This amount should be mainly eaten through natural ingredients since an excess intake of selenium can lead to a risk of diabetes.

In addition, it is advisable get sufficient amount of magnesium and vitamins (particularly vitamin B12, A, E and D) since they have a positive effect on the side effects of hypothyroidism (such as fatigue, sensitivity to light, metabolic abnormalities, etc.).

Thyroid Hormones Are Not Products To Help You Loose Weight!

People, who have to take thyroxin, usually their entire lifetime, know that this hormone can also speed up your metabolism. This fact is often misunderstood and people try to take it as a weight-loss pill. This must be warned against! First of all, an overdose without medical supervision cannot be controlled and in the worst-case lead to death. Secondly, studies have shown that in the long run the opposite of the desired effect occurs and people end up gaining more weight.

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