Best Diet Choices for Thyroid Dysfunction

Estimates range from 20 million to 25 million people in the US who suffer from thyroid dysfunction. The thyroid produces two thyroid hormones that regulate your body’s metabolism. Hypothyroidism is a condition that occurs when the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormones to meet the needs of the body, while Hyperthyroidism does the opposite, producing too many of these hormones.

Hypothyroidism Symptoms & Treatment

The most common cause of hypothyroidism is an autoimmune disease called Hashimoto’s disease, a condition where the immune system makes antibodies that destroy thyroid cells and stop them from making the thyroid hormone. Symptoms of Hypothyroidism include:

  • Feeling hot
  • Sweating
  • Problems falling asleep
  • Racing thoughts
  • Difficulty focusing on one task
  • Forgetfulness
  • Change in bowel habits, where bowels are looser
  • Elevated heart rate and palpitations
  • Anxiety, nervousness, or irritability
  • Weight loss
  • Menstrual problems
  • Fatigue

A well-balanced diet, combined with thyroid medication, is the best treatment for Hypothyroidism. There are no specific foods you can take to “treat” an underactive thyroid, but there are foods you should avoid:

  • Soy and coffee: It may lower your body’s ability to use hormone medication.
  • Kelp and seaweed. You may have heard that you should stay away from them because they’re high in iodine, which can interfere with your thyroid.
  • Kale, broccoli, spinach.

Hyperthyroidism Symptoms & Treatment

Graves’ disease is the most common cause of hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid) and causes many of your body’s functions to speed up. It can accelerate your metabolism and heart rate.

  • Weight loss
  • Anxiety, nervousness, or irritability
  • Tremors in the hands or fingers
  • Sensitivity to heat
  • Increased sweating
  • Increased appetite
  • Enlargement of the thyroid gland (goiter)
  • Frequent bowel movements
  • Rapid or irregular heartbeat
  • Erectile dysfunction (in men)
  • Reduced sex drive
  • Irregular menstrual periods (in women)
  • Muscle weakness
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Fatigue

Treatments for Hyperthyroidism aim to control your overactive thyroid. Some treatment options include: Anti-thyroid medicines, radioactive iodine, surgery, and Beta blockers. These medicines are often used to treat a rapid heart rate, anxiety, and sweating in people with an over-active thyroid.

  • Iodine Rich Foods. Iodine increases the activity of the thyroid gland hence it is necessary to avoid foods containing iodine, if you are suffering from hyperthyroidism. …
  • Caffeine
  • Whole Milk
  • Enriched Flour
  • Added Sugars
  • Red Meat
  • Avoid Allergic Foods
  • Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil

Thyroid dysfunction is a serious condition which requires treatment from your physician, combined with a balanced diet and at least modest exercise.

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