Hypothyroidism can be a tricky condition to handle, and what you eat could interfere with your treatment. Some nutrients influence the function of the thyroid gland, and certain foods can inhibit your body’s ability to absorb them.
What foods can affect thyroid disease?
Having a thyroid condition is often difficult, but you are not alone with this particular health issue. According to the American Thyroid Association, more than 12 percent of the populace may wind up coping with a thyroid disease.
As with many health conditions, some factors are out of your control, such as your family history and the environment around you. But nutrition and diet also plays a role in thyroid health and since you’re the one in control of your plate, then you can decide which thyroid-friendly foods to pick as you handle hypothyroidism and its symptoms.
Foods with Soy (Edamame, Tofu, and Miso)
There’s long been concern over the potential negative effects that certain compounds in soy, called isoflavones, may have on the thyroid gland. Some researchers think that a person’s risk for hypothyroidism can increase. However others theorize that those with both hypothyroidism and an iodine deficiency should observe their intake.
So there are no specific nutritional guidelines regarding the consumption of soy, but some studies do indicate that the ingestion of soy may interfere with the ability to intake thyroid drugs and medications. Because of this, you may want to wait four hours before taking your dose, after eating these foods. Check with your doctor.
Cruciferous Vegetables (Broccoli and Cauliflower)
Cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli and cabbage, are full of fiber and other nutrients, but they could interfere with the production of thyroid gland when you experience an iodine deficiency. Therefore, in case you do, it is a great idea to restrict your intake of Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, turnips, and bok choy, since research indicates digesting these veggies may block the thyroid’s ability to utilize iodine, which is vital for normal thyroid function.
If you have been diagnosed with both hypothyroidism and iodine deficiency, there are a number of things you can do to make these vegetables less dangerous. Cooking them can reduce the impact that cruciferous vegetables have on the thyroid gland, and limiting your intake of these (cooked) vegetables to 5 ounces a day can help too, because that amount appears to have no negative impact on thyroid functioning.
Gluten (Bread, Pasta, and Rice)
People who have migraines might wish to look at decreasing their intake of gluten, a protein found in foods processed from barley, wheat, rye, and other grains, ” says Ruth Frechman, RDN, a dietitian in the Los Angeles area and a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. And in case you’re diagnosed with celiac disease, gluten may hamper absorption of thyroid hormone replacement medication, and can irritate the small intestine.
An article published in May 2017 in the journal “Endocrine Connections” noted that celiac and rheumatoid disease tend to be present together, and while no research has demonstrated that a gluten-free diet can treat thyroid problems, you might want to speak to a healthcare professional about whether it might be well worth eliminating gluten, or becoming tested for celiac disease. If you do decide to eat gluten, make sure to choose whole-grains varieties of bread, pasta, and rice, that are high in fiber and other nutrients and can help improve bowel irregularity, a symptom of hypothyroidism.
Fatty Foods (Butter, Meat, and Fried Foods)
Fats have been found to disrupt the human body’s ability to absorb thyroid hormone replacement medicines, says Stephanie Lee, MD, PhD, associate chief of endocrinology, nutrition, and diabetes in Boston Medical Center and an associate professor in the Boston University School of Medicine in Massachusetts.
Fats may also interfere with the thyroid’s ability to produce hormone as well. Some healthcare professionals recommend that you just cut out on foods that are fried and lower your intake of fats from resources such as butter, mayonnaise, margarine, and fatty cuts of beef.
Sugary Foods (Chocolate and Desserts)
Hypothyroidism may cause the body’s metabolism to slow down, Frechman states. That means it’s simple to put on pounds if you aren’t careful. “You would like to avoid foods with excess amounts of sugar because it’s a lot of calories without the nourishment,” she states. Attempt to eliminate it completely or it is best to decrease.
Processed Foods in Packages
“Processed foods generally get lots of sodium, and individuals with hypothyroidism should avoid sodium,” Frechman states. Having an underactive thyroid increases a individual’s risk for high blood pressure, and sodium that is an excessive amount of increases this risk.
Read the “Nutrition Facts” label on the packaging of processed foods to seek out options lowest in sodium. Individuals with an increased risk for hypertension should restrict their sodium intake according to the American Heart Association.
Excessive Fiber (Beans, Legumes, and Vegetables)
Getting enough fiber is good for you, but also much may complicate your hypothyroidism therapy. The government Strategies for Americans recommends that adults choose in 20 to 35 g of fiber a day. Amounts of fiber from fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, and legumes which go above that amount affect your digestive tract and may interfere with absorption of thyroid hormone replacement drugs.
If you’re on a high-fiber diet, ask your physician if you will need a higher dose of thyroid medicine. If you aren’t absorbing enough medication your maintenance dose may have to be increased.
Coffee (Time your First Cup Carefully)
Caffeine has been shown to block absorption of thyroid hormone replacement, says Dr. Lee. “People who had been taking their thyroid medication with their morning coffee had uncontrollable thyroid levels, and we couldn’t figure it out,” she states. “I now must be very careful to tell people, ‘Simply take your medicine with water.'” You should wait at least 30 minutes before having a cup of coffee after taking your medication.
Alcohol and Thyroid Health
Alcohol consumption can cause a mess on both thyroid hormone levels in the body and the ability of the thyroid gland to produce these hormones. Alcohol appears to have a toxic effect in the thyroid gland and it also suppresses the ability of the body to utilize thyroid gland hormones. Ideally, individuals with migraines should cut out alcohol completely..
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By Dr. Alex Jimenez
Additional Topics: Wellness
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