Thyroid disease is not only tricky to diagnose, but it can also be very challenging to live with. Certain foods and supplements can cause issues with an underactive thyroid. For this reason, it is important to note that even some healthy foods can be problematic. Many foods contain things that you are probably unaware of, things that could wreak havoc on your thyroid.
Maintaining a healthy diet is vital to overall health and, of course, is also important for the health of your thyroid gland. If you have been diagnosed with hypothyroidism, you have most likely been directed to take your medication on an empty stomach. According to The Mayo Clinic, for your body to properly absorb thyroid replacement hormone medication, it should be taken an hour before anything else, including foods, drugs, and supplements.
According to Clevelandclinic.org, hypothyroidism cannot be managed through diet alone. Plus, some foods and supplements that are otherwise considered healthy can wreak havoc on an underactive thyroid. The body needs time to absorb medication before eating or taking other medicines or supplements to allow the thyroid to properly uptake medication.
While soy has been touted as a wonderful health food, it is not a great choice for anyone with a compromised thyroid gland. Soy contains compounds known as goitrogens, which can have a disastrous effect by preventing iodine uptake in the thyroid gland, stopping the thyroid from synthesizing necessary hormones.
The Cleveland Clinic advises to stay away from cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, kale, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts. These veggies contain goitrogens, which, when consumed in large amounts, can interfere with thyroid hormone production and are particularly problematic when consumed raw.
Sensitivity to gluten has been found to make symptoms of hypothyroidism worse, especially for those suffering from the autoimmune condition known as Hashimoto's thyroiditis. Gluten is a common ingredient in many foods, such as bread, pasta, crackers, and baked goods. However, some foods contain gluten that you may need to be made aware of. Foods like French fries, gravies, sauces, processed meats, and even some wines, medications, vitamins, and lipsticks can contain gluten! Make sure to check the nutritional labels before purchasing any foods.
Refined sugars, unhealthy fats, and additives are found in processed foods, which can cause inflammation throughout the body. Inflammation can cause health issues and also cause the thyroid to not function properly. When this happens, it affects the whole body and exacerbates any existing thyroid issues.
The thyroid needs iodine for hormone synthesis, but there is a delicate balance between too much and too little. Consuming excessive iodine from sources like iodized salt, seaweed, or supplements can cause the thyroid to malfunction, especially for those with thyroid issues.
Also known as yuca, manioc, and Brazilian arrowroot, if you are familiar with cassava, you are probably aware of its health benefits. What you may not know is that it contains compounds known as cyanogenic glucosides, which can interfere with thyroid function. Cassava can be especially problematic because it is poisonous when eaten raw and must be cooked before consumption.
The impact of these foods can vary greatly from person to person. For most people, limiting these foods and including them in their diet occasionally is fine. However, for those with thyroid disease, they can cause significant issues.
Talk to your doctor about which foods to avoid with hypothyroidism. Because thyroid issues can be challenging, you should talk to someone who specializes in thyroid-related cases. An endocrinologist is a doctor who specializes in thyroid disease and can help with medication therapy and dietary concerns. You may also seek a registered dietician who can tailor your diet to your specific needs.
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Linda Guerrera has been the Digital Content Manager for Health Products For You since 2022. A recipient of the New York State Broadcasters Award for Outstanding Work in Radio, she spent over ...
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