Hyperthyroidism: Foods to Eat and Foods to Avoid

Hyperthyroidism happens when your thyroid gland, the butterfly-shaped gland in the front of your neck, secretes an excessive amount of thyroid hormone. Thyroid hormones regulate your metabolism. When you have an overactive thyroid, you may have symptoms such as unexplained weight loss, increased hunger, high heart rate, frequent bowel movements, and chronic uneasiness. These are all symptoms that your metabolism is out of whack.

There are numerous reasons, but an autoimmune disorder is the most common. The most prevalent cause of hyperthyroidism is Graves’ disease. Graves’ illness occurs when the immune system produces antibodies that activate the thyroid, causing it to secrete excessive thyroid hormone. Other causes of hyperthyroidism include thyroid nodules or goiters, thyroiditis, too much iodine in the diet, cancer drugs, radiation, trauma, and some hypothyroidism treatments.

Hyperthyroidism: Foods to Eat and Foods to Avoid

According to the National Institutes of Health, if an overactive thyroid gland is not managed, it can have major health effects. Blood clots, strokes, heart failure, and other cardiac disorders are examples, as are Graves’ ophthalmopathy, an eye illness, weakening bones, osteoporosis, muscular weakness, and menstrual cycle or fertility concerns. Fortunately, there are therapies available, ranging from lifestyle modifications to medicine.

Types and Symptoms of Thyroid Nodules

As part of your treatment plan, your doctor may advise you to make dietary changes. While certain foods are beneficial to thyroid dysregulation, others should be avoided if you have hyperthyroidism. Thyroid healing foods and the ideal diet for hyperthyroidism and Graves’ disease are discussed here by specialists.

What foods are good for hyperthyroidism

A high-calorie, nutrient-dense diet is the optimal diet for hyperthyroidism. Any diet plan that excludes complete food categories and carbs is not recommended. As a result, I would not endorse keto, paleo, vegan, or plant-based diets. The DASH and Mediterranean diets may be appropriate, but the objective of hyperthyroidism is to follow a high-calorie, nutrient-dense diet rather than a weight-loss diet.

When hyperthyroidism is not addressed, people’s appetites grow and they lose weight while eating more. When thyroid hormone levels are returned to normal, patients frequently regain the weight they lost and more. Experts advocate a low carbohydrate diet rich in vegetables and healthy fats for patients who are concerned about weight gain.

There are a few more factors to consider when it comes to Graves’ disease diets. Foods rich in iodine, such as seaweed and kelp, may aggravate hyperthyroidism.

7 foods for hyperthyroidism

To improve thyroid function, people with hyperthyroidism should eat a nutritious diet rich in fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy products, whole grains, lean protein sources, and unsaturated fats. “It is critical to consume enough carbs to avoid low blood sugar episodes,” adds Feit.

Dr. Goddard believes that when thyroid dysfunction is caused by Graves’ disease, an autoimmune ailment, an autoimmune protocol (AIP) diet may be useful, albeit there is insufficient study data to completely support the diet. To minimize blood sugar spikes, the AIP diet emphasizes healthy foods and avoids sugar. Included are the following:

1- Fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids

Fatty fish, such as salmon, are high in vitamin D, which aids calcium absorption in the body. This reduces the risk of osteoporosis. According to research, omega-3 fatty acids help to restore liver function, which can be harmed by thyroid dysfunction.

2- Fresh fruit

Fresh fruit can be consumed in moderation, with a daily maximum of 10-40 grams of fructose (one to two pieces of fruit). Apples, avocado, and berries are low-glycemic and will not boost blood sugar levels in people with hyperthyroidism who follow an AIP diet.

3- Leafy greens

Calcium is abundant in leafy greens such as spinach and kale. This can be beneficial for patients who have hyperthyroidism since excess thyroid hormone production can lead to bone disintegration and an increased risk of osteoporosis.

4- Olive oil

Olive oil has the ability to decrease inflammation in the body as well as boost thyroid function. Hyperthyroidism is frequently autoimmune, and any autoimmune condition can be started by the immune system’s improper response to inflammation. Autoimmunity may be reduced by reducing inflammation in general.

5- Lean meats and liver

These iron-rich foods can help boost your iron levels. Iron deficiency has been associated to hyperthyroidism in studies.

6- Fermented foods

Probiotics can be found in foods such as kimchi, kombucha, kefir, and sauerkraut. These aid in the improvement of gut health and may aid in the regulation of thyroid function. It is unclear how gut health and thyroid health are related. However, because gut health is linked to inflammation, we believe this is the case.

7- Brazil nuts

Selenium has been demonstrated to be beneficial in autoimmune thyroid illnesses such as Graves’ disease. It may be found in high amounts in brazil nuts; just two to three brazil nuts can give the necessary 200 mcg of selenium per day.

4 foods to avoid with hyperthyroidism

1- Gluten

Gluten may induce inflammation, which harms thyroid function, according to some studies. While additional study is needed, a gluten-free diet may assist to alleviate symptoms. This includes avoiding foods containing wheat, barley, malt, and rye.

2- Seaweed 

Although iodine supplements and ingestion may benefit persons with hypothyroidism, the American Thyroid Association recommends a low-iodine diet since too much iodine might aggravate hyperthyroidism. Substituting Himalayan or sea salt with iodized table salt can also help minimize iodine consumption.

3- Coffee

Caffeine should also be avoided since it is a stimulant and can aggravate high heart rate and heart palpitations, according to Feit. It may also impair the absorption of medicines used to treat hyperthyroidism.

4- Cruciferous vegetables 

Thyroid hormone disruptors are goitrogens, which are present in cruciferous vegetables, lentils, and certain root vegetables. They reduce the thyroid gland’s ability to absorb iodine and raise the risk of auto-immune thyroid illness. They can be dangerous if not prepared properly and taken as merely part of a balanced diet. Cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale, and cabbage are therefore not suggested for hyperthyroidism.

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  1. January 26, 2022

    […] Hyperthyroidism: Foods to Eat and Foods to Avoid […]

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