Diet & Nutrition
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Diet & Nutrition

Diet and it’s effects on thyroid disease

The thyroid gland is a small organ that’s located in the front of the neck, wrapped around the windpipe (trachea). It’s shaped like a butterfly, smaller in the middle with two wide wings that extend around the side of your throat. creates and produces hormones that play a role in many different systems throughout your body. When your thyroid makes either too much or too little of these important hormones, it’s called a thyroid disease. There are several different types of thyroid disease, including hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, thyroiditis and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.

Which are the most common types of thyroid disease?

The most common types of thyroid diseases are Hyperthyroidism and Hypothyroidism.

Hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid) occurs when your thyroid gland produces too much of the hormone thyroxine. Hyperthyroidism can accelerate your body’s metabolism, causing unintentional weight loss and a rapid or irregular heartbeat.

Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) is a condition in which your thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough of certain crucial hormones. Over time, untreated hypothyroidism can cause a number of health problems, such as obesity, joint pain, infertility and heart disease.

How does diet impact Thyroid?

Eating specific foods will not cure thyroid disease, but certain nutrients and minerals play a role in managing the underlying causes. Diet could affect both the production of thyroid hormones and how the thyroid functions. The following nutrients and chemicals in them can impact hyperthyroidism:·

1. Iodine

Excessive iodine in the diet can boost the production of thyroid hormone. Inadequate intake of iodine impairs thyroid function and results in a spectrum of disorders. Foods and drinks that are low in iodine are:

  • Non-iodized salt
  • Egg whites
  • Fresh or frozen vegetables
  • Tea and black coffee
  • Vegetable oils
  • Sugar, jam, jelly, and honey
  • Unsalted nuts and nut butter
  • Fruit and fruit juice
  • Cruciferous Vegetables- Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower and turnip roots

Certain cruciferous vegetables have compounds that decrease thyroid hormone production and could reduce iodine intake by the thyroid. Both of these impacts may be advantageous for a person with hyperthyroidism. However, a person with hypothyroidism (lowered thyroid function) needs to refrain from eating large amounts of these foods.

2. Selenium

Selenium is a micronutrient that your body needs for the metabolism of thyroid hormones. Selenium helps improve some of the symptoms of autoimmune thyroid disease, like thyroid eye disease.

Among individuals using anti-thyroid medications, those who consume selenium supplements may get normal thyroid levels faster than those who do not. Avoid taking more than 200 micrograms per day.

Foods high in selenium include:

  • Brazil nuts
  • Fortified cereals
  • Chicken
  • Rice
  • Eggs
  • Spinach

3. Iron

Iron is a nutrient that is vital for normal body functioning, including thyroid health. Iron assists the red blood cells to carry oxygen to other cells in the body. People will have adequate amount of iron by including these foods in their diet:

  • Kidney beans
  • Spinach
  • Chickpeas
  • Lentils

4. Vitamin D

There is a link between longstanding hyperthyroidism and reduction of bone mineral density, which can lead to osteoporosis. Calcium and vitamin D are important because hyperthyroidism can create problems with bone mineral density.

Foods high in calcium include:

  • Yogurt
  • Egg yolk
  • Salmon
  • Fortified milk

People with thyroid disease can see an improvement in their condition with a help of the right diet and healthy lifestyle changes along with medications. Above are micronutrients and foods that may affect functioning of the thyroid hormone. Consult your nutritionist or health practitioner before altering your diet.

References:

  1. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/8541-thyroid-disease
  2. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hypothyroidism/symptoms-causes/syc-20350284
  3. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hyperthyroidism/symptoms-causes/syc-20373659
  4. https://health.clevelandclinic.org/thyroid-issues-what-you-need-to-know-about-diet-and-supplements/
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7282437/
  6. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20172476/

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