You may heard these terms thyrotoxicosis, overactive thyroid or Grave’s thyroiditis. Similar names or disease types that present with hyperthyroidism. You may be heard anti thyroid drugs like Levothyroxine and surgical treatments. But do you there are natural methods to control thyroid symptoms ? Yes; live style modifications and dietary habits are playing a bug role in this.
For the your ease we can categorized this as follows.
- Foods that you should include your diet.
- Foods to avoid.
- Physical activities.
- Stress management.
- Avoid nutrition deficiencies.
So let’s talk,
Foods to Include Your Diet
When you consider many diseases, there are recommended diet plans. But in hyperthyroidism it’s hard to say about a specific diet. According to clinicians “ low iodine diets “ are preferred.
There’s a special point in hyperthyroidism. As you may know or not weight loss is a main feature of hyperthyroidism. So your doctor may say that you need to consider about weight gain. Otherwise low weight can cause extra burden to health.
BUT this doesn’t mean you can eat any food you want. You can’t eat junk foods to increase weight. You can’t drink sugary drinks as you want. Plan your diet very carefully.
Yogurt, cheese, milk are rich in calcium and Vitamin D. Hyperthyroidism most of the time associates with hyperparathyroidism. It increases born turnover, means your bone loss increases. So hyperthyroidism has a direct effect for osteoporosis. Calcium is the main component in bone. So pumping calcium into body can reduce hyperthyroidism related health issues.
What is the effect of Vitamin D ? Vitamin D in one the main component that requires for bone health. Actually speaking, you don’t need Vitamin D supplements if you adequately expose to sun light. But most of us use to avoid the sun or use sun screen. So our natural Vitamin D production reduced. This makes us to take vitamin D supplements externally.
Turkey is not only for Thanksgiving. Why Turkey is a great food ? As we know hyperthyroidism causes weight loss. So basically your body muscles tend to waste. As we all know muscle building depend on proteins. So Turkey is a protein rich food. If you are a non vegan, try turkey.
Salmon is rich in calcium and vitamin D as we discussed earlier. But the most important ingredient in Salmon is omega 3 fatty acid. Or in other words “ good fat “. Our body can’t produce good fat on it’s own. Omega 3 fatty acids are required in bone health, muscle building and maintaining body functions. So we have take it from outside.
So what happens with non fish lovers. They also have several substitutes. Walnut, olive oil and flaxseed oil are good choices for omega 3 fatty acid replacement.
Or cruciferous vegetables. Some others are cauliflower, kale and cabbage. These veggies are know as goitregens. This means these veggies can reduce the thyroid hormone production in the body. So there’s no need for second thoughts.
Berries can boost your immunity. Strawberries, blueberries or raspberries – any berries you can think of has an ability to generate antioxidants. Antioxidants helps to destroy harmful waste products in our cells.
Hyperthyroidism increases your cell metabolism. This causes your cells filled with wastes rapidly. Accumulation of wastes in cells make them weak. So you need a scavenger. That’s what antioxidants do in our body. So a berry a day, won’t cause any harm to you.
These legumes are given the name due to its lens shape appearance. You can find this with or without outer husk. Even though this is an inexpensive food its nutrition level is unremarkable. It contains proteins over 25% of their total weight. And this is rich in vitamins and minerals mainly iron and fibres. Polyphenols component in lentils contains antioxidant and anti inflammatory action as well. So lentils are never a food that can be guessed by its cost.
Selenium containing foods
There’s a mixed results on selenium. some countries use selenium as an effective treatment. Especially for thyroid eye disease. Selenium contains in nuts, fish, beef and grains. It’s better you should consult your doctor before going for selenium.
Iron containing foods
Researchers have identified a clear connection between low iron in blood and hyperthyroidism. Doctors now recommend iron for hyperthyroidism not as a treatment but for prevent other complications.
Iron are stored in foods in 2 forms. Haem and non-haem. Haem iron includes in red meats and eggs. For vegans, non haem iron supplements like spinach, tofu, lentils, fortified cereals are good choices.
Studies have shown links between using spices and reduce frequently of thyroid diseases. Turmeric and green chilli are leading compounds in this. And turmeric has an anti inflammatory action also.
Unfortunately there’s still a grey area about bugleweeds. Some studies say that bugleweed has an ability to suppress over active thyroid. But there are oppositions as well.
The action of lemon balm plant is on brain levels. Thyroid hormones are produced as a stimulation from TSH hormone. Components in this plant can reduce the signals from brain to produce TSH. And those components bind with TSH receptors and reduce space for TSH to bind and act.
Still studies are going in laboratory levels. Hopefully we will hear a good news from these studies soon.
Glucomannan is made by the root of Konjac plants. Laboratory studies showed glucomannan can rapidly reduce the blood thyroxin levels. But its can is still yet to be found.
It contains in meat and fish. Carnitine basically includes in weight loss supplements. It’s a breakdown product of amino acids. Studies show that carnitine can prevent entering thyroid hormones in to cells. By that prevent symptoms like heart palpitations, tremors.
Foods to Avoid
Iodine contain foods
More iodine you take, your thyroid act more. It produces more thyroid hormones. So hyperthyroid patients experience increase in goiter size after iodine consumption. So avoid these foods,
- iodized salt
- fish and shellfish
- seaweed or kelp
- egg yolks
- blackstrap molasses
- carrageenan, which is an additive
- dairy products
- iodine supplements
- food products containing red dye
- baked goods with iodate dough conditioners
Radioactive iodine is one of the treatment method used for hyperthyroidism. Animal studies showed, soy products can reduce the radioactive iodine absorption. Therefore treatment efficacy reduced. Physicians recommend to avoid soy products like soy milk, soy sauce, soy oil and tofu.
Gluten is a protein in wheat, barley, oat and rye. Coeliac disease patients can’t tolerate gluten diets. It even causes damage to intestines.
Coeliac disease is an autoimmune disease. And it also associates with other autoimmune diseases like autoimmune thyroiditis or Grave’s disease. So taking gluten can increase the autoimmune conditions and also reduce the absorption of thyroid medications.
Coffee, black tea, chocolate, soda and energy drinks are famous caffeine containing foods. Caffeine can increase your body metabolism. So palpitations, tremors, insomnia and anxiety increases. These symptoms are very common with hyperthyroidism also. So taking caffeine can exaggerate hyperthyroidism symptoms. It will be very uncomfortable for you.
Most of the patients think that hyperthyroidism loses the weight. But this not always true. Even weight loss occurs it’s not a healthy way of losing weight. Therefore good physical activity is important for hyperthyroid patients.
It will save you from cardiovascular diseases and strengthen bones. And it can control the appetite also.
But experts recommend you to not to start heavy exercises. It’s better you do moderate intensity exercises like yoga, walking or tai-chi.
“ I do think that stress can affect thyroid function “ says Dr. Gregory Dodell, assistant clinical professor of medicine, endocrinology, diabetes, and bone disease at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City. Hyperthyroidism is known to increase stress with anxiety.
If you are new to stress management, you can start with meditation. Start with minutes, not hours. It will be easy for you. Yoga, walking in outside are also good ways to reduce stress.
Supplements for Nutritional Deficiencies
Experts are never recommend any home remedies as treatments for hyperthyroidism. So you better not practice it. But nutritional deficiencies associate with hyperthyroidism need to be addressed. So consider about this deficiencies,
- Vitamin D
- A multivitamin (usually without iodine)
- Lactobacillus acidophilus probiotics
- Omega-3 fatty acids
- Vitamin C
Its better manage your treatment plan after discussing with a physician.