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How to manage hypothyroidism through diet: A Guide

Hypothyroidism can significantly affect your quality of life — bringing symptoms such as fatigue, weight fluctuation, muscle weakness, and impenetrable brain fog. Despite medication changes and ongoing treatment management, you may be left with unresolved symptoms. Dietary changes can assist you in managing hypothyroidism and are best done with supervision from your medical professional. Let's discuss some dietary shifts you can make today to support your journey with having issues with low thyroid function.

What causes hypothyroidism?

Hypothyroidism is most commonly caused by an underlying autoimmune disorder and is considered an autoimmune condition itself. It may also be genetic and can be diagnosed at any stage of life. The incidence of hypothyroid disorders is on the rise. Current data suggests that about 20 million Americans currently struggle with thyroid disruption. The condition may be made worse by generalized inflammation in the body.

Can changing your diet help?

While you cannot cure hypothyroidism with dietary changes alone, you can reduce your symptoms effectively — especially once you have received a formal diagnosis. Our diets are generally deficient in critical nutrients and elements, such as iodine, that supports healthy thyroid regulation and function.

Are there simple dietary changes for thyroid health?

Below are some medically-supported suggestions for changes you can make today to support your thyroid health.

1. Avoid soy and soy-based products

This recommendation is incredibly impactful for those on thyroid medication for both hypo and hyperthyroidism. Medical studies have found that soy consumption may inhibit the absorption and efficacy of your thyroid medication, limiting your ability to gain real benefit through treatment options. Soy is also heavily modified and processed, which may cause additional overall inflammation.

2. Avoid heavily processed foods

Heavily processed foods aren’t good for your body overall. This is especially true for those who are struggling with thyroid disorders. If you’re looking for a way to manage your symptoms more effectively, eliminate foods high in refined sugar and highly processed trans-fats.

3. Avoid goitrogens

There’s a specific class of foods that could inhibit your thyroid’s natural regulation attempts. These are called goitrogens — which can cause many struggles and can make symptom management more difficult. Certain foods on this list include cruciferous veggies, such as kales and cabbage, and starches that include sweet potatoes and lima beans. PLEASE NOTE: These vegetables are good for you and really only adversely affect your thyroid if you are iodine deficient. At Tenpenny Integrative Medical Center, we routinely check your iodine levels when we do blood tests to evaluate your thyroid function.

3. Avoid gluten

Gluten is one of several proteins found in wheat. Gluten is known to be very toxic to the thyroid, especially for those with hypothyroidism and a specific type of low-thyroid condition called Hashimoto's thyroiditis. Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, diagnosed by the presence of thyroid peroxidates antibodies, is the most common cause of hypothyroidism in the United States. It is an autoimmune disorder and tends to run in families. Over time, the ability of the thyroid gland to produce thyroid hormones often becomes impaired and eventually ends frank hypothyroidism). Hashimoto’s thyroiditis occurs most commonly in middle-aged women, but can be seen at any age, and can also affect men and children. TIMC always tests for this condition. Supplements that help are selenomethionine (a specialized form of selenium) and magnesium. Removing gluten almost always improves Hashimoto's symptoms. (And going gluten-free isn't as difficult as you think!)

Natural thyroid symptom management is possible

Are you looking for assistance in managing your thyroid condition naturally? Consider reaching out to the expert practitioners at Tenpenny Integrative Medical Center. With over 25 years of experience in the field, our medical staff is here to help you find a better quality of life. Contact us today for more information or to book an appointment by calling 440-239-3438

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