Many of my clients come to me with thyroid issues. Either wanting to lose weight or just improve their feeling of health and wellbeing.
Thyroid conditions come in many forms, including under active (hypothyroid), overactive (hyperthyroid), Graves Disease and Hashimotos.
Dietary factors like food and drink will definitely play a part in your wellness when suffering with a thyroid condition:
1. Goitrogens are substances which naturally occur in certain foods which, some say, can cause the thyroid gland to enlarge. This is called a Goiter. Main goitrogenic foods are broccoli, cauliflower, kale and cabbage. Here is a more detailed list http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goitrogen. Personally, I tend to lean towards the evidence that goiters are caused by inflammation from autoimmune disease, and not by these foods. Also, you would need to consume a vast amount of these foods to possibly cause an issue. I don’t see a problem with consuming goitrogenic foods, in fact the amount of nutrients you would be missing out on by excluding them may put you at a dangerous nutritional disadvantage. http://autoimmune-paleo.com/goitrogens-why-you-dont-need-to-avoid-them/.
2. Soy. Soy is great for hyperthyroid patients, however the suggestion that it should be greatly reduced for hypothyroid patients is a topic of debate. It is thought that soy can inhibit thyroid hormone absorption so the advice is to wait 4 hours after taking thyroid medication to consume soy products http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hypothyroidism/expert-answers/hyperthyroidism/faq-20058188 http://thyroid.about.com/cs/soyinfo/a/soy.htm
3. Iodine. Thyroid dysfunction is linked to iodine deficiency, or issues in absorbing iodine from foods. Iodized salt is a good addition to your diet, in moderation, and increasing the amount of other iodine rich foods will also be beneficial http://bembu.com/iodine-rich-foods
4. Coffee and thyroid medication. While the liquid form of levothyroxine isn’t affected by caffeine, I would suggest avoidance is the best way forward. Coffee does negatively affect the absorption of tablet based thyroid medication as well as taxing the adrenal glands. You are also well advised to avoid calcium fortified orange juice, calcium and iron supplements for at least 4 hours after taking any thyroid medication.
5. What and gluten. Autoimmune conditions are closely linked to digestive issues like celiac and gluten intolerance as well as “leaky gut”. Adopting a gluten free diet may eliminate antibodies. An anti-inflammatory diet is the best course of action for treat thyroid and any other auto-immune disease. Inflammatory foods include dairy, processed sugar, artificial ingredients and, in the case of digestive issue, grains and legumes.
Please feel free to contact me if you feel a dietary approach could help your auto-immune disease.
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