Due to the similarities between thyroid symptoms and those of various other conditions, and reliance on two basic blood tests for diagnosis, thyroid gland dysfunction is often misdiagnosed.
However, those who do manage an accurate diagnosis are often undertreated, as generic treatments only address the surface symptoms, even though most thyroid disorders stem from an autoimmune disorder, such as Hashimoto’s Disease (attack of the immune system on the thyroid gland).
By targeting the root cause of the problem, the following dietary and lifestyle adjustments can reverse thyroid dysfunctions:
Table of Contents
1- Avoid Gluten:
Found in white bread, oatmeal, pasta and other starchy foods, this glue-like substance causes gut problems and inflammation, hence lowering thyroid hormone production.
Moreover, similarities in the chemical composition of the thyroid tissue and gluten often lead to an increase in immune system attacks on the thyroid gland, which is why people with Hashimoto’s should avoid gluten-containing products.
2- Eliminate Simple Sugars:
While fructose is a naturally occurring beneficial sugar, most ready-to-eat foods, and snacks contain large amounts of chemically-processed fructose that is not only a major contributor to the obesity epidemic but also detrimental to thyroid health and functioning.
Instead, focus on attaining your daily recommended sugar dosage of 6 teaspoons i.e. 25 g a day from natural sources such as apples, cherries, garlic, and onions.
3- Do NOT Forego Iodine:
While people with Hashimoto’s should have a controlled iodine intake, a daily amount of 150-300 micrograms of iodine is recommended for the thyroid gland to manufacture T4 (thyroxine) hormones, low levels of which result in hypothyroidism. Seafood, mushrooms, spinach, eggs, garlic and sesame seeds are all good sources of this compound, which can also be taken in the form of supplements.
4- Add Some Selenium:
This relatively unknown mineral not only reduces the risk of thyroid problems during pregnancy, due to its hormone-balancing qualities but can also prevent the onset of Hashimoto’s disease, as an extreme selenium deficiency has been linked with evidence of autoimmune thyroid dysfunction.
Aim to consume 200 micrograms daily via salmon, sunflower seed, onions, mushrooms or supplements, since excess selenium results in gastrointestinal issues and extreme tooth decay, among other medical conditions.
5- Eat Healthy Fats:
Since the body relies on fats for manufacturing hormones, regular consumption of unsaturated fats (previously considered as ‘healthy’) via foods such as vegetable oils and margarine can result in the formation of mutated hormones and various autoimmune disorders, some of which target the thyroid gland.
To avoid this malfunction, opt for saturated fats such as olive oil, ghee, fish, nuts, full-fat cheese and cottage cheese, yogurt, and coconut milk products.
6- Cook the Crucifers:
While eating leafy green vegetables such as spinach, kale, and broccoli, raw and whole are recommended in most diets, people with thyroid problems are encouraged to cook, boil or steam these vegetables in order to reduce their goitrogenic action (lowering the production of thyroid hormones).
7- Bone Broth:
The amino acids; I-proline and I-glycine found in chicken and beef stock not only help repair the digestive tract lining and prevent hypothyroidism, but also provide symptom relief, such as muscle and joint pain, fatigue, decreased immunity, and food sensitivities that result from the underproduction of thyroid hormones.
8- Eat Slowly:
Speed eating interferes with the digestion process by not allowing the mouth and, consequentially the brain, to register the eating process and send signals to the stomach, which then re-sends ‘hunger signals’ to the brain, resulting in irregular eating that disrupts the direct link between the thyroid gland and gastrointestinal system.
This often causes a thyroid hormone imbalance. Crash dieting also has similar effects on the digestive system and thyroid gland.
9- Reduce Radiation Exposure:
Wear protective collars during x-rays and avoid prolonged stays in places with major electrical lines and cell phone towers to shield your thyroid gland, while also reducing the frequent use of portable electronic devices such as tablets and mobile phones to avoid exposing your neck to harmful radiations.
Instead, try exercising (which also aids weight control in hypothyroid), yoga, meditation or reading as relaxation and stress-relief alternatives. Hyperthyroidism can also be treated through natural means, alongside prescribed medication. However, consult with your doctor first before following any of the dietary options described above.
Here at oladoc, you can find and book an appointment with a top Endocrinologist in Karachi, Multan and Islamabad through oladoc.com, or call our helpline for assistance to find the RIGHT Doctor.