Hypothyroidism is a condition that can trigger a range of irregularities with the body’s metabolism. So, it’s no surprise that diet is an essential component of managing hypothyroidism. Let’s learn more about this common disorder and the best dietary approach for those who are affected by it.
What is Hypothyroidism?
Hypothyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid gland, located at the bottom of the neck, doesn’t produce a sufficient amount of thyroid hormones. The hormones that the thyroid produces impact virtually the entire body, including the skin, brain, heart, and muscles. Hypothyroidism may also be called underactive thyroid disease.
The thyroid manages the body’s metabolism, so when the thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough hormones due to hypothyroidism, the body’s ability to produce energy is hindered. Fewer calories are burned, the heartbeat slows down, and the body temperature drops.
Symptoms of Hypothyroidism
The main symptoms of hypothyroidism include:
- Weight gain
- Elevated cholesterol levels
- Intolerance to cold
- Dry skin and hair
- Brain fog
- Lower, hoarse voice
- Hand numbness and tingling
Diet For Hypothyroidism
People with hypothyroidism can better manage their symptoms with a diet centered around fruits, vegetables, and lean meats. Whole, filling foods can help keep calorie intake low without feeling hungry, which can help to avoid weight gain. Whole eggs, gluten-free grains and seeds, low-fat dairy products, and fish are ideal components of a diet for hypothyroidism in addition to lean meat, fruits, and veggies.
Compounds called goitrogens can impact regular thyroid function. For people with hypothyroidism, it is important to eat these compounds in moderation. You’ll find them in:
- Foods that contain soy
- Nuts and seeds
- Many cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, spinach, kale, and cauliflower
- Some fruits such as peaches, pears, and strawberries
- Starchy plant foods such as sweet potatoes and cassava
People with hypothyroidism should try to avoid alcohol, coffee, and green tea as it may cause irritation in the thyroid gland.
For help managing hypothyroidism symptoms, schedule an appointment and speak with one of the skilled physicians at Family Medical Centers.