Hypothyroidism is a disease where the thyroid gland produces too small amounts of the hormones thyroxine and triiodothyronine. The low levels of thyroid hormones cause the metabolism to become very low, which severly affects the body. Weight gain, myxedema and fatigue are just some of the many symptoms associated with hypothyroidism.
So, why do people suffer from this disease? Well, the three most common causes are:
- Treatment with iodine-131.
- Iodine deficiency.
- Surgical removal of the thyriod gland.
The only method that completely eliminates the symptoms is treatment with synthetic variants of the previously mentioned thyroid hormones. Unfortunately, the synthetic hormones must be taken for the rest of the patient's life, or else the symptoms will come back. However, following a special diet can help alleviate the symptoms and make life a bit more comfortable.
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What you eat and drink affects health in a very direct way. That's why following a special hypothyroidism diet could have positive effects for those suffering from hypothyroidism. There are a lot of claims made, all over the Internet, on what you should and shouldn't eat when dealing with this disease. However, it is important to understand that many of these claims have not been scientifically proven. There are things we do know, and we have chosen to focus on those facts.
Eating a well-balanced diet with low amounts of fat and sugar, and sufficient amounts of trace minerals and vitamins, will benefit health in many ways. For people suffering from hypothyroidism, the weight loss factor of such a diet would be extra important since two of the symptoms are fatigue and weight gain. The fatigue makes exercise just too hard for the patient to manage, which of course further increases the weight. If a healthy diet could keep the weight normal without any exercise needed, then that would be very helpful for the patient. A better mental health and a higher motivation could result as bonuses.
Perhaps the most important thing in the so-called hypothyroidism diet is to NOT consume these products in direct connection to when the synthetic thyroid hormones are taken:
- Iron and calcium supplements
- Multivitamins containing iron
Eating iodine- and selenium-rich foods could be beneficiary for thyroid gland function, and that's why these foods should be included in the hypothyroidism diet:
- Saltwater fish
Foods that are claimed to be harmful include peanuts, coffee, potato, gluten foods and spinach. However, this has not been backed up by evidence, and should therefore not be taken as the absolute truth.
Make sure you consult a medical doctor or a nutritionist before making any drastic changes to your diet. Your body and health could suffer if it's not done properly and under supervision from a professional.