Underactive Thyroid Diet

Underactive Thyroid Diet: Is It Really Effective?

Following an underactive thyroid diet can not cure hypothyroidism, but it can help support the medications one takes to control an underactive thyroid.  According to the Mayo Clinic, hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) is a condition in which your thyroid gland does not produce enough of certain important hormones.  It is recommended that you take certain medications for this, but following an underactive thyroid diet plan may also help.


Background on Hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism is more likely to be found in women, especially those who are over 50 years old.  This condition upsets the normal reactions of chemicals in your body.  It's very difficult to see any symptoms during the early stages of hypothyroidism, but as time passes you may notice joint pain, infertility, obesity and heart disease.  If you're concerned that you may have this condition, it's recommended that you get a thyroid function test done.  If it turns out that you do have an underactive thyroid, one form of treatment is taking a synthetic thyroid hormone.

Underactive Thyroid Diet

As I mentioned earlier, an underactive thyroid diet plan is not going to cure hypothyroidism.  However, eating foods that are rich in antioxidants may help.  These foods are mainly fruits and vegetables.  Also, eliminating processed foods (pretty much anything that comes in a package) may also help control your symptoms.  When you think about it, these are some general rules that everyone looking to eat healthy should follow.  Eating this way can definitely help with obesity, joint pain and heart disease, which are symptoms of hyperthyroidism.  There isn't a consensus that eating this way will improve thyroid function, but it will help address some of the symptoms of this condition.


Taking a thyroid hormone replacement, as directed by your doctor, is your best solution to an underactive thyroid. However, you shouldn't take the medication with certain foods, supplements or medications.  According to the Mayo Clinic, you should avoid taking your thyroid hormone at the same time as:


-Soybean flour

-Cottonseed meal

-Iron supplements or multivitamins containing iron

-Calcium supplements

-Antacids that contain aluminum or magnesium

-Some ulcer medications, such as sucralfate

-Some cholesterol-lowering drugs, such as cholestyramine and colestipol.

 It's recommended that you eat these foods or use these products several hours before or after using thyroid medication. 


Underactive Thyroid Diet - Conclusion

An underactive thyroid diet plan is more of a general concept than a concrete, proven fact at this point.  There isn't sufficient data available that proves eating certain foods will help with hypothyroidism.  However, what has been recommended as an underactive thyroid diet plan (eating antioxidant rich foods and limiting processed foods) will have an effect on your overall health.  It will help address symptoms of this condition, although it's unknown if it will improve thyroid function.  If you or someone you know has this condition, please feel free to comment with any advice or information that you'd like to share.