Hypothyroidism is unpredictable and can be tricky to control. What you consume can interfere with your treatment. Certain nutrients negatively affect the function of the thyroid gland, and certain foods can inhibit your body's ability to absorb some hormones you might take as part of your thyroid treatment.
Hypothyroidism is a common condition. According to the American Thyroid Association, about 12 percent of the population may develop a thyroid condition at some point in their lives.
Unfortunately, some factors are out of your control like your family history and the environment. But your diet matters as well. While there's no one diet for people with hypothyroidism, eating smart will help you feel better despite your health problem. Let’s look at nine foods and drinks to limit or avoid if you have hypothyroidism:
Caffeine can interfere with the absorption of thyroid hormones found in medications for hypothyroidism. Those who are taking their thyroid medication with morning coffee can have uncontrollable thyroid levels. Scientists still don’t fully understand why this happens, so you should take your medication with water.
You might want to consider minimizing your consumption of gluten. Gluten is a protein contained in foods processed from wheat, barley, rye, and other grains. If you have celiac disease, gluten can irritate your small intestine, and might negatively affect the absorption of thyroid hormone replacement medication.
Interestingly, hypothyroidism and celiac disease are often present together, and while no research has demonstrated that a gluten-free diet can improve thyroid problems, you might still want to talk to your healthcare provider about whether you should eliminate gluten or get tested for celiac disease.
Hypothyroidism can slow down your metabolism which in turn can increase your weight. That’s why it’s essential to avoid high-sugar foods since it's a lot of calories with no nutrients. Try reducing your sugar consumption or eliminating it completely from your diet.
Scientists suggest that isoflavones - compounds contained in soy - have a negative effect on thyroid function. Eating too much soy might even increase a person's risk for hypothyroidism. Plus, consumption of soy might interfere with your body’s ability to absorb thyroid medication.
Alcohol consumption can negatively affect thyroid hormone levels in the body and the ability of your thyroid to create hormones. Alcohol possesses a toxic effect on the thyroid gland and suppresses the ability of your body to use thyroid hormone.
Cruciferous veggies like broccoli and cabbage are rich in fiber and other nutrients, but they should be avoided if you have an iodine deficiency. Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, turnips, and bok choy may negatively impact your thyroid treatment, since digesting these vegetables may block the thyroid's ability to utilize iodine.
Fats tend to affect the body's ability to absorb thyroid hormone replacement medicines and might interfere with the thyroid's ability to work properly. Steer clear of butter, mayonnaise, margarine, and fatty cuts of meat.
Consuming enough fiber is good for your health, but too much can negatively impact hypothyroidism treatment. People with hypothyroidism should get 25 to 38 grams of fiber a day. Whole grains, vegetables, fruits, beans, and legumes are rich in fiber, so it’s a good idea to reduce your consumption of these foods.
Most processed foods contain too much sodium. Getting too much sodium is bad for people with hypothyroidism since an underactive thyroid raises your risk of high blood pressure, and too much sodium increases this risk as well.
Check labels on the packaging of processed foods to find options lowest in sodium. Limit your sodium intake to 1,500 milligrams a day to lower your risk of cardiovascular problems.