You’ve probably heard that your thyroid gland plays an essential role in your overall health. So, when it’s not performing as it should, such as in the case of hyperthyroidism, you have to do something to get it back in working order! And, proper nutrition is extremely important in that effort. Let’s take a closer look at some helpful dietary information to consider when dealing with hyperthyroidism and its effects.
Hyperthyroidism is a common health condition caused when the thyroid gland (located in the neck) is hyperactive and produces too many hormones. Hyperthyroidism can lead to irregular heartbeat, tremors, nausea, sleep problems, excessive sweating, diarrhea, high blood pressure, and bulging eyes. Things associated with the development of hyperthyroidism include Graves’ disease, tumors, and excessive consumption of iodine.
People with hyperthyroidism typically take thyroid hormone replacements and don’t need to eat a special diet to relieve their symptoms. However, it’s important to note that specific foods and dietary supplements can block the absorption of hormone replacements, such as:
- Antacids containing aluminum hydroxide
- Soybean products
- High-fiber foods
- Calcium supplements
- Iron supplements or vitamin supplements containing iron
- Cholesterol lowering drugs, including colestipol and cholestyramine
- Ulcer medications
Hyperthyroidism can leach calcium from the bones, causing them to become thin and brittle. If calcium supplements are interfering with treatment, try to increase it in your diet by eating leafy green vegetables and calcium enriched breads and orange juice. Additional vitamin D will help your body absorb calcium more efficiently. Try to spend up to 15 minutes a day outdoors to absorb vitamin D from the sun’s rays, or consider taking a vitamin D supplement.
Hyperthyroidism can cause muscle wasting and extreme weight loss, and nutritional supplements can help to offset those effects. Additional calorie intake and more protein are ideal.
When taking thyroid hormone replacements, it’s best to take it on an empty stomach and well in advance or after eating any of the above items to prevent symptoms.
It’s best not to mess with the thyroid! If you are dealing with a thyroid problem, getting the proper nutrition can go a long way in helping to treat that problem and its effects.