The thyroid is an endocrine gland situated around your neck responsible for the release of thyroxine and triiodothyronine hormones. It can malfunction and lead to severe health conditions. Hashimoto’s disease is one of these conditions.
Hashimoto’s disease, also known as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is one of the common conditions associated with thyroid dysfunction and it affects many people not only in the United States but also in many developed countries. The symptoms of Hashimoto’s disease can impact negatively on the quality of life, even under medication. Studies have shown that modifying your diet and lifestyle may help improve these symptoms alongside recommended medication. Given that people with Hashimoto’s disease respond differently to medications, and individualized dietary and treatment approach is important. Read on to learn how you can individually modify your diet and lifestyle to benefit your health if you have Hashimoto’s disease.
What Is Hashimoto’s Disease?
Hashimoto’s disease is an autoimmune disorder that occurs when your body produces antibodies that mistakenly destroy thyroid tissues. The destruction is aided by lymphocytes – the white blood cells which form part of your immune system. Shaped like a butterfly, the thyroid gland is located at the base of your neck. It secretes thyroxine and triiodothyronine hormones that affect every organ, such as the heart, skeleton, lungs, digestive system, and central nervous system. This endocrine gland is also actively involved in the regulation of metabolism and growth. Since Hashimoto’s disease causes damages to thyroid tissues, it often leads to inadequate production of thyroid hormones.
Dietary and Lifestyle Modifications and Hashimoto’s Disease
People living with Hashimoto’s disease usually find that their symptoms do not improve, even with medication. But lifestyle and dietary modifications have offered them great help. Keep in mind that medications are rarely prescribed for this condition unless the hormones have been altered. Additionally, studies indicate that inflammation may be involved in precipitating the symptoms of Hashimoto’s disease. Inflammation can always be improved with diet. People with Hashimoto’s disease often present with symptoms like diabetes, elevated cholesterol, and obesity – all of which can be improved with dietary and lifestyle modifications.
Dietary Modifications to Try for Hashimoto’s
Follow a Diet Free of Gluten and Grains
Several studies suggest that people with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis are more predisposed to celiac disease than people without it. For this reason, it is always a recommendation that upon the diagnosis of Hashimoto’s disease, the individual should be screened for celiac disease. Additionally, study results indicate that following a diet free of gluten and grains may effectively help people with Hashimoto’s disease. One six-month study found that strictly following a gluten-free diet can improve thyroid function, increase vitamin D levels, as well as reducing the levels of thyroid antibodies. Following a gluten-free diet means that you must eliminate barley, wheat, and rye, including their products, such as bread, soy, or pasta. You can, however, go for gluten-free options of these products. A grain-free diet, on the other hand eliminates the consumption of all grains.
The Autoimmune Protocol Diet
People with autoimmune diseases, including Hashimoto’s, usually have a diet created for them called Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) Diet. It involves eliminating foods with potential dangers. This includes added sugar, nightshades, grains, dairy, eggs, coffee, legumes, refined sugars, food additives, oils, alcohol, seeds, and nuts. Studies suggest that the AIP Diet can help reduce the levels of markers of inflammation, like C-reactive protein (CRP), and improve the quality of life. The AIP Diet should be followed under the supervision of an experienced healthcare provider.
You Need to Avoid Diary
Since most people with Hashimoto’s disease are intolerant to lactose, avoiding this milk protein is important for improved life quality. It has also been associated with improved thyroid function and fast absorption of medications. Avoiding dairy may not only help people with Hashimoto’s, but even those with lactose intolerance in the general population. Some people with Hashimoto’s disease have been reported to tolerate dairy well. So, dietary modification may not apply to everyone.
Increase Your Intake of Anti-Inflammatory Foods
Besides causing many chronic diseases, inflammation may also aggravate the symptoms of Hashimoto’s disease. For this reason, focusing on anti-inflammatory foods, such as fruits and vegetables may significantly reduce the severity of symptoms. Research suggests that including these foods can reduce markers involved in oxidative stress – a condition caused by the accumulation of harmful free radicals and associated with chronic inflammation. The best foods with potent anti-inflammatory properties you can try include spices, fruits, vegetables, and fatty fish.
Focus On Nutrient-Dense and Whole Foods Diets
Consuming foods low in added sugar while avoiding highly processed foods is important for overall good health. Plus, eating nutrient-dense, whole foods can help reduce weight, improve your health, and lessen the severity of symptoms related to Hashimoto’s disease. Always strive to prepare meals at home with foods rich in carbs and fiber, proteins, fruits, healthy fats, and vegetables. They provide antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties.
Supplements for Hashimoto’s
People with Hashimoto’s disease usually have deficiencies in minerals and vitamins. Supplementing for them can help reduce inflammation and lower thyroid antibodies. Helpful supplements include:
A key mineral and antioxidant. Taking selenium supplements can reduce antithyroid peroxidase antibodies. It may also help improve the quality of life in people with Hashimoto’s.
Needed for proper thyroid function.
A powerful plant compound found in turmeric and have potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, which can treat autoimmune diseases like Hashimoto’s.
Taking its supplements may help restore its blood levels and improve thyroid function. It can also reduce the severity of symptoms in Hashimoto’s disease.
Foods To Eat
Should be nutrient-dense foods. They may include berries, bananas, carrots, broccoli, peppers, sweet potatoes, peas, avocados and healthy fats, eggs, chicken, brown rice, quinoa, seeds, nuts, and nuts, butter, black beans, lentils, spices, and dairy, among others.
Foods To Avoid
Includes soda, cakes, pastries, cookies, hot dogs, fried chicken, white bread, bagels, margarine, sausage, wheat, barley, bread, and many more.
Hashimoto’s disease affects the thyroid gland leading to inadequate production of hormones. It is associated with conditions like celiac disease and diabetes. To help improve quality of life and symptoms of Hashimoto’s disease, you need to implement lifestyle and dietary modifications like following AIP Diet.
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