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Hypothyroidism Diet

Hypothyroidism is the disorder of the thyroid gland, wherein the gland is unable to secrete enough thyroid hormones. The main cause of this disorder is an iodine deficiency in the body. Stress can also be a possible cause. Hypothyroidism is seen in people of all ages, but in children, it can cause cretinism. The thyroid gland is responsible for regulating the metabolism of the body, and so low levels of thyroid in the body may weaken the body.

Sometimes, the symptoms are very difficult to diagnose, and it can take a while before the doctor understands what the actual problem is.

If hypothyroidism is left untreated, it can lead to other health complications. Gaining excessive weight is one of the major symptoms of hypothyroidism. This is why, if one feels that he or she is putting on weight unnaturally, then the person must consult a doctor to get the thyroid checked.

Diet for Hypothyroidism

Fast dieting is not a solution to get rid of the excess weight. A good balanced diet with all the adequate nutrition and minerals is very much essential to maintaining good thyroid health. Fiber rich foods are the best treatment for hypothyroidism and can help retain a healthy diet. Vitamin B rich foods must be consumed too. Whole grains, sea vegetables, and fresh vegetables are some great sources of vitamin C. Eating foods having good antioxidant properties is also a good option. These include cherries, tomatoes, squash and bell pepper. Alcohol and tobacco are to be strictly avoided in a diet for hypothyroidism.

Foods to Include

Foods rich in fiber are a possible treatment for hypothyroidism. Fiber also helps in shedding off excess weight from the body. Iodine rich foods are also to be included as the cause is normally iodine deficiency. Some of the natural foods to eat are as follows:

  • Green leafy vegetables
  • Fiber rich fruits like apples
  • Whole grains
  • Sea food
  • Lean protein
  • Iodized salt in food
  • Crab, Brazil nuts, etc., which are good sources of selenium
  • 8 to 10 glasses of water per day
  • Caffeine in the form of tea and coffee can be taken after consulting the doctor
  • Omega 3 fatty acids, which help decrease inflammation and boost immunity
  • Some herbs such as guggul and bladderwrack can be taken in prescribed doses, but not in excess as it might then cause harm

The best home remedy is to simply forget about the disorder, not forgetting to take your medication regularly, eating healthy, and exercising.

Foods to Avoid

Not all foods can be consumed by people suffering from hypothyroidism. Some foods may contribute to or worsen hypothyroidism have been listed as follows:

  • Spinach
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Mustard
  • Pears
  • Avoid potatoes, rice and corn
  • Avoid alcohol as it increases the blood sugar level
  • Iron supplements must be avoided

Hypothyroidism Health Tips

Hypothyroidism cannot be completely removed or reversed, but the symptoms of hypothyroidism can be reduced and controlled to certain extent. Some of the health tips to control hypothyroidism are as follows:

  • Selenium in the diet helps in reducing symptoms of hypothyroidism
  • Do not take iron supplements
  • Consult a doctor before consuming soy products
  • Take medicines regularly and do not change the brand without informing the doctor concerned
  • Do not stop taking medications once you start feeling better
  • Do not take iodine supplements
  • Consume fiber-rich foods to reduce excess weight

Additional Info


  • Congenital defects
  • Heredity
  • Radiation treatment may affect thyroid gland
  • Drugs may also cause hypothyroidism
  • Sheehan syndrome
  • Lithium based mood stabilizers


  • Constipation
  • Cold intolerance
  • Female infertility
  • Goiter
  • Low body temperature
  • Depression
  • Fatigue
  • Joint and muscle pain
  • Brittle nails and hair
  • Weight gain
  • Hoarseness
  • Puffy face and body
  • Thinning of eyebrows
  • Dry skin

Diagnosis & Treatment

Hypothyroidism can be diagnosed by laboratory tests such as TSH test and T4 test. These tests basically determine the functioning of the thyroid gland and hence detect the disorder. An x-ray of the chest may display an enlarged heart. Tests may reveal anemia, increased level of cholesterol, liver enzymes and prolactin and low level of sodium in the body. There is no permanent treatment for hypothyroidism. Options for management and control include:

  • The most common medication is levothyroxine.
  • Therapy must continue throughout the life of the patient unless the condition is specified as transient viral thyroiditis.
  • One must not just stop taking medicines when one feels better.
  • Homeopathy can also be a supportive treatment.
  • Acupuncture may help in maintaining hormonal balances.


There is no such prevention for hypothyroidism. However, if it occurs in new born babies, then it can be detected by screening tests. It is then termed congenital hypothyroidism. Since there is no particular reason for thyroid related problem to occur, there are no preventive measures. A good and healthy lifestyle with adequate nutrition and a good fitness regime can help at keeping most illnesses at bay.



Submitted on June 15, 2012