Hypothyroidism and Gluten: Will Going Gluten-Free Help an Underactive Thyroid?

December 23, 2020
Hypothyroidism and Gluten

Hypothyroidism is a condition where the thyroid gland cannot produce sufficient quantities of the thyroid hormone. Thyroid hormones assist in controlling growth, metabolism, and cell repair. Insufficient thyroid hormones slow down our body’s metabolism. Therefore, people with hypothyroidism may experience tiredness, increase blood cholesterol levels, hair loss, weight gain, feeling cold, and feeling down, among many other symptoms.

Hypothyroidism: Which Foods to Eat and Which Ones To Avoid

Your diet has three chief roles in managing the condition:

  • Foods containing certain nutrients like iodine, selenium, and zinc can help maintain proper thyroid function.
  • Limiting foods containing goitrogens and soy, which interfere with normal thyroid function, can improve symptoms.
  • Some foods and supplements can interfere with the thyroid replacement medicine absorption in the body, so limiting such foods can help.

How does diet affect hypothyroidism?

No diet can control hypothyroidism, and there is limited evidence that eating or avoiding certain foods will impact thyroid function. However, sufficient iodine in your diet is vital for normal thyroid function.

What foods to avoid if you have hypothyroidism?

Foods to avoid if you have hypothyroidism include:

●       Goitrogens: Avoid foods containing these compounds. These include

  • Soy foods: e.g., tofu, edamame, miso.
  • Certain vegetables: Cabbage, broccoli, spinach, cauliflower, etc.
  • Fruits and starchy plants: Sweet potatoes, peaches, strawberries, etc.
  • Nuts and seeds: Millets, peanuts, etc.

●       Highly processed foods: Includes cakes, cookies, hotdogs, and several other fast food varieties, etc.

●       Certain supplements – You can opt for eating such foods in moderation. Cooking foods containing goitrogens may deactivate the compounds.

Also Read – Which Chemicals Cause Thyroid Problems?

What foods increase thyroid function?

Thyroid function in your body can be improved by foods containing these essential nutrients:

  • Iodine: It is essential to make thyroid hormones. Iodine rich foods- iodized salt, seaweed, fish, dairy, and eggs
  • Selenium: It can activate thyroid hormones and protects the thyroid gland from damage by free radicals. Foods rich in selenium include Brazil nuts, tuna, sardines, eggs, and legumes.
  • Zinc: It can activate thyroid hormones and helps the body produce TSH hormones that enable the thyroid gland to release thyroid hormones. Zinc-rich foods include oysters and other shellfish, beef, and chicken.
  • Certain fruits and vegetables

Will exercise improve my condition?

No, exercise will not increase the production of thyroid hormone or reverse the condition in your body. However, exercise will benefit people with hypothyroidism by countering the negative effects of certain symptoms, like weight gain, depression, stiffness, joint aches, and muscle weakness.

Why is gluten bad for the thyroid?

Adopting a better lifestyle with an improved diet can enhance your thyroid function. This includes eliminating processed food, eating vegetables, reducing your fat and sugar intake, increasing exercise or mediation, and perhaps taking some supplements.

Also Read – Hypothyroidism vs. Hyperthyroidism: What’s the Difference?

Several studies link Hashimoto’s disease to gluten intolerance. The protein composition in the gluten protein has an amino acid sequence resembling that of the thyroid. Therefore, when a gluten-intolerant person reacts to gluten, the immune system may mistakenly respond to thyroid tissue too. This causes the inflammatory immune cells to destroy thyroid tissue.

Some sufferers of hypothyroidism may or may not be diagnosed with coeliac disease.  However, the elimination of gluten from your diet would help those diagnosed with coeliac disease.

Also Read – Thyroid Disease: Do You Have a Scalloped Tongue?

Examples of Gluten-free food include

  • Naturally gluten-free foods: beans, vegetables, fruit, nuts, milk, yogurts and cheeses, vegetable oils, and avocados.
  • Gluten-free grains and grain-based foods: quinoa, kasha, millet, rice, and potatoes.

It takes several months for people beginning hypothyroidism treatment to find the right food and medication levels, so arriving at the right levels may correspond with adopting a gluten-free diet.

Are you looking for effective thyroid treatment in North Charleston? If so, then call us today at 843-572-1600 or schedule an appointment today with our expert doctors for treatment.

Also Read – Bromine and Thyroid: Things to Know to Keep Your Thyroid Healthy