The Power of Nutrition in Healing Thyroid Disorders
Thyroid issues can be confusing and recently I've been getting tons of questions about the effects of nutrition and supplements on thyroid disorders. From my experience, I can tell you that it's not uncommon to deal with persistent ailments like headaches, fatigue, skin issues, bloating, and upset stomachs.
While medication can offer instant, temporary relief, a long-term solution requires digging deeper into the root cause of these symptoms.
One invaluable tool at our disposal is the power of good nutrition in achieving balanced overall health. It's surprising how certain foods can either ignite inflammation or soothe it within our bodies.
Understanding Food Sensitivities and Inflammation: A Key to Thyroid Health
When it comes to persistent energy issues, gas and bloating, joint pain, headaches, fatigue, and skin problems, these can often signal food sensitivities.
These are not the same as food allergies which are usually diagnosed with bloodwork. Food sensitivities, also called food intolerances, are more mild but they build up over time. And our body's response is usually delayed so we don't always notice an immediate direct correlation.
Gluten, dairy, and soy frequently trigger inflammation in those suffering from thyroid disease, leading to a host of unwelcome symptoms. I've seen amazing health transformations in individuals who've eliminated these foods from their diet—sometimes in as little as three days.
Top 15 Most Inflammatory Foods According to Thyroid Health Experts
|Food||Possible Effect on Thyroid Health|
|Gluten||May cause inflammation and trigger autoimmune response|
|Soy||May interfere with thyroid function due to its isoflavones|
|Dairy||Can trigger inflammation, particularly in those with lactose intolerance|
|Refined Sugar||Can lead to inflammation and disrupt hormonal balance|
|Processed Foods||Often contain inflammatory additives and lack essential nutrients|
|Alcohol||Can interfere with the metabolism of thyroid hormones|
|Caffeine||Can stress the adrenal glands, which are linked to thyroid health|
|Trans Fats||Can contribute to inflammation and heart disease|
|Red Meat||High in saturated fat which can lead to inflammation|
|Artificial Sweeteners||May disrupt thyroid function and gut health|
|Fried Foods||High in unhealthy fats, may contribute to inflammation|
|Refined Grains||Can spike blood sugar levels, leading to inflammation|
|Shellfish||Potential allergens, may trigger inflammation in some people|
|Corn||Frequently genetically modified, can cause inflammation|
|Nightshades (tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, potatoes)||Can trigger inflammation, particularly in those sensitive to them|
Integrating Nutrient-Dense Foods for Optimum Health
Beyond just eliminating trigger foods, the introduction of nutrient-dense foods can make a significant difference for those with autoimmune diseases like Hashimoto's.
The Autoimmune Paleo diet (AIP) is an incredibly potent tool for individuals aiming to lead a healthier lifestyle. It works by removing all potential food triggers for autoimmune diseases and reintroducing them to assess individual reactions.
I've witnessed this diet help in reducing inflammation, identifying trigger foods, lowering thyroid antibodies, minimizing medication reliance, and enhancing overall lab results.
10 Popular Nutrient Dense Foods For People With Thyroid Issues
|Food||Why It's Beneficial|
|Leafy Greens||Rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber.|
|Broccoli||Loaded with essential vitamins and minerals, particularly vitamin C and K.|
|Sweet Potatoes||High in fiber, vitamins, and minerals, including immune-supportive vitamin A.|
|Berries||Rich in antioxidants and vitamins.|
|Avocados||High in heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and fiber.|
|Wild-Caught Fish||Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which can help reduce inflammation.|
|Bone Broth||Great source of vitamins and minerals, known for its gut-healing properties.|
|Coconut Oil||High in medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), excellent for cooking.|
|Grass-Fed Meat||Provides high-quality protein and rich in essential nutrients.|
|Fermented Foods||Helps support a healthy gut microbiome, which is key for overall health and immunity.|
Addressing Nutrient Depletions and the Role of Supplementation
Certain foods and drinks, such as coffee and alcohol, can rob our bodies of essential nutrients like magnesium, zinc, and thiamine.
For people with Hashimoto's, depletions in selenium, vitamin D, vitamin B12, and thiamine are common. Adding these nutrients back into the diet can aid in restoring energy levels and recovering from nutrient deficiencies.
Micronutrient deficiencies, particularly those of B12 and other essential minerals, can contribute to autoimmune disorders like Hashimoto's. Just a daily dose of 200 micrograms of selenium can reduce thyroid antibodies by about half in three months, boost energy levels, lessen anxiety, and decrease palpitations.
When I work with long term thyroid issues I usually recommend starting with a supplement from Standard Process called Organically Bound Minerals. This provides a 100% natural supply of many of these missing nutrients.
The Impact of Hormonal Balance and Insulin on Thyroid Health
Another crucial aspect of managing thyroid disease is maintaining hormonal balance through diet.
Hormones, particularly insulin, significantly influence weight fluctuations, regardless of whether you have a thyroid disorder.
Contrary to popular belief, fat isn't the chief villain in weight gain; carbohydrates play a larger role in impacting insulin levels and consequently, weight gain.
The types of foods we consume affect our hormones differently. A low-carbohydrate diet, devoid of dairy products, bread, and pasta, has been shown to reduce thyroid antibodies and weight in just three weeks.
Embracing the Journey to Health Through Nutrition
The process of changing dietary habits may be challenging, but the benefits of proper nutrition surely outweigh the cost of continued discomfort.
Nourishing your body doesn't have to be a Herculean task, and we all have the power to reclaim control of our health. The healing power of nutrition is phenomenal, and setting foot on this journey is a pivotal step towards regaining control over one's health.
A Roadmap to Healing: The Power of Nutrition
We have the evidence that nutrition is a formidable weapon in healing thyroid disorders and attaining balanced overall health.
By eliminating trigger foods, supplementing with crucial nutrients, and maintaining hormonal balance through diet, you can reduce symptoms and improve your lab results.
Though the road to health through nourishing foods may be challenging, the benefits are immeasurable.
~ Dr. Candy