Thyroid Disorder and Dietary Intervention

The thyroid gland is an important hormonal gland located at the front of the neck, below Adam’s apple (larynx). It is important for growth, metabolism and regulating many bodily functions by releasing a steady amount of thyroid hormones (T3 and T4) into the bloodstream.

Classification of Thyroidism

(Jayakumar,2011)

TypeOriginDescription
Primary hypothyroidismThyroid GlandHashimoto’s thyroiditis (an autoimmune disease ) gland fails to produce T3 and T4
Secondary Hypothyroidism(A)Pituitary glandEnough TSH hormone is not created to induce the thyroid gland to produce enough thyroxine and triiodothyronine.
(B)HypothalamusHypothalamus fails to produce sufficient thyrotropin-releasing hormone(TRH). TRH promotes the Pituitary gland to produce TSH.
HyperthyroidismThyroid GlandAutoimmune condition-Grave’s DiseaseThyroid nodule produces too much T4

Basic Difference between the two types

HypothyroidismHyperthyroidism
Characterized by under secretion  of thyroid hormonesCharacterized by over secretion of thyroid hormones
Symptoms –Slow metabolismTirednessWeight gain Hair lossSymptoms –Increased MetabolismWeight loss

Crucial Dietary Nutrients for Normal Functioning of thyroid

Iodine

Required to produce thyroid hormones in the body. The use of iodized salt is the easiest option to maintain the level of iodine. Other iodine-rich foods like seaweed, fish, eggs are good sources of iodine

Selenium

It is an essential mineral and can protect the thyroid gland from the damage of free radicals. Foods like Brazil nuts, tuna, sardines eggs, and legumes are rich in selenium.

Zinc

It may help regulate TSH, the principle hormone which communicates the thyroid gland to release thyroid hormones. Eg: oysters, shellfish, etc.

Important Dietary Suggestions

  • Cut down on bad fats and simple forms of carbohydrates.
  • Reduce consumption of saturated fats such as meat, cheese, hydrogenated oils, and refined processed foods.

Foods to Include

  • Include healthy fats like PUFA(Poly Unsaturated Fatty Acids), omega 3 rich fat sources eg:- fatty fish or fish oil supplements.
  • Olive oil, avocados, olives,
  • Sunflower seeds, flaxseeds, chia seeds
  • Increase dietary fiber intake by having lots of fruits and vegetables or fiber supplements.
  • Include oats, oat bran, barley and whole cereals for B complex vitamins and fiber.
  • Germinated legumes, pulses
  • Include Lean Protein:-eggs, fish, chicken, legumes, low-fat milk and products.
  • Cruciferous veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage naturally release goitrogens, which can interfere with the synthesis of thyroid hormone. But it gets denatured by heat, so consume these only after steaming them.
  • Soya is another such food, isoflavones in soy are believed to slow down the synthesis of thyroid hormones. So only moderate consumption is suggested.

Some other important points

  • If you are on Ca supplementation, then you need to keep a gap of four hours after you take our thyroid pill. Also, thyroid medicine should be taken early morning empty stomach.
  • Exercise, strength training and cardiovascular exercises are must, as they help increase your metabolism. It is 5 days a week for at least 1 hour at a time.

To conclude, in case of a thyroid disorder,  it’s important to have a proper diet and lifestyle to keep your thyroid levels in control along with advised thyroid medication.  Furthermore, the Steadfast Nutrition Fish oil supplement and Trifibre can help you with the condition. It is available online at www.steadfastnutrtion.in.

References:

  • Jayakumar, R.V.(2011). Clinical Approach to Thyroid Disease.SUPPLEMENT TO JAPI.59.11-13
  • Harris, C.(2012).Thyroid Disease and Diet — Nutrition Plays a Part in Maintaining Thyroid Health. Today’s Dietitian. 14, 40
  • Khan, Alam., Khattak, Md. M. A. K. & Akhtar, S.(2002).Thyroid Disorders, Etiology, and Prevalence. Journal of Medical Sciences. 2. 10.3923/jms.2002.89.94.