Hypothyroidism is a condition that occurs when the thyroid is producing less of the thyroid hormones than it should which causes your metabolism to run too slowly.

This can be caused by a number of factors including genetic dysfunction, thyroid surgery or iodine treatment, lack of conversion of T3 to T4, pituitary or hypothalamic failure. It can also be caused by an autoimmune disease called Hashitmoto’s where the antibodies first stimulate the thyroid and then destroy it. Environmental factors such as toxins, which disrupt hormones are also thought to play a part.

It mostly affects women aged 40-50 and women are 10 times more likely to suffer than men.

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Symptoms vary but include:

– weight gain
– pins and needles
– dizziness
– muscle and joint pain
– loss of libido
– hair loss (especially on the outer part of the eyebrows)
– cold hands and feet
fatigue
– low mood

Treatment is usually medication prescribed by your GP to replace the thyroid hormone but a hypothyroidism diet plan can also play a part in managing the condition.

Hypothyroidism Diet Guidelines

Managing your condition through a hypothyroidism diet plan is a case of avoiding certain foods and ensuring that common deficiencies are of micronutrients, which can alter the thyroid balance, are managed to ensure optimal body function.

How a hypothyroidism diet plan can help your condition_02

Common deficiencies

Copper

Our thyroid gland is sensitive to copper and the body needs it to be in balance with zinc. The thyroid hormone also regulates blood levels of copper. Meats, poultry, eggs, nuts, seeds are all good sources

Zinc

Important for the conversion of T4 to T3, as well as being necessary to help stimulate the pituitary and make the correct amount of TSH. Zinc is found in seafoods, nuts and seeds.

Selenium

Selenium is required for the enzymes that protect the thyroid from damage. Brazil nuts, lamb and liver.

Iron

Key to normal thyroid function as low iron affects thyroid hormone production as it reduces the enzyme activity. Deficiency can also reduce conversion of T4 to T3. Foods high in iron include spinach, red meats and poultry.

Iodine

Iodine can stimulate the thyroid hormone and low levels affect the production. It is essential for good thyroid health. Iodine rich foods include seaweeds and sea vegetables, miso, iodised salt and prunes.

Foods to avoid

Gluten

There is a strong link between hypothyroidism and gluten sensitivity. Gluten can irritate the small intestine which hampers the absorption of thyroid hormone. As gluten also irritates the gut and a healthy gut is key to balanced hormones, many people with thyroid issues find that eliminating gluten as part of a hypothyroidism diet plan can help ease their symptoms.

Goitrogens (including soy)

The hormone oestrogen interferes with the body’s ability to use the thyroid hormone. Soy is loaded with plant based phytoestrogen and therefore is best avoided. Other goitrogens such as broccoli, kale, spinach and Brussel sprouts should only be eaten cooked as the raw vegetables suppress the thyroid by interfering with the body’s ability to uptake iodine.

Also take a look at these Natural remedies for Hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism diet plan

– Avoid gluten and replace with non-gluten grains such as quinoa and brown rice

– Avoid Soy as this affects thyroid production

– Eat a protein rich diet with a variety of seafoods, poultry, red meat, eggs, nuts and seeds to ensure you are getting all the nutrients the thyroid needs to function optimally.

– Eat iodine rich foods including seaweeds, seafoods and add iodised salt to meals.

– Eat green leafy vegetables lightly steamed to inactivate the goitrogens which can block the uptake of iodine.

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