The most important dietary rules for Hashimoto’s disease

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Hashimoto’s disease is commonly referred to as chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis. It is the most common autoimmune disorder and the most common cause of hypothyroidism. According to research results, women suffer from Hashimoto’s disease as much as 9 times more often than men. Hashimoto’s disease also requires a properly composed diet.

Nutrition in Hashimoto’s disease – general principles

Hashimoto’s is treated with levothyroxine replacement therapy. To support it, it is worth taking care of both regular physical activity, healthy sleep and rest, as well as improving your diet. As far as the latter aspect is concerned, special attention should be paid to the proper supply of nutrients of the greatest importance for the proper functioning of the thyroid gland and the production of thyroid hormones. These include: long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids Omega-3, iodine, selenium, iron, zinc, vitamin D, and antioxidants.

As for one of the elements mentioned above, iodine, it is essential for the synthesis of thyroid hormones. High iodine intake can lead to an increased risk of developing Hashimoto’s disease and worsening thyroid problems. High doses of iodine found in medications and food, among other things, can exacerbate both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism. The recommended daily iodine intake for patients with Hashimoto’s disease is the same as for the general population at 150 µg/d. The requirement increases in pregnant women (then it is 220 µg/d) and during lactation (290 µg/d).

Iron is also worth mentioning. Many of the symptoms of Hashimoto’s disease are similar to iron deficiency anemia. They include headache and dizziness, weakness, and problems with concentration. Its proper supplementation should be especially taken care of by those who, in addition to Hashimoto’s disease, struggle with celiac disease or autoimmune gastritis.

What to eat and what to avoid with Hashimoto’s disease?

Foods that should be in the diet of a person with Hashimoto’s include: fatty fish such as mackerel, salmon or salmon trout, whole grain cereal products such as buckwheat groats or sourdough rye bread, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, Brazil nuts, walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, flaxseed, eggs, citrus fruits, berries, apples, carrots, tomatoes, green leafy vegetables, extra virgin olive oil, cold-pressed canola oil, bitter cocoa, pulses, kefir, yogurt, buttermilk, cottage cheese, cinnamon, basil, oregano, thyme and turmeric.

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When composing a menu for Hashimoto’s disease, particular emphasis should be placed on reducing the intake of goitrogens, or goitrogenic substances. This category includes: cauliflower, cabbage, rutabagas, broccoli, kohlrabi, Brussels sprouts, turnips, radishes, kale, spinach, soybeans, mustard seeds, yams, millet, peanuts, strawberries, pears and peaches. These substances contribute to the reduction of iodine utilization by the body. Moreover, they may adversely affect thyroid function. The heat treatment of these products leads to the deactivation of a number of goitrogenic substances contained in them. What follows – there are no contraindications to consume them in this form several times a week.

In addition, people suffering from Hashimoto’s should eliminate from their daily diet highly processed foods that are rich in salt, simple sugars, saturated fatty acids and trans fats.

Hashimoto’s disease and a gluten-free diet

You can find studies indicating the co-occurrence of celiac disease and lactose intolerance and Hashimoto’s disease. In the case of exceptionally bothersome symptoms from the gastrointestinal tract, it is recommended to carry out an appropriate diagnostics in order to verify the necessity of excluding lactose and gluten from the diet. In patients with Hashimoto’s disease and celiac disease a gluten-free diet is introduced for life.

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