Diet & Thyroid Problems

How do we differentiate between hypothyroidism & hyperthyroidism? Which is the most common one?

The symptoms of hypothyroidism are excessive weight gain despite diet control and exercise, high cholesterol level, constipation, infertility, depression, lack of concentration, dry, rough skin, heavy menstrual flow, low body temperature (hypothermia), puffiness around the eyes, snoring, pain in joints, hand and feet, severe menstrual cramps.

Symptoms of hyperthyroidism are sweating, increased perspiration, losing weight while on good appetite, diarrhea and more bowel movements, nervousness and irritation, hand tremors, fast pulse, anxiety, high blood pressure, etc.
Gaining weight despite diet control and regular exercise in case of hypothyroidism and losing weight despite good appetite in hyperthyroidism are the more genuine symptoms.

Is there any special diet for people with thyroid problems?

In hypothyroidism, adhere to alkaline range of food, for example: whole grains, fruits and vegetables, low fat meat. Reduce the intake of tea, coffee, red wine, chocolate and refined products. Five to six meals in a day each containing about 300 calories which helps to provide energy. Mineral selenium is the most important mineral as it helps in the conversion of important thyroid hormones. The mineral is found in mushroom and lean meat. Similarly, zinc, omega-3 fatty acids, iodine, vitamin A and vitamin D are required in good amounts. Zinc is found in good amounts in oatmeal, spinach and nuts. Tryosine-rich food like meat, fish chicken breast, almonds, low fat milk and yoghurt, avocados, bananas, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, lentils, etc. are to be included.

Whereas, in hypothyroidism, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, radishes, soybean, peaches and millets are to be avoided. Fluoride is also extremely harmful to thyroid. Many things we come across contain good amount of fluoride. For instance, tap water, toothpaste, dental rinses. One has to be careful on the amount of fluoride to be allowed. Quit smoking and do not overdo soy products.

For hyperthyroidism, eliminate the food which causes allergies like wheat (gluten), soy, corn, milk, cheese and preservatives and additives in food. Eat food rich in iron and B-vitamins, containing anti oxidants like cherries, tomato, apple, squash, etc. Healthy cooking oil should be used. Trans-fatty acid should be avoided. Hydrogenated oil further worsens the condition.

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