Hyperthyroidism is a serious disease characterized by an excess of thyroid hormones that requires a serious medical diagnosis. Hyperthyroidism is usually treated with antithyroid drugs or with surgery. However, a healthy diet can also improve your health and condition. Focus on the hyperthyroidism diet.

Hyperthyroidism : a brief definition

The thyroid gland is a small gland located in the neck. It produces thyroid hormones, which act on the basic metabolism. These hormones regulate the vital functions of the body such as the heart rate, blood pressure as well as certain cognitive functions.

What is hyperthyroidism ?

Hyperthyroidism is characterized by an excessive production of thyroid hormones. Consequently, the vital functions of the body are disturbed, which causes various symptoms, some of which can be invisible.

What are the symptoms of hyperthyroidism ?

Unlike hypothyroidism that usually slows down the basic metabolism, hyperthyroidism speeds up several body functions. In fact, this condition tends to generate various symptoms :
  • An increased heart rate
  • An excessive sweating
  • Nervousness and anxiety
  • Weight loss (weight gain in rare cases)
  • Frequent bowel movements
  • High blood pressure
  • Amenorrhea

What causes hyperthyroidism ?

Hyperthyroidism is seven to eight times more prevalent in women than in men. The reason for this is still unknown.

The most common causes of hyperthyroidism are:

  • Graves’ disease (an immune system disorder)
  • Toxic multinodular goiter
  • Thyroiditis
  • A toxic nodule

In all cases, a dosage of thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) and thyroid hormones is prescribed by the doctor to confirm the diagnosis.

What are the treatments for hyperthyroidism ?

Today, thyroid issues are really well treated. In the case of hyperthyroidism, the treatment of the disease depends on the cause.

The main treatment for hyperthyroidism remains drugs that reduce the production of thyroid hormones. Sometimes it is necessary to treat the symptoms as well.

Iodine is given as an emergency treatment. For the most serious cases, the thyroid gland has to be surgically removed, either partially or totally.

Hyperthyroidism : why is diet so important ?

Scientists do not all agree on the usefulness of a diet to regulate hyperthyroidism. However, they agree on the fact that certain nutrients such as minerals and vitamins are necessary to ensure the good functioning of the thyroid gland.

In the case of hyperthyroidism, a diet consisting of foods low in iodine is sometimes prescribed in addition to a drug treatment, according to the experts. Apart from iodine, whose role in the functioning of the thyroid is well known, other nutrients or foods also participate in the balance of thyroid function.

What foods to eat in case of hyperthyroidism ?

In case of hyperthyroidism, the best foods to eat according to the recommendations of Medical News Today are:

 

  • Products that are low in iodine as they help reduce thyroid hormones (egg white, fresh fruit, oats, honey, etc.)
  • Cruciferous vegetables that prevent the thyroid from using all the iodine available in the body (cabbage, broccoli, bamboo, arugula, etc.)
  • iron-rich foods since low iron levels are associated with hyperthyroidism (red meat, dried beans, nuts, etc.)
  • Foods rich in selenium as selenium helps balance thyroid hormones (Brazil nuts, chia seeds, mushrooms, oats, poultry, etc.)
  • Foods rich in vitamin D and calcium that help protect the bones (salmon, almonds, prunes, white beans, dairy products in reasonable doses, etc.). Indeed, bones are often weakened in case of hyperthyroidism

What foods to avoid in case of hyperthyroidism ?

Some kinds of food seem to have an unfavorable action on hyperthyroidism. These foods should therefore be limited as much as possible :
  • Foods rich in iodine that promote the production of thyroid hormones (sea fish, shellfish, seaweed, etc.)
  • Foods that contain soy which seems to interfere with hyperthyroidism treatments (soy milk, soy sauce, tofu, etc.)
  • Foods or drinks rich in caffeine which, through their stimulating action, exacerbates the symptoms of hyperthyroidism (coffee, black tea, dark chocolate, etc.)

Hyperthyroidism : living a healthy lifestyle

Apart from diet, lifestyle also seems to have an impact on hyperthyroidism. If it is still currently impossible to prevent the occurrence of hyperthyroidism, it is possible to reduce its complications, though. Here are some tips that will help you for this purpose :
  • Get a good night’s sleep to compensate for the increased metabolism
  • Avoid all stimulants that could worsen symptoms, including cardiac and cardiovascular symptoms of hyperthyroidism
  • Do not take any vitamin supplements that contain iodine
  • Do not take any food supplements containing tyrosine, an amino acid that is also a precursor to thyroid hormones
  • Avoid practicing sport during periods of hyperthyroidism to avoid an increase of your metabolism. Indeed, during these periods, your body is already in hyperactivity
  • Practice sport during periods of stabilization to prevent bone degeneration
  • Avoid tobacco, which is harmful anyway

Good to know :
Hyperthyroidism is much less common than hypothyroidism.
Diet for hyperthyroidism prevents certain risks of complications.
Iodine is the nutrient to watch the most in the diet for hyperthyroidism.

Hyperthyroidism is a rare disease whose prevalence is around 1% of all thyroid issues. It is generally treated with medication. Studies have shown that a suitable diet can help manage and limit the risks of complications in case of hyperthyroidism. A balanced food intake and the control of your daily iodine consumption is at the basis of this diet.

Warning

In accordance with the law, we inform you that this page is intended for health professionals.

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