Diet To Support Your Thyroid

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As a mental health practitioner who attempts to treat her clients holistically, I run into questions about diet on a regular basis. A common theme among my female clients are issues with hypothyroid. And diet can play a huge role in healing from hypothyroidism. Many of these clients end up in my office because they are experiencing depression, fertility issues, and/or extreme low libido. I tend to work with them in conjunction with an endocrinologist and/or naturopath, but I also have a personal interest in hypothyroidism as I struggled with the issue myself a number of years ago.

 

As far as my own story goes, I initially worked with an endocrinologist and got myself stabilized on medications. After a couple of years, I felt good enough to treat myself more naturally by developing more balance (actually getting a couple of hobbies) and addressing the stress in my life. I accomplished this through exercise, meditation, yoga and diet.

I have now been off all medications for six years. Not too shabby considering I was initially told I would be on them for the rest of my life, especially since my mother and both grandmothers suffered with hypothyroidism their whole lives. Let me say here that I am not a medical doctor. I suggest you follow up with your practitioner about my following suggestions.

Here’s some basic information on the condition. Hypothyroidism is far more common in women than men. Symptoms can include weight gain, depression, irritability, skin dryness, constipation, feeling cold, hair loss, foggy thinking, and low libido. The condition is a result of the thyroid gland not producing enough hormones and thus can leave people feeling sluggish with a slow metabolism.

No one diet works for everyone but I have noted some successful trends in my clients.

Vitamins – A good vitamin with Zinc and Selenium is important. I suggest taking it in either liquid or capsule form for full absorption.

Iodine – Most people get enough through iodized salt (table salt) but those with hypothyroidism need added sources of iodine like through seafood and/or a dietary supplement.

Protein – Make sure it is lean, like seafood, eggs and white meat poultry.

Low glycemic foods – Insulin needs to be more controlled in clients those with hypothyroidism. Low glycemic foods assist in this process. I’m not just talking about avoiding the obvious culprits like soda, candy, and ice cream but also potatoes, carrots, bread and white rice.

Fiber – Foods high in fiber include apples, beans, broccoli, and green leafy vegetables. Of course all-bran cereals and baked goods work as well.

Avoid raw peanuts – Although peanuts can be highly nutritious and full of protein, they also contain a substance called goitrogen. Goitrogen can inhibit the thyroid from producing the hormones it needs to. Since peanuts are roasted for peanut better, that is probably still safe for you.

Since the symptoms for hypothyroidism can look like so many other conditions, get into a practitioner that works with the condition frequently. Assessing the contribution of your overall lifestyle and diet with your practitioner and not just relying on the medications to fix things will help you feel a lot better a lot sooner.

Dr. Kat Van Kirk is a Clinical Sexologist and Relationship Therapist who is a Yoga Alliance certified teacher/therapist. Visit www.drkat.com and check out her free iTunes podcasts Sex Chat with Dr. Kat and Daily Sex Tips from Hawai’i.