Important Food and Drink Facts for Thyroid Disease Suffers

healthy diet for folks with issues in their thyroidThyroid diseases come in a range of different forms, from hypothyroid where the gland is underactive to hyperthyroid where it is overactive.  There are other conditions such as Hashimoto’s disease and Graves’ disease, which are all associated with the thyroid.  Here are some quick facts to help you with food and drink guidance for any of these conditions.

Using a few of these tips and you may be able to gain or lose weight depending on what you need and out will need to come the best sewing machine to make a few quick clothing alterations.


A goitrogen is a naturally occurring substance in some foods that causes the thyroid gland to enlarge, called a goiter.  These foods work as an anti-thyroid drug making the gland underactive, which depending on the nature of your illness, may not be a good thing.  The main foods that are goitrogenic are vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, kale and cabbage.  Soy based foods are also on the list.

If you have a functional or semi-functional thyroid, the advice is not to over-eat on these foods raw.  However if you have hypothyroidism, you can eat these foods but it is recommended to cook them first as the heat partially destroys the substances which act as goitrogens.

Food and drink in moderation

As mentioned, soy can be an issue, because not only it is a goitrogen but also because it inhibits thyroid hormone absorption so especially avoid high-phytoestrogen forms such as shakes, soy milk and supplements.

Coffee and thyroid medicine don’t get along too well so it is always recommended to wait an hour after taking medicine before drinking coffee.  Otherwise, the coffee can inhibit the absorption of the medication and limit its effectiveness.

Similarly, avoid orange juice for three to four hours after taking medication and the same applies to calcium supplements or iron supplements, both of which can slow the medication’s effectiveness.

Losing weight

If weight loss is your aim and you suffer with constipation problems, then increasing the high fibre foods in your diet can be one way to go.  This can be beneficial for both areas but also means your thyroid should be checked every 8-12 weeks to make sure the fibre isn’t countermanding the effect of the medication.

Another common weight loss advice is to eat mini-meals more often instead of large meals.  However, with thyroid problems, this can actually make things worse.  The spacing apart of meals helps allow management of leptin and insulin levels, which might not work with frequent smaller meals.


There probably isn’t a scenario where water is a bad thing and thyroid conditions are in the majority group.  Water helps to get the metabolism working at its best, reduces appetite as well as improving digestion and combatting constipation.


These are just a few basic tips for foods which are good and not so good for those with thyroid related conditions.  For full information designed specifically for you, always speak to a medical professional or a dietician.

The Signs of Hyperthyroidism

Hyper or Hypothyroidism which is it?

Hyperthyroid may require a doctor’s exam

The thyroid gland is located at the front of the neck, and from this spot it controls the body’s metabolism. This small gland makes and stores hormones, which regulate heart rate, body temperature, and blood pressure. The rate at which food taken into the body is converted into energy is determined by the hormonal releases from this gland. The thyroid needs iodine from foods such as iodized salt in order to function correctly.


What is Hyperthyroidism?


When an overactive thyroid is producing excessive amounts of thyroid hormones causing various negative health affects. Hyperthyroidism is caused by a number of other conditions, medications, infectious diseases, and radiation to the neck. Typically, when someone has conditions such as Graves disease that are associated with hyperthyroidism a treating physician will recommended tests to monitor the thyroid in order to catch the issue early.


In this condition the individual will have a rapid heartbeat, and will see an increase in the rate of metabolism. Also referred to as an overactive thyroid those who have this problem if the condition is not associated with Graves disease it is treatable, and most who develop it for other reasons have no trouble controlling the symptoms.


Symptoms of Hyperthyroidism


Some mental issues are often the first signs of this condition including restlessness, sleeping problems, nervousness, and difficulty concentrating. Those with this physical issue also commonly experience fatigue, increased sweating, hand tremor, intolerance for heat, flushing skin, weakness, and weight loss. In some cases those experiencing this condition will also develop a goiter or a visible enlarged thyroid gland. Less commonly some people will have itching sensations, high blood pressure, hair loss, and loss of menstrual periods. Rarely some will have a condition known as exophthalmos or protruding eyes. Goiters as a swollen thyroid is referred to are common, but treatable with medication.


Treatment for Overactive Thyroid


There are a number of treatments for hyperthyroidism including synthetic thyroxine which is a medication that’s identical to the hormone T(4). This medication is usually used in the cases of mild hyperthyroidism, or if there is a small goiter. For those with Grave’s disease, who are older than 50 years of age, or who have thyroid nodules or a goiter the treatment is usually radioactive iodine. Those who have thyroiditis or an inflammation of the thyroid gland are typically not given this type of mediation, but rather given medications to reduce the action of the over reaction of the immune system.


Signs Indicating Treatment is Needed


Many people have this condition for some time before seeking treatment because the first symptoms can appear as related to stress, tiredness, or signs of another condition. It’s recommended to seek a doctor’s opinion if there is combination of symptoms or a feeling of a racing heartbeat, sweating, and tremors for no explainable reason.


A doctor will perform an examination that includes looking at the skin, nails, and hair. A physician will also check the eyes for signs of swelling and to look for hand tremors.