One in six people have thyroid deficiency so I am frequently asked about nutritional considerations.
According to Nutrition MD the links between nutrition and hyperthyroidism are limited. The relevant issues are as follows:
Celiac disease: Individuals with celiac disease have an increased risk of hyperthyroidism. Some evidence indicates that hyperthyroidism can be improved by following a gluten–free diet.
Iodine ingestion: People diagnosed with hyperthyroidism should attempt a trial period of avoiding foods that contain high concentrations of iodine, including iodized salt, sea salt, seafood, dairy products, eggs, and foods that contain iodides, iodate, algin, alginates, carrageen, agar, and red dye number 3.
Hyperthyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid gland produces too much thyroid hormone. Thyroid hormones influence a wide variety of functions in the body, including cardiac, nerve, gastrointestinal, and mental function.
Hypothyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid gland fails to secrete sufficient thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). The disease may reflect intrinsic thyroid dysfunction (primary hypothyroidism), or it may result from insufficient stimulation of the thyroid gland by thyroid–stimulating hormone (TSH) due to a malfunction in the hypothalamic–pituitary axis (secondary hypothyroidism).
According to Dr. John McDougall once the thyroid tissue is destroyed it will not regrow nor is there any way to stimulate the remaining gland to work harder. Many people ask if avoiding cruciferous vegetable foods or taking extra iodine will cure their thyroid condition. Compounds in plant foods, like cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, millet and soy have antithyroid effects. These foods are referred to as goitrogenic foods because theoretically they can lead to a condition of low thyroid with an associated gland enlargement, called a goiter. Supplementation with iodine completely reverses the goitrogenic influence of any vegetables. (Incidentally, these same foods have compounds that protect against thyroid cancer.)
There is no harm in trying to improve your thyroidfunction by avoiding cruciferous vegetables, soy and millet, and/or adding more iodine (like from sea vegetables) to your diet, but Dr. McDougall‘s experience has been that this effort will make no difference.
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