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8 How to handle Hypothyroidism

What all changes have you been experiencing in your body from time to time? Difficulty in falling asleep, fatigue, muscle or joint pain or forgetfulness.

We often think that these changes are due to the stresses in our day to day life.All these changes can be the symptoms of hypothyroidism which is an often hidden health problem in which the master gland of metabolism – the Thyroid, produces less hormone than the body needs impacting virtually all organ systems of the body.

As production of thyroid hormone decreases and the body slows down, the disease progresses and symptoms begin to appear. Constant fatigue, depression, weight gain or fluid retention, brittle hair and nails, itchy skin, menstrual cycle changes, constipation and few other hormonal changes are the common visible symptoms of hypothyroidism.

If you are diagnosed with the thyroid disorder, you might come across a lot of dietary advices which are actually some common nutrition myths around this disease.

  • You can use iodine instead of thyroid medication since it’s safer and more natural. Iodine can make hypothyroidism worse and should not be taken as a supplement in patients without first discussing with your endocrinologist. But the amount of iodine in the common salt or a multi vitamin is low enough that it’s safe to take it.
  • All patients with hypothyroidism need to be on a gluten-free diet. Both celiac disease (in which one needs to be on a gluten-free diet) and hypothyroidism are autoimmune diseases and if you have hypothyroidism, you are more prone to getting celiac disease. Yet the overwhelming majorities of patients with hypothyroidism do not have celiac disease and do not need to be on a gluten-free diet.
  • Brassicas (Cauliflower, kale, cabbage etc) leads to the formation of goiter (enlargement of thyroid gland) . In some cases where the consumption is very high, brassicas are a real concern. Under normal dietary conditions, this does not create any risk.
  • Soya interferes with the thyroxine absorption so it should be avoided in the diet. Soya should not be consumed immediately after the dose of thyroxin and there should be a gap of 4-5 hours between eating the soya and taking the thyroxine.
  • Calcium rich foods or supplements interfere in levothyroxine absorption. A gap of 3-4 hours between the consumption of both the foods is enough to ensure that there is no significant impact on thyroxine levels.

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