Eating for a Healthy Thyroid


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We’re full throttle into January 2011 and, some might say, in the midst of the “winter doldrums.” Where I live, the weather has been cold and somewhat snowy. January doesn’t have a whole lot going for it, but it does happen to be Thyroid Awareness Month! So in its honor, I thought I’d focus on the role of nutrition in thyroid disorders this week.

Quick Thyroid Facts

To learn more about thyroid disease, please read Diabetes Self-Management‘s excellent article called Thyroid Disorders and Diabetes[1], by Patricia Wu, MD. Dr. Wu gives a great overview of what the thyroid does and details the two most common thyroid disorders, hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism. But as a quick summary, here are some key points about diabetes and thyroid disease:

Food and Hypothyroidism

Food is more likely to play a role in the treatment of hypothyroidism than in the treatment of hyperthyroidism, or an overactive thyroid. If you do a search on the Internet, you’ll find literally millions of Web sites focused on what to eat for your thyroid, along with plenty of “diets” for a healthy thyroid. Most of this information is geared for someone with hypothyroidism and is based on the premise that an underactive thyroid, which slows your metabolism, is responsible for your weight gain — jump-start your thyroid and you’ll soon be burning calories left and right, if these sources are to be believed. The reality is that while you may gain some weight due to a sluggish thyroid, the real treatment is to take the right type and amount of thyroid replacement, along with following a healthful eating plan and getting regular physical activity.

There are some tips for eating and hypothyroidism that you might keep in mind, however:

Here’s to a healthy thyroid in 2011!

Endnotes:
  1. Thyroid Disorders and Diabetes: http://www.diabetesselfmanagement.com/Articles/General-Diabetes-And-Health-Issues/thyroid-disorders-and-diabetes
  2. heart disease: http://www.diabetesselfmanagement.com/Articles/Heart-Health/preventing_coronary_heart_disease/

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