MBBS, CCEBDM, Diploma in Diabetology, Diploma in Clinical Nutrition & Dietetics, Cetificate Course In Thyroid Disorders Management (CCMTD)
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What food products are believed to be healthy for the thyroid gland?
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Though iodine is the first chemical that comes to mind when we think of thyroid, there are other food products too. Selenium, for instance, is essential for producing thyroid hormone. Omega-3 fatty acids again are a key ingredient in the hormone production along with proteins are all important for a healthy thyroid gland. A wholesome diet with all these key minerals can ensure that a person does not develop a deficiency. If you are at risk of hypothyroidism, check with your doctor if you need iodine supplements.
What are some foods to avoid if you are at risk for hypothyroidism?
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Any food can have ill effects and benefits. The above foods have their benefits, but if at risk for hypothyroid, avoid them, including horseradish and sweet potato. They accelerate the onset as well as increase the severity of symptoms. Avoiding these can help keep the supplement level to a minimum and avoid worsening of symptoms. If you are at risk for hypothyroidism, read up or check with your doctor on foods to avoid.
What are some healthy food habits to follow to prolong onset and/or reduce the severity of hypothyroidism?
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All of the above are part of any regular healthy diet, and have specific benefits on the thyroid gland too, including decrease in meat eating and an increase in consumption of seafood and legumes and beans. They reduce inflammation and therefore help in metabolism. When doubted to be hypothyroid, try going off these foods and see the difference in symptoms for yourself.
Iodine is the only key ingredient for thyroid hormone functioning
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Iodine is definitely the key ingredient, but not the only ingredient. Selenium is responsible for the conversion of T4 to the active ingredient T3. So, though iodine levels may be adequate and T4 is produced, if not converted to the active form, the effect may not be evident. Foods rich in selenium should be consumed including salmon, brazil nuts, tuna, whole grains, garlic, and onions. The doctor might check for T3 and T4 levels and accordingly decide if selenium supplement is essential for you.
Hypothyroidism patients require both selenium and iodine supplementation
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An exact test will indicate whether there is a T3 or a T4 deficiency level in your body. Accordingly, the doctor will decide what supplements are required and at what dosage. The dosage needs to be revisited periodically, usually annually, based on blood thyroid hormone levels. Annual check on the T3 and T4 levels is essential to avoid complications of hypothyroidism.