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The Best Diet for Thyroid Problems

The thyroid is a small butterfly-shaped gland in the neck, responsible for regulating numerous metabolic processes throughout the body. If it produces too much (hyperthyroidism) or too little (hypothyroidism) thyroid hormone, it can impact your energy, mood, weight, and overall health. While medications are essential for managing thyroid disorders, dietary strategies can also significantly support thyroid function and mitigate symptoms.

If you or a loved one struggles with thyroid issues, here’s what our medical team at Summit Primary Care suggests in terms of diet:

1. Adjust iodine intake

Iodine is an essential mineral that the thyroid uses to make thyroid hormones. Seafood, dairy products, and iodized salt are rich sources of iodine. Our team lets you know if you should increase or adjust your iodine intake, as excessive amounts can worsen certain thyroid conditions.

2. Increase selenium

Selenium is vital for the conversion of T4 to T3, the most active form of thyroid hormone. Foods that provide excellent sources of selenium include Brazil nuts, fish, poultry, and eggs.

3. Consider reducing gluten

Some people with thyroid disorders, particularly Hashimoto's thyroiditis, might find relief from symptoms by reducing or eliminating gluten. We recommend scheduling an appointment before making any significant dietary changes. 

4. Limit soy

Consumed in large amounts, soy might interfere with the absorption of thyroid medications. Ensure there’s a gap of at least 4 hours between consuming soy products and taking thyroid medicine.

5. Balance cruciferous vegetables

While vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower are nutritious, they can interfere with thyroid hormone production when consumed in very high amounts. Cooking these vegetables can help mitigate the effects. 

6. Avoid excessive dietary fiber

While fiber is essential for digestion and overall health, very high amounts might impede thyroid medication absorption. If you’re on a high-fiber diet, we might need to adjust your medication dosage.

7. Stay hydrated

Adequate hydration supports overall metabolic function, benefiting everyone’s health, including those with thyroid issues.

8. Limit processed foods

Processed foods often contain unhealthy fats, sugars, and additives that can exacerbate inflammation, which is detrimental if you have autoimmune thyroid conditions like Hashimoto's.

9. Consider supplements

Vitamin D, B vitamins, iron, omega-3s, and zinc can support thyroid health. We recommend scheduling an appointment to discuss supplements before starting anything new. 

10. Watch for food interactions with medications

Grapefruit and coffee can interfere with the absorption of thyroid medications. Always follow our medical professional advice regarding foods or drinks to avoid.

While a specific "thyroid diet" doesn't exist, certain dietary considerations can help manage symptoms and support overall thyroid function. But your diet is just one piece of the puzzle. Regular checkups, following prescribed medication regimens, managing stress, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle all play integral roles in managing thyroid problems.

If you have questions or concerns about thyroid health and dietary choices, our Summit Primary Care team is here to help. Call us or schedule an appointment online at one of our offices in La Junta, Denver, Colorado Springs, or Pueblo, Colorado, today.

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