If You’re Getting Treatment for Thyroid Problems, Watch Out for These Foods and Supplements!

If you’re receiving treatment for thyroid problems, your diet really does matter! Some of the foods you eat, and some supplements you take, can potentially make your thyroid problems worse – possibly much worse.  That makes it extremely important to eat wisely.

These are some of the foods and supplements you should be aware of that can have an impact on thyroid disease.  Some are fine in normal or limited quantities, but others you may want to consider avoiding or limiting to prevent your thyroid condition from getting worse.

Five Foods You Wary of When Receiving Treatment for Thyroid Problems

  1. Soy

Soy-based products can have an impact on people who are being treated for hypothyroidism.  Patients with hypothyroidism are almost always taking hormones to supplement their under-performing thyroid, and there are chemicals in soy which inhibit absorption of those hormones.  This is true for basically, any form soy can take, from edamame to soymilk to tofu. It appears that when these foods are eaten close to when the supplemental medication is taken, there can be interference.  So while you may not need to avoid these foods at all costs, you may want to limit quantities and watch the timing on when you consume soy based foods.

On the plus side, soy is safe for those with hyperthyroidism.

  1. Kelp

Kelp (seaweed) is a very healthy food and nutritional supplement and there is no need to avoid kelp,  but be aware that it has been directly linked to making thyroid problems worse.  The occasional bit of kelp, such as in a Japanese salad, won’t hurt you.  However, avoid eating it in large quantities and especially avoid ever taking it as a supplement.  Kelp supplements are highly concentrated and have far more kelp than a person would ever normally eat in a meal.

  1. Cruciferous vegetables

You should watch your intake of Cruciferous (or occasionally “cruciform”) vegetables. These vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower contain a chemical which competes with the thyroid for iodine, and that can make hypothyroidism worse.  In extremely large quantities, cruciferous veggies can potentially even induce hypothyroidism!

  1. Iodine supplements

The relationship between iodine and thyroid problems is tricky, and we recommend avoiding iodine supplements because the results can be unpredictable.  Don’t take iodine unless your endocrinologist specifically tells you to.

  1. Selenium

Selenium is occasionally used as a dietary supplement.  In small quantities, under 200mg/day, it shouldn’t be a problem for thyroid issues, but there’s also not much reason to take it.  As with iodine, avoid selenium unless your specialist says you need it.

Freeman Endocrinology Is Here to Help!

If you add any new supplement to your diet or are making significant dietary changes and you are receiving treatment for a chronic condition such as thyroid disease or diabetes, consult with your physician for the best advice.  They need to be aware of any supplements you take as they can impact how your body responds to medication.  And they can let you know which supplements or dietary changes may be inappropriate for you.

If you need dietary guidance and treatment for thyroid problems, our caring and experienced staff is here for you.  From consultation to treatment, contact us to schedule an appointment.

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