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Diet and Your Underactive Thyroid
A Case Study of Weight Gain Due to a Thyroid Disorder
Despite popular research studies and news articles pointing to the effect of a slowing thyroid – also called hypothyroidism – many people are unaware of the side effects that may be occurring in their body due to this thyroid disorder. For many people suffering from weight gain, the cause and the ultimate solution for their weight gain can seem unreachable.
Hypothyroidism has many causes, the most popular called Hashimotos’ Thyroiditis, a condition that for no obvious reason, the body’s immune system systematically attacks its own cells, resulting in antibodies being created and misdirected toward the thyroid gland. In many cases, a feeling of sluggishness and tiredness can result. And anyone who has suffered from this will confirm, unexpected weight gain can result leaving the person feeling without hope or answers as to why this has happened.
How One Woman Combated Weight Gain Due to Underactive Thyroid
A recent news article explains how one woman combated her underactive thyroid and resulting weight gain with an aggressive diet strategy called a vegan diet plan. Angela Stokes explains how her underactive thyroid gland led to her weight gain – even to the extent of her ballooning to the weight of over three hundred pounds! The result was that she felt miserable and very unwell. She battled many infections and illnesses. She knew her thyroid was underactive, but until a friend gave her the gift of a book about the vegan diet and lifestyle, Ms. Stokes did not know how to combat weight gain due to her underactive thyroid gland.
Vegan Lifestyle Recommendations From a Veteran
Angela launched into her new diet plan without looking back. She began her vegan diet and within one year had lost over one hundred and fifty pounds. She felt better, had more energy, and was happier. Ms. Stokes now has authored several books on the vegan lifestyle, and recommends to others that they take it slowly and not dive in as quickly as she did. Also, Angela recommends networking with others that share the common goal of following the vegan diet plan.
Recommendations From a Dietician
A registered dietician and spokesperson for the American Diabetic Association, Andrea Giancoli commented that we could all benefit from eating more fresh fruits and vegetables. This is regardless of a thyroid condition. The American diet of processed foods and red meat has many cons while the pros of a fresh fruit and vegetable diet are numerous.
The Hypothyroid Diet
Research studies suggest that over-processed, or foods that are over-refined, should be avoided in the case of an underactive thyroid gland. White bread, white flour and fast food junk food are included on this list.
In most cases, a person suffering from an underactive thyroid – or hypothyroidism – should avoid goitrogenic foods. These types of foods are naturally produced foods that can possibly increase the likelihood of developing a goiter by decreasing thyroid hormone production. These are foods that disrupt the production of the thyroid gland and are categorized into two groups: soybean-related foods and cruciferous vegetable.
Soybean Related Foods and Thyroid Hormone
Soybean related foods are actually healthy in most cases, but if a person has an underactive thyroid they should avoid the isoflavones in soy, which have been linked to decreased thyroid hormone output. The reason these types of foods are associated with reduced thyroid hormone output is because they block the activity of an enzyme called thyroid peroxidase.
Certain Vegetables Can Disrupt Messages Sent Across Thyroid Cells
Like the isoflavones in soybean related foods, isothiocyanates have been shown by researchers to reduce thyroid function by interfering with thyroid peroxidase, as well as by disrupting messages sent across the membranes of thyroid cells. For these reasons, some physicians recommend that people who suffer from hypothyroidism avoid the following vegetables: broccoli, brussel sprouts, cauliflower and cabbage including kale and kohlrabi. Plus mustards, rutabaga and turnips should be avoided if following a low thyroid diet.
Consult a Professional
Preventative measures should be discussed in your physician’s office, so it is highly recommended that if you are suffering from hypothyroidism and want to address your low thyroid with diet, speak to a professional.
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