5 Foods that Can Wreck Your Thyroid

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I have had thyroid issues on and off throughout my life and have heard that foods can affect your thyroid health. These 5 Foods Could Be affecting thyroid disease.  Are you eating any of them?  What do you think of this list--do you think it's accurate or should anything be taken off or added? I wonder if they would have the same effect on someone with hypothyroidism as with hyperthyroidism.

 

{Hypothyroidism. It’s a big topic these days. Seems almost everyone has thyroid problems and adrenal fatigue these days .  In fact, I’ll be writing about my own thyroid issues soon, hopefully, and will share some of what I’ve learned. Today, let’s learn about 5 Foods that might be a problem for hypothyroidism.  Are YOU eating these?}

So, you’ve recently found out that you have hypothyroidism.

What you eat can impact your thyroid function—for better or worse.

Your doctor probably won’t tell you about this, but knowing how the foods you put in your body impact your thyroid function is just as important as getting the right tests and getting on the proper dosage of thyroid medication.

5 Foods to Avoid if You Have Hypothyroidism

1. Soy

Soy is everywhere. Soy burgers, soy cheese, soy milk. It isn’t the health food it’s been made out to be, however.

The problematic compound in soy (for your thyroid) are the isoflavones. In fact, a study in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism reported that researchers fed some subjects 16 mg of soy isoflavones, which is the amount found in the typical vegetarian’s diet,  and others 2 mg soy isoflavones, which is the amount found in most omnivore’s diets. The subjects fed 16 mg were 3 times more likely to cause patients to convert from subclinical hypothyroidism to overt clinical hypothyroidism (Sathyaplan, 2011).

Cooking does not destroy soy isoflavones. Eliminate soy as much as you are able from your diet. 

What about soy formula?

Soy is not a friend of babies. Check out what the researchers in this study found:

Infants fed soy formula are at higher risk for hypothyroidism and for later development of autoimmune thyroid diseases. In humans, goiter has been detected in infants fed soy formula; this is usually reversed by changing to cow milk or iodine-supplemented diets . After the 1960s, manufacturers reportedly began adding iodine to formulas to mitigate thyroid effects.” (Doerge, 2002)

Soy formula should not be your go-to option if you are having difficulties breastfeeding. Watch out, because even formula that isn’t labeled “soy formula” can contain soy. If you are having trouble breastfeeding, be sure to check out these natural ways to increase your breast milk or try some of these lactogenic herbs.

Finding donor milk is also a far superior option to formula as is making your own cow’s milk formula or goat’s milk formula. .

2. Gluten

If you have a thyroid problem and you’re eating wheat or other forms of gluten, you need to stop. Now.

Nearly 90% thyroid disorders are autoimmune in nature (that means that about 90% of all hypothyroid patients have an autoimmune disease).

There is a strong connection between gluten-intolerance and autoimmune thyroiditis. There are even some doctors who are prescribing a gluten-free diet for all of their patients with thyroid disorders. Check out this post to find out more about the thyroid-gluten connection..

3. Cruciferous Vegetables

Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, brussels sprouts, radishes, turnips, collard greens… and the list goes on (You can find the complete list of cruciferous vegetables here). Some of my favorite veggies are in this list. But these vegetables can indeed cause problems with your thyroid.

These vegetables are considered to be goitrogenic foods. That is, these are foods that cause an enlargement or goiter of your thyroid. They also slow down the function of the thyroid by making it difficult for your body to use iodine, a necessary building block of thyroid hormones.

Good News: Cooking Helps

Does this mean you need to completely give up some of your favorite vegetables? NO! Yay.

Finally some good news, right :)?

In fact, many of the enzymes in cruciferous vegetables can be partially destroyed by heating foods. So, if you’re going to eat cauliflower, cabbage, or kale – be sure to cook the vegetables before eating them.

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4. Fluoridated Water

Until the 1950s, fluoride was prescribed to those suffering from hyperthyroidism as a thyroid inhibitor… and it worked in surprisingly low doses. This may sound strange, but fluoride exacerbates the impact of iodine deficiency. As was discussed earlier, iodine is essential for the body in order to create thyroid hormones (Gas’kov 2005Hong 2001Wang 2001Zhao 1998Xu, 1994).

The National Research Council, put together a 500-page review of fluoride and toxicology. Here’s what they had to say about fluoride’s impact on thyroid disease:

“The effects of fluoride on various aspects of endocrine function should be examined, particularly with respect to a possible role in the development of several diseases or mental states in the United States. Major areas of investigation include . . . thyroid disease (especially in light of decreasing iodine intake by the U.S. population).” (National Research Council, 2006)

There are other studies that are somewhat mixed, but if you’re not avoiding fluoride because of goiterigenic properties there are plenty of other reasons to try to eliminate fluoride from your diet.

How to Get Rid of Fluoride?

• Stop drinking fluoridated water. Check out this comparison of different filtration options: they range from very pricy to very affordable. (Surprisingly, the price is not always indicative of the quality of the filtration system.)

• Stop using fluoridated toothpaste and mouthwash. You can find a number of healthy toothpaste’s you can purchase or recipes to make your own!

• Don’t forget to check your medications. You might be surprised to learn that many common medications are fluorinated. Antidepressants, antacids, arthritis medications, and more contain fluoride. Be sure to check this site to find out if the medication you’re taking is on the list.

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5. Processed Foods and Foods Containing Sugar

Sugar and processed foods cause inflammation in the body. Inflammation inhibits T4 to T3 conversion.

Moral of the story: decrease foods that cause inflammation.

Eat plenty of fruits, veggies, free-range eggsgrass-fed meats, and healthy fats.

(Hint: inflammation is just another reason to avoid wheat and other grains.)

For more thyroid information, see the following:

– Why Your Thyroid Test is Wrong-And What to Do About It

– Got Hypothyroidism? 5 Questions You NEED to Ask Your Doctor

Please note  – many of the links in this post are affiliate or referral links. If you click on them and make a purchase, I might make a commission. Your support is oh so appreciated, and it helps keep this free resource up and running – thanks!

This book is a fabulous resource for those with thyroid issues.  Did you know that it’s estimated that 90% or more of those with hypothyroidism have Autoimmune Hashimoto’s?

I devoured this book totally in just a few sittings after getting it.  It’s so full of great information and it’s one of those “keeper” books.

Other books I take out of the library, but “keeper” books are for buying and taking notes in and going back to over and over again.

I met the author this year and she knows what she is talking about.

One of the best books on thyroid health in my opinion.

One of the best books on thyroid health in my opinion.

Please remember: neither Adrienne nor I are doctors, so please do not make changes to your diet, supplements, or exercise program without first consulting with your physician.

So what do you think?
Did you know that all of these foods are problematic for good thyroid health?

Luke-Trisha-150x150Trisha Gilkerson is a homeschooling mom to four crazy boys. She blogs with her awesome hubby Luke at Intoxicated on Life where they talk about faith, homeschooling, and health. They’ve authored the Write Through the Bible curriculum and family Bible Studies and have recently released their first healthy living book – Weeding Out Wheat: A Simple Faith Based Guide. They love connecting with their readers, so be sure to follow them on their blogFacebookTwitterGoogle+, and Pinterest.

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  1. Wow, cruciferous vegetables! I did not know this! Thanks for the education!

  2. So frustrating…all anyone ever talks about is hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s while it is virtually impossible to find anything on hyperthroidism and Graves’ disease. Also frustrating, is how often information on diets for thyroid disease contradict themselves. I don’t know whether I’m coming or going with all the information out there.

    • It is hard. However from the limited research I’ve done the dietary lists seem similar. I think so many people don’t know what they are doing w/ thyroid disease. Looking into Th1 and Th2 is crucial too I think.