Living with autoimmune thyroiditis (Hashimoto’s Disease)
|What is it?||The thyroid is a small gland situated at the base of the throat which controls the body’s metabolism (the rate at which the body works). In most cases, hypothyroidism is because the thyroid cells begin to fail and so produce less thyroid hormone (thyroxine). This can be caused by:|
|Symptoms||In hypothyroidism, the rate of metabolism is decreased resulting in the following symptoms:|
Low energy, feeling sluggish and tired, feeling cold, dry skin, hair loss, muscle pain, poor memory, weight gain, constipation, frequent infections
|Essential Nutrients||The following are necessary for healthy thyroid function:|
· Tyrosine is necessary to make the hormone produced by the thyroid (thyroxine). It is found in butterbeans, fish, almonds, bananas, avocados and pumpkin seeds.
· Iodine is an essential constituent of thyroxine. The best sources include seafood (fish, shellfish, seaweed). It is also found in mushrooms, Swiss chard, butterbeans and sesame seeds.
· Selenium is important for the conversion of thyroxine (T4) into its active form, (T3). The best source is brazil nuts. It is also found in sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, shellfish, mushrooms lentils and brown rice.
|Dietary Recommendations||In general:|
· Try to avoid foods that interfere with the uptake of iodine and tyrosine. This includes cabbage, Brussels sprouts, kale, broccoli, cauliflower, turnips, mustard greens, soybeans, millet, pine nut and peanuts. The main problem occurs when these foods are eaten raw or in excess. However, it is believed that cooking inactivates this, therefore, cook well but eat in moderation.
· Eat more iodine, tyrosine and selenium rich foods (see previous page)
· Minimise saturated fat intake (from red meat and dairy) and increase essential fatty acid intake (from fish, nuts and seeds). This helps to keep the liver healthy for the conversion of thyroxine into its active form.
To strengthen the immune system:
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