Hashimoto's disease, also referred to as chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis, is a condition that affects your thyroid gland, located in the front of your neck at the base and produces hormones that play a significant role in a number of your body functions. The disease causes your immune system to attack your thyroid gland, resulting in inflammation that leads to an underactive thyroid. You'll need medication to control the disease, as well as dietary modifications.
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At first, you may recognize moderate weight gain even though you haven't changed your diet. Even if you reduce the number of calories you take in, you may eventually notice considerable weight gain as your disease progresses. You may experience constipation and have difficulty concentrating. Your thyroid gland may develop a goiter, which you'll notice as a small, hard lump in the front of your throat. Other symptoms of Hashimoto's disease include hair loss, fatigue, joint stiffness, dry skin and swelling of the face.
Various foods can interact with or reduce the effectiveness of your thyroid medication, according to MayoClinic.com. Soy products such as tofu, tempeh, soybeans, soymilk and many meat alternative products that contain soy can interfere with a range of medicines you may be taking to control your symptoms. A high-fiber diet may dilute the medications and interfere with their proper absorption. Certain supplements such as calcium, iron and antacids can interfere with thyroid medications as well.
Some practitioners who treat Hashimoto's disease advise patients to eliminate gluten from their diet. According to Dr. Datis Kharrazian, there is a strong enough link between gluten intolerance and Hashimoto's disease to warrant the elimination of it from your diet. Gluten intolerance results from an imbalanced immune system that seems to correlate with the causes of the thyroid disease. Antibodies produced during gluten digestion may aggravate an already weakened endocrine system and exacerbate the disease.
Other Foods to Avoid
Iodized salt is a major contributor to aggravated symptoms and further complications when you have Hashimoto's disease, according to Bauman College. Table salt contributes to the inflammation associated with the disease and may increase your levels of iodine so that, combined with your medication, you develop the opposite effect and get hyperthyroidism. Aspartame, an artificial sweetener, also may aggravate symptoms of chronic thyroiditis. Unsaturated oils may contribute to a worsening of your symptoms because of the role they play in increasing inflammation. In addition to interfering with your medications, soy has the ability to disrupt normal hormone production and should be avoided when you are dealing with an unhealthy thyroid gland.