Will Eating More Salt Help My Hyperthyroidism?

Salt and Pepper
Sal and pepper shakers on a table. (Image: hookmedia/iStock/Getty Images)

Eating more salt will not help hyperthyroidism, and it can actually lead to more medical problems, such as high blood pressure. Salt does not play a role in hyperthyroidism and should be consumed within government dietary recommendations. If you have hyperthyroidism, the most effective way to treat your symptoms is to make an appointment with your medical doctor or eye, nose and throat specialist for a medical evaluation. Do not increase your salt intake unless directed to do so by your doctor.

Hyperthyroidism

Hyperthyroidism is a condition where the thyroid gland produces too many hormones that cause your metabolism to speed up, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. The condition is more common in women ages 20 to 40 years old than in men, and may begin during pregnancy or shortly after a highly stressful situation. Grave’s disease, an auto-immune disorder that causes the thyroid to produce too much T-4 hormones, is the most common cause of this condition. Other causes include medications used to treat hypothyroidism and unexplainable inflammation in the thyroid gland.

Symptoms

The most common symptoms associated with hyperthyroidism include shortness of breath, an increased heart rate, anxiety, insomnia, tremors, shakiness, most skin, swelling in the neck, swollen eyes, changes in menstrual periods, skin thickening over the back of the feet, hands, face, shins and back, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. In severe cases, you may develop fever, mental confusion, hallucinations, a rapid pulse and agitation.

Eating More Salt

A common treatment that may be confused with the iodine in salt is radioactive iodine treatment. The iodine treatment prescribed by your doctor is not the same as increasing the amount of iodized salt, or sea salt, that you ingest. Radioactive iodine, when taken for more than six months, can help to slow thyroid activity considerably, reversing an overactive thyroid. Iodized salt is not a suitable replacement for radioactive iodine. Consuming too much salt can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, cramping, high blood pressure, trouble breathing, heart failure and can cause your body to lose too much water, according to a posting on the BBC Health website.

Dietary Considerations

If you’ve been diagnosed with hyperthyroidism, certain dietary changes may help to prevent symptoms. Stop eating all suspected food allergens, avoid fatty foods and refined foods and eat foods that are high in B vitamins and iron, such as whole grains and vegetables. Soy products and iron may interfere with certain thyroid hormone medications. Avoid the use of tobacco, alcohol and caffeine unless your doctor gives permission. Continue to participate in physical activity for 30 minutes on at least five days a week.

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