Are There Really Hypothyroidism Diets?
You may have heard of so-called hypothyroidism diets that can help restore the balance of your thyroid hormone. The truth is, there are no known diets, and there is no evidence that eating or avoiding certain foods will improve thyroid function in patients with hypothyroidism.
What we do know
We know that certain foods and supplements actually can interfere with the way hypothyroidism medications work:
- Cottonseed meal
- Iron supplements or multivitamins with iron
- Calcium supplements
- Antacids with aluminum or magnesium
Some medications also can affect the way hypothyroidism treatments work, including certain ulcer and cholesterol-lowering medications. To avoid interactions, it's important to take your hypothyroidism medication 4 hours before or after these supplements or medications. Be sure to talk to your doctor to learn more about possible interactions, and get more tips for taking your medication.
We also know that making smart food choices and being physically active is important for your overall health. And healthy living may lead to an improvement in certain hypothyroidism symptoms, like feeling lethargic, mood-related symptoms, and unhealthy cholesterol levels. Just make sure you always talk to your doctor before beginning any new diet or exercise program.*
The right way to treat hypothyroidism
One thing is for sure – taking a thyroid hormone replacement medication every day, exactly as prescribed, may help restore your thyroid hormone balance.
1. American Thyroid Association. ATA Hypothyroidism Booklet. Falls Church, Va: American Thyroid Association; 2003.
2. US Department of Health and Human Services. Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Finding Your Way to a Healthier You. Available at: http://www.health.gov/dietaryguidelines/dga2005/document/html/brochure.htm. Accessed March 1, 2013.