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The Effect of Diet and Lifestyle On Hashimoto’s Disease

Hashimoto’s disease is one of the most common thyroid disorders in the United States and other developed countries.(1)

The symptoms of Hashimoto’s disease greatly affect the quality of life.

Along with the medicines, lifestyle and diet modification can bring in a drastic improvement in symptoms of Hashimoto’s disease.

The Effect of Diet and Lifestyle On Hashimoto’s Disease

The Effect of Diet and Lifestyle On Hashimoto’s Disease

Unless the hormone levels are altered people who exhibit symptoms are not given medication for Hashimoto’s disease. This is the time when diet and lifestyle modification can play its part.(2,3)

Inflammation is a driving factor behind the wide range of Hashimoto’s symptoms that can be often tied to diet.(4,5)

People with Hashimoto’s disease have a greater risk of developing autoimmune conditions, high cholesterol, obesity, and diabetes. The risk of these diseases can be reduced with diet and lifestyle modification.(6,7)

Managing diet and bringing about changes in the lifestyle can help improve the symptoms and quality of life of people suffering from Hashimoto’s disease.

Diet Tips For Those Suffering From Hashimoto’s Disease Or The Hashimoto’s Diet

There are some diet choices that can help treat Hashimoto’s disease.

A Gluten-Free And Grain-Free Diet

People with Hashimoto’s disease are more likely to have celiac disease than others. Most of the people diagnosed with Hashimoto’s disease are recommended to be screened for celiac disease(8)

A study showed that a gluten-free diet reduces the levels of antibody and improved thyroid function and vitamin D levels.(9)

Other studies show, if not suffering from celiac disease, people with Hashimoto disease benefit greatly from a gluten-free diet.(10,11)

In a gluten-free diet, wheat, barley, and rye should be avoided. A grain-free diet is more restrictive as all the grains are banned in it.

Avoid Dairy

Lactose intolerance is very common in those with Hashimoto’s disease. A study done on 83 women found that 75.9% of them had lactose intolerance.(12)

Cutting down dairy would improve digestion, thyroid function, and medicine absorption.

Autoimmune Diet Protocol

The autoimmune diet protocol is for those suffering from any autoimmune condition. In this harmful food such as grains, dairy, nightshades, added sugar, coffee, eggs, nuts, alcohol, seeds, oils, and food additives are removed from the diet.

A study done on 16 women with Hashimoto’s disease found improvement in the quality of life scores, and a decrease in inflammatory marker C-reactive protein, after following the autoimmune protocol diet.(13)

This diet is a phased elimination diet and should be followed under the guidance of an experienced healthcare professional.

Anti-Inflammatory Foods

An anti-inflammatory diet rich in fruits, vegetables can help improve the symptoms in Hashimoto’s disease as inflammation is a driving force behind it.

A study found lower oxidative stress markers in those who ate fruits and vegetables more frequently.(14)

Nutrition-Dense And Whole Foods Diet

A diet with nutrient-dense foods improves health, manage weight, and reduce Hashimoto’s related symptoms.

Prepare a meal with nutritious foods like healthy fats, proteins, and fiber-rich carb. Such foods are rich in antioxidants and provide anti-inflammatory benefits.

Supplements for Hashimoto’s Disease

There are various supplements that help in lowering inflammation and thyroid antibodies in those suffering from Hashimoto’s disease.

  • Selenium: Selenium can help reduce antithyroid peroxidize (TPO) antibodies and improve the well being of people suffering from Hashimoto’s disease.(15)
  • Zinc: if used alone or along with selenium supplements, zinc helps in improving thyroid function.(16)
  • Curcumin: It is a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compound that protect the thyroid and also helps in treating autoimmune diseases.(17)
  • Vitamin D: Studies link low vitamin D with Hashimoto’s disease severity.(18) Hence the levels of this vitamin should be maintained.
  • B complex vitamins: Vitamin B12 levels are found low in people with Hashimoto’s disease.
  • Magnesium: Correcting the level of magnesium can improve symptoms in people with thyroid disease.

Foods To Avoid in Hashimoto’s Disease

Certain foods such as food with gluten, foods with added and refined sugar, and processed foods should be avoided by those suffering from Hashimoto’s disease.

Hashimoto’s disease is an autoimmune condition that can lead to a wide variety of symptoms. Changes in diet can help boost overall health.

You can consult a dietician for your Hashimoto’s diet and find a flexible eating pattern that works for you.

Also Read:

Sheetal DeCaria, M.D.
Sheetal DeCaria, M.D.
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Sheetal DeCaria, M.D. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:December 28, 2020

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