I am hypothyroid – yes I am. The fancy butterfly shaped gland in the front of my neck has to work extra hard to do its job. I self-diagnosed my thyroid issue about 6 years ago…I was soooo tired all the time. I was literally falling asleep while driving around town and never felt like I could get enough rest. I craved sleep, my feet were always cold, and my hair was dry and thinning (my hair stylist friend noticed this – thank you Lori!)…oh and brain fog (there is a name for it – fascinating), weight gain, and depression – rock on!
After a little web research (so simple) I wondered if I should get a test to see what my TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone) level was. TSH is the hormone secreted from my thyroid that helps me stay awake while driving around town. A good thing to have. With only limited help from my primary care Doc at the time – he thought it was iron? – NO, Not enough sleep? – NO, Mono? NO, NO, NO. He agreed to test my thyroid with lots of doubt and condescension, sure enough – TSH was very low. Magically, once I went on Synthroid I felt 1000% better (now I take generic Levothyroxine which works for me but not for everyone).
Within weeks of this discovery and change, I had a new outlook and a new Doctor. She is great AND I still do a lot of my own research. She is open to learn with me and I appreciate her willingness to consider my “alternative findings” and her respect of me – that I know my own body and am an intelligent human. We have yet to really have a serious nutrition discussion though, which as I learn more seems so obvious. You can bet I will be sharing this blog post with her soon. 🙂
OK – I have let go of things I know are generally bad for me…caffeine, refined sugar/HFCS, most dairy (in the process of releasing cheese and yogurt in a pre-vegan prep effort), soy (thank you Menopause), and a few other sensitivity foods. Next up to release/moderate? Goitrogenic foods – these interfere with iodine absorption in your body, which can lead to an enlargement of the thyroid gland, otherwise known as the formation of a “goiter”. A steady stream of iodine is necessary to keep your thyroid running optimally.
Here is a list of goitrogenic veggies from Dr. Sara Gottfried, MD Harvard, Author of “The Hormone Cure”…I am working hard to minimize these in my diet – some of them are my favs. Sad day.
NOTE: I added in a few foods from other sites – asterisked and in bold* – and numbered the Top 11 foods to avoid (not in order) if you are hypothyroid. All the others have seem to have benefits far outweighing the downsides (except for soy) – 1-2 x a week is supposed to be OK. Foods with a “?” show up on some lists and not others…Most sources also say roasting and cooking reduces the thyroid inhibiting compounds…And of course everything moderation – most of these are too good and good for you to eliminate completely!
Most important in all of this? Talk with your Doc and educate yourself! I am not a Doctor, nor do I play one on TV…
And just when I finish this list, I saw the Mayo Clinic saying that there is really no such thing as a ”hypothyroid diet” and only highlight soy and walnuts as problematic. Sigh…For what it’s worth – this list is helping me moderate possible trouble foods – still best to measure how you feel along with guidance from your Doc J
FOODS TO AVOID/MODERATE
Almonds* ? (Some say avoid, some say not a significant goitrogen if not over-consumed)
Bok choy (#1)
Brussels sprouts (#3)
Dairy* ? (Milk, cream, cheese, milk powder, butter, kefir)
Gluten* (Any wheat grain, spelt is a ?)
Grapes/grapejuice* (Fluoride in the pesticide esp in CA)
Junk food* (Surprise! Processed, deep-fried, high sugar)
Juice* (Reconstituted, soda especially citrus flavored soda)
Kai-lan (Chinese broccoli)
Mizuna (Japanese mustard)
Pumpkin seeds* ?
Rapeseed (yu choy)
Seafood* (Farm-raised salmon, shark, swordfish, tilefish, king mackerel – mercury laden/dyed – yuk.)
Soy (#10) (Edamame, tofu, soybean oil-milk-flour, miso, tempeh, soy lecithin)
Swiss chard* ?
Tea* (Black and green)
Turnips (#11)/Turnip greens
Will share the YES list tomorrow…and now go cook some green beans…
Have a Nothing New Goitrogen Free Day! ~ Kristin