Hashimoto Diet: What It Is, Foods, And More
Hashimoto's Disease is a medical condition that affects the thyroid gland. Making dietary and lifestyle changes can help manage the symptoms and reduce the risks.
Hashimoto's disease, also referred to as Hashimoto's thyroiditis, is a medical condition that affects the thyroid gland. The thyroid gland plays a crucial role in producing hormones that regulate the body's metabolic functions, overseeing the conversion of food into energy and maintaining normal bodily functions. However, in the case of Hashimoto's thyroiditis, the immune system mistakenly identifies the thyroid as foreign and launches an attack against it due to an autoimmune response. Additionally, research indicates that inflammation may contribute to the various symptoms associated with Hashimoto's, and dietary choices often play a role in inflammation.
Studies indicate that dietary and lifestyle changes, alongside standard medication, can greatly enhance symptom management. It is important to acknowledge that every individual with Hashimoto's thyroiditis reacts uniquely to treatment, underscoring the significance of adopting a personalised approach for managing this condition.
Furthermore, making adjustments to diet and lifestyle is essential in reducing the risk of other health conditions, as individuals with Hashimoto's thyroiditis have a higher likelihood of developing autoimmune disorders, high cholesterol, obesity, and diabetes.
Dietary and lifestyle changes
Gluten- and grain-free diet
Gluten- and grain-free diets have been found to be beneficial for people with Hashimoto's thyroiditis, a condition in which they are more likely to have celiac disease compared to the general population. Experts recommend that individuals diagnosed with Hashimoto's undergo screening for celiac disease. Additionally, research suggests that eliminating gluten and grains from the diet may provide advantages for people with Hashimoto's thyroiditis.
A gluten-free diet was shown to lower thyroid antibody levels and improve thyroid function and vitamin D levels when compared to a control group. Numerous other studies also indicate that individuals with Hashimoto's thyroiditis, as well as those with autoimmune diseases in general, may benefit from a gluten-free diet, even if they do not have celiac disease.
When following a gluten-free diet, you must avoid all products containing wheat, barley, and rye. Common examples of gluten-containing foods include most pastas, breads, and soy sauces; however, gluten-free alternatives are available.
On the other hand, a grain-free diet is even more restrictive than a gluten-free diet as it eliminates all grains. While this dietary approach may offer benefits, research supporting its effectiveness is currently limited.
Autoimmune Protocol diet
Also known as AIP diet, it is specifically designed for people with autoimmune diseases. Its main purpose is to eliminate potentially harmful foods from the diet. These include grains, dairy products, nightshades, added sugar, coffee, legumes, eggs, alcohol, nuts, seeds, refined sugars, oils, and food additives.
Study has found that in women diagnosed with Hashimoto's thyroiditis, the AIP diet showed promising results. Participants experienced significant improvements in their quality of life scores and a noticeable decrease in the levels of the inflammatory marker called C-reactive protein (CRP).
It is crucial to understand that the AIP diet is a phased elimination diet and should only be undertaken under the guidance and supervision of a knowledgeable healthcare professional.
Avoid dairy products
It may be beneficial to avoid dairy products. Lactose intolerance is prevalent in individuals with Hashimoto's thyroiditis .Research has shown that women diagnosed with Hashimoto's thyroiditis revealed that 75.9% of them had lactose intolerance.
If you suspect that you have lactose intolerance, eliminating dairy from your diet could potentially alleviate digestive problems and improve thyroid function and medication absorption. However, it's important to note that this approach may not be effective for everyone, as some people with Hashimoto's thyroiditis can tolerate dairy without any issues.
When it comes to Hashimoto's thyroiditis, inflammation can play a significant role. Therefore, adopting an anti-inflammatory diet that includes a generous amount of fruits and vegetables can potentially alleviate symptoms. Study has found that in women with Hashimoto's thyroiditis, and consumed fruits and vegetables more frequently demonstrated lower levels of oxidative stress, which is a condition associated with chronic inflammation. To combat inflammation, there are numerous food options available that possess strong anti-inflammatory properties. Examples include vegetables, fruits, spices, and fatty fish.
Embracing a diet that minimises added sugar and highly processed foods while emphasising whole foods packed with essential nutrients can potentially enhance your well-being, aid in weight management, and alleviate symptoms associated with Hashimoto's disease.
Whenever possible, prioritise homemade foods including nutritious ingredients such as vegetables, fruits, proteins, healthy fats, and fibre-rich carbohydrates. These food choices provide notable antioxidant and anti-inflammatory advantages.
It is crucial for you to follow a well-balanced diet that suits their lifestyle rather than fixating on labelling their eating habits. The emphasis should be on consuming whole, unprocessed foods, particularly those that are grown in the ground, while avoiding boxed or bagged foods. Although a gluten-free diet or autoimmune protocol might offer symptom relief for certain individuals, its effectiveness can vary among different people. People with Hashimoto's should remain open to exploring various eating styles until they discover the one that optimises their well-being. Additionally, consulting with a doctor or dietitian is important to ensure they obtain all the necessary nutrients.
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