We often hear people around us talk about thyroid, the health problems it can cause in case it is deregulated and the interesting term Hashimoto! But what exactly is hashimoto, what symptoms are suspicious that something is wrong, and how can diet help us?
Hashimoto: What is it?
Hashimoto’s disease is an autoimmune disorder where our immune system attacks the thyroid itself. The result is that the thyroid is gradually destroyed and unable to produce its hormones properly. This can lead to hypothyroidism (1). It is important to note that nine out of ten cases Hashimoto occurs in women!
Thyroid produces hormones that control many functions of the body and the way energy is distributed. When this system is dysfunctional, many functions in our body slow down.
This is also the case in Hashimoto. Thus, our metabolism becomes slower, our rhythms fall and often symptoms (2) like these occur:
- Fatigue and weakness
- Weight gain
- Sensitivity to cold
- Dry skin and hair, hair loss
- Pain in the joints and muscles
- Irregular or extensive menstruation
- Memory problems
- Reduced heart rate
- Swelling in the neck, tongue or face
- Fragile nails
Hashimoto and Nutrition
Although your doctor will definitely suggest the right treatment for you, depending on the stage of the disease and the examinations you will take, diet can play its role in improving the condition.
A balanced diet, a good sleep and less stress in your daily routine will give your immune system a break and help your body find its rhythms again. Regarding our diet and dietary supplements, there are some that can help us and others that we should avoid.
Hashimoto and Iodine
Iodine is one of the first elements that comes to our mind when regarding thyroid. It helps with the normal production of thyroid hormones, but what happens to hashimoto?
People with hashimoto may have an increased sensitivity to iodine and foods containing it. For this reason, it is advisable to consult your doctor and tell him if you are taking any iodine supplement or foods rich in it, such as algae, as they are likely to worsen the condition and should be avoided.
Hashimoto and Selenium
Selenium is another valuable trace element in our body. The highest concentration of selenium is even found in the thyroid. There is currently insufficient scientific evidence to support the positive effect of selenium intake on the treatment of hashimoto. However, it has been observed that people with this disease receiving selenium supplementation had a decrease in the antibodies that attacked thyroid! (3)
Selenium will also be found in many foods such as fish and poultry, meats (pork and beef), nuts (mainly Brazil nuts), eggs, sunflower seeds, brown rice, lentils, beans etc. So make sure to include them in your diet.
Vitamin D and Hashimoto
Often those who are diagnosed with hashimoto also have low levels of vitamin D. It is therefore advisable to check the levels of D to identify any deficiency. Adequate amounts of vitamin D can be produced by our exposure to the sun for 10-15 minutes a day.
In addition, you can find it in fish such as salmon, swordfish, sardines, tuna, and in fortified foods such as juices and milk. Also, in cases of severe deficiency, your doctor will recommend the appropriate vitamin D dietary supplement.
Hashimoto and Zinc
Another element that plays an important role in our thyroid and hormone production is zinc. Indeed, in a 2009 study in goitrous patients, zinc supplementation appeared to improve thyroid hormone levels (4). You will also find zinc in mussels, oysters and other shellfish, red meat, chicken and more.
You should keep in mind that zinc should be in the right proportion to copper, so it is advisable to take these doses carefully if you are taking a long-term supplement.
Generally, make sure you have a balanced diet so that you get all the essential nutrients that will help your thyroid function better. Consult your expert on which foods to increase in your diet and which to avoid, along with the treatment he or she recommends.
Find in Vita4you.gr a great variety in supplements for hypothyroidism!