Posted by: amelia | 2007/12/08

Underactive Thyroid

I would like to know, what food can help and hinder my thyroid. I do have underactive thyroid, and have had it for 4 years now, but only just found out how important it is. I would like any information you could give me to do with diet to help it.
Thank you so much!!

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Our expert says:
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Dear Amelia
Hypothyroidism can be caused by a number of different factors: a) the simplest form is due to a lack of iodine in the diet which leads to simple goitre and if caught early (probably no longer the case after 4 years) can respond positively to increasing your iodine intake, b) other types of hypothyroidism occur after childbirth, trauma, when the patient develops benign or malignant hyperplasia of the thyroid, or develops an autoimmune disease which counteracts thyroid hormone. You would need to find out what is actually causing your low thyroid activity because all the conditions listed under b) would not respond to dietary interventions like ingesting more iodine. For these types of hypothyroidism you need to take thyroid hormone supplements like Eltroxin as prescribed by the dr. I doubt if you developed simple hypothyroidism because all the table salt in South Africa has been fortified with iodine for many years now to prevent simple goitre. If you have any of the other types of goitre increasing your iodine intake could be harmful as it would stimulate growth of the thyroid, which may be dangerous. Discuss this with your dr and take your Eltroxin, rather than to manipulate your iodine intake.
Best regards

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