If you're struggling with symptoms that point to thyroid disease, you may be missing part of the big picture. You could have Hashimoto's thyroiditis and benefit from a few lifestyle changes. Learn more about the disorder and how the Hashimoto diet can improve your symptoms and help you live your best life.
What Is Hashimoto's Thyroiditis?
Despite how common Hashimoto's thyroiditis is in the United States and developed countries, many people don't know much about it or realize that they even have it. It's also referred to as Hashimoto's disease or just Hashimoto's.
The autoimmune condition is the leading cause of hypothyroidism, which means you have an under-active thyroid. However, it is possible to have an under-performing thyroid without having Hashimoto's. The Hashimoto diet could help manage and reduce your symptoms.
What Are the Symptoms of Hashimoto's?
Hashimoto's can be challenging to diagnose because its symptoms mimic many other ailments and autoimmune diseases. Some symptoms include fatigue, cold sensitivity, increased sleepiness, dry skin, constipation, muscle and joint aches and tenderness, problems concentrating, hair loss, brittle nails, inflammation in the face, and more.
The causes of Hashimoto's and other thyroid problems aren't always known, but evidence points to genetics, environmental triggers, and stress. You're also more likely to have Hashimoto's disease if you're a middle-aged woman.
What Is the Hashimoto Diet?
It's essential to see your medical provider if you suspect you have Hashimoto's. In addition to potential medication, you can also soothe symptoms with lifestyle changes, like following the Hashimoto diet.
The diet focuses on decreasing Hashimoto disease symptoms, including eating foods that don't trigger inflammation. Gluten and grain-free foods, avoiding dairy, consuming more fruits and vegetables, and eliminating as much processed foods as possible could help.
What Foods Should I Try?
Many of the foods recommended on the Hashimoto diet are delicious and easily incorporated into a daily lifestyle. Fatty fish like salmon, Brussel sprouts, bets, berries, apples, bananas, avocados, and walnuts are a few places to start. Focus on consuming more leafy greens, including kale and spinach.
If you already enjoy a specific diet, it may pair well with Hashimoto's. Paleo, grain-free diet, and a low glycemic index diet are usually beneficial if you have Hashimoto's disease.
What About Supplements?
Beyond the Hashimoto diet, you may benefit from supplements. Research shows that people with Hashimoto's thyroiditis may be deficient in specific nutrients. A high-quality multi-vitamin or an organic green supplement could also help bring more balance to your body. A few ideas are consuming supplements Vitamin D, B complex vitamins, zinc, magnesium, selenium, and iron, to name a few.
What Foods Should I Avoid?
There are also several foods you should avoid on the Hashimoto diet, and some of them may seem healthy, like nightshades. This family of plants includes tomatoes, eggplant, potatoes, and peppers, among other foods.
Nightshades contain alkaloids that could aggravate your Hashimoto's and are considered anti-nutritional. In simple terms, nightshades could compromise how your body absorbs nutrients. The culprit could also be glycoalkaloids, a natural pesticide the plant produces to fight off pathogens like bacteria. Unfortunately, it can also stimulate an immune response in some people.
Sound complicated? Just remember nightshade foods can aggravate your symptoms and are better left off your dinner plate. Keeping a food diary could also help figure out which foods trigger your symptoms, equip you with more insights, and see how you feel on the Hashimoto diet.
What About Exercise?
Exercise could help you feel better, give you a boost of energy, and fight off symptoms like sluggishness. However, a severe case of Hashimoto's disease can cause your heart rate to slow and cause complications. Make sure to check in with your doctor before you suddenly start a challenging exercise routine. If you're not experiencing swelling in your knees or ankles, try walking, pilates, and yoga that can help soothe and reduce your symptoms.
Living with thyroid issues can usually be managed with medication, diet, and exercise. Focus on incorporating more foods from the Hashimoto's Diet into your daily routine and avoid foods that worsen your symptoms. With the right approach, you could feel better than you have in years and find a new way of eating that you love.
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