The Impact of Nutrition on Hashimoto Thyroiditis Patients: An Overview
Thyroid hormone is important for the regulation of body temperature, heart rate, blood pressure and metabolism. Thyroid abnormalities affect a large number of populations more in the elderly than in children. Hashimoto’s thyroiditis happens to be the most common cause of hypothyroidism. Women are more likely affected by Hashimoto’s disease than men. Hypothyroidism causes multiple symptoms upsetting many body functions resulting in the slowdown and may lead to fatigue, dry hair & skin and memory problems. Thyroid hormones are essential for the regulation of body energy, optimum use of other hormones and vitamins in the body as well as for the growth of body tissues. The common symptoms of hypothyroidism are hair loss, memory loss, constipation, depression, appetite loss, feeling cold, mild weight gain, irritability, worsening menstrual periods and cramps, goiter and growth delay (in children). Thyroid inflammation is hereditary where the familial predisposition to the disease is most common factor. A variety of nutritional factors are essential in optimizing thyroid function. Occasionally, conservative treatment of levothyroxine might not benefit Hashimoto’s thyroiditis patients for whom thyroidectomy is recommended. However, nutrient deficiencies and their excess might activate or aggravate the symptoms. Goitrogens in cruciferous vegetables adversely affect the function of thyroid gland by reducing the production of thyroxin hormones. Nonetheless, foods like dulse, seaweed, or kelp containing higher amounts of iodine might cause or worsen hypothyroidism. Since certain foods, drugs and calcium supplements antagonize levothyroxine (synthetic T4) function, caution is advised while taking levothyroxine along with those foods, drugs and supplements.