For those suffering from hypothyroid, the symptoms and side effects can be very frustrating. Although a diseased thyroid and hair loss are a well-known combination, there are also other symptoms which may be less popular. A hypothyroid occurs when the thyroid gland does not produce enough of the hormones necessary to maintain the body’s metabolism. The result is often hair loss, weight gain, fatigue, muscle cramps, and dry skin.
The treatment for a hypothyroid is hormone replacement, usually with medication. Many patients choose to also treat the symptoms, with most choosing to focus on the weight gain and hair loss. Most people find these most difficult side effects to deal with, and they are also the easiest to identify. The good news is that there is a hypothyroid diet which can help alleviate these symptoms.
The hypothyroid diet involves both avoiding foods that are harmful, and also adding foods that are beneficial. The harmful foods, which should be limited as much as possible, if not avoided all together on the hypothyroid diet are soy products, and food that has a high fat content. Soy is believed to interfere with the body’s ability to absorb the synthetic hormone found in most hypothyroid medication, and food with a high fat content does not contribute to weight loss. Food that is high in iodine, high in fiber, and high in vitamins and nutrients should be added to the diet, with processed foods being eliminated completely. Good sources of iodine are sea vegetables, eggs, mozzarella cheese, and strawberries. High fiber foods include raspberries, pears, whole wheat pasta, lentils, and artichokes.
The benefit of the hypothyroid diet is the fact that it not only combats the weight gain associated with the diseased thyroid, but also the hair loss. Although it does not put hair back, it does strengthen the remaining hair, and also helps new hair to grow in faster and in better condition. The items on the hypothyroid diet which specifically target hair are lean proteins, such as that found in lean meat and fish, and healthy fat and oil found in fish, nuts, and avocados. Topical conditioners, regular hair cuts, and proper hygiene can also help with the appearance of hair.
Diet alone is not usually enough to cure a hypothyroid. Medical supervision and hormone prescription are usually necessary, but diet and exercise go a long way toward improving overall health. Patients who follow the hypothyroid diet, get plenty of rest, and exercise for thirty minutes three to four times a week will see improvement.
Something that everyone should remember, especially those who are increasing their fiber intake, is to drink several glasses of water throughout the day. If your body does not get enough fluids while consuming more fiber, you will experience uncomfortable bloating. Increased fluid intake, specifically water, will help counteract the bloating.
Although a hypothyroid and all that comes with it can be frustrating and even depressing, it is important to remember that it can be treated, and that with careful food choices, plenty of rest, fluid, and exercise, the intensity of the side effects can be lessened.