Dieting And Exercise With Thyroid Disorders

If you have a thyroid disease such as parathyroid, hyperthyroid, hypothyroidism, or under active thyroid, you need to make sure your diet and physical activity are beneficial in treating your disease. While most thyroid problems can be treated after they are properly diagnosed, your diet and exercise can also make a difference.

Common Thyroid Disorders

The thyroid gland produces hormones that influence almost all of the metabolic processes in your body. Thyroid disorders can range from mild to extreme health threats. The most common thyroid problems are caused by abnormal production of thyroid hormones. While too much hormone production causes hyperthyroidism, not enough hormone production can cause hypothyroidism.

Symptoms of Thyroid Disorders

You might not even be aware if you have a thyroid problem. Diagnosing thyroid problems early can help with treatment, and determine your diet and exercise needs.

If your thyroid problem is diagnosed early, your health care provider can suggest medical treatments as well as a proper diet and exercise routine to help your thyroid function. If you have any of the following symptoms, ask your health care provider about potential thyroid problems:

  • hair loss
  • excessively dry or moist skin
  • fatigue
  • palpitations or tremors
  • muscle cramps
  • increased appetite without weight gain
  • constipation
  • abnormal menstrual cycles
  • infertility or miscarriages
  • high cholesterol
  • protruding eyes
  • memory loss
  • insomnia
  • depression
  • irritability or restlessness

Diet Tips for Thyroid Disorders

Everyone should try to eat a balanced diet of nutritional foods from the basic food groups: fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, lean meats, beans, and essential fats. However, if you have thyroid problems, certain foods within those groups should be avoided.

Two categories of foods have been associated with irregular thyroid hormone production. The first category is soybean-related foods. The second category is cruciferous vegetables including broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and turnips. Some other foods can also interfere with proper function of the thyroid gland. These foods include peaches, strawberries, peanuts, radishes, tofu, and spinach. These foods should not be included in your diet if you have thyroid disease. If you have hypothyroidism, you should also avoid iodine-containing foods including red food dyes, and iodine in dairy products, shellfish, multivitamins, and metabolic boosters.

Exercise for Thyroid Problems

While regular exercise is important for most people, it is especially beneficial for people who have thyroid disorders. Early diagnosis and weight loss programs are also important for hypothyroid patients who are overweight. People who don’t realize they have hypothyroid disease could risk gaining more and more weight over time. Lifestyle changes might be necessary to achieve and maintain a healthy body weight.

Health care providers can recommend specific exercise routines for thyroid patients. It is important that people who have thyroid problems maintain a healthy body weight, and this will require regular exercise. Regular physical activity will also help relieve some of the symptoms of thyroid problems, by providing more energy and decreasing stress levels.


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    Hi , iam suffering from hypothyroidism . my main problem is , iam unable to study i.e i mean unable to remember the matter that i have studied(memory problem) . my thyroid levels are allright my TSH is 1.78 . i have consulted many doctors , they are saying just to use thyroxine tablets daily one small pill. but they are not saying any thing about dryskin, dryhair , memoryloss and so on. im studying chartered accountancy course please helpme and give some tips to improve my memory. atleast give me suggestion as soon as possible please …. please….

  • Shireen

    Although i havent been diagnosed with hypothyroidism as yet i present all the symptoms. Weight gain inability to loose the weight. Dry skin, hair loss, bad memory, irritability, insomnia, itchy skin, muscle cramping, aging rapidly although im only 37, advanced greying, tendinitis and some facial hair thats not supposed to be present for a woman. My problem is irrespective how healthy i eat the weight cant come off. Weird thing is i dont even eat that much as my appetite is very poor. My doctors refuse to do all the tlevel tests as its too costly for government hospital to do so. So they claim that my t levels are normal . What a joke. While its too expensive to do all the tests my life span is at risk. How sick is that!

  • rayme

    I wanted to let the poster know who has all the symptoms for hypothyroidism please don’t give up and find a doctor who will treat you and not just look at the tsh lab test. What I remember hearing from an Endo is the symptoms can appear long ( years in fact) before the lab results show you have a problem. About Thyroid forum might help you as they have a wealth of information on that site. Good Luck.

  • Sohana

    Hi, I suffering a lot of problems including severe hair loss, bad memory, dry skin, irritability, depression, feel all-time tired, visual problem, looked aged at 36 yrs, frequent back muscle cramped, heavy minstrual flow…. Although I’m taking 50 mcg tablet of anhydrous thyroxin sodium( irregularly cus I can’t remember to take my medicine). In June 2011 my blood reports are– T3- 0.953 ng/ml, T4- 6.5 mcg/100ml, Tsh- 5.18 micro IU/ml, Haemoglobin- 9.9 g/dl. Am I suffering Hypothyroidism? How could I get rid of all these problems and live a energetic healthy life and be a happy mother who can give her two children playful time? Please help me out.

  • r.priya

    hello; My name is priya chari aged 44 just completed last month jan 28th.Last year in the month of april 2011.I had checked my thyroid test near my lab . results shows T3:0.81,, T4:4:02,,TSH:11.6.ok .Doctor advised me to take thyroid tablet for three month name thyronorm 25mg same followed for three month upto july and stopped quiet for a few days. As i am now a housewife looking after my family elders at home. These days ahead for few month and i continued my work, one day i came to know of our best doctor in india name balasubramaniam (M.D.,D.MD).told to check FNAC from thyroid. Now report showing- Smear shows groups of follicular cells and hurthle cells with background showing numerous lymphocyte and bare nuclei in thin colloid.IMPRESSION;-Sugesstive of autoimmune thyroiditis. NO.2. thyroid function test taken on 31st january immunology T3: 150.60.T4;6;46.TSH 3RD GENERATION21.130/ml.Today doctor had advised me to take tablet thyrofit for life long. As i am normal in weight 54, height 5.2.My problem is losing memory loss,feeling tired, visual eye sight ,hate to put spects. frequent bowel movements and passing urine. Advised calorich-m.Pls suggest what steps of exercise should be helpfull for me to do. As i am very much depressed with all these worries, i want to to relief myself with doing exercise and come up in mormal life and want to stay healthy ever after.As soon as possible pls help me to get rid out from thyroid……… Am giving my mail id pls do send details tips what exercise to do. I have only one daughter stydying in tenth [email protected] u very much.