Hypothyroidism: How Diet Can Ease/Worsen Your Symptoms

Most health care practitioners agree that the right hypothyroidism diet, combined with ongoing thyroid hormone replacement therapy, can help hypothyroidism patients increase their thyroid hormone production. An increase in thyroid hormone production that reaches normal levels, could also bring metabolism to normal levels.

Hypothyroidism Diet Dos

It is believed that certain diets, including the Zone Diet and South Beach Diet, can be beneficial for hypothyroidism patients because these diets limit the consumption of carbohydrates. Limiting the amount of excess carbohydrates can help with weight loss and healthy body weight maintenance.

Whether you are following a specific diet or not, it is important to know that foods which are believed to ease hypothyroidism symptoms. The following foods can achieve this because they are rich in tyrosine:

  • lean meat
  • fish
  • chicken and turkey breast
  • low-fat yogurt
  • low-fat milk
  • avocado
  • bananas
  • lima beans
  • pumpkin seeds
  • sesame seeds
  • lentils

Hypothyroidism Diet Don’ts

It is also thought that avoiding certain foods can be helpful because they can depress the function of your thyroid gland. Too much dietary fiber in some foods can impair the absorption of thyroid hormones. The foods that are most often blamed for worsening hypothyroidism symptoms are:

  • walnuts
  • soy beans
  • broccoli
  • cabbage
  • cauliflower
  • turnips
  • peaches
  • strawberries
  • peanuts
  • radishes
  • tofu
  • spinach
  • multivitamins containing iodine.

Eat Often

If you have low thyroid function, you might benefit from eating small meals throughout the day rather than three big meals. Eating more frequent, smaller meals of about 300 calories each will help balance slow metabolism, which is a symptom of hypothyroidism.

Monitor Salt Intake

Because too much salt can cause water retention and bloating, hypothyroidism patients should decrease the amount of salt in their diets.

Time Your Calcium Supplements

If you are taking thyroid hormone replacement medicine, do not take calcium supplements at the same time. Most health care providers recommend that you do not take calcium supplements within four hours of taking your thyroid hormone replacement medicine, because calcium supplements can interfere with your body’s absorption of thyroid hormone replacement medicine. If you are taking any vitamin or mineral supplements while you are undergoing thyroid hormone replacement therapy, be sure to ask your health care provider if they are safe to take with hypothyroidism treatments.


About Author

Posts By content
  • brenda johnson

    I was on armour thyroid then syntrhoid pill for 5 years.
    then when I moved to kansas…dr.s here have said nothing is wrong
    with your thyroid and have been off of them for 15 years.

    I have gain 75-100 pounds and its very had too lose weight.
    I am around 270. It is very frustrating being fat, people treat you
    very very different.

  • Jill

    Brenda, I hop you’ve found a better doctor by now to reat your thyroid problem, if not try looking for a holistic doctor or ND, these doctors are usually better at actuall listening t what you know you need and prescribe natural thyroid meds such as armour! The new thyroid measures are between .3 and 3.0 so if you are over 3.0 take in information showing those new measures and demand action. The more informed you are the more they will have to listen. Good luck!

  • Hillary

    Dear Brenda,

    I searched http://www.yellowpages.com in the Kansas City area for you and found a few alternative medicine clinics that might be able to help you. Here is some of the information I found.

    Indian Creek Natural Medicine
    10342 Metcalf Ave, Overland Park, KS 66212
    (913) 649-6677

    Liberty Holistic Medicine Center
    26 S Main St, Liberty, MO 64068
    (816) 781-0903

    Physician Choice Natural Medicine Clinic
    24730 W 103rd Ter, Olathe, KS 66061
    (913) 829-9325

  • sohan saini

    i am suffering from hypothyroidism since 1993 presently taking thyroxine (elextroxine) 100mg recently my laboratory test report is showing ft3 2.18 ft4 0.63 & tsh is 12.06 method of testing used ( clia) can i get proper advise to maintain my thyroid function with the help of diet or anything else

  • shell

    I have just had my snthryoid increased to 50mcg. I can not seem to feel normal since I was told I had a thyriod problem. I am looking at changing my diet and wonder if you have any advice. I battle mood swings and depression but yet the doctorsjust want to put me on more meds. I refuse to take anything else. I to have problems losing weight.

  • stephanie L

    @ Brenda, just curious how they knew that there was nothing wrong with your thyroid if you had been taking synthroid for 5 years then your hormone levels should have been normal? Weird.. I was just diagnosed with hypothyroidism. Glad I have a name to what is making me feel so poorly and medicine to help balance the issue

  • Jessica

    @sohan saini your TSH is WAY, WAY too high. The new protocol says that docs should medicate if it’sover 3.3 (it used to be 5.5, so make sure your doc knows the endocrinology specialists have revised their recommendations), and it should be reduced down to something under 2 or less (how much less depends on how the patient feels).

    I’m battling thyroid cancer, and have been severely hypo for almost a year. The toll on my body has been profound and systemic. While I’m all for helping your body out with good dietary choices, I think you need to get your dosage increased, immediately, and closely monitored until your TSH is down to something approaching normal.

  • Shannon

    How would taking a multivitamin with iodine be a *bad* thing? Iodine deficiency can cause hypothyroidism and iodine and kelp (high in iodine) are often suggested ….

  • Krissy

    My Grandfather @ 50, Mother @ 45, Daughter @ 7 and Myself @ 38 have been diagnosed with Haushimoto’s Disease. My mother, daughter & myself have had the blood work done every 6 weeks and had the meds adjusted. I am tired of taking a med that makes me feel way out of normal. My daughter who is overly active highschool cheerleader and involved ffa states the same thing. I stopped taking my levothyroxin and started working out more than 30 minutes a day and cut out more than 75% of my carbs. Finally starting to loose some weight but really frustrated there is not a better way to find out what to do and what not to do. One dr says take Iodine and on here it says done 🙁 It’s frustrating for my entire family.