There are a few things I can pretty much count on each year. One, taxes, two, my car breaking down, three, I lose my iPod headphones and three, my thyroid tanks. And, by tanks I mean it crashes harder than the 1929 stock market.
It happened to me last January and the year before that. And, come to think of it, the year before that as well and so forth. It’s really a vicious cycle that hasn’t been broken since I was first diagnosed with hypothyroidism back in 2009. I’ve learned how to deal with it, but it doesn’t make it any easier or enjoyable.
Plus, I never know when it will tank. Generally, it’s about every 12-18 months on average. But, I can usually tell when the weight goes stagnant and decides to creep up ever so slowly. Then stubbornly doesn’t want to leave. Like a horrible dinner guest or … Del Griffith.
This makes my 80/20 diet plan nearly impossible. And, to maintain my weight means I would generally have to eat around 1200-1400 calories a day, run every day and avoid carbohydrates in all their glory. Not, my idea of fun, especially consider how much I do run and need carbohydrates to keep kicking.
But, now here I am once again with a thyroid on empty. I’ve tried switching up my diet, eating more vegetables, watching the mindless snacking and planning my free meal around my longer runs. But, the weight’s not moving much. Well, actually, at all.
I’m about 15-20lbs. from my ideal race weight and it’s frustrating because my legs are there with the training that I’ve put in. But, every effort to stop or even maintain the wayward hike is futile. So, I’ve called my doctor to get an appointment and blood work done. Maybe I’ll need new medication? Maybe I’ll need a new dose? I am not sure.
But, I do know this … I can’t rely just on the medication anymore. I decided that I need to do a bit more research on hypothyroidism and see what foods I should and should not be eating to get the most out of my thyroid.
Just with a quick Google search I found these tips that are really helpful, but I plan on doing more research as well, because I don’t want to count on a yearly thyroid tanking each year. In fact if I could manage my thyroid with minimal medication that would be ideal. Maybe not totally realistically, but at least I could make it more productive, right?
Here are a few things I found out there on the internets about do’s and don’ts of hypothyroidism.
- Eat several smaller meals throughout the day. This will help you stay full and lighten up the metabolism (think balance).
- Eat food high in Vitamin B and iron such as fresh vegetables and whole grains.
- Get your thyroid checked by your doctor regularly. Try for once a year or more if needed. Doses change and it’s surprising how often you’re either under or over medicated.
- Talk to your doctor about your concern and symptoms. There can be unseen problems that a simple blood culture or checkup can’t see.
- Eat selenium rich foods such as kidney, liver, crab, other shellfish, and Brazil nuts. Selenium is a component of the enzyme that helps convert T4 to T3.
- Drink plenty of water each day to help flush out impurities that are counterproductive to a healthy thyroid. Avoid sodas and fruit juices altogether.
- Take other supplements about four hours AFTER taking your medication. Supplements like calcium and iron can prevent the body from absorbing thyroxine.
- Avoid stress (a common threat to thyroidism) and get 7-8 hours of sleep per night (I need to work on this one!).
- Make sure to incorporate Vitamin D into your diet. It promotes getting a good night’s sleep!
- Help cleanse the liver and kidneys by adding turmeric and cayenne to your regular diet.
- Eat plenty of food rich in antioxidants (ie-blueberries, cherries, tomatoes, etc.)
- Avoid drinking soy milk. Soy can decrease the absorption of thyroxine in your blood (I mainly avoid it because it makes me bloated and gassy, but that’s a whole other story).
- Avoid taking excess iodine supplements or food. Extra iodine can worsen hypothyroidism symptoms.
- Don’t consume large amounts of caffeine. High amounts can alter TSH production by the pituitary glands (but, caffeine in low amounts is good to reduce inflammation because it opens open blood vessels).
- Avoid foods that interfere with thyroid production such as broccoli (nnnnnooooooooooooooooo!!!!!), cabbage, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, kale (there goes kale chips, crap!), spinach, turnips (I’m okay with his, but broccoli?! nnnnnooooooooooooooooo!!!!!), soybeans, peanuts, linseed, pine nuts, millet, cassava (whatever that is?), and mustard greens.
- Avoid eating a lot of sugar (like RKs … nnnooooooooooo!!!!!). Sugar promotes inflammation and can slow down your thyroid production. Plus, it doesn’t really help in your goals with weight loss … just sayin’ …
- Take your thyroid issues lightly. Track your progress, listen to your body and if you feel like something needs to be addressed by a doctor … do so.
Those few do’s and don’ts are just what I found online and something I want and need to focus on as I get my thyroid reevaluated. I’ve already set up an appointment with my doctor for the first week in March. Is it weird to say that I am excited?
Now, just remember I am not a doctor (or pretend to be one), so take this advice for what it’s worth. I compiled this from many different sources online and am mainly using it to apply to my dietary needs. Your’s might be different. Make sure to address that with your doctor if you think or have a thyroid problem.
It’s not a very fun or convenient road to go down, but … it’s life. To a healthy thyroid! Here, here!