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Hashimoto's Thyroiditis Nutrition Intervention

Hashimoto's Thyroiditis Nutrition Intervention

Hashimoto's Thyroiditis is an autoimmune disease in which antibodies are produced against thyroid cells. It’s one of the most common causes of chronic hypothyroidism (Lack of hormones secreted by the thyroid gland, such as thyroxin). Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis is more common in females.

Thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped endocrine gland located in the lower front part of the neck which produces hormones and secrets them into blood, the blood in turn helps hormones to move along the body into various tissues. These hormones help the body to use energy and staying warm, they also help in keeping brain, heart, muscles and other organs working. Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis begins when the immune system attacks the thyroid gland, damaging it and thus the thyroid gland will lose its ability to produce enough thyroid hormones.

Nutrition interventions for Hashimoto’s thyroiditis include proper nutrition to control the immune system by providing anti-inflammatory diet. In this article we will review some previous researches and diets conducted on Hashimoto's patients to discuss how dietary and lifestyle modifications affect them.

Hashimoto's Thyroiditis and Protein: one study showed that reducing animal food intake has a potential protective effect on thyroid autoimmunity, as it helps to balance oxidation and reduction thus, the consequent oxidative stress will be balanced. Reducing the intake of animal proteins and fats and increasing the intake of plant foods may be a useful strategy to reduce the risk of developing autoimmune thyroid disorders.

Hashimoto's Thyroiditis and Gluten: several studies indicate that Hashimoto's patients are more likely to develop Celiac disease than healthy people. In celiac disease, eating gluten, a protein compound found in wheat, barley, rye and other related grains, stimulates symptoms of celiac disease which include diarrhea, malabsorption syndrome and weight loss. Celiac disease is associated with a number of diseases, including autoimmune disorders. In a study conducted to investigate whether gluten-free diet affects Thyroid autoimmunity, hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid axis activity, and thyroid function tests in women with Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, a gluten-free diet has been shown to lower levels of thyroid antibodies, in addition to improve thyroid function and slightly increasing levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D in the body.

Hashimoto's Thyroiditis and lactose: Lactose intolerance is very common among Hashimoto's patients. If the Hashimoto's patient has lactose intolerance, cutting out dairy products and any lactose-containing products may help reduce digestive problems, in addition to improve thyroid function and drug absorption.

Some recommendations for foods that are recommended for Hashimoto's patients and foods that should be avoided:

Recommended foods are:

- Vitamin D rich foods like; fish liver oil, salmon, tuna, sardines, mushrooms, fortified orange juice and fortified milk.

- Selenium: the largest amount of selenium in the body is stored in the thyroid gland. Selenium is found in beef, turkey, chicken, fish, shellfish, tuna and sardines. It is also found in sunflower seeds and eggs.

- Biotin rich foods like; meats and sweet potatoes. It’s useful in hair loss cases.

- Iron rich foods like; beef, chicken, and shellfish.

- Zinc rich foods like; crab, mushrooms and turnip.

- Follow a nutrient-rich, varied and colorful diet that includes a variety of vegetables and fruits, healthy fats, lean proteins and complex carbohydrates. The important components of this diet are vegetables (turnip, spinach, mushrooms), fish (salmon), colorful vegetables (cauliflower, carrots, colored peppers), fruits (berries, apples and bananas), healthy fats (avocados and nuts), lean proteins (skinless chicken, lean meats, tofu, fish, eggs and legumes), complex carbohydrates (whole grains, legumes and beans).

Foods that should be avoided:

- Gluten-containing foods.

- Foods that contain added or refined sugars.

- Processed and canned foods.


1- National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases [ Internet ] . Hashimoto's Disease . 2021 [ cited 20 June 2021 ]

2 - American Thyroid Association [ Internet ] . Hypothyroidism . 2021 [ cited 16 June 2021 ]

3- Billette S S. Hashimoto's Thyroiditis Hair Loss and Your Diet : What To Eat and What To Avoid [ Internet ] . WebMD . N.d. [ cited 20 June 2021 ]

4- Ruggeri R , Giovinazzo S , Barbalace M , Cristani M , Alibrandi A , Vicchio T et al . Influence of Dietary Habits on Oxidative Stress Markers in Hashimoto's Thyroiditis .

5. Liontiris M , Mazokopakis E. A concise review of Hashimoto thyroiditis ( HT ) and the importance of iodine , selenium , vitamin D and gluten on the autoimmunity and dietary management of HT patients.Points that need more investigation . Hellenic Journal of Nuclear Medicine [ Internet ] . 2020 [ cited 12 July 2021 ]

6- Krysiak R , Szkróbka W , Okopień B. The Effect of Gluten - Free Diet on Thyroid Autoimmunity in Drug - Naïve Women with Hashimoto's Thyroiditis : A Pilot Study . Experimental and Clinical Endocrinology & Diabetes . 2018 ; 127 ( 07 ) : 417-422 DOI : 10.1055 / a 0653-7108

7- Daniel L. Swagerty J , Walling A , Klein R. Lactose Intolerance [ Internet ] . . 2002 [ cited 25 June 2021 ]

8- National Institute of Health [ Internet ] . Vitamin D. 2021 [ cited 25 June 2021 ]

9- Toulis K , Anastasilakis A. Tzellos T , Goulis D , Kouvelas D. Selenium Supplementation in the Treatment of Hashimoto's Thyroiditis : A Systematic Review and a Meta – analysis

10- Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics [ Internet ] . Supporting a Patient with Hashimoto's Thyroiditis through Nutrition . 2015

Done by: engineer Ruba Ghassan Hamaideh, bachelor's degree, Al-Balaqa Applied University

Translated by: engineer Sarah Ahmad Hamoudeh, bachelor's degree, Hashemite University

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