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Hyperthyroidism Diet, Nutrition

Hyperthyroidism occurs when the thyroid glands produce excessive amounts of thyroid hormones. This means that the metabolism of the body increases significantly causing goiter, weight loss, sweating, and a rapid heartbeat. Although there is no such thing as a hyperthyroidism diet because the main cure is only through medication, it does help to have an idea of what to eat and what to stay clear of when suffering from it. Diet restrictions for hyperthyroidism can be to limit the amount of iodine intake in a few cases. However, it is rare than one gets hyperthyroidism due to excessive intake of iodine.
As the body has an accelerated rate of metabolism, it is advisable to avoid stimulants like caffeine and refined sugar. This can aggravate symptoms further. A diet plan for hyperthyroidism patients includes a diet with restriction on iodine as well as adding thyroid suppressing food such as cauliflower, kale, peaches, soybeans, broccoli, and turnips. Eating small meals often is another way to continuously supply the body with nutrition that is being lost due to excessive metabolism. Foods for hyperthyroidism sufferers also include those rich in calcium and antioxidants. Unrefined whole foods are also a good addition in the diet for thyroid patient. Additionally, supplements for thyroid patients would typically contain calcium and fatty acids essential for the proper functioning of the thyroid gland.

Foods To Avoid Hyperthyroidism

In hyperthyroidism, the body produces too much of the thyroxin hormone, and this leads to accelerated metabolism. Foods to avoid in hyperthyroidism would be iodine rich foods such as seaweed, kelp, and other varieties of food found near the sea. Salt also contains iodine. In addition, foods that are stimulants such as caffeine and sugar can only intensify symptoms of hyperthyroid. It is best to keep as healthy as possible by reducing the intake of whole milk, red meat, and processed foods. Consumption of fried food and confectionaries need to be kept to the minimum.

Hyperthyroidism and Food Deficiency

An increased rate of metabolism in hyperthyroid patients can lead to a depletion of nutrients faster than for people with normal thyroid levels. This can lead to deficiencies of vitamin D and B12. Foods that are rich in these vitamins as well as good sources of antioxidants help the body to combat free radicals that may have a role to play in hyperthyroidism. Vitamin B12 helps in the production of red blood cells as well as helps to build a strong immune system needed for hyperthyroid patients. Vitamin D is an important component in the absorption of calcium needed for healthy bones. With excessive metabolism, hyperthyroid patients need to have a good supply of vitamin D in their system.

Vitamins for hyperthyroidism

Certain vitamins can help hyperthyroid patients. It is always better to consult the doctor about the exact dosage needed. Antioxidants are a great way to eliminate free radicals in the body. Vitamin C increases the levels of antioxidants and helps to regulate the thyroid gland. B complex vitamins are another example of vitamins that can help hyperthyroid patients. They help to build the immune system and stabilize the digestive process, which goes off track due to increased metabolism in hyperthyroid patients.


Hyperthyroidism can create a lot of nutrition deficiencies in our bodies, if left unattended. It is therefore important to ensure adequate nutrition for hyperthyroidism patients. The first step would be to include thyroid-suppressing food in the diet. Broccoli, soya products, cabbage, cauliflower, and kale, are a few examples. It is also important to keep replenishing the body with vital minerals and vitamins. Eating plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables is the best way of getting nutrition therapy for hyperthyroidism.


There are many natural supplements for hyperthyroidism, which help to provide the body with required nutrients. Omega 3 fatty acids are one of them. Usually found in fish, this is an excellent source of good protein for the body. This also helps to balance the endocrine system. Selenium is an important mineral that can help to maintain thyroid levels. A great source of selenium is Brazil nuts. Herbal supplements for hyperthyroidism include ginseng and bugleweed. Bugleweed helps to stabilize heart palpitations, a symptom of a hyperthyroid. Ginseng is a remedy for stress, which is another symptom of a hyperthyroid. It acts as a calming agent. Iodine supplements for hyperthyroidism have been the subject of many debates in the medical world. Some specialists say that hyperthyroidism is due to iodine deficiency and that supplements are needed; however, there is an opposing viewpoint as well. It is important to consult your doctor who will evaluate your condition and recommend supplements based on that. Each person is unique, and it is therefore very important to take medical advice before starting on supplements.


Bugleweed, green tea, and motherwort are a few herbs for hyperthyroidism treatment. Green tea has antioxidant properties. This is ideal as it helps the body to become stronger and fight off illness. Green tea is also soothing and helps fight against stress. Bugleweed and motherwort are natural herbs for hyperthyroidism that have been found to have anti-thyroid properties. Both are known to normalize rapid heartbeats, which are a common symptom of a hyperthyroid. Chinese herbs for hyperthyroidism include a combination of dragon bone and oyster shell. They help to ease rapid heartbeats and tremors. It is advisable to consult a reliable Chinese medical practitioner to get the correct dosage of these herbs.


  • Unexpected weight loss, even though diet and exercise routine stays constant
  • Rapid or irregular heartbeat, palpitations
  • Increased appetite
  • Anxiety, stress, fatigue
  • Trembling of the hands
  • Sweating
  • Scant or irregular period
  • Increased bowel movements
  • Enlargement of the thyroid gland called goiter


  • Graves’ disease is an autoimmune disorder where the thyroid produces too much of thyroxin. This is because of extra stimulus by the immune system.
  • Hyper functioning thyroid nodules
  • Thyroiditis or the inflammation of the thyroid.


Once identified, it is very important to seek hyperthyroidism treatment immediately. Treatment could be as follows:
  • Anti-thyroid medication.
  • Radioactive iodine, this makes the thyroid gland shrink, thus reducing the production of the thyroid hormone.
  • Surgery to remove the thyroid in advanced cases.


There is no specific method for hyperthyroidism prevention. It is not a life threatening disease and can be controlled with medication in most cases.


Following are the ways to ascertain a hyperthyroidism diagnosis:

  • Physical exam
  • Blood tests
  • Thyroid scan
  • A radioactive iodine test to ascertain how much of iodine is being used by the body.
Submitted on January 16, 2014