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Goitrogens are substances that suppress the thyroid gland by interfering with thyroid hormone production. As a compensatory mechanism, the thyroid will enlarge to counteract the reduced hormone production. This enlargement is also known as a goiter.

You may have heard that you should avoid goitrogenic foods if you have a thyroid condition. This is only partially true, as all goitrogens are not created equally. Different goitrogenic substances are contained in various foods.

Cruciferous Vegetables

Cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower contain glucosinolates, substances that block iodine uptake into the thyroid. Eating too many in the raw state can cause symptoms of hypothyroidism in someone with otherwise well controlled symptoms.

Luckily, cruciferous vegetables are only goitrogenic in the raw state. Cooking or lightly steaming will deactivate the glucosinolates, as will fermenting the vegetables (as in sauerkraut), thus diminishing the goitrogenic activity. While consuming fermented and cooked cruciferous vegetables is preferred, occasionally eating small amounts of these foods in the raw states should not aggravate autoimmune thyroid conditions.

The amount of raw crucifers you can tolerate without suppressing your thyroid function will depend on whether you are on thyroid medication and on what dose.

Goitrogens and thyroid medications

Some professionals have said that goitrogens don’t matter in those who take medications. Again, this is only partially true once more.

Generally, if you are not taking medications or taking a low dose of medication where your thyroid is still making some hormone, you will be more sensitive to eating crucifers. If you feel cold, this would be one sign that you had too many.

If you are on a high dose of thyroid medication where your own thyroid is no longer making its own hormone, raw crucifers should not matter.

On the other hand, canola oil, a goitrogen found in processed foods, should be avoided in all individuals with Hashimoto’s. Soy is a goitrogen that works on a different way; it blocks the activity of the TPO enzyme. Soy has been linked to the development of autoimmune thyroiditis and should be avoided by those with Hashimoto’s

For a full list of goitrogens go to http://www.thyroidrootcause.org/1/post/2013/07/what-are-goitrogens-and-do-they-matter-with-hashimotos.html

Here is my list of 10 things that every Hashimoto’s patient should know!

Professional Village Compounding Pharmacy and Medical Supplies found this information and wanted to share it with you. 
Ten Things I Wish My Doctor Would Have Told Me…

1. You are not going crazy! The anxiety you are feeling could be related to your thyroid. The antibodies are destroying thyroid tissue and this causes a release of hormones into your bloodstream causing hyperthyroidism.

2. Selenium deficiency has been linked with Hashimoto’s, Selenium supplements have been found to reduce thyroid antibodies. Consider using a Selenium supplement.

3. Going gluten free is a strategy that everyone with Hashimoto’s should try. Some people have been able to lose weight, get rid of many residual symptoms and even reduce or eliminate thyroid antibodies by going gluten free.

4. If you are having thyroid symptoms with “subclinical hypothyroidism”, it may be helpful to start thyroid hormones.

5. Some people may not convert thyroid hormones properly. There may be an advantage to taking a combination T4/T3 medication.

6. Your thyroid may work on its own again at some time in the future. There is a test that can be done to figure out it you can be weaned off from medications.

7. Hashimoto’s and iodine deficiency hypothyroidism should be treated differently. Iodine excess may aggravate Hashimoto’s in some cases.

8. You should retest your antibodies to see if your lifestyle interventions are working.

9. Your hair loss could be caused by low Ferritin. Ferritin is a stored form of Iron that is often depleted in Hashimoto’s.

10. Your diet could be helpful in reducing thyroid antibodies. Some people have even been able to eliminate their thyroid antibodies through diet alone!

I hope this information empowers you!

Follow Thyroid Pharmacist, Dr. Izabella Wentz on FACEBOOK


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