Thyroid Diet, Digestion, and Symptoms…The Connection

There’s a HUGE connection between your thyroid, diet, digestion, and your symptoms. If you have a thyroid problem, diet should be your primary focus. However, if you cannot fully digest the food in your diet, you will still be plagued by thyroid symptoms. Herein lies a secret that will benefit you for the rest of your life, given you choose to act on it.


There’s an old saying, which is, you are what you eat. However, it has been revised. The new saying is, you are what you absorb.


In order for your body to use the food you eat, it must go through a transformation process. This process starts in your mouth via chewing of your food. Some say, the digestion process starts before you even put food in your mouth.


Did you know that the body starts to prepare itself for digestion at the very sight and smell of food?


Remember the Pavlov experiment, where the dog starts to salivate at the sound of a bell? Well, your digestive process is very similar. The moment you see food and smell it, assuming you’re hungry, your body will start producing certain enzymes to digest the meal.


A good thyroid diet is important, but you need to absorb all the nutrients for it to have benefit. If you’re not absorbing nutrients, you’ll still continue to struggle with energy, hair loss, fatigue, depression, etc.


Two common nutrient deficiencies related to low stomach acid, or hypochlorhydria, and hypothyroidism are iron and b12.thyroid diet



Hypothyroidism affects digestion by reducing the production of HCL, or hydrochloric acid. Your stomach produces HCL, to help break down meals, especially proteins. Without sufficient HCL, your body will struggle to break down proteins, leaving you tired, bloated, and gassy after a meal.


Stomach acid also helps kill bad bacteria that enters your body through food. It also helps to keep the good and bad bacteria balanced, which keeps your immune system strong.


Low stomach acid eventually leads to deficiencies, symptoms, and dis-ease of the body.


Research has proven that hypothyroidism slows down the processing of food, both in the rate of digestion and elimination. This is one reason for constipation. A thyroid diet with adequate soluble and insoluble fiber, along with plenty of water, will help.


Also, hypochlorhydria does not occur only in those with hypothyroidism. Most people over the age of 50 happen to be hypochlorhydric. This may be the reason for common vitamin b12 deficiencies among seniors. You need HCL to fully absorb certain nutrients.


The addition of HCL supplements has been attributed to an increase in energy and a reduction in joint pain, hair loss, GI upsets, depression, constipation, acne, candida, and insomnia.


Think of digestive aids like HCL and enzymes just as an extension of your diet. They’re not vitamins or minerals, but they help you absorb vitamins and minerals at a much higher rate.


By adding HCL to your thyroid diet you can see and feel a change in symptoms within a short period of time. Here’s how you do it.


Start by adding one capsule of Betaine Hydrochloride to your meals. Take the capsule in the middle of the meal. This is exactly when your body produces it. Every third day, add one more capsule to your meals until you start to feel a slight burning or acidic feeling. At this point, you will want to reduce your dose by one capsule. This is your personal dose.


This is THE cheapest and simplest way to start eliminating thyroid symptoms.


Doctors will do their part, but you have to do yours. The simple addition of HCL to a good thyroid diet, along with other lifestyle modifications, may be all you need to get your health back.




Goitrogens And Thyroid

For decades it’s been accepted science that eating goitrogens will interfere with thyroid hormone production. However, after weighing the pro’s and con’s of this diet practice, I no longer support it.

There are a lot of practitioners still advising patients to avoid goitrogens, which may cause more harmful long-term consequences.

As a patient with hypothyroidism/Hashimoto’s, you know that eating goitrogens is a no-no. According to animal studies, eating goitrogenic foods will interfere with thyroid hormone production by inhibiting iodine absorption.Goitrogens & Thyroid

Iodine is needed to make thyroid hormone and to convert it to its active form.


If healthy goitrogens such as spinach and kale interfere with iodine, why not just add more iodine to your diet?

Now, there are some practitioners that might suggest avoiding iodine altogether, which is nonsense because it’s needed for every cell in the human body. Plus, according to THE leading authority on iodine in the U.S., most people are deficient. The only real way to know if you’re deficient is to test via a 24-hour urine iodine test. Most doctors unfortunately use blood to test iodine, which is often inaccurate.

Iodine in large doses can cause adverse reactions in some people with Hashimoto’s. But, any nutrient in high dose can cause adverse reactions. Reactions to iodine can be eliminated by simply supplementing with selenium.

The bottom line…

Goitrogenic foods like broccoli, spinach, Brussels sprouts, & kale are sulfur containing veggies that have been shown to help reduce the risk of cancer. These foods help support the liver via detoxification. It is also the liver that helps support thyroid hormone conversion.

The liver, along with the gut, is THE most important part of the body when it comes to thyroid hormone because they’re both responsible for converting T4 to T3. The inability to convert T4 to T3 is a MAJOR cause of thyroid symptoms.

I’m not suggesting that you should go on a raw, all goitrogen diet to support liver function. Everything in moderation.

I do think it’s a good idea to add goitrogens back into your diet, moderately. Steam them, roast them, and eat them raw, but rotate them in and out of your diet.

Here are a list of goitrogen-containing foods.

  • Bok choy
  • Broccoli
  • Broccolini
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Canola
  • Cauliflower
  • Chinese cabbage
  • Choy sum
  • Collard greens
  • Horseradish
  • Kai-lan (Chinese broccoli)
    • Kale
    • Kohlrabi
    • Mizuna
    • Mustard greens
    • Radishes
    • Rapeseed (yu choy)
    • Rapini
    • Rutabagas (swedes)
    • Tatsoi
    • Turnips
    • Tempeh
    • Tofu
    • Bok choy
    • Edamame
    • Peanuts
    • Strawberries
    • Flax
    • Peaches
    • Millet
    • Sweet potatoes
    • Pears
    • Spinach
    • Pine nuts
    • Bamboo shoots

There is one exception to this new rule. Continue to avoid soy, because it’s a phytoestrogen and most women have very high estrogen levels, which contributes to thyroid problems.

So, rejoice and eat your goitrogens!

I truly believe that adding healthy goitrogens back into your diet will help you manage thyroid symptoms, hypothyroidism, and Hashimoto’s.

-Eat well and be well,
Dr. D

Foods To Avoid For Hypothyroidism

It all starts with food, and most importantly, which foods to avoid if you have hypothyroidism. You can eat a nutrient-dense diet but if you’re eating foods that YOUR body is sensitive to, you’ll continue to struggle with thyroid symptoms. The foods you should avoid are the same, regardless if you have hypothyroidism, Hashimoto’s, or if your focus is weight loss.

Think of the human body like a fish tank. If you have a sick fish, the most important thing for that fish is its environment, the water.  If the water in the tank is unfiltered and tainted with chemicals the fish will continue to struggle until the water is cleaned. Putting miracle medicine drops in the water will only help so much.

The same is true for your body. You can keep trying new medications and adjusting the dose, but if you keep eating foods that cause inflammation you’ll continue to struggle with thyroid symptoms. BTW, some thyroid medications contain reactive food elements like corn, gluten, & dairy. Stay tuned for that article.

This is why so many diets fail. The main purpose of many diet programs is to reduce calories, but the concept of one man’s food is another man’s poison is never addressed. This is the most important thing for you to remember when it comes to diet.

There are foods that are natural and super-healthy like tomatoes that someone can eat with no adverse reaction. However, tomatoes, which are referred to as nightshades, may cause a reaction in your body.

The bottom line is this…you need to know YOUR body and what it likes and doesn’t like. Once you understand this, you won’t have to worry about another diet for the rest of your life. And, this concept is even more important if you have an autoimmune disorder like Hashimoto’s.

Hashimoto’s and other autoimmune conditions are thought to be caused by something called leaky gut syndrome. If you have leaky gut, your body will adversely react to more foods. In fact, a situation known as cross-reaction can occur. This is where your body mistakes one food for another. For instance, you may have a reaction/sensitivity to corn but your body may adversely react to rice, because it’s also a grain.

There are very expensive tests you can order that will help identify the reactive foods for you. However, you can figure it out on your own through an elimination diet.

Below is a list of foods to avoid if you have hypothyroidism.

  • Gluten
  • Dairy
  • Soy

Here are some other foods that may cause reactions.

  • Eggs
  • Corn
  • Legumes
  • Nightshades
  • Other grains

This list is different from food allergens. If you have a food allergy, you most likely know what it is.

The most important thing to remember is to know YOUR body.

If you have hypothyroidism avoid the foods in the top list. Then, start experimenting with an elimination diet to determine if the lower list of foods are causing problems.

Remember, getting nutrients into your diet is important, but the most important thing to do is to avoid foods that cause you harm.

-Eat well and be well,
Dr. Kevin

What is Hypothyroidism?

The hypothyroid weight loss struggle is a common battle for those with hypothyroidism. If you’ve failed to lose weight despite dieting, it’s possible that your thyroid is to blame.

It’s estimated that 27 million Americans have a thyroid condition and many more go undiagnosed. The most common form of thyroid disease is hypothyroidism, which is a low thyroid or hypothyroid. This condition is not only affecting Americans but also anyone living in an industrialized country.

Hypothyroidism results in a low metabolism, making hyothyroid weight loss a never-ending battle. To make matters worse, low-calorie diets can depress your metabolic rate further causing permanent damage to your metabolism.

Here’s the real problem…

Hypothyroidism is often undiagnosed or misdiagnosed. So, you can have all the symptoms of hypothyroidism and your doctor may still fail to detect the problem.

One of the reasons why the diagnosis of hypothyroidism is often missed is due to it’s many symptoms. Hypothyroidism affects every system of the human body.

The other reason why this condition goes undiagnosed is that blood testing is often inconclusive. The main blood test used to diagnose hypothyroidism, called the TSH test, can miss cases of hypothyroidism up to 80% of the time.

If you think you may have a thyroid problem, you will need to take action!

Start by monitoring your symptoms. Keep a journal and grade your symptoms on a scale of 0-3 (0 = not present or not applicable, 1 = mild, 2 = moderate, 3 = severe). Keep a journal for a minimum of a week and up to a month, dating all your entries.

Next, perform an at-home basal body temperature test. One of the telltale signs of a low metabolism is a depressed body temperature.

Place a thermometer by your bedside the night before the test. First thing in the morning, even before you get out of bed, place a thermometer under your armpit for ten minutes without moving. Any movement will throw off the accuracy of the test.

Measure your body temperature for three consecutive days. If you’re a female and menstruating, do the test on the second and third day of your period. Also, be aware if you have any current infections because this can make the test inaccurate.

Normal body temperature should read between 97.8 and 98.2. Any reading below this could point to a thyroid problem. Your hypothyroid weight loss struggles will continue until your body temperature and metabolism normalizes.

Present your symptoms checklist and your basal body temperature test to your endocrinologist. Endocrinologists specialize in hormones and are much more knowledgeable about thyroid conditions than regular doctors.

Hypothyroid and weight loss struggles go hand-in-hand. If you’re convinced that you have a problem, yet your doctor disagrees, or your lab tests don’t support your suspicion, don’t give up. Try another doctor and keep looking until you find one that will listen to you. You are your own best doctor and you know your body better than anyone.

-Eat well and be well,
Dr. Kevin

The Hypothyroid Diet Weight Loss Struggle

The Hypothyroid Diet Weight Loss Struggle

If your hypothyroid weight loss results are dismal, this will be one of the most important messages you’ll ever read.
As you know, one of the most common symptoms of hypothyroidism is weight gain, and, if your thyroid is running at half speed, how can you lose weight?
Well, aside from the obvious recommendations of diet and exercise, which will be covered in another article, you need to get the right treatment. This is not an easy task.

However, before you can get the right thyroid treatment you need the right physician. So, how do you find THE best doctor?
By asking the right questions. Here are some good questions to start with:

Q. How often will you test my thyroid if I need medication?
A. You should be tested monthly when starting a new treatment.

Q. What are my treatment options if I have hypothyroidism?
A. You should have more than one option when it comes to drugs.

Q. How many types of thyroid problems are there?
A. There are two types of hypothyroidism: 1) Hashimoto’s 2) Primary Hypothyroidism.

Q. Will you run an antibody test on my thyroid?
A. This will determine if you have Hashimoto’s.

Q. How do you treat the immune system?
A. If you have Hashimoto’s you NEED immune support.

Q. Will eating a certain way make my condition better or worse?
A. Diet plays a very big part in hypothyroid weight loss.

Once you think you have the best doctor, the experiment begins. It’s an experiment because your biochemistry is different from others. Therefore, your body can react differently to the same medication and dosage compared to someone else.

Years ago before testing was available, doctors determined if treatment was working by what their patients told them. Today, doctors are armed with sophisticated testing, yet the best evidence to determine if your treatment is working is your testimonial. This is why it’s so important that you are aware of how you’re feeling.

Hypothyroid weight loss changes will occur subtly along with your other symptoms, assuming you have the right treatment. So, you need to pay close attention to how you feel day in and day out. Do not get obsessed with watching the scale!

List all symptoms that were bothering you before treatment and make note of them and grade them. Then, during treatment, grade your symptoms and determine if you’re getting better.

This won’t happen overnight, but you should start to feel better within a couple of weeks. If you feel no improvement, let your doctor know and demand changes. If your doctor refuses to make changes, then you need to find another doctor that will LISTEN.

Your weight and hypothyroidism go hand in hand and if you focus on your weight, it will drive you nuts. You will only get more frustrated if dieting and exercise hasn’t moved the number on the scale.

Your hypothyroid weight loss struggles and other symptoms will improve with the right treatment. However, your other symptoms will improve first, so focus on them to determine if you have the right treatment.

-Eat well and be well,
Dr. Kevin