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Thyroid UK
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Plant based diet and Hashimotos

I have been trying to figure out a diet that will help me feel better. I just recently was told I have the beginning stages of Hypothyroidism and they still are waiting to medicate me. I thought maybe there is a way to help myself. After watching " Forks over Knives" I thought why not try a plant based diet. Although my stomach issues seem better, giving up dairy and meat the last 4 days, it seems that choking feeling in my throat is coming back. I really want to lose weight and be healthy, but I'm not sure if this diet will help my thyroid. I believe this feeling in my throat is my thyroid since I had an ultrasound a month ago and they said I had a goiter. I'm wondering if this is just my body getting used to the changes, since its only been 4 days of no meat or dairy, or if I will feel worse the more I continue this diet. Does anybody have any experience with this?

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No experience, I'm afraid. However, when you say 'plant based' are you excluding protein and fats?

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I am going dairy and meat free, So no eggs, cheese, yogurt, and meat. Im eating lots of veggies and fruits and oats and some rice and pastas. I'm just starting out, so I'm trying to see what's available for me and what I'll like.

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Well, pasta contains gluten, so it may be an idea to avoid that. However, eggs, cheese and meat are protein-rich. And the last thing you need is for your body to consume muscle tissue in lieu of adequate intake. Protein and good fats are the things that keep you going. They provide slow release energy. Fruits contain sugar, which can give you a temporary lift before a crash. Really, as a hashi, the thing you need to avoid is gluten. High protein, good fats - this is the way to go, not high carbs.

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Sorry just to add, if you are only eating these things, be careful as will be low in iron and low proteins and healthy fats etc which you must be very careful to include somehow at a high enough level. There is hardly any protein in the foods you have mentioned so you need to add things like quinoa/buckwheat which have all nine amino acids you require from your food intake.

Most importantly, you will be getting absolutely no B12 so you will need to supplement :-)

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Peeps with Hashi's often feel better when excluding gluten. there is a protein in gluten that, if it leaks through the gut, looks to the body just like the thyroid. As a consequence, antibodies are formed which mistakenly attack the thyroid, gradually destroying it.

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Hi! I've been vegan for 3 years now and recently diagnosed with hypothyroidism. I can't say if a vegan or plant-based diet will help directly as the only difference I've noticed has been while taking levothyroxine. Like suggested below, perhaps try cutting out gluten? There are so many alternatives now that you can try which most supermarkets stock.

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Yep, I'm afraid I would also say you need the meat and dairy but ditch the gluten - this is the best thing to try and help your thyroid :-)

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Make sure you eat no unfermented soya, & that you have a good levels of iron, ferritin & B12. I feel better on a meat free diet, but not so good being vegan. I eat dairy kefir every day for probiotics, protein, B12 & K2.

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Hi rjerome812, Yes, I have experience, I am a vegan and I would NOT recommend it! There was a professor on radio 4 a week or so ago who said that if we try to eat like monkeys for instance, plant-based including nuts and berries, we will be unwell - his wording was somewhat stronger! Soya, such a good source of protein for vegans, is apparently bad stuff and I've given that up too, so not healthy but happy knowing animals are not suffering on my account.

That said, if you are going to give it a go I'll gladly offer advice - mainly be sure to take in sufficient vitamin B12, that is absolutely vital.

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Oh no. That choking feeling! I had that for years before diagnosed and until my thyroid hormones started getting to a decent level. Mine was caused by a very small goiter, or enlarged thyroid. Part of Hashimoto's is that we can end up thyroid nodules. You will need to get a thyroid ultrasound to look at your thyroid to see if it's enlarged and if you have nodules. If you have nodules, you might need to get them biopsied to make sure you don't have thyroid cancer. It's a very simple and non-invasive procedure.

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Some vegetables are harmful to your thyroid. A group of them called goitrogens that you want to avoid (especially raw, but limit intake over all) includes calciferous vegetables like broccoli, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, etc. The vegetables interfere with your thyroid hormone production.

Another group of not recommended vegetables are called nightshades. They cause inflammation. They are all kinds of peppers, egg plant, tomatoes, white potatoes (sweet potatoes are ok) and a few more. With Hashimoto's, you want to reduce your inflammation as much as possible and avoid all things and activities that induce it.

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