THYROID DYSFUNCTION AND HOW TO REPLACE THE IODINE DEFICIT WITH FOOD?

Centar za nutricionizam i dijetetiku inga markovic

There is a chance that people with thyroid dysfunction have a deficit of iodine. The essential element necessary for the proper functioning of the thyroid is iodine. If we are not consuming enough iodine through food, some important hormones like thyroxin, tetraiodothyronine, and triiodothyronine vital for the proper functioning of the metabolism, in the human body, can’t be made in the thyroid.

The most common diseases of the thyroid besides autoimmune diseases are goiter, hypofunction, and hyperfunction. All of them stem from the bad diet, especially those diets that are low in iodine. A low-iodine diet during pregnancy leads to serious damages in the baby’s brain, while it causes slowed growth and development during early childhood. The lack of this hormone leads to hypothyroidism in grownups. The illness connected with the excessive intake of iodine is hyperthyroidism. The daily needs of iodine for grownups are 150µg (micrograms).

Daily needs for other categories:

-newborns 0-0,5 months – 40µg
-newborns from 0,5-1 year – 50µg
-toddlers from 1-3 years – 70µg
-children from 4-6 years – 90µg
-children from 7-10 years – 120µg
-others – 150µg
-pregnant women +25µg
-breastfeeding women +50µg

Natural sources of iodine are sea animals:

-fish (cod, hake, mackerel, sardines, tuna, dentex, leaf)
-cephalopods (octopus, squid, cuttlefish)
-crabs (lobster, shrimp, prawns)
-mussels (oysters, mussels)

Besides these natural sources, eggs, yogurt, cheese, fish oil, and iodinated salt are the ingredients high in iodine.

People should consume necessary amounts of iodine through diet, using ingredients that are both plant-based and animal products. However, since the supplies of iodine are exhausted in the soil, the prevention of the deficit should be the consumption of iodinated salt, especially in areas where natural levels of iodine are low. Consuming more sea salt is not the solution since that type of salt doesn’t contain iodine.

People with the iodine deficit, as well as patients that suffer from goiter, should avoid foods with goitrogenic compounds like beans, peas, lentils, chickpeas, soy, cabbage, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, cauliflower, kale, and kohlrabi. There are some goitrogenic compounds in rice, as well.

The proper diet that helps with the prevention of the thyroid disfunction as a goal should be various, balanced, and rich in fish, vegetables, fruits, seeds, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, and eggs, while processed food, additives, sugars, fatty meat, and alcohol should be avoided. It is also necessary to consume iodinated salt.

People that get diagnosed with the iodine deficit should eat iodinated bread and oil together with other recommendations regarding the necessary diet-therapy.

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